Skyward Sword Review

Legend_of_Zelda_Skyward_Sword_boxart

This is a review I wrote over a year ago. Although it may look like there is some bias here, it was all written with facts and the point of view of everyone in mind.

I beat Twilight Princess back in January of 2007, but the thing is I didn’t hear about a new console Zelda game until E3 2009, although I did wait almost five years for it. Upon hearing about it, I couldn’t wait to see what it would be like. After looking at the artwork, I knew the graphics would be something beautiful, and I had many dreams of what the game would be like. After a long LONG wait, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword finally hit stores on November 20th, 2011.

I woke up very early on that faithful day, and I was so excited that time went by extremely slow, and there was still three hours left before the store opened. At about 11:30 I made it to the store, awaiting for it to open. To my surprise, many people showed up which I didn’t expect. I, probably the biggest fan out of all of them, stood right before the doors until it opened. As soon as the doors were unlocked, I made my way to the cashier to be the first one in the city to hold a copy of Skyward Sword. But the one thing that bothered me is EB Games decided to put a sticker on how much the limited edition cost on the box… That was really unnecessary due to we know how much we paid for it. Anyways, here is my review of The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword.

Everyone thought that Ocarina of Time was the very first Zelda story, well, think again. Skyward Sword takes place who know how many years before it. It starts out with the royal Wing Ceremony where Link, Groose, and other several knights in training were going to compete in a race with their Loftwings. Loftwings are guardians of the people who inhabit Skyloft. After Link wins the race, him and his childhood friend Zelda go for a fly around Skyloft. After a black tornado sucks Zelda to the world below known as the surface, Link receives the Goddess Sword and meets a mysterious figure named Fi. Once he makes his way down to the surface and gets this close to reaching Zelda, he is interrupted by a demon by the name of Lord Ghirahim. Link faces many troubles throughout the journey, but will finally face what will become an endless cycle of battles within Hyrule. It really is a fantastic, cinematic, and epic story. It is by far the best story in any Zelda game, EVER. It also explains why Link and Zelda are always the ones caught up in saving Hyrule.

Zelda has always hit a sweet spot in my body when it came to gameplay and controls. With Skyward Sword, this is no exception. For hardcore Zelda fans like myself, you will be highly satisfied with the brand new gameplay design. It has your Zelda basics, overworld exploration, along with dungeons, boss fights, plenty of items, and plenty of mind boggling puzzles. But what’s different with Skyward Sword is that every item along with your sword all take advantage of the Wii Motion Plus. How to explain it correctly, you feel as if your Wii Remote and Link’s sword became one, this adds a ton of challenge to the combat. The dungeons are pretty tough in this game, while some may argue that some puzzles are too easy, some are very difficult. One whole dungeon is a puzzle itself with the move around the rooms design to figure out
where to go. This game is very creative, with some of the puzzles or dungeons being very artistic. There are meanings behind some of the dungeons too, which if you dig deep enough, you can figure it all out. I’m talking about the Ancient Cistern in general. Every battle is like a strategic fight instead of a simple button mashing fight, it all works out great and adds A LOT to the overall design. The dungeon design in this game is the absolute BEST in the series, and I just have to mention the Ancient Cistern and how amazing it was, along with the Lanayru Mining Facility. If there was ever an argument of which Zelda was the hardest, and had the best design, this is it.

The Zelda franchise has a wide variety of art styles that all look fantastic in their own way, and Skyward Sword is no exception. Skyward Sword combines the best of The Wind Waker along with the best of Twilight Princess, making this the best looking Zelda game so far. These graphics are downright gorgeous, and it truly does make you think how much work and love was put into creating them. They do push the Wii’s standards to the limits, and you can tell. I honestly walked around and just looked at the textures just because I find it so, um, amazing to see everything to it’s very last detail. But unlike The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword’s art style does not hide the really dark plot, instead enhancing it. Game developers need to take a note from Nintendo, graphics should be more about creativity and what cannot be done in the real world, and that’s what you get with this game. Looks amazing, and definitely the best looking Zelda game and arguably the best looking Wii game.

Zelda is known for it’s amazing soundtracks, and with Skyward Sword, you once again get the best in the franchise. Everything went from being MIDI music to fully orchestrated in this game. I had my doubts at first about orchestrated music, because in a Zelda game it would be just weird, but it all worked out great. Koji Kondo and a few more highly intelligent and creative composers joined together and made it sound like a Zelda game should, but with the orchestration, it makes it much better. It’s hard to explain, but every Zelda game has it’s creepy music, it’s unique dungeon music, it’s overworld music, it’s villain music, and it’s heartwarming music. Skyward Sword has all of these, but once again mentioning the orchestration, it makes it all so much more than what it would’ve been if it was MIDI music. With the best soundtrack in the series, it even tops that of the Super Mario Galaxy games.

This is longest Zelda game in the franchise. But it’s very strange when it comes to how long it is. With the main story taking anywhere from 35-40 hours the first time through, fully completing everything in the game can take you anywhere from 50-100 hours. It took me about 52 hours, but my one friend it took 88 hours, so it all depends on if you don’t use a guide or if you do. There is still a lot to do in this game, so don’t worry about it being far too short, I can tell you it’s far from short.

How many times can you replay the same game? Ocarina of Time more than ten times, The Wind Waker three times, Twilight Princess almost five times, and with this? I’ve almost completed it twice, and I still am having loads of fun with it. I can see myself playing this game anytime if I was bored or needed to stop my nostalgia craving. This is just one of those rare games I will not get bored of, and that I could pick up and play yearly. It deserves a replay every year / few years or so, and I think that should go for just about anyone.

Overall, this is the absolute BEST Zelda game in the history of the franchise. Never have you looked at a game so beautiful as this one, along with so much creativity and intuitive gameplay design. The sad thing is, I’ve beaten it. When everything is new in this game, it will make you so happy to see how it all plays out and how it ends. It truly is incredible. What saddens also is that some people just don’t see the true beauty of this game, especially people who aren’t Zelda fans. If there is any game on this planet that deserves a rating of 11, this game sure as heck deserves it. This game is a love letter to anyone who has ever played a Zelda game, and it was a great present for the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series. Nintendo, please remember, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword is the best game you’ve ever created, and it will take a long time before it will be surpassed.

Pros:
+Strong visuals that push the Wii to the limits
+Top-notch gameplay which hasn’t been done before
+Great difficulty throughout the entire game
+Terrific, tear-filled music that will blow you away
+Many of hours packed into the game

Cons:
-Hard to find anything wrong with it

Story: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Graphics: 10/10
Soundtrack: 10/10
Lifetime: 10/10
Replay Value: 10/10
Overall: 10 “MASTERPIECE”

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