GAMECUBE PREVIEW: LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE TWILIGHT PRINCESS

Updated: Yes the news is true and it's all bad....kind of. Twilight Princess has been delayed until 2006. The good news is, when games like Zelda are delayed that usually means they will be far more kick ass than originally anticipated and that's always a good thing. Don't panic about the rumors swirling around that Twilight Princess will become a Revolution exclusive title. While we certainly wouldn't put it past Nintendo, we don't see this happening. Now relax with a new screens of this beautiful game.

Updated: We have learned from E3 that the rumors are true! Link will be able to transform into a bizarre werewolf like creature and be ridden around by a yet undisclosed character. These scenes take place in a dark world - see screens below - which looks to be something of an alternate reality compared to the colorful style of the rest of Hyrule. What this has to do with the Twilight Princess is also unknown.

We have also been told that this game features a different Link character (ala Wind Waker) and takes place hundreds of years into the future beyond the timeline of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and seemingly Wind Waker. Be sure to check out actual guerilla footage of the game below!

Preview: First the bad news - the next Legend of Zelda won't see the light of Wal-Mart store shelves until later this Fall. That's a big kick in the Hylian Shield for those of us, present company included, who were hoping and praying that Nintendo's earlier release date of May 2005 was within the realm of reality. Okay so we knew in our heart of hearts that a Zelda game wouldn't be a Zelda game without numerous delays.

The good news for those eternal optimists is that Nintendo isn't planning on holding this game back and releasing it on their next gen system code named "Revolution", even though it would be one of the biggest killer apps in the history of videogames. Which makes me wonder just what is Nintendo planning on releasing with the Revolution....stay tuned. The answer just might surprise you. (I don't really know the answer, but I sound smarter if I hint that I do. See how that works? It's a completely useless journalistic trick that makes you think that I know more than you.)

Anyway, this WILL be a GameCube title even though by all appearances it looks like it could be running on next gen hardware. When you see LoZ in action, you'll think someone crammed an Xbox into that tiny little square box.

Showing off the latest trailer at GDC this week, Nintendo floored showgoers with vivid examples of how dark and mature the next installment of Zelda will be. If you balked at the cartoony-ness of Wind Waker, there is simply no chance in Hell that you will be disappointed. For those of you who read EGM, my first question is "Why?" Like those 3 sentence reviews do you? Very insightful. My next suggestion is don't believe everything you read. Their latest April Fools Joke (Yawn) involved pre-ordering the new Zelda game and receiving a bonus disc with a graphically updated Wind Waker. Ain't gonna happen. Thanks to "Amux12" for letting me know this.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the new screens and trailer (again kudos to Amux12 for that). More info will start pouring in during E3. Stay tuned.

Preview By Vaughn

How do you improve upon a game as perfect as Ocarina of Time? The truthful answer is: Maybe you don't. That would be asking to achieve the impossible, wouldn't it? We say, as long as they try, that's good enough for us. Majora's Mask was more of an encore, while Wind Waker was a sidestep (both games were equally brilliant), but can Nintendo manage to top itself in 2005?

Much to the delight of Zelda fans (maybe we should say Link fans) everywhere, Hyrule's prodigal elf, Link, is getting that darker, mature makeover you won't see on the Oprah show and incidentally was promised to Cube owners before the system was released. Needless to say many were shocked at the cartoony style of Wind Waker and were a tad miffed that the darker tone of the series which started with OoT wasn't being continued. That's all water the bridge now, especially after you see the game in action (we have).

Although we know absolutely nothing in regards to the plot of the game or what delicious new items Link will be able to play with, we can tell you that horse riding makes a triumphant return and swordfighting on horseback debuts! Hey, we loved sailing in Wind Waker, but riding a horse just seems to fit the whole Zelda deal, ya know?

In terms of playability, it appears that Nintendo is opting to continue the basic movelist from OoT. Link can roll, backflip, sword jump and do a charged sword attack which looks identical to the movesets from OoT although graphically enhanced on the Cube to absolute videogame perfection. Remember this when you see the trailers: what you are seeing is gameplay, not CG cinemas.

With Nintendo keeping details very close to their chests on this one - like every other game - we'll be sure to keep you updated on any tasty morsels we can find. Hey, look on the bright side; it's only 9 months away. We can pretty much guarantee that this one will SELL GC systems, so we suggest getting your pre-order in nice and early.

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System: GameCube
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: TBA 2006
Players: 1
Preview By Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
NA
GRAPHICS
NA
CONTROL
NA
MUSIC/FX
NA
VALUE
NA