GazetteGamerReviews: The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

I'm not even going to have a proper introduction to this review.

I'm jumping right in.

Story

Skyward Sword takes place at the earliest point in the Zelda timeline. The surface is believed to be gone, the clouds of the world below the town of Skyloft hiding the fact that there is nothing below the clouds.

We meet a young Link and Zelda as they prepare for a special ceremony on Skyloft, while the two youths are flying through the sky, a storm hits our main characters and sends Zelda below the clouds with Link knocked unconscious.

Link is then visited by a spirit known as Fi, who leads Link to a secret room containing the Goddess Sword. Fi also gives link a tablet which will open the way to the world beyond the clouds.

Link discovers that the stories of there being nothing below the clouds is not true and that the surface has been hidden away from the people of Skyloft by the goddess Hylia. To keep them safe from the monsters below.

Link begins his quest to search for Zelda, but soon may realize that he may be involved in something bigger that could set things into motion that will continue throughout generations to come.

Presentation

Skyward Sword is down right beautiful.

B E A U T I F U L

The world of Skyward Sword is colorful and full of expanding forests, stretching deserts and intimidating mountain tops. The only other world I enjoyed exploring was Columbia from Bioshock Infinite, Skyward Sword comes in and takes Columbia down a peg in my book.

The better part of the game you will explore through will be the Forest area. Every other area you explore the game will look like garbage compared to how great the Forest looks like.

I'm almost reminded of Wind Waker in a lot of these areas but there's a touch of Twilight Princess in there as well.

Honestly, this is the best looking Zelda game to date. Wind Waker may have been taken up to 1080p but it still has nothing on how great Skyward Sword looks like. Because if Skyward Sword were to get a Wii U HD remake....

Wind Waker would just be a blot of color compared to Skyward Sword.

Gameplay

This is where Skyward Sword becomes fun yet frustrating.

Skyward Sword can only be played with the Wii Motion Plus device. The device allows for more precise motion recognition, so when you swing your sword to the left it will actually swing to the left the way you swung the Wii Mote.

Unfortunately it does not recognize gestures perfectly. Some movements that are required to take down enemies because of their one weak spot may not be hit because the motion detection is still not perfect.

There have been many times where I've tried to stab enemies to get a kill but the motion wasn't recognized properly, so I instead made a horizontal slash.

But, when the Wii Motion Plus works, it works great. Swinging your Wii Mote left and right or swinging it any kind of direction to take down a baddie has never been more satisfying than it has been in Skyward Sword.

You actually feel in control of Link's movements when it comes to the combat. Even out of combat when you're flying through Skyloft and above the clouds covering the surface.

Yes, you read that right, flying.

Epona does not return to Skyward Sword and instead Link rides a very rare Crimson Loftwing. Guardian birds that every citizen of Skyloft owns. When you want to make your way from area to area. You jump off of Skyloft and on top of the Crimson Loftwing. It's fun to do but it gets boring very quickly as there's nothing to really experience when you're flying except.....flying.

It's a straight forward ride from Point A to Point B with barely anything in between.

On top of that there are also other changes made into the general gameplay.

Instead of Link being started off with only three hearts you actually have up to 6 hearts, Link has a stamina gauge, better items such as shields or bigger arrow quivers have to be upgraded through loot you find throughout the world in Skyward Sword.

Much like Skyrim where it would be required for a dagger to be made you need an iron ingot and some leather strips, making a stronger shield or bow requires you to collect items such as Amber Relics, Tumbleweed and Monster Claws in order to upgrade Link's arsenal.

Even inventory space.

Unlike in previous Zelda games where you would find a new empty bottle and have it ready for the next useful object, you may not have the space for it. You need to collect Adventure Pouches in order to expand your inventory space for things like bomb bags, seed bags and arrow quivers.

Which then leads me to the frustrating aspects of the game.

What makes the gameplay so frustrating is that in typical Zelda fashion, when Link finds a new item he holds it up in his hands, smiles and you see a small description of the item you just picked up...... every time you turn the game off and then back on, any item such as an Amber Relic you pick up again, get's the same small cutscene that occurred when you first picked up the item.

So even though you picked up 5 or 10 Amber Relics in your last play session, the next time you start the game and collect the same item, you have to go through the same process you went through the first time you picked up said item. Apparently Nintendo thinks the people playing Zelda have VERY short memories.

Expect to see this more often than nought.


Which then leads me to the worst aspect of the game.

Fi.


If you thought Navi was annoying, wait until you meet Fi.

Fi is your partner character in Skyward Sword, what unfortunately makes Fi the most annoying character is that she will constantly interrupt the game to bring forward information you obviously already know.

For example: A pillar falls down that lets you cross over a big chasm to reach the temple you're trying to reach. Fi will come out and say "A report Master, that pillar has been knocked over. It's strong structure and length is perfect for you to cross over and proceed into the temple. I recommend you take this path to make your way into the temple. "

It may seem like a small thing but over time it gets extremely frustrating.

You could have played Ocarina of Time to Skyward Sword and know exactly what you're doing. Fi will come out and treat you like you have never played a Zelda game in your life.

Verdict

Skyward Sword although with some short comings such as not having 100% accurate motion detection even with the addition of motion plus.

The constant item  collection reminder and Fi's attempt to keep you informed on the event you just saw a second ago does not help make for a fun experience.

But, when you're not collecting an Amber Relic for the 50th time or seeing Fi tell you the obvious, Skyward Sword is probably the greatest Zelda title out there.

When the motion plus does work and when you're out there accomplishing Link's mission to save Zelda. It is a really fun experience with almost nothing about it making it boring or repetitive.

Which is good because you're probably looking at 30+ hours of gameplay.

You really get a bang for your buck with this game.

If you have not played this game and are a hardcore Zelda fan, you MUST play this game.

You need to go out, get a motion plus controller or add on and a copy of Skyward Sword.

You are missing out and doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game if you are a die hard Zelda fan.

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword gets the excellent score of 9 out of 10


Thank you for reading

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