So about six months after the world stopped caring, I’ve finished The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. All in all it was a solid, if not slightly flawed title that has managed to consume a little over 40 hours of my life these past few weeks. I’m not going to get into the story or any of that, anyone that wants to know can find that out themselves or has already finished the game. Instead, heres a quick over view of things I liked and disliked about the title.
- For a Wii game it generally looked very nice. Sure the hardware is old and crap, but for the most part the graphics style manages to impress.
- The Silent Realm was fantastic.
- Some of the puzzles were really quite neat, as was the way the world map was reused. Rather than being overly expansive, Nintendo made good use of the areas it had and while you generally had to go to each area a few times, the experience was usually quite different. I was particularly taken back when one of the maps got completely flooded later in the game. Very cool.
- While I found the time shifting mechanics in this title to be a bit lacking over some previous games (and the music in these sections absolutely annoying), there is one section that really did make my draw drop. That comes about mid way into the game where you have to sail a boat on what appears to be a desert. A small isolated “time shift” field however surrounding the boat causes the immediate area to appear as a lush ocean bed. It was extremely impressive. Here is a video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7g46LjPG5s
- Skyloft was a drag. As with Wind Waker’s sailing sections, flying around the area was tedious and time consuming. The flying also served little purpose really other than getting from point A-B; everything could have just been on the one larger island. I was expecting some in flight fighting or something, but besides one battle the flying was a non event. I wish the bird statues would take me immediately to skyloft instead of dropping you in the middle of the sky.
- On the same token, I really wished I could use those same bird statues to quick travel not only around the current map but also to areas in other maps. Having to collect items was a chore for much the same reason as above.
- The games characters for the most part sucked. Fi had no real charm, Zelda was too sad to be of any real interest and Goose was a pain in the arse. I liked Impa I guess, but I doubt any characters will be overly memorable. Certainly Fi was not as well executed as Twilight Princesses Midna.
- The story too was a bit flat and lacking in direction. The main antagonist never really portrayed any real motives until the very last seconds. Thats all good and well…but that moment came 40 hours into the game.
- The title also seemed to drag on, the last quests especially felt very rushed and pointless. The last temple had the potential be be fantastic but it turned out to be a series of rather uninteresting rooms and IMHO was a hugely missed opportunity.
- I hated the controls. First it became apparent that if you switched to something that required you to aim the remote (such as flying the beetle or looking around), the game would take center as the spot where the control was pointing when you entered this mode. This was incredibly frustrating if you happened to not be aiming at the TV at the time you hit the action button, as attempts to point to the screen would cause the camera to shoot off in random directions. You very quickly learn to always point at the TV. Secondly, the 1:1 sword play was more frustrating than fun, and I found that the remote didn’t always do what I wanted, especially if you didn’t exaggerate the actions being performed. All in all, I prefer Twilight Princess’ control scheme.
- Who is this end boss/”master” that is being talked about all the game? A good villain needs screen time, having him show up with 5 minutes to go is pointless if you ask me.
Overall thought it was a good (if not slightly too long) game that I would recommend. I’d say it gets about 7.5/10 or so.