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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Star Trek XI (2009) Review




Star Trek XI (2009) Review

By Andre Kibbe


How well does director J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009) stack up against the rest of the series? How is the film in its own right?

Overall, I was entertained, but with reservations. If you don't insist on strict plot coherence, you'll probably have a great time. Hardcore Trekkies (or "Trekkers" if they really take themselves seriously) will more likely to have mixed feelings about it than regular moviegoers. One of the reviewers on Amazon put it best: "Excellent film. Bad Star Trek."




Star Trek XI 2009




Star Trek 11: The Plot (Sort Of)

Most Star Trek films are narratively structured for feature-length, but Abrams' Star Trek is even more television-paced than any of the television shows. Star Trek may not surpass Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as the best Trek film of all time (something I think we can all agree on), but it's definitely the most action-packed. Abrams' breakneck pacing is what keeps viewers glued to their seats, distracted from the convoluted plot that would have otherwise unraveled the film.

It all starts with the USS Kelvin investigating a electrical discharge in space that we find out is actually a black hole. Out of the black hole, 129 years from the future, emerges the Romulan ship Narada, commanded by the vindictive Nero. Nero fires on and cripples the Kelvin, then demands that its captain be beamed aboard. Before handing himself over, the captain transfers command to George Kirk, whose pregnant wife is about to give birth to the legendary James T. Kirk at any moment. The senior Captain Kirk orders his wife and crew to escape the Kelvin in shuttles and pods, then single-handedly pilots the ship into a destruct course with the Narada. In the last moments of Kirk's life, his wife gives birth to their son.

James Kirk grows into an adroit but aimless juvenile offender (Jimmy Bennett in childhood, Chris Pine in adulthood) in Iowa, with misadventures ranging from joyriding his stepfather's antique Vette to waging fistfights with Star Fleet cadets before Captain Christopher Pike intervenes. Pike tries to convince Kirk that he's wasting the leadership aptitude suggested by his test scores. Pike presses the point that Kirk's father saved over 800 lives in only 12 minutes as a starship captain, and dares Kirk to live up to his father's legacy.

Across the universe, Kirk's contemporary, a young, half-Vulcan/half-Human Spock (Jacob Kogan) is tormented by his Vulcan classmates for his mixed heritage. He lashes back at them in a rage more characteristic of humans than Vulcans, and is criticized by his father for it. Years later, when Spock (Zachary Quinto) is old enough for the enter the prestigious Vulcan Science Academy, he declines the reluctant acceptance of the university's administrators, and instead enrolls in Star Fleet Academy, where he first crosses paths with Kirk.

Kirk and Spock immediately rub each other the wrong way when Kirk manages to pass a test simulation, the Kobayashi Maru, engineered by Spock. The Kobayashi Maru scenario was designed by its nature to be a no-win wargame, to test leadership skills in the face of certain death, so Spock suspects Kirk of gaming the system. He presses charges to have Kirk court-martialed, gathering evidence that Kirk has planted a subroutine in the simulation to make it possible to beat the test.

While Kirk is facing Spock on trial, the Federation gets a distress call that Vulcan is under attack. The trial is interrupted to assemble selected Star Fleet cadets to the USS Enterprise to for an intervention. Though Kirk is grounded, his new friend, Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban), is able to bring him on board the Enterprise on medical grounds by making him temporarily sick beforehand.

The Enterprise travels to Vulcan to investigate the lightning storm in the planet's upper atmosphere. When Kirk hears about the lightning storm over the intercom, the stowaway is forced to reveal his presence to Captain Pike, pointing out that the ship is falling into a trap that replicates what happened to his father. Sure enough, when the Enterprise disengages its warp drive, falls under attack by the Narada.









The Plot Thickens

This is where the story's timeline and character motivations get muddled. 129 years later, Spock tries to save Romulus from a fast-approaching supernova by bringing of supply of "red matter" to the planet which, when ignited, would form a black hole that would take up all matter exploded from the supernova. Spock's journey to the planet gets disrupted by an exploding star in his trajectory.

Failing to save the Romulan planet, Spock's ship is intercepted by the Narada, with Nero blaming Spock for his brethren's destruction. The red matter, which Spock ejected from his ship, was ignited by the supernova, forming a black hole and distorting the space-time continuum. Before the Nero can finish off Spock, the block hole sweeps them both up and sends them through time separate points in the past: Nero his crew are sent back 25 years before Spock. Nero has been scheming and waiting to avenge himself on Spock, by this point a Star Fleet cadet, for 25 years.

I'll stop recounting the plot here. I've left out a bunch of subplots to convey the basic premise in order to address basic flaws. Why does Nero hate Spock again? For allowing an explosion to derail his attempt to save Romulans, nearly dying himself?

Nero takes his vengeance a couple of steps further. He has a vast drilling rig stationed in Vulcan's stratosphere to reach down and drill through the planet's crust to its core. The plan is to destroy Vulcan by depositing red matter into its core, turning the planet into a black hole. Nero also blames the Federation for not saving his people, so he decides to make Earth his next stop for black hole conversion. With Captain Pike in custody, Nero tortures him for the security codes to Earth's defense systems, as if one individual would be entrusted with that much information (even today's bank's don't give one manager the ability to open a vault without another employee).




The Good and Bad of Star Trek XI

Suspension of disbelief isn't my strong suit, but the plot holes (don't get me started on the "future Spock" in the film played by Leonard Nimoy) didn't keep me from having a good time.

While much of the acting lacked character with The Original Series (TOS) actors, the performances in their own right had enough energy and charisma to keep the audience engaged from start to finish.

A prime example is Chris Pine. I personally couldn't imagine landing the role of Kirk and not taking a shot at aping William Shatner's verbal pauses and gesticulations. Zachary Quinto leaves most of Nimoy's mannerisms behind, but does an excellent job of conveying the inner conflict between Vulcan reserve and human expression. The gorgeous Zoe Zaldana plays Uhura with virtually no reference to Nichelle Nichols' rendering, but she delivers her lines with a verve that makes up for the silly flirtation triangle between herself, Kirk and Spock never suggested by their total lack of mutual chemistry in the original show.

Eric Bana is saddled with a one-dimensional, mustache-twisting villain role that no amount of acting chops can salvage. The writers clearly modeled Nero's character after Star Trek II's Khan, but even the great Ricardo Montalban himself couldn't have made Nero believable.

Some of the actors, like Karl Urban and Simon Pegg, seem to have actually done their homework and studied the original performances. Karl Urban does a great Leonard "Bones" McCoy that pays homage to DeForest Kelly's version, mimicking Kelly's facial expressions and affectionately grumpy speech patterns. Simon Pegg follows suit, channeling more than a little of James Doohan's characterization of Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.

The production design was pretty astute. Anyone trying to maintain the look and feel of a 40-year-old franchise set in the future (especially a few years before the "original" future) has his work cut out for him. Abrams' team did a great job of keeping the uniforms and costuming more or less consistent with the original series. The USS Enterprise is cut very close to the mold of the original design, only adding a few contours to keep it from looking completely dated.








Does Star Trek 11 Deliver?

In the Fellini film 8 1/2, a character looking at the fictional director's over-the-top movie set remarks, "The prophet really lays it on thick," to which director responds, "You prefer films where nothing happens? In my films, I put in everything."

That's basically what Star Trek XI feels like: an attempt to pack every scrap of the Star Trek legacy (except for tribbles) into two hours. Sticklers will knock it for lacking substance - pretty accurate so far - but as spectacle, the movie scores big time. If you're willing to sacrifice intellectual stimulation for two hours of robust entertainment, this is one Enterprise worth boarding.

A Timeless Story - The Lake House




A Timeless Story - The Lake House

Movie Review


By Pamela Beard




One of the most romantic films ever shown in the big screen-The Lake House tells the tale of two individuals, from different timelines, that develops a deep friendship with only a mailbox as their means of staying connected.



The Lake House Movie



It has been years since they first co-starred in the action packed 1994 movie Speed. Back then was a picture of the fast driving Sandra Bullock and a cool crisp talking good-looking cop Keanu Reeves. Though the chemistry was great, Keanu never reprised his role in Speed 2. In this 2006 film remake of the Korean romantic drama, Mare (2000), these two Hollywood stars teams-up again as Alex Wyler and Kate Forster.

There goes the sigh and the day dreaming of someone who loves you even from a distance. In the film, Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Kate Forster, a tenant of the lake house who is about to move to a new address in Chicago. She leaves a message to the new tenant asking to deliver any mails in her name to her new address.


Lake House Reeves Keanu Reeves plays Alex Wyler, a talented yet frustrated architect who buys the Lake House, which is originally built by his father. As he arrives in the Lake house, he discovers the note from Kate. In the message, she wrote about a box and the paw prints on the walkway leading in the house. Seeing no prints or box, he writes her back stating that the house was unoccupied, that before he came, and that there was none of the things she claimed in her letter. It was not until two days later that Alex thought about Kate's note as a stray dog stepped on paint and left paw prints on the walkway. Meanwhile, upon receiving the message, Kate thought of Alex's note as a joke and asks the day for argument's sake. He then answers her of the day like that of Kate but of a different year-two years earlier.


lakehouse sandra Alex goes for a tenant background check on Kate trying to locate the address she left as to where to deliver her mails in case they were delivered to the Lake House. He then found a building of a luxury apartment under construction with an 18 months deadline to meet ahead.

With the tenant background check and the other events that happened, Kate and Alex finally disclose the fact that, though weird as it may, they are living in different timeline. They are two years apart as Alex lives in the year 2004 while Kate lives in 2006. Moreover, with that starts a love story that tries to defy even time.


Lake House 2006 romantic movie


Romantic in every way, the story of Alex and Kate is one for that DVD collection. It is as heartwarming as any romantic film as they try to meet each other and save each other's lives. This one movie cannot easily forget even with the passing of time.

A Look at Some Popular Disney Characters




A Look at Some Popular Disney Characters

By Stanley Lewis



Disney characters


No matter the age of the child or what their favorite characters are, there is certainly something to be said for the magic of Disney and some of the terrific characters that they have created. In many ways, Disney makes its money from storytelling, and this is easily seen in some the characters that have sang and danced their way into our hearts.



Princess Ariel When looking around at the various Disney characters out there, there are so many to choose from. One of the more iconic Disney princesses out there is certainly Ariel, the mermaid who fell in love with a prince and gave up her undersea kingdom to follow him on land. The music score was stunning, and the mermaid herself was determined, sweet, and downright adorable.



Disney Aladdin Another Disney princess that many people will recognize on sight is the strong-willed Jasmine, who appeared in Disney's Aladdin. Jasmine was a princess through and through who was forbidden by her father to marry anyone save a prince. Though Aladdin was certain the star of the show, Jasmine lit up her scenes with a combination of quick with and regal grace.





Captain Jack Sparrow Of course Disney has more than princesses to offer to their eager audience. What about pirates? There's no pirate that can match Jack Sparrow, the captain of the Black Pearl, whether he is sailing into harbor on bedraggled raft or taking on the East India Company. Johnny Depp brought a great deal of charisma and charm to this character, and his performance is one that has greatly pleased his fans.



Chronicles of Narnia Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia is an adorable character who tells us that Disney heroines can come in any age and any size. She is quite small when she first encounters the world beyond the wardrobe, but that doesn't stop her from standing beside her brothers and sister bravely in the face of the White Witch. She goes on to become a Queen of Narnia in her own right, reigning alongside Peter, Edmund, and Susan from Cair Paravel.


Disney's Peter Pan Another standout from the Disney characters is Peter Pan, the boy who would never grow up. He lived in the land of Neverland where children who had fallen out of their prams ended up, and he was the leader of the Lost Boys. We first meet him when he is charming Wendy, John and Michael Darling into flying away from their bedroom window and joining him in a life of adventure.


It is difficult to speak of Peter Pan without speaking of his arch-nemesis the pirate Captain Hook. When Peter cut off Hook's hand and fed to the a crocodile, he won Hook's undying anger, and hook has come up with many plans to capture and kill both the Lost Boys and their leader, which finally does culminate in their last and fateful meeting.



Disney Castle


Disney is founded on good storytelling, and even if the stories are ones that we have heard over and over again, it is worth noting that we still love the Disney versions. We watch them over and over again, and every time, we find something new. Disney costumes still remain a popular choice with children today, despite the vast number of modern television, movie and comic book characters around today.

How Old is Too Old to Love Cartoons?




How Old is Too Old to Love Cartoons?

By Jordan Gottlieb






               Cartoon Network







I am going to be completely honest here. I am well past the age that most people would think is acceptable to watch cartoons. I am a married father and have a college degree and manage a business. You would think by looking at me that my favorite television shows would be the news and professional sporting events. But boy oh boy would you be wrong. Just what is my favorite television show you might want to know...King of the Hill. I think it's awesome.

All of that begs the question: is there a point at which you are too old to enjoy and even love cartoons? I obviously think that the answer to that question is a resounding no. No way, no how.


SpongeBob Squarepants Of course, there are different kinds of cartoons and different levels of fan enthusiasm. Do I consider myself too old to watch alot of what comes on on Saturday mornings? You bet I do. Those cartoons are mind numbing to say the very least. On the other end of the spectrum, there are cartoons like Sponge Bob that many people well past the age of 20 find hilarious that I just don't get. I fall into what I like to think of as a happy medium.

For a while I was a huge "The Simpsons" fan. I had nearly every episode memorized for about 10 seasons worth of shows. But, as with most animated series where the characters never age, there is only so much of a story and then things kind of fizzle out.



Scooby Dooby Doo On classic show that I never seemed to get in to that alot of other adults love is Scooby Doo. I think for many people there is a powerful feeling of nostalgia watching their favorite childhood toons as an adult.






The level of cartoon enthusiasm can range from subtle to full blown obsession. Various examples I have seen include someone whose personal checks featured their favorite character which was subtle enough to someone with a Tweety Bird tattoo which seemed a little extreme but still well within the realm of reason to a lady who literally has a "Disney Room" that is filled with every conceivable Disney character.

All About Anime, Manga, And Western Animation




All About Anime, Manga, And Western Animation

By Gabriel J. Adams



DragonBall Z


The word anime is almost synonymous with Japanese culture, where it is as much a part of society as the newspaper or magazine. Most anime are actually derived from their manga (comic) counterparts, and the word is basically an abbreviation of animation, but specifically cartoon or comic animation. In fact, manga is a very popular form of literature in Asian countries, and a lot of manga titles are actually have a historical or contemporary flavor to it.

However, it might surprise many to know that there is not a lot of differences between Western and Eastern animation. Both share many common techniques and approaches, but perhaps Western animations have been trending towards using more sophisticated technology. Many of the most famous creators of anime still prefer to do things using the traditional methods, and are less reliant on computers and technology.



Disney's The Lion King The biggest difference between the two styles of anime are probably the types of genres explored in the animation, and some of the peculiar features that are only found in Eastern animation.


Since anime and manga is such a big part of Eastern culture (you can find manga book shops everywhere in countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan), it tends to be more broad in the topics covered. Themes such as sports, relationships, history, military, political, humor and medicine or science have all been the subject of anime. In fact, there is probably an anime or manga for just about anything that you can think of. However, Western culture seem to be very specific with its animations, and tend to focus on heroes and villains, actions and consequences.



DragonBall Some of the most interesting features of Asian anime is the use of dialogues within the dialogues. That is, as a particular scene is unfolding, there will be commentary from the characters within the animation providing a third person perspective from people involved in the plot. Also, the interplay between imaginary and real-life is often strong, with characters able to take words out of their speech bubble, or pull out various instruments from empty space.



Naruto To give you a taste of Japanese anime, and understand some of the things we've been talking about, have a look at some of the most popular Japanese anime: DragonBall, DragonBall Z, Naruto, Blackjac, Eyeshield 21, Slam Dunk. If there is something you are interested in, you will almost certainly find an anime or manga that covers the topic. So why not take a look in your favorite bookstore today, you never know just what you'll discover.

Friday, April 20, 2012

MMORPGS: World of Warcraft





MMORPGS: World of Warcraft

By Stefan Pratter



World of Warcraft




If you're into computer games, you probably have heard of World of Warcraft, the latest hit produced by Blizzard Entertainment, and you're probably aware what an MMORPG is. If you're not, let me explain it quickly. A MMORPG is a massivly multiplayer online roleplaying game that allows thousands of players to play in a persistent game world.

World of Warcraft currently entertains close to 7 million people world wide. It has drawn many of the mmorpg veterans but also introduced a lot of new people to the genre. Why is world of warcraft so successful? Well. I think it comes down to more than one thing.

First of MMORPGs are usually not that easy to get into, often the player is presented with a awkward interface, tons of options and a lot of things going on around them in general the first time the log onto the game. Blizzard has done a pretty solid job in keeping the interface simple and stupid, allowing even newbie players to get into it at a quick pace. Hints and Tips help guide the true MMORPG newbie along as well. When the developers of the game created the interface, and gameplay in general their goal was for it to be easy to get into it, but to be hard to master.

They have definitely accomplished the first part, the second part can be argued about. What defines a good player in an MMORPG basically comes down to two things.

1) Does he know his character and the abilities

2) Does he pay attention

There are no twitch skills involved, and in my opinion if you're looking for a competitive game, current mmorpgs - including WoW - are not the place to look at. If you want skill-based competition stick to RTS and FPS games.

The second thing that makes wow so successful is most likely the name of the producer and their huge fan-base - which they deserve by all means - after having released such great games as the diablo and warcraft series, which were all huge hits.

Let's get to the review part :)



World of Warcraft



Character Creation

Like every MMORPG or MUD out there the journey always begins with the character creation. You get to pick your site - alliance or horde , your race and a few visual features. Character customization is definitely one of the game's weakest points, the diversity and amount of features to select and change for character remind of Everquest which was released almost 8 years ago. You get to chose

* between a handful of faces

* skin tone

* between a handful of haircuts

* between a handful of facial hair styles

* hair color

It is probably not a huge deal, and its certainly nothing game breaking, a bit more would have been nice though.


First steps

As you take your first steps within WoW, getting used to the user interface, you will quickly notice that the game is very quest driven. You can earn most of your character's experience via quests, you will still be grinding mobs for exp once in a while though.

The starting quests also lead you along nicely, out of the starting area to the bigger towns and into the deep dungeons


The world

The amount of detail that was put into the world of warcraft is amazing and stunning. The cartoony style may not be everyone's cup of tea, but whether you like it or not you cannot dismiss that the world has a lot of character. It is filled with content too, and you will find yourself stumbling from point of interest to point of interest.


The dungeons

The dungeon instances, which are zones that belong to you and your group, while pretty linear most of the time are also amazingly done. The boss encounters are fun, and the best loot is gotten from doing instance runs. The dungeon instances are supposed to be the group part of the game (aside from pvp) and it would be unwise to enter them alone unless you're like 20 levels stronger than the mobs inside the dungeon.


The way to 60, and beyond

Most people I've talked to tell me they have the most fun leveling their characters to level 60, because it is quick paced most of the time, and only slows down rarely. The quests are done well, and there is just so much to discover.

Once you hit 60 you're basically stuck with three things to do though

a) do instance runs (raids) for items

b) grind monsters for money

c) pvp

Now this might sound as if it should be enough. But the core problem is this: there is no character advancement beyond 60 other than getting items. These items are gotten by raiding elite dungeons with your guild, playing the bazaar game or by gaining rank while pvping.

Right now, if you're a raider, you raid so you can raid more. There is no reason to take that super dagger of stabbing into a normal 5 man dungeons and just carnage stuff left and right, other than for the sake of carnageing - is that even a word.

The game at this point, 2 years after its release, direly needs some alternate advancement, luckily the expansion (The Burning Crusade) is right around the corner, so that should help out some for now.




World of Warcraft





Server Issues

This is were i have an axe to grind, so pardon my rant

Ever since wow was released , the game has had severe sever stability issues. I guess they did not expect the kind of amount of people to buy the game back then and got surprised. Not a big deal, most of the MMORPGs face server issues the first few days of the game's release, even if is not as popular as wow.

But even after 2 years of development it is sad and annoying to see that the same server problems still exist, while not as severe, and the servers need to go down for maintenance weekly.


Content Updates

We all know it, Blizzard likes to do things correctly, and they always take their time. The thing is, that this is a MMORPG. People need to be handed new content almost constantly, waiting 3-4 months between content updates that deliver content that was promised to be in the game when it was released just seems weak. Then again i can certainly appreciate the amount of work that must be needed to create the content. It wouldn't be so bad if there was actually some way of alternative character advancement.

This review may sound a bit harsh and don't get me wrong, WoW is an amazing game, and what the artists did is just mind boggling. I leveled 3 characters to level 60, and as i was progressing along through the vastly different world zones of the game there was always this thought on mind.

Wow is an amazing online world, but it is as if they do nothing with it. Where is the dynamic world, that i imagined when i first read about WoW in 2002. There has been a world event of the opening of a raid instance that involved the players gathering resources for a month or two and then battling in a war like scenario to unlock the dungeon. While this is definitely a step in the right direction it is not enough. Next generation MMORPGs need to be developed with dynamic behavior in mind. The world needs to change and feel less static.



World of Warcraft



World of warcraft is a great game, and you will definitely enjoy leveling your character. After that it is uncertain, you will have to see for yourself. Doing raid instances can be fun, unless you don't like to rely on people. PVP can be fun too if you're into that kind of thing. Heck, even trying to amass huge amounts of virtual money can be fun to some people.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review





The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review

By Anthony Chatfield




The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess


Since the first time Link circled the lands of Hyrule on his epic quest to save the Princess Zelda and set right the evils of Ganon, his and her names have been synonymous with brilliant game making. The first mention of Twilight Princess some years ago was met with as much excitement and hoopla as any Zelda game in development. But then they showed us a video of the gameplay. There in full glory was the grown Link of Ocarina of Time fame slashing away with the Master Sword. The vision was beautiful and after the cel shaded diversions of Wind Waker, nearly brought tears to fanboys the world over.

The Legend of Zelda was back, and with a vengeance. The name of Link would filter between avid Nintendo fans for months and years to come until it finally saw the light of day. It took a long time for Link's newest adventure to finally show up on the shelves, and a good part of that delay was announcement and late 2006 release of Nintendo's newest console, the Wii. The Big N held back their biggest game of the year to retool and revamp it for their next gen console entry.

But was it worth it. The controls, the gameplay, the little changes made - were any of them worth the wait and the dual release of the game on two consoles? The answer to that question is the simplest thing I get to say to you here. Absolutely.


the legend of zelda twilight princess

The newest Zelda adventure, Twilight Princess, is by far the best reason to own a Nintendo Wii. The game is a masterpiece on almost every level, to the point I'm almost willing to call it the greatest game ever made. We've heard this a lot, that this game is the greatest. That it surpasses what Ocarina accomplished years ago. And as my own favorite game, it's hard to ever put anything above Ocarina in terms of scope, depth, and innovation. But we're going to try.



The Presentation

The first thing you notice when you boot up the game is the scope. You'll notice it even more later, but even right off the bat, at the title screen, Link sits atop Epona looking up at the great ruins before him and his quest. The ambience is darker, matching the game's title, and by far more adult. Everything is drowned in sepias, browns, and grays. The vibrant yellows and greens of Wind Waker are gone in favor of something more earthly and grittier.

And then there's Link. Full grown and already a local hero to the children of his village, this is the first game in which Link spends his entire adventure as an adult, with fully realized emotional range and involvement with the other characters. Whereas some other Links are detached from their surroundings by his age and the lack of voice acting, this Link is as carefully entwined with these characters as any Square Enix game.

And the world. Well, this is Hyrule as it oughta be. It's huge. And by huge, I mean massive. And by massive, I mean incredibly large, beyond even the earliest visions of previous games. Imagine the Hyrule Field of Ocarina of Time and that's one screen in Twilight Princess. Now multiple that tenfold and you have a rough idea of how big this game is.

Quests are still formulated in the basic dungeon crawling formula, but this time around Nintendo throws in a few twists, all the while creating something much more seamless and organic in terms of storytelling than any of their earlier entries.



The Story


the legend of zelda twilight princess The story picks up our young hero in his village in the farthest corner of the map, a wrangler on a ranch and the hero to the village children. One day, without notice he's taken from his home and transported across a strange black frontier into a Twilight world. In this twilight world he encounters Midna, a strange creature of the twilight who will help guide him through his upcoming journey. More importantly, we find our favorite green clad hero transformed into a wolf.

It might remind you of Clover's recent Okami, and it should, because the two characters are similar in their execution, but Link's is different. This is temporary. You'll change back into Link, don't worry. But for now, have fun with your wolf version. Midna sure does.

You'll meet the Princess and then it's off to battle, as Link attempts to unwrap the folds of Twilight from Hyrule and defeat the dark thief who unleashed it. This is a darker story than the previous games. All throughout, as you fight and defeat the denizens of twilight you find yourself engaged in epic battles with hoards of enemies and included are some of the greatest cinematics in any game so far. The eye for drama here could craft a beautiful film with the same energies.

Link's quest lead him to save the children from his village, then the entire world, and all the while you're as entangled in his quest as any game on the market, or any novel in the book store, or film in the theater. This is epic with a capital E, and there's messing around with that statement.



The Gameplay

The gameplay is probably the one thing most of the new Wii owners out there were worried about. For a game designed for the Gamecube, how does the Wii remote handle? Beautifully. Honestly, I can't imagine playing this game any other way. The precision gained while shooting an arrow or swinging the sword, or fishing is incredible and makes the entire process that much more enjoyable, because instead of worrying about the accuracy of your left thumb, you can focus on how incredibly cool it is to shoot a shadow beast down from half a mile while on horse back.

And that's where this game grows so well on its predecessors. It strives in every instance to think of a new and exciting way to craft a scene. From jousting sequences to rail shooters, to scavenger hunts in the dark Twilight Princess again and again displays its innovations with a big smile and a sweeping gesture.
And the dungeons? Dungeons are the key to any Zelda game. They make up over three quarters of the game and the difficulty combined with the methods in which one solves them makes the game fun or not (Wind Waker...I'm looking at you). Well, first off the dungeons don't take up quite the volume of gameplay here as they did in the past. Wait, don't gasp yet. This game is long. Very long, the longest one by far, and the dungeons are just as long, and full of innovative puzzles and solutions, each of them unique and fun in its own way. However, the rest of the game is so packed with content that it balances out better than any past Zelda game.

The Ocarina of Time's themed dungeon format returns here, with battles in the trees with monkeys, Goron wrestling matches in the bowels of a volcano, and underwater antics with the Zoras. And they're even more fun this time around.



The Sound

It's not perfect. I'm sorry, I feel bad about it, but I have to tell you that this game has a few flaws. They're small, but they're there and they do detract a bit from the game. The music first off is still stuck in the midi formats from the cartridge days. You've moved to DVDs Nintendo. Full orchestration is not a reality you can ignore forever in your games, and it would have made those epic scenes that much more jaw dropping. The game also skews away from voice acting in the same mannerism of its predecessors, but this isn't necessarily a flaw as hearing Zelda speak might only detract more than it would add. But, the orchestra would have been great.




Legend of Zelda




It's epic, it's amazing. It's one of the best games of all time. Is it the best? I still won't give it that title, withholding my supreme adulation for its Nintendo 64 forefather, but it's mighty close, and the best reason around to buy a Nintendo Wii right now. Call it an even 9.5 out of 10. Genius.