Bit late to the party and I have finally finished the latest Legend of Zelda game Skyward Sword. After first being disappointed by the cartoon look of the game a few E3’s ago I am pleased to say that the game looks much better. I really should have trusted Nintendo rather then early concept pictures and videos.
This is the first proper Zelda game made for the Nintendo Wii (Twilight Princess does not count as it was made for the Gamecube than ported across for the release of the Wii). All your movements use the Wii Motion plus controller which is needed to play this game. If you don’t own one, you can pick up an attachment, however I would advise against this as I found it hurts my wrist after long gaming sessions. Failing that you can pick up the game with a special Wii Motion Plus Controller but prices now start around £65.
The control movement actually feels pretty good, as you slowly turn your wrist you can see Link move his sword in the same direction, movements of your sword will help you against some enemies who leave themselves vulnerable points so long as you slash them in the correct direction. The only problem with this is when you start to swing around quickly, you will find that sometimes there will be a short lag and you will slash a move behind. Other items and equipment also use the Wiimote, the new beetle for example will be controlled holding the mote in front of you and tilting it left, right, up and down. This same method will be used to control your bird (Loftwing) however I do have a few minor issues here. Your Loftwing is use to get you around the skies and if you have to gain any height you can use tornado’s or a short dive and then climb technique which can become drawn out and tiresome. The problem occurs when you come up from the clouds you will always start near cloud level and Skyloft itself is quite high up, so you have to always have to use this dive and clime technique to reach Skyloft. I would have preferred it if you started near the top each time to save time.
This really is my only issue with the game; the graphics look very pleasant on the eyes especially if you are running your wii through a component cable on a HD tv. The music is as good as any previous Zelda game and you will find yourself knowing some of the tunes they have sneaked in. Some of the previous enemies are back but there is a twist on how you finish them off.
Gameplay lasts around 30 hours including side-quests which there are plenty and not once will you get bored during your play through. During your time in the game I guarantee there will be times where you will have to think about what to do to get ahead but a few minutes later you will realize what it is you have to do. I love these moments because the moment you realize what it is you have to do you get that feeling of achievement. Skyward Sword has that correct level where you have to think about things but it will come to you eventually. Other games can find themselves making puzzles too difficult forcing some players to seek out help and this I find can have an effect of the fun level. I like figuring things out for myself and I don’t want to have to ask someone or look it up.
I am pleased to say there are a couple of new weapons replacing some that appear time and time again in Zelda games. Bug and item collecting as you progress through the game will allow you to upgrade certain items which are a nice touch and brings something different to the game. Another nice touch added to Skyward Sword is the ability to dash for short periods of time but be warned; if you run out of stamina you could be left open to attack.
There is an issue I find with bug and item collecting and it’s not the sheer amount you will have by the end of the game but what happens each time you turn the game on. The very first time you pick up a new item or bug there will be a short cut scene telling you what you have picked up and then it will show you where in the menu it goes. After this you can pick up as many of the same item without seeing this again. That is until you turn the game off and back on again, if you then pick up an item you have loads of you will again have to witness this scene and you cannot skip it! Thanks Nintendo I know what a butterfly is I have 69 of them already!
Taking away the minor issues and they are minor, this is one of my favourite Zelda games and it’s probably the Ocarina of Time of today. With lots of playtime that doesn’t get boring, a fantastic music score and great graphics It would have been my game of 2011, but I unfortunately I played Xenoblade!