The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

James Haxell

The HD remaster – whoever initially came up with the idea of just re-releasing a game with it just looking a little sharper and the odd extra new bit of content was a genius. These remastered editions seem to be an easy way to get money for old rope. The Legend of Zelda series has already had three installments, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is the fourth. We are now in charted territory so it should be surely the best HD remaster there is, right?

Would it be ironic to state that The Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess came at the end of the GameCube’s life cycle and start of the Nintendo Wii and is now around to see off the Wii-U? Also, should we expect to see it as a release title for the NX too?

Apart from the odd quirks of each game, the stories of the Legend of Zelda games follow the same format. You play as Link, a descendant of the hero of time and wielder of the courage segment of the Tri-force. Link’s main mission is to save the kingdom he is currently in which is usually the land of Hyrule from evil forces led by an evil overlord of sorts, namely Ganondorf, who is trying to spread his power of darkness and gain the power of the Tri-force for himself. Then, more often than not, it involves you having to also save/assist Princess Zelda. The Twilight Princess story is not far off that description, but yet it is. This is one of the deepest and strongest of all the Legend of Zelda plot lines. It mixes up elements of that premise but also reminisces that of older games. It also gets rather dark compared to some of the brighter, upbeat games of the series like Wind Waker.

In most Legend of Zelda games, Link has a companion. Alongside you for this journey is Midna, who is definitely one of the most interesting and developed companions Link has ever had. Her morals and aims are rather ambiguous to the point where it’s hard to decide what her end goal really is. There was a noticeable issue not far along into the game. Other than the main characters, the designs of the people look weird and even disturbing. This may add to the dark aspect of the game, but hardly gets you falling in love with the characters, you end up just save them to help keep up appearances of being the hero of time.ToscSouP3Z6natROuKjy-xht5jDyTwwx

Being a HD remaster, it would be a mistake to avoid the question of graphics for too long. It’s just, while it looks nice and has never looked crisper, when playing the game it didn’t feel too different to the original. Sure there is a little more detail on grass or hair, but unless you played them side by side you’d hardly notice. Sure it has never looked better and the aim of the remaster isn’t to completely re-make the whole game, just touch it up in places, but the game didn’t need it as much as other games do, like the Majora’s Mask remaster that came out last year on the Nintendo 3DS.

Another aspect of the game added for this remaster is Hero Mode. Available from the start, this mode makes Link take double damage and no hearts spawn from cutting grass – meaning the only way to recover health is through potions, fairies, or a new heart container. This adds a boosted difficulty to the game, which is much needed. Most Zelda games are hardly difficult, you may die every now and then, but they are nothing too troublesome.This simply means you have to take a little more care with enemies rather than just running at them swinging your sword around. There is a still a trick missed as dying only puts you at the start of the room, making death more of an inconvenience rather than a serious setback.

Amiibos are beginning to be used in a bigger range of games and Twilight Princess HD continues this trend. The current Legend of Zelda Amiibos have separate uses. Any of the Links will refill your quiver and the Zelda or Sheik ones will refill your hearts. These are only usable once per day so they aren’t constant life-support. Ganondorf can be used as many times as you wish however, but it makes Link take double damage until you die or reset the game. While these offer something different to extra gear unlocks like the other games do, it hardly warrants buying them before you play the game. There is one Amiibo however that is worth picking up….

The Wolf-Link Amiibo that was released with the game, which offers an extra mini dungeon to complete as Wolf-Link. It hardly adds hours to the playtime, but is one of the only new gameplay offerings for this HD remaster. Though this Amiibo has a trick up its sleeve to stop people from just passing it among friends that it is registered on your Wii-U; it is easily corruptible. This is not a serious problem, it just means you have to recover it. Even if you move the Amiibo too soon, even by accident, chances are it’ll need recovery. The only other task it is capable of is to quick load your save, but not from the Wii-U home screen, only when you have loaded the game, making it kind of pointless.

Legend of zelda twilight princess hd

There are a few other problems with this remaster, though only minor. Occasionally, the controls can be a bit fiddly, especially when riding Link’s trusty steed, Epona. When riding, it is often stiff when changing direction and takes a while to get used to. Another area where the controls are not as smooth is swimming. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with swimming, just re-surfacing can be a hassle, making the water temple more of the pain in the neck it is infamous for. At least the controls are no longer the gimmicky motion sensor of the Wii version, and we can play the game without frantically waving our arms around like we’re trying to swat flies. However, the transition away from the sensor tracking of the Wii remotes has affected the fishing mechanic. This has always been a great part of the Legend of Zelda games, and it’s a shame that in Twilight Princess HD it feels unfulfilling. It was debatable how much control you had when casting, but at least it felt like a difference. Now you push R and it flies off so quickly that it just feels strange. The casts go the same distance and there are not many options of how to reel in the line.

Now, it wouldn’t be a Legend of Zelda game if there weren’t dungeons and items, so it goes without saying that they are both strong in Twilight Princess HD. Let’s be honest, if they weren’t, chances are I was playing the wrong game. If you want to get a lot of play time for your money, then Twilight Princess HD is perfect for you. There are a staggering 9 temples to complete alongside a variety of side quests. This makes Twilight Princess HD one of the longest games in the series clocking at around 40-50 hours of playing. The gadgets also come in spades. In this wide selection there are some truly fun items to play with, like the dual Claw-shots and the Spinner (basically a circular saw like object Link stands on). Though however fun some might be, many are left useless as soon as you leave the temple, leaving you to do nothing but look at them filling up your inventory.

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD offers hours of fantastic traditional action/adventure gameplay in what is one of the best of the Zelda games. Sure, people have their preferences of their Zelda games, be it dark and gritty or bright and bubbly, but regardless it is an enjoyable experience. Though there is not much new content which makes it hard to warrant the full release title price seeing as the Wii-U is backwards compatible, making the original still playable. Then again, if you enjoyed Twilight Princess the first time around, you’ll still enjoy it just as much.

Score: 90%