REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD | oprainfall
Title The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Developer Nintendo / Tantatus
Publisher Nintendo
Release Date March 4th, 2016
Genre Action-Adventure
Platform Wii U
Age Rating ESRB: T for Teen
Official Website

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD gives new life to the legend along with a few new goodies. As the Twilight covers all of Hyrule, you are a young man named Link, the only one who can save those in danger and return peace to the stricken world. Things start to go wrong in your home village of Ordon, as the darkness consumes the world. Soon you partner up with the mysterious Midna before embarking on an epic journey to save not one world, but two. Do you have what it takes to save the day?

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was originally developed for the Gamecube, but also launched on the Wii thanks to Nintendo porting it to the (at the time) new system. In the Wii version, Link was changed to be right handed to make the game play better for most players, and so they also mirrored the game world. The Wii waggle wasn’t the best control scheme, but it worked. On the other hand, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD was built using the Gamecube version as the base. The textures have all been replaced with beautiful new HD textures that make the game look so much better than the original. The characters all feel more life-like in this version as well.

Zelda of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD | Ordon Village

Your home, Ordon Village.

The screenshot above shows Link standing in his home, Ordon Village. I must point out right away that this screenshot does not look as good as the game itself. This is largely because of the fact that Miiverse saves screenshots in JPEG format, giving them a slightly muddy look. I got a little bit larger screenshot by going to the Wii U web browser app and going to imgur.com to upload the screenshot. It still looks muddy but at least you can click on it to see a little bit larger version this way. So no, the game does not look muddy like that when you’re actually playing it, thankfully!

The new HD textures in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD are very detailed and quite nice to look at.  This helps the world come alive more than in the original, and the characters and enemies feel more alive as well. This game is not some lazy port, as the developers have done a great job. They’ve actually added a few things as well. Firstly, the developers added 50 Miiverse stamps in this version of the game, which are hidden all throughout the land of Hyrule. If you can find the first 49, you will be rewarded with a special reward stamp. They also added some amiibo support, a Hero Mode, and a new item. We’ll get to that in a minute, though.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD | Wolf Link

Wolf Link strolling through the Faren Woods.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is famous for Wolf Link. You first get the wolf form early in the game, but won’t be able to change forms at will until a bit later in the game after you’ve pushed back The Twilight from Hyrule. In this form, you can press X to use your senses, which allows you to see things you couldn’t normally see and follow scent trails. Wolf Link can also run faster than Link’s human form, and Midna can help him jump over dangerous gaps that he wouldn’t be able to cross alone.

The controls are very nice. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD adds some of the same improvements that we saw in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, like being able to quickly swap items via the touch screen on your Wii U Gamepad. The Gamepad screen has two tabs that let you switch between the items screen and the mini map. The game also shows the mini map on the TV screen sometimes. You can play the game using the Wii U Gamepad, or the Wii U Pro Controller.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD | Hyrule Field's Kakariko Gorge

Hyrule Field’s Kakariko Gorge

Another interesting change in this version of the game is the fact that the sizes of the various wallets have been changed. The first wallet now holds 500 rupees, the second 1,000 rupees, and the third 2,000 rupees. There is also a new fourth wallet, called the Colossal Wallet. It can hold a whopping 9,999 rupees, but to get it you must beat the new Cave of Shadows. The Cave of Shadows starts out with rooms looking identical to the Cave of Ordeals in the desert, but you soon start seeing rooms themed after different areas of the game. These new wallet sizes make the Magic Armor a bit less pointless in this version of the game, but still kinda pointless.

The Cave of Shadows is accessed by scanning the Wolf Link amiibo on the menu screen where you can check your stats (like how many Poes you’ve gotten, or the golden bugs, and more). The first time you play the Cave of Shadows, there are only 5 floors. After you leave, the first time you open the menu screen again, a message appears saying a new wolf challenge has been unlocked. Scan the Wolf Link amiibo again to return to the Cave of Shadows. This time, an additional 15 floors are waiting for you, so 20 in total. After you beat that, one final wolf challenge will unlock, adding another large set of floors on to the end of the Cave of Shadows. The Colossal Wallet is not the only surprise waiting for you at the end of the Cave of Shadows…

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD | Epona

Epona, your trusty steed.

Epona, your trusty steed is ready for action, and was part of one of the cooler new mechanics in the original game. You can battle while on horseback, slashing foes mounted on boars. Epona acts as a form of fast transportation, but not the only one. You eventually gain the ability to warp around to certain points on the world map, too. As the fields of Hyrule are quite large, this is important. Epona can also jump over small fences and charge through monsters foolish enough to stand in her way.

The developers have also added a new item into The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD called the Poe’s Lantern. Once you’ve collected a total of 20 Poe’s Souls, return to Giovani in Castle Town, and he’ll give you this new item. It is very helpful in finding all of the Poes, as it lights up if there is a Poe somewhere in the area you are currently in. When it is lit up, it casts an eerie whitish-blue glow on the surrounding environment. The Poe’s Lantern looks just like the lanterns that the Poes are always holding.

Continue Into Twilight on Page 2 ->

About Michael Fontanini

Michael is a veteran gamer in my early 30s, who grew up around video games, with fond memories of the oldies like the NES and SNES. He loves Nintendo but also plays a lot of games on his PC. Michael also enjoys going for walks or bike rides, and loves animals.

Michael is also a computer programmer. This started with a toy he got as a kid called PreComputer 1000 that was made by V-Tech. It had a simple programming mode which is what started him down the road of being a programmer! Michael can program in BASIC, Visual Basic, C++, C#, and is familiar with Java and Lua Script.

Putting programming and gaming together, Michael became a hobbyist game developer which may give him some good insights on game development! Most recently, he has been playing with the free version of the Unity engine (a powerful and easy-to-use game engine).

I love Nintendo but I also play a lot of game's on PC, many of which are on steam. My favorite Nintendo game's include Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros to name a few. On PC I love the Half-Life games, as well as most all of the Source Engine games just to name a few.


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