Zelda fans are still waiting for the long-promised Wii U reboot. But while they wait for that one, one of the best games in franchise history is back, looking and controlling better than ever. The HD remaster of Twilight Princess (2006) is instantly one of the best games on the system.
Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD
Consoles: Wii U (reviewed)
Release Date: March 5
The game looks, feels and plays as much like a new Zelda as a rehash of a beloved title. Those thinking they will be able to pick up the controller and speed-run through the quests will be in for a shock, thanks to the introduction of the new Hero Mode, which doubles the amount of enemy damage and takes away heart drops.
The richness and splendor of the story, which grants Link the curse/power to transform back and forth between wolf form as he attempts to rescue Hyrule, remains as stirring as ever. But this is the slowest-starting Zelda game ever made, forcing you through a series of tutorials disguised as chores that teach you the controls and the ways of getting around. Once the story starts to flow, things change vastly for the better, with the game becoming a breathless adventure that can easily keep you up all night, straining to fight your way through complex dungeons.
There are few expansions to the source material, but a Wolf Link Amiibo figure included with the special edition unlocks a new dungeon, and other Zelda-related Amiibo figures grant you in-game power ups, such as health recovery and damage increases.
Faster loading times and vastly improved character details, backgrounds and animations help bring Zelda out of the stone age and seem like a more relevant current franchise. If this is a sign of what’s to come in the next Zelda game, fans will pass out in ecstacy. Not all the shortcomings of the original Twilight Princess have been addressed, though. The save system has been streamlined, but still lacks the function to save at any time or place. Second-screen play on the GamePad would have been nice, but you’re forced to use the touchscreen to sift through your inventory and keep an eye on your minimap.
While the Wii U’s baked-in backward compatibility means you can still satisfy your hankering for an adventure by grabbing the Wii version of Twilight Princess off the bargain pile, that game now seems choppy and dated by comparison. Like the Wind Waker HD upgrade, this one brings the series to life with the newer system’s raw power. Enough time has passed since the original release that Twilight Princess HD feels and plays like a totally new Zelda game.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Reviews Around The Web:
“Not only immersive, but addictive.” –Nintendojo
“An excellent addition (and homage to “Ocarina”) to the franchise, and you’ll have an enormous amount of fun playing it from start to finish” –Game Spy
“The greatest Zelda game ever created.” –IGN
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
The publisher provided a review copy.