Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 03/04/2016

ESRB Rating: T for Teen

Reviewed on Wii U


I have a confession to make. I ran out and bought a Wii and Twilight Princess as     quickly as I could back when the game first came out. I played for about six to seven hours and enjoyed myself (or thought I did at least). But, one day I turned the game off and never turned it back on. There was just something frustrating about the game that I couldn’t put my finger on.

When I heard that Twilight Princess was coming to the Wii U in HD I knew, as a Zelda fan, that I had to give it another shot. And boy… am I glad that I did that. The new version of the game shined a bright spotlight on my previous play through and helped me discover the exact reason I struggled: The waggle controls.

The original version of the game made use of the Wii’s motion controls, but it only worked in a haphazard way. The designers essentially mapped different shakes and thrusts to different buttons. It was a far cry from the sword play I was hoping for.

The HD remake, on the other hand, utilizes the controls that were present on the GameCube version of the game and the experience is glorious. I was immediately more comfortable with playing the game and was able to progress well past my previous quitting point in a matter of hours.

Even better? The simple textures really pop with the new resolution. My kids hardly noticed that the game was almost a decade old. They were genuinely stunned when I told them about it.

Anyone who had reservations about their previous experiences owes it to themselves to give this game another try.

This is a classic Zelda adventure that serves as a great entry point to the series for fans who have never played a game in the series. My two sons are nine and seven and thoroughly enjoyed learning about some of the core themes in Zelda games like temple design and the relationship between Link, Zelda, and Ganon. My oldest has put in a lot of time with Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask so he found it especially interesting to see all of the different threads that connect the different games in the series.

Family Gaming Assessment

Twilight Princess HD is rated T by the ESRB. The ratings summary is as follows:

“This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of Link, a young hero who must save a fantasy kingdom by defeating an evil villain. From a third-person perspective, players explore caves/dungeons, solve puzzles, and use swords, arrows, bombs, and magic to defeat enemy creatures (e.g., skeletons, spiders, dragons, plant creatures). Some sequences allow players to use ranged weapons/abilities from a first-person perspective; one section allows players to engage in a one-on-one sword-fight with a boss character. Cutscenes occasionally depict characters impaled by swords or shot with arrows; one boss creature emits small puffs of purple fluid when stabbed.”

The main issue that parents will need to deal with here is the violence. The vast majority of the conflict resolution in this game is managed at the point of a sword, bomb, or bow and arrow. There are some darker themes as play here, but many of them are abstracted enough through the gameplay that they aren’t really of serious concern.


Playability Assessment

The Legend of Zelda series has never been “easy.” They are complex games with mind bending temples full of puzzles. Frankly, even the boss fights are mini puzzles. Twilight Princess HD doesn’t change any part of that formula.

One glaring concern for many is that there is no spoken dialogue during the game at all. Everything is done using text. While this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for many families as most early readers won’t have the controller skills to play the game anyway, but it does make playing with a shoulder surfer a bit more challenging as you will have to read all of the text like a storybook. (Bonus points though if you make up a cool voice for Midna!)


Zelda fans probably don’t need to hear this, but this is a very good purchase. The game holds up remarkably well (and is much better if you only ever played the Wii version).

We feel comfortable recommending this one to anyone looking for an adventure on their Wii U.

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By Stephen Duetzmann

Editor in Chief Founder/EiC Blogger, Podcaster, Video Host RE: games that families can play together.

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