Every week, we will present a new game to be nominated for the Diehard GameFAN Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame. These nominations will occur every Monday and Friday, respectively. Our standards are just like the Baseball Hall of Fame: every game will be voted on by members of the staff, and any game that gets 75% of the vote – with a minimum of four votes – will be accepted – or thrown – into their respective Hall.
Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Date: 11/19/2006 (Wii), 12/11/2006 (GCN)
System Released On: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Gamecube
Genre: Action Adventure
Who Nominated The Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the Game of the Year in 2006.
Why Was It Nominated: Looking back, 2006 wasn’t exactly a shining year as far as game releases go, which could probably be attributed to the fact that there were two gaming consoles being released that year. The Sony Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii arrived on store shelves within days of each other in mid-November and as is typical with console launches, most of the titles were pretty lackluster at the time. Heck, I can still remember how sick to my stomach I felt the first time I played Red Steel.
However, there was one title that stood out among the crowd as a champion among launch titles. That was The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This game did a complete 180 in comparison to its predecessor, abandoning the cel-shaded graphics presented in The Wind Waker and instead opting for a much darker looking art style. They also implemented some last minute motion controls where you could swing your sword with the Wii remote or shield block with the nunchuk. The Gamecube version was released a month later as essentially the same game except everything was mirrored from the Wii version (Link was left handed instead of right, every right turn became a left, etc.) Eventually it beat out Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Okami for our 2006 GOTY award.
So it was a great game for its time. But is it great enough to be immortalized on the Hall of Fame?
All in Favour:
Sean Madson – When I was a kid, I didn’t want to be a fireman or a doctor or anything else that kids fantasize about these days. No, I wanted to be Link. Who cares if he runs around with pointy ears and green tights. He was a teenage badass! As a result, I spent days cobbling together household supplies in order to create every item that was in the original Legend of Zelda. I even made a raft out of wood scraps and duct tape!
Now that I’m older, running around the streets slashing at things in hopes that they drop money is no longer socially acceptable. My only hope is if someone made a Zelda title that let me physically perform sword swings. Twilight Princess was that game.
This was everything I wanted in a Zelda game. It was dark in theme. It was not cel-shaded (I still love you though, Wind Waker). And it allowed me to at least pretend I was really swinging a sword at my enemies just like I had always wanted to do as a kid. Sure, it’s not my favorite Zelda game of all time. But I still like it better than the majority of similarly styled games on the market and that’s all the justification I need to vote this one into the Hall of Fame.
Mohamed Al-Saadoon – I loved Twilight Princess. I loved the art style, gameplay and characters. Midna is one of my favorite Nintendo characters ever.
I never really understood the hate reserved for this game. People slammed Wind Waker (another Zelda game I loved) for not being Ocarina of Time 2 and when Nintendo gets around to making a Zelda game like Ocarina of Time everyone hates it for being too much like the N64 classic. It’s like Nintendo can’t do anything to satiate the unrealistic demands of the Zelda fanbase, including some people who don’t want to play the upcoming Skyward Sword because they don’t like the art style despite it being the best of Windwaker‘s Cel shaded and Twilight Princess‘ realistic style.
Anyway, back to the voting. If I like the game so much why did I vote “nay”? Well….because it’s Ocarina of Time 2. There’s nothing wrong with that but if we are voting for a hall of fame then there are several Zelda games ahead of Twilight Princess that deserve that honor.
It’s really a testament to the quality of the Zelda series that a supposedly weaker entry in the series is still an amazing game.
Alex Lucard – There are two simple reasons this gets a thumb’s down from me, despite being a neat little game:
1) It’s not even in the top five LoZ games ever made and I don’t feel comfortable voting something that isn’t even one of THE BEST Zelda games in first as it sets a dangerous precedent.
2) It’s definitely overrated. It’s fun but I’d hesitate to call it a good game, much less a great one.
Bebito Jackson – Is the Ocarina of Time in the DHGF Hall of Fame yet?
No? Well, is A Link to the Past in the Hall of Fame yet?
No? Ok then, what about the original freaking Legend of Zelda?
No. Yeaaaa… Then why are we even talking about this?
Christopher Bowen – I thought about this one for awhile. Unfortunately, while this is a GOOD game, it’s not great enough to be really considered for our hallowed halls. I would argue that it’s not even the greatest Zelda game… of the past decade. In terms of playability, it’s on par with Ocarina of Time. But in terms of the impact it’s had on the industry? Uh… it sold a lot of Wiis. Both The Legend of Zelda and Ocarina of Time had much bigger impacts.
There should be a Zelda game in the Hall of Fame. This isn’t the one.
Aileen Coe – Yes, it is a solid game, it moved a lot of Wiis, and the wolf form was fun to play with (even if some found it too similiar to Okami to be comfortable). But it didn’t have nearly as much impact as the likes of Ocarina of Time and in fact, it borrowed a good number of things from it. A Zelda game absolutely deserves a place in the Hall of Fame, but there’s others in the series that should take priority.
William Kaye IV – I like Twilight Princess. A lot. I liked being Adult Link, as that always appeals to me more than Child Link. I like the complexity of the story and I like the idea of the Twilight. I like the character designs and the graphics and the music
Unfortunately, I have never liked Epona (in any Zelda game) and couldn’t stand horseback battles. As fun as it was to be a wolf, I would have rather that be a gimmick in a game that was not Zelda. And even though you know from the moment you turn on the game who the final villain is going to be, being that it’s a Zelda game, I actually would have preferred if the game was NOT hijacked by You Know Who.
Great game. Like it a lot. But not HOF material, sad to say.
Chuck Platt – Twilight Princess is a dramatic step backwards for the Legend of Zelda series. Wind Waker, mixed as the reviews were, was interesting and unique. Twilight Princess feels like a rehash of the N64 entries to the series and looks grainy and dull compared to Wind Waker. Meh.
Result: 1 In Favour, 7 Opposed, 12.5% Approval = REJECTED
Conclusion: Sorry, Twilight Princess. I fought the good fight, but despite being awarded Game of the Year, Twilight Princess is ultimately an entry deemed not good enough to be regarded as one of the best games of all time. While it may have stood out against the weaker release calendar that was 2006, just having Zelda in the title is not enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Although it brought a much darker tone to the franchise, there just wasn’t enough innovation in the title to have it be considered anything more than simply a good game. Perhaps one of its brethren in the franchise will be able to take home the crown one day.
Next Week: We’ll take a look at our 2007 Game of the Year, and see if a popular mascot’s journey into space is worthy of becoming Hall of Fame material.