‘The Legend of Zelda,’ restored

When Nintendo decides to release and revamp one of their popular Legend of Zelda games, that can normally only be played on older systems, they don’t disappoint. The new “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD” is no exception and is a wonderful addition to the Wii U’s already expansive game library.

Like every “Legend of Zelda” game, you start your journey as Link, the series’ main protagonist. After running around doing various tasks, gathering items and Rupees and going over the game’s basic tutorials, you must guide Link throughout the Kingdom of Hyrule with the hope that he can defeat Ganondorf (or his alter-ego Gannon), rescue Princess Zelda, and save Hyrule from the impending darkness.

“Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD,” really lives up to its name. Its graphics have had a complete overhaul. Wandering around in in this new HD version of Hyrule offers the player many opportunities to bask in the game’s gorgeous world. On top of the overall look and views to be seen in the game, and stray pixels or oddly drawn features character’s faces have been smoothed out, making for a very seamless look while playing. In addition, any castles, homes, bridges, plants and anything else that may not be as noticeable at a glance have been completely retextured, to the point where individual bricks can be seen on the expansive Hyrule Castle rather than blurred or stray pixels.

Another substantial improvement to this classic game is the overall control the player has. Twilight Princess is distinctly different from others in the “Legend of Zelda” series because in this setting, Link will be occasionally turned into a wolf (until later on in the game when he is able to transform at will), and in this wolf form, you have Midna, a mysterious being who assists you throughout the game.

In the original release of the game, it was often difficult to control Link’s wolf form, as he was not as fluid as human Link. While not perfect, the controls now respond much faster, the combat feels more fluid in the sense that you’re not charging at enemies in rapid circles and Midna’s assistance is not as sporadic and actually helpful. Becoming a wolf in the game is no longer annoying and it helps the player truly appreciate what the intention was when the game was original released.

An interesting new feature this version of the game offers is the use of the popular Amiibo figures. If the player has access to the Link, Toon Link, Princess Zelda, Sheik or Ganondorf Amiibo figures and places them on their Amiibo reader on their Wii U gamepad, they will be able to access various benefits, such as having Link’s health restored or his arrows refilled. An exclusive Amiibo called “Wolf Link,” which depicts Link in his wolf form and Midna on his back, can be purchased with the game. Not only does it look awesome with your ever-growing and possibly excessive Amiibo collection, it also allows the player to experience a brand new dungeon: The Cave of Shadows.

Twilight Princess has arguably some of the best and most interesting dungeons and puzzles in the series, which makes The Cave of Shadows seem slightly disappointing.

It’s a long, arduous journey with a total of 40 floors to complete, and should not be attempted until the player has gotten at least seven to eight health hearts, have a few fairies in a jar available and maybe invests in a beneficial Amiibo or two. Save yourself the frustration and enjoy the main story until you’re ready to tackle it. While it’s a cool addition to the game, and allows the player to explore more Wolf Link combat, it’s definitely a long, repetitive journey for a very minimal reward (a Colossal Wallet that holds 9,999 Rupees), acting more as a purely combat dungeon, rather than a combination of puzzles and combat.

Overall, “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD” is a great addition to your game library, whether you played the original or are fairly new to “The Legend of Zelda” series. Even with a few flaws scattered here and there, its story, combat, dungeons and breathtaking world is exciting enough to attract any gamer, old and young.