Author Topic: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess  (Read 19771 times)

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Offline Svevan

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IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« on: May 14, 2006, 08:37:20 PM »
The unfortunate truth about Zelda on Wii.

Zelda on Wii is so bittersweet. On one hand, I am happy to see both a Metroid and Zelda game at system launch, and both games look stellar and fun. The design for this Zelda looks mature and deep, and the promises of a hardcore game are likely to be fulfilled. The other hand, though, is that when playing Zelda on the show floor, I did not feel as though I had any extra depth of control or enjoyment with the Wii Remote. I really wanted to put the thing down and play the game with a GameCube controller. Wasn't playing supposed to be believing?    


Bloodworth's impressions already detail the complex control scheme, so I will not repeat it here. Overall, I find the control on Wii to be in some ways just as good as previous Zelda outings, and in other ways too complex with a high learning curve. First of all, the basics work; movement, Z-Targeting, sword, action button, all perform traditionally and responsively. What does not work is the D-Pad item usage. The D-Pad is just too far up on the Wii Remote. Switching between items on the D-Pad is laborious since you must reposition your hand to reach it. Nintendo seems to have gone out of their way to make your thumb naturally rest on the A button, but at the cost of alienating the D-Pad from normal gameplay usage. This is an inherent problem with a vertical controller, and will not be alleviated unless the buttons are repositioned. Another problem with the D-Pad is that it just doesn't feel good to use items on it, especially when compared to the C buttons or the X, Y, Z combo from Wind Waker.    


The Nunchuk spin attack is a much better control element, but it is occasionally difficult to engage. The Nunchuk's accelerometer seems to be responsive, but also specific. If you don't do precisely what the game wants, your character will just sit there. However, there are accelerometer problems with a lot of games in Nintendo's booth, which again means the problem is with the Wii controller, not the game.    


Finally, the aiming in Zelda is of major concern. Sensitivity of the Wii Remote is an issue across the board, and is hardly worth repeating here. Much more worthy is the problem of gameplay necessity. When playing Metroid or Red Steel, you are always aiming your weapon – the Wii Remote is an extension of your hand, and the on-screen action relies on your constant participation. There are portions of the Zelda demo, large portions, where the motion sensitivity in the Nunchuk and the Wii Remote are unused. When moving across the landscape, using items that do not require aiming, and even when fighting most enemies, the Wii Remote is useless. When I switched from doing these traditional actions to aiming a bow, I found I had let the Remote drop like I would a normal gamepad. Since the Remote was now pointed at a downward angle, my bow would point at the ground as well. Your posture during normal gameplay and aimed gameplay does vary and part of the learning curve for Wii is learning to control it.    


In summary, the Wii Remote is essentially a GameCube pad cut in two while playing Twilight Princess. Only long-range items require the special functions, and these are emphasized in the demo for a reason. The Wii Remote's button placement is not appropriate for most games, Zelda especially, and performing the expected motions on the controller consistently (particularly the Nunchuk) is difficult. No one wants to play a game where pressing a button on the gamepad works only half the time.    


So what are we left with? Is Zelda on Wii going be worthless? Hardly. On the E3 show floor it is impossible to hear the sound coming from the speaker on the Wii Remote, and “immersive sound" is a feature I am greatly anticipating. It also goes without saying that Nintendo has got way more up its sleeve for this game. With the promised length and dungeon count, there must be items that will use innovative controller features. However, so far it seems that to use an item, you hit the D-Pad, and that's it. Where's the revolution in that?    


Zelda: Twilight Princess looks to be a fantastic game, and no one should be without a copy when it comes out. However, Nintendo must allow the Wii version to be played with a GameCube controller as well as the Wii Remote, otherwise the risk to the hardcore gamer (this game's primary audience) will be too high. If Nintendo is open-minded enough to allow this option then those gamers on the fence can give it a chance without regretting their purchase. I, for one, will take the soft (read: GameCube) option if Nintendo opts for a hard-sell.

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Offline trip1eX

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2006, 09:09:50 PM »
 I wouldn't worry too much.  They've got 6 months to iron out the controls.  Believe me they'll be heavily worked over between now and then. Hell they'll probably let you point and click on the weapon icons to switch between them.  I also imagine alot of it is you in that you're new to the wiimote and used to a regular controller.  I used to play pc fps games with keyboard only.  I had a hard time switching to the mouse at first even tho it was superior.  I was all over the place with it.  It tooks weeks before I finally stuck with the mouse.  It just takes awhile to fine tune new fine motor skills.  Zelda is more  a 'hard-core' game too and so I don't think that audience will be as fickle as you make them out to be.  

Also I wouldn't doubt the wiimote itself is fine-turned between now and November.

Last of course is Nintendo's track record.  They always make some pretty fine AAA games.  And Zelda being one of the major launch titles for Wii I have faith they'll make it happen.  

Offline Svevan

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2006, 09:27:26 PM »
I thought that might be the case, so I revisited the game on the third day after further Wii playing. I found that I was better at some actions, and that the control did not "bite" as I first thought. However, the design behind the control scheme is still asinine, and Nintendo's window to fix it is not 6 months, but something closer to 3 or 4. I agree with your faith in the company, and there's little chance Nintendo would screw this game up if it were released for a regular system. Of course, this is not a regular system; it is unproven. At E3 we saw some excellent things, but we also saw some pretty sad things, and some of them were Nintendo's. My faith is in them, they're in my prayers. Let's hope for the best.
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Offline Ian Sane

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2006, 09:30:40 PM »
I'm reading these sort of impressions a lot regarding Zelda so I have a feeling I'll be getting the Cube version.

One thing I'm noticing about the remote is that when it comes to a game like WiiSports there's tons of praise.  And it makes sense.  The whole point of WiiSports is the remote.  The game just wouldn't have any reason to exist without it.  But with other games there are some iffy impressions and these seem to be the more traditional games that have motion controls mapped to them.  Now Zelda makes sense because at it's heart it's a Cube game.  But Red Steel and Metroid Prime 3 have some concerns as well and they're Wii originals.  I think part of it might be that they're games that under normal circumstances would have been built with a traditional controller in mind.  We've played that type of game before so we can compare to the "old way" of doing things.  So if the remote doesn't quite work as well for it as it should we're going to notice.  Something like WiiSports we won't notice it because it's not taking a traditional control scheme and trying to map it to something new.

I've been very impressed with Nintendo's E3 showing but I'm only impressed by the games, not the implementation of the controller.  Actually I can't help but think "boy this looks cool.  Too bad I have to work with that controller to play it."  WiiSports is the exception.  I certainly don't think the remote is a better way to play videogames.  Judging from impressions it sounds like what I expected.  It works well as a specialty controller for a couple of unique games but not really as a normal controller.

One thing that is good about it is that it seems to have rejuvenated Nintendo as this has been the most impressive showing they've made in years.  They haven't demonstrated something really substantial to justify the concept but it has given them a creative spark.  It's like a placebo.  Nintendo thinks they've found something that will allow them to innovate and that enthusiasm has postively affected their output.  Only the best of their output is really no different than what was possible on the Cube.  Their attitude has improved and their games look more exciting as a result.  But the games aren't really benefiting from the new controller.

Offline Svevan

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2006, 09:38:58 PM »
I see you flew to this thread like a fly to pudding.

Let me correct you on one thing: Metroid was freaking awesome and perfect for the controller. It played far better than the Cube games and felt faster. I could accuse those who gave Metroid mixed impressions of being bad gamers, but they could say the same thing about me and Zelda. I just hope someone else on staff (I think Pale really liked Zelda) will post refuting impressions.  
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Offline Crimm

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2006, 10:05:26 PM »
It's these hands on reports that really make me hope the wii-mote had scalable sensitivity.  Did you get the impression that the ability to make it less sensitive would help with aiming?  I saw a lot of people complain that the constant twitching of their hand made aming really difficult at long range.  I'd feel better if they used their current aiming system, but once you line it up you can lock your aim and no amount of minor twitching will take you off your target.  I just get the sinking feeling I'm going to empty a whole quiver without hitting the target.  Granted, the E3 demo does drop you right into a level; hopefully the game will be a bit more gentle with the time you have to master aiming.

Beyond the twitchy issues, I'm curious about the current configuration of the remote.  Are there any pictures that have a 1:1 scale of its current configuration?  I'm curious to see the gap between the A button and the D-Pad for myself.  
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Offline Shin Gallon

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2006, 10:36:02 PM »
I'm more than likely geting the Gamecube version also, because I want the Gamecube controls. It'd be nice if the Cube version supported widescreen, though...oh well, can't have everything.
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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2006, 10:52:44 PM »
Quote

Beyond the twitchy issues, I'm curious about the current configuration of the remote. Are there any pictures that have a 1:1 scale of its current configuration?
IGN had a great model of the controller where you could move it around and see the size and everything, but I can't find it now..
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2006, 10:58:02 PM »
I'm with Evan on this one.  I didn't play much of Zelda because the lines were incredibly long and it just doesn't interest me in the form of an E3 demo.  The level set up for E3 did not seem to give a good impression of how the game is played, whereas the Metroid demo did.  Anyway, from what I did play on Zelda, I did not find any evidence that the new control methods make the game more fun than when I played it on GameCube last year.  The actual implementation, at this point in development, is a far cry from the fantasies we've all had of swinging the remote like a sword and pulling the remote back to draw the bow or swinging the remote over the shoulder to throw the boomerang.  Zelda on Wii currently plays just like Zelda on GameCube except that it's easier to spin attack and much harder to aim ranged weapons.  Unless Nintendo makes some dramatic improvements to these controls or includes an option to play with the Classic or GameCube controller, I will be buying the GameCube version of Zelda.
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Offline NWR_pap64

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2006, 11:42:18 PM »
Not that I doubt your opinions since you DID play the game at E3, and maybe this the hopeful side of me talking, but I think you guys are being too hard and negative on TP Wii.

You guys have to remember two things:
- E3 isn't really a good enviroment to play games: You have lots of people watching and waiting for you to finish and a limited time. I think this seriously affects how a game plays, especially a game like Zelda. It just doesn't beat sitting down with the game in the comfort of your own house and play it. This seems one of those games that are best enjoyed and understood playing at home instead of a large, noisy game enviroment.

- This is an early demo: You guys have to remember that a lot of these demos are running on early hardware, so you are bound to have bugs in the demos. Like Bloodworth mentioned on the Wii forum E3 is mainly a big focus group in which they gather information from the gamers and implement that info onto the final game.

Nintendo has put A LOT of effort into the games and the controllers so I know that even as we speak Nintendo could be hard at work fine tuning the controller and the games before the release. I'm sure this is what happened with the Zelda Wii demo.

So I think a better idea would be to wait till the game is finally released and see how it plays then before declaring it a lost cause.

So a phrase like "The unfortunate truth about Zelda Wii" is best reserved when the FINAL game is released and you spend more than 10 minutes playing it, Evan.

And your lack of faith towards Nintendo is EXTREMELY disturbing, Ian.  
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Offline ruby_onix

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2006, 12:49:36 AM »
Quote

What does not work is the D-Pad item usage. The D-Pad is just too far up on the Wii Remote. Switching between items on the D-Pad is laborious since you must reposition your hand to reach it. Nintendo seems to have gone out of their way to make your thumb naturally rest on the A button, but at the cost of alienating the D-Pad from normal gameplay usage. This is an inherent problem with a vertical controller, and will not be alleviated unless the buttons are repositioned. Another problem with the D-Pad is that it just doesn't feel good to use items on it, especially when compared to the C buttons or the X, Y, Z combo from Wind Waker.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Replace the D-pad and A button with a traditional four-button diamond. That means you're losing a button, right? No problem. Put in a second trigger, to match the nunchuck. You still want a D-pad? Sure, put it on the bottom of the remote, instead of those two redundant buttons. Voila! Problems solved. And now you can use the remote for more Virtual Console games than just the NES.

Of course, I'm wasting my breath by saying it, because Nintendo's committed.


BTW, has it been confirmed that TP will actually come in two different sold-seperately SKUs, and it's not just two different builds of the game? Like, is there any chance that the Wii version be included as a free "bonus disc" inside the case of the GameCube game?

Edit: Yeah, I just checked the press conference video. Reggie says Nintendo will "launch two different versions". That kind of sucks, because making the Wii version a bonus disc wouldn't force anyone to choose, and it would deflect all of the negativity they've drawn due to the "it's a GameCube-only game, because we owe it to GameCube fans" insisting that Nintendo was doing, as well as all the complaints that Wiimote control is a "tacked-on gimmick".
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Offline Artimus

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2006, 03:21:51 AM »
Hmmm...IGN felt it gave the game a fresh feeling. They also got a lot more play time. I wonder if this isn't just a learning curve problem.

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2006, 04:51:17 AM »
I've been fearing this all along.  I'm going to pre-order this game, and I'm torn between which version I want to pre-order.  I've been looking forward to this Zelda game for ages.  I have also been looking forward to Wii for ages, but I really don't want the experience of playing games with this new controller to overshadow the experience of digging into this new game.  

Wii developers (Nintendo included) really need to stick to games that were built from the ground up to work with the Wii controller.  This reminds me of when the DS launched with Mario 64.  Mario 64 was not easy to control with the touch screen like Nintendo seemed to believe.  Fast forward 18 months, and the DS has loads of games that are great, because they were built from scratch with the DS in mind.

As of right now, I'm leaning toward the Gamecube version.

Has anyone heard if there will be any additional polish in the graphics on the Wii version?
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Offline mantidor

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2006, 05:14:47 AM »
As the broken record I am Ill say it again: The implemention is suffering because this is after all a GC game.

My example was always analog stick into a Link to the Past, but Mario 64 DS is an even better example that has been brought up recently, I really dont think the remote itself and the hardware are bad, being too precise is of course better than not being precise, but they arent free to experiment further into the possibilities of the remote because the game is still linked to the GC version (and Im very happy about that). I really dont like this suggestion of Wii exclusive items, its already enough for the ones who want the GC version that we have to wait longer and are not going to get the graphical improvements, even if they are minor.

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Offline Caliban

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2006, 05:47:03 AM »
I'm still getting the Wii version, I can adapt to control schemes pretty quick unless they are extremely annoying.

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2006, 06:22:16 AM »
They will probably include an option to plug in your Gamecube controller to the Wii and play it like you would on the Gamecube.  Isn't it just a Gamecube game?  They aren't releasing a gamecube and Wii version, right?  Sorry if they announced this and I missed it--its hard to keep up on all this E3 stuff.   I think they mentioned that Gamecube controllers could be used in Super Smash Brawl, so couldn't they do this for the Zelda Wii version?  Seems so.  I think the Wii version might have better graphics because in the Wii footage there was a noticable difference in less "jaggies" and smoother textures.  

Offline mantidor

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2006, 06:36:00 AM »
Two versions were confirmed for TP right at the conference, one for GC, one for Wii.

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Offline NWR_DrewMG

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2006, 06:44:53 AM »
mantidor, your sig is way awesome.
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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2006, 06:46:43 AM »
I got the impression, from watching the conference demo of TP, that Navi could be used to select the "d-pad" buttons on screen rather than having to use the d-pad itself; was that not the case in the demo you got to play on the show floor, or did you not try that option?  Either way, I'm getting a Wii and Zelda for it, it's a new way to play and I'll take the time to learn rather than be fixed on playing the same way as I did on the GC.

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2006, 07:05:07 AM »
No, what you do with the cursor is click on items in the menu to set them to one of the directional buttons.  
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2006, 07:15:38 AM »
Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
- E3 isn't really a good enviroment to play games: You have lots of people watching and waiting for you to finish and a limited time. I think this seriously affects how a game plays, especially a game like Zelda. It just doesn't beat sitting down with the game in the comfort of your own house and play it. This seems one of those games that are best enjoyed and understood playing at home instead of a large, noisy game enviroment.


That's a completely valid point to make if we were complaining about the story or music or overall game design.  But it's irrelevant to the controls.

Quote

- This is an early demo: You guys have to remember that a lot of these demos are running on early hardware, so you are bound to have bugs in the demos. Like Bloodworth mentioned on the Wii forum E3 is mainly a big focus group in which they gather information from the gamers and implement that info onto the final game.


Zelda has been in development for over two years, and if it was delayed last summer so it could be launched with Wii, they've had nearly a year to work on the new controls.  So I don't buy this argument either.

Quote

So I think a better idea would be to wait till the game is finally released and see how it plays then before declaring it a lost cause.


I'm just saying that the game's controls need a complete overhaul or I will buy the other version, which conveniently ships on the same day and is in fact the same game.

Quote

And your lack of faith towards Nintendo is EXTREMELY disturbing, Ian.


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Offline Ian Sane

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2006, 08:01:52 AM »
"Hmmm...IGN felt it gave the game a fresh feeling."

What an odd thing to say about a game that hasn't been released yet.  Do they mean it freshens up the Zelda franchise or Twilight Princess itself which they probably have played a fair bit but the rest of us haven't?

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2006, 09:50:39 AM »
Well, I imagine Twilight Princess would essentially feel like Wind Waker, Majora's Mask, and Ocarina of Time with traditional control, so it could probably go either way.

Still not sure which version I'm going to get.  It'd be nice if the Wii version supported a Gamecube controller (since the controller is compatible with the system), but I may just get it for cube.  We'll see.
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RE:IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2006, 10:07:23 AM »
I've read a lot of impressions on Zelda: TP for Wii and the majority have been very favorable to the controls. Granted, it's not finished yet and they still have some tweaking to do, but I'm sure Nintendo will get them ironed out by launch.

It's funny, I've read people complaining about using the touch screen to control Mario & the gang in Super Mario 64 DS, but I found it extremely easy to use. Their have been a lot of situations like this in the past. I'm not saying I'm a fantastic gamer, I just can't help but wonder how adept a lot of these critics are.

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RE: IMPRESSIONS: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2006, 10:31:49 AM »
Quote

Remember playing Majora's Mask back on the N64? Despite the novel three-day setup, some players found that it felt a bit too similar to The Ocarina of Time and thus simply wasn't as exciting and fresh. I have a feeling Twilight Princess might have turned out the same way. It's a gorgeous game filled with great puzzles and characters -- and apparently it's a longer and more involved quest than any Zelda game before it -- but it's firmly rooted in the TOoT-style of gameplay. Well, not anymore. The changes the control setup in the Wii version adds to the game profoundly impact the game's feel. Fishing feels new. Blocking feels new. Shooting arrows feels new. Even the spin attack has a new twist to it. So even though you may encounter a familiar looking puzzle, the new control dynamics give everything a fresh coat of paint. Yes, you can get excited now.


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