The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is out this week (3rd March) and in our review we've been full of praise for the release. An entry in the series that can certainly cause some debate among fans, this writer is firmly in the camp that believes in its merits, with the Wii U edition being a definitive version.
Ahead of the release we were given the opportunity to pose some questions to series lead Mr. Eiji Aonuma - who served as Producer on the Wii U version - and the Assistant Director of the HD release, Ms. Tomomi Sano. Though the full interview will be published on 2nd March, one of Aonuma-san's answers provided a pleasing context to his work and what - from his personal perspective - helps Twilight Princess stand out.
We asked Aonuma-san for his thoughts on what makes it a particularly notable, important entry in the series, and why he feels it can resonate with the Wii U audience. He then told us about how his wife and son connected with the original release, and how that may reflect a level of appeal that this particular game in the franchise holds.
This is a very difficult question. There's lots of different things that make Twilight Princess an important title, and I don't have a single conclusive answer for you. However, there was one thing rather personal to me that stands out. Until the original version was released, my wife had never shown any interest in playing any of the games I'd made. But all of a sudden, without any encouragement from me at all, she played through the whole of Twilight Princess together with our son, who was just three at the time.
I asked her why she decided to play and she replied that she thought the game would be too difficult for our son to play by himself, so at first she wanted to help him by playing through the first part of the game for him. Before she realized it though, she found that she wanted to play through to the end herself. I think that maybe the setting of the game somehow appeals to the kind of people who wouldn't normally be interested in this type of game.
Even my son, who at the time was too scared of the Imp Poes to play the game has recently played through the Wii version. I didn't have to encourage him to either, he said that he just thought that maybe now he'd be able to play though to the end. I think that maybe this game has something to it that means you can play it even now without the game feeling too dated. And I think that is even more true with this HD version where you can experience the setting much more vividly. I hope that both people who played the original and those who didn't will be able to really enjoy delving into the game's world in this new version. (I'm quite sad that I wasn't able to tell my son that if he waited a little bit longer then he'd be able to play an HD version, haha).
As the first 2016 arrival in the series, therefore kicking off The Legend of Zelda's 30th Anniversary year, Twilight Princess HD has plenty to live up to. If it connects with the Wii U audience as the original did with Aonuma-san's family and more gamers besides, perhaps it can start the celebratory year in style.