Exhaustive review: Zelda Twlight Princess HD review

This review is ported from one of my Smashbaords posts.  I decided to start this blog with a recent review I have done, after that, I will do port the Sticker Star and then my Paper Jam review.

Note: this review spoils everything on the game, this review is intended as a retrospective on the game.  For more information, please check the about this blog page.

So, given this game was long (50 hours to almost 100% it) and how…..a lot happens, I will do my review a bit different. Instead of sequentially telling everything, I will do section of parts that happens so it might be messed up, but I will try my best to make it as logical flowing as possible.

My context before I played the game

I will admit I was not totally blind. I saw some parts of the game as I was curious in speedruns and of course heard from other people because it was from what i could tell a really good game. However, the speedruns I was watching skipped a lot of stuff and almost every cs so I was blind in the sense that I knew SOME stuff, but not much about the main thing like the plot and some details that this game did that was a bit unexpected.

In fact, when I was telling my impression, someone thought it was funny how my post felt like I was playing the game on release ten years ago……that should be blind enough lol :)

Stuff I realised before creating the save file

Already, just by reading the manual, this game shaped to be unexpected. 5 pieces of heart for a container? A dungeon warp out mechanic that can be used anywhere? It felt that it was improving on the series (I played every 3d Zelda before tp), but in a good way. Like I couldn’t really describe these stuff other than saying it was interesting. And…..these turnout to not be much of a change imo, but the game itself had a lot of stuff like these that DID changed a lot.

Actually playing the game

WHY YOU ARE NOT ASLEEP THE FREAK?

…..lol :)

It felt at the beginning……VEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRY slow. I don’t mean by this “introducing the player to the gameplay”, no, I mean everything felt slow and happy…..and innocent. Honestly, it;s the slowest feeling of starting the game of the series it’s like, you know something will happen, but it’s so slow you don;t even feel that way. Which referring to my above paragraph…was interesting.

Before i go deeper, let me just talk about the graphics right away because it;s a remake……there has to be something talking about them.

Was it really hd?

So, I knew the artstyle of the game was basically putting as much gradients as possible…..and somehow realistic looking. Except that when i played brawl…..I hated the artstyle a lot for these reasons. It felt…..too much. So when I was looking at tp I was like……will I really like this? It turns out that brawl did it very differently. Brawl imo did too much gradients like it was overkill. Tp however……I am playing in a 1080p monitor in 1080p……and although I see a freaking lot of details……it didn’t felt real. I mean I see a lot of gradient…..but it just doesn’t feel real. it;s like the artstyle is complex, but engineered in a way that I can;t qualify it as overkill in realistic. Because the thing about it is I ended up liking the artstyle. So much that I completely forgot there was this much gradient. In fact, thinking about it, I think the TEXTURES were where the realistic were, but not in the models. Like if I would look at the textures, they would feel very complex, but in game…..they are organised in a way that feels simple. Which is interesting because I love complexity inside simplicity, that’s the entire reason I love Paper Mario so much. So when I look at the game, it doesn’t take long to realise what is going on, but the details in the scenes are quite complex. I feel that tp might be a game that I just might remember its artstyle a lot because it told me that you CAN have complexity in textures, but not necessary overkilling how realistic it looks which Nintendo thankfully seems to avoid.

As for how the hd changes…..I have to watch more videos, but when I was looking up video when I was stuck (more on the logistic later), it felt HORRIBLE in comparison. It might be yt being sucking a lot of compressions, but really, it felt a huge changes. I guess I would say it feels more natural. Also, lots of details, loved that :)

Controls

…..tbh, I have nothing to say. Take oot………..

that’s literally how all the controls works lol. Like, they added stuff depending on context and such and there is some qte (not that much though) like you can sense and dig as wolf, but take the basic idea…..it;s oot. Which the only thing I have to say about this is…..this is a 3d Zelda…..oot was a nice feeling in controls as a 3d Zelda……why would you change something that works already?

Seriously, even tww felt oot.

Plot flow

The first moments are just as i described, slow, and just being peaceful.

So after a while, just as I would expect the whole game would be this slow…..

BOOM!

in 2 minutes, EVERYTHING happens. Like, all link’s friends gets kidnapped, you get bashed on the head, twilight appears, a beast drag you into it, you turn into a wolf and there’s that really weird looking person looking at you and you end up in jail as a wolf with really weird lighting effect……

JUST WHAT THE FREAK?

This is like the most abrupt plot twist in ANY Zelda game. like omg, it felt so sudden (the fact I was using a 1080p monitor just…..it made everything worse because of how big the screen felt). Like you have no idea how I did NOT see this coming. I knew you would play as a wolf, but that? no.

Which let me just talk about how the plot flows: it’s imo the most interesting I have seen in a Zelda game. how the plot goes is you get very stable and slow stuff that happens…..before EVERYTHING happens. The plot drop and twist and COMPLETELY random feeling they like come when you least expect it. The one I have in my mind are just before the horse chase, just after the mines dungeon, arriving in the dessert and the most mind blowing one, before entering the palace of twilight. There is a lot of plot drop and to give you an idea, tww had around……2-3 big one. Tp has at least 5, that;s huge. Overall, this result in the game feeling very intense so much that you can;t be freaking sure what will happen other than….something will happen. So piece of advice…….if you HAD to stop play the game, save THAN power off because if you wait until the end of the dungeon…..no, very bad Idea, I did after I was hearing Midna lament and I had to wait a whole day to play again :(

Anyway point is, I feel it;s actually the plot that flowed the best to me in a Zelda game. MM would go second because I just loved the sequence travel idea as a main plot flow mechanic, but tp is just…..mind blowing every time.

Midna and the plot itself

This is going to be the core part of the review because…..it was something.

I knew nothing about her, so everything that was exposed was completely unknown to me. All I knew is she was the Navi of oot…..and of course, as this is a Zelda game, I expected to have a Navi or ……Fi (I hate Fi btw).

But although this is the equivalent in feature, it;s not the same thing at all. Especially the first time she talks to you……I can only describe it by saying…..what is up with her? Like the contrast is real, she DOES break the chain while she clearly had other business to do……but she acts as if she wanted to torture you or something instead of ACTUALLY having a valuable reason to free you……wtf? Now I expected that there was a misunderstanding somewhere and it would be explained soon enough, BUT NO! Turns out this gets dragged on for…..most of the game tbh. Well, it;s more obvious before the fourth dungeon, but from the jail to the fourth dungeon…..the tease is so real.

The ENTIRE effect that Midna is doing is you cannot be near without wondering “do I trust her?”. So get this, she is your most valuable feature to progress through the game and you clearly need her……but you cannot walk without wondering if you should really be assuming she wants good. AND SHE EVEN TAUNTS YOU! No seriously, she basically taunts…..everyone but mostly on link and Zelda. Like, when I wrote my impressions on saying she is savage…..I meant it geez, literally calling people idiots…..

So all in all, she gives the impressions that everything you do is for ONLY her. Which is already unexpected, usually in Zelda games, you do stuff clearly because the world needs it or something, that;s your classic Zelda plot tbh. This game…..feels that nothing you do matter this much…..however, you know it is because Zelda and every spirits of lights tells you that.

But then you just keep asking yourself the question for one thousand dollars……who he freak is Midna exactly? Because let;s be logical, there is clearly a reason she broke the chain and there is clearly a reason she talk about some of her life (like Zant and such). So objectively, she had to want good but subjectively…..you just wonder and you have to follow her which is the worst part here: as clueless as you are, you HAVE to blindly trust her, it;s like…..you don’t have the choice.

The relation with link and Midna because of this……gray trust area is why I think this game main plot is the deepest of the series, the plot REVOLVES around that until the very end and it does it so well. And I didn’t said MM is less deep, I am saying that the MAIN plot is deeper including the mm one (which was not very deep, but it was what surrounded it that was insane). This is how the game can have so little text and so short moments of plot twist, but with a huge meaning. It even goes down to Midna’s emotions, you just question them. especially when you see the broken mirror, holy crap she was VERY mad and you can;t really react as much because……you are so clueless…..it’s like it’s not possible to really understand what she feels. The fact they managed to do this on the freaking permanent guide is imo how the plot got this far. it;s really well engineered to just drag on with anything. Everything she does is questionable….but you are near her the entire time. It’s only when the mirror is assembled that EVERYTHING make sense.

And the mind blown was real here. I mean, it didn’t took me long to figure out Zant wasn’t normal and something happened to him, but Midna took me most of the game. It turns out she actually was neutral from the very beginning because she simply didn’t care about link…..all she cared was restoring her world…..except not being aware of the Ganondorf business and only knowing she had to use the light world. Because of that, she simply just had to use link. Which as silly as it sounds is the entire reason she is your guide, she simply didn’t know both link and her actually wanted the same thing without knowing. Midna wanted to bring back the twilight like normal and link of course wants to bring light like normal, except both goal HAS to happen at the same time so this means that both character wanted the exact same thing……without either of them knowing it…..

Then there’;s the whole story that she was the actual ruler and not Zant, but the point I am trying to make is the idea behind the plot and Midna is genius. Both the player and the guide doesn’t even know they want the same thing so you as a player is clueless./…..and you take a very long time to realise that same goes for Midna, she was clueless in her own way, but the way the player is clueless, Midna isn’t.

So to come back to why Midna is very likeable…..it;s because of how she changes very subtly. She goes from cursed princess of twilight that needs link to restore her world and ONLY that to actually liking the light world and at the end……I think there was a sign of Midna actually liking link. All this being mostly implied and not that explicit. Yes, the plot drop on who she is are explicit, but the changes aren’t. it’s like the text feels less savage, less rough and just….more friendly overall (I mean, sometime, she even goes near link’s shoulder which was quite funny actually). And all of this is gradual I mean, when she got cursed the second time and she sees Zelda, she is even assuming Zelda wanted harm and suggest link to both leave her and stop Zelda while Zelda was healing her. After the healing however, this is when you notice a lot of changes from her. Again, this sin;t explicit, it’;s just it feels that way. To make this even more obvious, she is almost sympathising with link, I mean…..that part when she wonder if the king Bokoblins spoke…..that was quite funny :)

So yeah, I think the main plot alone is what makes this game so good. it’s like, begging you to play to know more and it goes for the entire game, i love this. like i said, for a Zelda game, it;s interesting.

Wolf mechanic

I quite liked them. The only thing I question is the difference between pressing a and b. The only good use i found for b is breaking window (I don’t get why a doesn’t work). For attacking enemies it takes forever unless you spam a…..I don;t get it tbh.

But the scent, the sense and dig, I really liked them, especially in twilight world where…..well I might just talk about them now because it would be logical.

Twilight sections

The reason imo the twilight maps feels very good is because they take place before the light version and the search for the tears changes how you perceive exploration. In fact, I realised I put so much attention to check EVERYTHING in twilight that when I got to the light version, it felt so familiar. I loved that feeling so much that I actually was disappointed there was only 3 sections. idk, but I would have wanted more it feels so good especially with that music to just have the feeling of being an external observer that tries to solve everything. it feels that way, you just are reacting and observing a fixed world where no one can see you to actually fix it. This is why being in the light world after all of this feels so familiar, you explored so much in twilight, you are fine in light. I really love this and i even wish the Zelda games would do this more, it makes everything so much easier afterwards.

however, 2 things I need to point out that was annoying logistic wise. The window in Kakariko had very awful hotboxes that even after I looked it up to know you had to break one, it took 10 times. The other thing is how am i supposed to know you had to warp the column of fire to melt the ice? Sure, she tells something hot……but this is not what I had in mind…. however……the logistic of the game tbh is really good, there are minor sins tbh.

Overworld navigation

At least they give you the warp anywhere relatively early because it;s HUGE. I mean in scales, the map are so big, the horse feels a lot more useful all of a sudden. Speaking of that horse….best feeling in all games that had it. Like, the graphics effects, the call…..everything felt so much better. In fact, I LOOOOOOVVVVVEEED the horse battle part, it felt so much intense!

Though, you do need to bomb a lot of roads, you would be using the warp so much that you might forget they exist :)

Link

Little section on this because I feel link feels a lot better. I mean, the item get theme is really good and it feels better, but the link face when you get a dungeon item, piece of hear or 100 -200 rupees is like…..lol I really liked how they did his face and such. in fact, there’s a lot of details like in the zora armor and even if you go in the water, the clothes looks wet for sometime. Also, that face when Midna gets on his shoulder :)

Npc

Someone told me the npc faces were bad……they weren’t to me at all. I quite enjoyed the npc tbh, I didn’t expected the zoras back and I liked them in oot. What was really good are the goron, I really liked their sumo theme they had :) Overall, i think they are really great npc :)

Dungeons…..finally I will talk about them

I just felt waiting before talking about them lol :)

They are simply put GREAT!  Even city in the sky which I heard from at least 2 people was bad….to me it was really good. I actually watched some videos Nintendo put up about how the dev made the original game and they said something I clearly agree: they made the dungeon so that it feels more open (you can’t be more open than city in the sky lol). The reason they did this is to make it feel it was bigger and I actually liked that direction and I actually think the series should follow that. I don;’t know, there’s something about this that just feels better.

Let me bring some noticeable stuff about he dungeons because I am not going through all of them, they are all very good, had very interesting puzzles and very well thought logistic.

Forest: these butts lol :) (yes, this is the only thing I have to say).\

Mines: OMYGAWD MAGNETIC BOOTS! It felt so good, I loved to walk on walls and ceiling :)

Lakebed: this totally blew my mind guys but they finally did an awesome job at a water dungeon. *applauds* , no seriously, they FINALLY got it right like it took this long to get a water dungeon that is really fun to do. The oot one was not this bad….but quite annoying unless you are playing the remake (freaking touch controls) and the mm one was……blergh, tww was cut (lol), but the tp one….really fun to do. The secret is instead of relying on a freaking water level or trying to go into very strong current and TRYING to follow them……you control how the water goes and you use the water to do stuff instead of being used by the water. This is how I would put it, it;s very simple in structure, you just activate 2 lever to have water out and you control its current to activate stuff. Please, do the other water dungeons with this in mind, it was awesome :)

Arbiter’s ground: it was good, but the only thing I didn’t liked is how am I supposed to know you have to rotate the bottom room so that it magically aligns with the hole in the top room to hookshot? had to look it up.

Snowpeak ruins: HOW THESE ARE RUINS IT’S A FREAKING HOUSE! But I really loved that actually, having a house as a dungeon felt silly. And the item……omg I felt so good when i got it……but then I realised it took so long to throw the ball that it just felt less good :( Especially against these ice thing……they are so quick…..Oh btw, loved the ice puzzle :) Btw, loved its boss music.

Temple of time: LOVE THE MUSIC! Also, I really liked the concept of doing a back and forth through the dungeon, the second time feels very different.

City in the sky: unlike what I heard it didn’t felt confusing to me unless you look at the map which doesn’t tell much, but it’s not like water temple where you have 10 path in one room, it;s quite linear. The one thing I will say is it;s a bit too easy to get a respawn at the beginning, there’s a lot of loading time and the music is atrocious. holy crap, give me 30 seconds I don;t like it, give me 3 hours, I hate it. Why put so much obnoxious yelling? hyeheyehyeheyheyeheyheyeheyeh wtf?

palace of twilight: THE HANDS OMG!!! I was wondering where the wall masters were……well they are fun especially with that music omg this music when a wall master is near the ball……it haunts you so hard and everything becomes so nerve racking. The only disappointing thing is i wished they were more present. Btw, very short dungeon.

Hyrule castle: it’s your typical last games moments, it’s mostly enemies battles, but it’s fun,. btw, that chests rooms lol :)

cave of ordeals: yes I did it, felt very intense and got it on my second try and omg the last floor is cruel……(it’s 3 Darknut). Btw, I loved the Darknut in this game, it actually felt challenging.

Bosses

Two words: too easy. I mean it’s like I was playing Super Paper Mario here, it was WAY too easy so much that it felt I was actually speedrunning….. The only one that were challenging were….well I only felt it was ganondorf tbh….. Some has really good music (especially the music that plays where you can hit it), but the difficulty is not impressive. Still much better than seasons where you have to break the crap out of your mind to do them…..

Music

Not my favourite in terms of style tastes, the ost is really good. This is of course excluding the city in the sky music, that one can go somewhere that isn’t my ears, but it;s really solid. One thing I will note is the amount of oot remixes….there’s a lot of them. Which imo is a good thing, oot had a good ost….but felt a bit lacking. The only reason it;s not my favorite style is the game has complex music, but some of them are simple for me to love them a lot. My top 3 would be hidden village which I am currently gushing on, Midna’s lament which seems to be a classic in this game and the snowpeak boss theme. Midna’s lament btw, I heard it before and I never got why it was so known, but now I know: it overrides any music and plays where Midna……is…..just looking sick and sad and I just pity her :( An interesting thing about one of these Nintendo video is that theme is supposed to be a mixed main theme and Midna theme and the goal of the music was trying to express the desolation of Midna, but it also tells how close both link and Midna will be after that part is done. which tbh, it really does that job well and I get why it’s a so respected track, even with the rain to add ambience. for hidden village…..it’;s just epic, but imo a bit too short. I will be ripping the ost soon for sure, some tracks were really good enough :)

Sidequests

I really think this game has the best hint system out of any Zelda game, finally another series that was smart enough to put the earthbound system. I loved the Paper Mario one, and the Zelda one is similar but unfortunately, it has less features. All you have is main story and heart piece……I wish there would be a bit more, but it;s a good start. For those who never played earthbound, you basically pay for the game to give you an hint, but the system is global so wherever part you are in the sequence, it should tell you. In Paper Mario that system was used, except they added stuff like badges and star block locations, felt very fun to 100% because of that. which is the reason I got every heart pieces :)

For the poes, it was THIS close to be fun….but then it’s night only, the game has no way to skip night and it takes….8 minutes to switch……god. at least they had a detector and a zone that indicates how many you found, but just why the night only? Also, thanks internet for telling me 3 of them are in the cave of ordeals…..I would have liked to know this before…..

As for the bugs…..well it’s fun to hear the ticking sound and rush to it, but without any detector for a MAP, it;s horrible. there is even one that merges perfectly with he grass colors in a huge map……yeah, you had to be lucky there.

As for the bottle…..2 of them are like wtf? How am I supposed to get that one guy is selling a BOTTLE CONTAINING oil while normally, every Zelda games shows the bottle, but sells the liquid……urgh. And for the one littered……nothing told me someone did throw it….

Didn’t do much for fish and stamps because no way to make them easier and it’s not worth my time.

However, it felt a bit pleasing to almost 100%. Felt clear and precise to do and where. I just don’t like when there’s a part of luck into it and I know the series revolves on this, but that doesn’t prevent me from not liking it.

Liked the hidden skills, some very useful, some…..I can;t use them because it;s so hard to do like mortal draw (I used it on a turkey though :) ). Especially liked the songs too, I heard song of healing :)

Misc

The text sound feels bland to me, but the white on yellow text WTF? It makes is so annoying to read at least Midna is blue on black, fine, but just…..white on yellow as main text is so annoying! The way the text is deep in meaning means you have to be careful to what you read so….urgh.

The hawkeye controls felt awkward.

I once drank a purple chu juice while I didn’t know what it did……it was close :(

Why no post game :(

Overall

I still liked tww more, but this is a really good Zelda game that I can summarise by saying it was…interesting. You just don’;t expect this to be a Zelda game with how it does stuff, but it is one, it really is. i feel it’;s the game that broke many conventions in the series that i think were very good idea to do for the need of the game. the plot mainly is how much this game shines and I guess the dungeon, but Midna is like the centre of many mind blown.

One thing to note, i noticed a lot of oot inspiration and to keep this in mind, I liked that the game did this considering its intent was to give what people wanted before tww (honestly, idc about this because tww imo is my favourite). It felt more improvements on oot because oot…..had a lot of flaws imo. The idea was what made the game a classic because it’s so well done, but clearly had rooms for improvements and I think tp did a lot of the job on that part.

But yeah, really great game :)

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