A good Zelda game, but with some weird problems
This Zelda game starts of very well by featuring a complete new characters cast with barely any characters from previous installments. I like that a lot because using characters from previous games often causes me to lose interest because I already saw them before and know how they act (like the Mask Salesman from Ocarina of Time that also appeared in Majora's Mask).
Using the Wii remote also feels better than in most other games on this system because using it actually feels natural. You swing your sword, aim with your bow or throw objects and never did it feel forced or unnecessary. Combat also works perfectly fine although it is a bit easy at times.
The graphics look great and I especially like it when you go to the Twilight Palace which looks just as creepy as it sounds. You can't expect much from the Wii, but this game can beat most Xbox 360 titles in terms of graphics.
Playing as Wolf Link is a lot of fun and although the combat is a lot slower due to the absence of a finishing move, it is still a fun game mechanic that can be used for both puzzle solving and fighting.
The story is well told and most characters you get to meet actually play a role in it rather then just standing around waiting for you to do it. Something I have always missed in the Zelda franchise is the feeling that Hyrule is actually at war, but in this installment you can see that the country is caught in a conflict. The story is also a lot darker than most other Zelda games with characters actually fighting back and dying.
The world is rather big and while that sounds like a good thing, in order to make a big world have impact on the player that world also has to be interesting. Hyrule Field is a good example: There is literally nothing to see there and travelling all the way through it takes the same amount of time as it took to get from one place to another in Oblivion.
Most characters try to be funny way too much and feel out of place considering the darker story. The goofy major, the weird bomb vendor and the "wise" (read demented) Goron elders all fail to endear themselves to you. And please Nintendo, get rid of all the cowardly soldiers!
Some dungeons and most of the music is copied straight from previous Zelda games. Especially the music takes the piss because the only song I enjoyed that wasn't ported from another Zelda was the Hidden Village song. Music is to the Zelda games what cheese is to macaroni, you can still go without, but it just cries out for something more. The dungeons are a bit cheap, but not to apparent. The Water temple and the Arbiter Grounds took the piss because those were copies from the most annoying dungeons from Ocarina of Time.
The Bottom Line
This game is a good sign because it shows that the Zelda franchise is far from over. The game looks and plays great and the new story filled with fresh, new characters is really enjoyable. The game made me laugh at times as well and that is always a good sign.
It does fail big time in the music department and some characters try to be funny way too much, but I was able too look past that while playing the game. If your a fan of Zelda game then you'll love this game and for newcomers this isn't a bad start either.