The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Game review on Wii U
David Hull / Mon 14th Mar 2016
455 views / 12 bites
OVERVIEW Twilight Princess, originally planned for Gamecube, was released with the Nintendo Wii system. Despite a beautiful art direction, exceptional music and the much beloved Zelda mechanics, the game always felt rather dated. Finally we can re-enter the land of Hyrule in a much higher fidelity world with a few neat additions and retractions to improve the player experience.
A typical life for Link in Ordon Village is brought to a halt as the town's children and his best friend are kidnapped. Link himself is trapped within the Twilight Realm as a beast. Princess Zelda is held captive and the world of Hyrule has succumbed to a blanket of Twilight. Your only path forward being through the guidance of Midna, a resident of the Twilight Realm.
Whereas most Legend of Zelda games have a fairly lighthearted world to engage with, Twilight Princess lives within a Darker more depressing, oppressive world. There is even a stronger presence of the cinematic and dramatic that is somewhat unexpected. The plot also puts a greater focus on connecting with the characters around you, particularly with Midna herself. There are some truly moving moments that are still capable of drawing a tear after all these years.
The Legend of Zelda is successful for a reason and it's ice breaker is the gameplay. After nearly a decade of feedback and a new console, Nintendo have implemented some core changes to much improve Twilight Princess. But instead of pushing the gimmicks of the past few years, most changes are for the better.
The Wii U Gamepad takes over from the clunky Nun-chuck and Truncheon of the Wii. Gyroscopic motions are incorporated for aiming your Slingshot or Bow whilst inventory and map are on your gamepad screen. You can use the Wii U Pro Controller, but this will simply come down to preference.
Collecting Tears of Light has been reduced by number allowing a smoother puzzle that doesn't drag on. The Camera is free moving with the use of the right stick. Stamps can be collected that detail some information about the world of Hyrule and Miiverse support is enabled. Hero Mode mirrors the world and enemies become stronger with less chance for you to heal. All features that were either needed, or add to the experience meaningfully.
The use of Amiibo support is less interesting and useful. You can swipe a Toon Link over the Amiibo space to replenish arrows for example. It's not necessary and I had trouble even activating the Amiibo abilities themselves.
Twilight Princess was originally fuzzy and blurry with hardware limitations clearly hampering the artistic view of the team. HD looks like someone whipped out the sandpaper and Windex to allow the sleeker, more defined interior to be set free. Even basic visuals such as grass, whilst still a flat expanse, show clear differentiation between the blades.
However, the graphical jump is not as intense as many other high definition re-releases. Unlike say, Halo, where the difference between old and new was extensive, Twilight Princess is still fairly close to its original form. It just looks a damn site better.
AUDIO The soundtrack has been remastered, but mostly feels like a cleanup. Pieces flow more naturally and fade in and outs aren't as abrupt and jarring. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The soundtrack was exceptional before and with this cleanup it's better for it.
VERDICT Remaking past Zelda titles seems to be have been Nintendo's fetish of late. But with Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and now Twilight Princess all lovingly remastered, it's hard to complain. Twilight Princess HD is exactly what i'd hoped for. Mend the cracks whilst leaving the artwork in tact. All in all a good omen for the upcoming Legend of Zelda release.
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