Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
Nintendo is at it again with its Zelda franchise. They have a habit of teasing us with updated versions of past titles, while working on the most current installment. We expect perfection, and they generally come close. While I’m sad that I’m not reviewing a completely new game, I was extremely happy to play Twilight Princess again. As with other titles in the series, there are no shortages made to the in-depth characters, vast environments, and funky story line which has made Zelda one of the most well thought about series of all time.
Believe it or not Zelda Twilight Princess HD is the updated version of a game that’s now 10 years old. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since I played it last, and while first starting up the title I felt like it was just yesterday that I finished it. It looks better, for sure, and when I started playing I immediately felt that it didn’t play better. These are definitely 10-year-old controls, and while I really can’t fault the title too badly for it, it’s something to take note of. This isn’t a game you’re going to replay without feeling like you stepped back in technological time. Link’s climbing, archery, and fighting skills stand to be updated in re-imagined upcoming titles, and it’s clear this is a point they will have to work on in the series. Considering this title started out on the Wii console with motion controls this isn’t a surprising fact, and it’s not really something that ruins the title completely, especially if you are a frequent classic game player like I am.
The Zelda feelings all came flooding back, and I miss the setup that these titles bring. They are slick and don’t need corny add-ins to keep you on track. You’re not going to get lost, but the environment is still gigantic. There aren’t a bunch of menu items jumbling up the screen, if you want your item list, you still need to reach it, which I find to be refreshing. It’s clear what your goals are without being boringly obvious. You still have a chance to explore and find new items or environments if you want, and believe me, you will want to, because regardless of the slight old school set backs, I still wanted to re-experience every second of this wonderful title that I could. It wasn’t just that I loved it the first time for no reason. Sometimes I feel like, “do I just like this game so much because it’s a Zelda title?” and you can never really be sure until you wait a length of time and play it again. I can assure you, I loved it just as much this time as I did the first.
The side quests, shops, and characters are what this game is about. A player could get stuck for hours doing the most detailed task that seems completely meaningless to someone from the outside, but it’s so satisfying to be able to find those mystery items or to unlock special sequences. You can’t have an interaction with any character in this game, big or small, that doesn’t affect you or bring feelings of more depth in some way. Even characters that don’t verbalize or seem to just be something in passing, are interesting and create a small dynamic to admire. This is something that’s missing from a lot of current titles because they push for online play. It’s so in-depth because it’s just you, and the quest, and the characters in, and it’s absolutely stunning.
One of my most favorite aspects of Twilight Princess is the darkness of the visuals and story line. It is by far the most horrific in the series, and being that I’ve always been a fan of the macabre, I find it wonderful. Side-kick Midna became one of my favorite characters of all time, and still is to this day. Watching this games story play out again was an enchanting experience.
While at its base this games visuals are the only update, it’s worth another play through. Taking into consideration that this game was developed for two systems at the same time, it’s a fantastic representation of what Nintendo can do when they put their hearts and souls into something. It is a fine piece of gothic throwback and a refreshing replay in the same instance. Throw in the fact that reserved players got a special edition Amiibo and soundtrack, and I feel like even the price is worth it. The Amiibo is beautifully rendered and really, in my opinion, the most gorgeous Amiibo released to date. That’s why:
The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD Gets
5 Out of 5
+ Vastly Improved Visuals
+ The second play through is as good as the first
+ Excellent story and characters
+ Amiibo and soundtrack exclusives
– Those old school controls aren’t for everyone, but they are worth it