In a Nutshell
If you own a Nintendo Wii you should own The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword more than any other game on the system, Skyward Sword like pretty much every Zelda game ever is an amazing game. Certainly one of the best games in the current gen. It probably has everything you could ever want from a Zelda game in it.
First of all lets just get rid of that one tiny niggle we have with Skyward Sword, obviously most reviews come down to personal opinion, however one thing many gamers cannot agree on is weather the next Zelda game graphics should be Toon Link or Realistic. However Skyward Sword is a sort of compromise between the two, the art style is nice, but that is now going to make this argument a whole lot worse. So really it is not a problem with the game just people who are going to argue over these “compromised,” graphics will forgot or over look what such an amazing game this is. Honestly people Gameplay first, and then the Story then Graphics surely you should know that all by now.
Let’s Begin... (Properly)
In terms of Zelda games at opening Skyward Sword is slow and takes a while for you to see just how good combat is against enemies in a proper Zelda fashion. However the opening introduces you to what the Zelda universe was like in the very beginning, which for the 25th anniversary game is rather fitting I think. The game starts in Skyloft which is your home; it is an island floating above the clouds, and above the surface world which eventually becomes Hyrule and where your main and fantastic story takes place really does, a good job of showing how Hyrule became well Hyrule, which many people should really like. (You always get complainers though... They should just get lives and play the game they’ve been give shesh) The story is great and you can really see Zelda and Link “connect,” in a way they haven’t really done before. Also you can see how other characters, races, come from and is a joy to see as you explore the underworld. Also in Skyloft each any every person is connected to a Bird called a Loftwing, and these are used to getting about the hub world of Skyloft, flying is controlled like Wii Sports Resort flying is, and is fun. Links Loftwing is special though (Surprised...?) and obviously some stuck little idiot(s) are jealous as you find out.
Skyloft is a great place to explore and an excellent Hub-World with the ability to explore on your Loftwing and the central market in Skyloft are great, as well as the numerous quest and items there to be found in Skyloft. Once you start finding Goddess cubes on the surface Skyloft becomes a real joy to explore. Goddess cubes are cubes you hit on the surface which make chests appear in Skyloft and have rare items in them. There are many to find and really make you explore Skyloft and can easily distract you from the main game. And the Hub-World alone with all the side quests on offer can easily add another 10-20 hours of Gameplay time to Skyward Sword, which main story is already fantastic and long enough.
The Main Game
In typical Zelda fashion the story is one where Link has to save Zelda from a crisis, after 25 years you’d think this would get boring, yet with each game not only do Nintendo tell the story better or differently in a great way, but each time Zelda has had a slightly different role to play. Skyward Sword again continues in this fashion and shows how Link and Zelda really do affect the creation of Hyrule and their joint destinies with it and each other.
How does it live up to expectations?
The first sentence in this review should tell you the answer that it does. Apart from one thing it’s an understatement to say that... Skyward Sword completely surpass its expectations in every possible, from the fantastic combat (which we will come to later) the reworked design of the over-world then dungeon mechanic, the story, the pace of plot, the fantastic environments, the music etc, etc. We could go on to you about Skyward Sword for ages and really only tell you half of what a fantastic game this is to play, and a must have not just for any Wii owner, but for any Gamer around, this absolutely one of the greatest games not just of the Zelda franchise, but of all time.
The controls are a joy to use in combat and pretty much every single part of the games items makes use of the Wii Motion Plus. Combat truly feels like you are Link swinging his Sword, and now every enemy provide a challenge and thought on which way to swing to defeat it. Also items such as the Beetle which controls just like flying your Loftwing makes great use of the motion plus. So does the Whip which like everything that uses the Wii Motion Plus to its potential feels accurate and amazing to use. We really can’t give enough praise to the Motion Plus and how much it improves the combat. After playing Skyward Sword it is very hard to imagine playing Zelda any other way.
The Dungeons and Environments
The dungeons are fantastic and some of the best Zelda dungeons we have played. Also now getting into dungeons from the over world is no longer a simple case of finding them, but you have to solve a puzzle to get into them, and often the over world offers a good challenge. The dungeons at heart though are true to Zelda. By that we mean find item in dungeon use it get to boss use item to help defeat it. But that is what makes Zelda what it is and so good, the Dungeons, but with the reworked mechanics in the over world design it certainly makes Zelda better and improves on what must be the hardest series of all time to improve on. There are certainly so very fantastic environments in Skyward Sword that are just full of Nintendo magic and this game has Nintendo magic to its max all the way through it. The environments though are a joy to look at and explore and find new side-quests or items to help you along your way.
FANTASTIC! Has one of the best soundtracks of any video game released this year, it truly is Zelda, and the music is great all the way through. Maybe the tunes aren’t quite as iconic or memorable as those from Ocarina of Time (OoT), but are fantastic none the less. They are fantastic orchestral pieces and really prove that Zelda games have some of the best video game music of all time.
How long should it take?
The main game should take around 50-60 hours depending on what sort of gamer you are and is a very great game to play and truly shows just what fantastic games the Wii is capable of producing. But when you add side-quests into the game and finding everything and upgrading your items to the max you are looking at 70 hours +, but every single moment is worth it in every single way.
Skyward Sword sounds amazing but is is better than Ocarina of Time?
Yes and No. You see Skyward Sword massively improves on Zelda as a series as did Ocarina of Time in 1998, but Ocarina of Time had a massively great influence on the way games were and are today. So really it depends on how you look at it...
What we say “Skyward Sword is the game the Wii was designed to play, it has to be one of the best games of 2011 and of all time.”