Good day to you ladies and gents, and welcome to this blog post. This year has been a good time for video games, I have played a fair amount including Fire Emblem: Awakening, the brilliant Super Smash Bros. 3DS, and starting over with StreamWorld Dig, Mutant Mudds and Kid Icarus: Uprising. Obviously, they are primarily 3DS games, but that’s been my main gaming console for the year and other games I’ve played have been via my friends at uni. I haven’t been able to play many new games because I’m still low on funds (as usual), so I’ve been going backwards in time for my gaming and over the last three weeks I’ve gone back to one of my favourite games from 2011; The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Ah Skyward Sword, we’ve had a strange history we have. It is game I love but have only played it for a short time when compared to some of my favourite games. Now I’m going to talk about my experience with this game, so consider this a semi review of sorts. 🙂
Since E3 2010 I had been looking forward to playing this game, and after playing a demo at the MCM London Expo in October 2011, I was really intrigued to play more of this game with the new motion controls. So I got the game on the day of release and pretty much played it for weeks afterward. You see Skyward Sword was not only one of my most engrossing gaming experiences in a long time but it was also one of the most in-depth Zelda experiences I have had too. After 2009 my interest in gaming started to dip a fair amount, I think it may have been because I was just gaming on my Nintendo Wii or maybe it was because I started getting into watching films in the cinema, whatever it was, by the time 2010 came around I wasn’t that fussed. So in 2011 Sonic Generations was my first super happy time gaming again and then Skyward Sword just exceeded that. I fell in love with that Zelda game because for the longest time I have played many games in the series since Ocarina of Time, however Wind Waker was the first proper Zelda game I got into and played for a long time, but Skyward Sword is the first Zelda game I actually engaged with and felt like completing (besides Four Swords Adventure). I played the game almost everyday after I bought it and got around just over halfway through the game, however, after I went home for Christmas and had to leave the Wii back at home when I went to uni in 2012, I pretty much lost my groove and couldn’t get into the game again, so I left the game and never played it again, until this year.
Revisiting The Game
So after THREE YEARS, and being very curious about the game, I decided to start over from the beginning on a separate file and my god, I felt the love all over again. I started playing the game and remembered the feeling wonder, surprise and fun that comes with starting a new game, however a lot of the criticisms of game that I’ve heard from certain fans have definitely become apparent. Criticisms of the game ar as follows:
- The beginning of the game is still fun, but the amount of tutorials and talking at the start of the game was quite frustrating, tedious and unnecessary. It didn’t spoil my experience, however I’m not sure how I was so patient with it before.
- Sometimes the controls can be a bit fiddly, because the game relies heavily on motion controls. Sometimes it is hard to make precise hits or movements even with Wii Motion Plus. Also sometimes the amount of motion controls in the game feels unneeded and could have easily been done with buttons instead.
- That stamina meter, while it is great for running and climbing quicker, at the same time it can be very annoying when doing regular tasks like running, climbing, attacking, moving objects, etc. It is very tedious and can be very inconvenient when you run out of juice while in the middle of battle or moving over quicksand.
Besides the issues listed above, it is still hella fun. Jumping back into the game after so long made it feel like a new experience, however it was great to remember all of the things that I liked about the game when I first played it and that shows that the game definitely has replay value.
The Reason I Like It
While Skyward Sword has a bit of mixed reception within the Zelda community, it is definitely regarded as one of the better games in the series, and for me personally I REALLY like this game. The story is pretty interesting too, Link is a great protagonist and seeing him and Zelda in a romantic relationship is different but quite interesting, I also love Ghirahim as the antagonist, he’s such a creepy/insane badass. I also love seeing everything all the foreshadowing that will come into play with the other games in the Zelda timeline. The visuals have a nice blend of watercolour paintings mixed in with the cel-shaded style of Wind Waker and realistic style of Twilight Princess and it gives off this very bright, vivid and charismatic type of game which is charming and pleasant to look at. And then there is the soundtrack which is gorgeous! The orchestral sound is heavenly and adds a lot to the gameplay when travelling and battling, the best songs being “Ballad of the Goddess“, “Ghirahim Battle“, “The Sky” and “Separation” to name a few. In addition to that, gameplay-wise, having the ability to run fast in a Zelda game (without the use of the Pegasus Boots) is a BIG deal and I LOVE it, I just like running all over the place. In addition to that flying on the Loftwing in the sky is one of my favourite experiences in the series, and I prefer it to riding Epona and possibly a bit more than the boat in Wind Waker. I also like the combat and the way it gives you full-on control and satisfaction when you kill your enemies. Foes you meet in the main worlds are fun to take out, I love fights with the Stalfos and Ghirahim, and some of the boss battles are epic and cinematic. And finally I like the way you get to interact with NPCs, have different choices with responses and deal with side missions and gear upgrading similar to Monster Hunter.
In conclusion The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, I still love this game. Some aspects of the game are a bit tedious, however I still love it. The gameplay is fun and exciting, the visuals are beautiful and the music is incredible, and playing through the game the second time is super fun and I haven’t felt this kind of fun since A Link Between Worlds last year and I can’t wait to finally finish this game. If you haven’t experienced the game yet I would recommend it, it’s a good time.
So have you played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and if so what do you think of it? Do you love it, hate it or feel indifferent? And how do you think it compares to the other Zelda games? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below.