Round Up: The Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Reviews Are In

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Nintendo Life 14 July, 2021 - 10:00am 36 views

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is launching on Nintendo Switch this Friday, adding a shiny coat of paint to a Wii classic. While loved by many, the original game had a fair amount of flaws that put a considerable number of players off the first time around – so is this remaster worth the money?

Reviews for the game have now been published, including our very own. Below, we've rounded up a selection of quotes and review scores from a number of different outlets to see just how well the title's gone down with the media ahead of its launch.

Before we dive in, we'd naturally like to encourage you to check out our very own review:

Right, now you've read through our final verdict, let's see what other critics had to say.

We'll kick things off with VGC, who gave the game a perfect 5/5:

"Skyward Sword HD is a superb remaster of the decade-old Wii game that not only gives it a much-needed visual upgrade but also throws in so many quality of life improvements (not least of all a free camera) that it immediately makes the original version obsolete."

Gamespot awarded the game a 7/10, saying that the Switch release is "more enjoyable" than the original:

"The various quality-of-life tweaks that Nintendo has implemented here, welcome as they are, don't fix Skyward Sword's biggest issues, and it remains the most uneven 3D entry in the Zelda series. Even so, the improvements in this Switch remaster make the overall experience more enjoyable, and the characteristic Zelda magic ultimately outshines the game's faults."

In an in-progress review, IGN says Skyward Sword remains "as charming as ever":

"I still have a ways to go before I’m done, but so far Skyward Sword remains as charming as ever, even if it’s also still dominated by clunky controls and odd gimmicks that are exactly as weird as you remember them. Unsolved control issues aside, this airborne adventure is everything you might expect it to be, for better or worse."

The Guardian gave the game 4 stars out of 5:

"This remastered game from the Wii-era remains a wildly imaginative and magical experience created by Nintendo’s brainiest puzzle architects."

GamesRadar also went with a score of 4/5, calling it an "under-appreciated gem":

"Skyward Sword HD gives one of the most misunderstood Legend of Zelda games a second chance. It's an under-appreciated gem, one that finds the space to really breathe with a more reliable and relaxing method of control embedded within it."

And finally, Game Informer gave the game an 8/10, describing it as "a game of dramatic peaks and valleys":

"In some ways, Skyward Sword perfects Ocarina's template, but that formula also feels well-worn and stuffed with unnecessary junk. Despite all the ways Nintendo updated this package, Skyward Sword remains far from my favorite entry in the series, but this is clearly the best way to play this blemished gem.

Zelda: Skyward Sword HD launches on 16th July and is available to buy either digitally from the Switch eShop, or physically at retail. Are you looking forward to playing the game this Friday? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments (55)

I'm glad this game it getting another shot. definitely has it's highs and lows, but overall it's got some of the best dungeons ever!

A delayed game is eventually good, but a Nintendo port is forever 60$.

I loved this game back in the day, but I'm not sure about purchasing it again, given the bad impression that Mario 3D All-Stars left me. Well, at least Skyward Sword actually has some QoL improvements. I'd rather buy Wind Waker though, if it ever comes to Switch, since I didn't play it yet.

It's a Zelda game, it doesn't matter if it's good or not, it's going to get praised irrespective of its quality. Name recognition sells.

7/10 seems about right, the original is a 6 for me though. Not a bad game, just one I never want to touch again regardless of improvements.

Is anybody else sick of hearing 60fps described as "silky"?

Much as I love Zelda... I just can't justify putting down full price for this game. It's a port of a Wii game with some touch ups but no real additions beyond that.

Besides that and how Nintendo has been relatively disappointing with a bunch of stuff as of late as is (like releasing lackluster/unfinished games, not fixing up the joy-con issue, leaving animal crossing new horizon players in the dust, to name a few)... I just don't feel like rewarding Nintendo for a full-priced port.

I'll just wait until I can eventually get it for half price or something. Even if it may take a while. Which it probably will because it's a first party Nintendo game. But that's okay, I got the Wii version ready to go if I ever get that Skyward Sword itch.

I guess people still haven't learned that new releases are $50 at Walmart.

@thehappyaerithch I bought it for 48€ on amazon

the only thing I don't like is that it's €60, I wish it was more like 45-50 (I know you can probably purchase elsewhere for a better deal but this is standard pricing). I love skyward sword so much and played the original with no issues at all, looking forward to going back to it with the additions! it's already a 10/10 for me

Just can't get excited about it, and I was Skyward Sword apologist back in the day. The gameplay and strict progression structure just don't work for me in a post-BOTW world.

@abbyhitter I guess people still haven't learned that not everyone lives in America.

7, 8, 9 or 10/10. Scores don’t mean much to me and I’ll be getting Skyward Sword regardless of its Metacritic tally. Can’t wait!

@mariomaster96 If you're paying in dollars, you live in America. I keep seeing complaints about this game being $60.

Here's my review from 10 years ago. Don't think I need to play it again.

"This game is a lullaby. If you don't like lullaby's you're not going to like this game no matter when it came out or what the graphics look like. It was really slow and horrible looking the first 2 hours but now I'm 10 hours in and I've forgotten all about the graphics and the slow beginning and that nobody talks so I read everything (probably helps that I just played Paper Mario) and I can finally just relax and enjoy the game. For all the motion controls it's still a relaxing enjoyable experience. When I think about it I do wish it was HD w/ voice acting but when I'm playing it I'm just playing it so that's what I take away from it."

Did Nintendo ever say if they fixed this glitch? I know they kind of came up w/ a workaround 10 years ago just curious if they announced not to worry about it b/c it's been taken care of.

Man the character designs are so ugly

If it is close to half price at retail, I might pick this up, but I am happy to wait otherwise. I would much rather have any other 3D Zelda. Hoping Windwaker comes soon.

@Peteykins yeah, console only gamers probably. I've owned my first gaming pc (custom build) last March and after playing games at 120+ fps, it's weird hearing 60 described as silky lol. Smooth? Yeah. But not silky.

Got a copy coming from Shopto.net for 42 quid. I can afford it and want to play it, so I'm happy to pay it. I bet it will look fantastic on the Switch Lite screen.

@abbyhitter People also complain about this game being 60€ and they probably also complain in other currencies. It's not only Americans who are complaining

@abbyhitter countries that aren't America are a conspiracy concocted by the deep state

I agree with IGN and GameSpot on this one hence why I am not buying it. Yes, the original control scheme sucks but that is far from being even its biggest issues. The qol features are welcome but at least for me is not enough (also I played it for the first time in 2019 so it is still fresh in my memory)

All that sky and nowhere to go. It would've been a lot more fun if the "sky" portions of the game had been more than just flying to various portals to the ground.

The best part of the game by far was Skyloft itself and its charming citizens. It's no Windfall Island but it was still a very lived-in, nicely designed main town.

@abbyhitter If I were to buy it at launch, I would go with Walmart. However, I got plenty of games and will pick it up probably within the year.

@Turnip_Knight It wasn’t quite as fun as exploring Wind Wakers ocean, but there are still a lot of sky islands to explore.

It will be interesting to see which one sells more on Switch: Skyward Sword or Link’s Awakening.

I think Skyward Sword will sell more copies.

Pre-ordered with the steelbook and keyring from Base using an eBay discount code £38.25 or thereabouts.

@Peteykins heccin weird description

@abbyhitter dollars are used in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, & like 20 other countries

pre-ordered with nintendo uk since I can grab that student discount for £45 with the bonuses included, amiibo and controllers are coming from amazon

Criminally underrated. People at the time were just protesting "waggle" after being burnt out on motion controls. This game actually handled the controls well for the most part, but it didn't matter at the time. Anything they saw that had motion controls was cast into the fire. I will say this isn't the best Zelda gameplay-wise. It isn't terrible though by any means. Just was fetchy in some parts and had a few gimmicks to it. But the story, I could argue could be the best written of all. Especially, with character development (Groose! C'mon!). They definitely did a better job with Zelda and Link's relationship than most other games.

It's a port so score should be the same.....

@XBontendo I didn't say exclusively. The main point is that Walmart sales new games for less than $60.

Never owned the original, though I have played a demo of it. I might get it. Going to have to do some research reading here, and on some other sites. I remember watching the Wii/original trailer again on my Wii, after I had seen it earlier that week during E3. Looks good.

@abbyhitter I dig it. Alas, I tend to buy ditigally, but it's a handy fact for those who allow themselves more flexibility (in the US)

@jacobthemoose completely agree. Not a direct comparison but I did Link's Awakening almost immediately after BOTW and it felt so claustrophobic and hectic by comparison. I know some people really want a more traditional Zelda experience, and fair enough, but BOTW reset everything for me.

The only question is, is it worth $40 more than the version that you can still buy on the Wii U eshop?

Hate to say it but it probably is a 7 star game, just missing the 8 because of all the backtracking.

@rjejr That glitch should be patched, since they did release a patch on the Wii (that was its own separate thing you had to download), though I can't say for certain. I would imagine they'd fix it here

I'm probably going to pick this up. Never got around to the original or Wii U version, and the QoL changes sound like they remedied the biggest problems this game had (while also helping me understand some of the problems this game had initially). I've wanted to get into more Zelda, and frankly, I don't have the energy to hop back into BotW, so this should be a fun time.

The dungeons is what makes this game. It's definitely my least favorite 3d Zelda, but it's still a great game.

Dungeons, characters, story and soundtrack are all top notch in my opinion. I especially love the desert time stone area, just going off of memory

IGN is notorious for that. They use every tactic to get clicks

A friend asked for my opinion of SS:

There’s a section in the late game of Skyward Sword wherein you must feed an enormous vat of pumpkin soup to a flying whale, and immediately after are tasked with tracking down the “tadtones” which are tadpole-shaped incarnations of musical notes.

@Beermonkey Can't come *soon enough.

Very much looking forward to playing this! I got the original on Wii, but never played much of it - mostly because of the waggle controls and Fi popping up every five seconds. The new QoL improvements fix all my gripes with the 2012 version, so I’m sure I’m going to have a great time with it.

As a side note, ShopTo said my copy was dispatched this morning, so there’s a chance I might get my copy one day early! 🤞 This weekend is going to be great!

They forgot to fix link's lips

What did they improve in this new version?

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Skyward Sword HD’s New Free Camera Looks Great, But There's A Catch

Kotaku 13 July, 2021 - 05:45pm

While the original Skyward Sword on Wii featured a fixed camera, Skyward Sword HD will give you the ability to move that sucker around to your heart’s content. According to the official Zelda account over on Twitter, players who prefer the new, button-based controls can hold down the left bumper to free up the right stick for scanning the environment.

As previously shown, however, that right stick is a crucial part of Skyward Sword HD’s updated control scheme, acting as a replacement for the motion-based sword attacks that vexed players in the original. This means (at least as far as I can tell without the game in my hands) that players won’t be able to attack and move the camera at the same time. An annoyance, for sure, but it’s still better than nothing.

Of course, folks who choose to stick with those dang waggle controls can enjoy the free camera at all times. Decisions, decisions.

Read More: Nintendo Wants To Make Skyward Sword HD Less Annoying

Other improvements being made in Skyward Sword HD include enhanced visuals and framerate, a reduction in companion Fi’s interruptions, the ability to fast-forward through dialogue and skip cutscenes, and no more repeated item descriptions after you’ve already encountered them. Since many of these problems contributed to the game’s poor reception the first time around, it seems like Nintendo is really dedicated to getting such details right this time.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD launches on Switch this Friday, July 16.

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