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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword First impressions rss

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Jeremiah Perkins
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Just to set up my taste in Zelda games. I have played all of the Zelda games on the NES, SNES, Gamecube and the Wii. My favorite of them all is The Wind Waker. Skyward sword is on the way to being ranked up there with my favorite.

Gameplay: This is one of the greatest strengths in the game. They really used all the bells and whistles the Wii has to offer. The motion plus is used perfectly from sword play to bomb rolling. When you get into a fight you will use the nunchuck to control the shield. You can use it to block blows and knock an enemy off balance by hitting your shield into them with a well timed thrust of the nunchuck. The sword control is important because your enemy will adjust their weapons to block your blows. So you will have to be quick and change your attack often. That or flail your arms like a maniac, which works for my son. Almost all the gadgets you get in the game have their own unique controls. Very Cool!

Story: You as Link are apart of a group of people who live up in the clouds unknowing of what is going on in the world below. Until you embark on your journey after an accident involving Zelda. Pretty much a similar setup for all the Zelda games. I also haven't progressed enough to see who the main baddie is because Ghirahim refers to his boss calling the shots. So far the different areas friendly creatures have been new, with a few familiar faces thrown in like the Gorons.

Graphics: On the Wii the graphics are as good as they get for the limitations of the system. For now anyways this is the best we will get and they look great. I like the way the background is setup to look like a painting in the distance. I also think it was wise that they kept the game looking cartoon like.

Thoughts: I believe this game is a must own for any Wii owners who want to play more than just Wii Sports. I love the Controls and I always love the Zelda series. Most have followed the same predictable story but this one seems a little different. I am 3 temples in and I still don't have the bow or the boomerang. So if your are on the fence go for it you won't be disappointed.
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Ian Kelly
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Thanks for posting your review! I agree with pretty much everything there, especially about the graphics. If they had tried to make photo-realistic graphics at this point, it just would have looked shitty in comparison to contemporary titles on other system, e.g. Skyrim. As it is, it looks good for Wii, though.

My biggest gripe about this game is that it feels a bit too linear, and the world feels a bit too small. I have really liked the expansive worlds of past Zelda games. Here you have the sky -- which contains the main island plus a lot of dinky little islands, most of which are completely uninteresting -- and then you have three separate regions on the surface that are not interconnected at all. To get from one surface region to another, you must return to the sky and fly there. I suppose that overall the world is as large as that of Wind Waker or Twilight Princess, but due to the isolation of each region, it doesn't feel like it.

Somewhat related to that, the plot starts to feel just a bit repetitive after a while. The basic structure is: start in the sky, then discover each surface region and do a task there. Fight Ghirahim, reseal the Imprisoned, catch a glimpse of Zelda and the larger plot. Then go back to the sky and figure out what you need to do next. Return to each surface region to explore a new area in each and find something. Fight Ghirahim, reseal the Imprisoned, catch a glimpse of Zelda and the larger plot. Go back to the sky and figure out what you need to do next. Reseal the Imprisoned (didn't we just do that?), then return to each surface region again to find something else. Go back to the sky to find the last thing you need, then go fight the final bosses.

I suppose all Zelda games are a bit like that, but this one seems to have it in spades. I don't mean to come off negatively about the game though, I really do like it a lot, and I am still playing it (now in Hero Mode). cool
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Jeremiah Perkins
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Well one thing Nintendo Does well is predictability. Which I think as a long term gamer is comforting, because at least you know what to expect. Usually a pretty solid and fun experience. At least if we gamers get stuck in a time loop we can use Nintendo as a constant. To keep us sane and possibly save our lives one day. Ha (Sorry for the Lost reference)
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CJ
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I'm going to disagree, gents. I haven't built myself up to write a full review, yet, but this is massively, massively disappointing. It's very rare that I wish I hadn't spent money on a game but Skyward Sword is proving to be a joyless experience...
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Luke Stirling
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elgin_j wrote:
I'm going to disagree, gents. I haven't built myself up to write a full review, yet, but this is massively, massively disappointing. It's very rare that I wish I hadn't spent money on a game but Skyward Sword is proving to be a joyless experience...

Out of curiousity, what are the key issue you have with the game? I've certainly had my ups and downs with the game myself, but I'd not say I regret buying the game. So far it's ended up being far more ups than downs, and a steady trajectory towards improvement. If only because my first session was more than a little frustrating, but I have largely overcome that.
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CJ
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Some of my hate-post contains spoilers regarding the storyline.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Part of my dissatisfaction is that I am a big Zelda fan and don't feel this installment lives up to previous ones. That aside, I have some significant issues with this one:

1 - I do not like the new control method. One of the most enjoyable things about the Zelda series is that it doesn't stray into the area of platformers. By introducing those elements with the controller the game has adopted all the worst of platformers - pissy, precise, prissy control of the character that has been frustrating and unenjoyable. I simply don't want to be waving my arms around like a twat while playing games.

2 - I keep finding myself stuck at pissy little moments where I know the answer is obvious but can't figure it out. Rather than Fi assisting I have found the f**ker to be less than useless. Happy to tell me about 90% certainty of the obvious, less useful when I need a hint about how to get past a specific room or enemy - especially bosses. I have never gone to Gamefaqs with a need to drive the storyline (not subquests) with the frequency of this game, ever. These characters are introduced to Zelda games for a reason - shame no one bothered to tell the designers this time around...

3 - Total absence of any meaningful side-quests. Sure, few games have the Anju/Kafei quest of Majora, but this is totally weak. The Pumpkin and Batreaux quests are the most significant side-quests and they are dull and pretty pitiful.

4 - Complete failure to meet the potential of the game world. When I first saw the map I thought we were going to be talking about Skies of Arcadia on steroids. Instead, the 'Sky' world uses about 1/3 of its total space potential and the islands are singularly dull and uninteresting. Constant re-use of the same areas over, and over, and over again. Thanks a bunch for developing a large and entertaining world - oh, wait, they didn't. As for the treasures and bug-catching - that could have been really good if the game had matched the concept with some real RPG-esque vision. Shame no one bothered. Lowest common denominator gameplay.

5 - Storyline. What a f**king joke. Majora kept me more entertained. It reached the point where I started trying to skip cut scenes because I really don't care. But I can't! And Ghirahim... Really!? I lived in Japan, I understand the cultural aspects that influenced his design and yet I still can't fathom how the game producer allowed such a pitiful character into the game. I have lost any interest in attempting side-quests and games and simply want to complete this game as quickly as possible (I'm ready to fight Demise at the end) to get it done and dusted and out of my life.

I live in Germany these days but ordered the game from the UK for the language. If I could trade these game, or return it, I would do so in a heartbeat. That, right there, is as damning as anything I can say about it - I retain my collection for all systems but this game is really pitiful. One of the oft-criticised aspects of Zelda is that it is very childish. I never cared because I enjoy the vision and the gameplay has always been developed enough to make it worthwhile. Not so this game - superficial in the extreme. The only thing I have really enjoyed is the art.

In writing this you have made me realise just how genuinely angry I am over this game. I've invested 45 hours in it and it has been a total waste of my time. I need to finish it for the sake of bloody-mindedness and then get rid of it. This is the Brass of the videogame world - complete shit.
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Luke Stirling
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CJ,

I'm very sorry to hear that the game has been such a disappointment and frustration to you. While I see some minor overlap between what you wrote and my own concerns (namely the control method and how it makes some aspects of the game very finicky), I think our general attitudes of the game as a whole are widely divergent. To be honest, I'd argue that some of your complaints could potentially be levelled at any Zelda game. If you are not having any fun with the moment to moment aspects of playing the game (combat, exploration, puzzles, using new items), the framing elements (quests, side quests, story, etc.) can come across as paper thin. This is not to diminish your negative sentiment on the matter, but more to try and frame how it might have tipped over the edge into complete dislike for you, even though it seemingly entertains many other people a great deal.

As a side note, you might want to consider editing your post so that the main body of text is in a spoiler box. Some of the things you talk about are things not immediately revealed to a player starting out.
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CJ
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I agree that many of my criticisms can be levelled at any Zelda game. The thing is, I don't level them at many Zelda games - only this. I wasn't the biggest fan of Twilight Princess but I still thought it was decent. This, though, I find a damp squib with none of the depth or charm of previous installments.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Simon Woodward
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Hi, I am not a video gamer, but I am wondering about this for my kids. Is this suitable for kids, and how old would they need to be? They have only played fairly simple PC games previously.
 
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Ian Kelly
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manukajoe wrote:
Hi, I am not a video gamer, but I am wondering about this for my kids. Is this suitable for kids, and how old would they need to be? They have only played fairly simple PC games previously.


Sure, any of the Zelda games are well suited for kids. The ESRB rates the game for ages 10+, and while that's based on maturity of content, I think it's about the right age range in terms of complexity of gameplay as well.
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Simon Woodward
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Thanks!

Edit: I was just a bit concerned as several reviews (by adults) complained about some puzzles being tricky to complete. Since I haven't played this style of game I don't know what the tricky part might be.
 
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Luke Stirling
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manukajoe wrote:
I was just a bit concerned as several reviews (by adults) complained about some puzzles being tricky to complete. Since I haven't played this style of game I don't know what the tricky part might be.

There are a couple of points where some younger players might become a little unstuck. But I think those are rather few and far between. And for those moments, there's always the option of parental advice and/or a quick peek on the internet to proceed.

Skyward Sword takes a minimum of 30-40 hours to complete, and substantially more than that if you go off and do all the optional bits. Across that entire span of game time, there are no more than a half dozen points I can think of where the puzzles get a little tricky.
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Simon Woodward
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Thanks. I did pick up this game.

Edit: After my kids played it for a while, I think The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a better game for them, for the following reasons:

1. You don't need to be so precise with the controller in combat.
2. You can save anytime, you don't need to find one of the bird statues.
3. It starts with a lower key setting, doing little tasks around the village to get the hang of the controls, which is easier for them to relate to.
4. You get to ride a horse from the start!
5. Jumping is easier (you don't have to "dash").
6. The item screen is easier to navigate.
7. You don't get the master sword right at the beginning!
8. I have already played 70 hours of TP, so I am available to help them out whistle
 
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