My first memory of playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was at a friend’s sleepover party with two other peers to celebrate his 11th birthday. Even though this get-together happened more than 10 years ago, I still clearly remember the moment where we all sat by the luminescent fireplace and watched as my friend eagerly tore through the wrapping papers of the gifts we gave him. Just when we all thought that each of the presents were opened up my jovial confidante, his dad surprised him with one more. We stood there agape at the gold-colored decorative wrap that was in his grasp. It glistened with each passing second, it felt like a scene straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Silvester, Norman. Kids Ripped off by Fake Willie Wonka Golden Tickets Promising Visit to Chocolate Factory. Digital image. Daily Record. Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd, 10 Feb. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
After the dad handed him the gift with an affable grin, he went to bed and left us to our own devices. Once we all heard the sound of the door to his father’s bedroom close, our gazes immediately averted to the golden present in the birthday boy’s trembling hands. A few seconds passed as he sheepishly scratched through the gold exterior, my mind was racing at this point. After the wrapping paper was ripped apart, our eyes immediately lit up. It was the new Zelda game, Twilight Princess. Without any hesitation, we all rushed downstairs to his stylish basement, which resembled an Nintendo-themed “man cave” full of Mario and Zelda posters. Me and my friends took a moment to catch our breath as he inserted the disc inside the compact Wii console. For the next four or five hours, we took turns playing the game, and attentively looked for every nook and cranny in the first village, Ordon. Once we got past this tiny village, which basically serves as the tutorial, our level of excitement grew as we realized that this part of the game was only a tiny microcosm of this world.
Fontanini, Michael. REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Digital image. Oprainfall. Operation Rainfall, 30 Mar. 2016. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.
With such a nostalgic memory of this game, you might come away with the impression that this is one of my favorite games of all time. Well, even though the gaming landscape is a lot more different compared to how it was back then, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is still a game that I hold in high regard, and the HD remaster on the Wii U does bring a renewed sense of vigor to a game that’s starting to show it’s age. While the overall surroundings didn’t receive a massive aesthetical overhaul like Wind Waker HD, it’s still a beautiful game. The textures and features of the walls and character models look more crisp and clear, which does a good job of adding a sense of immersion to the game that I didn’t feel in the Wii counterpart. While the small and minute details look better than ever, I do feel disappointed that the environments didn’t get much improvements. Back in 2006, traversing Hyrule Field was exciting and left me wondering what I was going to see next. But nowadays, this large and encompassing area feels very bland and insipid; it felt more like walking through an empty sandbox. It was jaw-dropping at the time, but some parts of Twilight Princess look quite garish now.
While some aspects of this game have soured over the years, Their are still plenty of things that I love about the new edition. The combat mechanics are very intuitive, the dungeon designs are still pretty challenging, the music is engrossing, Hyrule Castle is intimidating and brimming with exubrance, and Lake Hylia still leaves me absolutely breathless. It’s tough giving a definitive opinion on Twilight Princess HD. The cynic in me thinks that this is just a product of it’s time and should’ve been left alone, but when I set those notions aside, it’s still the same captivating experience that I fell in love with as a child.
Twilight Princess Walkthrough. Digital image. Zelda Dungeon. Game Revolution, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2016. <http://www.zeldadungeon.net/twilight-princess-walkthrough/gerudo-desert/>.