I’m not sure if there is anything that makes you feel older than when you begin talking about a video game’s 30th Anniversary and the fact that you played that game as a child, well last year I had to do that with Mario and this year we’re doing it with my personal favorite video game series of all-time The Legend of Zelda.
This past Friday marked what I’m calling the official kick-off of the 30 year celebration of The Legend of Zelda. Why this past Friday, well that marked the release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, and the first Zelda game to come out this year (which will hopefully be followed by Zelda Wii U and NX). Also, if you bought the physical copy, the game came with a really cool Wolf Link and Midna amiibo figure.
Speaking of amiibos, not only does this game come with a cool one, but it incorporates all of the Zelda amiibos. Link and Toon Link will refill your arrows when needed, Zelda and Shiek will refill your health, and Gannon will have you take double damage (why you would use this amiibo is beyond me), also the affirmation Wolf Link amiibo will take you to a super hard boss dungeon. No word on if any other amiibos will be able to use in this game eventually, but it would be cool if down the road with updates if you can use different amiibos for costumes and or abilities for Link.
Graphics: But to the game itself, first up, the updated HD graphics look fantastic, it’s just a pretty game and the distinctions between the light world and the twilight world are shocking. You go from lush colors to this drab washed out color schemes. Also the detailed graphics wonderfully show the expressions of characters’ faces in a series not known for voice overs. The details are great and it’s just a joy to look at as you wander around Hyrule.
Gameplay: If you’ve ever played a Zelda game then you know what you’re in for in this game. You are on a quest from Zelda and the Gods to defeat a greater evil, however you can’t just do that right away, you have to go on smaller quests to defeat bosses to collect items to strengthen your character. There are side quests abundant and a ton of things to do that brings the world to life.
Like in previous 3D Zelda games you have your Z targeting for things like your sword, bow, sling shot, and other weapons, new for to the series is Link’s ability to transform into a wolf that gives you abilities that you never had before in a Zelda game, like jumping. Also with Midia riding your back you can hold B and Midia will use her power to to grab enemies and you can attack them one after another, also added for the Wii U version is the ability to use the Wii U tablet to target enemies as well as use as a mini map.
Like I said above, as you progress through the game you collection items in the various dungeons, as well as relics (and heart pieces) from boss, but that is not the only way your character grows. Through out the game you’ll find stones that when the wind blows through them sound like a wolf’s howl. Picking up a horse grass and playing that sound will whisk you away to the clouds and meet a long forgotten hero (who may or may not be the Hero of Time) who will train you with new moves to learn, that will help you along your journey.
More than any other Zelda I’ve played (and I’ve played them all) this one feels as if I’ve grown the most as a character. In both human and wolf modes you learn so many different attacks and moves that you feel that by the end of the game you are far superior to what you were at the start, and I’m not just talking about heart pieces.
Also added for the first time in a Zelda game is the ability to battle from Epona. There are moments in the game where you joust as well as running through a stampede of baddies and you have to snipe them with your bow and arrows from horse back. At this point in the Legend of Zelda series this did seem like the largest and most epic of them all.
Final Verdict: There isn’t much more I can say about this game. The updated graphics are solid and beautiful, the game play is what you expect out of a Zelda game with added features that don’t feel tact on but a natural progression in the series and the game is fun. Because of this I am giving The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD a 9.5 out of 10.