How long is Skyward Sword?
Players rushing through just the main story could very well be done with the game in just 30 hours, and those aiming for a 100% completion of Skyward Sword should expect to spend around 60 hours or more depending on how familiar they are with the game already. Game RantThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - How Long to Beat | Game Rant
You might remember its work on Twilight Princess HD
It's becoming increasingly common for Nintendo to lend out its IP and call on the services of external studios to help remake and remaster its classic library of games - so it's no surprise to discover that the company's latest release, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, was also handled by someone else.
As highlighted by the Australian Nintendo fansite Vooks.net, the developer of the enhanced Switch port was the Melbourne-based Aussie developer Tantalus. This information was confirmed in the credits of the game. While the studio may not be widely known, it actually has a bit of history with The Legend of Zelda series dating back to 2016.
Back during the troubled Wii U generation, it was responsible for the HD version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from the Wii and GameCube era. Series producer, Eiji Aonuma, originally recruited the studio because he felt it had "strong developing skills" across a number of remakes:
"I felt they had strong developing skills from seeing their work across remakes of previous titles, so I decided to ask Tantalus to remake this title."
Earlier on in the Switch's lifecycle, the studio helped out with Sonic Mania and RiME. How do you feel about this developer returning for Skyward Sword? Did you enjoy Twilight Princess HD back in the day? Leave a comment down below.
About Liam Doolan
When he’s not paying off a loan to Tom Nook, Liam likes to report on the latest Nintendo news and admire his library of video games. His favourite Nintendo character used to be a guitar-playing dog, but nowadays he prefers to hang out with Judd the cat.
I heard Nintendo published the game too.
I assume they'll also be responsible for porting Twilight Princess HD and Wind Waker HD to Switch when that time comes.
Get whoever the heck you want, Nintendo. Just give me a fun game
Not very on topic with the article, but I feel like Zelda should abandon the open world style of botw and go back to the old formula. In replaying all the Zelda games I have access to in preparation for skyward sword I found myself playing botw first. It was fun for about thirty shrines but I felt after that point I was forcing myself to beat the game. Then I played games like ocarina and Majora and I didn’t want them to end. One underrated aspect is things like quivers and bomb bags. In botw I always had so many arrows and bombs which made combat feel less strategic and more just spamming arrows. In the older games I had to plan more and had much more risk versus reward. I honestly hope skyward sword makes newer fans of the series wish for the classic formula so Nintendo will stop trying to go open world with the series
@blindsquarel The original Zelda and A link to the past were both open world and really well done.
Breath of the Wild is the most classic style we have had in a long time. Though I agree the shrines felt very limiting compared to proper thought out dungeons. More sparse resources too though I believe Master Mode helps with that a lot.
In short there are ways they can keep the old school open world and bring back the classic dungeon and item management of old as well.
I loved their rendition of “I want to be your Canary” by Lord Avon. So I expect great things from them.
@blindsquarel BotW has sold more than 22 million copies to date and is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. Frankly, they'd be absolutely nuts not to keep exploring this new style of open world game design in future mainline 3D entries.
@westman98 I really hope so! I'd love to see Twilight Princess on Switch!
Let’s be honest, sometimes BotW can feel like a chore to beat. A fun chore but a repetitive one with some moments of wonder.
Has Nintendo EPD made any games in the past 1.5 years WITHOUT outsourcing? Game Builder Garage seems to be the only one.
Well that explains why there was uncharacteristically poor communication over some of the features. They're obviously less used to communicating with this team than their in-house devs.
@AlienigenX nice FFIX reference!!
@fafonio Oh I agree there is a lot of things that can take from OOT style Zelda's. I was mainly commenting that Botw was more reminiscent of the original Zelda thus technically being more classic Zelda than say the OOT style. Item management and such was mainly in response to the commenters wants.
Open world's nowadays in general seem quite tricky to pull off. Every publisher and their granny thinks open world is about how big it is, but when there is always barely anything to fit in it, there's absolutely no point. Botw doesn't differ when it comes to that, but hopefully with more time and chance at the formula they can make the world more worthwhile.
Personally I'd take a far smaller open world packed to the brim with things to do than a massive open world that's shallower than a puddle. Though in Botw's defense I did enjoy exploring Hyrule even if there wasn't always a good payoff for it.
@nitrolink I also realized Nintendo EDP hasn’t been outputting as much content as previous generations. My guess is because the games are larger in scale now and they also shoot out content updates for a while with games like Animal Crossing, Splatoon, and even Mario Maker.
There’s also a few mobile games they work on. From what I’ve read online DeNA isn’t the only team working on all the games.
I wasn't aware that Tantalus helped with the port.
Maybe a Switch port can refresh my memory.
@blindsquarel I would like to think they could bring a good balance of both. As you said A link to the past was able to be linier structured but retain the open world style of the original Zelda. Maybe botw2 solves some of these issues?
I know it would never ever happen but I'd be down for a Zelda II style sequel.
@blindsquarel They should at least find a compromise, I do find the shrines to quality over quality and do miss the dungeons and atmosphere of classic 3d Zelda as well as music.
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15 July, 2021 - 11:07am
Version Reviewed: European
Returning to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword some ten whole years down the line from its original release, you may be expecting, as we certainly were, to be greeted by a core game that's unavoidably, naturally, beginning to show its age in some regards. It stands to reason, this is an entry in Nintendo's storied franchise that's had its detractors from the get-go, criticised for its sometimes unreliable motion controls, its fractured overworld, intrusive sidekick, pacing and some late-game repetition. Surely by now these issues — these rough edges — have been exacerbated, and even added to, by the natural progression of time.
Well, whether or not any of that might have been the case seems quite beside the point now; with this HD remaster, Nintendo has taken its gust bellows to a layer of jank that, in hindsight, stood between players and the true promise, the full potential, of this masterpiece. The raft of tweaks, changes and updates drip-fed to us in the months leading up to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD's release may not have seemed all that exciting on paper — this isn't some ground-up remake and there's no new content or notable changes to how things unfold — but together they give the underlying game here a whole new lease of life. This HD remaster feels like how we were meant to originally experience this adventure, the connection between the game's world and the player now unimpeded.
Let's start with those technical changes. The motion controls here, such a divisive element of the original release of this game, now perform so much closer to the way we dreamed they might back in 2011. Tight, responsive and absolutely up to the task in the most frantic of mob battles and boss fights, they may not quite manage the flawless 1:1 swordplay that was touted back in the day, but boy do they come close.
Engaging in combat in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD feels fluid, your sword swipes and shield actions responding accurately to your commands and enabling you to properly relax, to feel confident that the inputs you make whilst playing with motion controls will now translate onto the screen. We were impressed with this game's combat back in 2011, but there was no doubt it could prove hugely frustrating when a thrust or cut failed at some critical moment, when your shield refused to parry an attack or a skyward strike refused to charge. All of these issues are, for the most part, banished here.
In terms of the all-new button controls, although they don't quite match up to the feeling of immersion you get from swinging and flicking your Joy-Con as you batter Bokoblins and slice and dice Deku-Babas, they still feel remarkably good and enable Switch Lite and portable players to fully enjoy this experience in handheld mode. Controlling your sword by flicking the right stick works wonderfully well here, and in situations where your sword skills are really put to the test, such as those exacting face-offs against Ghirahim, they prove to be accurate and responsive enough to avoid almost any frustrations. There's still the odd time where a slash doesn't quite line itself up, where you need to thrust for a second time to get the required response, but in comparison to the original game's motion controls the difference in precision is truly noticeable.
There has been one trade-off with this handheld control scheme however, with regards to controlling the in-game camera. As we're sure you already know, you now have full control over the game's camera in this HD remaster when using motion controls, the right stick granting you total freedom over where you choose to look — a huge change that makes everything about this game feel so much more modern and free-flowing. However, when using the button control mode, you'll need to to hold down the left bumper button to access full camera control on the right stick. It's not a huge issue, we got used to holding in the left bumper where needed and letting go to engage in combat when necessary, but it's undoubtedly slightly inferior to the total freedom of the motion control set-up. It also caused us to spend a lot of time unsheathing our sword by accident until we got used to it.
The raft of quality of life changes that have been introduced here combine with these revamped controls for a much more modern feeling, streamlined and enjoyable experience. The new autosave feature that records your progress on the fly, the introduction of multiple save slots, removal of repetitive item descriptions, ability to skip cutscenes and speed up text; nothing here is ground-breaking — it's all stuff that perhaps should have been included from the get-go — but it is nevertheless transformative to the flow of this ten-year-old game.
Of course, the biggest change in terms of quality of life has to be the streamlining of your communications with Fi. Your sword-dwelling spirit side-kick is still an integral part of proceedings, but she's no longer constantly harping on or appearing every five minutes to give you a redundant run-down of things you already know. In fact, the whole Fi mechanic is almost elegant now — how you can call upon her only when necessary with a quick push of the d-pad for a hint, objective update or enemy description. She's actually useful and no longer the incessant annoyance of old. Alongside all of the other changes we've mentioned here it all adds up to a game that feels as though it's finally been given the freedom to flow properly, no longer bogged down by control issues, constant interruptions or annoying, over-eager guides.
However, with all of this doing so much to positively affect the player experience in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, it definitely does leave a quite a bad taste in the mouth that the ability to jump at will between Skyloft and The Surface has been locked behind the official Loftwing amiibo. When so much good work has been done to improve the game's pacing, it feels like a real misstep to lock this one properly significant change to the tempo of how you move around the world — perhaps even the biggest change — behind what is, essentially, a paywall.
Away from this one issue however, this remaster really has taken a ten-year-old game and made it sing like never before. We haven't even mentioned the jump from 30 to 60 FPS yet, a shift that makes everything you do here feel so much more fluid, exacting and responsive. Gliding through the air on your Crimson Loftwing, battling battalions of Bokoblin and clawshotting, whipping or swinging your way around the intricately designed dungeons here is now an absolute joy. That silky smooth frame rate joining forces with the new and improved controls and refreshed visuals to deliver an experience on a technical level that finally, absolutely does justice to the artistry and ingenuity of the game underneath.
Indeed, perhaps the biggest surprise in returning to this adventure ten years on, quite apart from all of the changes, nips and tucks introduced in this HD remaster, is just how well the core gameplay, the story, the dungeons, boss fights and puzzles have stood the test of time. It has its minor issues for sure; there's some unnecessary repetition of one major face-off, perhaps a little too much re-treading of overly familiar territory in the build up to the gloriously intricate final dungeon — and we could all have done without being thrown into a search for flipping Tadtones so late in the game — but overall what's here is still an absolute joy to engage with.
This is a game that's oft been criticised for its rather empty hub area, and it's true there's not a great pile to do or see as you fly around The Sky, but once on The Surface, once engaging with enemies, solving puzzles and searching out secrets, this is perhaps as good as a traditional, non-open world Zelda game has ever been. From Faron Woods to Eldin Volcano, Lanaryu Desert and beyond, it's non-stop fun with clever mechanics and new ideas around every corner. Boss battles — beyond that slight repetition issue with The Imprisoned — are also perfectly pitched, a fantastical, often ridiculously OTT line-up of grotesqueries that are suitably bombastic without being overly punishing, challenging without standing too tall in the face of your progression through the campaign.
The story too, without wanting to spoil a second of anything for those who are coming to this one fresh, adds much to the Zelda timeline. We get some great backstory here, origin details and explanations, as well as being introduced to some properly stand-out original characters (we love you, Groose). Skyloft may not be the most modern of game hubs — it's small and underpopulated and the islands that surround it are, for the most part, nothing more than hiding spots for the game's treasure chests and a handful of mini-games — but it's all so well designed, full of smart secrets and delightfully oddball characters. Soaring around these skies still feels utterly triumphant at times, too, taking to the air after an arduous dungeon run or boss battle, running and diving off a ledge to freefall and then be swept up by your Loftwing as that orchestral score rises... it still feels heroic.
In the end then, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD brings a level of Nintendo finesse and polish that was perhaps slightly lacking first time round. The quality of life improvements, increased frame rates, crisp HD visuals, refined controls and newly liberated in-game camera combine here to remove all previous barriers to your enjoyment of this epic, intricate and wonderfully clever entry in the Zelda franchise. It's a game that's received its fair share of criticism in the years since it originally released, but one that's now addressed many of those criticisms whilst coming as close to realising its full potential as is perhaps possible.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD introduces a raft of technical improvements and quality of life updates that reinvigorate and revitalise this ten-year-old game. With motion controls more precise than ever before, an alternate button control scheme that totally works, crisp HD graphics, smooth 60fps gameplay and a bothersome sidekick who's been streamlined into something altogether more useful, this really does feel like Skyward Sword as it was meant to be experienced. Yes, the locking off of instant travel behind the official amiibo is a misstep, but beyond this one issue what's here is a sublime experience, a technical triumph and an absolute must-play for Switch owners and Zelda fans.
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I’m not fully sold on this and would rather have got one of the Wii U remasters but I might give it a try.
Very excited to play this! Sucks my Walmart pre order got delayed... But super excited to hear the new motion controls are an upgrade (never played this on Wii).
I've said it before on here and I'll say it again, but videogames as a medium will not evolve (or at least the conversation around it won't) until the response to "... a core game that's unavoidably, naturally, beginning to show its age in some regards..." is a resounding "so what?"
Every game shows its age, including games released last week. Just because it's our age and we're used to it shouldn't make any difference from a critical standpoint.
@JoeDiddley I am still hoping to play Twilight Princess and Wind Waker HD on Switch sometimes in the future but curious to try this one out in the meantime!
Am I finally going to have to give in and buy an Amiibo, then? Oh wait, they're all sold out until 2035. Never mind.
Sounds like I will have a great time with the game
Coompletely agree with the joys and the cons.
Also got the amiibo, but only using it for figure on display purpose.
Good to know, I shall be picking this up in the fullness of time. And of course checking back in here to see the carnage.
@dystome You really don't have to buy the amiibo anyway. The original game didn't have that amiibo functionality either so the game should be perfectly playable without that.
Still doesn't excuse locking the feature behind a figurine that not everyone will be able to get of course.
Bit annoying with the left bumper for hand-held/pro controller camera, but to be fair, still a reasonable solution.
Will probably pick this up when a lot cheaper (even Nintendo games do drop in price eventually). I still recommend this to anyone who has not yet played.
Excited. This will be my first time playing it. Got the Joy Con on order as well
I’ll def pick this one up. Probably the only zelda I missed out on playing so this release solves that. Can’t wait to be honest.
I may give this a shot. I played a demo of the original version at Eurogamer years ago and hated the art system and colour scheme.
I guess it's just me who considers the Wii controls pretty much flawless. I never had any trouble with them.
Looking forward to giving this a try
I'm very excited to experience this again. Despite it's (admittedly rather awful) quirks, there were still several moments I enjoyed on the original release.
When the worst game in the 35 year old series still gets a 9/10 things are pretty good.
While I still own the original, the boost to 60 FPS sounds significant. For all its faults, it’s still Zelda, so I’ll be picking it up at some point.
I’m still not 100% sold on this game I didn’t enjoy it first time round and I hate the washed out looking graphics glad to see it has quality of life and technical improvements I won’t say I will wait for a discount cos it will never happen just wish they had given us TWP instead
I'll probably double dip after I finish MHS2. If you've never played it, you're in for a treat!
Kinda surprised to see all the hate for it. Its one of my favorite games in the series and despite its flaws, trumps even BotW for me because of one simple reason: it actually has a story. Arguably the best story in the series with Link and Zelda actually having personalities. Some of the best boss battles too! I found the original's motion controls to be almost perfect so any improvements is just icing on the cake.
As far as the amiibo goes...I'll just download it to my Powersave and be good to go.
I’m not buying this, but this is how remasters should be. Well, minus the game mechanics locked behind hard to find amiibo, that’s pretty terrible.
So you control the sword with the right stick? That seems odd, why is that?
Great review.. 9/10? Being that this is the only Zelda game I’ve never replayed after beating, I’m definitely getting this one again
I like how they gave Link a cute pointy hat and a pretty green dress. It’s a bold new look for our cliff-scaling, shield-surfing hero!
@Savino Awfull game or awfull 3d zelda game? Huge difference....
9?! This game is a solid 7
Wouldn't it have made more sense to hold the L bumper when you want to swing your sword? Maybe they will patch in an option to switch it.
@JHDK Worst? CDi and Triforce Heroes spring to mind. Phantom Hourglass too.
Nobody likes that repeating boss battle, lol. I assumed this would turn out well and will probably pick this up later on since I've already beaten it on Wii and still have a copy.
Loved the Wii game. Can't wait for this version.
Thanks for the review. Sounds excellent.
My emails tell me it is about to he shipped (physical)
@Beaucine When a game shows it’s age, there’s something worthwhile behind that statement. Ocarina of Time, for example, shows its age quite poorly. The whole experience feels outdated by modern games that took its concepts and massively improved upon them. The reason it was so critically acclaimed at the time is because it was quite literally a one-of-a-kind experience. But now, that gameplay style has become a standard, and playing OOT isn’t the only way to enjoy that style of game. Going back to it after playing 3D games with modern advances makes it feel like it’s “showing its age.”
Whereas, Super Metroid doesn’t feel that way at all. It was unique for its time, and modern games, like Hollow Knight, haven’t made it feel like an outdated experience.
I think that pointing out when a game feels outdated is part of gaming evolving, and being stuck on other thoughts would actually be the thing holding people back.
@Savino cool, but did we ask
There will be no carnage on here, everyone is just so level headed.
Cons: Nintendo cheaped out on extras. For he same price, 2011 Skyward sported a soundtrack CD and golden Wiimote
@Savino It definitely is not the worst. Even then, most of the flaws that would make it hard to play have been fixed.
@BloodNinja I disagree. Ocarina if Time is timeless. I played it for the first time back in 2013, the gameplay is solid and it was almost second nature to play, unlike ALTTP which took more time for me to get into. I think you are confusing the homogenization of the gaming industry and the “across the board” techniques developers use with progress.
I still have a little hope that Nintendo is waiting one month after this release to announce a bigger and proper Zelda 35th collection (not game&watch related). I hope this was a strategy to avoid cannibalizing sales on this one, as I simply do not care about SS. Bring me a Mayora´s Mask +Twilight + WW collection and I will buy for sure.
Pffft -2 days before I get it, I just can't wait to try this remaster! Brilliant review, thank you.
oh cmon dudes, the instant teleport is not a big deal as this was not a feature coming from the original game ..it is not even needed in Skyward Sword at all
@Savino Omar comin'.
@BloodNinja because this was one of Nintendo's weird control scheme experiments so they've just mapped the wiimote gestures to the right stick to "fix" it
@BlackenedHalo That's my impression too. Outside of speed running the game, it's paced in a way that you wouldn't even benefit from warping to the sky mid-level unless you somehow keep breaking shields or something.
@Controller-Drift A collection with the classic games would be most welcome. Not a fan of the first Zelda, but having Zelda 2, 3, and the GB awakening on Switch would be cool. I would pause my boycott for that.
I've not seen anything included in the updates that's likely to change my opinion on this game so I'll pass on it
@link3710 Phantom Hourglass one of the worst? What? The dungeons in the game are masterfully crafted! It had a really nice and warm sense of humour, the open world fit the game and there was a nice treasure hunting mini-game, so why the hate?
@carlos82 Oh! That is weird. I wonder why they didn’t simply do away with it? No way I’m going to play a game that toggles the camera for the sake of sword controls, that’s pretty inconvenient, considering current industry standards!
@WolfyTn Always love calling them that.
I have replayed the original twice, but still I love it enough so rebought it for the Switch.
My 3rd favourite Zelda behind BOTW and Wind Waker. Glad Nintendo Life also appreciates this masterpiece.
@MadeOutOfCake For me they were also flawless. Every minor motion it mirrored it exactly with no delay. Felt 100% 1:1 to me. That was why I always was so confused when people called it unreliable. I did use the golden controller that came with the Limited Edition, don't know if that made any difference.
I think a lot of players dislike the game because their expectations were 'Wind Waker in the Skies' but what we actually get is 'Diablo, but Zelda.'
Think about it: in Diablo 1 you have one village as the overworld with a handful of NPC's and then a dungeon experience that you do a few floors of, go back to the village to sell some stuff and then go back down.
Hyrule in SS is basically one big dungeon split into smaller sections. You can pick the order you tackle the sections in and in between you return to the village (Skyloft in this case) to uncover a few secrets and sell some stuff and restock before diving back in. You could argue the big dungeon world is reminiscent of Vagrant Story.
And what dungeons they are! This is Nintendo at its boss designing, puzzle-solving zenith and it shows up the otherwise brilliant BOTW for not having any proper dungeons which I hope the sequel rectifies.
@TMNHertl Prop Joe say Omar willing to parlay.
@link3710 Phillips games don't count. Triforce Heroes is a spinoff. And I really like Phantom Hourglass.
Now this game has become a masterpiece? Doubt...
Honestly Skyward sword is my favorite of the 3D games! The whole world seems to want me to believe BOTW is the best ever but I just don't. This one has a real story and being first in the overall timeline it's significant and shouldn't be Missed. Plus I just adored the orchestrated soundtrack! BOTW is kinda disappointing by comparison.
Anyway seriously if you're on the fence just try it. It's sadly underrated. maybe now the motion controls won't have to turn you away this time since they are optional. I hope a few newcomers find their next favorite Zelda game.
@Darlinfan He didn't on Savino.
@Beaucine wait, what? How does pointing out how poorly an aspect of a game has aged correlate to a lack of progress in the medium? You're right, the answer should be 'So what?'. Someone criticizes a game for aspects they thought didn't stand the test of time? So what, get over it. Someone points out flaws in a game they happen to love? So what, get over it.
If you want video games to evolve as a medium, then guess what: every other art form or media allows for criticism based on the context of when something was created versus how it holds up now. Your argument essentially amounts to "Keep it to yourself". That's neat, but some books, films and games age better than others.
I love the original Resident Evil games. I love the fixed camera angles, I love the tank controls. But these things absolutely did not age well, or else they wouldn't be a barrier of entry for people today. Citizen Kane aged well imo, a lot of movies don't.
This is yet another port I won't be spending a ridiculous £50 on just for an added autosave and higher textures. Instead I might get the wii version out and play it on my wiiu, still got the sexy gold wii remote aswell which I will never sell
The changes made to this game signals to me one thing:
The overwhelmingly positive reception to BOTW's hands-off approach has altered Zelda titles forever!
Finally we can all expect Nintendo to stop treating us like children who've never touched a game in our lives...
The textures make me want to puke…
@MadeOutOfCake I never had a bit of trouble. SS's not my favorite, but the motion controls were flawless for me.
This is the best Zelda game before BotW. It's a good mix up of everything that worked well with Zelda before the reconvention, while adding stuff that would be used in the later game. The feeling of exploring an unseen land was very well expanded on BotW, and motion controllers always worked well, this game used the Wiimote to its fullest. I'll get it for my son's birthday, he loves the game, and I love it too! The Amiibo adition is not really a big deal, the game is still enjoyable, and the transitions from land to sky are done fast anyways.
Super excited for this game. I preordered from Walmart for the goodies. I hope it arrives on time.
@TMNHertl just finished a rewatch the other day. There's nothing scarier than Bubs walking through Hamsterdam at night. The lack of any lighting makes it terrifying. Can't see anyone's face, can barely make out what they're doing.
I'm still wondering if handheld/ Pro controller players can still use motion controls to aim with the bow and slingshot but still use the right stick for the sword. Can't seem to find clarification on that.
BOTW is the best, but some of its ideas got their start in Skyward Sword.
That's kind of the argument I'm disagreeing with.
Since videogames are creative, artistic experiences, it's actually far more difficult than it seems to determine what is or is not an "improvement." That's because anything you add to the experience is, inevitably, something else you take away. Refine and polish, and you take away the unique danger and excitement a more unpolished experience can bring. Make a digital world bigger and more lived-in, and you take away the focus and streamlined nature of previous videogame hubs. And so on.
For instance, with Ocarina of Time, I don't think any Zelda title's quite matched that game's pacing and flow. And yes, I've played it several times since 1998. Much of what makes it dated (its relative simplicity in comparison to later 3D entries) is also what makes it more immediate to play than some of its successors (which could get bogged down in the minutiae, like Twilight Princess's interminable intro or Wind Waker's disposable islands).
Which isn't to say I don't think videogames should evolve. But evolution is about adapting better to your environment (or your audience, in the case of videogames), not about improvement in some objective way. (We, as individuals, aren't plural "audiences," so we can re-adapt ourselves to old games, if we want to.)
The reason I think focusing so much on whether a game ages or not (which shouldn't be a question: every game ages, including Super Metroid and its control scheme, which is perfect but definitely 90s) holds the medium back is this: it prevents us from analyzing the present fruitfully and often puts the present (with its "modern standards") on a weird pedestal that actually keeps us from noticing flaws, finding avenues for innovation, and so on. It also keeps us from locating inspiration in the past. I feel critical takes of old games are often akin to someone trying to find "evidence of aging" like they're at a beach with a metal detector, instead of really engaging with the game and its internal consistency, and asking not "does it feel old" (which, again, is barely a question, because it probably does) but rather "how valuable is this experience." And that's the question I think is really worth asking.
I really enjoyed this game back in the day. This isn't my fave Zelda game, but it was fun at the time. The sword mechanic got a bit frustrating so happy to hear that it has been improved. There was that one boss fight that really pissed me off on the original (Scervo). My copy ships on Friday which is fine since I am almost finished with Paper Mario Origami King.
@ImDecea5ed do I need your permission to express my opinion in a public page? Or you are offended because someone else on the internet doesnt like your precious little game?
@skycargav2000 awfull game. I reqlly, really dislike this Zelda. I dont like the story, the gameplay, Fi is very annoying (I know it was fixed but argh, cant stand her), the vilan is comically bad, the support characters are very, very goofy and out of place...
As you can see, I really dont like it.
Already got the game coming, I don't care what the complainers said, I got the game for $40 anyways. Last I heard Sonic Colors Ultimate won't be 60fps on Switch anyways which is lame on Sega's part cause it's just a Wii port. How hard is it to make Sonic Colors run in 60fps on Switch. Even Dolphin got it running at 60fps and that was 3 years ago.
@jhvoorhies There is a special place in Hell for Scervo.
I love Zelda mainly due to the world and atmosphere but something about Skyward Sword (and Twilight Princess) just immediately makes me not want to play it. I can’t figure out what it is. I played the original Wii versions of both of those titles for about an hour each. That is my own fault but I was just put off - maybe it was just the wrong time in my life. I’m hoping this time around I will get properly into Skyward Sword. The Amiibo thing is 100% BS though. I hope they correct that down the line.
@abbyhitter Yes, the aiming uses the built in motion control so you just tilt to aim
@Tandy255 yeah, I love Twilight Princess, but Skyward Sword is the better game. I love how different it is from the previous Zelda titles,and gameplay made it so much better.
Nintendolife reviewer:hey a remaster from nintendo and its a Zelda game lets give it a 9/10 even if it’s one of the worst zelda game we judge game by nostalgia and Nintendofanboyism.
@Beaucine Sometimes, the artistic aspects are held back by the technical. To stick to the example, I don't find that OOT has aged poorly from a conceptual or artistic experience, but from a technical one. The pacing is slow and boring. The combat is dull and uninteresting. The unskippable dialogue, the constant annoyances from Navi, the poor controls, etc...have all been improved upon by games that came after it. The problem with OOT, is that it's many flaws are a result of experimentation of it's time. Evolution of environment is simply one aspect of that subject. A medium evolves by it's improvements from retrospection. Have you noticed that there really aren't many games that copy OOT's concepts? No, that's because modern improvements in camera function, game pacing, fluidity of character movement, etc, have evolved to try and deliver a better experience.
The idea is not to put modern games on a pedestal, that's such an odd concept. Most modern games are re-hashing old ideas from the 90's, anyway. All I'm saying is that when a game is "showing it's age," that's a sign that we have evolved, in the medium. How else would we be able to spot the improvements? Is every modern game perfect? Certainly not; nobody is saying that modern games are simply better than classic games. Super Metroid is literally a masterpiece that hasn't been replicated. Yet, I'm sure the people that love Hollow Knight would disagree with me, and they would be right!
It's just funny to me, because the argument is usually that people put old games on the pedestal, as some insurmountable zenith of excellence, not new ones. Wouldn't that be the thing that holds us back?
Perfect, Friday can't come soon enough.
@Beaucine Video games as a medium have been evolving rapidly constantly over the decades, not sure what you're trying to say.
@Savino “in your opinion”
@BloodNinja why would you need a collection of those titles when they are all on NSO and one has a remake on Switch?
@munstahunta maybe don’t come to the site then?
One question still remains unanswered.....Hero Mode?
@munstahunta Mega fail from you
@ModdedInkling The original Skyward Sword on Wii already had a hero mode, so it will probably just keep the original one.
@fafonio I'm not a supporter of the "games as a service," idea, so I will never use NSO because I prefer physical copies of anything I purchase. I played the remake through dungeon 6 but got bored from it's poor pacing. They slowed the game's pacing down a bit too much, and I find the gameboy version to be much snappier. That's why I and people like me would like to see those games come physically to Switch.
@johnvboy As I can see.
@BloodNinja You control the sword with the right stick because you can swipe it in several different directions (horizontal, vertical, diagonal and you can also stab instead of swipe) and most enemies will block certain attacks. For example there are piranha plant like enemies that can open their mouth both horizontally and vertically and you have to match your strike accordingly or it won't do damage.
IIRC For Honor (that Ubisoft sword fighting multiplayer game) has similar controls and those work pretty well.
"Putting the present on a pedestal" is not an odd concept in the sense that it's extremely common. Not my own concept, though. Apparently not yours either.
I'm not saying old videogames can't be flawed. Of course they can be. Sometimes those flaws are the inevitable product of experimentation: camera controls hadn't been finessed yet when Ocarina of Time came out. My argument would be that those flaws were there to begin with, we just didn't notice at the time. (Certainly it's more fun to fight enemies in earlier Zelda titles, including A Link to the Past and even the very first 1986 Zelda.)
I do think remasters should be graded on some level of value for money in comparison to other remasters. Maybe a second score for that.
Anyways I love Nintendo gamers who say that they don’t care about resolution or frame rate but then make a big deal when a ten year old game gets rereleased in 1080p 60fps.
Despite all the hate I see for this game, I'm picking this up first thing after work on Friday. I took a gaming hiatus for almost 20 years (N64 was the last new console I had until I got a Switch) so even if I think the pricing is a little steep I'm glad to see games I missed out on become available again, and I haven't played a non-BotW 3D Zelda since Ocarina of Time was a new game. I read so much hate for Super Mario Sunshine before the release of 3D All Stars and that ended up being one of my favourite games in the series, I'm hoping something similar is the case here
After initially not fancying it when it was first announced, I now find myself super excited for Skyward Sword on Switch!
It’s my birthday on Saturday (my 48th.. ouch!), so I’m rather hoping my wife or the kids have a nice surprise for me.
@DeclanS98 yep. I stated it very clearly.
Maybe I didn't make myself clear. But my argument is actually within your own post: "I love the original Resident Evil games. I love the fixed camera angles, I love the tank controls. But these things absolutely did not age well, or else they wouldn't be a barrier of entry for people today."
And that is exactly my point. Fixed camera angles and tank controls are absolutely dated in the sense that they've fallen out of favor in modern gaming. However, they provide a very unique, specific experience. Simply saying they're "dated" and moving on doesn't actually get us very far. (It'd be the equivalent of complaining Citizen Kane has 1940s acting and cinematography. Well, yes, it's a 1940s movie. A particularly good one, obviously, but also definitely of its time.) It would be more interesting and profitable to talk about how those mechanics work within the game and what it's trying to do. And if these mechanics are a barrier to entry for people today, well, maybe lower that barrier through conversation and dialogue.
So expect this too rate 7/8 most other sites as how Nintendo life always rate exclusives higher than the average
Whatever it is I'm trying to say, I'm definitely not denying videogames evolve. That'd be like denying the ocean has lots of water.
@munstahunta or they just liked it? Assuming someone who disagrees with you put less thought into their opinion than you did is lousy. I would have scored the game lower as well, but come on.
Not gonna lie that read like an 8. I think some of those criticisms on a non-Zelda game would've dropped the score. Overall, great review and insights into how this compares to the Wii.
Probably get it on sale...who am I kidding, this game will never go on sale.
@Beaucine okay, that makes more sense. But when pressed I think people can tell you what they mean when they say a game has aged poorly. If anything Citizen Kane aged better because of the cinematography. It doesn't look or feel like a movie from that decade. Most films felt like stage plays, right up to the end of the 60s.
I think as long as people are specific about what they mean there's no harm done. I do get what you mean though, and I agree that people should be less arbitrary about saying things have aged badly.
More like Skyward Shart am I right?
In all seriousness, I recall mostly liking this game back in the day in spite of its flaws. Will likely pick it up on sale.
@gamecrawler Well said! I love exploring the ocean in Wind Waker (and the map of BOTW). Exploring the sky in Skyward Sword retains some of that mystery & fun.
Not sure I understand the wording in the cons. It's not like they'd use an unofficial amiibo.
Skyward Sword is easily my favorite 3D Zelda game, so I'm considering this just because I don't have the original one on the Wii. But with that said, I think $60 for this remaster seems a bit too much, so I will probably wait for prices to go down.
I haven't played the HD version... But I still kind it better than BOTW because it has a well developed and incredibly interesting story as well as more diverse items and locals.
It was a blast on Wii, I'm sure it'll be a blast on Switch. Can't wait to play again!
Looks like an amazing Remaster! Another hit from Nintendo, worth the price, will easily pick it up!
After not exactly falling in love with BOTW, I can't wait to play a proper 3D Zelda again with decent dungeons and not too much traipsing around.
@fafonio Oh, I'm not holding my breath for it! I own the games on my NES and SNES, but it would be nice to have them on my Switch to reduce the wear on those systems.
Ah yes so the unplayable original geht's a 10 and the one that fixes it a 9. I get it.
I skipped this game back on the Wii because I was tired of motion gameplay at the time,but now I will give this game a chance. I'll pick it up in the coming weeks.
I wouldn’t mind this release so much if it weren’t for the pressure of top tier Nintendo anniversaries ending in “5” making me think a collection (and one that isn’t limited to a G&W) is what we should be getting.
It’s one thing for SS to be the main focus of Zelda’s 25th anniversary, but to do it again for its 35th is just insulting.
@countzero Interesting! I have played neither, and don't plan to, but that sure is a neat curiosity.
Comments section proves once again people hate the middle ground - something has to be the best ever or the worst thing ever…. What happened to common sense and central way of thinking
@JHDK Triforce Heroes is not a spin off. It's the 18th mainline Zelda game.
@Savino you are entitled to your opinion but worst zelda your dead wrong on that one that title goes to cd i ones
I hate when people overuse acronyms or should I say 'IHWPOA'.
@Crono1973 Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Man, reading this made me forget how much I loved Skyward Sword on the wii. If I buy this though, it'll definitely be during a sale (so probably a couple years from now). Still can't justify full price for reasons many people have already explained before.
@BloodNinja I didn't see that anyone answered this correctly, but if they did and I missed it, my apologies for the redundancy
The way I understood it in the review is that there are two control schemes: one that uses motion controls, one that uses buttons. If you use motion controls, the right stick only controls the camera. If you use button controls, then the right stick controls the sword (to emulate motion controls), while to use the camera you have to press the left bumper.
@Broosh And it won't even see use in speedrunning, except maybe certain routing for 100% runs. It's basically a single-waypoint means to halt your game progress and travel backwards.
Calling it "fast travel" or "QOL" has always been ludicrously overselling what the amiibo actually does. It's literally just Oocoo Jr. from Twilight Princess.
Easily the best 3D Zelda game after Breath of the Wild in my opinion. The best combat, the best story, and some of the best dungeons in the series. People who missed the original are in for a real treat.
Back in the day you gave Skyward Sword a 10/10, and now a 9/10 even if its better according to the text. It's one of my least favourite Zelda games, not an 9 or 10 imho, it has serious design problems.
I’m curious.. has the game crashing bug from the Wii version that involves the Song of Hero quest (I think that’s the game crashing bug) been fixed in the HD version?
@Jumping_Dead I looked at the original game's review. To be fair, it was another reviewer who reviewed the game. I guess an argument can be made that the same person reviewing the original game should review the remaster. But then, I also think we need to keep in mind different reviewers have differing opinions and that its quite possible the original reviewer isn't even with NintendoLife anymore
@UsurperKing It was answered, but I do not mind the redundancy, m'Lord.
Im gonna get this, but because of the backlog, im gonna wait until i can get it cheaper 2nd hand in 1-2 months.
My copy already shipped, can't wait for Friday!
@WiltonRoots don't waste your time dude! Some of these people are claiming this as the worst mainline zelda, and utterly garbage! If some randos on the internet are telling you this and you're still not listening, can you even be saved?
I think these scores are handed out like sweeties. For a ten year old game that had existing issue's fixed and an HD upgrade and a £50 price tag, I would max a score at 8.
Now that Nintendo have ported almost all the Wii U games to the Switch, they are starting on the Wii games. It's anyone's guess how many Wii games are currently undergoing this transformation to be ported at full price.
While in its self you could say no one has to buy the game, and that's true, it is the lack of new games that will suffer. Are suffering already.
@zool absolutely agree with your reasoning about the score, but I don't see a world of difference between 8 vs. 9. If anything your logic makes it sound like it should be even lower by a point or more, but it's obviously subjective.
Also, I don't think new games are suffering. You could argue that the people involved in porting it could have spent that time doing something else, but it's not like a Zelda remaster is to the detriment of say, BotW 2, which would still be the focus no matter how many Zelda remasters/ports were released.
Geez. The haters are going to continue to hate, I guess. 🤷🏾♂️
Sounds like they’ve done a nice job. I hated the original but mainly the control, so will give this a try at some point. However having recently managed to grab a PS5 I’m busy for a while.
It’s almost as if those reviews are 10 years apart and written by different people. I’m not sure which reviewer said it was unplayable either.
I cannot wait to play this after I beat MHS2. I am excited to play it. I hated the motion controls. So I will be playing this on my Lite. It does show it’s age, but so what.
Not to knock on it, but having experienced the original and the remake not having any noteworthy new features/dungeons, I probably won’t be picking this up - for myself anyway
I'm still not really sold. I don't remember much about the Wii original anymore beyond the motion controls being really inaccurate for me, and I don't feel like paying full price to discover if they really do work in this one (all the reviews back in the day said the motion controls were near perfect too).
I'd have preferred "button-only" mode to work like Ocarina of Time where a button press combined with a left joystick direction would be enough to swing in a specific direction. Losing the right camera controls to the waggle isn't really very good.
@electrolite77 Read my Comment again. I Said I get it, didnt I
@BTB20 exactly. A spin-off would be the Crossbow Training, Tetra’s Trackers, both Tingle games (which are awesome Btw) or Cadence of Hyrule. Now those are spinoffs.
@Savino Gotta totally disagree with you. It's actually one of the best written Zelda stories IMO. Gameplay has it's hit and misses, but it really got a bad wrap I think with people being burnt out on "waggle" at the time.
Funny observation. In a world where 8k is out and 4k is standard now, People are more excited that a Nintendo game is being upgraded from 480p to 720p lol!
Better than TP and not as good as Windwaker. I'd love to see a poll for people that played the original how they played it. Sitting or Standing. I played standing most of the time and really dug the motion controls for the swordplay. Ninty needs to find a way to get the DS Zelda's on Switch. I remember enjoying them quite a bit wonder if they hold up in anyway.
Hi there, is Hero Mode available from the start just like The Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD? Or do you have to unlock it after the first playthrough like in the original release?
@JHDK Not even close to the worst rofl!
Kind of impressed by the increase to 60 FPS. I'm not a FPS w_h_0re or anything - and maybe I'm wrong - FPS at least seems like an area that Nintendo doesn't usually bother expending much energy upon improving.
Really thought this would be a 10.
I'm genuinely excited for this game. I was never able to play the original on my Wii (RIP 2008-2013) so this is a great opportunity to get into it. The reviews seem very mixed, with some people loving it and some saying it's terrible but I'll give it a shot, even if it's $60
I feel compelled to buy this. I had traded in my wii before it came out and so this is the only Zelda In 35 years that I have never played.
Not sure if I'll bother with this as it was only 4-5 years ago when I finished it. Happy it's been remastered though, it's easily one of the best games in the series and maybe now people will stop remembering it so wrong. Controls were infuriating on Wii, but the rest of it was a master piece.
Bit of a tangent comment, so forgive me.
So Skyward Sword loses points for a traversal feature being locked by an Amiibo? Okay, that’s actual sound reasoning for a deduction.
But Monster Hunter Stories 2 loses points for being too “grindy” when it’s an RPG? I’m sorry but what….?
I’m aware the reviewers for the two games in question are different, but I’m sure the review policy/structure is the same for all reviewers.
And I think it needs a review itself.
Never played it, buuuut sadly I'm not getting it just yet, Sep is were the good games are.
Pre ordered the Loftwing Amiibo from Nintendo UK early last month using Google Pay. Yesterday I received a notification from Google Pay confirming my payment to Nintendo UK had been declined. I don't think I'm getting this Amiibo anymore which sucks. Anyone else here experienced this?
All reviews say it is good yet people still feel the need to complain about the price. If this was wind water or ocarina nobody would complain about the price and people would say it is a bargain
I couldn't get into the Wii version, so I'll give this one a chance.
@Beaucine That's all theoretically or philosophically fine, but this isn't an art class. The vast majority of people read video game reviews to decide whether a game is worth playing today, and for that reason "hasn't aged well" is a useful criticism.
Great to hear that the motion controls work well! I hope that we will soon get more switch games with motion control combat!
I'm starting to think I'm in the minority who had very few issues with the original motion control scheme. I rarely had to recalibrate my Wii Remote+, and the only action I had occasional trouble with was thrusting; thankfully this isn't needed often, but it is a crucial move for a boss fight.
Also, while I agree locking the instant sky warping behind a scalped Amiibo is bogus (I want the amiibo, but for the design, not the functionality), this really isn't necessary to enjoy the game. The original release didn't have it, and to be honest there are enough save statues scattered around that this isn't a big deal. If we're talking about a game on the scale of BotW on the other hand....
Overall, it seems the various QoL improvements and control options are welcome. Skyward Sword isn't my favorite Zelda game - it's in the middle of the pile for me - but it certainly is worth diving into again. Just not at launch for me. This month is full enough as it is! XD
@Darlinfan I should have made the scoring a bit clearer. 8 would be equivalent to 10, so this game would lose at least one a point for poor value, so yes a 7.
I have only bought one Nintendo game this year (other games were 3rd party), I think there is a lack of new Nintendo games.
@chapu2006 I honestly thought it would be an 8 at best. Why? Because I don't care how great the remaster is, locking an important QoL improvement behind a ridiculous amiibo paywall is agregiously scummy.
That aside, I feel like in reality, the SS remaster is probably an 8 or a solid 7) but, of course, one has to take into account NintendoLife's usual +1 or +2 score inflation for all Nintendo published games.
(Although to be fair, it's not just NL - this phenomenon often seems to be the case with lots of major videogame review outlets).
And of course, there are many other major studios seem to get inflated scores, but - since we're on the topic of Nintendo - it does fairly clear that Nintendo published games almost always score extremely well. And while most deserve their high marks, there are definitely more than a few headscratchers, with scores that are pretty sus at best. (Incidentally, I would point you to IGN's ridiculous review of Skyward Sword on Wii for a great example of this!)
I’m going to get this when I can get it discounted. Even if I end up using store credit or something toward it. I bought the game I think about 3 times now and I each time I got frustrated with the controls being motion-based and just stopped. It’s hard for me to spend $60 knowing I have to go through that beginning portion for a fourth time. For sure though, this will be the last time and I’m finally going to beat it! Can’t wait to try it again with all these improvements!
@blindsquarel That seems like a pretty unnecessarily simplistic and loaded generalization, don't you think?
What evidence do you have that the "people" who "hate" the SS amiibo paywall are, broadly speaking, the same people who were perfectly "fine" with its implementation in Twilight Princess?
Best music in the whole series. It calls to me. It’s in my head right now! Buy me! It says!
@Beaucine games evolve, just like cars. I don’t like the handeling of old cars. I love the new cars.
Same could be said of old games vs new games. Some old games used to work or were acceptable, but aren’t now.
I liked it on wii but never completed it. I stopped playing because of the forced motion controls. Fortunately this has been fixed 😁🙏
Wow the review is lightspeed ahead of its release
Given the importance of the amiibo to the gameplay and the hoarding of amiibos by scalpers, I will be holding off on the purchase until Nintendo offers some solution. I would accept (with a slight grimace) a modestly price DLC release of the amiibo's fuction or (ideally) a patch that allows it without the amiibo.
Giving a 9/10 to a game with such a significant paywall is an injustice.
@blindsquarel Nintendo are charging full price for an old game that had a facelift.
Full price as in a new game that's been a few years in development, a game we've never played before, it's brand new.
A rehashed game should have a budget price. Similar to something selling as second hand, that's been refurbished. Nintendo is asking us who have already bought and played and paid full price, to pay full price again, to play it again.
I would rather play a new game, but Nintendo aren't offering many new games at the moment.
To you this may be a new game, if you didn't buy the original.
But to others it's an old game, we've been there and done it and if it had a budget price, for the budget game it is then it might be worth a revisit. A bit like watching an old movie, you don't expect to pay full price.
It's not that it isn't affordable, it just not good value for money, and according to stuff I've read its not one of the best Zelda's.
I just don't think it's that simple and straightforward. It's pretty easy to see how a game is dated. I can figure that out within a minute of booting up a retro game. The real question I ask myself is, do these dated elements work or not within the context of the game? Can I learn the game's quirks? That means I look at the game more deeply. Otherwise, I'm just checking to see if a game from 20 or 30 years ago plays like one today. Which, well, it probably won't and I could have told you that from reading the Wikipedia entry.
This game is as expensive as Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart. Nintendo is out of their minds
Never liked SS then and despite the QoL changes and the framerate I doubt I'll get this one. SS was the peak of the awful Aounuma's puzzles-and-daddy-issue style of gameplay that started with Majora's, got worse with Wind waker, kinda improved with Twilight Princess but got rotten with this one.
Remember that Breath of the wild was a success not thanks to Aounuma but despite him. I fear that if this remaster became successful, he will believe again that he is a genius (HAH!) and will infect BoTW2 with his toxic style.
Well, unlike most, the original was already my second favorite Zelda game. Seeing all the improvements in this video, I'm definitely looking forward to it! (It also helps that I was able to snag a pre-order from GameStop when it was briefly $10 off. And for any looking to get a similar discount, Walmart generally has all in-store games $10 off once they're released.)
its sad but is true, this game already on pirates hands. This game was leak a few minutes ago.
The whole amiibo thing isn't a misstep in my opinion, it makes the game far too easy. It's there for speedruns and for the seriously unpatient who want to play the game on baby mode.
Does it have to be either/or?
I know reviews must, on some level, work like buyer's guides. But the criticism (of film, videogames, or literature) I've read that I actually remember later on and even re-read usually tries to go beyond that.
For instance, last year I played Mario 64 for the first time. I loved it, but it's also very obviously dated. The camera, most notoriously.
Now, when playing it last year, I could have lamented the camera isn't up to modern standards — which it obviously isn't — and left it at that. Instead, I tried to work with it and found that, most of the time, the game is actually designed around its camera controls, old-fashioned and unpolished as they might be. For nearly every jump (though there are annoying exceptions) there is generally a way to place the camera the way you want to. (Also, being aware of how the camera was originally mapped to the N64's C-buttons definitely helped.)
This didn't make the camera any less dated, but it did make me understand how it worked within the context of the game, allowing me to struggle less with it and, most importantly, deeply enjoy my experience. It also gave me an appreciation for how the game is designed — even its most flawed aspects — and its time period.
So, if I were writing a review of Mario 64 from a modern perspective, I'd outline my little personal journey above. If a reader doesn't care about learning the intrincacies of the camera controls, I'd be warning them anyway through my description. But I also go a little bit beyond "dated camera," for those who might want to keep at it. And that's all I'm arguing for here: to go a little bit deeper and ask how stuff actually works inside a game, not just to pinpoint how an old game is old.
And most importantly, to think of "datedness" as a neutral term that is neither good nor bad. (Because everything dates.) Some datedness, after all, can be refreshing or interesting. (The lack of handholding, openness, and arcade sensibilities of the 1986 Zelda, in my opinion.) That's why going a little bit deeper is a necessary step.
SS also deserves credit for the difference in quality between the port and original. Many issues have been resolved and work well (e.g. camera), unlike in other nintendo ports like mario bros u deluxe, which get little alerations.
As for your inflation point, it is correct and something that is a problem. However, SS still deserves a good score, just maybe not a 10.
@carlos82 @BloodNinja Yeah, the directional inputs for the sword are fundamental to the game (some objects, enemies, etc require a slash in a certain direction, so the directional has to be maintained. It was fundamental to the original concept of the Wii and required the Motion Plus accessory that actually put a gyroscope into the controller as originally promised. And is part of why the game failed at launch, even if you wanted the $40 accessory to play the $50 game, it was never really available and in stock anywhere, so you'd have to buy the $70 Wii Sports Resort bundle to get one to play your $50 Zelda game. It was a mess.
Interestingly, though, it's long forgotten but it wasn't the first game with a similar control scheme. The first to use a handheld gyro as a directional input, but not the first game to have directional sword input. There was a PC game back in the day by Treyarch (before they were Call of Duty Studio #3) called Die By the Sword, that pioneered the exact concepts used by Nintendo here (Lateral thinking through recycling withered game ideas.) You controlled motion via the keyboard, and controlled the sword freely with the mouse. Not as direct as waving a sword shaped controller around on the Wii, but the control scheme of SS is more or less fully recycled from Die by the Sword.
@JHDK I like Phantom Hourglass too, but I'd rather replay Skyward Sword tbh (well, it's no contest with the rerelease, but I'm comparing the originals) Though, they both suffer from a few similar problems.
@BlackenedHalo I like the game, that's the thing. Even the worst Zelda game still has a place in my heart. But the game suffers from an obnoxious central dungeon, one of the less interesting casts, some story missteps (Making Tetra a stone damsel in distress when she's the most interesting WW character), and occasionally obnoxious controls. Combine that with an incredibly similar but better option in Spirit Tracks, and I'd probably put it as one of the least likely games for me to replay.
...Id still rate it an 8/10 though, it's certainly fun, especially for a first run. But I'd say Skyward Sword is a bit better... Along with most of the rest of the series.
The review says the motion controls are more precise, which is possible, but they were plenty precise in the wii game, so I am doubtful of this claim, also this review feels like a preview more than a review, this game is not a 9/10, there is so much that the review glossed over in terms of pacing issues, repetition, limited enemy variety, how the HD affects the art style, etc. Fixing Fi & the items descriptions is way too small a thing to say that this game is as it always should've been.
The screenshots indicate very washed out graphics, even for a 10-year old game. And I am not even a graphics guy, my most played games of all time are GBA Fire Emblem, BotW and Hades.
I really liked Skyward Sword. It had my favorite combat in the series. Ppl saying this the worst Zelda, can't say I agree. I actually finished this game while Minishcap or phantom hourglass got so dull I never bothered.
@DK-Fan What is it you dislike about Aunuma Style (OMG I'm going to call it that from now on.) I mean, yeah, classic style Zelda is my favorite. The excessive anime and linearity of SS was a huge complaint at the time, but I did enjoy it when I played it (and accepted that everything Wii necessarily had to be gimped). I like the puzzle play in general, of TP, SS, OOT, (MM was kind of a weird experiement), WW. I never felt it was THAT different from the puzzle play of ALttP, LA, etc.
I'm still more a Miyamoto Zelda fan, and BotW, is indeed Miyamoto reigning it back in. Though it's a given that BotW2 will be an Aonuma Zelda....Miyamoto doesn't do the day to day anymore, but did at the start of BotW1.
Getting this for my birthday at the weekend and this review's only made that more certain!
@blindsquarel Nice Strawman argument. Anyone annoyed with a feature is going to be annoyed with a whole dungeon.
@NEStalgia I actually remember that!
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15 July, 2021 - 11:07am
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Nintendo has never shied away from opportunities to touch up and re-release its most beloved video games. 1993's Super Mario All-Stars is arguably the industry's first "big" remaster project, while the Zelda series has been downright spoiled with the concept going back as far as a 1995 reimagining of the original Legend of Zelda for the Super Famicom's Japan-only satellite service.
But if those games are examples of Zelda remasters at their best and most ambitious, then this week's Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (a re-release of the 2011 Wii adventure game for the Nintendo Switch) is arguably the opposite.
If you never played Skyward Sword on the original Wii, this is likely the better way to play one of the series' most coolly received entries. (As ever, a "so-so Zelda game" is still typically pretty good in the grand scheme.) Yet this Switch port's scope and technical wimpiness are hard to stomach at a $60 price point this many years after the original game came and went.
Now, hold on, you might say. "Coolly received" Skyward Sword? But Ars Technica printed a rave review! So did others!
I honestly am not sure what sweet Hyrulian grass most critics were smoking during Skyward Sword's original pre-release period. I didn't catch a puff, as I wrote the following for the now-defunct, iPad-only outlet The Daily in November 2011:
You may not find a more uneven tour de force in gaming this year. Skyward Sword's slow start is just about unforgivable for such an old franchise, but sure enough, later challenges—particularly a time-bending mechanic—prove among the best in series history. And control foibles nearly drown out the series' best writing and characters in years. What Nintendo delivered here was probably as experimental or risky as we could expect from a game with the word "Zelda" in it, and the result is certainly a good one. But games like Assassin's Creed, Arkham City, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in creating open worlds with childhood-sized visions of grandeur and accessibility, beat Nintendo to this year's 25th anniversary party.
The more commonly accepted takeaway, this many years later, is that Skyward Sword's Wii-specific gimmicks and finely crafted highlights couldn't make up for its general issue— a failed attempt to one-up the wide-open wonder of Wind Waker or to keep up with so much Zelda-inspired competition in that era's 3D-adventuring renaissance. Wind Waker's open seas ultimately felt more alive and creatively packed than Skyward Sword's sparsely dotted skies. And while Nintendo still delivered a satisfying, content-rich adventure in its 2011 Zelda game, it's hard not to see the series' follow-up home console game, Breath of the Wild, as a repudiation of Skyward Sword's reliance on old series tropes.
However you feel about Skyward Sword ten years later—on the eve of the original Legend of Zelda's 35th anniversary, no less—know that this new HD version is almost entirely identical in terms of content. GameFAQs bookmarks from 2011 will apply to any Skyward Sword HD conundrums in 2021.
Sadly, this ten-years-later project fumbles the most obvious path to re-release improvement: the visuals.
Skyward Sword revolved around a novel aesthetic for the Wii at the time—a smeary-filter effect that leaned into that console's low resolution and technical weaknesses. The results looked pretty darned good on CRT TVs capped at 480p resolution, and this unique approach countered other consoles' increased focus on HDTV compatibility by instead looking like a watercolor painting come to life.
But booting the 2011 game on a modern higher-resolution LCD panel exposes the Wii's inability to process such an aesthetic in timeless fashion. One particular issue comes from the game's incredibly low-resolution textures, since they're juxtaposed against vibrant 3D character designs. Link, Zelda, and a wide cast of new and wacky characters benefit from Nintendo's ability to defy technical generations in its character designs, all animated with expressive faces and eyes. The world around them isn't as timeless without the aid of natural CRT effects, though.
Yet in spite of the Switch's considerably larger and faster VRAM pool, this year's Skyward Sword HD continues to rely on the same texture and effects budgets. Zooming in on major characters during cut scenes still mostly looks great, but the piddly original clothing textures look that much more out of place today.
Really, all of the game's textures—which cover the game's ground, walls, ceilings, and architecture—are drenched in a cheap "bilinear" filter, which you may best recognize from classic console emulators. Remember the first time you toyed with settings on an emulator like NESticle, only to find they turned pixellated edges into weird-looking blobs? Skyward Sword HD looks like that much of the time. It's not ugly, per se, but the game's action pauses often enough for cameras to linger on the blurry stuff and make players wonder what the heck Nintendo's "HD" team was thinking.
Additionally, Nintendo didn't see fit to give the game a serious pass on modern effects like depth-of-field blurs in the distance or ambient occlusion on up-close elements. The company has left the game's "level of detail" (LoD) slider in the same place as the 2011 original, which means tufts of grass and other small details continue to appear out of nowhere as Link approaches them. On Wii U, Twilight Princess HD and Wind Waker HD each did more to earn the "HD" in their names, and I went back and forth between original Wii captures and my Switch footage of Skyward Sword in search of anything that approached those games' level of visual scrutiny. I never saw it.
Instead, we're left with a jump from the original 30 fps performance to a steady, locked 60 fps frame rate, along with a boost to near-max resolution in both docked and portable modes. For some Skyward Sword fans, this frame rate jump might truly be enough to merit the upgrade, if only because emulator fanatics know that fans have yet to get the game working at a higher frame rate (beyond using frame interpolation trickery, which isn't the same). But those same emulator fanatics have seen what fan-made texture packs and engine tweaks can do to bring this game into the modern visual era. Nintendo's failure to exceed these community's efforts is a serious shame.
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