Sunday, 27 March 2016

Zelda Week: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Who gave this clutz a sword?

Let's take you back 5 years, back to when this game was being hyped for a Christmas period release. I was lucky enough to go to an event called the Nintendo Connection tour, an event Nintendo used to hold, with this one being relatively near to me, in a shopping center. Here, members of the public could come and play upcoming Wii and 3DS games like Ocarina of Time 3D, Starfox 64 3D, Mario Kart 7, Kirby Return to Dream Land and, of course, Skyward Sword. I was fortunate enough to pick the demo that shows of the best part of the game, which I'll explain later. Combined with E3, and there was a lot of hope for this game... shame no one saw the signs. Let's see how the series celebrated the 25th anniversary, and one of the two games that took more of my interest then Skyrim, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Starting off with the plot, Long before the events of this game, the Demon King Demise is sealed by the Goddess Hylia, after trying to seek the Triforce. In the current time, Girahim, Demise's sword, is trying to revive Demise while Demise himself tries to free himself in the form of The Imprisoned. Girahim's plan is to use the soul of the reborn goddess, who is Zelda, to reawaken the Demon king. As such, it is up to Link and his sword, Fi, to create the Master Sword, stop Girahim and Demise and reunite with his childhood sweetheart, Zelda. Now before I get complaints, Zelda in this game is not a princess. She is the daughter of Gaepora, the principle of the Knight Academy in Skyloft, the main hub of the game. As such, I won't be referring to her as Princess Zelda. And to the people who still think this, either as a joke or you're being serious. You do not play as the character. All you can do is call Link, the player character, Zelda and live in your bubble of disbelief.
The concept art/ promotional art for this game is just gorgeous for the record

I do love the story and characters though, these are some of the best the series has produced, a combination of Zelda's best, and brand new faces. Combined with the art style leading to some great looking interactions, even though they still don't have a voice. Can we get voices for Zelda WiiU? Please? I will openly admit that one of the reasons I play Zelda games is the world and the characters, its why I like Majora's Mask, why I love Spirit Tracks, and its something I like here.
Precision, why can't we just hit the vines?

I'm personally fine with the structure of the game, which is something people have used against the game. You go between four main places in the game. Skyloft, Farron Woods, Eldin Volcano, and Lanayru Desert. The structure is very similar to Majora's Mask in that regard, but people have preferred more places to go to. To me, I'm fine either way, as long as I get to explore in the games in some form. The art style for the game also makes all of these locations look just gorgeous. Like Wind Waker, this game is going to age gracefully, the water colour pallet looks great, even to this day. Combined with the soundtrack, and the game is a joy presentation wise.
"Come, Fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away"

It's a shame though it has one major problem, an almost game breaking one, if not experience breaking experience, and that is the controls. Skyward Sword, unlike Twilight Princess, uses the Wii Motion Plus, a peripheral that is supposed to add more precision to games. it would be fine... if it worked. You're meant to wave the Wiimote to perform actions like using the sword, throwing bombs, using the whip ect. When the game is not wanting me to be precise, its fine, but the game wants you to be precise a large chunk of the time. There have been times I wanted the sword to attack in a particular way, for things like boss battles, only to have Link do something completely different. I've held the Wiimote exactly upwards, and the game didn't register that I wanted to charge the "Skyward Strike", a beam of energy that attacks enemies from a distance. I've wanted to do a lunge only to do a Spin attack, somehow. I've wanted to throw the bomb only to roll it and vice versa. I have not had that problem in any other Zelda game, and as a result, the controls have led to times when I wouldn't pick the game back up again for months, even years. In my first profile, I've given up at the swimming sections because, again, control.
It's harder then it looks, trust me

The only things I've had no problems with are the Bow, Clawshots, Beetle, and the Loftwing, those are the only times I've not had any problems with controls because either they expect me to be able to aim, which if you're used to anything that uses the Wiimote as a pointer, its fine. The Beetle and Loftwing use the Wii Sports Resort Airsports controls, which I think work, I'm fine with them. If you're asking why I can use them, it should be said that I can pilot a Remote Control Batterang with precision. So yes, I can control one of those, but I can't control a bomb or a sword. No I don't know how that works.

I want to love this game, I really, really do. But its the controls that kill the experience. If you can live through that, then you're going to find a gem of a game that is full of life, interesting characters, nice puzzles that involve you using your puzzle solving skills in ways never dreamed of before now. It's just those controls that will either make, or break your experience. Maybe when the motion controls are more precise and more responsive will this game be shown as what it is, not what it could be. For now, I hope you've enjoyed Zelda week, with normal content resuming soon, that being the DC marathon, moving away from the live action movies, to the world of animation with Batman: The Animated Series.

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