I have not even finished the game yet and in just 3 hours of gameplay it completely overtook Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda game ever. Basically, everything that I wished I could do in Ocarina I can do in here. There is horseback sword fighting; insane boss battles with powerful graphics (for a Wii); rescue missions; rich and gripping storyline; great role models (namely Link, the studly elf dude on the cover); and.....the list goes on and on.
It IS more violent and intense than previous Zelda titles. While there is actually hardly any blood (it is limited to red streaks on the horns of evil creatures, some gates, and black dots flying off of some evil creatures), there are moves that are a bit much for younger players such as being able to knock an enemy down and stab them to "finish them off". When you area wolf, you can bite a bird and thrash it to finish it (actually, every attack as a wolf deals with biting the evil creatures). Some boss battles also deal with stabbing giant eyes on the backs of slightly frightening bosses (such as an eel that is the size of 10 football fields). But yeah, basically the characters are a little more frightening and some of the fighting methods are more "graphic", but not gorey AT ALL. It may sound a bit intense, but it really is all subjective. Me and my 13 year old brother find this to be just fine for our age, but make sure it won't frighten your kids. It is definitely OFF for 0-9. Iffy for 10- some 12. And on for most 12+
There is a little bit of sexy stuff. There are great fairies in the game (they are what gave this game the one lip in the review above). I have not encountered them yet in gameplay, but the "sex" descriptor above refers to the great fairies because nothing else in the game could possibly qualify for it. If you want your child to avoid them (as I plan on doing), tell them to not go through "The Cave of Ordeals". After reading in online guidebooks, I have found that they are not required to interact with to finish the game, and you have to go out of your way to find them, so there's not much to worry about. Also, there is a milk bar owner who has a large and slightly revealing bosom, but other than that there is nothing else revealing, and she is only in the game for a few minutes.
Link is a great role model, and so are some of the other characters. This is due to the fact that they risk their lives to save their friends and family to ensure their safety. Link is honest, noble, and inspires a child who is shy and picked on to become courageous (to the point of sacrificing [but surviving] himself to save one of the children who made fun of him).
IN SHORT: this game rocks for the older Zelda fans who dawdled around with Ocarina of Time when we were 4 years old, or for the NES Zelda vets of the 80's. If you feel this game is too much for your kid, get them the game I've been clamoring about: Ocarina of Time. It is MUCH less intense than this game, and you can buy it on the Wii Shop channel for 1000 points ($10). Majora's Mask is also awesome, but it's darker and actually kind of creepy. Ocarina: 8+. Majora: 11+. Twilight: 12/13+