The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a high definition remake of the 2006 GameCube/Wii title of the same name.
This epic, sprawling adventure title is classic Zelda fare, filled with goblins, magic and other fantastic creatures and locations. The game starts out in Ordon village and follows a farm hand named Link. The village mayor entrusts you (as Link) to deliver a gift — the Ordon Sword and Shield — to Hyrule Castle. As you prepare to leave the village is attacked by King Bulblin, leader of the goblin race known as “Bulblin”.
These ferocious villains kidnap the village children. Link races off after the creatures but soon finds himself being pulled into a mysterious black vortex. On the other side, he finds the world covered in what is later revealed to be called the “Twilight”, a mysterious convergence of two worlds by the hand of some spell. While in this world, Link transforms into a wolf. The greater story is about Link trying to rescue the children, which can only be accomplished if he restores the world region-by-region to rid Hyrule of the Twilight.
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Being a Zelda title, the narrative is far more involved than any short summary I can make here. It suffices to say there is plenty of twists and turns as the story unfolds. And in a very Tolkin-esque way, the blanks in the narrative are far more fantastical than anything spoon fed to us via the short cut scenes.
For those who have played any 3D-style Zelda game since Ocarina of Time, a lot in Twilight Princess HD will feel familiar. The game is split into region sections, within each are temples to explore, filled with puzzles that require the use of items, moving blocks, finding keys and defeating huge, terrifying bosses. Compared to the perhaps innocent approach to the grand scale that was the Nintendo 64 games, these temples feel far more straight foward. Once you know the rules of which item is matched to which temple dungeon, the way is fairly clear. Most of the early dungeons also have some form of aide. The first Forest Temple involves some monkeys that helpfully guide the player to the direction they should be headed.
Link turning into a wolf opens up some interesting play styles. This transformation can only take place within the Twilight realm and allows Link to dig up items and secrets, as well as use a sensing feature. This is another way of directing the player to where he needs to go to progress the story. As a wolf, Link can pick up a scent trail and follow it to find the person or item he needs for the story. This is helpful as the world can feel quite massive, but the limited execution of the feature is a little disappointing.
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Also a drawback is the sparse nature of the huge land of Hyrule. Were you to compare it to Wind Waker, you’d feel there’s a massive amount of land mass in which, save for a handful of side caves and rupees, is relatively empty. There’s nothing motivating the player to explore the huge world, and doing so is usually a let down.
Still, the game’s story and fun dungeons is what I think saves the day here. This is a Zelda game born out of fan desire of a more “realistic” approach to the franchise, rather than the master gamesmiths at Nintendo wanting to realise their full potential. Twilight Princess’ mature art style comes at the cost of the trademark whimsy of the series.
New features in the Wii U version include amiibo support for those who pick up the special edition with the Wolf Link amiibo. Tapping the statue on the NFC opens the Cave of Shadows, a seemingly bottomless pit filled with monsters to be slain in reward of rupees. The Cave of Shadows must be cleared with in wolf form, however, which adds to the challenge. In here, players can find the Colossal Wallet (if they have the Giant’s Wallet) which will allow them to carry up to 9,999 rupees. The cave is certainly a fun side distraction. Completionists beware.
The Wolf Link amiibo is also used to load your save file. At the main title screen, simply tapping the amiibo will bring you right into your game. This is a very simple thing, but it is wonderfully done and works a treat.
Zelda series amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. collection can also be used to give the player extra bonuses like arrows and more hearts. A nice touch for those who are collecting amiibo.
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The other main inclusion is Hero Mode. This requires you to start a new game file and doubles the damage Link takes by enemies. Hearts aren’t dropped by enemies in this mode, either and to make matters all the more difficult, the entire game world is mirrored (a throwback to how the Wii version was a mirror image of the GameCube version to accommodate right-handed players using the motion controls). This is a tough way to play Twilight Princess, but the game is better for its inclusion.
Smaller additions and improvements are scattered throughout. Players will find Miiverse stamps in the game world, elements like swimming have been sped up slightly and Link no longer bashes his sword into walls which makes it easier to fight in tight spots. There’s even some easter egg screenshots to be found in the game of Zelda Wii U, the latest game heading to the platform sometime in 2016.
Players will perhaps love best the graphical upgrade in Twilight Princess HD. The world looks beautifully crisp, almost as though it was always intended to look this good. Sure, some of the textures and atmospheric elements are primitive by today’s harsh standards, but for a remake the fans had been hoping for, the job is well and truely done. It feels modern, it feels right.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is not a game that is aiming to break the innovation barriers. It never was. It’s about giving the fans a nod of aknowledgment, flexing the muscles of the franchises’ ability to tell an epic fantasy tale and transporting the player to the land of Hyrule for another fun romp.

Editor's Rating

Presentation 8.5
Gamplay 9.0
Engagement 9.5
Overall Impression 9.0
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a mature entry in the series made complete by fixes to niggling issues of the original and new game modes. Come for the delicious graphics, stay for the epic story.
9.0
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Ty Muddle

Ty Muddle

I cut my gaming teeth on a Commodore 64 my siblings and I found stashed under my parents bed. It was the early 90's and the strange computerised images were a novelty for a young kid living in a rural Australian town. It would be some years before I was introduced to a simple word processor powered by a Apple II my grandfather found at the dump but it didn't take much to spark a love of writing and video gaming that would continue through my life. My first "modern" console was, like most people in Australia at the time, a Sega Master System II. In those days you'd hire games from the local video store. I always loved flipping to the back of the game manual to see the cheat codes other players would scribble in the "Notes" section.

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