Nearly ten years ago, Hyrule was shrouded in a thick blanket of Twilight, yet when all hope seemed lost, a young hero from Ordon pierced through this darkness, to bring light back to Hyrule and to destroy those responsible once and for all. Several years later, we return to this epic quest once more with enhanced graphics, a hero mode… and a few other neat new features and improvements, in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, exclusively for Nintendo Wii U!
Does this Twilight Princess remake sparkle as much as Agitha’s golden bugs, or will it join the rest of Hyrule in darkness. Find out in our review, after the break!
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Nintendo Wii U
Developed by Nintendo/Tantalus Media
Published by Nintendo
Released: 4th March 2016 (EU/NA)
Review copy provided by Nintendo
As The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a remake, I will be mainly focusing on how the game improves on the original, though I will make a few review references to the original too.
The story of Twilight Princess HD is fairly conventional as far as The Legend of Zelda goes, which is in by no means a bad thing, in fact, Twilight Princess’ is pretty captivating and well told for the most part.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD follows the journey of a young lad, Link, who is a simple farmhand in the small village of Ordon, that is until beastly creatures come to kidnap the children of the village and shroud the land of Hyrule in a blanket of Twilight. Any other civilian will turn into a mere glimmer of their former selves, ignorant to their current fate, from the power of the twilight. Link, however, is protected by the power of the goddesses and instead, he is transformed into a wolf when he is first snatched through the curtain of Twilight. Soon after your capture, you will meet a strange young lady of the Twili race, Midna. At first, it seems like she just wants to use you for her own gain, though you may eventually find that her intentions might not be so sinister. From here on out, Link must team up with the mysterious and mischievous Midna to stop Hyrule from being completely engulfed in Twilight and put a stop to whomever is pulling the strings behind it. You’ll revive the powerful light spirits of the different providences in Hyrule, brave unique dungeons for the search of ancient artefacts, save the children of Ordon from a terrible fate, and so much more!
One of my only complaints about Twilight Princess is that fact that the beginning of the game is fairly slow burning. It can take about an hour or so to actually get to the first dungeon. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, heck, the beginning of Skyward Sword was super long too, the only difference is that most of the beginning of Twilight Princess has you doing rather boring tasks, all of which are mandatory to continue the game. The remake could have cut the introduction down a bit, but unfortunately it would also mean a lot of the establishing story would be omitted, you only have to catch the fish once this time round though! Once you have gotten through the first dungeon however, things do start to pick up pace as the plot thickens. Aside from the fact that it felt a bit like a certain antagonist was shoehorned in the middle of Twilight Princess, overall the story was fantastic; the depth of some of the characters is definitely a highlight. For example, at first, Midna seems like an arrogant and manipulative woman who just wants revenge, however, around the midway point, a particular story event causes her to completely turn over her personality, it also shows how her relationship with Link while adventuring and toiling through many tragedies has grown… and that ending… If you want to take a break from the main story, there are still plenty of things to do and discover. There are hidden caves with heart pieces, you can hunt down those sneaky Poes, earn some pocket money by collecting bugs for the estranged Agitha, and more!
During the first phase of the game, you will come across several areas of Hyrule which have been consumed by the Twilight Realm. When entering these areas, Link will instantly transform into a wolf with the task to bring light back to the providence How would one do this? By collecting tears of light, the shattered remains of the Light Spirits which have been stolen by the invisible insects of twilight. In the original Twilight Princess, you would have to gather 16 tears per providence, though in the remake, you now have to only collect 12. Personally, it didn’t feel like having less tears of light to collect made much of a difference, mainly due to the fact that most areas, with the exception of the Lanayru providence, laid out the tears in a very linear path, as long as you followed it, you would be able to collect all the tears without much hassle.
Probably one of the biggest improvements in Twilight Princess HD, which is in the title surprisingly enough, is the fact that the graphics have received a nice enhancement to bring Twilight Princess to the world of High Definition gaming. Though this may not seem as huge of an improvement as Wind Waker HD, I can assure you that it is still there. The visuals definitely seem a lot more crisp and detailed, unfortunately, it seems that a lot of differences to the original gets lost on a smaller screen, but you can definitely appreciate the improvement when playing the game first-hand on a decent sized telly; just wait until you witness the Twilight Princess title screen movie in HD. Unfortunately, it is literally just an enhancement, so don’t expect anything extremely breathtaking.
One feature that is always welcome in any Zelda game, is the addition of Hero Mode. For those who do not know, Hero Mode is essentially The Legend of Zelda’s hard difficulty setting where you’ll receive twice as much damage, recovery hearts will not appear, and some other little differences that vary from game to game. In addition to taking more damage and a lack of recovery hearts, Twilight Princess HD’s Hero Mode also boasts a flipped version of Hyrule (a la Twilight Princess Wii). As the original Twilight Princess wasn’t necessarily difficult for the majority of the game, it is definitely nice to see a slight boost in difficulty, though if you really do want to up the ante, you can scan a Ganondorf Amiibo to double the amount of damage again, meaning that you will receive four times as much damage in Hero Mode (until you die or quit the game of course). I can safely say that it would be very wise to tread very carefully as, if you do not stock up on fairies and potions, you may become victim to several game over screens… as well as a cracked GamePad screen!
Speaking of Amiibo, several figures can be scanned once a day to give you a nice bit of support. Scanning either Link or Toon Link will replenish your arrows, whereas Zelda and Shiek will fill up your heart meter. These Amiibo are especially helpful when tacking the Cave of Ordeals. If you are lucky enough to have purchased Twilight Princess HD with the Wolf Link Amiibo, then you will also be able to access the Cave of Shadows, essentially the Cave of Ordeals, but for Wolf Link. Unfortunately I have not had early access to the Wolf Link Amiibo, so I will not be talking about it’s functionality. Once I have purchased the Amiibo, I will add these points into the review.
Like with Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD utilises the Wii U GamePad to be used for inventory management, meaning that you can easily switch out your items on the go without interrupting gameplay. It also allows you to view the mini-map, perfect for planning how you tackle a dungeon… or just finding out where the hell you are! Once the ability to transform between Link and Wolf Link at will has been unlocked, you can also use a button on the touch screen to transform into a wolf without the need to going through a couple lines of Midna dialogue. Like with many Wii U titles, you can also use the Wii U GamePad for Off TV gameplay, so if your sister is desperate to see the next episode of Hyrule’s Got Talent live, then streaming the game to the touch screen is just a tap of the ‘-‘ button away.
Another neat new feature is the introduction of Miiverse Stamps. Similar to Super Mario 3D World, you can use the stanps you have collected to decorate your Miiverse drawings, but instead of Mario characters, you get to use things like the Hyrulian alphabet and Zelda characters with different facial expressions. You’ll find these in different treasure chests across Hyrule. If you hated that fact that you are constantly told how many rupees a rupee you have collected is worth, you may be happy to hear that the dialogue only appears once in your entire game file… Though sometimes I still do forget how much a blue rupee is worth!
The final noteworthy improvement to Twilight Princess HD is the inclusion of a brand new item, the Ghost Lantern. At a certain point in the game, you will come across a cursed fellow who is made of gold. He will request that you collect the souls of Poes, imp-like ghosts, to relieve the curse cast on him. After collecting several souls, he will reward you with a neat little item, the Ghost Lantern. If you are in an area (or dungeon) where a Poe is still present, the lantern will glow brightly, indicating its presence, day or night (though you can still only defeat a Poe during the night). This is great for those who have never played Twilight Princess before, but if you have played it a few times, the item could very well be considered redundant as you would have likely remembered roughly where most of the Poes are hiding, though it is still useful to make sure you have definitely defeated all of them in a certain area.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a pretty solid game which has a great story and interesting gameplay, but I can’t help to feel underwhelmed by the remake as it just doesn’t seem like as much effort was put into it compared to previous Zelda remakes, perhaps it was just too soon to release a remake for Twilight Princess. Don’t get me wrong though, like I said before, it is still pretty fun to play, and if you are a die hard Zelda fan, loved the original, or are looking for a new adventure game and haven’t played the original, then I would definitely recommend giving Twilight Princess HD a shot. On the other hand, if you have previously played Twilight Princess on the GameCube or the Wii, then I would recommend giving Twilight Princess HD a think over before purchasing it.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD releases on the 4th March 2016 in North America and Europe!