Tech News on G4
'Twilight Princess a shady remake
Mar 23, 2016
By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada
While the Zelda faithful waits impatiently for the next all-new adventure in the long-running series, Nintendo is hoping a steady stream of remakes will sate fans. The latest game to get that treatment is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, and like the Wind Waker HD before it, this remake is good fun, but hasn't aged as well as we hoped.
Twilight Princess, which was originally released in 2006 for the Wii and GameCube, tells the story of a land being threatened by an encroaching darkness - the twilight from the game's title - and a hero clad in green who is attempting to put an end to the evil causing the blight on Hyrule.
Twilight Princess HD follows the basic premise brought forth by Ocarina of Time, wherein protagonist Link traverses an overworld and visits several temples in a specific order, all while gaining new items that allow him to reach new areas.
There are a few new features in the HD version of Twilight Princess, though it's nothing that makes the game an absolute must-buy for anyone who played the game a decade ago.
Graphics, of course, are improved, and while characters look a lot crisper, the game is still lacking that high-definition sheen found on virtually every game you'll play on any current-generation hardware. It's noticeably prettier than it's non-HD predecessor, but it's still recognizable as an upgraded version of a 10-year-old game.
The rest of the changes are much less dramatic, especially compared to Wind Waker HD, which among other things altered the way an entire late-game objective was finished. In Twilight Princess HD, a new lantern allows players to more easily finish a tedious sidequest, Link can switch between human and wolf form at the touch of a button, and a new Hero Mode was created for those who relish for a more punishing experience.
Several amiibo can be used to both help and hinder the player, but for those who download the game digitally (like myself) and miss out on the Wolf Link amiibo that comes with the physical version and the new dungeon it unlocks, there isn't much there.
None of these features are unwelcome, but they don't fix any of the issues that make this game somewhat annoying to play. Riding Link's horse, Epona, for instance, only feels smooth in wide-open spaces. Any time I came anywhere close to a wall, fence, or whatever else, it felt far too difficult to simply turn Epona around.
The Wii U gamepad allows for a more streamlined experience with the menus - though it takes away the feeling of "swinging" a sword like in the Wii version with its Wii Remote - but it's still far from perfect. The map is limited at best - not only does it allow for just two zoom levels, but it's impossible to quickly view other areas besides the one your character is currently in.
It's a small thing, but it's also really annoying that the "minimap" button is placed at the centre of the screen, as opposed to the corner, where it would be much easier to tap with a thumb. Considering how often I was swapping between the map and item screens, this would be hugely appreciated.
The game itself includes some of the series' most unforgettable moments, including Link riding on Epona across Eldin Bridge, or taking on a massive fire-spewing boss while riding his nifty Spinner item. The Temples are some of the best found in any Zelda game, full-stop.
That said, there is a clear lack of hand-holding, which is bound to frustrate anyone who hasn't played Twilight Princess previously, or hasn't played in a long time (including yours truly). These moments don't appear often, but when they do, it can be maddening feeling so helpless and having virtually no idea where to go or what to do next.
The underwhelming sidequests that the series is also known for pop up as well, and once again feel more like padding than anything else.
I did enjoy much of my time with Twilight Princess HD, but at the end of the day, it didn't help me forget about how badly I want to play a new game in the series. If you're a Wii U owner who's desperate for their Zelda fix, this game may scratch that itch, but at the end of the day, it feels more like a placeholder than an earnest remake meant to honour the original.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
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