Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great Zelda, but really an OOT beater?, 8 Mar 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) (Video Game)
After playing through Skyward Sword here's a breakdown of my opinions:

Things Skyward Sword does right:
-Zelda herself is perfect. She is full of character and instantly likable. The best Zelda character of the series by far.
-Sword controls are genuinely fun and used really well throughout the game
-Graphics style is original and suits the series down to the ground
-Imagination and vision of the team is top notch for 90% of the game
-Real good dungeon and level design
-The 'Zelda order' of everything including the order you get items, the order of areas etc has been muddled around helping to freshen things up, although in my opinion not as much as we were led to believe
-The surface is generally very interesting and implemented well including the almost Metroid style of opening up of new areas off of old ones when you get a new item
-The obvious love the developers have poured into the game is always apparent
-How theatrical the whole game is, especially Groose.
-Making it an origin story was a nice touch for long term fans
-Rupees have a purpose again!
-Ditching some over-used ideas from previous games makes everything that bit fresher
-Some good new items as well as some well known ones
-Some well placed nods to previous games
-Timeshift sections were well thought out and were good fun
-I really liked the sense of panic created by the Silent Realm trials, which is pretty rare in a modern Zelda game
-Excellent bosses, if a bit easy. Some have said they found the last 2 bosses the hardest in Zelda history. Really?
-Emotional bits. Not as many as OOT, but some great moments, mainly between Zelda and Link. I love the fact that the first half of the game is just Link trying to track his best friend, rather than saving the entire world.

Things that felt wrong with Skyward Sword:
-Constant notifications when you pick up a bug or item for the first time each session are utterly pointless and a constant source of annoyance
-Fi - there is no need for her to keep chirping up. She ruins puzzles and will drive you mad every time you get down to 3 hearts as she tries to notify you that you are running low on health. Many found Navi irritating, but Fi really gets on my nerves.
-NPC's have nothing interesting to say and rarely update their conversation relative to your advancement throughout the game. Generally the characters feel exceptionally hollow. Remember even on the Gameboy back in '94(?) we had Marin who despite being 4 colours and less than 20 pixels high was full of character! Zelda, Groose and a few others have a lot of depth, but the rest are dull and uninspired.
-Not many really decent puzzles. You are never really left thinking what to do next as it is spoon fed to you. You generally don't need to think to get through the game. Puzzles are what make Zelda!
-New races are pretty weak in comparison to the more established races
-You're quite often forced to skip through the same dialog - one point this sticks out is whenever you get a potion you have to go through a spiel every time, even if you buy multiples
-The sky is awfully bare. I was imagining something between the overworld from Skies of Arcadia and the sea from Wind Waker - at least give us more than one town to explorer!
-Too much filler between key moments, most of which felt forced and ruined the games flow
-I personally didn't like the adventure pouch - I'd much rather just be able to carry everything at once. Some loved it, but I didn't think it added anything note worthy to the game, it just made things a bit more annoying than they really needed to be
-Overused motion controls. Items and swordplay are great, swinging on vines is OK, but swimming felt clunky and just didn't work well. Why bother with motion controls when they hamper the gameplay?
-Where are the trading sequences? You do a few one off trades and return a few lost items, but no long sequence that really makes you think. This is a real disappointment.

In the next Zelda I'd love to see a more consolidated, richer world where every NPC has a unique personality, with at least 4 or 5 times the dialog. I don't see any way back from the motion controls as they really are fun, but things like swimming should revert to a traditional method. I personally prefer the large overworld idea from recent Zelda's to the hub approach that is the sky in Skyward Sword. This is an excellent Zelda, but has a lot of obvious missed opportunities, and pointless sections and fillers. If Nintendo can just polish out the annoyances, and stop trying to be too helpful in pointing us in the right direction we could have an OOT beater, but sadly this isn't it.
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