The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

The primary change in game mechanics between Skyward Sword and the previous Wii Zelda title, Twilight Princess, is the addition of Wii Motion Plus. Basically, it adds a gyroscope to the Wii controller, allowing you to control things by rotating the remote and to direct the motion of your sword more accurately. The moniker “Skyward Sword” refers to a move in which you hold the Wii remote vertically, but every sword duel encounter you have with enemies will rely on how you position your sword with the remote. Raise it high and enemies block high, anticipating an attack from that direction. Go low and they move to compensate.

On paper, this is actually a pretty cool system and when it works, it is cool. Most every enemy encounter requires a few moments of thought, precise movements and a lack of reliance on the painfully stupid Wii “waggle” that marred Twilight Princess.

The trouble is, the Wii remote, even with the Wii Motion Plus, isn’t really powerful enough to accurately mimic sword fighting and the game often asks for a degree of precision that the Wii remote struggles to reach. In heavy fighting situations or big-time boss-level sword fights, this is infuriating. At the very least, you never reach a really satisfying level of swordsmanship capability, because at any point, you can find yourself swinging away in the wrong direction as the remote misinterprets your repositioning your sword as an attack. In a game where firing off the wrong attack can get you killed, this can suck the fun out of the room with shocking speed and efficiency.

But as time goes on and you learn to allow the action to grind to a halt every time you draw your sword, Skyward Sword can get really good. The later dungeons especially include quite a bit of extremely clever design. One whole section requires the activation of specific stones that revert an area surrounding them to a past state, turning an area from an unpassable, quicksand-covered desert into a green, technology-covered oasis. Puzzles that have you carrying around one such stone, moving the bubble of past-ness around with you, are some of the best in Skyward Sword, or any Zelda in recent memory.

There are also several quality boss fights in the best tradition started in Ocarina of Time — massive enemies and epic encounters. A battle with one huge multi-armed automaton comes to mind as being a standout of quick thinking and fast reflexes, as well as the simple requirement of running away from a danger you couldn’t surmount without using agility and brains. It wasn’t particularly hard (nothing in Skyward Sword really is), but it was exciting.

It’s a shame so many good parts are stained by so many bad ones. Link’s sword-spirit sidekick, Fi, is among the worst ever conceived in a video game and light-years beyond the oft-nagging Navi. Fi is the character with the nauseating habit of repeating key information to you immediately after you receive it. Verbatim. Even though you just read it mere seconds before. She constantly is hopping out in front of you to stop what’s going on, like you heading to your next clear objective, and telling you to head to that objective. And apparently, no character in Skyward Sword can have anything to say without it covering at least two paragraphs of dialog, and you have to watch all of it appear letter by letter.

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37 Comments on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

Redmagpie

On November 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Seriously how slow are you at playing games?? :P
4 HOURS INTRO???
It took me barely an hour and a half before I’d hit the main game…(and was exploring the surface) despite spending a considerable amount of time examining the scenery :D
Oh and the dialogue can be easily sped up by holding A…
Other than that a well-written review xD (Although I don’t think your point on the controls is valid)

Phil Hornshaw

On November 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm

@redmagpie

Granted that holding A speeds dialog, but doing so is so minimal as to be useless.

Also the four-hour mark, technically, took me straight through to the first boss fight. But it was also the portion of the game that felt slowest and most irritating, even when running around on The Surface. Perhaps not technically the intro portion, but frustratingly dull. Only when the game started to open up and give you freedom, around the time of finishing that first dungeon, did it start to get fun.

So that’s fair. Thanks for the comment.

Redmagpie

On November 30, 2011 at 2:47 am

Ahh that makes a bit more sense now :P Although personally I took my initial time on the surface to fully appreciate the sword controls so I wasn’t worried about the pace as I spent my time seeing how many marks I could make on a mushroom before the first disappeared lol

sean

On November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

“After some careful consideration, I don’t think it’s me”. It’s you. I loved every minute of the game (besides the part where it made me go through the new item get sequence). And its saying a lot that i had the most fun with this game this year, when im comparing it to some fantastic games (dark souls, arkham city, portal 2). It just sounds like zelda isnt for you. I absolutely love the time leading up to the surface. The music, the epicness of the events that are hinted to come. you obviously arent an old school zelda fan though.

coolman229

On November 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I really don’t mean to insult you, but this sounds an awful lot like Mr. Tom McShea’s review of the game. I really don’t understand you’re issue with the controls. I could understand maybe having a little trouble getting comfortable with them, but I have never had an issue with the controls. I’m 29 hours into the game and I’m at the 4th dungeon, and I have yet to experience any of the control problems that you’ve had. You can’t just say that having Motion+ didn’t make a bit of difference. It does. It’s less waggly (is that how you spell it?) than Twilight Princess. If you thought that it was poorly implemented, then I really don’t know what to say.

I must disagree on principle with your beef with the beginning. I loved the beginning. I am personally a fan of games that make an effort to give each of it’s characters personality so that you care about them during the game. And boring characters? I don’t know if you and I are playing different games, but I love the characters. Each one has their own personality, and you find out more about them as time goes on. I will admit that some parts of the game are easy, but isn’t there Hero Mode? That should make it much more difficult than your first playthrough.

And what you said about Fi being worse than Navi. No. No. No. Nope. Never. Fi is a fascinating character. She’s very different from the snarky Midna, but that’s what makes her interesting. She’s like a computer. If you’ve ever seen The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (I really recommend that anime), she makes me think of Yuki Nagato. Very monotone, very exact in her use of words, and emotionless. Yes she repeats information verbatim, but Nintendo made it very clear from the moment they introduced her that that’s how she is. And must disagree with what you said about her popping up all the time. Unless you were running into important areas and items every five minutes, then she doesn’t pop up all the time. I found Fi very useful. There were several times that Fi was helpful in getting through a dungeon.

I am confused about what parts of the dialogue you found boring. Was it the humor? Because that would go over the head of someone who hasn’t played a number of Zelda games. I find myself laughing all the time during this game. Skyward Sword is definitely the funniest Zelda game yet. Other than the humor, I really can’t think of anything that isn’t Zelda. The dialogue is fine from my end. I see the same style of speech that is usually seen in a Zelda game. Quirky, goofy, and over the top. I actually think the dialogue is better written than the other Zelda games.

I’m also very confused about your hatred of the stamina system. It’s there to make sure you don’t just spam your special attacks and run everywhere. How is that not strategic? You have to manage your use of the stamina meter. And it doesn’t take that long to regenerate, even if you ran it down. I really like being able to run at all.

From what I read, you are an impatient gamer that wants action immediately. Do you like the Modern Warfare games? Because I think you would enjoy the running and gunning of random Russians more than Skyward Sword.

Phil Hornshaw

On November 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I know you guys would love to lampoon my opinion by claiming that Zelda “isn’t for me,” but the fact is that I’ve played the living crap out of every Zelda game available to me for the whole of my life. It’s not Zelda games, it’s THIS Zelda game. Sounds much more like you guys are into anything with Zelda in the title, regardless of whether the design changes of the game are actually good or well-implemented — which they often aren’t.

Glad you guys enjoyed Skyward Sword. Keep enjoying it. But with a history of Zelda titles and gameplay under my belt, many of them played through multiple times, I’m confident in my assessment that Skyward Sword, while often great, is just as often terrible.

Jesse

On November 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Wow, another person who is eagerly rushing to put out a review, despite the fact that you clearly are confused about how you feel. Like I said to Tom, its your opinion and your entitled to it. I only mean this if your a gamer, not a critic. One thing you have to consider is that not everyone is going to have control issues like you did. In fact, 96% of the reviews I’ve read state the complete opposite about the controls. Don’t believe me? Check out Metacritic.com and look at the critics who have reviewed the game. I for one have to completely disagree with you 100%. I just got the third flame and will pick up there after I get done with finals in school. I think I’ve played enough to confidently say that Skyward Swords controls, ideas, story, and creativity are completely satisfying. Like I said, not everyone is going to have a hard time with the controls including myself. If anything they felt natural. The story is possibly the best part, compared to zelda’s usual monotonous plot. I applaud Nintendo for making a huge effort and successfully moving the franchise into new territory in both story, and control. You say that you don’t think its you its the game, well look at all the critic reviews that disagree with you; I call it like i see it. I hope people start reading multiple credible sources before deciding to go with a couple of rotten ones. This game is the best Zelda game since TLO Zelda OOT and if I had listened to people like Tom Mc Shea and yourself, I never would have known.

AKP

On November 30, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Having recently beaten A Link To The Past, the main problems in this game are woefully clear. I don’t mind the controls, but the slow beginning and gobs of often insubstantial text make this a game I’m not keen on playing twice. As you mention, it’s frustrating because this game gives so many signs of how much greater it could be.

You didn’t touch on the story much, but I find it a little too maudlin. Your point about the stamina system is well-taken; since it’s only really strategic in the context of swordplay, the limiting factors in other instances are just irksome. Why can’t I always climb vines quickly? Why don’t I have free rein to run whenever I want to? It’s not as if the enemies in this game are so cripplingly difficult that running is a cheap ability.

Most of all, I dislike the overarching sense of redundancy. Even near the very beginning, I was wishing that the game would get out of my way with its inept exposition. These conversations and scenes can be in the game and are in some sense important, but not when they come at the cost of pacing or getting the adventure started.

In a few short scenes Ocarina of Time gave us everything we needed to know about the key characters, what their personalities were, and how they fit into the world of the game. I still remember the Kakariko guard who wishes he could spend time with his son, and that Darunia chooses to name his son after you. And through gameplay we learned about Navi’s dedication and eagerness to help, Ganondorf’s utter evil, and Link’s social ostracism in the forest. These small moments do so much more than Skyward Sword’s grade-school dialog. I hope Mr. Aonuma and the rest of the Zelda staff take note of their past successes and really think about what it means to build a world for a player.

Dmitriy

On November 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I picked up the game because it was 50 bucks. I wasn’t waiting for it, nor was I excited for it. It was just something I did spontaneously. I had played almost all of the Zelda games out there. And the best one still to this day, to me, is A Link to the Past for SNES. Twilight Princess comes in second. Skyward Sword is annoying. annoyingly annoying. This game was made for idiots who lack the ability to explore and want/need everything spoon fed. The characters ARE annoying. I hated the Windwaker because of the idiotic stupid and goofy characters that I couldn’t take seriously. Almost immediately I felt the same way about Skyward Sword. The controls are so bad, I thought I had a faulty motion plus attachment, so I plugged in another one… nope… just poor controls. there were sooo many times where i wanted to do a downward strike, but if it wasn’t exactly downward, it wouldn’t register on an enemy. ugh…

the graphics. So there are a few tricks to make a game look big, without it actually being big, one of the tricks is to place things faaaar apart and have some bland graphic as a filler. this is the exact technique used in Windwaker except in the Skyward Sword, the bland graphic was … nothing. it was air. nothing to see. no mystery. no deception. I remember spending a ton of time looking at every inch of land in Twilight Princess because I was hoping to find something awesome. You cant really do that with SS. the whole watercolor paint style is a bunch of crap too. It was a way to reduce resolution and mipmapping so the game ran smoother. It looks like a constant Photoshop effect that every teen uses on a self portrait. I hated seeing Zelda in the beginning. There was SOOO much sexual tension. I couldn’t stand it. She wanted to get laid in every scene.

Fi, F**king Fi… I was hoping that pressing B would just cancel any conversation but.. nope… that didn’t happen. Zelda started out with telling the story with as little text as possible. the rest was told through gameplay and discovery. Everything was forced, the intro could have been 10 minutes long if i wasn’t forced to learn everything. I only need 3 seconds to get the idea and go on. to make it worse, Fi has to tell you again. and again. then she will remind you about your controller. er… MY controller. almost every character breaks the 4th wall. why are they even talking to link? they should just talk to the player… they could have done the whole game in 1st person. im going back to skyrim, or better yet, dark souls. I’m giving this game to my wifes younger siblings.

me too

On December 1, 2011 at 3:12 am

just about the most boring game i’ve played. not an old school fan of zelda, but a lover of gaming since the 70s. didn’t mind twilight princess, but did tire of it by the second dungeon.
This literally put me to sleep. There may well be a gem somewhere in there, but i’m not wasting any more time on this, when truly great games like skyrim and uncharted 3 are sitting on my shelf.
A pity as i got this to extend the life of my wii. instead it’s simply motivated me to trade it in.
in a nutshell (and admittedly i fell asleep only a few hours in) – bland.
bland graphics, bland characters, bland music, monotonous dialogue, and bland gameplay.

Wally-G.

On December 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

Don’t let the Zeltards get you down, one day they will allow themselves to see the truth, to realize this game sucks. Till then stay strong and good review. Thank you for having the balls and the spine to speak the truth, and not kiss Nintendo’s ass/suck their like the idiots above.

Adam

On December 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

About time someone told it like it is.

And you are exactly right.

The dungeon puzzles are first-rate. The environments are very pretty.

But the controls are awful, the inventory system is aggravating (made worse by having to root through your items in real time–the game doesn’t pause), the “upgrading items” concept is stupid, and the story and cinema are a huge step backward from Twilight Princess.

Most of all, contrary to the doubtless paid-for reviews elsewhere, this game testifies to the failure of Nintendo’s promise of betting gaming through motion control.

Emma Dodds

On December 3, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’ve just started playing this game. I love the new graphic designs and the new challenges in the temples. I can see your point about the characters but if you remember at the start of twilight princess, Link was heading out into castle town and just like the end of ocarina of time zelda told link to live his 7years of his life the way he should. I’m just a little frustrated that they took Epona the horse out the aqusion for the loftwing bird but at the same time its still cool that you can control the movements in the air. These points of mine might be early for me to call since I’ve just started on the game but it comes clear to me you need to play ocarina of time, spirit tracks, phantom of the houglass and then twilight princess again then you can compare the games much clearer.

Emma Dodds

On December 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

I mean also being able to swing on vines and ropes makes me love the wii motion much more!! I think they should do a new game about how link left the ranch and ended up in skyford then it might make it clearer for you to understand and ENJOY IT MORE!!!!

Fred Jones

On December 7, 2011 at 3:45 am

It’s a love/hate relationship with Skyward Sword. I LOVE TO HATE THIS GAME! I mean come on, a 60 hour quest which has 3 areas you repeat 3 different times! You go into the “twilight” version to get some “tears” however, if you’re TOUCHED just once, lose and have to listen to that whole speech by Fi again. The boss battles are hard as hell, given those horrible controls! The bow on it is just HORRIBLE! My tv setup doesn’t allow me to control it that easy, but you HAVE to use the remote! Same with flying and swimming! I HATE THIS GAME WITH A PASSION!!

Mike

On December 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

Good review I unfortunately totally agree. I’ve played Zelda my whole life and although this game does have the very unique way that zelda makes its dungeons and puzzle solving, everything else about this game was a disappointing.

Items. The bug was the only cool new item. A leaf blower, really? and how come there were only 8 real items? And i hated that i couldn’t pause to select my items.

Graphics. Given how underpowered the Wii is this speaks for itself but Twilight Princess looked better.

Story and characters. Awful. Shames me to say my favourite character was groose. That should speak for itself.

I hated the sky. It was so boring. I was so excited when the ground opened up then disappointed when I could only be in the forest. I thought for sure mid game it would all open up after the first 3 levels and there would be more to explore but instead we BACKTRACKED to all of them again. The whole point of zelda to explore as much as possible to ELIMINATE BACKTRACKING. Then its for this gate of time so i thought “holy this is it, we get a NEW world to explore back in time because thats what zelda does” and I wouldn’t have been suprised. Instead I was horribly suprised to find out we had to back track to all 3 of the original places AGAIN, and the gate of time was just the final battle.

I did like how you could optionally collect things throughout the world to upgrade potions and items. I did like the array of things for sale requiring a higher dependency on rupees.

This game still had its classic zelda puzzles though which made it a fun game still. I was just disappointed with it. I dont know if I will play it again.

Craig

On December 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Hey Phil,

I purposely signed up to this site so I could post on this forum just to say thank you, I thought I was completely alone in my feelings of disappointment I had after finishing this trying but unfortunately lacking excuse of a Zelda.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good hours to be had playing this, but when I sum it all up into a little nutshell (as I did with previous Zelda games in the series) I look at this game and ask myself am I going to remember this game in a years time, or do I really want to?

If people disagree, or feel this is completely bias, first assure you’ve played every Zelda and you understand where it started, how it’s grown, where it was, and where it is. If you liked the story, congratulations. If you liked the characters, well done. Damn, if you liked the fact 75% of the game felt like it was made for an audience that actually needed a sheikah stone, completely dissolving any challenge a Zelda game is supposed to deliver, then big kudos to you. You have the game of your dreams you can play over and over again without hassle of ever tiring out the right side OR left side of you brain.

As for me, I’m going back to play the series again, and Alttp is calling as well!

Craig

Alkaia

On December 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Thank you for your review. At least someone is telling the truth. Me too, totally disappointed with this SS. I don’t have big issue with the controls but the whole story and characters make me angry(a lot).

“I fear for the future of the Zelda franchise if Skyward Sword is an indication of things to come.”

This is the same thought as I am now. All these make me question about my long term interest in Zelda series may change in future and it already started.

Alkaia

On December 21, 2011 at 7:05 am

But, after a few days (including today) of thinking, is better for SS not being good enough cause it’s consider a prequel version of Zelda among others. Sure everything will be much more linear than now.
(Please Ninty, no funny sequel for SS after this)
Still, Hooray for Lanayru Desert & Ancient Cistern!

Phil Hornshaw

On December 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

@Alkaia

Eh, I dunno about trying to justify SS in terms of the Zelda timeline. For one, parsing together the Zelda timeline — the very assumption that there IS a Zelda timeline — is a fool’s errand, if you ask me. Second, I really, truly doubt that Nintendo sat down and said, “we’re doing a Zelda ‘prequel,’ so the Zelda mechanics and story will have to be slightly different from other Zelda mechanics and story — or else nothing will make sense!” There’s no evidence of that here (or in any other Zelda game), and how the timeline may or may not hang together has never been indicated in terms of how a Zelda game’s story or mechanics are altered or presented.

I think the idea of giving a pass based on this being a “prequel” is searching for a way to give Nintendo a pass for making a bad game. I don’t want to be mad at Nintendo over Zelda either. But we can’t change the facts.

Sarah

On December 29, 2011 at 5:50 am

I agree with your review… I was so excited for this game as I’ve been playing zelda for many many years and practically begged for this game for Christmas.

First off I was annoyed with the story/characters which were very cheesy and the dialogue felt like it just went on and on… And then when I was told something fi would pop up and tell me the exact same thing but in two paragraphs with fancy words and phrases.

The controls were annoying only because it’s annoying to get used to. SO many times I’d be waving my arms like an idiot doing a horizontal strike and links would do a vertical strike. I also thought that my controller was faulty or just far too sensitive…

So far I’ve still enjoyed this game but I much preferred TP…
There are still things I loved about the game though like Groose, my own loftwing although I think I preferred epona, the interesting puzzles… I don’t really feel like there was a whole lot to explore with the game though.
Just so that I don’t get slated by people who love this game this is just my opinion, I will still continue to be a great fan of zelda but I’m just glad that I’m the only one who felt disappointed by this ame

Zach

On January 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

I agree with a lot of your review… I grew up on Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, which I believe were the two best Zelda games.

Ocarina of Time was a revolutionary step to the franchise which set it up with so much success. Majora’s Mask provided difficult dungeons and boss battles which made it very enjoyable and captivated many gamers.

Now down to business… I strongly dislike the new Wii Remote controls. The fact that they made it so that it followed your every movement really is a waste of development. This really makes me wish that they never made the Wii controls. Being a guy who grew up on Zelda, (I was 4 when I played my first Zelda game) I can’t help but crave the old hack and slash game play. The new controls strayed from the traditional Zelda to the point of it not being anything like the old Zelda games.

I know that the game isn’t all about the controls. The story I believe was very good. The fact that I couldn’t use the classic controller or Gamecube controller is what killed it for me.

Yes, Nintendo is trying to make a new style of gaming, but it really isn’t meant for any Legend of Zelda games. Zelda has been, and hopefully always will be, about saving Princess Zelda and enjoying the storyline.

I sound like a Zelda hater, but I’m far from it. Zelda is my obsession, and by far the greatest franchise ever made in my opinion, I just do not want to see it be ruined by some unnecessary motion controls brought on by the creators intense urge to change one of the key elements. I’d be perfectly fine with these controls if it would go along with some traditional controller use.

After 25 years of making amazing Zelda games, the creators are either running out of ideas or desperate. I look forward to seeing the changes when the next game comes out within the next 6 years.

Luke

On January 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Toatally agree with above comments, this game for me felt nothing like a zelda game, the controls where frustrating to the point where I felt like throwing the condom shaped remote out of the window, the characters!, the Crapy windwaker esk graphix! Don’t get me wrong I’m a zelda fan but after hours of backtracking and constant Crapy text I felt like I’d lost time I could not get back. a few ways witch would have made this game better are 1.loose the blue chineese stalker witch constantly repeats crap you already know 2.loose sky loft all together and put together a game we can actualy explore insted of just flying throu clouds 3. Gimi a god dam horse! An not one of those crappy motion controlled ones, just a simple tap A go faster horse, I don’t Evan care if it’s not epona! 4. Wtf’s with the stamina bar! Evan after you find the fekin triforse near the end and he has some Devine god power helping him he still gets knackerd. Well rant over, the best solution for me was to pretend I wernt Evan playing a zelda game, otherwise it would have gone back to the shop after first few hours of play

Daniel

On January 9, 2012 at 6:06 am

I almost completed the game now. Last thing to do is the dungeon in Skyloft where the triforce is. I’ve played every Zelda apart from the gameboys version and the CDI (from Philips) version. I loved all the games very much, obviously OOT and A Link to the Past where my favourites, even though I probably spent more hours in The Adventures of Link and Zelda I. But nevermind that. I too agree that the staminabar is a total waste. It is good for absolutely nothing. I understand the need for such a bar when you are trying to muddle your way through quicksand. Sure I understand that. Would be too easy if such a thing weren’t there. But for running/climbing/swordfighting etc, it is really annoying and it does give you downtime. Like the OP said, you are waiting to have fun. Which is totally not how any Zeldagame should be. And really why bother with 5 bottles? You can complete this game with just 1 or 2 it is THAT easy. And if you have 5 bottles, you cannot possibly equip them into your adventure pouch can you? No, cause then you cannot use the other goodies that you want like the extra hearts and the extra arrows and bombs. And really… a medallion that makes your potions better? I mean 9 minutes of total invincibility? The only thing that is good for is that Lightningrun thing where you can down 10 bosses in a row. I mean that Guardianpotion takes out the excitement of the game doesn’t it? You come to a new boss, pop the potion and regardless how stupid you are, you will not take 10 minutes to defeat a boss. And yes Fi the most boring idiot “friend” ever. I liked Navi much much more. In OOT it was the OWL who was Captain Obvious mostly. But Fi takes the cake.
And why oh why did Nintendo step back from playing your own instrument? OOT was awesome playing all those little melodies. Now we just move the remote left and right, voila instant success! And why all these ingame tips to what things are? What about exploration? What also pissed me off was the amount of arrows you could find ingame, only in the area where you actually find the bow do any arrows appear. They do not appear that much when you are someplace else and thus I am forced (and lazy) to buy them at that annoying “chinese” salesman at the bazaar. Who is ofcourse funny when you first meet him. And why can I not specify how many arrows x10 I want? Now I have to talk 5x to him to get all my arrow slots filled (yes I carry 2 arrow containers). Why do I have to listen to that potionlady explaining that her husband could upgrade potions when I heard it the first time. It takes too long. Upgrading my gear was fun, but I rather just found those items in the world below by exploring. And shields ARE totally unneeded. Being a Zelda fan as I am, I collected and upgraded them all just to see them on my back. But damn was I happy to get that Sturdy Shield. Not because it is the best shield in the game (how much of an idiot are you if you actually break your shield anywhere in the game?) but because this brings back memories and it is the last shield you get at the very end when you absolutely do not need to get it anymore if ever? Where is my “redlink” outfit? Or blue for that matter? And most of you claim that this game had difficult puzzles? Come on! They were pretty obvious except for perhaps 4 in the entire game. And why do we need a bag of rupees that can hold 9.900? Is there an item that you can buy that takes that much? And why does Beeble give you a 50% discount on ANY item in his shop after you gave him back his beetle? At the time I could do this for him, I already bought every item there was. Sure he gives you 5 gratitude crystals but come on! Just give me the gratitude crystals and do not talk about that 50% discount that no one could use anymore. And then we have Fun fun Island. Why do I have to listen to the whole story he is telling everytime? And why do I have to click on him everytime to get to talk to him? Why can’t he (and every other character that lets you do a game) just ask: want to go again? Yes/No. If I remember correctly this was something that other Zelda games did have. So why was it removed? Overal I liked SS. I mean for me the controls were pretty good, mostly. And the game itself did spark some enjoyment. And when I finish the game tonight, I will be happy that I completed yet another one. But I will probably move back to OOT this weekend. I hope Hyrule Field etc (EXPLORATION) will return to the game in the next one and that it won’t be as insanely easy as SS.

Daniel

bran

On January 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm

the game suckedddddddd demise?????? wtf is that what an awful game

bran

On January 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm

im done with zelda

Daniel

On January 20, 2012 at 2:30 am

Thanks for your wonderful comments bran. You really put some great input in saying something constructive. If any Nintento-people are reading this they will fully understand what is wrong with the game after reading what you said.

Daniel

Darren

On January 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm

whats with all the hate its a good game. JERKS!

K

On February 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I just finished the game and am about to play again in Hero Mode. I liked it overall, but in the end I have to say I agree with some of your points.

I enjoyed the controls most of the time. I liked the sword controls – although they’re not perfect, they’re a lot better than the button-smashing/wii-wiggling of days past. I loved some of the minion monsters (like the goblins and deku babas) and how you actually had to think about how to kill them rather than just hit them until they fall over. On the other hand, some of the weapons and motion plus functions were too sensitive and others weren’t sensitive enough – for example, the beetle would sometimes swing around too much to be fun to use, and sometimes I would turn the wii remote so far while flying that it would flip the bird (pun?) the other way.

The characters were really hit-and-miss for me. Groose stood out as a well-developed and interesting person, and definitely surprised me (my initial reaction to him was pretty bad); the shopkeepers were funny and well-designed. However, Zelda’s father was very weak – I never felt like he even cared about Zelda at all – and Ghirahim was often too funny to be a serious boss.

Fi took the cake as one of the most annoying characters I’ve ever experienced in a game. She repeatedly tells you completely useless information (like when your hearts are running low, as if it isn’t displayed prominently on the top-left corner of the screen) and neglects to tell you enough when you actually need the help (like during boss fights). I understand the intentions that Nintendo had with this character – a logical, calculating character to contrast with the emotional cast – but they fell flat on their faces here.

One aspect of Zelda games that is important for me is the music (including that which you play in-game) and again, it was pretty hit-and-miss. The harp was the worst instrument in any major Zelda game. They really had a lot of potential to do something kinda cool with the motion plus, but instead they just made a very irritating “move the wii remote left and right at the EXACT right speed” mechanic that often wasted time. Some background music (the Sealed Temple comes to mind) was atmospheric and interesting, while some other music just sort of repeated the same five notes over and over again and called it a day.

The bosses were beautiful in this game. I loved Koloktos the most, although the boss with the bombs in the fire temple was great too. I liked the races (like the Kikwi) but felt that they should have had a larger role in the game. There are Gorons, for example, in the game, but do they have a headquarters or town? This felt a little confusing to me.

I personally also hope that the next Zelda game is a little darker – it seems like the games go through cycles of light/dark: for example, Wind Waker was quite light-hearted, Twilight Princess was darker and now SS is light again.

In the end, SS was a really fun game but I don’t feel as emotionally moved or as nostalgic about it as I did about Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess. I don’t mind that they recycle the same core ideas (the musical instrument, the Link/Zelda/Demise or Ganon dynamic, the elemental temples, the sidekick) but in this game, some of those core ideas that Nintendo has done so well in the past didn’t work out, which surprised me. I hope that they can use these criticisms to re-center themselves and get back on the horse in regards to these game elements, but what SS did right, it really did do right.

2damax

On February 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I put off buying this because I was hoping to pick it up a bit cheaper than the new price. But since nothing new looked good to me for the Wii I had to break down and buy it.
I must say that I too have played all of the previous zelda games, so I too have much to compare it too.
I must agree that that the controls are bad, not just a little bit but the whole 9 yards and gimmick badness.
I would have liked them if they worked like they should without out the need to be “centered” every time I tried to use an object.
On top of that many challenges involve being able to strike with your sword from a curtain direction which doesn’t recognize very well.
Many times the sword just would respond the actual potion of the wii remote.
While I attempted to ignore most of that – it’s hard to get ignore it when swimming or flying because the control interface is just not accurate enough.
I don’t mind the graphics not being on par with other HD systems that I own – after all it is sort of a cartoony world that Link & Zelda live in.
The adventure as a whole is a basically a mix between Wind Waker & Twilight Princess.
In short if the game had great controls it would rank with the best in the series.

driezewies

On April 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

Hey,

I think I know the Zelda franchise pretty well. I have played A Link to the past, Link’s
awakening (game boy), Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight princess and now
Skyward Sword.…

I replied on this article because I agreed with the comment. It is the first time in a
Zelda Franchise that I felt there were too many downfalls for a Zelda game.

Is Zelda Skyward such a bad game? Of course not, it is pretty enjoyable, but unfortunately the Zelda franchise has always been of a very high quality and I must say that the latest installment is beginning to show its downfall.

It’s interesting to see all the user reviews about this game and it looks like the comments are divided…

I want to speak up and support the people who point out the “more” negative remarks about Skyward Sword.

Skyward Sword, although it is still pretty enjoyable, has a lot of issues within the game. And no it’s
not because of the so called non responsive wii remote (which did fine by me)
or the graphics (which I also didn’t had problems with). The problem lies
mostly in the exploration and character design. The article surprisingly summed up everything I wanted to say.

I do want to point out that in my opinion Skyward Sword lost a lot of it’s points
because the Worldmap is much less attractive as in the previous versions. The
problem is that everything is too divided and feels more like you’re playing
multiple levels instead of exploring one giant world…

The worlds itself (forest, desert, mountain) were extremely dull. I liked skyloft
with all the characters and houses, why weren’t there any towns like that below
the clouds? Face it, what interesting was there to see in those areas? The
desert was maybe the most interesting area because there they tried to add some
depth to the “mine working time shift stone robots” (God knows how on earth
they came up with that!!) and the sandship dungeon was pretty well done, but overall the areas felt like they
were empty worlds with nothing interesting to explore…

The same with the characters. Djeez…Kikwi’s…Mogma’s..? Ok they can be cute and funny sometimes, but what do they add to the storyline itself? That’s the problem…except for giving some small advice and giving some items to you, what more do they offer as a part of the story? Is there any connection between those characters with you, Zelda, Girahim, Demise or sth? Where any of the characters even aware what was going on? That the world was in danger? I really missed some valuable characters throughout the game.

See what I mean? The characters below the clouds where just pointless beings. And THAT was why for example ocarina Of Time was such a success. In ocarina of Time most characters felt attached to the story, and they all knew or at least sensed there was something going on…but in Skyward Sword…you never had the feeling that you were about to save the world, know what I mean? Even in Skyloft itself no one actually really knew what was going on…and that doesn’t set the right mood for kicking evil’s ass…

So there you have it, my two cents in this, and I wanted to say this because I have seen many reviews and they give Skyward Sword too many credit. It’s not a bad game, but for a Zelda title it could have been a lot better at many points and it is certainly NOT comparable with previous titles like N64′s Ocarina Of Time .

Because of these “perfect scores” I too fear for the next installment. They probably think everyone liked the game and it was perfect, so they will keep screwing around with the franchise…

So as a fan, I hope they learn from it and keep an eye on the quality of the zelda franchise.

Thank you

Dries

- Game reporter -

Me101

On May 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Is there something wrong with you? Skyward Sword was an amazing game…
1. The relationship between Zelda and Link was adorable. For the first time I actually wanted to save Zelda.
2. Graphics were epic.
3. Bosses were awesome.
4. Fi was amazing (ecspecially the way she talks)
5. Loved the characters (Impa and Goron!)
6. The Dungeons were different and incrediably fun.
7. flying the Loftwing was fun ;)
8. Side requests were awesome
9. Gear/weapons were different and really kewl
………………………I could go on and on.. but I just remembered that you don’t like reading dialogue letter for letter/ word for word…

Dries

On May 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Hey,

If you like the game, so be it…I’m just one of the people who DON’T like it.

I have made a more detailed review in here (if you are interested of course) :
http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9098862

So the thing is, I can back up my arguments pretty well. I’m sure you can too, but if you really like all of the things in SS, then sorry but you are not a real Zelda gamer and you don’t know what this franchise makes so great. I’m sure you haven’t played most of the previous Zelda games. If you have, then I will be surprised and respect your opinion, otherwise you should play some previous versions and then reconsider your statement.

Look, what I see is a serious downfall of the franchise. I see a lack of interest in building interesting overworlds and amazing characters.

Sure there were some cool parts, that’s why I don’t say it’s THAT bad, but there are too many flaws within the game to call it a good Zelda game. So yes I DO agree with the score of 7.5/10 given by Gamespot (yes you heard it right). It IS the right score…SS wasn’t terrible, but way not comparable to his better predecessors.

I’m shocked by so many flawless scores given to this game, saying this is their next Ocarina Of Time. Because of this Nintendo will believe that they made an improvement in their franchise, which is in fact the other way around…Nintendo needs to recheck their franchise, that’s the point.

So that’s it…and there is nothing wrong with me. Just my opinion, and the opinion of a lot more people than you think…

feel free to reply

Mykal Groll

On November 2, 2012 at 12:01 am

Hey I’m with you man. Zelda used to be a challenge, and was founded on the idea of open-ended gameplay. Now every new game that comes out is WAY too easy, and definitely holds your hand too much. I’m walking along, see an enemy, and detect a 95% probability I can kill that enemy without being hit.

Doug

On November 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I’m a HUGE fan of Zelda, and I was very excited for this game. After watching my wife play it, I have almost no interest in playing.

I agree with nearly all of your points. It seems as if the developers were instructed to design the game for mentally retarded children with no long-term memory. How many times do I have to be told that blue-feathers are rare? How many times does that fat man have to explain that having a longer sword would help me cut the bamboo faster, rather than just letting me go ahead and try again?

The lack of control of cut scene and dialogue is so irritating it is actually insulting: as if every tester, developer, and manager at Nintendo unanimously agreed to give a big FU to the player. Hero mode treats you as if this is the first video game you have every played.

This game may have ruined Zelda for me.

JBachman

On June 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

This is probably this single best review of Skyward Sword that I have ever read; literally every point is spot-on. Like the reviewer, I also felt like something was wrong with me because after reading IGN’s “10.0 – Masterpiece” review, my feelings about the game just made no sense. I would often think, “Maybe I need to change the batteries in my Wii remote?” or “Maybe that little scratch on the top sensor is affecting the motion controls?” or “OMG, can I PLEASE skip past this?”. While the game has some truly brilliant moments, they really are “moments” scattered along a journey filled with some truly troubling problems.

I agree with some of the other posters here regarding the whole “4-hour” intro bit; that really does seem like a bit much. It took me about two hours to complete the introduction. Past that, though, this game really does showcase some moments of absolutely brilliant “Nintendo magic”. It’s move into a more cinematic realm is the next step in an on-going evolution of the Ocarina of Time. Love it or hate it, the cinematic presentation was handled here very skillfully; no other 3d Zelda game is as dynamic and emotional (both in terms of content and presentation).

With that said, that are so many issues with this game that it not only ultimately fails to set a new standard for the series, but instead showcases some very genuine concerns about how the series as a whole is aging. The reviewer hits the nail on the head on multiple issues (including the issues with Fi, unskippable repeating over-explanations of basic 3d game controls, spotty Wii motion controls, etc.), however, I would like to add that the art style featured here is also a terrible fit for the game and system.

The “Monet” art style influence that they used is conceptually interesting. I have always enjoyed Nintendo’s use of the Zelda series to experiment in wildly different visual styles. In practice though, the Monet-style art seems like literally the worst possible choice for a 3d game on the Wii system and also has no true connection to the game world as a whole.

With the dramatic increase in HDTV owners occurring in the middle of the Wii lifespan, Wii graphics have aged very poorly; 480p Wii graphics (on any game) are as jagged and blurry as anything. Specifically choosing to further blur the backgrounds into fuzzy “paint splotches” makes the situation that much worse. The game gives a new definition to “blurry” and I actually found my eyes straining on multiple occasions trying to keep something, anything, in focus. I swear sometimes I felt compelled to explore simply so that I could make some sense out of the blurry mess of an environment. Intentionally blurring graphics on the already-blurry Wii system was a really poorly thought-out choice, and was perhaps a better visual experiment to conduct on the more capable WiiU HD system. The art style should also support the game and the game should always support the art style. In the Wind Waker, the cel-shaded graphics were a true success. The themes and tone of the game matched the simplicity and boldness of the cel-shading. The playfulness of the cel-shading was only extenuated by the simplified “basic” bold character models, visual effects, and the animations of the NPCs. It all just meshed together; you cannot take out the cel-shading of Wind Waker without truely creating a very segmented and broken feel to the game. The same cannot be said of the visual style chosen for Skyward Sword. Despite truly disliking the style to begin with, it can be easily removed and never missed. The Monet-style is whimsical, void of sharp visual detail. This is, problematically, in sharp contrast to every other element of the game. Link’s motion control sword fighting is as detailed and exact as it ever has been (or attempts to be, anyway). The character models and animation are as detailed as they ever have been. The environments are not overly stylized and retain a semi-realistic feel. Removing this art style from the game would really only allow me to better see and appreciate the details that have been endlessly blurred into oblivion.

70/100 is the most accurate score you’ll find out on the internet. The game has some things to love, but ultimately, a lot more things to hate. Except to be blown away by some really awesome special moments, but to really grow resentful from having to play everything else in-between.

@Redmagpie – Yes, dialogue can be sped up by holding “A”, but it is still painfully slow; the sped up version should be “normal” by default. If I wasn’t holding down “A”, I would still be playing this game. With that said, having to hold down “A” to skip past dialogue box after dialogue box after dialogue box which are featuring nothing more than utterly useless (and repeated 10x over) information is truly dreadful.

@Sean – You loved “every minute” of this game? I really do not know what to say. It’s like trying to sell a cut of Filet Mignon to someone who believes that McDonalds beef is as great as it gets. While the game is decent, there are plenty of things find fault with. Although, I am almost envious, I wish that I could love this game quite as much as you did.

Jen

On November 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

“whats with all the hate its a good game. JERKS!”

@ Darren – None of these comments were “hate,” for Skyward Sword. They were well constructed and thoughtful criticisms of a game that could have been so much better. “Hate” is bashing something without good foundation or explanation, and I don’t think you can find it anywhere within the posts above, so please don’t insult them.

Ocarina of Time was my first, (and favorite), Zelda game, and I’ve played all of them with an exception to Legend of Zelda 2, and Link’s Awakening. Like many others, my disappointment in Skyward Sword was due to the fact that I live and breathe Zelda, and love the franchise so dearly, that I wish I could of really loved the game, but my expectations were just not met, and I felt so much to it was lacking. I felt the same discontented feeling that the writer was talking about, and thought something was wrong with me because I was just not enjoying myself — and it became a chore to just get to the end of Skyward Sword. It took me two years on and off, (mostly off), to finally beat it. For me, that’s ridiculous. Usually I can’t put a Zelda game down.

Once I finally beat it, I promptly looked up reviews, and I wanted to post here because I could not agree more with the article above, and it was such a relief to see people feeling the same way I had.

One thing I wanted to add to the list of disappointments, was how pointless the harp was. You can tell that it was just incorporated into the game in order to explain Shiek having it in OOT, because it was a completely unnecessary element and just made me angry whenever it was used, (or rather not used). A big part of the Zelda experience whenever there’s an instrument involved, is learning new songs. Could the controls for it be any worse / boring? The strumming most of the time sounded terrible. And apart from the controls of the instrument, I felt so alienated when most of the time, Link would learn a new song, and you as the player were completely left out of the experience. Fi would sing, and suddenly Link would play the song. “Um, what about me? Don’t I need to do something?”

I think that’s the overall theme to Skyward Sword that put me off most as a Zelda fan: “Link as the avatar for you the player,” which was something even Miyamoto boasted as a concept. That was completely lost in all the cheesy emotion, and interactions / learning things that seemed like it was a set up for the players, but completely skipped over the player’s involvement. I felt like I was controlling Link rather than being Link.

I’m praying now that Nintendo doesn’t continue on this path for their 3D games, and I’m praying that the release of A Link Between Worlds is an indication that they are going back to what I felt made Zelda games immersive.

And that’s my two cents.