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Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - hands-on

In 16 days you'll be able to play one of the best games of the year. In fact, Twilight Princess could end up being the most cinematic, emotional Zelda game yet, and that's saying a damn lot. What could possibly cause such a strong prediction? Two whole days of Wii waving love, totally alone with the game, that's what. Our initial reactions  to the wand-wavey Princess can now be stricken from the record - playing this legend from the beginning solved any qualms we had about the controls.

Before we jump into the epic story or the nightmarish Twilight Realm, it's important to note how natural the Wii remote feels after mere moments. Yes, you do have to wave the wand to swing Link's sword and juke the Nunchuk for a shield bump or spinning slash attack, but the movements are slight, not extraneous. Holding the analog stick forward and swinging gives you a stab, while attacking during a lock-on opens up even more styles of attack. Freehand aiming with the slingshot or arrows does require actual skill, but the Ocarina-pioneered lock-on system removes any margin for missed shots. By the time you get your first wooden sword, you'll have no trouble navigating Hyrule. And the things you'll do in this Zelda exceed anything you've seen before. Seriously.

To use special items (like the boomerang or slingshot), you simply assign them to one direction on the d-pad. Let's say you've got the lantern set to left - tap left on the pad and the lantern becomes your "active" item, and is able to be used by hitting the B trigger on the remote. Quick, easy access for any item at any time. Nice.

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