It’s pretty jarring to think that Twilight Princess was released almost 10 years ago. It also is pretty low on the list of Zelda games that deserve an HD remake, but holy shit it’s great.
Link To The Past For Real
The strongest part about Twilight Princess HD is what was left untouched. The original TP still stands up very well in 2016 and on a technical level; it’s arguably the best 3D Zelda game. The core of the game is the same, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The story is the same, the dungeons are the same, and the items are basically the same. Twilight Princess has some of the most intuitive dungeons in the series with corresponding items that are awesome. In true Zelda fashion, every dungeons item is used in a variety of different ways to navigate the dungeons; Goron Mines has the magnetic iron boots, Arbiter’s Grounds has the spinner, and Snowpeak Ruins has the Ball and Chain. It’s a shame some of the items don’t have much use outside of their home dungeons, but given how many dungeons there are its understandable.
Story wise, Twilight Princess is very overlooked by fans. The introduction of Wolf Link, the tragic character of Midna, Ganon being a stone cold murderer and child endangerment all add a certain dark tone to the game that the series had not seen since Majora’s Mask. The story overall is just tremendous. Not much can be said to convey it, it’s just fantastic and deserves to be played.
I Need a Hero
There are a few explicit additions made to Twilight Princess for this remake. The controls have been tightened up to make it better to play on the WiiU game pad. The game pad is also used to ease item switching, which is always fantastic. Twilight Princess also includes amiibo support has also been added and is done in a great way. The Link or Toon Link amiibo can be used to replenish arrows and the Zelda or Sheik amiibo will replenish hearts. The Wolf Link amiibo unlocks a new optional dungeon called the Cave of Shadows. The dungeon is in the style of the Cave of Ordeals, although must be completed as Wolf Link. The reward is the Colossal Wallet which can carry 9,999 rupees and the ability to transfer some kind of data with the Wolf Link amiibo to the upcoming Zelda came on WiiU. The Ganondorf amiibo will make Link take double damage, which can add some difficulty to the game if you so choose. Speaking of added difficulty, Hero Mode is back! Playing on Hero Mode ups the difficulty and makes Link take double damage. Want to use the Ganondorf amiibo on Hero Mode? Link takes quadruple damage! The Hero Mode is fantastic and is the proper way to play the game if you’re a seasoned Zelda fan.
Where Are My Shadows?!
The biggest problem with Twilight Princess HD is sadly the one major improvement that was supposed to be made, the graphics. Don’t be mistaken, Twilight Princess looked amazing in 2006 and it looks pretty okay in 2016. The graphical updates sharpened up the textures a little, which is nice, but didn’t change much else. Most notable is the absence of proper lighting effects and shadows. Twilight Princess had basically 0 lighting effects in 2006 and that was acceptable, but in 2016 they shouldn’t be overlooked.
Twilight Princess is one of the absolute best Zelda games ever. It’s a real shame it never gets its due. The HD release just shows how great Twilight Princess is and how absolutely playable it is in 2016. If you never played the original Twilight Princess, go play the HD remake. If you did play the original Twilight Princess, go play the HD remake to remember how amazing it is.