REVIEW – Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
A review by Jeremy Hardin
Developer/Publisher – Nintendo
Version – Wii
Time Spent Playing – 35 hours
Price – $49.99
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Nintendo of America
Gameplay and Controls
Skyward Sword makes a significant departure in terms of gameplay and controls from the standard formula seen throughout past Zelda games. Enemies are now smarter and will anticipate your moves, blocking your attacks. Proper defense and offense is a must now. Some enemies have been redesigned, such as the Quadro Baba, a deviation from the standard Deku Baba, which opens its jaws both horizontally and vertically requiring you to change up your plan of attack. The majority of enemies are completely new to the series, so you’ll have fun figuring out their weaknesses. Puzzles, which were always confined to the dungeons, have now been let loose upon the land making the experience of traversing the lands that much more rewarding. The design of the landscapes are now much more dense and you’ll find yourself traversing higher and higher to access different areas, rather than staying on the ground and running around. You will still have plenty of ground to cover all around you, but the areas above you are being utilized as well. There are new weapons and even the standard ones and how you use them have been changed as well. Skyward Sword makes exclusive use of the Motion Plus technology, so you can do more than ever before. Not just with your sword, but with all weapons. For instance, not only can you throw and place bombs like before, you can now roll them (akin to bowling) thanks to the use of Motion Plus. As for a new weapon, you have the beetle which a remote controlled flying beetle that can hit switches, drop bombs, grab items for you all thanks to the Motion Plus making the controls very precise. In addition, the biggest plus of using Motion Plus is swordplay. For the first time ever, we can have near perfect 1:1 sword fighting. Being able to wave your arm around and see Link do the same is exciting to see. Oh, but it doesn’t end there. You see, the developers really wanted to change up the standard formula, so they implemented upgrading of weapons, which is done quite well. Keep in mind though, this is not a full on leveling up system, it’s a matter of collecting a certain amount of items in your travels and using those items to buy an upgrade. For instance, the beetle I spoke of earlier can be upgraded to fly longer and carry bombs. There is even a new ability called “dowsing” which allows you to use your sword to seek out important people, or items, much like a dowsing rod finds water. As you can see, the formula has been changed up considerably and all for the better.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
The Legend of Zelda is an amazing franchise, still going strong after 25 years! Pretty much, every Zelda game has stuck with a solid formula to deliver an amazing experience, yet it seems to have gotten a bit stale. Quite frankly, the series needed a breath of fresh air and thankfully Skyward Sword takes you soaring through the clouds to give it that breath of fresh air it so desperately needed. Skyward Sword is a solid gaming experience that will keep you challenged and entertained for many, many hours. So, if you are a fan of the Zelda franchise and you have yet to pick this one up, I suggest you add it to your library. It is a must have for any Zelda fan.
+Engaging story and gameplay