Friday, March 4, 2016

The Twilight Princess HD Diaries, Day 2

Today I played through the Eldin part of the game and by now I have warmed up to it. At first I didn't feel like playing Twilight Princess again, but it's getting closer to the fun part. But that's really, what all this is: Replaying Twilight Princess. Unlike the other 3D Zelda remakes / remasters, I don't really get a new experience from all of this. When I played Ocarina of Time 3D for example, it was all about exploring all the new details everywhere, it was a semi-fresh experience and I enjoyed it a lot. Even The Wind Waker HD at least looked very fresh and beautiful with its new bloomy bloom everywhere.

Twilight Princess HD looks sharper, cleaner and has more detailed textures, but that's pretty much it. There's nothing really to marvel at. The lighting even is worse in my opinion, everything looks quite pale, like the brightness is always way too high. It's especially noticeable in the "dark caves", which are not dark anymore. You don't have to use the Lantern at all, because you can see everything clearly... (Update: that has been due to the ingame brightness settings. On the lowest it's as dark as in the original.)

But at least Hyrule Field looks very pretty, I give them that, especially the part around Kakariko Gorge. It feels like this is a nice little preparation for Zelda U, though I wish that Error wouldn't get stuck on every wall. I don't see, how they have improved the horse controls, if anything they made them worse, because the horse now steers too sharply.

Anyway, like yesterday I took note, what insects went missing from the Eldin Tears of Light section, all of them in Kakariko:

  • the insect on the graveyard
  • the insect inside the shop
  • the insect in the upper inn
  • the insect in the highest building

I'm not all that happy about this, because I actually enjoyed hunting all the bugs here. Now you have buildings that you can access as a wolf for no reason at all. If anything they should have removed the Tears of Light at Death Mountain, so you don't have to go all the way up there. But... I wouldn't have removed any of the bugs at all. You can't really compare this to the Wind Waker HD, where they have removed some of the Triforce Charts, because they at least replaced them with additional Treasure Charts. Here the bugs are just gone and some parts of the game went missing...

And at the same time nothing really got added. For example there's this house in Ordon, which always remains closed. Originally they didn't have time to add an interior to this house, but now they did... Why not finally satisfy the curiosity of the players here, instead of keeping a door that leads to nowhere?

I also would have liked, if you could select the Ordon clothes in the menu. In the past I imagined having a "Hero Quest" version of the game, where everything is more difficult and Link wears the Ordon clothes all the time, similar to the 2nd Quest in the Wind Waker. With them you would take double damage, so essentially their purpose would be the same as the Ganondorf amiibo. Too bad that we live in the amiibo age, where simple features like the Cursed Ring / Tights are only available, if you buy 15€ figurines. Sigh...

Apropos amiibo. I tried the Wolf Link amiibo for the first time, which only let me play the first set of floors of the Cave of Shadows, scoring 20 Rupees. And with only five blue hearts, it was quite tough. In the Cave of Ordeals there's always some strategy to avoid damage. But here you have to jump in as a wolf and charge your attack, which leaves you vulnerable. I like the highscore system and if it wasn't for the Bottomless Wallet, I would even label this as a good use of amiibo, but if you have to buy the figurines to complete your game, it's a bad thing.

The difficulty with the Ganondorf in normal mode also feels quite good, since I keep looking for hearts more often. Of course this is a usual problem early in the game. As soon as you got more Heart Containers and bottles, you probably won't notice the difference. And that's where Hero Mode will be interesting. But since I haven't played Twilight Princess in five years, it was a good choice to start with normal mode to practice.

Nothing much happened on the Miiverse Stamp front yet for me. I only found two more, one of them under water in the Goron Mines, where I'm really happy that they changed this. This was always one of these "can't get this now" chests, where my wallet used to be full. Well, you have to backtrack to this part anyway, because you need the Clawshot for another chest, but it's still nice that I don't have to leave any chests and that I occasionally find some stamps instead of Rupees. Probably the most exciting part about the remaster...

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