Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Twilight Princess HD Diaries, Day 4

Today the big sidequest part continued and right after I made my previous post, I found the Ghost Lantern right away, which directly answered my question about its whereabouts. It's not really spectacular though...

When the use of Ghost Lantern was revealed, I labelled it as "most useless addition ever" and I probably have to take that back. Its usefulness shows in combination with the Poe counter on the maps, which I didn't know at the time. The lantern alone wouldn't be all that useful, but now you can look at the map and see what provinces have Poes left. For example there are a total of 19 Poes in the Lanayru Province, but the province many different areas including Lake Hylia and this is where the Ghost Lantern comes in. If you're only missing one or two Poes in a province, it lets you narrow it down to an area.

I guess, this is helpful for everyone, who never has collected all the Poes before. I still remember, how I criticized the whole Poe Souls quest, back when the game was released, especially when compared to the Gold Skulltulas in Ocarina of Time. The lack of an overview made it hard to help people, who were missing one Poe. It could potentially be anywhere and there was no way to narrow it down.

But the quest still has other issues, which weren't resolved with the HD version, mainly the lack of rewards and that there was no way to change the time of the day. If the lantern could do the latter, it all would be better. Unlike the normal lantern, you can't swing it, which feels weird, so I wish that they might add something that happens, when you swing the thing. Either make the time pass faster or summon nearby Poes during the day.

Next to collecting Poes, I also played quite some minigames, including the infamous Rollgoal for the Frog Lure. Using the gyro of the GamePad doesn't work very well, but you can just deactivate motion controls and play it with the Analog Stick, which works as good as on the GameCube. I only played the first eight levels and will keep the rest for when I have the Bottomless Wallet at the end of the game. In the original you got your wallet filled, when you've beaten all levels of Rollgoal, so that's how I plan to fill the 9999 Rupees.

Which didn't work as good for me were the minigames around around the Zora River. Someone in charge of developing Twilight Princess must have had some serious wall hitting fetish. If you hit a wall in these minigames, you screw up... In case of the bird minigame you even have to start over and the controls here aren't exactly awesome. With a little practice it's possible to get a highscore or even a perfect score. But overall this game has an issue with steering controls and running into walls... like with the giant boards in the Gerudo Desert, which came next.

Anyway, I did most of the sidequests at this point and before going into the Gerudo Desert I had:

  • 21 Golden Bugs
  • 23 Stamps
  • 29 Poe Souls

My stamp collection grew quite a lot, but many of the stamps got located in the hidden grottos, where you now have a good reason to visit them all.

So, there was the pinnacle of the game leading right into my favorite dungeon of the game, Arbiter's Grounds. I just love the atmosphere and the ideas. Also, every time playing this dungeon I notice, how some rooms have a similar architecture to the Earth Temple, my favorite dungeon in The Wind Waker. Well, both dungeon at least share the "undead" theme, so this might not be coincidence.

After the Arbiter's Grounds you can play a new section in the Cave of Shadows and I was surprised by its visual quality. The first six floors that you can play in the beginning look identical to the Cave of Ordeals, but floors 7 to 20 have a new stone design, which is nowhere else to be found in the game and therefore looks fresh. It feels like what the Cave of Ordeals always should have been, because it certainly looked very monotonous. There's even more variety here, like floors with lava or water. And I like, how you're forced to fight enemies, which you usually would engage in human form.

So, I'm quite enjoying this feature, despite the amiibo nature. Though right now it doesn't let me save records on the amiibo anymore for some reason, which makes me worried. The whole point of the cave seemed like improving yourself and it's a shame, if I make a good run and can't save the progress.. I got to Level 20 with only losing two hearts, but it didn't do anything.

Well, I then completed the fishing, where this is still my favorite version of fishing in the series. I just love the fishing pond and that you can bobber fish everywhere in Hyrule. On the GameCube I spent a lot of time with the fishing, I even made a list of all the locations that had fish, which I might put on my blog later.

And then continued to my 2nd favorite dungeon in the game, the Snowpeak Ruins. Or maybe it's my favorite, I can't decide, both have great design. I even used to have savegames for all the dungeons on different GameCube memory cards, so I could always replay the dungeons at any time (and I did so quite often). This would have been a great feature for a remaster such as this one...

Anyway, these are my collection stats right now:

  • 23 Golden Bugs
  • 29 Stamps
  • 45 Poe Souls

Only one Golden Bug and 15 Poes missing, but I know where they are, I just can't access them yet. And 21 more stamps to go, which is great. If I reach the end of the game and still haven't found them all, Nintendo will have done it right. I suppose that there are quite some stamps found during the Dominion Rod quest and I fear that there might be some stamps for perfect scores in minigames, e.g. the fruit popping flying wall hitting game.

No comments: