Every time I try to write about a new Zelda’s game I find myself thinking about every game in the series that I’ve played before. Zelda was born 25 five years ago, a long time in videogames history. Since the first game in the series, some elements that give every game that particular Zelda’s feeling were established; elements like dungeons, a great map to explore and a lot of items that Link can use in his quest are found in every Zelda’s game.
Zelda Skyward Sword is the consummation of all the previous game mechanics, the mix of every element presented in the previous games to establish a new level of game development in the series. Every little element has evolved to give us a feeling of novelty even in the most common and classic items. But I’m going too fast here, so it is time to analyze the game in its different aspects: Graphics, sound, and gameplay.
Some people loved Wind Waker graphic style, with its cartoonish look, some people prefer the more serious and dark look of Twilight Princess graphic style. Skyward Sword is in the middle of both styles, the graphics have a cell-shaded appearance but the models of Link, his friends and his enemies are designed with models similar to those in Twilight Princess. Personally, I think that this was the best possible choice since it makes possible to show some enemies and areas with a level of detail difficult to obtain with a more serious style given the lack of graphic power of the console. The selected graphic style allows the Wii to show some big scenery with a lot of details without suffering lag except in a couple of occasions (none that I remember as annoying).
All I can say about my first impression of the graphics while playing this game is: awesome. The amount of detail in every little corner of the world is impressive (even though some textures look a little crappy). The enemies design is clever and imaginative, with special mention to some new final bosses. Every area is recognizable for its particular set of elements (forest, lava, water, desert, sky) and they are big. It’s a pleasure to see this game in movement, Link and his enemies have fluid movements and they all look natural. Sadly Wii can’t show games in full HD, it would be nice to see an edition of this game for Wii-U in full HD, dreaming is free.
Finally Nintendo decided to use orchestral music in the game, and the election matches perfectly with the game. Even though not all the music tracks are especially memorable, there are some melodies that will keep stuck in your head for a long time (just wait to hear some of the last songs in the game). The music accomplishes its mission of giving emotion in the battles and accompanies you while traveling the world. However, it would have been nice to have some melodies as memorable as Gerudo’s song in Ocarina of Time or the melody of the Dark World in A Link to the past.
It is the strongest and most revolutionary point in the game for me. The Zelda series won’t be the same again after this game. Twilight Princess used the wiimote in a standard way; you just had to shake the wiimote to attack your enemies. Skyward Sword gives a step forward; with the help of the wii motion plus, every movement of your hand will be reflected in the same direction on the screen. This opens a wide variety of possibilities that affect not just the combat but also the way most items are used. There is not a Zelda game in which you can shoot arrows, throw bombs, or move use your sword with so exact precision as in this game. The enemies will react to this new range of Link’s movements with its own attack patterns that will require you to practice and learn before engaging in a deadly combat. Every enemy has his particular weak point and in many cases they are only vulnerable in some determined moments, making every combat a little puzzle. You won’t get alive through the game just waving your wiimote around, especially in hero mode, where every heart is a treasure.
Traveling across the sky in your loftwing, the new level design that give us the feeling that the Hyrule is just one gigantic puzzle, and the imaginative dungeons and final bosses are only some of the features that make the gameplay diverse and entertaining
This game is an absolutely must have/must play for every fan of the franchise, and for those who haven’t played a Zelda game before it would be the perfect initiation given that it is not so difficult. Zelda hasn’t been known for being a difficult game but it can be challenging in some moments, especially if you play the hero mode after finishing the game for the first time (believe me, you will want to play it again).
This game is the strongest competitor to Ocarina of Time as the best Zelda ever created, and for me that is the best compliment this game could receive.
P.D: If you find the special edition of this game that includes a golden remote don’t think it twice and buy it.