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Is The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess Worth Revisiting On Wii U?

by Kyle Hilliard on Mar 03, 2016 at 11:24 AM

When The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess released back in 2006, we gave it the rare perfect 10 review score. It’s a great game, and I doubt many would argue against its quality. It has a few minor issues, but they weren’t a result of technical limitations (even with the Wii version’s motion controls). With tomorrow’s HD re-release, it raises the question: Is the game worth revisiting with its new coat of paint?

Twilight Princess’ big upgrade is cosmetic. Very little has been added or changed in the game. There is a new difficulty mode, a new combat-challenge dungeon (if you have the Wolf Link Amiibo that’s bundled with the game at launch), and a new item that assists with tracking down Poes. The distribution of wallets also lets you grab more rupees, but overall the pacing of the game has been largely untouched. By contrast, 2013’s Wind Waker HD gave players the option to track down a swift sail to dramatically speed up sailing, and the Triforce Quest was modified to offer a quicker, more rewarding experience. Last year’s remake of Majora’s Mask rearranged a few elements and sped up the process of traveling through time. Both Wind Waker and Majora’s Mask’s changes affected the game throughout, but Twilight Princess HD doesn’t have any comparable improvements.

The visual upgrade is considerable, and leads to new levels of discovery everywhere. The game looks nicer, but you can also see the animals of the forest much better, and I marveled at small things like being able to see the bait on your fishing hook. Those elements were always present, but now you can see them much better. The best thing an HD remaster can do is present a classic game the way you remember it as opposed to how it actually looks. Twilight Princess does this and takes it a step further by elevating its original details to a greater degree throughout.

The beginning of the game is still slow, but going in with that knowledge gave me a chance to appreciate the slow burn. Herding goats is still not a great way to kick off a Zelda game (especially one that was as highly anticipated as Twilight Princess), but opening the game with Link having a conversation with a mentor by a lake is a charming introduction and does well to establish the normalcy of Link’s life before the Twilight Realm changed everything.

Other elements of Twilight Princess that surprised me weren’t new, but were rather elements I had completely forgotten about. In the opening moments, for instance, Link wrestles a goat to the ground in an incredible show of strength. I couldn’t help but notice that the dash icon for riding Epona has changed from the carrots of Ocarina of Time to the considerably more violent spurs – Twilight Princess has a much darker tone, after all.

Hyrule is also much larger than I remembered, which will likely be the case for those like me who haven’t played the game much since its original release. Also, the Oocoo are still absolutely terrifying bird creatures who speak perfect English, and I love them for it.

For those satisfied with their memories of Twilight Princess, there is not a lot of incentive here to revisit the game. It hasn’t changed enough to feel like a new experience, but that doesn’t affect the fact that Twilight Princess has always been a fantastic game and this is the best looking version available. I’ve enjoyed my time revisiting the game and it has even managed to supersede new experiences waiting on my PlayStation 4 and Xbox One just because I have enjoyed being in Twilight Princess’ version of Hyrule again so much. It’s a fine port and a great way to experience Twilight Princess, but the experience is largely unchanged.

To see us play two hours of the HD version of Twilight Princess, check out the video below.