I’ve been looking forward to the next installment in the Zelda series since I first played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in 2011. I’m hoping that after nearly four years, my memories of the game will have faded, and I’ll be excited to start playing Skyward Sword again.
The video game industry seems to be making up its own rules as they go along. The Wii was the first console to push its games to the next level with motion control, and the next generation of gaming seemed to see the usage of motion control as the pinnacle of game design and innovation. Tv movies, as well as all popular animated shows, were heavily focused on motion capture that allowed the characters to move their lips, coturn and walk around the screen. But now, video games are in the same boat.
As we all know, when it comes to video games, the Zelda series has always been the flagship of Nintendo. And as we all know, the introduction of HD gaming, it has always been a tough decision for the fans to choose which of the three titles to buy. In my opinion, the only one worthy of being called a masterpiece is this one.
On the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword occupies an unusual position. There was Link and Zelda’s genesis tale before Nintendo began experimenting freely, as they did with Link Between Worlds, and abandoned the concept completely for Breath of the Wild’s open world.
True, no amount of remastering can remove the traces of the motion-control period, but don’t be put off by certain gimmicks and rigid design. Skyward Sword on Switch is a touching, unforgettable journey with some of the series’ finest music and narrative.
It is well-deserving of its position among the “greatest Zelda games.”
Switch Review: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Flying High
Skyward Sword begins with a brief scene of Link and Zelda surrounded by friends and enjoying a peaceful life. Since Ocarina of Time accomplished it first, it’s been a frequent enough setting for the franchise, but Skyward adds something new that sets it apart from the rest of the game: Link and Zelda really belong here.
Whether Link was in Kokiri Forest or Tetra was surrounded by merry pirates, previous Zelda games made sure they stood out and never exactly blended in. In Skyward Sword, there’s little question that Link and Zelda are both chosen ones destined for great things, as the game makes it clear at numerous times.
Unlike in earlier games, people are kidnapped from their homes and forced into lives they never wanted.
As the game continues, it becomes apparent that, even if they rescue the world, Zelda and Link will not be able to return to their former lives and houses. It’s a great way to set the tone for the series’ genesis narrative, and it’s made feasible by Skyward Sword’s focus on events that happen to these people rather than events that happen around them.
It’s also one of the most cinematic Zelda games, having more cutscenes and dialogue than almost any previous game in the series.
Of all, the majority of this development goes unsaid, and Skyward Sword is far from a depressing game. It’s bursting at the seams with personality and vitality, particularly at Skyloft.
Skyloft is one of the finest hub locations in the series. The cities in Breath of the Wild are more vast, and Majora’s Mask’s Clock Town is a living riddle full of mysteries, but Skyloft seems alive. As you go through the game, you’ll discover a plethora of puzzles and side stuff, and it’s amazing how much there is to do in such a tiny space.
Skyward Sword also has a size advantage over its open-world brother. Despite the story’s sad tone, Skyloft is ultimately warm and inviting. Finding a hidden mission or object seems more like you stumbled across something buried in your neighborhood, and due to the smaller area, completing the game’s quests feels doable in a fair period of time.
Although the roster of characters is smaller, Fledge, Groose, and some of the other eccentrics that dwell here are much more memorable than most NPCs.
The improvements to Skyward Sword’s quality of life make it simpler than ever to appreciate all of this – for the most part. Fi no longer pops out every five seconds with unwelcome counsel, which greatly improves the game’s pace.
Motion controls were never an issue for me on the Wii version, and the Joy-Con motion controls are just as good. However, replacing them with button-and-stick controls is so much more convenient that I seldom use motion.
When it’s excellent, Skyward Sword is fantastic, which makes the less-than-perfect portions all the more frustrating.
When the game originally came out, it had problems with repetition, and because they’re baked into the major missions, they’ve remained unaltered. The Silent Realm is as irritating as ever, but Skyward Sword’s wings are clipped by the game’s more antiquated elements.
For one thing, the skies above Skyloft resemble a drab version of the Great Sea from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It’s exciting to sail the seas in search of hidden riches or secret mini-dungeons.
It’s not easy flying through the skies with nothing around you to reach a map point and unlock a box. Nintendo may have intended to simplify Zelda for the Wii’s more casual audience, but removing points of interest isn’t the greatest way to do it.
Dowsing adds virtually nothing to the game other than the ability to utilize motion controls to locate items, and several tools seem to exist only to meet a need. It’s like an unwritten agreement between you and the developers: they knew it didn’t contribute anything to the experience, and you know it as well, but the hype around Wii hardware made it inevitable.
A few other places exhibit signs of wear and tear, but in ways that are frequently more fascinating in the post-BOTW world.
Consider your adversaries. After the violent Wizzrobes and swarming Lizalfos of Breath of the Wild, their demeanor leaves a lot to be desired. However, there is still the possibility of something fascinating.
Unlike the Moblin hordes in BOTW, Skyward Sword’s enemies require you think about how to approach them and modify your tactics as their defenses change.
Granted, they’re generally simple to destroy and don’t attack much, but the creativity is there. There’s a unique dungeon linked up with an NPC or an interesting side quest that remains long after it’s been completed for every piece of backtracking or puzzling that exists only to justify developing another tool.
Then there are the dungeons, which are every bit as inventive as BOTW’s shrines. Instead of the sprawling affairs that earlier Zelda games were known for, Skyward opts for smaller layouts crammed with riddles that are just as rewarding, if not more so, as you figure out how everything works.
Because of elements like stamina and crafting, Nintendo positioned Skyward Sword as Breath of the Wild’s mechanical ancestor, and others saw it as evidence that the series was worn out and needed a refresh. When played after Breath of the Wild, though, Skyward takes on a new meaning.
Sure, Nintendo might have been more adventurous with its modifications, but Skyward isn’t simply a prequel to BOTW. It’s a different vision for Zelda’s future, one that’s more concerned with giving the franchise a personality than with cramming a certain amount of gadgets into the game.
None of this solves Skyward Sword’s issues, but it does make them easier to live with, and it ensures that the game stays with you long after you’ve rescued the world once again.
The Final Word on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Switch
- Full of spirit and vitality
- Skyloft is an incredible hub.
- Characters to remember, interesting dungeons, and a lovely soundtrack
- Even after Breath of the Wild, he’s still innovative.
- Gimmicks from the motion picture era are still shallow gimmicks.
- In some places, it’s too streamlined.
- Backtracking just for the sake of it
The problem with Skyward Sword is that the good always exceeds the negative. Even though the irritating portions are right in front of your face for a while, as they always are with the Silent Realm, it’s simple to push through since something wonderful is just around the corner.
The major takeaway from my experience with Skyward Sword is how vast the Zelda franchise is. Breath of the Wild is only one possible future for the series, but Nintendo should not let it be the only one. Skyward Sword still has a lot to teach us.[Note: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD was given by Nintendo for this review.]
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword hit the Wii back in 2011, and was met with enormous success. Skyward Sword HD builds on the same game mechanics from the original, only with a newly remastered HD look and many additional features.. Read more about skyward sword switch and let us know what you think.
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