@skywardswordfan I finally decided to order it online and I'll be playing it soon. I hope you're right. :)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review
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Skyward Sword stays true to the Zelda formula, carrying many of the same strengths and weaknesses that have been present for years.
- Excellent dungeon design
- A host of worthwhile collectibles
- Great boss fights
- Strong visuals.
- Troublesome controls
- Lots of padding
- Predictable formula.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword finds itself in an unenviable predicament. In the 25 years since its inception, the franchise has picked up a few bad habits. Chief among these are a predictable structure and fetch quests that force you to trudge through hours of ho-hum content before you reach the good parts. However, changing these aspects would require a complete overhaul of the tried-and-true formula, and it could ruffle the feathers of those who seek familiarity. What's a gamemaker to do? In the case of Skyward Sword, Nintendo has kept the elements that have hung like an acidic cloud over past iterations while crafting a new control system to keep it from feeling like the same old game. Unfortunately, the combination is not successful. Inconsistent controls continually torment poor Link, and the predictable structure does little to distract you from these faults. Thankfully, other staples, such as exquisite dungeon design and enticing collectibles, are also present, and the clever storytelling keeps you invested. Ultimately, Skyward Sword commits many of the same mistakes that its predecessors have made, but it still provides enough engrossing content to keep you hooked.
In the opening moments of Skyward Sword, Zelda is seen penning a letter to Link. However, this is not a plea to rescue her from the clutches of evil. Rather, it's a wake-up note for a boy who relishes sleep above all other activities. Zelda and Link spend time together in Skyward Sword where they enjoy the sights of Skyloft, the peaceful city in the clouds they call home. Although Link is his usual mute self, the two have an endearing rapport that makes you hope things work out for these two kids. When a twister plucks Zelda out of the sky, events are set in motion that only Link has the power to rise up against, but this is not your typical Zelda story. There is no damsel in distress here. Zelda is every bit Link's equal, and as the pieces of her own quest slowly come into focus, you appreciate the stirring sacrifice that both of these characters make. The supporting cast members--made up of an absurdly evil villain and one-note citizens--don't resonate in quite the same way. But this is still a well-written story that calls forth a variety of emotions on your quest to free the world from evil.
It's only when you enter your first combat scenario that things begin to falter. Link's sword mirrors your hand movement, so whether you thrust forward or swing horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, you see your actions play out onscreen. In theory, this should open the door to a wealth of exciting possibilities, but in practice, there are enough noticeable issues to keep you from enjoying the sword-swinging fun. The most pressing of these problems has to do with the fact that the game doesn't force you to move with precision. The first time you face a lizalfos, you may circle around until you see an opening and then unleash a horizontal strike when it lets its guard down. Once it recovers from being dazed, the lizalfos charges toward you; once again you circle and dodge until it reveals a weakness. There is some satisfaction in a battle cleanly won, but going through this elaborate charade is both time consuming and ultimately pointless. Instead, you can parry its opening attack and then flail away at its prone body until it's vanquished. By either using a shield parry or landing one sword strike against most enemies, you can stun them and then proceed to waggle your way to victory.
If you decide to be slow and precise rather than quick and efficient, new problems arise that ensure combat does not go smoothly. The Wii Remote has trouble recognizing your different swings. Often, you thrust forward in real life only to watch Link swing feebly in the game or just stand completely motionless. The sensitivity varies wildly so you're never quite sure how much force you need before the game recognizes your actions. As in the aforementioned situation, you may swing your arm while Link ignores you. Other times, you might adjust your grip so you go from holding on your left side to your right, only to see Link lash out at an enemy when you didn't want to do so. Most troubling of all is how the aiming works. There are certain items that require you to aim at the screen. However, the calibration is frequently wrong, forcing you to tap down on the D-pad to recenter. This happens with alarming frequency, and when you find yourself in a heated battle looking directly at the ground, you'll curse the game for damning you with such a cumbersome control scheme.
The control issues don't end with the combat, either. When Nintendo released the first 3D adventure in the series in 1998, Ocarina of Time set a number of standards (such as Z targeting) that are still used in a variety of games today. But that was 13 years ago, and many ideas that worked back then feel downright clunky now. For instance, your camera control is very limited. You can tap Z to center your view or lock on to an enemy, but this is a poor solution because you can't freely scan the environment without switching to a first-person perspective. There are times when you square off against giant foes but your view is almost completely blocked, placing you in a frustrating situation that could have been avoided. Automatically jumping when you run toward a ledge is also included in Skyward Sword, and combined with the troubled camera, you may find yourself accidentally jumping off of a cliff or taking inadvisable angles.
It's a shame that you spend so much time fighting the controls in Skyward Sword because the content is quite enjoyable. Dungeon design is particularly impressive. Recent entries in the series got into the predictable habit of introducing a new item in each dungeon that you would subsequently use to solve most of the puzzles and defeat the boss. Thankfully, that's no longer the case in Skyward Sword, and the experience is much better for it. Now, you need to dip into your bag of tools to figure out the best way to advance. You may need to use your beetle to scout the environment or roll a bomb into a hole, and the unpredictability of the obstacles forces you to carefully consider each scenario. Though you rarely die in combat, there are more than a few situations where you might find yourself stumped. You can solicit advice from Fi, the companion who travels with you, and this advice is usually vague enough to point you in the right direction without spelling out exactly what needs to be done.
@skywardswordfan I finally decided to order it online and I'll be playing it soon. I hope you're right. :)
Still can't get over this review...but it is the worst 3D Zelda to date (and newest which doesn't help).
Even so, I wouldn't agree with Tom that the motion controls are horrible, just not perfect (this is the first and only serious game with wii motion plus). And if Skyward Sword didn't have the Zelda name, its polish alone would normally score in the 9s. Not saying that Gamespot was unjustified with its score, just seems to be a hasty decision to get an up-rise.
Good review Tom!
Don't listen to the huge number of Zelda diehard fans that seem blind to this game's flaws for some odd reason.
MY SCORE: 8.0/10
Worst Zelda game ever, but this is still exaggerating its faults, especially with the controls. Having spent over 50 hrs on the game, I'd say that while the controls do get weird, hardly do they come so prevalent as to make me not want to play the game. Story was worse than the controls imho.
I still play Skyward Sword from time to time. I still really enjoy the Thrill Digger mini-game.
Just finished the game. It was really good, probably not the best but still. A really difficult final battle. The sand sea with the ship was my favorite part with the duel mini boss. The sky battle in the nebula was a good think but I think the game should have had more of these, also more islands. Controls were good. I would have loved proper bosses for the first and last temples instead of the evil villain. Overall I think Nintendo did fine by not thinking too many risks with this one and it's ok. Looking for the next one Nintendo.
I've been playing Zelda since the beginning and for me personally SS controls are the best ever implemented into a Zelda game.
Maybe some people aren't using the Wiimote correctly!
I feel the same way about the controls. It surprises me there is so much diversity in opinions about the motion control...With some people it looks like they can't do a single motion right, while others seem to have no troubles at all (me included). I say it again, don't swing the motion control like a loony from side to side, you have to move it using your WRIST! And well, if the motions don't work properly even then...then I fear there is something wrong with your remote. I agree also about the continuing of motion controls on the WII U. Who says motion control is history? At least Zelda Skyward Sword showed us that it IS possible to implement (almost) perfect motion control into a game.remember that Motion plus came out at the end of the Wii area. So now with the Wii U coming into our lives, why wouldn't they invest anymore in motion gaming? I recently played Red Steel 2 and goldeneye Wii, and I was surprised how nearly perfect the motions were...It is too bad that motion gaming became worth only at the end of the WII area! so I hope they would give it one more chance to finally prove that motion controlled gaming is a worthy way of playing games..
THIS IS WHAT THE GAMING WORLD NEEDS,CRITICISM AND DIVERSE OPINIONS! I am a hardcore zelda fan, and I was skeptic about the motion control thing until I saw other reviews. This review has shown me that indeed some of my fears came to light. Motion control is an innovation that is proving difficult to implement. Now that it seems to have come to stay, developers need to see its shortcomings through reviews of their games in order to sit up. Zelda , which was made by nintendo, the "pioneers" of motion control in the 7th gen, Is a major player in this issue. nintendo has already said it is not ready to go back to button control yet (with zelda, i mean) So if they can perfect this motion control thing in the 2014 zelda, other developers (both for wii u's wii mote, Xbox Kinect and PS move) will see a motivator to make good their motion control and games like sonic and the black knight (a terrible game that tarnished sonic's image further and made motion control seem like a joke) would cease to exist. Motion control is considered stupid by many gamers. But deep down in our hearts we know that if only it could be better we would love it! Good work McShea, Good work the reviewer of sonic & the black knight and good work in advance to all devs who will turn motion control into a true gaming component.
7.5 is a little low, but the points the reviewer made were valid. I have played every official Nintendo Zelda game all the way through at least once, and personally I feel the same way about Skyward Sword as I do about Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: Good fun, definitely not disappointed, but I have no desire to play it again. The only Zelda games I have replayed (and what I feel to be the best) are TLoZ, LA, ALttP, OoT, OoA, MM, and WW. In my opinion, Twilight Princess is the worst of the series (yes, worse than Phantom Hourglass) and is deserving of a 7.5. I still have faith in the series, but overall it is weaker than it used to be, ever since Aonuma took over.
@musicdev Actually there are not bad Zeldas(except one, weird, that it is sure you don´t know about)
@musicdev Twilight Princess wasn't the worst and as a matter of opinion I believe it to be among top picks of the franchise. Most people didn't like Twilight Princess because Nintendo tried a darker approach and used a dark color pallette, and in my opinion it was presented expertly and had some of the best dungeon designs in recent past. I'm a fan of Zelda and have been since I was old enough to pick up a controller. The first game I ever played was the original LoZ and I've held it near and dear every since. I've played every Zelda game since and I'm a fan of all.
Here are the problems of Skyward Sword and why it got the score it deserved:
-Save points. There shouldn't be any. You should have the ability to save whenever instead.
-Klunky controls. Adding in the Wii motion plus controls just feels like a gimmick more than anything revolutionary.
-too much backtracking. Flying from point A to point B takes a ton of time and make going on an adventure boring. How on earth do you make flying a Loftwing boring?
- Item storage. There shouldn't be one. Why cant you just carry all your items at once like past games in the series?
-Nintendo has totally overdone this entry in the series. They added things in that did not need to be put in. It's not a Final Fantasy game! If I wanted to play a FF game, i'd play a damn FF game. If it's not broke, don't fix it. This game got the score it deserved. Life goes on. Get over it, people.
Zelda fans, if you are looking for a true Zelda experience, break out the N64 and GameCube and have at it.
I'm not sure what's more entertaining: reading this review or reading the comments by johnnyauau.
Both are hilariously awful, and awkwardly defensive.
"You can just call him the jerk who hates all the things you love and loves all the things you hate." - GS
Way to be professional, Tom. You're a real winner!
Simply put, and this goes out to everyone. If you're playing this game and the controls seem inaccurate, it's not the game that's bad, but either yourself who is playing it wrong or your Wii remote that doesn't work.
I liked the game quite a lot, but I HATED the three "worlds" or sections of the map, they look and feel like something out of a Mario 3D game. And it does get boring going to the same places over and over again...
One huge problem I have with this review is Mc Shea's inconsistency with past reviews. For example, he reviewed God of War III, which he gave a 9.0. Okay, that's fine, except one of his complaints about Skyward Sword (which he mentions in a HotSpot podcast) is that the game is linear. Isn't God of War a linear action adventure game? Don't get me wrong, God of War is almost my favorite game franchise (second only to The Legend of Zelda), but it is a linear action adventure game whereas The Legend of Zelda is not because you don't have to move forward and continue the story; you can complete side quests, revisit areas, etc.
I love this game. I've had no problems with the controls at all. People are making the mistake of swinging it like a sword or tennis racket, where it works just fine if you flick it with your wrist. Its not your fault, they really overdid it with the commercials. I haven't gotten really far, but aside from completely forgetting the concept of anti-aliasing, I have nothing to complain about. The next Zelda's going to wipe the floor with it though...2014 come SOONER.
I have to say the broken controls is a stretch and should only be reserved to those games that make it so apparent it has to have it, and in this that's just not true, but I agree entirely with the score. The game was a huge disappointment to me. It was shocking at how underwhelming it was, but to call it bad would be incorrect, 'cause it's just technically not. I disagree with those that think this game's better than Twilight Princess. For this game, I would have taken the bad controls demerit out and put in disappointing.
Got to ask, how do people get the controls to work well? I only get my sword to go the way I want it 50% of the time, and it's usually by chance. Also, I haven't gotten that far yet, but this game is painfully boring and slow to me, so I'm surprised by the high rating. In the beginning especially, people do not shut up. I wanted to cut Fi in half every time she popped up...
So far the worst Zelda game I have played, but maybe it gets better when I eventually get around to continuing.
By all means, Skyward Sword is a very, very, very good game. It's so close to being a "great" game (which would denote an 8.0), yet it only falls short by a few nanometres. That doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad game - not at all. My personal opinion as to what let it down were the slightly tedious fetchquests (which were still unique) and the very barren overworld (the latter is probably the biggest disappointment). Regardless, I still very much enjoyed the game, which is no surprise with the Zelda series.
This review is the reason why I quit reading gamespot for quite a while now, I've been through a few deception as an almost 30 years-old gamer, but this review left me cold. I couldn't figure out how one of the most revered game franchise of all-time could have scored so bad. Some might says it's not faithful to the franchise roots, others (like in this review) says that the formula is predictable. We heard a lot of people say that the controls were not suitable or unresponsive or that the gameplay mechanics (that allows you to physically elaborate a strategy to kill your foe) is boring and even pointless. the same week MW3 received 8.5, Skyrim 9.0 two games who revolves around pretty predictable gameplay and story elements. So zelda will be cool when it will feature XP based quests and fighting, and gunfight at the click of a mouse. oh and FF VII eternal shadow which implies you need an overworld and multiple towns to really consider an environment interesting.
@Charles3646 Dude, Skyward Sword is not that great of a game. Life goes on. Get over it.
While I think this review is a bit too harsh, I don't think this game is anywhere near being the "perfect" Zelda title that it's suggested to be on nearly every other website. There was far too much hand-holding and fetch quests, the backtracking was done badly, the sky(which I was personally most excited for as I thought it had the most potential out of any of the new additions) was virtually barren besides a few mini games and a pumpkin soup restaurant, and the level design was pretty linear and uninteresting save for anything to do with Timeshift Stones.
I did like the controls a lot, and I hope they carry over to future games, though I think the game tended to over-rely on them at times.
@TheBlarghMan I agree with most that you said. It was a great and fun game, but it wasn't perfect. I did enjoy the actual worlds quite a lot, but the back tracking did become tedious. I also believe that an emotionless robot that annoys much to the same degree as Navi was a very bad idea. The blinking red hearts are enough for me to know that I'm dying; I don't need my sword telling me that "I've lost a significant amount of health".
@Rikuyo Oh, so you logged in back again, after a long time just to make a gripe about another person. What use you have made of your time.
Fancy-ridden opinions are the opinions that are "invalid". I don't have any fancy for any game in my own opinions.
@Rikuyo You are the one who is deluded - and not only that, but naive too - if you think that opinions, which are far from being empirical, are as "good" as facts.
I still can't get over how awful this review is. It doesn't even deserve to factor into the game's metascore.
@3SidedSquare Have you ever heard of an "opinion"? Jeez.
It's funny how you're going on about opinion now, when didn't care less about the opinion of anyone who likes the game in your other comments. So the opinion of anyone who felt the game should have gotten a higher score doesn't matter? The flaws you listed in your other comment come down to personal preference or experience so it's perfectly normal for people to feel that the game deserves a 9 or 10 because that's just how it was for them.
No, I never said I liked the game, nor did I try to defend it. I was speaking to the fact that you seem to think your opinion is better. You can list all the things you hate about this game and it won't make your opinion any more valid than people who like this game and vice versa. And considering you're in the minority, your opinion may just be highly subjective, but that doesn't make it wrong either. Get what I'm saying?
- Player Reviews: 235
- Game Universe:
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (GBA, SNES),
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, GC),
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC, WII),
- The Legend of Zelda (NES),
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES, FDS, GBA),
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (WII),
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS),
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS),
- Link's Crossbow Training (WII),
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)