Aim for the Sky with the new Legend of Zelda
Ever since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was announced, fans have been a little bit sceptical. I mean it’s not like people have been let down by a Zelda sequel before. Oh wait, people complained about the time limit on Majora’s Mask. Oh and they hated the graphics in Wind Walker. Oh and apparently the wolf bits were too hard in Twilight Princess. The only one I haven’t heard complaints about is Spirit Tracks funnily enough, discounting Ocarina of Time since most people seem to agree that that game was literally the best game ever created.
Note: most people, not necessarily me. But it was pretty awesome.
So we’ve established that Zelda fans have a penchant for complaining about games that they will go and buy anyway. But what are they complaining about this time? And what other new things are there in Skyward Sword that we can all look forward to (complain about)?
Well I’ll tell you (because that’s kind of my job). Skyward Sword is the second Legend of Zelda game to be released on Wii and so you can expect motion controls to be a large part of it. Did I say large? Because I meant larger. Skyward Sword takes what little motion control you had in Twilight Princess (and it wasn’t much) and multiplies it by 10. Using the Wii’s Motion Plus package they have improved the sensitivity and accuracy of the Wii remote, allowing you to perfectly (or so they would tell you) slice your sword in the direction of your choice. As a result a lot of enemies have changed from classic “Find-weakness-and-exploit” encounters to simpler (and yet more complex) strategies of having to cut enemies in the right place or in the right direction.
And that’s not all. Legend of Zelda seems to have undergone some setting changes as well. First off, Zelda isn’t a princess. She is just some chick who lives in your sky village. And Link? Well he isn’t a stranger, isn’t a Kokiri and in fact is quite ordinary. Just an androgynous guy in a village on a floating island in the sky who finds a sword (a Skyward Sword!) and begins travelling between the sky and the land. The style of gameplay has been altered as well, apparently we won’t be grinding from dungeon to dungeon for the majority of this game – although I’ve seen footage (below) which confirms dungeons will still be involved.
Sound ambitious enough? What if I told you it’s also supposed to be a sort of half-prequel to Ocarina of Time? Almost at the “they-are-trying-too-hard” state?
Well personally, I think they are trying just hard enough. This is what I like to see in game franchises, especially once you have transcended the trilogy concept (dare I make a Triforce joke?). I mean, if you are going to keep building on a game series which already has over 15 games on close to 10 consoles – you had better change it up. All of the decisions they have made (like adding stamina for running/climbing), especially the swordplay changes, have been sensical and forward thinking. By building both on “classic” ideas of Zelda and the changing capabilities of their hardware (just imagine if they were using a system that didn’t have parts from 1883) they can create a game which has modern aspects but still feels like a classic.
So what are people complaining about? The usual really. The gameplay looks complicated. No wait, it looks too simple. No wait, I don’t like using motion sensitivity. No wait, if Zelda isn’t a princess then there is no point. No wait, that IS the point. Seriously I don’t know why I even mentioned the complainers to begin with. Self important Legend of Zelda fans can be just as bad as Twilight fans sometimes. There I said it.
My advice? Take a look at the videos below and try and make your own mind up about it. Personally I didn’t love it based off of the first trailer shown (below) but then after watching the E3 footage, which consisted of 3 videos (a boss, a dungeon, and a flying bird race. You heard me.), I started to get a feel for it. I included one of the E3 videos below as well (it’s the dungeon, YouTube the bird race if you want it so badly).
As Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is aiming for a Q4 (Quarter four, last 3 months of the year) release this year it won’t be too long before we can see the real deal. But until then, I guess I’ll go and complain about it on YouTube. I do love to fit in.
Skyward Sword Debut Trailer
E3 2011: Zelda Dungeon GamePlay (apologies for bad quality)