My Weekend With Twilight Princess HD

I spent a good part of the weekend playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD that came out Friday for Wii U. I played the Wii version of Twilight Princess a bit, but bounced off of it because I found the motion controls tedious. This remastered version is based on the GameCube controls, and so it’s all buttons instead of waggling a Wii remote at the screen.

Besides Link glowing in one scene for no apparent reason, the updated graphics look fabulous. While I don’t find the art style quite as appealing as what they did with Wind Waker HD, and the graphical fidelity is nowhere near something like The Witcher 3, I haven’t ever felt like I’m looking at a ten year old game. If anything it’s exceeded my expectations graphically. Some of the controls have aged less well, but nothing that makes playing the game not fun. The two control issues I’ve noticed is that the camera will sometimes do strange things, and getting Epona to turn around is painful.

Anyway — I’m going to be playing more of it this week. If you have a Wii U and like Zelda games, definitely check it out.

The Kinect is dead

Ben Kuchera writing for Polygon:

The real story though, or at least the lack of story, is that the Kinect is well and truly dead.

When the Xbox One launched you couldn’t buy one without a Kinect. Microsoft knocked it out of the park with their E3 announcements today, but missing was any mention of the Kinect. They’re also dropping the price on the Xbox One bundles which don’t come with it, but not on the ones that do. I don’t know if “dead” is the right word, but it’s certainly on life support.

Having used an Xbox One both with and without a Kinect, I think it’s kind of a shame that the Kinect hasn’t done better. Without it the Xbox interface is kind of hard to get around. With it, it’s great. I use the voice commands to pause video, raise or lower volume, use the snap feature, and go to apps all the time.

I don’t see how anyone who’s used an Xbox One both ways could not prefer having a Kinect. That’s not enough though. It’s still not strictly necessary, expensive, and doesn’t make the games themselves any better (which is the reason people buy game consoles). Microsoft had a cool thing that they did a bad job making a case for, and now it’ll probably just kind of fade away until it’s axed in the next console revision.

Oh well. We’ll always have this bullshit vaporware promotional video of the first Kinect from 2009:

All the Zelda

Over the last few months I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed with Zelda games. I’d never really played one before last summer, and now I want to play them all, except maybe “The Adventure of Link” because I hear it’s terrible. 

Given that the hardware I have is a Wii U and a 3DS, there might be a few that I won’t be able to play, but I think I’ve collected all that I can. Maybe someone can let me know if I’m missing any though. 

Here’s what I’ve acquired so far – new, used, or Virtual Console – broken up by platform it ass originally released for:

NES

  • The Legend of Zelda (1986)

SNES

  • A Link to the Past (1991)

Gameboy

  • Link’s Awakening (1993)

Gameboy Color

  • Oracle of Ages (2001)
  • Oracle of Seasons (2001)

Gameboy Advanced

  • The Minish Cap (2004)

Wii

  • Twilight Princess (2006)
  • Skyward Sword (2011)

DS

  • Phantom Hourglass (2007)
  • Spirit Tracks (2009)

3DS

  • Ocarina of Time 3D (2011)
  • A Link Between Worlds (2013)
  • Majora’s Mask 3D (2015)

Wii U

  • The Wind Waker HD (2013)

My plan is to play them all in the order they were originally released in (not the date a remake was released), excluding the ones I’ve already beat. Now that I look at it though I’m realizing this is going to take forever.