The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword review
One major flaw. However, a chain is only as strong as it's weakest Link.

The good:

+ Great story
+ Fun, new items
+ Upgradable items
+ Plenty of sidequests
+ Lots of collectibles
+ Interesting an enjoyable NPCs

The bad:

- Too much handholding
- Poorly designed dungeons
- Uninteresting terrain
- Horrendous motion controls*


Here's some disclaimers first:
> I don't much like motion control. It's a brilliant idea for mini games (ie, Wii Sports Resort), but basing a whole game on it wan't such a great idea. I'll get more into this later.
> I am a die-hard Zelda fan. I've beaten and generally loved every Zelda game as soon as I could get my hands on them (this includes the infamous Zelda II).

I'll get into the goods of this game first. This game had the potential to be the best Zelda game yet, with a plethora of risky new features that simply printed gaming joy. The story, which even before seeing the official timeline, obviously set itself up to be the first in a series, and Ghirahim's placement of monsters throughout Hyrule is an excellent explanation as to the state of Hyrule in future games. I found all of the characters to be likable to an extent (Groose was pretty awesome in his own right), and none of them seemed to be created for the sake of adding new characters. The addition of Beedle and how Beedle had a pet Beetle were very cool as well.

All of the primary items (things such as the Whip and Slingshot) were fun to use* and the new items made it feel like we weren't repeating the same game as before (although I feel the Beetle had much too much use). The addition of an Adventure Pouch, breakable shields, separate item bags and medals created a much needed ability to customize yourself to the battles you'll soon face. I personally found myself carrying all the shields, 3 bottles full of ++Health potion, and two upgraded Seed Satchels. Who doesn't love firing slingshot shotgun shells at everyone? While on the point of the upgraded Slingshot, all of the weapon upgrades were simply brilliant. The item gathering didn't seem much like a chore, yet it held bountiful rewards.

Unforgettably, this game wasn't flawless. Fi, who was sweet and all, hand held you too much, and not in the right spots. I remember specifically the Water Temple (for the record, I usually love Water Temples), I was very stuck. When I entered the center room, Fi told me of a keyhole on the top. That was nice and all, but it took me 40 minutes of aimless sauntering before I found out I was supposed to fall down to get the Whip. Speaking of Dungeons, I didn't like any of them. They all seemed boring and poorly designed. Ever since WindWaker (arguably my favorite Zelda game), it seems that the dungeons have been getting less and less interesting or fun. Outside of the dungeon laid a boring amassment of once-were puzzles. After spending a long boring time getting through it the first time, the area becomes a bad memory that you have to wander through two or three more times (this game had a nasty case of the backtracking).

My experience playing this game wasn't straight enjoyment like most Zelda games are, while playing this one, all I could think of was finishing so I didn't have to play anymore. It most likely wouldn't be like this if it weren't for the horrendous motion controls. The precisely required sword slashes often wouldn't execute unless you took your time with each slash, and the many flying/swimming portions left me with bad wrist pain and a sad face. The motion portion of the controls is the only flaw in them however: The ability to run, all of Links new maneuvers, and shield reflecting made the game action packed and immersible. Immersible, until link slashes downright when you clearly stabbed. I ended going into my bad WindWaker habits of Ice Arrow ==> Hammer. That is to say, I used the cheapest simplest method of killing, may that be shield bashing, Slingshot spam, or bombing. Whatever I could do to avoid using my sword.

At the end of this monumentous 25th anniversary, I felt myself sad at hating myself for not liking this game. It was fun, and I'm quite proud of my Hero Mode save file with max upgraded everything. If only the motion controls were better.

(This is my first review, so criticism would be great, thanks!)

_~tentacleTherapist, signing out~_

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0 thumbs!
Monterey Jack Apr 4, 13
yeah I wasn't a big Skyward Sword fan myself, I actually found it kinda underwhelming. but this is a pretty decent review. just a couple of things I wanna point out - you don't really go into much detail. like you say that the story is good, the characters are cool and the dungeons are boring, but don't really elaborate onto why that is. a good review is one that explains the points being made so that they can sort of paint a picture in the reader's head.

also, I actually thought the motion controls while sword fighting were good and you don't really say anything that'd suggest it's shit. I mean at one point you did end up saying that when you moved your Wiimote in a stabbing motion, Link did a downward strike. that's a flaw. but unless by "took your time with each slash", you meant that there was a significant delay after each of Link's slashes, it just sounded like you flailed your Wiimote around like a madman and that just wouldn't be practical if you were holding a sword in real life.

I can see potential but yeah, you gotta explain your points in a bit more detail mate.
0 thumbs!
MarchtheBurg Apr 4, 13
It's too late to go about editing the review, but how does this sound Monterey Jack:

According to Nintendo, this game is the first in the Zelda timeline, and the story compliments it well. Link and Zelda are in a very peaceful community, and are fairly worry free and only learn to fight because of tradition (as opposed to other Zelda games: Ocarina of Time has Zelda worrying about Ganon destroying Hyrule, Zelda 1 has Link placed in seemingly post apocalypse Hyrule, and Windwaker has Link learning to fight to save his Tetra and his sister). Also, a huge motif in the Zelda series is the Master Sword. The way they introduce it as the Goddess's sword while at the same time fighting Demise's sword not only shows the importance of the Master Sword, but also gives a reason as to why it's the Sword of Evil's Bane (as it's referred to as in other Zelda games).

The dungeons in Zelda 1, Link to the Past, and most of Link's Game Boy games are based primarely on being puzzles. In Ocarina of Time, we finally get the "Temple" feel to them; they feel as though they could have been practical buildings at one point. But Skyward Sword shares the same problem Twilight Princess had, the dungeons are designed to be "Temples" as opposed to "Dungeons". What I mean by that is they look very nice, but lack the puzzle feeling the older games had. Instead of trying to find what to do to get to the next room, it felt more like going at a slow pace with little to no feel for progression. The Water Temple and the Temple of Time were to very good examples: In the Water Temple, I never felt as though I was going the right way, and I was very confused when I went underground and landed in a graveyard. In the Temple of Time, the rooms dragged on and on, and very much discouraged me from continuing.

One thing I noticed quickly about the motion controls was a button that they recommend you to press quite often: Down on the D-pad. That button re-centers your controller. Every time you get an item, it recommends you press down before using it, and oh goodness will you need to use it. Every single time you use an item or open the menu, the controller seems off center. Now, I didn't mind re-calibrating it every item because it made the game perfectly calibrated and caused the items to be responsive and easy to use. The only issue was you couldn't calibrate the sword. Twisting (or rolling) the controller causes Link to turn his wrist (See Figure 1 and 2). The problem with this is how the Wii Remote quickly loses calibration. When you have the sword positioned as you do in Figure 1, you cannot slash vertically, and Figure 2 doesn't allow horizontal slashes. When the controller is out of alignment, Link's wrist will be turned in random directions, making most swings less responsive than they should be.

(Figure 1) - (Figure 2)
0 thumbs!
Monterey Jack Apr 12, 13
you can actually edit your review - at the bottom of your review should be a link to edit your review. those are actually good points you made here too.
0 thumbs!
MarchtheBurg Apr 4, 13
I'm aware the picture is a bad reference. Had I done this in a review as opposed to a comment, I would have actually put effort into it.
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