Tell me... Do you ever feel a strange sadness as dusk falls?
(protip: to upload screenshots on the Wii U pause a game, enter the web browser, and you can then upload a screenshot using whatever random photo-uploading site you like)
It's a toss-up between this and Ocarina of Time as to which is my favourite - Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game I ever played, but in Twilight Princess everything just looked and felt *right*. When originally playing it I found myself at time I often found myself exploring just for the sake of it - the whole world is full of history and secrets to find. What where the ruins in Eldin Province for (no idea, but I found a hidden grotto in the field)? Is there anything down the gorge south of castle town (yes, once you have double hookshots)? Can I get up on to the parapet above the town gates (yes, kinda - and there’s a chest)? Does anything happen in the open-air theatre (no - but if you shoot all the Keese/whatever some rupees fall)? Can I cross to that bit in the edge of the desert (which isn’t even on the map)? The list just goes on and on, and at times I'd just ride around Hyrule Field to see if there was anything more to find.
Anyway, first impressions. Well in Twilight Princess HD things are the right way around, which is to say that Link is left-handed (they flipped it for the Wii version)... which has completely screwed my half-remembered mental map of where everything is. The more traditional controls will take some getting used to after Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword both using Wiimote-based controls - even though Twilight Princess wasn't actually using the direction of the Wiimote for the sword movement, it still felt right as a control system. Learning the spin attack timing will also take a while as since there's no nunchuck to shake, it's triggered by holding B - but with the wooden sword at least there's no indication when it's charged, and the classic quick spin attack (spin the control stick and hit B) doesn't work. But that's all minor things, and more of a "Damn you muscle memory!" problem than anything else.
On the game itself, so far I've been wandering around Ordon Village doing various odds and ends (it does seem to be a Zelda tradition that the home town would fall apart without Link there to fix everything...), herding goats, getting flattened by escaping goats, and finally acquiring a shiny slingshot followed by a surprisingly effective wooden sword. Then of course I immediately had to put them all to use to save Talo who'd run after one of the monkeys and gotten himself captured. It's the usual gentle warm-up and introduction to the controls and game mechanics, and my one annoyance during the whole thing is trying to shield and then realising that I don't have one yet (ouch!). This is why I'm not playing Hero Mode - the combination of flipped world, unfamiliar controls, ever-so-slightly different timing, and half-remembered map from a good 6 or 7 years ago will not end well. Especially as Twilight Princess starts with just the traditional 3 hearts (Skyward Sword was incredibly generous with its six hearts), and Hero Mode not only has double damage but no heart drops.
Next up: onwards to Hyrule Castle!
Ocarina of Time has not been forgotten, and nor has Skyward Sword...