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A Link Between Worlds
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The Wind Waker
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Skyward Sword
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The Adventure of Link
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The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda:
Wii U
Walkthrough
Overview

Well, let’s put everything in perspective right from the get go.  Skyward Sword is worth every dollar, pound sterling, or euro that you spend on it.  Seriously, unless you’re waiting for it as a Christmas gift or have absolutely no time due to classes or final exams coming up, why are you taking time to read this review?  Go.  Play.  You can thank me later.

Skyward Sword is an amazing game by all accounts.  Out of the last several Zelda games—handheld and console titles considered—it’s by far the freshest look at the Legend of Zelda that exists.  It still upholds the same quality bar that Nintendo is famous for with their established franchises, and the fun permeates almost every square inch of the title.  I have to say that the game isn’t completely perfect though, and while no game really is, I feel that several of the bits and bobs in the game really are unforgivable.  Yet as a whole, I do believe that Nintendo has learned a good number of lessons from the mistakes and missteps from earlier renditions of the series.

Before I go forward, I want to mention that this review will have spoilers.  These spoilers will be marked by section, so if you’re worried about learning too much of the story, don’t read the section marked “heavy spoilers.”  Think of this review like a postmortem, a review to really dig into once you’ve finished the game or a deep dive into the nitty gritty to find what worked, what didn’t, and exactly why.  That said, let’s begin.

Controls

The controls of Skyward Sword are one of the mixed parts of the game, and any reviewer that attempts to break the game into its component parts (gameplay, graphics, and the like) and then create some positive score shouldn’t in all conscious be giving this game a 10/10.  Don’t get me wrong about this; the controls aren’t completely horrible.  They’re just unpolished, especially in comparison to the Wii controls found in Twilight Princess.  But let’s not start with the bad; let’s focus on the good first.

The best part of the controls is the advanced swordplay mechanics thanks to the Wii Motion Plus.  Honestly, that part is fairly sophisticated.  It actually gives new life into a game that has become bogged down by the familiar slingshots, arrows, and bombs.  While the Wii Motion Plus will occasionally have trouble being completely accurate with your intentions (I often wanted to swing horizontally, but I must have been a little sloppy because I would often perform a diagonal slash), it’s usually fairly precise and makes combat fresh and exciting, though part of this is also thanks to the new enemy design mechanics making them small puzzles.

Combat in the thick of it is a pretty amazing thing, and you actually feel limited by physics and pressured by time constraints.  The ability of Link in both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess to leap to the side and do some sort of somersault-roll completely halfway around an enemy when Z-targeted to hit them in the back always seemed crazy overpowered and physically impossible; SS’s Link doesn’t have that much flexibility.  Might be why Link is considered lazy in the game, heh.  Learning to use your shield is important, but it’s also important to know that you just can’t hold the block button forever and expect to get out of things unscathed, especially with the constant fear that your shield could break if you give it too much abuse.  Thankfully that fear gets mitigated later in the game, but you almost always have to give it some iota of thought.

The game no longer pauses time when you attempt to select a new item, and this is perhaps the singular most advanced thing to happen to Zelda combat in the series.  You have to be on top of things if you need to, say, swap weapons or, more importantly, swig some potion.  Unlike previous console games, you can only have one item queued up for quick selection (instead of the three C-items in Ocarina of Time or D-pad items of Twilight Princess).  What’s more is that it’s impossible to key your main item to a bottle, so to regain hearts on a whipstitch, you have to select it and quickly drink it before your hearts actually do run out.  Fairies will save you from death, but that comes with its own penalty that they, similar to A Link to the Past, only restore six hearts instead of your full life meter (akin to Ocarina of Time), which makes potions—which can completely fill your gauge—all the more relevant.  Bosses, therefore, can become frantic exercises to find safe spots to get a little extra breathing room to heal yourself. This is especially true if you’re getting your butt handed to you as you’re still attempting to figure out the puzzle behind the enemy.

But I mentioned that the controls weren’t polished.  While things work generally well throughout the game, it’s the little annoyances that really get in the way and frustrate you.  First off, some of the controls are just awkward or inconsistent with the rest of the game.  Specifically, it feels like half of the time you’ll need to use the Wii Motion Plus’ waggle while the other half require the Nunchuck’s analog stick.  Even more worrying is that sometimes those two distinct control styles are juxtaposed together.  For example, if you’re swimming underwater (in order to go down primarily), you’ll use the WMP; however, once you let go of the A button to gently float to or swim on the surface, you suddenly have to use the analog stick.   It’s entirely awkward to suddenly switch control schemes the moment you press or depress A.

As far as the Wii Motion Plus goes, there are also inconsistencies with how you move things to the left and right.  Some actions you need to move the controller physically left or physically right (a rotation in yaw) to induce the desired movement while others require you to tilt the controller about its axis (a rotation in roll).  And unfortunately, each action doesn’t always use the natural rotation to do so.  Walking across a tightrope seems more natural with a twist action, but it’s actually governed by movement.  Moving and climbing small boxes is also pretty annoying.  Once you’ve finished moving a box, you can’t just climb it immediately; you have to back up so that you can take a few running paces towards it so that you can actually climb it.

Perhaps the most annoying part of the controls comes from the issue where a player frequently has to recenter the cursor whenever you go into first-person mode.  Not everyone has experienced this problem, but it’s not just a fluke that they’ve not encountered it; it’s totally a factor of how those players position the controller when switching to first person.  The moment you go to first person, whichever direction you’re pointing the controller becomes the center of the screen automatically… even if you’re not pointing at the center of the screen.  (Skyward Sword actually doesn’t require the use of the Sensor Bar.)  So if you’re holding your sword out to the right, but you move it directly in front of you before going first person, you’ll have no problem.  But if you hit the button to go to first person beforehand, then if you’re first movement  is to “center” your controller by holding it forward, the game will start scrolling seemingly uncontrollably, making you have to react quickly to recenter before you lose your target.

One last issue to discuss before leaving the subject of controls, the camera controls in the game are weaker than they’ve been in previous Zelda titles, including Ocarina of Time, which is pretty amazing considering the concept of “good” 3D camera control was still in development back in 1998.  The main issue here comes from what happens when you go from third person into first person when Link isn’t facing forwards.  In every 3D Zelda title up through now, if Link is facing towards the camera (you’re seeing Link’s face), and you press anything that will go straight to first person, the camera will spin around 180° behind Link and immediately do an about face.  However, Skyward Sword doesn’t spin the camera around; you immediately go into first-person mode facing the direction of the camera, instead immediately spinning Link back around so he’s looking at what you, the player, were looking at.  It eschewed the standard control mechanism of the past four 3D Zelda games, which will no doubt frustrate long-time players.

Characters

For many hours I honestly believed that there weren’t going to be many important characters in the game outside of Link, Zelda, and Debbie.  Those are the three strongest characters in the game by far, but thankfully the cast of significant characters doesn’t end there.  I won’t get into too many specifics of the other characters that become story-relevant, but thankfully there are others in the game that actually play a part in the unfolding of the story over time, which is a thankful relief.

Still once you leave the echelon of first- and second-tier characters, the characterizations of those watching the events unfolding aren’t entirely weak.  In fact, what’s nice is that many of the denizens of Skyloft outside of your mains aren’t entirely one-dimensional; in fact, very rarely will you find characters inside Skyloft simply saying the same line over and over until the game’s conclusion.  While they will often have their “single line of the moment” (though not always, to be sure), those lines are usually in context with recent events.  You can’t help but be slightly suspicious that all of those townspeople are, whilst you’re adventuring below, talking and gossiping with one another, sharing all of the secrets and news with one another.  What makes Skyloft seem alive is that the major sidequest of the game involves helping nearly everyone there with tasks large and small.  This sort of mechanic is reminiscent of the Bombers’ Notebook from Majora’s Mask, which more or less motivates players to involve themselves with each NPC’s life over the three-day cycle.

The imperfections really happen when you start to look at the races below the clouds outside of Skyloft’s borders.  Part of this has to do with the intentional design decision to leave the entire surface world as something of an untamed wilderness from border to border, completely devoid of permanent settlements and safe havens, but more specifically it’s because the new characters and races are just generally uninteresting.  The Kikwis (which I “lovingly” call “Kick mes”) as a plant-animal hybrid, and they’re pretty much dumb, timid things that are scared of pretty much everything.  Their forest home was overrun by a collection of enemies, and so they scatter to the winds.  The same is more or less true of every race and every area of the game beyond that.  The Mogmas, a race of mole-like creatures, are the next race that the player encounters, and while they thankfully have iota of adventure and personality, their only real use is to point Link in the right direction rather than to establish some sort of actual ambience to the area.  Time after time this happens, which makes the whole surface world seem lonely.  While this is no doubt Nintendo’s intent (Bill Trinen has explained this makes the entire surface feel like one “gigantic dungeon”), it is rough when you only have Fi to give you proper company, if you can call her even that.

At least the Gorons aren’t annoying.  To be honest, this is the first Zelda game ever where I’ve truly enjoyed the Gorons’ company.  They’re easily my favorite non-human race this time around.

Speaking of Fi, she deserves an honorable mention here for being one of the most annoying characters in the game.  Fi speaks in a very robotic voice very akin to how a computer might talk to you in some science fiction movie.  Her hints and guidance almost always start off with the claim that “there’s a 90% chance that” whatever she’s about to say is true.  This manner of speech is cute and endearing at first, much like opening a gift box to receive a new puppy.  But then you realize that puppies pee on the floor, scratch up your sofas, and chew holes in your socks.  This is Fi about the fourth or fifth dungeon in as the number of times you’re ready to scream “I KNOW!” at her when she’s stated the obvious for the fifth time.  Yes, I know it’s a boss door, Fi; it looks like every other boss door you’ve pointed out.  While Fi doesn’t offer gratuitous help in the solving of the majority of the small puzzles in the dungeons (thank the stars that Nintendo still believe we have some intelligence), Fi is quick to remind you that the red text that someone just spoke is important and then spells out precisely what your next course of action should be.  I’m actually very thankful that Fi didn’t have voice acting; whereas I feel Midna would have been only been better with proper voice acting, Fi would have driven me to commit copious acts of violence against random passersby.

Last but not least, Link actually speaks in this game.  Well, this is true on a technical note.  He doesn’t actually have lines of dialogue in the sense that other NPCs do.  However, it’s very clear at points that Link is recounting the story of his journeys or the circumstances going on to other people in the world.  In addition, as you talk to other people, you will often have the ability to choose one of two or three text options to reply or retort to others.  As I’ve seen, each of the options (unless it’s a yes-or-no option, obviously) doesn’t have any real impact on the holistic world or the characters, but it does allow you to craft your own semblance of who Link is deep within his core, which is a nice touch for the game, not to mention evoke some rather funny lines from the other characters.

Graphics

As a game developer, I usually take a special note to analyze the graphics of any game to see how they compare to the other leaders in the gaming industry.  While I know that games on the Wii really can’t hope to come close to the technical savvy of its 360 and PS3 competitors, I can’t help but always ask the philosophical question of whether or not it was wise for Nintendo to eschew HD graphics this generation; in other words, does SD graphics in an HD world really affect things?

The answer has typically been that, while the graphics usually don’t affect gameplay in any real way, sometimes there is a clear difference between the polish and shine of SD games compared to their HD counterparts.  I originally couldn’t tell the difference long ago because I still had a standard-definition television when I purchased my 360.  It wasn’t until Tales of Vesperia when I couldn’t clearly read the text on the screen that I had to break down and buy a 1080p television.  And while Twilight Princess looked amazingly beautiful on my old tube TV, it looked much worse when up-rezzed to 1080p.  I remember saying to myself, “I really do not remember TP being this ugly!”

Thankfully for Skyward Sword, the game actually looks incredible even at 1080p.  While you can see the occasional polygons on characters (a la OoT Link’s rectangular arms), rarely does the game look hideously ugly enough to make them relevant.  They weren’t that distracting, and I knew I was being too much of a stickler for detail.  Sure, the character models aren’t as crisp as say those on the more powerful consoles, but in this context it really doesn’t matter.  They’re really good enough that you just forget to notice the graphics and keep playing.

Character models are one thing; the background and the scenery are another however.  Whereas the enemies, characters, and items are crisp and clear, the environments tend to be much more blurry.  However this too seems to have been an intentional choice judging by Shigeru Miyamoto’s comments about the artistic direction of the game.  With the frequent references to impressionism, once you up-rez the game to 1080p, you can really start to see cohesive blobs of color start to emerge, much like a Monet painting.  While I have absolutely no knowledge of art history, I can at least tell that the very drastic depth of field (the range in which things in the view are in focus or not, much like the F-stop of a camera) seems very much to emulate that style as much as possible, giving the background a general idea of what’s out there if you squint a bit and look from far enough away.

There’s only a few times where I do feel that Nintendo was being (forcibly or no) stingy with graphics.  The various crawlspaces of the game seem to be frequent locations of super low-resolution graphics that really look hideous given the game’s impressionism renderer.  The most jarring of these takes place in the third dungeon where you can clearly see white lines flickering from polygons that don’t intersect perfectly as well as jaggy textures due either to terrible normal maps or alpha testing.  However, things like this are exceptions more than the rule; these few instances were burnt so heavily into my mind that I can’t just simply overlook them.

As one last note, I have to say that, thanks to Link’s heavy black eyeliner and Angelina Jolie lips, Link sometimes looks like a girl.  The fortune teller almost looks like a girl as well, too (despite having a moustache!), but that’s a little less awkward than the suddenly questioning the gender of the hero that you’ve been adventuring with for hours at a time.

Gameplay [minor spoilers within]

And now here’s where we have to have the talk about the Zelda Formula.  I have to say that, of all the Zelda games—especially the console Zelda games—since Ocarina of Time, Skyward Sword feels the least formulaic out of all of them.  That’s not to say that Skyward Sword completely ditches the Zelda Formula; in fact, it does quite the opposite and structurally adopts many of its characteristics.  However, what I really mean to say is that Skyward Sword has flipped just enough of the game elements upside-down and topsy-turvy so that the game, while retaining much of the traditional formula, feels remarkably fresh.  I’m actually in awe of how it was done because I was thinking the entire time that, yes, the formula is there… yet somehow I completely didn’t care about it.  The game was just fun from the sword combat and all the puzzles that were integrated everywhere that it felt like a wholly new experience albeit still Zelda.

The puzzle component of the game has literally been turned up to 11 in this game.  Everything has become a puzzle, from fighting enemies and opening doors to navigating the terrain and how to get past simple obstacles.  That’s right; no longer is it just the dungeons providing the puzzle component while the overworld is simple navigation.  Your progress through the game will, at some point, be stymied because you have to figure out this one little thing that will no doubt eventually prove obvious in retrospect, yet the answer will elude you for quite some time.  And we’re not talking about simple puzzles the likes of which were in Ocarina of Time where you simply light the two torches in the room or defeat all of the enemies in order to open the room’s door; most of the classic puzzles, in fact, are completely absent in the game or have been altered to throw your mind for a loop.  There’s almost always a nefarious trick that’s just out of sight, and you will frequently be using the Beetle in order to scout about in order to find the missing link.

Enemies have also become a puzzle unto themselves as well.  It originally starts with simple Deku Babas; they don’t die the same way they have in games past where you have to slice them at the stalk; in Skyward Sword it’s about a sword stroke the correct way through their mouth, some of which will change from horizontal or vertical randomly.  Bokoblins have learned to block your strikes in one direction, almost always the exact direction you’re about ready to unleash, requiring you to quickly switch to a different angle before striking.  And that’s just the start of it.  Many of them can eventually be defeated through simple trial and error; some of which will seem easy until you realize that your tried and true strategies don’t work like the very similar yet different enemy you just came from, giving you pause to think of a new tactic.  And even sometimes, you’ll be tempted to run to Fi to give you some pointers.

And the minibosses and bosses work just the same way as well.  In fact, it’s the minibosses and bosses that will force you to learn increasingly advanced swordplay and strategy as you try to defeat them.  And unlike most Zelda games in recent memory, you will not have to obsessively cling to the dungeon’s magic item in order to defeat the major enemies of the game; sometimes (though not always) all you will end up needing is your sword and a lot of agility to make it through the ordeals.  And as the game advances, the game will throw faster, more furious, and more epic boss battles.  The difficulty doesn’t always rise in proportion, but generally the bosses do become more challenging or at least cleverer, forcing you to usually think about just what it is you need to do to win.

However, the game has a shocking amount of repetition, though surprisingly this isn’t entirely a bad thing (at least, usually).  The repetition of the game will cause you to face the same boss more than once… on more than one occasion.  Sometimes the boss forms are identical or slight variants; sometimes wholly different strategies are called for.  How you react to this will largely hinge upon whether you wanted something new or something that fits with the story of the game.  On the flip side of the coin, however, depending upon a few choices you make, you can cause it so that you have to face the same boss almost twice in a row, which seems like the same bad mistake made given many players’ resentment over the Temple of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass.

The repetition in Skyward Sword doesn’t limit itself to just the bosses however; the repetition exists in the major sections of the game as well.  You will visit each region of the game more than once, rehashing terrain and territory as you search for something that you couldn’t possibly have found the first time due to not having the right item.  It’s very much akin to Donkey Kong 64 for the N64, where you had to traverse each world as each of the five Kongs in order to fully explore the level.  Thankfully, each time you travel through the major areas of the game, your goal is something completely different, and the world is often wholly transformed into an entirely new experience, almost always with a change of intensity or difficulty as well.  This is what makes the repetition bearable actually, that it’s not just simply retracing footsteps.  If that weren’t enough, revisiting an area usually means that you’re going to see something new that you haven’t yet seen, making sure to keep the sense of exploration intact throughout the course of the game.

However, on the opposite side of the equation comes the return of a harsh criticism from Twilight Princess:  linearity.  The game is, from start to finish, obsessively linear.  It is nigh impossible to sequence break the game (though remotely possible, as I’ve heard), though even if you could, the cutscenes will no doubt force you back onto the proper path.  Needless to say, while not every area is strictly linear (in that there’s only one path through it), it’s not uncommon for areas to have just a single path that leads you through it start to finish.  Eldin Volcano is the biggest violator of this, though by no means is it the only example.  All in all, you will never find yourself asking the question of whether or not you should be in the room or the area you’re in because you are supposed to be there; wherever you are, you have the items and knowhow necessary to do whatever needs doing.  In some ways, it makes the game feel like it’s put Link on a set of training wheels before sending him out into the world, even though I know linearity eases the burden on game developers to make the game predictable and scriptable in terms of dialogue and story.

This linearity rarely seems incredibly stifling though.  It may prove a passing thought before you get distracted by the actual game mechanics as, more often than not, you’re usually obsessing (at least for a long while) about how many hearts you have and just how close you’ve come to death multiple times.  The game starts you with six hearts, and you will need each of those desperately as you try to figure out how to control Link properly.  Getting used to the flow of the game takes a while, and the health drain from enemies is harsh.  Almost every enemy in the game deals damage in quantities of a full heart; while there are a few enemies that dole it out with just a quarter-heart at a time, those are far and few between and usually are mere insects that aren’t true enemies as such.  (Almost thankfully, you don’t lose hearts for falling into pits.  I can’t tell you how many times I thanked the goddesses for that!)  That said, I also don’t recall any enemy dealing me more than two hearts of damage at a time, though Hero Mode, the “second quest”, will deal double damage across the board.  This game is definitely more challenging than its predecessor; however, that said, I only died once in the game, twice fewer than my first run through Twilight Princess.  (In fairness, one of my TP deaths was a cheap death on the Lanayru Bridge.)

The game is approximately as long as Twilight Princess was, though the structure is definitely different.  There are fewer dungeons in SS than there were in TP, but there’s a lot more action to do in the overworld insofar that there are enemies everywhere, which will definitely slow down your progress through the game.  In addition, the game has also been padded for time by required search quests that force you to find several parts of an object or several members of a community.  Thankfully you can at least get a hint of where to find them by using your sword in order to dowse for them much like a dowsing rod supposedly finds water.  However, dowsing can be frustrating because it functions inconsistently.  If the thing you’re looking for is in a different section of the map, it’ll point to the exit of that region; however, if the thing you’re looking for is inside the current region but possibly inside of a building (load screen in between or not), it won’t point towards the building entrance but instead where the object should be were it actually locatable in that section.  It’s obvious once you figure it out, but it still can be frustrating in the middle of it, especially given its role as the biggest pad to the game for length.

Lastly, traveling between the various regions of the game can get a little old as well.  While Skyloft Island is a rich area that’s full of characters, the rest of the sky is pretty barren and devoid of anything except the occasional rocky planetoid.  There are only a handful of enemies in the air as you’re flying—all of them easily avoidable and unchallenging—and aside from occasionally using magic wind tunnels through the doughnut-shaped rocks to gain speed, there’s really nothing to do when journeying above the clouds.  It’s less exciting than Wind Waker and reminiscent of Twilight Princess’ overworld.  It’s still more fun than riding the train in Spirit Tracks (easily the most boring transportation method ever in Zelda), but it’s not super fantastic.  Thankfully, the sense of wonder that you’re flying high through the sky like a bird makes it somewhat enjoyable.

Story [major spoilers within]

Those who’ve been following the trailers and news snippets about the game will know what’s going on at the beginning of the game.  Link, who gets woken up within the first two minutes of the game (Stop; why is it that Link is always some sleeping-in, lazy bum of a guy in each of the Zelda games?  Is Nintendo trying to convince us that Link doesn’t start out the game being particularly heroic so that, by the game’s end, we can ever so clearly see how much Link has grown?  I’d like to think that there are much better ways of conveying this, but perhaps it’s such a cheap mechanic to “begin the game” by beginning a new day so that you don’t have to feel like you’re starting in medias res, but why must it always be Link waking up late?  Sorry, I digress.  A sticking point of mine.), is a young knight-in-training at Skyloft’s very own Knight Academy, a boarding school of sorts for those who are in the business of protecting Skyloft from monsters, keeping the peace, and rescuing those hapless idiots that are constantly falling over the edge of the island without calling their Loftwing.  Zelda is apparently a knight-in-training as well, along with several of Link’s classmates who don’t seem to be too fond of him.

At any rate, the game begins on the 25th anniversary of the Knight Academy (I see what you did there), and as such there’s a graduation examination for those in the lower class of the academy by attempting to catch a statue hooked to the tail of a Loftwing.  Of the several competitors, only one can win the contest, and he who succeeds will graduate to the next level while the others are held back for another few months until the next attempt.  Link is slated to compete in this contest, but gasp and egad his Loftwing has turned up missing!  The contest is delayed so that Link can fetch his bird, and yes he does.  All this is so that you can get used to the basic controls before you actually have to learn the flying controls, so it’s not bad.  It allows you to interact with most of the villagers and get a feeling for the society above the clouds.  At any rate, with your bird, you finally get to compete, and, to no one’s surprise, you actually can’t lose the competition no matter how terribly you fly.  Link gets knighted and gets to perform the closing ceremonies with Zelda, who’s playing the role of the as-of-yet-unnamed goddess of Skyloft.

After you’re done with that, you figure out fairly quickly that Zelda’s kind of into Link, and she ultimately asks you if you want to go fly on a magic Loftwing ride together, and Link accepts like any smart lad.  Just as you get to the good part of Zelda saying that there’s “something important” that she’s been “wanting to say for a while,” the two lovebirds are interrupted by a gigantic tornado that pulls Zelda down through the cloud floor out of sight.  Link manages to stay aloft, though unconscious, waking up several hours later as a strange voice begins to call for him.  This is Fi’s voice, and you follow the mystical sword-girl’s floating form throughout Skyloft until you grasp the Goddess Sword, the thing that proves that you’re a part of this semi-ancient prophecy and declares that you are important and will take part in some epic role against evil.  And with that, you’re off to the surface world, hot on the heels of Zelda, who apparently seems to have her own agenda and role to follow.

This is more or less where the story remains for the next 20 or so hours of the game.  Seriously.

Okay, you’ll find that that Lord Deborah Ghirahim wants the girl so that he can do something with her, and he makes a few vague allusions later in the game as to exactly why he wants the girl, but that’s it.  You don’t really figure out what he or Zelda are trying to do until way late into the game.

For those who really love story and think that the Zelda franchise would be vastly improved by its inclusion, this game won’t appease you.  Skyward Sword takes a cue from pretty much every other Zelda out there and doesn’t really provide this long narrative or drama.  There’s no deep conspiracy stories like you’d find in Assassin’s Creed, no complicated, dramatic, and involved tale like Tales of Symphonia, and no real sleuthing subplot like Metroid Prime or Ace Attorney.  It’s essentially an epic tale of fate and destiny where Link and Zelda have been foretold to slay some ancient evil that just so happened to wake up fifteen seconds ago.  For those who love story, it will end up feeling like too little, too late.

However, if you stop and take the story as it is (not to mention when you get it), the burden that gets balanced on Link’s shoulders once you find out the plot is immense.  Our own Jason worded it best when he said that the game feels like Link has suddenly been ushered into this quasi-religious and weighty quest upon that the safety and sanctity of not just the surface but Skyloft hinges upon.  And the gravity of the situation does seem dire.  You can literally feel the sense of urgency in the last portions of the game as you feel like you’re rushing to complete everything before the world goes belly-up.  Of course the game actually gives you as much time as you need to actually accomplish it all, but such is the way of all such video games really.

And it’s here in the last chapters of the game where Skyward Sword really hits its stride.  Once the story comes out of radio silence and actually lets you in on the secret tale underlying everything, things just become crazier and more epic with each passing obstacle.  Things you wouldn’t expect to happen will suddenly start to happen, and you will have to face frustration and disappointment as everything that can go wrong does go wrong.  However, the intensity of the game only accelerates at this juncture, leading you straight through the last challenges all the way to the final boss battle… and the only way to really describe it is that Skyward Sword’s final boss surpasses the fan service and epic nature of Twilight Princess’ final boss sequence, and that is no small feat.

Before I leave this section, I really want to touch on the greater Zelda universe here by very briefly mentioning how this fits into the timeline.  I hesitate to bring this up in a review like this (especially given how long this has already gone), but Nintendo has made a point to say that this is the game that begins it all.  The expectation is that this game would politely tip its hat at several of the other well-known features and happenings that would happen in later titles such as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess and help solidify the timeline.

For starters, yes, it’s very clear that Skyward Sword comes before Ocarina of Time and anything else that might come before it.  No challenges there.

However, Skyward Sword also creates a lot more questions than it actually solves.  For starters, it will drop names here and there of races, names, items, and places that have been in other Zelda games (some of which already having definitive histories and origins) and yet provide no real connection between this new reference and the previous origin.  All the while, it fails to mention so many other things that we know take place at some point down the road—races, landmarks, not to mention all of the various places outside Hyrule.  Even more awkward is the fact that Nintendo starts to create a history for this new, pre-Hyrulian world that doesn’t even seem to fit thematically with the rest of the series.  In fact, in many ways it is The Phantom Menace to the original Star Wars trilogy; the technology is better in Skyward Sword than in any other Zelda game with the exception of Spirit Tracks.  Inversely, much of the magical energy that drives so much of the Zelda as a whole universe seems absent here.  While its placement in the timeline is clear, it just thematically doesn’t seem to belong where it does.

I’ve still got lingering questions that just don’t make sense, once again casting the shadow of doubt as to whether or not there will ever be a definitive and sensible history.  Connecting the dots in Zelda never seems to get any easier.

Miscellaneous Issues [minor spoilers within]

So with all of that aside, there’s just a few other points (read:  gripes) that I think need addressing.  In part, it’s therapy for me just to get them off my chest.  The other part is the vain hope that some Zelda designer over in Japan will read this and deep my opinion worthy enough to listen to.  So, in no particular order:

  • Item Collection ­– Yes, I know it’s an Amber Relic.  I’ve collected 25 of those already.  You do NOT need to remind me of what it is just because it so happens to be the first one I’ve collected this play session.  My memory is not THAT bad.
  • Text Speed – While holding the A button while people or talking does speed up the text, the speed up is marginal at best.  It’s barely tapping the accelerator pedal, and this car is already below the minimum speed limit for this highway.  Either make this an option in the game’s settings (by the way, why isn’t there a Settings page on the menu?) or allow us to instantly show the rest of the dialogue for that screen.
  • The Harp – This is perhaps the worst musical instrument implementation in every Zelda game ever, and this includes the pitch pipes from Spirit Tracks.  All of the songs you learn are played using the same motion with the Wii Motion Plus and requires little to no real skill to play.  I know you don’t use the harp often, but I really did feel a bit silly just gliding my fingers haphazardly over the harp strings.  (Also, I love how Link just so happens to master using the harp on his first time playing it; seriously, Zelda holds it up to him in the prologue, telling him that “this is a harp,” as if the two of them have never seen one in their entire lives.)

Overall Impression

I feel that I’ve talked about a lot of negative points about the game.  However, when it really boils down to it, my major gripes about the game are nitpicks, just small details and not the overall picture.  As for the rest of it, the game is money well spent and will give you hours and hours of enjoyment throughout your playtime with it.  What’s more, the game perhaps has the best chance of overthrowing most people’s all-time favorite Zelda games and take the #1 spot in their hearts.  Honestly, the game is just that good.  It’s just enough homage to the earlier titles like Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess without feeling like a simple rehash of any of them.  It’s a different game, a fresh, modern Zelda title that has to be played for the experience.  Even after the post-game high has worn off and I look back at the game, I’m eager to give it another go, not just for the experience and to notice all of the details that I missed but also for the challenge.  Even Hero Mode, the extremely difficult variant of the game, seems to call like a Siren to my inner Zelda geek.

Bottom line?  It’s a must buy for any Zelda fan.

Related Topics
  • A_LINK_IN_TIME

    Skyward Sword is a culmination of all of the best aspects of the Zelda franchise!

  • Gr00se

    The reason why the wii remote controls seem stupid and feel weird sometimes is because the creators wanted to make the controls simple so everyone of all ages would understand and control it decently!

  • Evan

    i cant believe you bash Fi like you did. quite frankly i loved how she spoke, and at no point during my first play through found her annoying. she is ancient technology created by the goddess and how she speaks really brings that out..

    • SirLinkus

      Fi did get a bit annoying, but i still liked her. I didn't think she was stupid in any way, i liked her talking as well.

    • pololmejor

      Yeah, she felt like a happy GLaDOS with a human shape. Annoying but helpfull

    • Hydra

      I do like her voice. I do find her, however, to be more annoying than even Navi *GASP*. For instance, when you get low on hearts (which happened to me more than in any other 3D Zelda game), you get not one but TWO annoying beeping sounds: the usual, and the second one from Fi who thinks there's a 15% chance that you're paying any attention to your life meter. And the whole boss door thing did get a tad annoying. Overall, she's not too bad, but all of those small things add up in my opinion.

    • GreatMidnaFan

      I agree but that is his opinion. Out of everyone I know who loves LoZ games I've been the only one who actually likes Fi, her singing voice is amazing. I do mind the fact though on how much she stated the obvious through out the game.

  • Kal

    This is a pretty great review, it touches all of the strange complaints I gathered while playing, and leaves the positives for us to reminisce. Skyward Sword is a strange game; it's hard to verbalize what the game does right, but the quality is just always there. Now if only they'll fix those controls for the next game, as in SS' swordplay plus Twilight Princess' everything else. I loved holding B as I steadied my bow and arrow (controlled perfectly with IR, by the way), holding A just doesn't feel right. I was still defaulting to B even in the final battle, I wish there was some customization.

  • Craig

    I just wanna make a few comments as I read your review:

    1 – It's 1:1 motion control, so every single movement (speed of movement, angle and direction of movement) is replicated precisely to have you're doing it. If it's not slashing the way you want, it's because you're holding the Wii Remote (Plus) in a wonky or strange way and losing track of your angles when you go crazy and slash. It's intentionally that way and there's really no way to avoid it anyhow… So it's no fault of the game, it's the player's lack of focus in just hoping to flail in a direction without a moment's thought. The sides of the Wii Remote are each sharp side of the sword, while the surfaces are attributed to the flat edge of the blade in the programming (another interesting note – Link's structure/model of his arms aren't rendered as solid… Since it's difficult to freely make a model do the movement needed, without being pre-programmed (like how Link's feet move the same all the time he runs, walks or jumps between gaps – they're seperate animations for the solid model – While the non-solid model has to be made differently… You can see this when you walk up to a wall and his right arm goes through, yet the rest of him does not).

    2 – I've never found it weird to switch between motion and analog stick, they work together and it becomes second nature after a while, as long as you're not playing left-handed haha.

    3 – I agree with running up boxes but I can't help feel you've got the control thing all wrong… When you select weapons or pouch items – you don't rotate your wrist in a circle, you just (while holding the Wii remote anywhere) point it forward (well, you don't HAVE to) and flick it in the desired direction with your hand in the same position.

    E.g. | /
    _ HAND _
    / |
    Flick up, down, left, right, up/down, up/right, down/left, down/right to select your item – don't twist your arm around, it wasn't made to be played like that.

    4 – To be fair, it's always been quite obvious that Motion Tech needs a central point when programmed to act this way… Why you'd randomly hold your remote at to your side is random. You should be grateful they've implemented such an easy solution so you can decide the central point by pressing D-Pad Down or more obviously that you "prepare your weapon", seeing as the game's intention is so you act like it's in your hand and not a Wii Remote.

    5 – Skyward Sword's camera is more realistic than in the other Zelda's… In Ocarina of Time, it would spin completely around – whereas now, it spins around to wherever Link's face is pointing to. Since when does your head in real life spin on your neck to aim behind? It's a matter of being used to how real it feels, rather than being anything wrong – It's actually a more natural representation, instead of pure laziness like the previous games have taught us.

    6 – To be fair, the characters (especially in this game) are there for the story and advancing the plot… The Kikwi is the first guise of what become the Kokiri, then they end up as Korok's in The Wind Waker – You could call them uninteresting too but you haven't… In fact, the point of their hiding is to do with what's going on. This is a time when Hyrule is flooding with monsters EVERYWHERE, not just in organized areas like in other games – You can't always have them wandering all over the place. It makes you want to help them and sure, it's all a bit the same everywhere – but the fact the plot is affecting the whole of pre-Hyrule shows the gravity of the situation at hand.

    7 – Your review is now so long, I've given up… but those are only some of my views of a review that LOOKS for faults rather than looks to really review the game properly. Just because you shouldn't look for good things, doesn't make it a black/white situation where you focus on negatives purely to offset that. Wow, this site has gotten bad – Bring Jason and Cody back…

    • Maxxter66

      totally agree

    • Danja

      Chiming in to agree with "negative aspects" bit of #7….'Specially in reference to the end of the article, where TML wrote, "I feel that I’ve talked about a lot of negative points about the game."

      The snarky side of me thought, "You mean like basically everything else you've written for this site?"

      I think that he could become a very effective writer if he stopped focusing on the negatives and stopped trying to sound like a professor lecturing the uneducated masses.

    • TheMaverickk

      ^Just Highlighting this comment ^

      1 – It's 1:1 motion control, so every single movement (speed of movement, angle and direction of movement) is replicated precisely to have you're doing it. If it's not slashing the way you want, it's because you're holding the Wii Remote (Plus) in a wonky or strange way and losing track of your angles when you go crazy and slash.
      __________________________________________________________________

      My biggest irritation as of lately when reading reviews is the whole "motion controls only read your movements half the time sort of bull.

      The truth is people aren't watching what they are doing with their hands. You have an accurate device reading every little twist of your wrist and side holding in the controller. The game gets intense, you start waving it around a lot and not paying attention to how you are holding your controller, and then seem surprised that the controller becomes un-aligned, or is not swinging the same way you think you are swinging.

      I know this to be true, because I've done it, and caught myself holding my controller a weird way cause I'm getting sloppy. I'll say "why is my sword swinging that way" and then I look at my hand and notice I'm holding the remote on it's side and then I'm like …. Ohhhhhhhhhhh…. damn.

      I truly believe that the majority of controller complaints of people not having their movements read properly is in fact a result of sloppy playing on part of the player, It's not the fault of the tech. People need to learn this.

    • deidara82muffins

      I agree. I think people are hating the game for what it isn't instead of loving it for what it is.

  • SirLinkus

    I honestly did not think the new races were uninteresting. In fact, forget Zoras and Gorons ive seen plenty of them throughout Zelda. The mogmas are a real interesting race that bring up many questions such as, what happened to them in later Zelda games and if they have an underground city of some sort. The kikwis are hilarious and funny looking as well. Stupid, but funny.

    • TheMaverickk

      Agreed… I enjoy the new races, you simply have to have an open mind about them.

      I feel like a lot of the grips people have is that "well it's not the Gorons, Zora's and Deku's" so I don't care. People want to simply see more of their favorite already existing races. Also the Kikwi's and Mogma's were definitely my faves….

      The Parelli's, less so. Everything else was great.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Thareous Thareous

    My favorite character development in this game has to be with Groose. Starting out as a spiteful bully that I disliked at first, I somehow came to sympathize with him. Then after he fell through the sky his perspective changed. He saw that Link intended to save the land below as well as Zelda (how I see it) and that was enough to change him. And Nintendo did wonders on how he turned out.

    • TheMaverickk

      Agreed… at the start of the game you just can't like Groose, he's just this immature, and self centered, self praising douchebag. There is nothing to like, and you say to yourself "how is this character going to play into the entire game?".

      I was really impressed with his character development. My initial thought was that maybe perhaps he would turn villainous…. but in the end I was glad that this didn't occur.

      Nintendo gave him more humanity. He was struggling with and dealing with the jealousy and issues surrounding his own self worth.

      Interestingly I liked how Impa questions Link's (the player) quality of character. It was a huge contrast from the way Link was treated in Skyloft. Link was special in Skyloft, naturally talented, blessed with a special bird… and then yo uhave Impa basically flat out saying, "I don't think you are cut out, and up to snuff enough" in order to look after Zelda. Which to a certain degree she is right. It's like a wake up call that even if Link is this destined hero, this naturally talented young man… that doesn't mean he is exempt from getting stronger and improving himself.

      Anyways I could talk forever about all the great stuff going on in this game, but seems like it's cooler to hate on this game more then anything.

  • SkyHylia

    I few things I noticed:
    Although I found the "science fiction' elements in SS cool/interesting I was really looking forward to more magic…
    The names of the lands below the clouds – why are they given the names of Twilight princess when they aren't given these names in OOT? I know that they are explain within the game to correlate with the names of the Goddesses, and this would make sense if TP came second in the timeline but instead it makes it more confusing….
    Also, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before but did the look of (their names escape me) two of the school's professors remind you of the Ruto race? apart from their beaks, or lack there of.

    • TheMaverickk

      I think it's safe to say that Ocarina of Time simply doesn't divide it's world up into provinces.

      One could easily go and say that you visit Gerudo Desert in the Lanaryu Province in Ocarina of Time… or you go and see Death Mountain in the Eldin Province. The Kokiri forest was located in the Faron Province… ect.

      It's actually neat to see that before it was called Death Mountain it was referred to Eldin Volcano…. it makes me wonder why they came to call it Death Mountain eventually :S (Death Mountain was where Ganon creates his lair in the original Legend of Zelda, so maybe in previous era's it had been his stronghold).

  • Ben

    Could someone please tell me why Ghirahim is called Debbie? Did I miss a joke recently or what?

    Other than that, good review though I never really had any problems with the controls. I heard it from other people before, that they had to re-calibrate the Wii-Mote but that never really happened to me.

  • moop

    I was so dissapointed in this game. Especially in the controls. I didn't think it was bad by any means, but there were just so many aspects about the game that irritated me. A great game, but I personally didn't think it close to being among the best in the series.

    I don't understand what all this talk is about how the game requires you to carefully time your swipes and their directions. Eventually I got sick of that, and realised I could just as effectively flail my way through battles with pretty much all of the common overworld enemies, just like in TP.

    Once that happened, the motion controls felt completely pointless to me. Sure, I could've played it the way they wanted me to, but then what was the point when it was easier to just flail?

    I also thought most the bosses were also disappointing. Difficulty wise, they were about on par with TP, but that wouldn't have bothered me if they were entertaining. Sure, TP had some real stinkers in terms of bosses, but I found most of them to be more FUN to fight than SS bosses. Save for Koloktos, Scaldera and Ghirahim's second form, they were all pretty boring. And Demise was absolutely pathetic. Again, the whole final showdown seemed no where near as epic as Ocarina or TP's final fights with Ganon. Plus, it was much shorter.

    There were complaints about how items in previous games were introduced in a dungeon and then not used enough, so they changed that up here. I used to complain about the essentially one use of many items, but now I realise I miss it. Why? It kept things fresh. Now I don't care that the Spinner was only used once or twice outside of the dungeon, because it gave me one of the best dungeons ever. Same for the ball and chain, the lens of truth and others. In SS, I think it got to the point eventually where some of the items became kinda boring to use, and I found myself wishing for the old format to keep things interesting.

    Major plus though to the dungeons, and the overworld layouts. The motifs and locales were great, the puzzles enjoyable, and I was definitely surprised at some of the different locations they'd come up with. The art style was a little hit and miss, really working some parts, but not so well in others, but overall I liked it. Story was pretty standard I thought. And I couldn't help thinking it was like TP though, with a villain working for another more powerful guy who doesn't appear until the very end. Ghirahim was an interesting guy, but I was dissapointed by his motives, the pretty standard 'resurrect-stereotypical-bigger-muscular-guy'.

    And finally, length. Miyamoto is definitely right if you include hero mode. But for me, this was definitely one of the shorter games. It took me 34 hours on my first run, including turning batreaux into a man (I found a lot of those gratitude quests to be an absolute chore), and collecting all heart pieces but one (absolutely cannot find that last one anywhere). Mind you I didn't upgrade everything, not bothering with the iron shield or the bug net, and I didn't do the thunder dragon's silent realm challenges, only the boss rush mode. However TP took me 51 hours on my first run. So I was expecting something that was at least close to that.

    Phew, thats pretty much only complaints there. But I can't help it. These things just really nagged at me throughout the whole experience, disappointing me hugely as I was expecting so much more after all the things I'd seen and read leading up to its release.

    • Sanity's_Theif

      I have to agree with you here, very nice comment

  • neos

    actually that could work. tp could come before Oot, i never really did see things from Oot in tp so it could be, in tp that spirit guy who taches you the skills is right handed isnt he. also the map could work because over time they could lose the names of the provinces because in the end of ss they say that it has to be lost to time so that makes sence that there wouldnt be eny thing ilke that in Oot. this is something i just hought up so tell me what you think.

  • DARK LINK

    HOW I WOULD OF WROTE THE STORY>>>>>
    A ZELDA GAME THAT TAKES PLACE AFTER TP…..AFTER GANNONDORF,
    AT SOME POINT OF THE GAME, LINK WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK IN TIME A 1000 YEARS, BEFORE OOT… IT WOULD MAKE SINCE.. THE 1ST HALF WOULD BE LANAYRU ,FARON, ELDIN, PROVIDNCE AND THE 2ND HALF WOULD BE HYRULE..

    IT WOULD BE PERFECT TO HAVE IT START AFTER TP AND THEN END BEFORE OOT

  • Loggs

    Story was fairly traditional, confuses the storyline (ie if Link put the sword in a forest, Link to the Past must come before Ocarina, but if so, why would the Kokiri wear the clothes of the Knights of Hyrule, and not vice versa because Link WAS the start of the Knights of Hyrule), and the controls were TERRIBLE please don't sugarcoat it. Playing the harp was retarded, if I moved my arm left, he would strum right. The game didn't know how to recognize horizontal slashes, making Deku Babas the bane of my existence, and reading 3 pages of text every time I buy a potion, and 2 more for each time I infused it (ie every time) was just redundent.

  • http://mytriforce.deviantart.com/ Ezlo

    I agree with a lot of this. So many good points were made in this review and I don't think I could have said it any better myself.

  • Dark Wing

    your insane if you think TP's motion controls were better than SS. the sword 'waggle' was nothing but a sad attempt at replacing a button…

    • TheMaverickk

      Yeah it's frustrating to read people try to brush off the new controls as being "no better then Twilight Princess" or even worse… people saying "I prefer the waggle".

      The sad fact is that Skyward Sword… like Majora's Mask won't be appreciated for another 5-7 years.

      That's right… Majora's Mask was often considered the worst Zelda game for a long time… cause it "wasn't as epic" as Ocarina of Time. Or it only had 4 dungeons, and was too short a game… or the final boss was too easy cause you just use the Fierce Deity mask….. or all the characters and designs are simply rehashed and re-used from Ocarina of Time, and it's lazy…. or the game was too hard cause 3 days was not enough time to complete a dungeon. Wah… wah… complain complain….

      Now though you have gaming press everywhere and fans clamoring about Majora's Mask being one of the greatest Zelda games for it's heart, and deep game play innovations, and how amazing it was that so much stuff is going on in the town over the 3 days.

      People just like to whine and moan… but when it's cool to like something then yeah whatever.

  • Supportedcoffe

    I usually don't notice small things that annoys people in video games. Take navi and fi for example, for many years i had no idea people hated navi while i loved her and fi is my favorite partner in the series except midna.

    • guest

      I agree. I still think Navi is the best supporting character. Fi isn't bad either- I just wish the developers would cut out the "voice acting" for her…

  • Eddy

    Am I the only one who thought the game wasn't that great until the 3rd temple? At that point it's become amazing imo, aside from some gripes here and there. I'm only to the second flame at this point, though

  • Sanity's_Theif

    I liked this review because you admitted the motion controls are not perfect like everyone seems to claim, me and my family and friends sometimes get VERY frustrated with them and how they work, in particular the aiming, which actually worked better in TP since it used the sensor bar so there was no recalibrating needed

    I also agree Fi is incredibly annoying, I witnessed my mom and friends yelling out loud for her to shut up lol

    I disagree on the graphics, I couldn't just not notice them because the blurriness literally gives me headaches after 20-30 minutes of playtime unfortunately, I don't like the visuals and I just don't think it looks like a painting(I have taken art history), there is no Monet at Nintendo HQ so I feel like they failed on the graphics part

    I also don't care for Link's looks this time either, he really does look too much like a girl at times, some of my friends were making fun of that for like 20 minutes

    I did not appreciate the amount of recycled content and padding in this game, I felt there was a huge lack of new material in the second half of the game, so for me, the second half of the game really dragged out and started to feel like a chore to play

    The congested maze-like overworld turned me off from going back to look for heart pieces and goddess cubes, they tried to make it like a dungeon, but would you say go back to the water temple in OOT 10 or so times to look around for heart pieces? No thank you

    And I was disappointed by how much of a barren wasteland the sky is

    "For those who really love story and think that the Zelda franchise would be vastly improved by its inclusion, this game won’t appease you."

    I didn't, no, more like I couldn't feel that this game was epic in any way, the game's atmosphere was far too cheery, the world and it's characters never seemed to be in danger and the villain was just absent for most of the game, compared to OOT, MM and TP in which you could visibly see the world falling apart around you, this was a huge letdown, and I found the final boss far less epic than that of TP, I don't think anything can top TP's epic final battle

    "For starters, it will drop names here and there of races, names, items, and places that have been in other Zelda games (some of which already having definitive histories and origins) and yet provide no real connection between this new reference and the previous origin."

    And I was also annoyed by how although this is an origin story, they didn't connect the story elements

    "Yes, I know it’s an Amber Relic. I’ve collected 25 of those already. You do NOT need to remind me of what it is just because it so happens to be the first one I’ve collected this play session. My memory is not THAT bad."

    THIS annoyed me so much I felt like punching a hole in my wall, that and the text speed, and I agree the harp is lame

    I have to say, this has to be one of my least favorite Zelda games, I won't be playing this again for a LONG time

    But overall, I have to say it is a good game, just not excellent

    • MADXARIX0110

      I agree with EVERYTHING you say and I cannot believe that I had to waste two spaces in my pocket just to cary those Life Medals to have all the hears

    • Xilann

      You may have taken art classes, but you certainly know nothing about graphical design sir, the game is not supposed to look like a painting, it is simply inspired by impressionism style painting, in which they mix it up with 3D modeling and perspective, they haven't failed on the graphics, in fact this game has a very unique style and aesthetics; you're the one who failed to perceive that.

      And if you pay attention to the story, you can actually detect connections with other zelda games; like Ganondorf being Demise's reincarnation to make the other Link's lives a living hell… Oh, and I guess you must have missed it, but it shows what the Master Sword was before being the master sword, and it had a spiritual robotic entity living inside of it; and we also get to know that the surface, nameless land turns out to become Hyrule in the future and it was colonized by sky people…
      But I guess these have nothing to do with the other games story like you suggest…

      I'm starting to doubt you even played the game yourself when it comes to the storyline.

      Have a good day.

  • skiamda

    Where were the GREAT FARIES???? Did anyone else miss them…

    • TheMaverickk

      Where were the Like Likes… they haven't been in a Zelda game since Majora's Mask (well excluding portable titles, but that's not the same).

  • Esoorg

    I enjoyed this article a lot. I agree with many of the points made, especially the nitpicky stuff. I don't let stuff like that ruin my gaming experience (or at least try not to). I just beat the game and started Hero mode right off the bat. Really I wanted to see how consistent the game was, so i rushed to the sealed temple and peered through the door behind grannie and by goddess it was there. I can't stop beating myself up for not seeing it the first time through.

    Anyway,I hope you make even more articles like this, they are so much fun to read.

  • Guil.

    I love it how for several pages worth of test just trashes the game and then says it's a must buy game for everyone. Love the irony. Lost a lot of credibility in there. And many of the things that he whined about were never actual issues in the game. They were mostly just caused because he couldn't learn a simple lesson after so many times like keep the controller straight when you go to first person view, after that many times you should be able to remember it.

    • themisssinglink

      There's a difference between a game having faults and a game being fun; a game can indeed be both things simultaneously.

      In the case of Skyward Sword, the game does indeed have faults; there are a few things that are even annoying. But most of these things are nitpicks and aren't the most important aspects of the game and don't get in the way of the bigger picture. It's like having a world-renowned singer being able to hit all of the high notes of a difficult piece, but then in the middle she forgot the words and so she made them up on the spot. That doesn't deny that she's a good singer; it just is an imperfection that makes the performance non-optimal.

    • lord-of-shadow

      You can critique a game's flaws while still appreciating it as a great experience, which is exactly what TML has done here. There is no irony, and no loss of credibility.

  • matt17

    This game is praised way too much cuz it has the name zelda in the title and the boxart is gold. I'm a zelda fan, an this game did not impress me as much as I thought it would. I'd give it a 8/10, not a 9 or 10

  • http://twitter.com/mauricio_ballen @mauricio_ballen

    Well, this is a well written review. But I want to point something you said, and it somehow mess with the zelda formule. You found the texts to be too slow… and so I did. Funny thing is, even with that, people want Zelda games to have voices. Can you imagine EVERY text of the game spoken? Or every video? That would become a MGS4 experience, where you cant tell if you spent more time playing the game or watching videos. And if it isn't that way, it becomes like Uncharted games: Great story, but the world is just a blank space. Zelda games always have a great world to explore, vivid, full of details, and I dont want it to go.

  • Imm

    Where did Demise come from, and the name "Demise"?? He looks like Ganondorf, but he didn't really play any big role in the game, which was very dissapointing.. And the imprisoned: If he was supposed to be Ganon, well… he looked more like a worm with sharp teeth than the awesome monster in both OoT and TP!

    And Fi… though she was annoying, I was a little bit sad that she didn't play a bigger part in the story like Midna did. In the end I had totally forgotten about Fi, and wasn't really sad about her leaving (I almost cried in the end of TP).

    I had been waiting for this game for almost two years, and was so dissapointed! I didn't even feel like playing it at times because it was boring and there weren't anything to look forward to because of the story.

    • TheMaverickk

      DId you play the game…… – _ –

      The Imprisoned is Demise… they are one and the same, they aren't different. The Imprisoned is simply a mindless demonic form of Demise…. it's not that weird that a villain has more then one form…. I mean Ganondorf becomes a Pig War Beast.

      Also the Imprisoned evolves each time you fight him, breaking out of his form… growing arms and tail and halo. Seriously did you play the game? Anyone who has played it could see that the Imprisoned/Demise relationship is far more complex.

      Just the fact that you are always fighting this evil back and beating it down in a race to beat the clock and defeat it's impending arrival it puts you more on edge then any experience from another Zelda game (the closest felling is Majora's Mask, with the moon falling).

      Also where in Twilight Princess did you fight a top a giant sky whale, or did you face a four arm-ed golden statue with giant swords. In any case though the most satisfying battles in the game weren't fighting gigantic bosses… it was fighting toe to toe with foes like Ghirahim.

      • Cevelt

        He probably just saw videos of SS gameplay; as you said, he either didn't played the game; *or* he was paying attention to something else during cutscenes/conversations…

        If I had to guess, he's a fan of the realistic graphics of OoT/TP and as such is simply trying to "put" flaws in this game…

        And Imm, if you payed attention, Demise is like a death god, he's a rival to the Goddess, and he puts a curse on Link for beating him, originating Ganondorf as his own reincarnation in OoT, LttP, WW and so on.

      • Woulfe

        ik I'm late n all but dude, he was just saying that compared to Ganon (pig beast epic monster form of Ganondorf), The Imprisoned (the giant but unimpressive looking monster version of Demise) is pretty jank in terms of intimidation.

        And about TP, the guy was just saying that Midna was cool, Fi wasn't….a**hole

  • Michael

    Honestly, am I the only one who thought this game wasn't anything special?

    Yeah, it was good – I enjoyed playing it. I don't have the slightest desire to ever touch it again, at least not for a while.

    The story was childish, dry and boring.

    The sky world and surface world designs feel so small and worthless.

    It was never the slightest bit difficult.

    And I was pissed off when I spent all that effort opening the Gate of Time, just to have a stupid meaningless chat with Zelda and then go forward in time with barely any new information. What a waste…

    I love Zelda games, I am a huge fan, but this one did not sit well with me..

    • TheMaverickk

      This is exactly how I felt about Twilight Princess. Pretty much word for word I could copy and paste as my feelings about that game.

      I guess the difference between these two Zelda titles is that polarization.

      To each their own, can't blame you if you don't enjoy it.

    • J-man

      Have you tried it in Hero Mode? Enemies do twice as much damage and hearts are only regained by sleeping, drinking potions or sitting down.

  • LinkFan

    Fi's not annoying to me, I thought her voice was awesome

  • kabinator

    The controls are especially awkward if you loved the action in TP. So different and difficult, but SS is much more realistic. Also, SS controls make you feel more like part of the game, rather than just controlling what Link does with the touch of a button.

  • xw1ng

    This is a seriously poorly written review. It doesnt review the many many good thing about the game and instead seeks out the small nitpicks and magnifies them. Shame on you ZU. Who wrote this review anyway? Who is this Missing Link who lacks the balls to put up a real name and a picture like the actual personalities here on ZU.

  • Picko11

    Glad i read 'till the bottom when you admitted how negative you were. Alright review, but if you think this is such a great game (which it definitely is!!) why not review the good and best parts more?? explaining the negatives of the game just creates the idea that it isn't actually that good

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  • Datahound

    I've completed every other Zelda game (bar spirit tracks) , but I gave up on SS. The powering up master sword, searching for tad-poles to make music for a dragon is where I gave up. Side-quests are all fine and good but this was crap. There is no other way of putting it. It is a shame really but the collection of items for the master sword was padded out too much. Its a sword, Link can swing it. It doesn't need to be the focus of the story.

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