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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword [WII]





A mixed bag

2.0

Terrible
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
100 or More Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Disastrous"

Summary

I'm a huge Zelda fan.I've played all the games released. I loved all of them. Except this one. My first complain is the graphics. I enjoyed the realistic graphics of "Twilight Princess", I also loved the cel-shaded art of "Wind Waker" (which is my favorite Zelda game) this game made a poor attempt at combining the two. The game looks too realistic to be "cartoon" video game. My second quarrel is that I don't like the plot too much. All the old Zelda games have greate stories (ex Ocarinaia of Tim). This installation tell the story before that of Ocarina of Time. It is another prequel. I beleive that Zelda needs to move foreward and make sequels not prequels. However I do enjoy the overal gameplay. Fighting monsters using the enhanced Wii remot is the most realistic sword fighting in a video game. My conclusion is that Skyward though it has poor graphics and plot, the gameplay is amazing. The game is a mixed bag.




The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword struggles to soar and stalls too much for its own good.

6.5

Fair
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Disappointing"

Summary

It's been six years since the release of the last console Zelda game, The Twilight Princess. During this time, Zelda fans have been clamoring for Nintendo's newest offering, the Skyward Sword. Now after such a long wait, the game's finally been released, but it seems to have caused a rift among Zelda fans and split the group into two. There are fans who will ultimately love this Zelda game just for being Zelda, but then there will be those who were hoping for a true evolution of the series and they will be the ones most disappointed.

Skyward Sword begins like most traditional Zelda games. There's a moment of tranquility, usually with an ongoing celebration or ceremony. In Skyward Sword's case, this celebration is known as the Wing Ceremony. Our iconic hero Link is in training to become a Sky Knight, riding the back of giant bird known as a Loftwing. Link and other Sky Knights in training compete against each other to win a special prize from Zelda, a Sail Cloth. All this takes place on a floating island known as Skyloft high above the clouds. After Link wins the Sail Cloth from Zelda and is promoted to Sky Knight, he takes off on his Loftwing with Zelda for a joyride when out of nowhere, a tornado whisks Zelda off her bird sending her tumbling beneath the clouds. Now Link's adventure begins to find Zelda and learn his true role as Hero of Legend.

The biggest selling point of this particular Zelda game is the 1:1 motion controls thanks to the Wii Motion Plus. Now, you can move Link's sword realistically, and the combat will rely heavily on how you swing your sword. Horizontal, vertical and diagonal slashes, along with forward thrusts all play their part if you want to take down your foes effectively. For the most part, the controls work well, but they are far from perfect. One particular boss battle, Lord Ghirahim, requires you to slash at him from the opposite angle he's anticipating. The Wii Motion Plus is a bit too sensitive, so when you bring your sword over to the other side to prepare a slash, it might register that motion as a slash itself and cause Ghirahim to defend. Thrusts may not register properly and holding your sword high in the air to charge up a Skyward Strike might take a few tries before you get it. When you really need to rely on these motion controls and they end up not performing as advertised, it makes the game more frustrating than need be.

The Wii Motion Plus is also used to control Link on his Loftwing. By tilting the controller left, right, up and down, Link can steer his avian companion. Jerking the controller up and down makes them gain altitude, and pressing A causes them to lunge forward for an attack. The problem with these controls is they don't always work as well as they should. You have to really be gentle with the titling of the controller to make the bird fly the way you want, and not everyone is blessed with a steady enough wrist for that kind of precision articulation. You can actually break the controls by flapping too fast, causing the bird to get confused and steer wildly to the left or the right. Nintendo should have learned from Factor 5's mistake with Lair and made it an option to use the analogue stick for flight controls. The controls work great for skydiving, however, and it's an exhilarating experience to plummet through the air and open your Sail Cloth at the last possible second.

Perhaps the biggest nuisance with the motion controls is aiming. Instead of using the infrared to aim at the TV screen, it uses the 1:1 of the Wii Motion Plus. This means that whenever you're aiming a weapon, or merely looking around, the game will take whatever position your controller is in and use that for the center. This causes problems for players who hold the controller at rest, because when they go to aim, they'll find their reticle moving wildly off the mark, requiring them to press down on the d-pad to recenter. It's something you have to recondition yourself to do, but it's annoying nonetheless.

Speaking of annoyances, Link's new adventuring companion Fi is a major one. This android-like spirit possesses Link's sword and offers him information regarding enemies and his environment. The only problem is, she offers an incredible amount of useless information as well. When you're low on health, she'll tell you need to replenish your hearts as soon as possible. She also seems to constantly want to tell you your batteries in the controller are low. If you're playing with rechargeable battery packs that don't hold their charge very well, this will become very grating on the nerves after a while.

The minor annoyances continue to pile, as you're told numerous times what kind of crafting item you've picked up. You already know what a jelly blob is, what an amber relic is, a monster horn and claw is. Not only do these text screens pop up constantly, they also take you out of the game to show the items being put into your inventory. There is no need for that! It's a very distracting thing that should not exist in a game of this generation. Crafting also doesn't play a big enough role as it should, as it only enhances your equipment ever so slightly, and some of the items are too scarce to warrant the time spent looking for them.

If you really want to hunt for crafting materials, you can use Skyward Sword's dowsing feature. Dowsing is self-explanatory. Point your sword to look for a material, or another mission-based objective. Watch as the arrow points to your destination and listen for the frequency of the pings to increase to indicate your proximity to your target. The system works well, and really makes looking for things such as Goddess Cubes easier. Goddess Cubes are half buried cubes that need to be struck with with a Skyward Strike in order to unlock its corresponding treasure chest high up in the sky.

One of Skyward Sword's offenses is not utilizing its massive world well enough. There is a giant expanse underneath the Cloud Barrier that begs to be explored, but you're only given access to three realms. They are cliche themed forest, desert, and volcano regions. Instead of Nintendo being as creative as they can be by offering you more regions to discover, they make you revisit each of them two more times. Even the smaller islands peppered amongst the sky seem like a paltry sum to adventure to. The game feels far more empty than it should.

Enough of the complaints. Now it's time to talk about Skyward Sword's strengths, and this has been a constant staple of the entire franchise. The dungeons are still excellently designed. Each one does a great job incorporating its theme into the aesthetics and every new tool Link finds along the way gets put to wonderful use. There are, however, no extremely challenging dungeons, so it won't take you very long to solve them. What is fun, though, is that the dungeon key is a three-dimensional object that requires you to manipulate it with the Wii Motion Plus.

After you figure how to put the dungeon key into the lock, it's on to a rewarding boss battle. This is another area where the franchise shines in, as each boss is wonderfully designed. Taking a minute, letting them attack you, and trying to analyze their weak points is half the fun of these battles. As with the dungeons they reside in, they all make great use of the new equipment and weapons that link finds therein. If for some reason, you can't discover a way to fight one of these bosses, Fi is always there to help, provided your batteries aren't low... After you help the Thunder Dragon in the Lanayru Province, he'll offer you the ability to revisit each boss battle if you feel the need to fight them again.

There are just two complaints regarding bosses, however. The Imprisoned is a boss that appears from a broken seal at the bottom of a spiraled pit near the Sealed Temple. Over the course of the game, you'll fight him two more times. Although each occurrence is slightly different introducing a new element to the fight, it just feels like more padding to an already padded game. By the third and final battle with the Imprisoned, you might find yourself growing very tired of the game at this point. Lastly, the final battle at the end of the game is very anti-climatic. It's not very befitting of a battle between an almighty evil entity and the Hero of Legend, and it is actually over when it feels like it's just getting started.

In this day and age of next generation graphics, Skyward Sword is impossible to impress on a technical level thanks to the Wii's outdated hardware. Because of this, Skyward Sword's visuals rely entirely on artistic direction. Thankfully, the artistic direction is superb. The overall look of the game has a great balance of realism and cartoony charm. The use of color is excellent, and the special effects are just perfect for a Zelda game. The subtle rushing of air ruffling Link's clothes really make you feel like you're falling. Bombs exploding and enemies poofing into plumes of smoke have that classic Zelda style to them. As with most Wii games these days, it just leaves a lot to the imagination of just how much better it could have looked had Nintendo incorporated more powerful hardware into their Wii.

The one facet that Zelda has never faltered in is the audio. The soundtrack stands to be one of the best composed soundtracks in any Zelda game. The harp is the most prominently used instrument in the game, and as such is an instrument Link uses himself. Along with a full orchestra of other instruments, the music is always very beautiful to listen to, and some of the best tracks are found in the dungeons. The game also packs a soundtrack CD so you can listen to any of these melodies at your leisure. The sound effects are classic Zelda from bomb blasts to Link hitting his head on a tree, to the clanging of his hook shots. The only irritating thing about the game's audio is Nintendo still insists on using grunts, moans, gibberish, squeals and other vocal expressions to voice their characters. In this generation when adventure games in general have become so much greater in scope than Zelda games, it really is time for Zelda to evolve and become fully voice acted.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword obviously has tried a few new things. Its structuring and formulaic pace, however, have kept it trapped in the past like the Temple of Time in this very game. Zelda loyalists will have no problems forgiving the game's many faults, because they'll simply be thankful to finally play another console Zelda after six years. Those growing tired of Zelda games, or those who simply want to see the series grow, won't have that luxury and all the annoyances and contrivances will surely become off-putting. Plus, no matter how you look at it, the Wii Motion Plus controls simply aren't perfect, making it hard to argue that motion gaming will ever become the decided upon future. The Legend of Zelda franchise honestly needs to evolve to keep up with the bigger adventure games of this generation, but it never will if Nintendo continues to remain complacent and think that only the Zelda loyalists need to be appeased.




A brief Overviewing Review of a truly fantastic game!

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Masterpiece"

Summary

Every few years there comes a game that is so wonderfully made, that no matter what console you own, or what genre is your favorite, every gamer needs to play. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is one of those games.
Those familiar with the Legend of Zelda Series will instantly recognize "Link," The Hero of Time who is once again destined for greatness. The game's story begins on Skyloft, a huge chunk of land floating above the surface world. Soon enough you are thrust into an adventure to go save Zelda who has been kidnapped and taken to the surface. The main difference this time around is that Link already is in a relationship with Zelda at the start of the game, which in turn makes you even more motivated to go find her. There are dozens of dramatic/heart-wrenching cutscenes filled with clever plot twists, in what is the biggest Zelda story yet.
From a technical standpoint, the game makes remarkable use of the Wiimotion+ controls. Essentially, you have 1:1 precision control with the Sword throughout the game. So if you swing left, Link swings his sword left, if you make a forward lunge, Link stabs his sword forward. In turn this makes for some of the most devilishly clever boss battles in the series. Due to the Wii's technical capabilities, the game is not rendered in HD, but still shines visually thanks to a realistic, yet colorful art-style that is similar to an impressionistic painting.
Overall Skyward Sword is a masterpiece, from the fully orchestrated soundtrack, to the redefined gameplay, this game is not to be missed. Not only is it the best game for Wii, but it is perhaps the best Zelda yet.





Some of the best gameplay of any platform! An average gamers' review of how it stacks up.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Amazing"

Summary

Where to start. It is a matter of opinion when anyone writes a review and this is my first so here goes.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword recreates and combines many of the amazing facets of its predecessors into a unique action packed adventure that keeps you going right throughout the game. Like any game it has its ups and downs, so here are a few key elements I thought were what made it such a great game.

+ Puzzles and Dungeon challenges +

Skyward Sword saw an amazing amount of puzzles and brain bulging tests to challenge your observational skills and working out where to roll that bomb or which diamond to shoot first with small hints from Fi along the way. This specifically pertained to the dungeons such as the Sky-view Temple where you utilise Wii Motion Plus capabilities to make three eyes on the wall dizzy following your sword, or utilising water to create a magma platform to access other areas of the Earth Temple. These are some of the simpler puzzles but they keep you 'on the ball', constantly looking out for new areas to access, new ways to get into deeper parts of the dungeon and quicker ways to getting to the depths of the dungeon where the next boss resides ready to be slayed.

The architectural structure of each room of each dungeon allows for some greater holistic puzzles and challenges such as the Ancient Cistern's center structure that can move to create new undiscovered dungeon rooms and Sky Keep's 3 x 3 dungeon room puzzle(Final Dungeon) that requires you to slide the structure of the entire dungeon to access the tri-force pieces. These allow for some extremely fun and intricate game play.

+ Stamina Gauge +

The introduction of a stamina gauge gives Link a sense of humanity in his physical limitations. By limiting Link's ability to sprint for a week, or spin his sword till he starts flying like a helicopter it adds a nice challenge, especially when you are faced with running across quicksand with a limited amount of sprinting power or overcome by enemies and out of stamina to hold your sword. This stamina gauge forces you to rethink your strategy when approaching a horde of enemies or working through the Lanayru Desert sand and contributes to some of the great puzzles inside dungeons.

+ Equipment, Items, Bugs and Upgrades +

Bringing back some of the great items of past games, Skyward Sword brings with it the ability to mass upgrade all of your items... at the cost of rupees and items found throughout the game of course. Upgrades aren't necessary, but do come in handy, for example when fighting enemies and your shield needs repairing all the time, upgrading your beaten shield until you can go and win a Hylian Shield is a smart choice. Nevertheless there is an extravagant amount of items, bugs and upgrades to make that boss or dungeon just that bit easier. I haven't gone into detail about bugs but if you like collecting them and need them to upgrade a certain piece of equipment while on your path to the chosen hero they are pretty useful. Different locations throughout the game provide you with bugs and insects native only to those locations. Some are harder than others to catch as they may be rarer or the Wii Motion Plus decided it didn't want to catch it and let it fly away which I will get to soon, but quite an enjoyable ongoing side-quest for all those bug lovers out there.

Some Small Cons

Here are the parts of the game that just stopped it from being a Superb game.

Wii Motion Plus
The imperfect Wii Motion Plus sometimes caused a bit of frustration in the game. At times it became unresponsive to certain hand movements and did things you didnt want it to which cost you hearts in a dungeon battle. For example, versing a boss such as Scaldera, when swinging the remote in a slashing way to hit its eye at its weak spot it would often miss completely and cause you to hit the armour surrounding the eye, or slashing at Ghirahims' open side when he has his sword cause you to hit his sword rather than the target you wanted to hit. Keep in mind that this is only for a minority of the game when this happens and most of the time it will work fine. It occasionally has its imperfections but thats a part of console and accessory development.
As I had said before this problem happens when you have a small net trying to catch bugs, the only way you can catch the bug if you are standing over it and basically cup the net square on the bug to catch it. It is a small set back, but is aided by the upgrade to the larger bug net in this situation.

Location Repetition
Occasionally throughout the game you get a feeling that Ive been here way too many times, and know the location like walking around your house. However, this small problem is minimized by the fact that some equipment you didn't have before, you now do, which means you can access places you thought nothing of before. This slight inconvenience of going back and forth between Skyloft, Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano, and Lanayru is a part of any adventure game that requires journeying to distant lands. If you make the trip there than you make the trip back, which in the end makes you feel a lot better about how many hours and how much effort you actually put into the game.

Living up to many of its predecessors Skyward Sword creates a gaming experience that can only be described as amazing. The challenges you face and puzzles you solve give a great sense of acheivement and keeps you entertained for hours.
Overall rating 9/10.




This by far the Best Zelda Game ever made since Ocarina of Time and the it's the longest Zelda Game yet!

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Very Hard
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth the wait"

Summary

Back in 2009 Shigeru Miyamoto unveiled a piece of artwork showing what the next Zelda game would look like by showing a picture of Link holding a Shield without a Sword (presumably the Master Sword off course) and a fairy in the background of the picture as well.

Well the answer came true a year later when Shigeru Miyamoto unveiled the next Zelda game on the Wii and it was titled The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and we were very pleased with the outcome when the game was shown off for the first time at E3 2010 and we were happy that this Zelda Game uses the Wii Motion Plus to play the game to improve your sword swings and slashes and also improves the use of your other items such as your bombs, your bow and also including a new item which is a whip with the Wii Motion Plus as well.

The game itself starts off in a town called Skyloft which lives up in the sky above the clouds of the land below. In this game, Zelda is not a princess this time, she's a childhood friend of Link at the Knight Academy living with her Father Gaepora who is the Headmaster at the Knight Academy. In this game, Link flies on a bird called a Loftwing to travel to 3 regions scattered across the Overworld of the sky itself with his assistant Fi who is a blue fairy who lives in Link's Sword giving Link objectives what to do his Quests.

The ultimate villian is this Game is a Demon Lord called Ghirahim who is the servant to the Demon King Demise who plane to capture Zelda and take over the world for himself and the Demon King Demise as well.

In the 3 regions of the Game you, will encounter travelling Gorons who research the areas on their travels and they give Link advice to what to look out for during the game.

The Dowsing ability in the Game itself is very clever. It's like a metal detector tracking down something quickly in your Quest. This feature is only done with your Sword throughout the Game.

The new controls in Skyward Sword are Very Good and they work very well especially the new Sword techniques as well which I really do love because when playing the Game and then you get your Sword out and waving it around, it copies you movements on the Wii Motion Plus (or Wii Remote Plus) itself.

The Bow Works out very well especially when aiming at enemies you, can do it in 2 ways:

Press and hold down A to get a full aim or
put both controllers together and press and holding down C and drawing your arrow just a real bow and getting your full aim that way.

Your bombs also work in 2 ways and they are:

Throwing your bombs as normally by waving the Wii Remote Forward and also a brand new technique which is rolling your bombs like bowling ball like in Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort which is very unique.

The Whip and the Beetle are 2 of the newest items in the Game and they work nicely.

The Beetle helps you collect Hearts, Rupees, Treasures and even catches Bomb Flowers as well when you upgrade your Beetle throughout the Game itself.

The Whip helps you hook onto poles to swing you across large gaps and it also hooks to big switches and big levers to help you solve puzzles.

Finally, Link can run up steeper hills by press and holding down A on the Wii Remote for a short time until Link runs out of Stamina. To keep Link running faster you, have to collect Stamina Fruit to keep Link running faster to stop him slowing down every time.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is by far the Best Zelda game since Ocarina of Time in 1998 and it is the Hardest Zelda Game yet since The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.

To mark the Series's 25th anniversary, the Game comes with a soundtrack CD with all the music from some of the best Zelda Games of all time to the Present day and it's played Beautifully by an Orchestra for the first time in the history of The Legend of Zelda Game Series.

If you've played all the other Zelda Games in the past, this Game will keep you going for months or even years to come.

If you thought The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was short, this is the Game for you.

Buy it now. It's Perfect!


7.5

Great
9.3