Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Version Tested: Wii U
Available On: Wii U
Official Site: https://zelda.com/twilight-princess-hd/
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Where to Buy: Wii U eShop, Local retailer
Nintendo is aware how badly devoted fans are craving the new Legend of Zelda title for the Wii U. While the wait is excruciating, they are acknowledging this and giving the fans remakes of classics. The most recent remake is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Is the game good? Or are we just looking at the game through nostalgia glasses?
I have played every version of Twilight Princess be it on the Wii or Gamecube. It’s been interesting to see how this game can still shine almost a decade after its original release and even after having awful controls on the Wii. The game is definitely built for a controller that doesn’t utilize motion controls. Twilight Princess HD gives you the choice of using the gamepad or a pro controller. Seeing as how my pro controller broke, I used the gamepad. Fair warning, some of the things I had issues with were specific to the gamepad, but we’ll get to those later.
Twilight Princess HD takes us back to the timeline of Link returning to Hyrule after defeating Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. The kingdom of Hyrule is overtaken by twilight and it’s up to Link, like always, to save the day. For the most part, the journey of Twilight Princess remains unchanged. The changes that are brought on are welcomed, however.
I am a completionist in every sense of the word so easier ways to get 100% are always welcomed. I’m referring specifically to the tears of the light trial. The tears of light are is the trials Link has to go through to make each spirit of light whole again. The count of tears was reduced from the original version to make the quests a little easier. While it wasn’t extremely noticeable it was still welcomed. I never felt the tears of light was daunting. Sure it could be frustrating with everywhere you have to go, but never bad. Knowing that tears of light trials were shorter did make for a more enjoyable experience.
The most welcome change in Twilight Princess HD was the Cave of Shadows. The brand new challenge was a welcome edition to the game. You play as Link in wolf form and have to navigate through forty chambers filled with enemies. Unless you’re playing on hero mode, the game does award you with hearts to survive on through your progress. You can save whatever remaining hearts you have to the Wolf Link amiibo figure and use them to heal yourself later.
The Cave of Shadows definitely draws inspiration from the Triforce quest in Wind Waker. I’m referring to the Triforce chart mission that you requires you to keep descending in rooms filled with enemies and you can’t progress until you’ve defeated them all. Take that quest and add more of a challenge, it is an optional quest after all, and you have the Cave of Shadows. While it’s possible to clear it in one go, it won’t be easy. I encourage the challenge to anyone who has the game.
The Cave of Shadows has benefits of its own. If you can manage to survive all the way to the end you are rewarded with a wallet upgrade which can give you up to 9,999 rupees. While the cave may not appeal to everyone it gives incentives to everyone aside from the hardcore and diehards. If this sounds appealing to you, good luck, you’ll need it.
While it’s not necessarily a bad thing I was a little disappointed to find out that Nintendo didn’t make any changes to the soundtrack of the game. Since the score was redone in Wind Waker HD I expected the same treatment for Twilight Princess HD, and I was sorely disappointed. I don’t expect everyone to have an issue with this, but it was a let down for me. The Wii U is capable of much more than the GameCube was, so it perplexes me why they would revamp the soundtrack for one game but not the other.
Twilight Princess HD controls on the gamepad left something to be desired. As is Nintendo fashion, certain items utilize the gyroscope on the gamepad. I have yet to speak with a single person that enjoys this feature, so I don’t know why it’s still utilized. The first person shooting with a bow and arrow isn’t bad until you realize that the gyroscope reacts quicker than pointing the joystick. Hopefully, one day Nintendo will look at that feature and never use it again.
Another infuriating aspect of Twilight Princess HD’s gamepad controls was the inventory. It’s a shame this is a gripe because the gamepad is a great idea for inventory. That is until you realize that you have to actually look at and press the gamepad screen to change your inventory. You can not use the joystick to pick an item and press the button you want it assigned to. Literally pointing and clicking items was a step backward from previous games and just pressing the button you want. I realize that the pro controller would be the better option to play this game on and I don’t have one, but I do recommend it.
Twilight Princess HD is a beautiful take on a classic game from long ago. While it improves some things, it falls short on others. Don’t misunderstand me, though, while the game doesn’t live up to the remake expectations Nintendo has set with other titles, it is still a good entry in the Zelda series. I loved diving back into this Hyrule adventure.
What do you think? Wanting to take the leap and go back to Link and Midna’s adventure in Hyrule? Or will this journey stay in the last decade? Sound off below and tell us what you think.
- Gameplay: Most of Twilight Princess HD’s gameplay is the same. The improvements, which are mostly minor, enhance the experience. However not everything is flawless as the gamepad’s addition to the gameplay was poorly implemented.
- Graphics: The graphics and updated visuals were done very well. It’s not Nintendo’s most polished title, but still great nonetheless.
- Sound: Sound effects were updated to have less of a standard definition feel, but the soundtrack wasn’t redone.
- Presentation: Nintendo puts a lot of work into their remakes. While it is still presented very well, by Nintendo’s standards it’s a mediocre remake, but still great.
- HD is done well
- Game still holds up
- Changes make gameplay smoother
- Gamepad is frustrating to use
- Soundtrack not redone
- Backwards progress from other remakes
Andrew is an aspiring writer currently located in Denver, Colorado. When he is not writing he can be found, gaming, singing, taking pictures, spending time with his cats, or on an adventure with his other half. He is a self-proclaimed master at all things Nintendo and an avid coffee drinker.