Friday, 25 March 2016

The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess HD on Wii U


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
A really cool scene after a boss fight
I have always wanted to try The Legend of Zelda out, but never got a chance as majority of the games we get now are more suitable for the kids or the whole family. So I was really glad that the opportunity came to review the latest The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess HD, which is a HD remake of one of the most critically acclaimed entry to the series, first released on Nintendo GameCube and Wii in 2006.

After playing the game, I was really pleased to find that it is a game that has way more to do than fighting your way to the end! You have to fight monsters yes, but the game focuses more on skills and tactics (how can I cross this room full of traps, or how can I get rid of the monsters without one of them reviving the others?), and with a great story-line and stunning graphics, it makes this game way more worth playing than many others. I can understand why it was such a big hit 10 years ago, and with the upgraded version this year plus more features, I'm sure it will be another big hit too.


I've played as far as I can go (I'm stuck yes, and it's because of my jumping skill. Argh!), but I believe that there is plenty of information here to give you an insight of The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess HD.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Title Screen
In The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess HD (Wii U; pegi 12; RRP £39.99 and other bundles are also available), players (single player game) play as Link, an unusual young rancher (he's the only one with pointy ears in the village, but not because he's an elf as we thought initially!) from a small village Ordon of the kingdom Hyrule, who is destined to be a hero.

A ghostly darkness (the Twilight Realm) is spreading across the kingdom of Hyrule, turning people into spirits that live in darkness and fear. Link has to venture into the Twilight Realm with the help of a mischievous imp Midna, to save his friends who were kidnapped, and rid the Twilight Realm from Hyrule for good.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Top: TV screen   Bottom: Gamepad touch screen
Control:

Players can choose to either use the Gamepad or the Wii U Pro Controller to play. With the Gamepad, players can use it as a touch screen and look through their inventory, map and settings screens without needing to pause the game. You can also play the game on the Gamepad alone, freeing the TV up for others (although the big TV screen makes the gaming experience much more enjoyable).

amiibo:

The upgraded Twilight Princess HD works with all The Legend of Zelda amiibos as well, giving players instant additional boosts in the game, although, to avoid making the game too easy, each amiibo can only be used once a day, and you can use up to 10 amiibos a day.

A new amiibo Wolf Link (Link in wolf form) and Midna (riding on Link) has been released with the game as well, which unlocks the Cave of Shadows.

Hero Mode:

I think this is especially useful for people who likes a challenge, or for those who has played the original The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess on GameCube or Wii before. You can choose Hero mode right from the start, which is a mirrored version of the normal mode (similar to Wii's layout). Of course, monsters hit harder and there are less hearts (life) to collect.

Save Game:

There are 3 saving slots so you can go back further in the game if required.

I was really glad that it allows you to save the game any time you need, because the game is really long, so you will want to save often to not fight the previous boss or find that precious item again.

The thing is, the game is full of mazes and puzzles where you have to do certain actions (for example, jump on several platforms without falling into the lava) to get across. If you die during one of the action (say step 5), you have to start from step 1. Which is still okay for me (it's a very good way to train my patience), but if you log out, say to take a break or go to bed, and log back into the game, you don't appear in that room anymore. Instead, you'll appear at the beginning of that area (the entrance of a village or a dungeon, for example).

Honestly speaking I'm having some difficulty with it because I'm not really keen in re-doing a room that took me an hour to cross. I might get hubby to help me so I can get back to where I left it. It's a great challenge I think suitable for the Hero mode, but as a casual player I'd rather move on and not look back.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Starting village
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
World map, copied from official website
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Target practise
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Some of the player's tutors. A jealous one too!
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Shopping for essentials
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
He's got some great sales tactic here! Oil for your lantern is something else that requires constant topping up
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Explore to find useful things
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
The Legend of Zelda's currency - Rupees. It totally make sense that you dig gems up from the ground
Tutorial:

The game starts with a peaceful day, where players will learn the basic gameplay through a normal day in the village. The starting area is of a fair size, so it can take some time to explore, discover what other things you can do without guidance and find tune your skills (horse riding for example. You can keep going until you think that you've got it), so the time spent in the tutorial can be around an hour or much longer (I'm sure I spent at least 2 hours here. I was busy collecting Rupees, which is the currency in the game, and steering Epona, which has proven quite tricky for me!), depending on how much the player wants to do.

After completing a few quests that lead to the main rescue mission Link will go on, which leads to the main story-line, the tutorial is complete.

Content:

There are 9 dungeons, all connected by a large overworld which Link can travel freely by foot, on Epona (horse) or teleporting (Midna or a weird half bird half human like creature called Ooccoo).

Humour:

Apart from the mischievous Midna who kept teasing Link, there are a lot of funny conversation and characters around that really makes you chuckle out loud.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda

Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda

Hidden Skills:

Although the tutorial is finished, there are more skills Link will pick up during his adventure, some of them quite fun to do too.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Fishing for calming down from a rough time in the dungeon, and adding rare fish to your collection
Collectibles - Fishing, Bug Catching and Miiverse Stamps:

Like many other Nintendo games, The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD offers players an opportunity to collect things, including fish, bugs and stamps. The stamps can be used on your Miiverse posts.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Screen transformation before and after Wolf Link uses his senses
Twilight Realm and Wolf Link:

When Link goes into the Twilight Realm, he will transform into a wolf form, until he and Midna brings back the light to the area.

The Twilight Realm is a bit creepy. Voices echoes in this realm, and there is a lot of floating ashes and monsters with wriggly tentacles. It also seems slightly dreamy, where light become more enhanced. It gets even more creepy when Wolf Link uses his senses, which turns the screen into a night vision-like mode. This is when you can see the true form of the whisps, which are the spirits of the people.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Midna riding on Wolf Link
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda

Midna:

I want to talk a bit about her because she's Link's main companion (well) in the Twilight Realm, and she's very mysterious.

Midna, a mean little imp, rescued Link when he first arrived the Twilight Realm. She has been helping him get to where he needs to go since then, with the frequent teasing (and plenty of guidance as well of course.), but isn't telling him more about herself. And when she took something that Link worked hard to get, one must wonder what her intention of helping Link is.

Although she's very mean to Link, I actually adore her. She's like those Kawaii meanies where you can't help but get attracted by them. Hopefully she wouldn't turn out to be a baddy!

Story aside, she provides additional skills Wolf Link use in the Twilight Realm, including jumping to unreachable places and teleporting.


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Determine which sequence to kill these so that no one is left to revive the group
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Just a normal day for a wolf
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Timing is the key in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD
Skills and Tactics:

In the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, it doesn't matter whether you are good at slaying enemies. If your motoring skills (fingers on joysticks and buttons) aren't good enough, timing is off by a second or you don't think before barging forward, chances are you'll die often and remain stuck for a very long time. It is a very good game to train your patience (remember fishing and plenty of deep breaths).


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Boss who likes an archaic challenge
Boss fights:

Boss fights are very interesting so far in the game. There is much more skills and tactics involved in a boss fight than actual damage required to get rid of them. There were times when I wasn't being attacked at all, and had enough time to stand there and figure out what to do. The boss in the picture for example, was very hard for me but not because I was hurt badly. It was because a skill I struggled with since the tutorial (I even spent extra time to practise there), and I had to use it for him. It took me a while, and I think luck has something to do with me winning (my wrist was a bit sore afterwards!).


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Stuck here because I wasn't fast enough
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
GAME OVER
Game Over and Retry:

Every time I see this screen I feel despair! But then the Retry button flashes and I'd click on it without thinking. It's not an easy game, but it's certainly a great game that makes me want to play. Anyway, you wouldn't want to spend money on an easy game which finishes too quick am sure?


Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Left: TV screen (taken with my camera)    Right: Gamepad screen (taken with Miiverse screenshot)
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda
Hyrule Field with the Twilight Realm border in the distance
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Midna Wolf Link, Princess Zelda

Graphics:

As mentioned before, the 1080p HD graphics is absolutely stunning, I hope I've shown enough pictures (without ruining the game for you) to show you that. There is some dreamy quality to it, whether it's in the normal world or Twilight Realm, and it seems softer on the Gamepad than on our TV as well.

The graphics is overall very smooth, although the odd times when there is a close up on one of the character, they appear to be a bit shakey. It doesn't bother me nor affect the overall gaming experience though.

Music:

The music and tunes in the game are beautiful as well, and I love it that they change, so you won't hear the same tune so much that you get fed up of it. The music also changes when an enemy is targeting you, so that's another way to alert you about danger.

Hidden Skill: When you have to call for your ancestor (I assume that it's Link's ancestor) to learn a new hidden skill, you have to skillfully play the same tune you hear.

Epona: Link can pick up Horse grass that plays a beautiful tune to call forth Epona.

Extras that are different from the original game (not mentioned above):

- A new item, Ghost Lantern, is added to the game to help players locate Poe Souls
- Fewer tears to collect to restore the light spirits (12 instead of 16)
- Additional level added to the wallet limit


What I think:

Overall, I think this is an amazing game. It is definitely one of those games that are massive, well thought out and designed to make it worth playing. There are other games which are bigger than this, and maybe with even better graphics, but there isn't much to do apart from repeatedly killing more things. I love The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD because I don't have to constantly kill things, and actually get to spend more time knowing the story, solving puzzles and trying to make my way through labyrinth like places. There is a higher sense of achievement I think, when you solve a dungeon or win a fight by using your brain than sheer force.

There are a lot of fine details in each of the areas in the game, whether it's patterns in the runes, specific skill set and items required to solve a particular puzzle, other mini quests to complete before you can solve the larger quest, etc, which shows how much attention to details the Legend of Zelda team in Nintendo has put into the game, it really is amazing. And they haven't forgotten about adding some humour to the game either!

All the above just makes me want to continue playing the game, even though it gets tough sometimes. It's definitely a game worth spending £39.99 on, or use it as a great excuse to finally get a Nintendo Wii U (a game console that comes with a Gamepad/ duo screen, super family friendly, with plenty of other games that are compatible with it as well!).

And for the Legend of Zelda fans? How can you not get the game, which is more than just graphics enhancement from the original Twilight Princess?