Review: Zelda Skyward Sword

Mar 06 2012, 10:46 AM

So lets get down to what most people want to hear from a review. Should you buy Skyward Sword? Well let's ask a few questions first. Do you like Zelda? Are you someone who doesn't consider the Wii motion controls a gimmick and still like it when it's done well? If you answered yes to both of those, then absolutely pick this game up. Course, if you're someone who doesn't like the Wii motion controls, I'm not really sure why you'd still have one at this point. Then again, you may be asking yourself "Should I get a Wii just to play this game cause of all the awesome things I've heard about it?" The answer to that is no. Dear god no. The answer to any question starting with "Should I pick up (console X) because of (game X)..." should be answered with a no. For crying outloud people, find more then one game to buy a console for! Anyways mini-rant out of the way, as stated, if you enjoy Zelda and still like the Wii by all means you will find your money's worth of enjoyment out of this game. Is it the best Zelda game ever? I would say no, it has a number of flaws, but it has a lot of fun packed into it. Let's get to some pros and cons!

Zelda Skyward Sword is a really fun game and I think has one of the best character stories out of the Zelda games yet. I love Zelda and Link in this game. More then anything, I wanted to keep playing this game to see what was going to happen to them. I really don't want to get into spoilers for those who haven't played it yet so I'll just say that Link and Zelda are portrayed in more of a friendship light as opposed to just the hero and princess light. Rather then Link going out to save the world cause Gannon/Gannondorf is the big baddy bent on ruling Hyrule and oh yeah Zelda is kidnapped and she's important, Link is out to save his friend, and very heavily hinted at love interest, Zelda and oh yeah they should probably save the world. I really like this take as it makes the game feel a lot more personal. Course this also can be a hindrance at some points during the game as there are stretches of time where there's little to no Zelda/Link interaction and to me at least it gets a bit boring. All in all though, the highest points of this game come when Link and Zelda's relationship have the spotlight and is expanded upon.

One of the big selling points and biggest love/hate with this game was the 1:1 motion controls with the motionplus attachment. All I have to say about this is it works the majority of the time. To tell you I had no problems with the controls would be a lie. The beginning of the game definitely challenges you as you learn the controls. Learning the difference in speeds between an attack swing and just trying to move your sword side to side is key and is quite frustrating in the beginning. The first boss definitely can be brutal if you don't have a grasp on this as he will punish you for striking in the wrong spot on him. However after that boss fight I got used to the swordplay (hint: I kept my sword centered in the beginning and this helped a lot) and only once after that during a mini-boss fight near the end of the game did I have trouble with the controls. All other times I was perfectly fine with the controls with only minor inconsequential hiccups here and there. To be honest, the motionplus controls weren't really the selling point to me nor did I scream "OMG I can swing my sword and it does it! SQWEEEE!" in girlish delight with the first sword swing. Seriously, people were excited this could be done? I saw this in action with Wii Sports Resort over a year ago and figured people would remember it there too. Yes I got Sports Resort and the bundle when it came out and to be honest it was money well spent. Sure it was basically mini games but it was a bunch of fun! I saw the greatness the motionplus could do there and was hardly surprised to see it in action here. I guess I can't really blame people, after Wii Sports Resort no one really took advantage of the motionplus until now. Which is a darn shame cause as I have said it really is quite great when done properly.

At this point you're probably wondering "Dom, I remember hearing you got Zelda the day it came out. How could you have only finished it in February?" Well one of the main problems I have with Skyward Sword is it's length. The game takes about 5 hours longer then it needed to to finish. The last 5 hours of the game, barring the end boss arc, is practically unneeded. It's still fun by all means but it feels a lot more like they were making up stuff just so they could tack on more hours of gameplay. Oh I should probably say my end game time was around 36-37 hours (I didn't save at the end due to a special additional feature they added which I won't spoil so I don't know exact numbers). I believe the game would've been perfect at 30 hours. I should also mention that no matter what game it is or how hyped I am about a game if it's longer then 20 hours I tend to take a break from it around the 20 or so hour mark. Long games can just take a toll on me for awhile and I want to break from it before I grow tired of it, hence taking me longer to finish it. That aside though, the game didn't need to be as long as it did. Skyward Sword also seemed to want to dip it's feet into some Western and MMO mechanics and add time to the game by creating what felt like more collection quests then normal and adding additional resources to manage. They're definitely far more dressed up and plot oriented but there were times where I was sitting around wondering why they couldn't have removed a collection item and just moved on with the damn plot. I had a similar problem with Wind Waker during the part where you had to collect maps to find Triforce pieces and then after wasting all that time you had to go find the fucking Triforce pieces. I think I threw up my control in disgust during that point and took a few weeks break from the game before coming back. Now none of Skyward Sword's collection quests are anywhere near as bad as Wind Waker's but part of me wonders when Nintendo will fix those boring quests. At the same time though, the Zelda games are pretty much glorified fetch item quests games, so it's hard for me to sit here and complain about it.

To sum it all up though, Zelda Skyward Sword is a really fun game despite lasting a bit longer then it really needed to. The controls can be a handful at first but after awhile one will get the hang of them. I would also advise to largely ignore those saying the controls are shit throughout the game cause more then likely they're Wii haters who are going to bitch regardless of how well or how awful the controls are. The truth of the matter is the controls are fine and just require getting used to. As stated, there will be points where they'll flip out but rarely did it end up with me not being able to quickly fix them or realign them. The highest point of the game is the interactions between Zelda and Link. Hands down this is my favorite incarnation of Zelda (the character) and I hope to see future Zelda games keep the same spunk and adorableness that this Zelda (character) has. Skyward Sword has it's flaws and is far from the best Zelda game but it has a lot of enjoyment to it and can happily sit next to other games with the label "Zelda".

Tagged: review, zelda, skywardsword,

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