How long is Skyward Sword HD?
It should take you approximately 48 gameplay hours to finish the game with additional content. game8.coPlay Time: How Long to Beat | Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch)｜Game8
26 July, 2021 - 11:00pm
Like Disney remaking all of its old animated movies into live-action versions, Nintendo has slowly been remastering all of its old Zelda games to bring them to new audiences — and to remind old audiences why they loved the games so much.
Unlike Disney's live-action movies, though, the Zelda remakes are fantastic, and now that Skyward Sword HD is out on the Switch, we finally have a full house of 3D Zelda remakes (except for Breath of the Wild, of course).
I'm personally quite partial to the Wind Waker remake on Wii U, though I wouldn't be surprised if barely anyone reading this now has played it — being able to sail the seas of flooded Hyrule on the GamePad in bed was a fantastic way to experience The Wind Waker for the first time, because I didn't have it on GameCube.
But for those who did, it was still a worthwhile upgrade — Official Nintendo Magazine, which I worked for at the time, said: "We expected a voyage down memory lane, but were instead treated to an adventure that is as fresh as it was when it first appeared in 2002," and with a 90% on Metacritic, it seems like the general consensus is that the game is Pretty Dang Good.
"Beautiful visuals, improved controls, exceptional pacing and engrossing gameplay are all present and correct. The N64 version is an all-time gaming classic, but this is truly the finest edition of Ocarina of Time.
Likewise, Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask on the 3DS weren't just graphical upgrades — they changed the way I was able to play these games. Instead of being limited to a console wired up to a TV, and having to share with my brother, I was able to adventure through time and space wherever the heck I fancied. The colours were brighter and more vivid, too, and some of the games' quirks had been ironed out. It might not be the "proper" way to play these classics, but it was the only way that many of us could, and for me, it was my canonical playthrough for both.
HD scary moon, just what everyone wanted
I'll be honest, though: I haven't played Twilight Princess HD, and I don't know when (or if) I'll have the time to play Skyward Sword HD. I don't doubt that both are fantastic versions, especially with their aesthetic changes, and I do really like Skyward Sword — but, as I've seen quite a few people complain, the full price tag can be a little off-putting if you technically already own the games.
But as I've already said, the remakes, or remasters, or whatever you want to call them, aren't just polished antiques; they're new ways to play. They offer a slicker, hi-definition version of your blurry memories, allowing you to refresh and re-evaluate them in the light of adulthood. And, for the most part, they stand up fantastically well.
"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.
It's not all fuzzy, warm feelings that make these remasters great. To be a little more technical about all of these games, each HD remaster added new quality of life features to the game alongside bringing it to new consoles and new audiences.
Ocarina of Time 3D improved the use of Iron Boots, so they weren't quite as fiddly to take on and off, which made the Water Temple much more bearable, plus a hint system.
Majora's Mask 3D changed how The Song of Double Time worked, allowing players to skip to specific times, and improved the Bombers' Notebook, making it much easier to master the complicated schedules of all the characters in the story.
The Swift Sail in Wind Waker HD streamlined the sometimes tedious sailing parts of the game, and the awfully long Triforce Quest was made a lot shorter.
Twilight Princess HD largely revamped the controls to work with the Wii U GamePad, but also made switching between Link's human and wolf forms a lot faster.
And, of course, Skyward Sword HD adds the option to play the game with buttons instead of motion controls, as well as autosave, much less tutorial hand-holding, and item descriptions only appearing once.
All in all, the quality of life features make each game more accessible, less tedious, and generally more fun to play by smoothing over a lot of the design issues and roadbumps that frustrated players in the first place. It's a fantastic way for Nintendo to make money at the same time as making themselves look like the good guys for fixing a lot of the problems.
Despite the entry point to this Talking Point being pretty high — you'll have had to have owned at least a few of these ten games (five originals, five remakes) — this is also a Nintendo website for Nintendo fans, so I don't doubt that at least a few of you have achieved this noble goal. So, with all the information you have, based in both objective facts and subjective feelings, tell us: Which HD remake is the best?
Ok, but which one do you think made the biggest changes to the original?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
About Kate Gray
Formerly of Official Nintendo Magazine, GameSpot, and Xbox UK, you can now find Kate's writing all over the internet. She moved to Canada a few years ago, but gets tea imported from England, because she has good priorities.
I yearn for OoT and MM 3DS remakes on Switch.
I'm hoping for a Switch version of Wind Waker
When is someone supposed to say BotW was a Wii U game remade for Switch? Now?
@tonyjayo nooo! If they put Majora's Mask on Switch it needs to be the original with maybe some quality of life improvements.
The remake destroys a couple of the bosses and completely nerfs how cool the Zora mask is.
The original is so so much better even if it is less accessible.
Wind Waker HD was a literal gamechanger for me. One of the few who was disappointed with the original release in ‘03. The remake, from the faster sail, to the fetch-quest streamlining, remedied every problem I’d had with it.
@The_New_Butler Okay, okay. Fair. But the games are so aesthetically pleasing, and imo wasted being stuck permanently handheld. I would love OoT 3DS and MM with the 3DS graphics, but without the boss/zora mask changes.
I’d go with windwaker. I really hope we get it and twilight for the switch since I no longer have them. I’d love to see a full remaster of ocarina of time on switch to.
I don't think Majora's Mask added the Song of Double Time. That was in the base game, no?
Now let's see the Oracle games remade in the same style as the links awakening remake.... or better yet, a Zelda II remake
Wind Waker HD is definitely my favorite. Skyward Sword had the largest hurdle to get over and I feel like they did with the Switch version.
My personal favourite remake is that of Ocarina of Time but Windwaker was marvelously done on the WiiU in particular.
I didn't like Majora's Mask on the N64 but loved the 3D remake. That may have been because I was a lot older and appreciated the game more and not just because of the remake look. I'm not sure.
I love the Skyward Sword HD remake but it isn't as good as the other three (as a remake or a game IMO.)
Wow! When I found out there were "two" polls in one article, I...was...AMAZED! I mean, this is a giant step for humankind! Yahoo! I can't wait for technology to increase and we can fit "three" polls in one article!
Honestly i own them all and played them all and the best is Wind Waker or Skyward Sword in terms of the remastering of the games. But i want to have access to them all on Switch.
Wind Waker HD, Twilight Princess HD, and Skyward Sword HD are not even remakes, they are remasters. I wish the latter two actually got a remake. Imagine how beautiful Twilight Princess would look in the Wii U demo style. Just imagine. (WWHD, IMO, was fine with the remaster)
With that said, I'm not impressed by any of them. Nope, not OOT3D and MM3D either. They may be technically remakes, but they 100% felt like remasters themselves. The same sound effects, the same music, they played 100% like the originals. If I wanted that, I'd play the originals.
So I can't even vote in this. I can't vote that they're worse than the originals because I disagree with that, I just wish they did better.
@The_New_Butler I think that's an exaggeration. A ton of things were way better than the original, like the Bomber's Notebook, the save changes, a majorly buffed Deku Link, slightly better Goron Link, better Zora Link on land, better song of Double Time, and a much better Gyorg fight. And a whole bunch of smaller aesthetic changes that were good too.
Meanwhile the original game had better Deku Hopping, better bosses 1&4, and better Zora Link. Plus... Moving the guard somewhere where it's hard to have magic was annoying. So like... These things need to be fixed, but I wouldn't say throw it all away.
Kinda ironic, because Wind Waker HD was nothing but a resolution increase and a bunch of lighting filters.
And they kinda ruined the cel shading with the gradient-based lighting system, so it can never be better than the original.
@TheJGG you are correct. In the n64 the song made you move from day to night, in 3ds they made it so you move forward in 1 hour increments
I haven't gotten around to Skyward Sword yet and I only have a Switch so I can't have a favourite. Now I'm not suggesting Nintendo make any decision based on my preferences, but I have some monies and I will buy all of these when/if they come out on Switch.
Still playing Ocarina and Majora the way it was meant to be, in 4:3 and through S-Video 🎮 📺
@Moonlessky I completely forgot about that change! I missed the point with my original comment but thanks for reminding me!
Majora's Mask's remake ruined swimming and dumbed down some other aspects of the game such as the ice arrows. Not a fan at all.
I admittedly haven’t played the original MM, only the remake, but I would take the Bombers notebook, improved song of double time, touchscreen inventory and ability to save mid cycle over faster swimming and mildly better boss fights any day.
MM 3D butchered the original. Why would you change the Zora mask to only have fast swimming when using magic?
I'm sad I won't be able to fully experience WW HD now that Miiverse is gone
Wind Waker HD is by far the most improved for speeding up the sailing, which was unbearable in the Gamecube version at times. Skyward Sword's button controls don't quite measure up for it to take this spot for me - swinging the sword precisely is still damn awkward.
Twilight Princess remains my favourite though.
Windwaker hd was brilliant and the swift sale and the easier shards objectives helped. All great games, zelda is always a good time gaming
Ocarina is my fave simply because having never owned a N64, playing Zelda on my friend's in 05 wasn't that fun but on 3DS I loved it and completed the game.
WW and TP I completed on gamecube as well as Wii U so I enjoyed them a lot but OoT finally allowed me to enjoy a game that was 13 years old through its remake.
Wind Waker's visuals still "pop"... every time.
OOT3D is the only one not missing major features. Majora's Mask 3D's shortcomings make a long list, Wind Waker HD's new colour palette hurts to look at, Twilight Princess HD is missing motion/point controls and Skyward Sword HD's new button controls seem to make the intended control scheme pretty pointless.
The only ones I've played are Ocarina 3D and Wind Waker HD, and in both of those cases I haven't played the originals, so I don't really know which is best. They're both banging games though, even if Ocarina's impact is lessened slightly by playing it for the first time in the 2010s rather than 1998.
WW is the only one that made the original fundamentally better to the point where playing the original isn’t worth the trouble.
My vote would be for the A Link Between Worlds even though it's not on the list. That's as much 3D as I want to handle. Kicks the real 3D Zeldas into touch.
If it has not been mentioned already..... Nintendo, I have an idea for your next game for the Switch..... Zelda 3D Allstars.... including OoT, TP and WW. You have my money in advance!! PS MM as future DLC would give you more of my money
@Harmonie Majora's Mask did not play the same. They actually botched the basic movement of at least Deku and Zora Link. So there 😂
BEST: Ocarina/Majora: Excellent graphical overhaul, Streamlined a lot of functions.
Skyward Sword: removed motion controls, which was the main problem with the original. Quicker beginning due to skippable cutscenes.
Windwaker: The gamecube original's graphics aged so well that they didn't really need much of a change, the quick sail saves time, but I wish they added more islands to the great sea. I think they overdid it with the bloom lighting on everything.
Twilight Princess: Minor improvement, just didn't care much for the original game.
Neckbeards like to complain about Majora’s Mask 3D, but I found it a hell of a lot more fun than the original. Emphasis on hell, because that game is a strange nightmare.
@Mackocaster7 didn’t they come out at the same time?
@Harmonie nice bait. WWHD is way better than the original
Ocarina of Time is still the best! Although personally I like playing it with the Ultimate patch on real hardware.
Skyward Sword HD is by far the most improved. It being the only one to receive the bump to 60fps alone makes it take the top spot. That's not even mentioned the numerous other improvements.
Just as many games dual release for two generations of PlayStation consoles.
There is no console remasters or remake for the N64 games, so this is inaccurate.
With a Wii (or a GameCube & a Carby or other suitable HD connection) the original Windwaker still looks surprisingly good.
If you love Zelda and have not played Windwaker yet, DO IT! (here's hoping there will be a Switch remake soon, but let's face it...that is a very unrealistic hope).
Majora's Mask 3D is great! I loved it more than the original, I think it would be great to see it up-res'd on Switch 👐 Don't shoot!!
@tonyjayo Yes please!! I'd love HD remakes of OoT and Majora's Mask.
People are underestimating the improvements to Skyward Sword HD. Sure, there are some things Nintendo probably should have done better. Late game fetch quests should probably have been simplified a la Wind Waker HD. Maybe a little flash could have been added to the visual upgrades to dazzle more, yet the style of SS is so particular that I bet such an effort might mess with the purity of the style. Despite these, it seems to me they've changed enough about the actual gameplay that it's the most improved experience of all the remakes. I'm no SS apologist, it's my least favorite 3D Zelda by far. But the amount of QoL updates raises the quality of the game from "tedious & preferred to skip" to a fun ride.
@Sciqueen The MM original Zora swimming was next to useless in the Pirate Base and Water Temple, the two places it's actually matters. You'd get knocked backwards if you so much as touched the walls.
The only part of the game that benefits from the original swimming is the general Great Bay Outside area. Where there isn't really anything to do but swim in a big open area.
Now all they need to do is get them all on to the switch and everyone will be happy.
My favorite game out of these is the Windwaker, but I believe that Skyward Sword was improved the most. They fixed all of the problems that people had with the game (Fi being way too talkative, motion controls, repeated item dialogue, etc.) and made the game have the best specs of any Zelda to date. I think that, by modern standards, that $60 price tag is just barely warranted, yet warranted all the same.
@Lone_Beagle They said that they wanted to put something Zelda related out every year since Breath of the Wild, and so far they've been successful. Maybe after Botw2 comes out that will be the next place that they turn to?
The MM3D changes still baffle me. Like, seriously, what were the complaints that caused these changes? I honestly didn’t mind the Stone mask location change or even the boss battles, honestly (except Twinmold, eff that mess).
But Zora swimming and Deku hopping were the most intuitive and easy to pick up and utilize aspects of reach of their respective mask transformations. There was simply no good reason to change what not only wasn’t broken, but became worse because of meddling.
If Nintendo were ever in need of a re-remake, Majora’s Mask 3D is it.
These aren’t remakes. Ocarina had the most effort out into it. The rest were mostly HD lazy ports. You get better upgrades for free on other systems.
Hard to chose. Everything is fantastic for Zelda remakes.
Skyward Sword never used the sensor bar.
Wind waker HD is perfection. I remember twilight princess feeling exactly the same as the original. Ocarina of time 3D was great. They made Majora’s mask much worse despite it looking great.
If they would just get Wind waker and Twilight princess on switch and maybe port the 3DS versions of OOT and MM that would be great!
Still enjoying skyward sword HD and frankly I always did love that one! I never understood the hate.
@SwankyKong64 Bait? These are my genuine opinions that I have felt ever since the games were announced and released.
Nintendo please make the next console(Switch 2) a remake device. Make all the old 3-d marios, Metroids and zeldas remake.
prefer link awakening dx or the recently one they did on switch, always found those on the 3ds a waste of time, especially the estethic, there is a like april fool joke on youtube with an ocarina of time with wind waker engine kind of remaster and boy this is what!
I would likely buy my 3rd copy of Wind Waker if they did a Switch HD version.
Even if they're still stuck on the 3DS, I have to go with Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora's Mask 3D just based on how drastic the difference is between the remakes and the originals.
@The_New_Butler There are 3DS mods that easily fix those issues. I’m sure if it came to Switch, they could maybe offer an “easy” mode and a “classic” mode and keep the visuals of the 3DS version.
Wind Waker HD is the best because it only changes as much as it needs to. It’s not a radical change nor is it faithful to a fault.
Most improved is difficult…Skyward Sword HD really fixes a lot of what brought the original game down. It’s still Skyward Sword and succeeds/fails at everything it did originally but most of the unnecessary crap that’d snag at you and bog down the experience is now gone and it all makes it much easier to appreciate the game for what it is. I’m enjoying it a lot.
That said, the original N64 OoT really hasn’t aged well on a technical level. It’s still playable and the core of it holds up incredibly well but playing that version with its low frame rate, visuals and controls…it’s not graceful at all I can say that much. Can’t blame it given its age and ambition for the time but you really have to be forgiving of it when playing that version today. The 3DS version completely brings it up to date and properly makes it the timeless classic most would claim it to be. I’d love to see that version on Switch in HD.
Still, think it has to be SSHD for me. It’s just a much better experience than it was on Wii.
Honestly still prefer the originals, especially the N64 titles. There's just something about the old graphics, the dull colour palette, the lower framerate... it makes them feel atmospheric as balls! The remakes of those two were too bright in the colours chosen, the analogue stick made it impossible to roll off high ledges and the bosses in MM were ruined by giant comedy eyeballs, but everything else was pretty dope.
Wind Waker is easily the most improved, the WiiU gamepad made playing that game a doddle!
Not to get too off topic, but not all of Disney's live action remakes are bad. Personally, I thought 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, Aladdin, Pete's Dragon, Cinderella, Mulan and Cruella were all fantastic. The others haven't been horrible. But had some serious missteps. I haven't finished Dumbo because my kids were getting upset on how Dumbo was being mistreated, so we turned it off. But the bit I did watch was really good and well done.
But I digress. Don't want to get to off topic.
I still haven't played the MM remake or Skyward Sword yet. For me so far, Wind Waker HD is the best remake. Outside of the weird, almost overblown looking filter with the game's visuals, it made significant improvements to some annoying things gameplay wise that took a game from one I enjoyed playing on the GameCube, but wasn't necessarily one of my top Zelda's overall to one of my favorite Zelda's.
Ocarina 3D didn't really change my feelings on the game overall. While it may no longer be the best Zelda technically, it holds a special place in my heart as one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. Outside of Mario 64, nothing will ever compare to first seeing and playing Zelda in 3D.
Twilight Princess HD didn't really do much to change my feelings on the game. Of all the games, it was my least favorite and the remake didn't do anything to greatly improve or freshen the experience other than having not played the game for about a decade up until that point
@WindWaker95 and that's my point. I wouldn't want the 3DS version lock stock and barrel.
My preferred route for Majora's Mask would be for someone to do a ground up remake in the way that Bluepoint did Demon's Souls but also taking the best of the 3DS version's quality of life upgrades.
"Majora's Mask 3D added The Song of Double Time" Wut?
@Harmonie lmao! this is too good.
Zelda 1 and 2 remake please
I’d say either WW or SS.
The boost in sailing really helped me enjoy this game even more. The original took too long. I could put my GC controller down, make a sandwich and be back before I got to my destination (without getting hit half the time).
The bump to 60fps is quite noticeable in SS and I gotta say, shutting up Fi alone was worth the double dip.
Makes you wonder though, would Nintendo even release a remastered version of BotW in the future? What could they improve other than 1080p and 60fps? What quality of life improvements would you see?
@The_New_Butler there is an amazing improvement hack for Majoras Mask 3d that has even more quality of life features and reverts all the bad changes. Pair it with a texture pack on Citra and it is amazing! You can also play it on real hardware if you rather play with a real copy on a 3DS
@SwankyKong64 good to know, I will look that up.
Majora's Mask deserves the best in my view.
I love how you have the little symbols for each.
Never really had a problem with the 3DS remakes. They did more good than harm honestly and after playing those it's kinda hard to look at the originals without wanting to puke. So over that blocky ugly early 3D era.
Now if they wanted to do a total from the ground up OOT remake with todays graphics I'd be all over that!
@TheJGG it has that song
Technically A Link Between Worlds is 3D, it doesn't have a remake yet. lol
They're remasters, not remakes. Ocarina of Time 3D.
I feel people are starting to not know what a remake is anymore. Twilight HD, Wind Waker HD, and Skyward ARE NOT REMAKES. They are remasters. The engine is completely the same with moderate improvements.
I'm surprised everyone is saying ww hd was the best remake, the original holds up very well and I don't think the remake improved it as much as oot and tp remakes
Wind Waker was everything a good remake should be (especially before they axed the MiiVerse). Hero Mode could've been better, though.
Twilight Princess was by a different dev, was pretty lackluster, and had a lot of control issues that I don't remember having in the GC original.
OoT 3D was alright, but the new art kind of killed the nostalgia.
Windwaker HD was my fave, but it's hard to argue against Skyward Sword being the most improved. All excellent games though
Seeing Twilight Princess as the highest-voted out of them all makes me really happy. Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda game, and I really hope we get a sequel to Twilight Princess that looks like the Zelda Wii U tech demo.
Wind Waker HD is easily the most improved remaster
Swift Sail is nice, but I cannot approve of the changes to the visual style and lack of Tingle Tuner.
Am I misunderstanding the point of the article? There isn't a remake for Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks. Both of which are 3D Zeldas from before BOTW.
“ Unlike Disney's live-action movies, though, the Zelda remakes are fantastic”
Hey, the new Tim Burton Dumbo is pretty good. Largely because they actually tried to do something new with it (picking up after the first movie left off) rather than just a straight rehash (as Nintendo and Disney tend to do).
Easily Wind Waker. I can go back to the other games, but Wind Waker? The original's sailing? No, never again. Even if the rest of the game was actually perfect (which...it isn't), I cannot go back to the sloooooow sailing to sloooooowly fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind the triiiiiiiiifoooooooooorce pieceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. No. I'd rather do the Nintendo gallery in the remake than the triforce hunt in the original at this point.
I wonder if the plan is to have all Zelda’s on the Switch before BOTW 2 comes out. Would be nice to get an All-Stars or Complete Collection edition later on with additional content and extras similar to the Mega Man, Street Fighter, or Konami collections and include the BOTW versions as well. Maybe this could be something for the Super Switch or whatever the next console Nintendo releases.
I want Switch to have those Windwaker and Twilight Princess HD ports. I never got a GameCube or WiiU, so I know I’m missing out and it drives me crazy.
But seriously with the rest of the “remakes,” I’ve felt they were just more or less ports that were slightly more accessible, which is nice to keep the games alive, but none of them have dramatically changed my opinions of the older games much. We should call them remasters instead of remakes. I could go for an authentic remake of OoT/MM at this point.
@pipes I would love for this to happen. I would happily buy every Zelda game one more time if they were all available. I’m not really in a rush to get Skyward Sword, but I’d buy a full compilation set in a heartbeat. Pre-day 1 buy.
For me, the Ocarina of Time 3D is the most improved. The N64 version gives me motion sickness, same as Super Mario 64 and most 3D games on the N64. I can play OoT 3D without any problems. I am really hoping for a Switch remaster so I can play it on a bigger screen.
A remake is a new experience based on an old game : think Resident evil 1-2-3, Metroid Zero Mission / Samus returns. Yes the scenario/ structure might be similar but it’s a completely different experience.
For the 3d Zelda they are a lot closer to ports and remaster with reworked graphics
I’d love to see a real remake of Wind Waker honestly
I want to see a remake/re-imagining of Zelda 2
Wind Waker was the best remake, and even if it gets ported to Switch, it will never be better, because you'll never get to hold a controller with a screen that can show the map ever again.
@Mackocaster7 ha! Technically BotW was made for the Wii U and delayed to launch simultaneously with the launch of the Switch.
Technically, Twilight Princess HD got the most significant visual upgrades including detailed new textures and a much cleaner look, it's a wonderful definitive version.
Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora's Mask have important visual upgrades and the best 3D effect I've seen on Nintendo 3DS but the changes in Majora's Mask gameplay are controversial to say the least. I'd love definitive editions of both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask in (U)HD with more balanced visual upgrades and optional classic mode with the original gameplay. The other games already have a decent HD version that could be ported to other platforms.
@Rygar That's true, in one of the Iwata Asks, Nintendo admitted that they delayed Breath of the Wild one year to make the Switch port and release both versions at the same time. So it's a Wii U game with a Switch port.
Nice results, ocarina and wind waker are deffo the best 3d zeldas
Skyward Sword by a mile. It is so improved.
I feel OOT had the most improvements. Every visual was upgraded, see the difference in the market for the biggest upgrade. The better covetous, great gyro aiming and not to forget the complete master quest as an unlockable bonus... Definitely the one who got the most love!
Majora's Mask for sure, the jump from 20 fps to 30 fps is greatly appreciated, the graphics are fine for 3DS, but I especially like the gyro bow and arrow controls.
It made the game easier to play regarding saving your progress, and the only complaint would be the Zora mask, but otherwise it's an excellent remake.
OOT is much of the same but I found the original to still be quite enjoyable that you could skip on this remake. The visuals of the N64 version whether you play on a blurry N64 or sharp as nails Wii in 480p are still incredibly fitting to the themes of the game.
Do the two original DS games not count as "3D"?
If I could play Phantom Hourglass without risking carpel tunnel syndrome again, I would.
People really think Skyward Sword received the biggest changes?
@BlubberWhale I don't, the textures in Skyward Sword HD are as blurry as ever.
I didn’t have a wiiU …. Cries in incomplete information to answer fairly.
I really think the 3ds remakes and ss are hard to beat. Going from dated consoles to portable w/ updated graphics and quality of life improvements… really great. Tp and ww are stuck at home and I think we’re just glossing over that fact.
Such a fun article and polls. WWHD is definitely my favorite (it was my favorite before the remake even, so having a prettier and less clunky version of that is only good).
As for the most improved, I really feel like it has to be Majora's or Twilight Princess. I was kind of surprised most people disagreed? The increased save points and ability to jump to more specific hours were HUGE for Majora's, and I also like how they swap the fairy upgrades from the first and second temples- you really need that bigger magic meter BEFORE and not after Snow Peak temple. If you play it on a New 3DS there's also free camera control with the right nub. MM3D did have some unfortunate downgrades from the original (boss battles and swimming), but I feel the pros vastly outweigh the cons here.
For Twilight Princess, cutting down the tears of light and mapping a lot of the more complex functions (like transforming) to the gamepad are really appreciated functions. Plus being able to do ultra-hard mode by stacking a Ganondorf amiibo on top of hard mode is pretty cool in a game where combat is generally easy.
With Ocarina 3D, being able to map boots to a button is very nice, but really only matters in 2 of the 8 dungeons. In Skyward Sword, the painful collection quests like the tad tone swim and the guardian realm runs aren't reduced at all like TP's tears of light was, and the fetch quests aren't trimmed down like WW's triforce hunt was. The button controls are arguably worse as well (although they have to be given points for accessibility). Having a quieter Fi is nice, but there was just so much more that not only could have been done to fix the pacing issues that plague SSHD, but were done in TPHD and WWHD remakes.
Wind Waker HD made great use of the Gamepad when you're finding treasure at sea.
Ocarina of Time 3D was good but I miss it on the big screen with a proper analogue stick instead of the 3DS slider.
Twilight Princess and Windwaker looked really good in HD, but they really didn't offer anything new. Hell, in Twilight's case, they removed Wiimote and Nunchuck support.
While I'm totally happy playing the original, the little QoL improvements to Ocarina of Time make it much more comfortable to replay. The on-screen maps and touchscreen inventory are just great additions to a 3D Zelda. Majora's Mask 3D used all the same stuff, but its changes to the game elsewhere were much more controversial.
I like Wind Waker HD, but I don't think the soft lighting and bloom improve the look of the game. I think I'd rather play the Gamecube version if I was going to come back to it again, even if it does lack some modern conveniences.
@Staienlus iirc, aiming items like the hookshot and slingshot made use of the sensor bar. I certainly don't remember having to recalibrate every time I wanted to aim, like on Switch.
Why does Skyward Sword HD have a poop icon? Are you trying to tell us something?
@BulbasaurusRex Thats a cloud.
I'm loving Skyward Sword HD rn! I never got a chance to play it on Wii myself (I watched my Aunt play parts of it) and I've been as impressed with the game as I expected to be. That said, I had to give my vote for favorite to Ocarina of Time 3D. The original was already one of my top 10 favorite games and the updated graphics do wonders to make the slightly blocky N64 polygons easier to read as the epic fantasy adventure it was always meant to be.
Would love to see a remake of the original NES Legend of Zelda in the newer Link's Awakening remake style
This is why I wanted Skyward Sword HD before Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess HD. Remaster the game that actually needs improvements and tweaks and a bump up so all Zelda fans can talk about the modern version of their favorite 3d Zelda titles. Out of this list, Ocarina of Time 3d. It made it my 3rd favorite 3d Zelda.
Regarding Zelda updated versions in general including deluxe versions, I give it to Links Awakening HD. The music, the graphics engine, detailing the map, adding new moves to the bosses. Yeah the frame rate can be choppy but its an otherwise if playing the old switch but only in some condensed parts. Also making gear permanent parts of Link, utilizing the switches multiple buttons.
Nevermind, the article was focused specifically on 3D Zelda games.
If they spent all the time they did on remakes BOTW2 would be out.
Wind Waker is the absolute worst, as they endeavoured to release an unfinished game twice, which is quite something.
Some people dislike some control changes and such in Majora's Mask.
Ocarina of Time looks substantially improved, and as far as I know no-one takes issue with any changes made. It is by far the best rerelease, and Skyward Sword looks like it desperately needed that Grezzo treatment, the game looks rough.
@tseliot <spoilers> They're all different teams. </spoilers>
I had joked about Nintendo probably releasing a 2D Metroid after seeing so many 2D Metroidvanias sell like hot cakes on their eshop. Low and behold: Metroid Dread. Nintendo has to know a significant percentage of it’s install base is mostly a split of people that haven’t bought a Nintendo system since the SNES and their children. I would be shocked if they don’t release the Zelda games from N64/GameCube/GBA/Wii on Switch at some point. Too much new money for old games not to.
If Nintendo haven’t already approached Lizard Cube and Dot Emu about a Zelda II Quality of Life Redemption project….well they should. Ami right?
I predict that the Switch Pro will still surface and that the BOTW “remaster”/remake will still have Sega Saturn levels of pop-up in Gerudo.
@Octane leagues better than the original with all the quality of life features. 🥱
@Franklin wind Waker added a bunch of quality of life improvements. Unfinished game? Huh? Wtf you on. Straight Caplin g there bruv
Personally I much rather see a full remake of some of the 2D Zelda games ,especially ALTTP ..I would not mind seeing a remake of “Link between 2 worlds “,and the original Legend of Zelda “as well ..
But I dread they'll just slap horribly upscaled and filtered textures which lose/destroy some of the details on and call it a day.
Ocarina of Time on 3DS is the best remake in my mind. I loved the 3D effect, and the QoL additions made some dungeons, especially Water Temple, a better experience. Majora’s is probably up there too, but I didn’t buy it.
I get the writer kind of (not really?) addressed this, but how are people still not sure of the difference between a remaster or remake?
It is well documented, and actually very noticeable when you play the game, that there are whole dungeons and segments of the game missing because it was unfinished.
It is most obvious when Jabun simply gives you Nayru's pearl, whereas with others you had go through a dungeon.
@pipes A complete Zelda compilation for roughly $100, I am totally ok with. That’s an absolute steal!
@Franklin thats like saying Ocarina of Time was an incomplete game because it didn’t have the Light Temple 😒
The situation in Wind Waker is far more jarring (Jabun emulating Poochy's "I have to go now") , the game far less packed (but padded with sailing for triforce pieces, whereas Ocarina has 12 dungeons), and Jabun's dungeon is not the only dungeon or key part of the game that is confirmed to have been cut. Ocarina of Time was famously not rushed, quite the opposite.
What you've done there is draw a false equivalency.
@Franklin Oof, that’s quite a hot take on Wind Waker. I don’t agree that unfinished or rushed at times necessarily = bad game (if I’m misrepresenting what you’re saying, let me know). And I seem to remember Wind Waker was delayed once or twice in development.
I would have loved an expanded role for Jabun, and some other dungeons, but the quality of what is in WW still elevates it above most other 3D Zeldas for many fans. WW’s combat is smooth and intuitive, the world is charming and enjoyable to explore, and for me at least, the exposition between dungeons is the perfect length. MM, SS, and TP have longer expositions between dungeons that drag down the pacing a bit, and OOT doesn’t have quite enough story development going in between dungeons for my liking.
It's not really a 'hot take' to be honest, it's a commonly held view that it isn't finished (and confirmed as such by the delevopers) and many players felt it was jarring when the game came out, and since, many lamenting the obvious padding of triforce hunt in lieu of dungeons. I think I actually laughed out loud when Jabun just gave Link the pearl, it was so obvious that a dungeon was meant to be there.
For me, if it were finished, it would be the best Zelda. Which is why it is so disappointing.
Regarding unfinished games, well, I included that famous Miyamoto quote, and I agree with the general spirit of it, but it is perhaps overly simplistic. A masterpiece of his Super Mario World was rushed after all.
Perhaps "bad" is overstating it, but I've never played a game before or since, certainly not a Zelda game, where it was so jarringly obvious that parts had been cut, which really affected the pacing of the game, and made it feel small in comparison to other 3D Zeldas.
To do that twice, is just pathetic in my view. On Wii U they had the opportunity to finally make Wind Waker the best Zelda game.
@The_New_Butler This. I felt the remake massacred an underrated classic.
I understand that OoT and MM were on 3DS. I have OoT and I loved it. But I want a CONSOLE remake; specifically of OoT. One that looks like the E3 WiiU demo.
So.... I don't know where are you getting that its an "unfinished" game. But for statistics to show that you have a moot point about a "rushed" game, here are the development times:
There have been plenty on this very site that have described Wind Waker as unfinished.
Again, you're ignoring that there was far more that was scrapped in Wind Waker than 1 temple. So it's not "exactly the same".
I love Majora's Mask, it felt like a coherent whole. Wind Waker felt like you were sailing around as filler. There is a lead up to Jabun that really makes you expect more to do.
Wind Waker follows the same beats as Ocarina, earn the first 3 objects, except you don't earn all of them. After that it's time wasting for triforce peices when it feels like there should be yet another dungeon. The pacing doesn't work. Many reviews have cited this issue.
The light medallion was after a seminal event, and was the first. The pearl is given after you've earned the others, and Poochy just shows up.
So those 2 missing dungeons would have made a difference. Terming them 4 mini dungeons is also generous.
Majora's Mask and Breath of the Wild (which I think slightly overrated, but that's another story) are different beasts, and pace themselves differently. Wind Waker has moments that are clearly missing.
The actual development times are meaningless. It's whether they got what they set out to do done before release.
The amount of dungeons don't make for a rushed game, the developers outright stating that it's a rushed game, do.
Idunno, I think he kind of has a point. I think I would personally be okay with a "Director's Cut" with dungeons that we've seen elsewhere, but maybe not everyone would agree? But ultimately, it's his decision, after all.
Indeed, they should have added newly designed dungeons.
I mean, they charged full price for a remake of a game that was unfinished after all.
I'd say Wind Waker benefitted the most from the remake/remaster treatment simply from the Wii U Gamepad and Swift Sail. Also, the Miiverse bottles were fun as butts while it lasted! The only fault I can give it is how they changed the aiming... I would have liked them to have an option to aim items like the Grappling Hook, Boomerang, Bow, etc. like in the original with the left stick instead of the right stick. I guess I'm old-school in that way!
OoT3D was virtually untouched beyond the graphics being overhauled. Biggest improvements to me were how you equipped the boots like other items such as the bow and hookshot and how they had a dedicated ocarina button on the touch screen. I suppose gyro controls were a nice touch if you weren't using the 3D. I'd say this is the second most benefitted game from a remake/remaster of the bunch. It just needed some fine tuning and that's pretty much exactly what they did! The original still stands up extremely well to this day all things considered.
MM3D, I think, is the worst of the bunch and is outclassed by the original in many ways. It really only needed some fine tuning like OoT but they decided to change so many things unnecessarily. The biggest offenders to me were the Inverted Song of Time nerf, Bomber's Notebook popping up all the time, movement changes, Zora swimming mechanics being changed, and the Gyorg and Twinmold fights being changed. (The big issue with those Gyorg and Twinmold fights were the second phases of them being total slogs. On the other hand, the first phases of both fights were actually really good if you ask me! That said, I think Goht was improved by making it matter if you ramp off and land on it versus running into its side a bunch to cause it to fall on its belly or side, respectively. Oldolwa had good and bad changes... a slightly net negative change overall due to removing a ton of ways to battle it.)
TP had one major issue for me... Epona controls like a brick. I don't know what happened but they somehow screwed up how she controlled. The fresh coat of paint is nice though and the bonus dungeon was cool though ended up being just another Cave of Ordeals like thing if I remember correctly.
SS is generally an okay remaster! Really it just had some fine tuning like OoT did to make the experience more pleasant and instead of overhauled graphics it got the 60 fps treatment. The button controls are nice, too. I'd say this one is a step up from TP but is just shy of OoT in terms of the changes from the original.
That is basically what a remaster is. sometimes they do a bit more, sometimes a bit less. but it's usually just about updating the already existing game.
A remake on the other hand is when they completely remake the game from scratch. Link's Awakening for Switch is a textbook example of this.
Sorry but I have just started playing Skyward sword and the motion controls are awful and the button alternative is just messy. The original worked brilliantly
Has to be Wind Waker its just improved in ways which means you can't go back. Slow sailing ⛵ never bothered me much in the day but now I can't go back to it. Oh that triforce charts nonsense annoyed me even 1st go on GC
Wind Waker HD, for me, had the best improvements. The sailing was so much better and being able to view the map on the gamepad while you went across the seas was great!
I didn't really love WW on the Gamecube, too focused on just seeing what would annoy me. With this memory I hesitated to buy WWHD at first but the got a good deal and gave it a shot and maybe because of my negative bias was suddenly surprised how much I liked it. WWHD really opened it up for me to absolutely enjoy and appreciate the game and as I got two kids now, it also happened to become that one kid friendly Zelda game we would play over and over and over, taking a special place in my heart. Its funny how I didn't like the idea of not having at least one large island with a horse and an actual Zelda-landscape to explore but with kids, all these little islands become way more fun to discover. So yeah WWHD had the biggest impact on my experience with any Zelda game.
Despite not having played it yet, I still voted for SSHD as most improved game. I watched some reviews (DF for instance) and they didn't just improve it technically with 60fps/1080p and better textures all over the place, they also dramatically tweaked the gameplay with FI, the controls for analog sticks and so many small improvements. In this case I really enjoyed the Wii version and don't feel like I need this, but wouldn't mind playing it again on the Switch now.
@SlowPokemon Yes everyone who disagrees with you is a neckbeard. Great debating skills!
Really dont get all the windwaker Love. Recently replayed it and it just felt Like an ultra linear Game for 3 year olds.
OoT is absolutely top Tier but I really appreciate Skyward Sword for actually being about Zelda for once. Its her Story and you try and become worthy of hers.
Wind Walker, for me. To me it's the perfect Zelda but I will say that the improvements they made for Skyward Sword were probably much more needed.
Think Wind Waker is the most improved the fast sail just makes such a huge difference. Was never a fan of Majora's Mask never completed it on N64 but finished it on 3DS. Ocarina of time is a decent face lift but doesn't really improve much
Always vote Majora's Mask whether it's true or not.
@TheJGG it definitely was in the original, maybe it was added in the notebook? But I always used it in the original. Maybe this user never knew about it?
"Unlike Disney's live-action movies, though, the Zelda remakes are fantastic" - There's a significant difference between the tweaking of graphics and occasional substantive difference in the Zelda games and the complete from-the-ground-up changes for the Disney movies. I think they need 2 different terms, maybe remaster and remake.
@Franklin lmao. That's funny
I grew up with these games on their original consoles (well, technically I got TP on Wii (I don’t care about the kingdom being flipped for the sake of the tyranny of right-handed people) and BotW on Switch (because, well, duh). I’ve never been able to convince myself to double-dip or to sacrifice my nostalgia and play an enhanced version of the game. Had ANY OTHER 3D Zelda beyond SS (by far the my least favorite modern Zelda, IMHO — though I haven’t played the DS Zeldas yet (aren’t those also 3D?) or any of the multiplayer pseudo spin-offs) been remastered and ported to Switch, I would have bitten. And I may still get OoT on 3DS. But for now, I’ll content myself with firing up the 64 / GameCube / Wii.
I suggest going to hospital if your arse is falling off.
@GinMiguel Then why is it black? It even makes a better rock than it does a cloud. If you're going to make a black cloud, there should at least be a lightning bolt coming from it.
Majora's Mask remake made it replayable for me. I wouldn't have re-played it with all the masks without the changes.
Skyward sword- Still playing it, but I'd say it's still so unstable- boring and tedious at times, fun and amazing at times. Remake didn't do it for me, despite the quality of life additions.
The other games I feel didn't change as much, and they were pretty good to begin with- so not many comments there.
@Asaki No, all the pointer controls obviously used the sensor bar in the original version of "Skyward Sword." Someone on Youtube has also proven that the swordplay also used the sensor bar to keep it calibrated better than if you unplug the sensor bar.
The latter may have been improved in the remake, but there's no possible way any of the pointer controls are as good as they were in the Wii version. Even stuff like selecting things on menu screens must require frequent re-calibration to keep the aim straight.
Confession: I hated Ocarina of Time. I loved Skyward Sword. I haven't played a lot of Zelda games in between. But I decided to give Ocarina of Time a chance (mostly because I wanted to play the scary moon game and figured I should play them in order) on 3DS and... I kind of hated it and never finished it. I also never finished Twilight Princess HD because... I don't remember why. Probably because Xenoblade X sucked 1000+ hours of my life away. But I do REALLY regret never playing Wind Waker in any form, because I remember briefly playing a demo in Japan when it first came out and thinking it was fantastic. Then F-Zero GX sucked 1000+ hours of my life away.
@BulbasaurusRex Well, there are black clouds. It would be better but are there clouds that shoot lightning in Skyward Sword?
I have played through all the remakes but only made it on the original oot to like fire temple. On majoras mask not very far on original. Windwaker, I have the GameCube original but only played through the HD version on Wii U. Best twilight princess on Wii but like the HD GameCube version better. Skyward sword beat several times on Wii and Wii U because I think it’s the funnest and most replayable.
Haven’t played through links awakening remake ambit have at the original a couple of times, once when a kid. I haven’t played the oracles games much and only dabbled in heroes and adventures.
I would love a Wind Waker sequel. It's my favorite Zelda game.
I am really surprised that at least the Wii U Zelda remakes aren't on Switch. I would have bet money that would have happened by now. I bought a 2DS for play OOT again but the screen is too small for my middle-aged eyes so would love for that to come to Switch as well.
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26 July, 2021 - 10:41am
You won't want to miss out on this sale, so to make it easier for you, we've rounded up eight of the absolute best deals on Nintendo Switch games right now. Here are our favorite deals you won't want to miss.
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Have you played The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD?
26 July, 2021 - 09:00am