The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011)

Publisher: Nintendo

Console: Nintendo

Players: 1

Genre: Action

Extras: Wii Motion Plus Controller, Gold w/Crest

Australian Release Date: November 24th, 2011

Australian Rating: M

Score: 9 /10

 

Go back to the beginning. While there is no real set order to all of the Legend of Zelda games, this game is set in a time that precedes all the others. Once again, play as Link, our courageous hero. Battle monsters; solve puzzles; and more, to save Zelda (the not yet princess…).

 

This time, our hero comes from Skyloft, a city high above the clouds protected by the Goddess. The “Surface World” in which Link must traverse was overtaken by evil long ago, but when Link arrives to rescue Zelda, you see that it is not the barren wasteland old texts described it as. It is thriving, with benevolent and malevolent creatures alike.

 

I found the story more interesting, as it isn’t just another instalment. You find yourself wanting to see how they start it all. Also, Link’s skill in combat is justified by his training to become a knight. What becomes known as the “hero’s clothes” in other games are just this year’s knight armour and designated colour. You also get to see some familiar faces throughout the game, but alas, no Epona. Living on a floating island doesn’t really fit the life of a horse. And since Link can apparently only have one noble stead in a lifetime, you don’t get her on the surface world either. What you do get, however, is a loftwing: a loyal bird companion that is connected to you from a young age, and which becomes your transportation in the sky world. Flying is a fun addition to the gameplay, but you need to get the hang of it first. The other ‘substitution’ is your guide throughout the game. Instead of having Navi, the fairy, jump up every so often (as some people saw as getting in your face), you have Fi, the spirit of the Goddess sword, who appears as a flashing icon and soft notification in the corner of your screen; both very subtle ways of getting your attention. I found her informative and easy to use. Including the new dousing function she provides, which is quite useful.

 

Generally speaking, each aspect of this game is along the same lines as every other Legend of Zelda game, just amped up a bit. The graphics are much like that of Twilight Princess, bright and vibrant, yet a bit more cartoonish. The audio is better sounding, yet comfortably familiar.

The game play is somewhat similar, but differs in a few ways. Some are obvious, like getting to respond in conversations now and the motion plus control, which I am still unsure of whether or not I like. Being able to slice on a particular angle is great, but sometimes, if you aren’t holding the controller perfectly straight when you swing, it registers as a different angle. Also, don’t swing back to slash forward. You only confuse the poor controller. But some differences are much more subtle. Just minor differences in how you do things. The only issue I had with gameplay is the same issue I have with most Legend of Zelda games: the camera angles. I prefer to be able to move the camera myself and not have it randomly change on me while I am walking from one point to another, especially if I am trying to line up a jump. This can be difficult if rushing. But otherwise, I found the game delightful.

 

I wouldn’t consider this the best Legend of Zelda game out there, as many people do, but it is still a really good game and a very good prequel to the series. If you are a Legend of Zelda fan, you will probably enjoy it more than others, and definitely appreciate the story more. But this does not mean that you can’t enjoy it as a new comer. In fact, if you haven’t played any of these games previously, this game might be a good introduction to the series for you. It is, after all, the beginning.

SchmandaRose

 

Scores: /10

Story                     9

Graphics               8

Music                    9

Game Play            8

Ease of Play          8

Enjoyment              9

Extras                     9

Overall                    9

 

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