The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

The darkest of the series makes its HD debut

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

The Verdict

There is no denying that Twilight Princess HD, despite it's new HD moniker, is a dated game. Now whether those dated mechanics are a pro or a con is certainly subjective. Much of the gameplay mechanics we take for granted like waypoints are really nowhere to be found here. On the flipside, those who like the challenge of exploring the world themselves and discovering where to go next, will certainly love to return to this darker Hyrule to get lost in it all over again.

But best of all, if Twilight Princess came out before your time, then what better way to get to play it once again, than with improved controls and item management. It's certainly not perfect, and still a little rough around the edges, but it easily the best way to either experience for the first time, or re-experience it all over again.

That means we're getting a Skyward Sword HD remaster next, right Nintendo?

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

The Positives

  • The more mature take on Link and his story is still very much welcome, even after 10 years. While I certainly like the look of other Zelda games a lot more, I certainly appreciate what Nintendo was going for back then, and it still holds up rather well today.

  • The reworked controls are fantastic. As someone who didn't play it on Gamecube, but rather with motion controls on the Wii, I really appreciate the ability to play it today with just a simple control scheme, that can either played with the Gamepad or the Pro Controller.

  • Speaking of the Gamepad, Nintendo has done a fantastic job at putting a lot of inventory and item management on the lower screen, as well as a full map. This makes switching items much less annoying, also saving you a ton of time.

  • The dungeons are still probably among the best in the franchise, ensuring that players utilize their items in special ways.

  • Likewise, boss fights remain the centerpieces to the dungeons, providing some unique and satisfying challenges.

  • The new added dungeon, the Cave of Shadows is a fun and neat diversion, where you'll play as Wolf Link in a gauntlet of enemies. The only downside to that is that you actually need the Wolf Link amiibo. As of this writing, I don't know about their availability.

  • The world of Hyrule is actually very fun to explore, even outside the dungeons, and is very large, though its enemy scarcity will certainly be going into the negatives section.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD Review

The Negatives

  • Despite the HD subtitle, the game is certainly no looker. Wind Waker's HD remake, which ran at 1080p and 60fps not only looked extremely fluid thanks to the framerate, but the bloom effects made the entire game look a lot more polished. Twilight Princess HD in contrast just looks like I'm playing the Wii version in widescreen. Sure, the textures aren't as blurry as they used to be, but in no way would I consider this HD remaster on par with Wind Waker's.

  • It's certainly been a while since I've played the game originally, so the beginning of the game was once again a rude awakening of just how boring it is. I mean, my god, they couldn't have thought of a more mundane start to a Zelda game than herding goats, getting back baby crib, buying a slingshot and fishing… Thankfully once the game picks up, it stays on course, but man oh man, that beginning is certainly rough.

  • I really wish Nintendo would have updated the game world with more things to fight. While the world is bigger, there are still barely enemies to fight as you traverse the map.

  • Some pre-order incentives offer the game's soundtrack sample as a reward, but after hearing it, I can't imagine anyone would actually want to listen to it. Arguably the weakest of all the Zelda games.

I almost can't believe it was 10 years ago that I worked at my local Gamestop, putting aside my own personal copy of Twilight Princess for my newly purchased Wii, itching to go home and play it. While I certainly enjoyed my time with the game back then, I remember actually liking Wind Waker a bit more. Subsequently, I very much enjoyed the follow up game, Skyward Sword. Twilight Princess really only made an impression on me, because of how dark it was. In stark contrast to Wind Waker, which was not only more lighthearted, but adopted a cute cel-shaded art style, Twilight Princess had a muted color palette, and dealt with more mature topics.

Now, 10 years later, I hold Twilight Princess in my hand once again, though this time with coat of HD, and a sweet looking Wolf Link amiibo accompanied with it.

Does Twilight Princess stand the test of time? Let's dive in, shall we?