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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

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Twilight Princess HD Review

Twilight Princess was one of the first games that I preordered in my younger years and one of the first games that I truly was hyped for when it finally came out after countless delays. The day finally came for me to pick up my copy for the Nintendo GameCube (GCN) and, later that Christmas, for the Nintendo Wii. I instantly turned on my GCN when I got home and put the game in that I had so eagerly awaited for such a long time. The game was great, but did the newly released Twilight Princess HD for the Nintendo Wii U become the definitive version?

Note: This review is based on experiences using the Wii U GamePad as the main display and not an HD TV.

Graphics

The first thing you notice when you start the game is the graphics. This is mostly true for most games and is something that many people were looking for in this remake. While there are a lot of little tweaks and the game does look more crisp and clean – there is little difference overall when using the GamePad screen compared to the original Twilight Princess on the GCN. The difference might be bigger when playing on an HD TV, but this is a GamePad only review as that is how I play all of my Wii U games.

The graphics are smooth and I did not have any noticeable artifacts or frame rate drops. This is great and was not really something that plagued the originals, but it should be mentioned that some of the minor things in the originals seems to have been ironed out in the remake. No longer does Wolf Link’s tail appear to act as if Link is readying a spin attack. This bug appeared on the Nintendo Wii version of the game and made Wolf Link’s tail even make the spin attack readying noise.

Audio

The rest of the audio in the game is just as you remember. It brings back lots of nostalgia from simpler times when I could sit around and play games all day. The audio is clear and the soundtrack is as vibrant and beautiful as ever. The soundtrack really helps bring a vibe to the game that would not otherwise be portrayed in such a way – the soundtrack really brings together the feel and atmosphere of the game.

From the earie theme of the Twilight Realm to the happy-go-lucky theme of the mini-games – each tune is unique with that iconic Zelda-style that makes the games so memorable. This has not changed in the remake as the original soundtrack remains intact. As noted earlier – the minor audio glitches in the Nintendo Wii version of the game (not present in the GCN version) have seemingly been fixed and no longer pique my interest as to why this is making such and such sound.

Gameplay

Gameplay is one the big driving factors behind a lot of people’s choice to play Zelda games and is one for me as well. The changes to the gameplay are subtle and flow with the overall cleaner feel of the game. There were no problems using the motion controls on the GamePad from my experiences with the game. The battles I remembered from years ago still reign supreme in this remake.

I remember fighting the mini-boss in the first temple, which is the one with the monkeys, and thinking it was difficult to win until I figured out the secret. This experience did not happen on the remake, but why would it? I already know how to defeat him! I bring this up because these experiences will be fondly remembered by newcomers to the game and franchise. The gameplay in Twilight Princess HD is just as good as I remembered, if not better, and something that brought me back to it.

I love having the weapon list at my finger tips on the GamePad. This allows me to easily change out my item buttons and progress through the game faster. This is slightly slowed down when also using the GamePad as the main display device, but it is still faster than how it worked on the GCN with having to wait briefly for the menus and such; however, it is not much faster – it is just easier to navigate.

amiibo Functionality

The amiibo functionality of the game can alter ones strategy when going through the dungeons and other obstacles. You can use the Princess Zelda amiibo to recover hearts in a tight spot, which many argue makes the game easier; however, you do not have to use it. For those arguing about the game being easier – check out the Ganondorf amiibo.

This amiibo makes Link take double damage. Combine this with Hero Mode and you will certainly be in for a challenge. The Wolf Link amiibo takes you to the Cave of Shadows and lets you take on another challenge. The amiibo features add to the game and give me another reason to keep my beautiful amiibo on my desk or side tables. I love this aspect of the game!

Hero Mode

Hero Mode has become a staple in franchise with many of the recent games and remakes featuring such a mode. Twilight Princess HD’s Hero Mode makes Link take double damage and no hearts will drop. Combine this with the Ganondorf amiibo for a true challenge, which is something many longtime fans of the franchise have been asking about for a long time. This will make what would normally be easy become a hurdle that might take a lot of work to overcome.

Hero Mode has always been something I have been a fan of since it was first introduced to the series. I love running through the game without being able to get hit. I always loved to speed run games as well, which makes for an enjoyable time for me when combined with the new challenges of Hero Mode and the Ganondorf amiibo function. Hero Mode is for the diehard fan and those who enjoy challenges and Twilight Princess HD succeeds at this goal.

Conclusion

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a remake for a game that I loved when I was younger and is the definitive version followed by the GCN version and the Wii version being at the bottom of the list. Twilight Princess HD refines the experience to a level that makes it overall more enjoyable than the originals and the graphics make it look as good as it plays.

The game is one that I recommend to fans of the genre, the franchise, and the game as it really takes it to a new level with all the changes and will bring many hours of relaxation and, sometimes, playful stress as the player navigates the land of Hyrule once more! This game will make you clean the dust, or not if that is what you prefer, off of your Nintendo Wii U and give it many more hours of life!

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