Eric Kelly On April 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

WiiU_TLoZTwilightPrincessHD_logo_02_png_jpgcopyWhen I first played Twilight Princess, it was back in 2006, about a month after the Wii launched. I actually was knee deep in Okami, which was a much better game despite the obvious Zelda influence. It was also my first Wii game, and I didn’t play the Gamecube version until years later. I’ll be honest and didn’t feel like it was one of the better Zelda games. I did enjoy it, but felt that it was lacking compared to the others, considering their general high level of quality. Now that Tantalus has brought the game to the Wii U as an HD port, I re-examined the game to see if my feelings have changed for the game as well as how well a remastering that they did. I can totally tell you that my opinion has changed for the better, if only slightly. But the port still has some issues that cropped up.

The game is about Link going about on his average day, before departing Ordon Village to visit Hyrule Castle on business. He gets caught up with an invasion by the Twili, and is captured and imprisoned, now stuck in the body of a wolf as a part of the dark magic flooding the area. He partners up with an impish girl name Midna to help her gain magic to defeat the villain behind all the trouble that’s been both brewing in his world as well as hers. Of course you’ll eventually regain your human form, but the game will make you go on bug hunts and track scents down as a wolf first. In a way, the game limits your exploration temporarily in this manner, and it did negatively affect the pacing of the original. Thankfully Tantalus made some improvements to the game, however slight. Now, the number of bugs to hunt has been reduced from sixteen to twelve. In addition, if you play on the Gamepad, you can use the touchpad to swap out items, look at the map and instantly switch between wolf and human forms, once you get the ability to do so. The interval between being able to dash has shortened it seems. At least roll-dashing as a human seems better than it did in 2006.

There some issues with the port though. Some texture for the environments are missing some detail in some places despite being improved in others, which also extends to some NPCs like the cats and cuccos. The frame rate does seem more stable, although some times the camera will have shaking issues. The control scheme allows for play with either the Gamepad or Pro, but you can’t switch between the two on the fly. You’ll have to go to the title and select the other control scheme instead, which is something that wasn’t an issue in Wind Waker HD. Furthermore, the Wolf Link Amiibo support has a quick load from the title screen, which is wrong for two reasons. While quick loading is a nice feature, it shouldn’t be locked behind an Amiibo. Add to the fact the the game locks you into the Pro Controller scheme if it detects one with this feature. Another feature that is locked behind the Amiibo is the Cave of Shadows, which is like the Cave of Ordeals. There is a reward for beating it, but you need to be at the end of the game to get it, as parts of the dungeon will be locked out until then. And the reward makes maintaining rupee counts a thing of the past. Why this feature wasn’t just loaded into the game innately is beyond me. At least the amount of rupees each wallet upgrade lets you carry more at a time. But treasure boxes with rupees in them won’t be returned, which can make it hard to plan ahead, especially since some of them now include stamps which can be used in Miiverse. Without a guide, guessing which chests still have rupees will be hard. Finally, the horse controls have been utterly ruined, and they feel more like a bug than lack of oversight. Hopefully that gets fixed

After many years of being apart from the game, I was able to see it will newer eyes and approach it with a different mindset. While the game still feels a bit lacking and the overall difficulty is still low, it’s a beautiful looking game that looks and plays a bit better for the most part. The dungeon design is among the most interesting I’ve seen in a 3D Zelda, and it was the first Zelda to put a bigger emphasis on making a huge epic storyline with an equally large world to explore. And with the stamps, a lot of the places that felt like rupee chest rip-offs now feel like proper rewards, however slight. While Hero mode and the Ganondorf Amiibo are a decent meta-challenge, they are artificial, and the bosses themselves are on the whole not challenging. A real difficulty setting would have been welcomed. But these things are minor, and the whole package is great overall. If you haven’t played the game yet, now’s a good time. But for those wanting to double dip, perhaps a full-price retail release is asking for too much. Unless of course, you are a major Zelda fan, in which case nothing will stop you.


The same gameplay from the Gamecube original from 2006, but now with some tweaks to take some of the bad pacing away from the game.


The textures have been redone a bit to look nicer, but some NPC character models don’t look redone.


While the game missed the opportunity to remaster the soundtrack, it’s still decent.


A decent remaster of a near ten year old game, but maybe some extra care could have been taken to fix some other things.

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