Gripping the sword
TFi is housed within Link’s sword, which brings us swiftly back to those one-to-one controls, much publicised and ultimately worth the hype... just. Though responsive and attuned to the player's style when exploring, swordplay is still limited in its freestyling, as blows – however cunningly aimed – are reduced to preordained horizontal, vertical and diagonal swipes.
That said, forward thrusts are nicely implemented, particularly satisfying when a spinning Skulltula’s weak belly is mercilessly exploited.
Encounters with enemies capable of defending themselves prove to be a mixed bag too. An early boss, for example, has the player feint in one direction, before attacking from another. It's good on paper but sluggish and unauthentic in practice.
That said, timed counter moves – using sword and shield in tandem – feel great, as does adjusting the direction of a swipe as your enemy's weak point dictates. It’s just that the whole system feels like the middle-ground between the usual restriction and complete freedom.
Spark it up
At least Link's reserve of discoverable – and usually upgradable – equipment fares better with the game's constant championing of MotionPlus. Bombs, for example, can now be rolled as well as thrown, a flying beetle can be directed by the tilt of the controller and Link's loftwing mount itself is as much a joy to fly as it is to dismount – Link turning skydiver as he plummets to the surface.
Nintendo has produced one of Link’s most memorable adventures yet, a rich tapestry of strange characters, memorable locations full of flourish and mischievous bosses. By taking MotionPlus to heart, it has created an interface unlike that of any other game, finally demonstrating what gesture controls are capable of. Yes, there are missteps in the sword play, but most Zelda-lovers will easily forgive that flaw.
Wish I brought my Speedos
It's just a shame for Skyward Sword that it lands at a time when the Wii is at its lowest-ebb – technologically and in terms of popularity. It's a shame for the Wii too, that a game which finally shows off the console's hidden layers of control comes during its twilight years. ®
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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
I bought a Wii yesterday just so I could play this. No idea what I will do with the Wii once I finish it.
I'm 46, so the need to be considered "grown up" is not something I've contemplated for a couple of decades. The use of the phrase "grown up console" intimates that the poster has yet to get by that phase of their life.
I have been a fan of the Zelda games for a long time, but I have no fingers on my right hand and, from what I have seen, I don't think I'm going to be able to play this comfortably, if at all. The ability to fall back to a Gamecube controller would have been appreciated. I got through Twilight Princess by tying the nun chuck and the Wii remote together, just shaking the whole thing was enough to trigger the sword on screen, but it was not ideal or particularly comfortable. (I know there was a Gamecube version available, but it would have been nice to have the option to use the Gamecube controller in the Wii version too).
I was annoyed even further by the fact that I emailed Nintendo to ask if there were any other control schemes that would better suit me (I stated clearly my issue was that I cannot hold the nun chuck and the Wii remote at the same time) and I (eventually) got a copied and pasted response about how Wii Motion Plus was more accurate than the Wii Controller alone, and suggesting I try Wii Sports Resort to get a feel for how it works...
I'm disappointed and I won't be buying it.
I hope to god...
... that Skyward Sword doesn't plumb the depths of fucking-awfulness that FF13 dropped 40 hours of my time into
My sprogs still love the Wii and play stuff like Lego Stars wars all the time. I'm more of a Donkey Kong Country/Mario Galaxy returns sort of chap.
All games that put game play and fun above mindbending graphics, and are all the better for it.
Still, the next gen Wii should be something else if they can produce games as good as these but in high def, and better accuracy controllers.