Most franchises often come with a familiar feel. When you play a Pokemon game, you know you're playing a Pokemon game. When you play Dark Souls? You know you're playing Dark Souls. It's what gives a franchise unique balance and identity. We invest so much in a franchise, that sometimes when things get mixed up a little, we tend to get frustrated or have serious backlash. This was largely the case with Twilight Princess, and this is also why I love the game.
Twilight Princess is a unique game. For starters, it was initially released as we know on both the Gamecube and Wii at launch (something similar could very well be in the works for the latest Zelda title between the NX and the Wii U). That alone created a unique divide in the fanbase. I personally prefer the Gamecube version, as I just find basic controller functionality more preferable then motion controls. All of this aside however, I absolutely LOVE the way Twilight Princess feels. I love the story, I love the music, I love it all. The thing about it is, there is no denying that Twilight Princess just feels very different then any other Zelda game both before and after it. Yes, we know what Link looks like. Yes, there are hearts, swords and shields....but many things are different after that, and I really appreciate that. The entire mood of the story is darker, which was exactly what Miyamoto wanted in contrast to Wind Waker. The fanbase whined so much about the change of direction that Wind Waker went in, that they went in the complete opposite direction for Twilight Princess. Maybe it's just me....but I LOVE the way the game turned out.
There's just a unique feeling about Twilight Princess that really reaches out to me. Sure, at the end of the day it has many mechanics that make it noticeably a Zelda title, however the all around atmosphere, music and dialogue all make it feel very unique. There are moments when you're the young sword swinging hero of old, but I'm probably one of the few who truly appreciates the transformation into Wold form as well - it gave the game variety and depth, and I personally found the art style and change of pacing to be refreshing and engrossing. Speaking of unique, Midna for example is my favorite support character throughout the entire franchise. I love how sassy Midna is, and all at the same time she bears such a deep and engrossing backstory. She's mean, she's blunt, and she's awesome. She's not just some obnoxious fairy that sits in your ear 24/7 shouting "HEY, LISTEN!!!!". Indeed, the characters in this title all just give off a bit of a more 'mature' vibe, and I just really appreciate that. On top of all this, I just love the music.
New doesn't always have to be a bad thing, and sometimes mixing things up can be a very good thing. In the case of Nintendo, the formula of success hasn't changed very much at all since the company was founded. Sure, we've seen some neat new technology and fun variations in HOW we play our games, but Mario will be Mario, and even Zelda will be Zelda. I guess I'm one of those rebellious types that welcomes a bit of spice and flare to change things ups now and then. I can certainly appreciate that in the case of Twilight Princess, especially since it was done so well.
Do you guys have a fun game that changed up the pacing for you? Maybe an entry in a favorite franchise that just took a completely different direction for the better? Tell me about it in the comments below, and as always have a FANTASTIC week!