Joe’s been playing Zelda Skyward Sword again, and he’s in love with it. So, it makes him very sad, angry even, to find out that you on the internet (aye, you) slag off Skyward Sword, calling it a failure. He thinks you’re wrong, so here are the top 5 things that you and everyone else got wrong about Skyward Sword.

Watch, learn, and keep Bit Socketin’

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  • Leon

    See, these weren’t my complaints about Skyward Sword.

    The game had some nice ideas – the stamina bar, the equipment upgrades, the flight system (I also loved Wind Waker’s sailing), and I really liked the game’s portrayal of Link, Zelda, the Master Sword and how it told the story of the roots of many aspects of the Zelda universe. And it’s final boss, wow.

    I think it had a great story. But mainly, it was more about Hyrule itself. I get that this is a prequel and it’s all part of the story, but I just hated the way that it was so desolate and lacking in life. Maybe this game was more appealing to fans of the more classic Zeldas, but seeing as my favourites are Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, the world just felt very sparse in comparison.

    I just think the world needed more life, more fleshing out. I like finding all these little cultures and seeing the side-stories that happen within them. Every time you go to a dungeon in the other 3D Zeldas I mentioned, there’s always a subplot involving other characters in a more personal way, such as the Gorons being locked up in the Fire Temple by Ganondorf in OoT, or helping the lost Korok in the Forbidden Woods in WW – making each dungeon feel like an individual quest that is part of a larger goal, rather than just a set of boxes to tick before you’ve completed the game’s sole objective.

    I just felt that the game went from dungeon to dungeon, and they were all pretty forgettable – I’ve played Skyward Sword more recently than Twilight Princess, but I can much more easily recall the dungeons of the latter, because I found them enjoyable and memorable. I remember *not* enjoying that area with the searchlights, and not enjoying the area with the lava, but I can’t recall any dungeon aspects that I did enjoy.

    Also, I wasn’t a big fan of the motion control of the swordplay – it wasn’t *bad* as such, but I preferred Twilight Princess’ way of taking the traditional 3D Zelda combat and adding a bit of variety with Wolf form and extra techniques you could learn. I found the battles against Girahim to be more tedious than fun, from what I can recall. And those repetitive fights against the Imprisoned weren’t to my taste, either. Again, I understand the story aspect of them, but I didn’t think they translated well to fun gameplay.

  • Bit Socket Joe

    That’s a pretty well-reasoned argument! I didn’t really get into the aspects of the world you talk about in the video because, well, I agree! I just don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. This Zelda is different; you’re a lone Link, in a dangerous, untouched, ancient world that humans haven’t seen for ages.

    Skyloft, I think, makes up for that with one of the best-realised Zelda communities since Majora’s Mask. I liked all the characters in Skyloft, and their little sub stories. It maybe wasn’t quite as involved as Majora, but there were plenty of well-writted, different personalities going on.

    The temples, I’m afraid I disagree with. I loved Twilight Princess, but one of the things that I took away from it was how formulaic they were; they were almost digital: “door is locked, find item that unlocks door, use item to fight boss”

    The temples in Skyward Sword felt a bit more organic; shorter, and making use of items from throughout the game. But we’re getting into the realms of personal taste here, so I don’t think you’re wrong or anything :)

    As far as the combat goes, I’ll admit I was sceptical at first. Now I just love both styles of gameplay. The Ghirahim battles were SO annoying the first time I did them, but then I realised I was doing them wrong, and now I find them pretty easy and fun. That last boss battle is just amazing.

    I agree about the Twilight Princess combat though; it struck the perfect balance between the simple satisfaction of Zelda’s core fighting system, but added just enough variety with useful moves that you could learn. It was a breath of fresh air after all the God of War style games, where girth (endless lists of combos that all do pretty much the same thing) is mistaken for depth (a selection of meaningful moves that are useful in different situations).

    Thanks for watching the video :)

    – Joe

  • Leon

    I like the idea of a lone Link in a harsh environment, sounds a little like Metroid – which is another series I love. Somehow I didn’t get that feeling though, perhaps if the world had been a bit darker and brooding, I might have felt different. Rather, it felt to me more like a normal Hyrule, only lacking the civilisation I’m used to.

    In all honesty, I think I need to give the game another shot. I’m not sure if I disliked the game because it just didn’t “click” with my personal taste, or if it was just that the previous Zelda’s I’ve loved gave me a certain set of pre-set expectations that it didn’t meet. As I said, I can’t remember the good parts of the dungeons – the only parts I do remember were the bits I didn’t enjoy, but maybe the fact that those sections were tedious was what made them stand out in my mind. Maybe if I re-play the game now knowing what to expect, I might feel differently.

    While some people complain about Zelda sequels for being “too similar”, that’s sort of what I like about Zelda. They tend to stick to the formula – and it’s one I tend to enjoy! They are generally a safe bet when it comes to a fun adventure with tons to do and solid combat. Twilight Princess felt like a love-letter to Ocarina of Time, which was my first Zelda game and still perhaps my favourite, so getting back on a horse, meeting Gorons and Zora and battling Ganondorf was something I loved. Skyward Sword was clearly a more risky title, and in some ways it paid off, and other ways it didn’t. As I said, there were elements I did like, but sadly they were overpowered by the things that I didn’t.

    Hopefully the next Zelda will take the better aspects of Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword and mix them together – a game with a huge world full of characters, with a few RPG elements, memorable dungeons and a solid story.