Twilight Princes HD - like its Wind Waker predecessor - adds a few new features to the game for a smoother gameplay experience

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is coming out soon, but why should you be excited for it?

Twilight Princes HD - like its Wind Waker predecessor - adds a few new features to the game for a smoother gameplay experience

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is the latest on the list of the remastered Legend of Zelda series titles. Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D, and The Wind Waker HD have all done a beautiful job of bringing new life to the games so far. However, with a game like Twilight Princess, it’s hard to imagine there’s much left to do other than polish up the graphics a little bit. So what exactly does Twilight Princess HD have to offer players?

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Visual Improvements

It just wouldn’t be an HD remaster if the game wasn’t in actual HD, now would it? Twilight Princess HD has many improvements over the Wii and GameCube versions, the first and foremost being the fact that the Wii U runs a native 1080p resolution compared to the original 480p cap on the Wii. This results in clearer – crisper – scenery, especially for objects in the distance.

Texture quality is also much higher than the original version, and some have been touched up to provide a better image. Some areas have had their textures completely replaced (such as Hyrule Field) while others have been modified to get rid of the muddy, washed-out feel of the original game. The lighting is also improved, and the bloom effects have been toned down.

Unfortunately, the geometry of the character models and landscapes have been largely untouched. This means we still have quirky flat panels for flooring in Hyrule Field (below). While it by no means ruins the entire gameplay experience, it certainly does not translate as well as the Wind Waker HD did since this game uses a slightly more realistic art style.

Gameplay Improvements and Changes

Twilight Princess had some hiccups when it came to gameplay, some of which were console exclusive. On the GameCube in particular, players were restricted to only using two items at once due to the limited buttons on the controller. Meanwhile, Wii players were stuck using motion controls that didn’t do any favors for anyone, as well as the game being mirrored. Twilight Princess HD remedies this by providing the best of both worlds: controls that take advantage of the surplus of buttons the Wii U has, the canonical map provided by the GameCube version, and motion controls for those who really want to use them.

Twilight Princess HD also features many of the improvements that were introduced in The Wind Waker HD. The Wii U Gamepad menu returns with a variety of new functions. The most obvious is the quick item swapping, but there is also the ability to transform into a wolf at will (provided players have already unlocked this feature) without needing to talk to Midna to do so. A minimap can also be used via the Gamepad, as well as Gamepad play without the need for a TV.

The most sought-after feature, however, is the addition of Hero Mode to the game. This feature can be accessed from the very first boot up, and it will allow players to play through the game with the following changes to gameplay:

  • Link will take double damage
  • The world is mirrored (like in the Wii version)
  • Hearts will not drop from enemies or pots

Another feature is the addition of Miiverse support. There are also 50 Miiverse Stamps (above) scattered around Hyrule and the Realm of Twilight for Link to discover. These stamps include the Hylian alphabet and various other character stamps.

Other features that have been changed are:

  • Improvements to riding Epona and Swimming (although it is unclear what has changed as of yet)
  • Tears of Light sections now only have 12 collectable pieces instead of 16
  • Rupees no longer return to Treasure Chests if the player’s wallet is full (best feature by far)
  • Increased wallet sizes (500/1000/2000 instead of original 300/600/1000)
  • A new item known as the Ghost Lantern that will allow players to find Poes during the day

Amiibo support

Twilight Princess HD – like many Wii U games nowadays – features amiibo support. In this game, the Wolf Link amiibo will activate an optional dungeon known as the Cave of Shadows, a dungeon similar to the Cave of Ordeals that features 40 floors that Link must clear while in wolf form. If Link clears this dungeon while he has the Giant Wallet, he will receive the Colossal Wallet that allows him to carry up to 9,999 rupees.

Meanwhile, scanning Link or Toon Link will replenish arrows, Zelda or Sheik will restore health, and Ganondorf will cause Link to take double damage. The last of these is particularly useful for hardcore players who want to go through the game in Hero Mode while taking 4x damage.

There you have it!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD has quite a few enhanced features that may warrant a revisit from veteran players and newcomers alike. Personally, I have my own reservations of the game, but you can read about those in my Rewind Review of the original Twilight Princess game for the Wii and GameCube.

Did you play the original Twilight Princess on GameCube or Wii? Will these improvements get you to buy the game a first/second time? leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

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David Fisher
Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!