I was lucky enough to be one of the few people to have grabbed Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the GameCube. I remember when Wal-Mart emailed me and told me that they had oversold the pre-order and gave me a ten dollar off coupon; needless to say I was worried. On release day, I drove to the store by my house and they had a few copies. I grabbed one and got it on a discount because of their mess up. Lucky me right? Very much so; this was one of the best Zelda games I’d ever played, right behind Wind Waker at that point my life. I played the living hell out of this game and when I was done I put it away, and for ten years it has sat there, and it will continue to sit there. Now that I have the almost perfect HD version, I won’t really need to revisit the GameCube version of the game.
Since I played the original about ten years ago, I really didn’t remember too much about the game at all. I remembered that Link would become a wolf, and that there were a few dungeons. I rarely play new game plus so this HD remaster is a nice way to revisit life 12 years ago. Upon booting up the game I immediately saw the amazing updated visuals and I was taken aback. I had honestly forgotten how well a majority of GameCube games had aged, and Twilight Princess definitely looks great for an older gal. This princess received a nice facelift which adds gorgeous textures to Link and his fellow cast of characters. Remember those three creepy children that followed Link around? Well they look even creepier, especially the super short one. Midna really stood out to me, being an extremely outlandish character in the game, and the graphic overhaul really puts her performance over the top.
Unfortunately this update brought about long load times between areas and dungeons. This dip in the game pulled me out of the story just enough that I had to get re-engaged each time the white screen took over. That being said I could watch the title scene on loop; it is so gorgeous, and it reminds me a bit of Shadow of the Colossus which is an added bonus.
Nintendo give the player the option to play on the GamePad or a standard Wii U controller; I opted for the GamePad because I feel it was a better choice for this type of game. I also enjoy being able to look down at the smaller screen and seeing where I am in the map, getting lost is another hobby of mine. Since I used the GamePad, I took much of the clutter off of the screen and put it onto the little Pad, which makes the game even better to look at. I was scared that using the Pad would make the controls more difficult; I was incorrect. The controls are pretty precise unless you use the gyro to aim. Once you opt out of the gyro in the GamePad and use the sticks, it becomes so much easier to use your hook-shot. Nintendo stuck with the normal system of assigning your weapons to certain buttons on the GamePad, but they made it easier. For instance, you can just place your finger on “bombs,” drag them to “Y” and that’s how you use them. This makes switching on the fly much easier in tight situations.
The game is the same game as on the GameCube and Wii in 2006, Nintendo hasn’t made any huge changes to the story. Nintendo added an additional difficulty and a dungeon if you open up the pack-in Amiibo and scan it. You can choose “Hero Mode” at the onset of the game which doubles the damage that Link takes in battle, and stops the farming of recovery hearts while out and about in Hyrule Field and such. This means you need to use strategy when fighting, and need to make sure you complete all the heart containers to stand a chance. I would rather play on the normal difficulty because I want to enjoy the game rather than play Dark Souls Hyrule. The Amiibo unlocks a new dungeon called The Cave of Shadows, which is very much like The Cave of Ordeals. Both of those caves are endurance challenges. In The Cave of Ordeals, you get play as Link, but in the new Cave of Shadows, you have to play as Wolf Link, and that isn’t as satisfying. When you have forty floors to beat, it can be a hand cramping drag. If you’re looking for new content in this title, don’t be too crestfallen when you discover that this is all there is.
I’m very glad that I decided to revisit Hyrule with this game. Not only did the game bring back some memories of playing it on my GameCube, but this also reminded me of what we have to look forward to with Zelda U. For those who never had the chance to play this title originally it is a must have; this is one of the better Zelda games out there. If you already had the chance to enjoy this title on the Wii or the GameCube, this is a perfect chance to revisit this title, seeing as there isn’t too much to play on the Wii U at the moment. This is a truly great game, and should be played at least once by anyone who calls themselves a gamer.