One of the keys to Zelda’s success is due to the franchise basically being an anthology series. Even though the core aspects don’t/rarely change, such as Link’s look/role, Hyrule being prominent, basic gameplay concepts, Triforce and more, most titles have a very distinct vibe. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is no exception. From the introduction of the Twili to the whole Twilight Realm concept, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD certainly stands out. However, now that some time has passed and some tweaks were made, is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD worth (re)experiencing or is it better left forgotten in the past?
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD takes places after the events of Majora’s Mask and retains the same surreal atmosphere. This makes the story incredibly interesting, since there is a lot of fascinating visuals, from Midna appearing from your shadow to communicate with you to getting grabbed and pulled into the Twilight Realm. Through it all, what really sells the story isn’t the quest to defeat Zant, but the interactions between Link and MIdna.
From the moment you met Midna, she adds an interesting layer to the story. She’s a mischievous character with a lot of personality. Not just in how she talks to you, but in how she is portrayed. With a sideways smile, dark looks and the occasional pointed tooth, she adds life to an otherwise boring story and certainly makes the adventure, especially towards the end, much more interesting.
In addition to having interesting characters, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD offers some welcomed changes. While very little was fixed or added, most of the changes were to streamline the game or address common concerns. This should make the adventure far more tolerable for anyone who gave up on the original or is unsure about committing the time.
Speaking of saving time, arguably the best part of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD are the puzzles. Traditionally one of the biggest problems with a Zelda game is figuring out how to progress to the next section. I wouldn’t say Twilight Princess HD is without stumbling blocks, but most of the puzzles are self-explanatory or aren’t particularly tricky. More often than not, you’ll know what to do, though you might not know to accomplish it.
The same holds true for the combat system too. Similar to Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess HD is an action game with a variety of tools at your disposal. Most foes can be defeated by swinging your sword, where as other enemies require a little more thought. Certain shadow beasts need to be defeated at the same time, spiders will block if you attack at the wrong time and so forth. Though its really the bosses that make the gameplay fun.
Instead of simply swinging your sword, bosses have puzzles and other mechanics that you need to deal with. A lot of them require you to utilize the skills you learned getting to the boss, such as the first mini boss can only take damage if you knock him off a pillar, with the first real boss asking you to use the gale boomerang to fling bombs at him. They’re fun, if only for the fact that they’re memorable. It’s the type of experience where that you won’t forget.
Besides the main story, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD also feature a plethora of side tasks to accomplish. RPG fans can rejoice at the inclusion of a couple of side quests, which don’t add a whole lot, but aid in world building. Collectors have the usual heart containers, storage upgrades, various fish and more. This version also has 50 Miiverse stamps to collect. These can be found in a Varity of places, commonly replacing an underwhelming treasure in the original, giving returning fans something new to experience.
Even though stamps are a nice addition, the real highlight for returning fans is the new Cave of Shadows. This dungeon can only be accessed by using the Wolf Link amiibo and is completely new to Twilight Princess HD. As for the actual dungeon, well, it’s honestly a little underwhelming.
The Cave of Shadows is little more than a series of fights with a special prize at the end. The challenge is making the most of your abilities. Sometimes you’ll want to use multiple small attacks, where as other times you’ll need to use an area of effect. But overall, the Cave of Shadows feels like a pointless mini-game, which is a real shame. Not because there is less for veterans to do, but due to Nintendo still having issues figuring out how to properly utilize amiibo. Sure it’s the best implementation in a while, but the real question isn’t whether or not you want to experience the Cave of Shadows, instead you need to ask yourself if you want to add Wolf Link to your collection or not.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is not just a solid port, but an excellent addition to the Zelda franchise. The characters or at least Midna, have enough personality to make the story memorable, as do the surreal elements/visuals. Combine this with a more straightforward adventure and it’s certainly an improvement on an already great game. However, with that being said, don’t expect much if you’ve already experienced all Twilight Princess had to offer. The new stamps might add something new to collect, but they’ve mostly replaced existing things. As for the amiibo content, well, despite being one of the best amiibo uses thus far, the Cave of Shadows isn’t the type of thing you’ll regret missing. Its new and something to do, yes, but it’s simply a mini-game with a decent reward.
[Editor’s Note: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD was reviewed on Wii U platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review,