Never before have I felt this kind of passion and determination to save Princess Zelda. This is first Zelda game to be made exclusively for the revolutionary Nintendo Wii console and boy does it improve over all of its predecessors. It’s incredibly hard for me to take time to write this review because I just cannot get away from playing this game! So, let’s jump right into why you MUST pick this game up for the holiday season!
Now getting into the story, unlike other games in the series, we find Link and Princess Zelda already knowing each other and are actually close childhood pals. Both live in a floating mystical haven called Skyloft. Without giving too many spoilers away, the main premise of this game is to tell an “origin story”. So yes, this game comes supposedly before Ocarina of Time. The mode of transportation for its inhabitants is a very large colorful bird called the Loftwing, in which everyone has their very own. Also, this title has one of the best character development plots of any in the series. Out of all the Zelda games, I have never felt the kind of connection with Princess Zelda. The beginning act of this story really makes you care for her and when evil things come knocking at her door, it makes you furious! As expected though, your main mission will be to do anything and everything it takes to find and rescue the beloved princess. There are many familiar monsters and critters in this vast world as well as many new bosses to defeat.
Another great achievement this time around, is the integration of Wii Motion Plus. In Twilight Princess, swordplay was still basically just moving your Wiimote up and down mindlessly. No longer is this true. With Motion Plus, you literally control how Link wields his sword with precision. This feature adds a whole new dimension in the game because different enemies and bosses have to be hit and defeated in certain ways. This game is why the Wii was made and Nintendo will forever be credited with introducing motion controlled gaming to the industry.
Zelda games are the only major franchise to dramatically change graphical art styles and visual appearances with each new title in the series. And it is something that adds to the “legend” and mythology aspects they try to provide us. There were initially a lot of questions regarding the new art style, but the way I see it, the fine folks at Nintendo decided to combine the best visuals of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. And honestly, it paid off. To me, it is like a piece of art or a painting coming to life; simply breathtaking and visually stunning.
The music and audio in this game are superb and candy to my ears. Hajime Wakai, and Koji Kondo composed such a beautiful and dynamic soundtrack that it is even being made into a live world touring orchestra called “Symphony of the Goddesses" Now that is truly remarkable. Every Zelda title has iconic scores and Skyward Sword is no different. The major theme in this game is called “Ballad of the Goddesses” which is played initially by Princess Zelda on her harp. It is both beautiful and adventurous.
What I would change:
It is hard to pick out things that I disliked about this game. Obviously, nowadays everyone is expecting hi-definition 1080p graphics, and it is something that is a physical limitation of the Wii. However, Nintendo was clever enough to not make HD overshadow them by using this “painting come to life” art style. Also, I am always hoping and keepings my fingers crossed for the next game in the series to have voice acting. Link doesn’t need to speak, but it would be neat for everyone else in the world to have a real voice.
Ocarina of Time has always been held close to my heart and will forever be one of my favorite games and every reputable critic has OoT in the “Best video game ever” slot. However, this may sound blasphemous, but I truly feel that OoT has finally been dethroned. Skyward Sword is just phenomenal. This installment in the series definitely has a fantastic chance of being crowned Game of the Year at every award ceremony. The long waited and highly anticipated Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword launches in North America on November 20, 2011 at all video game stores.
Lover of technology, music and films. Sean is a health scientist, futurist, world traveller and award-winning photographer. He holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a BHSc from UOIT.
You should follow him on Twitter @SeanChin.