Home
Twitter
RSS
Newsletter
Jeremy Jastrzab
19 Jan, 2012

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

Wii Review | The reason to play games.
Video games have been around long enough to allow for some series to take their rightful place as icons of the medium. 2011 saw major anniversaries for some these gaming icons, including 10 years for Halo (yes, it’s been that long) and 20 years for Sonic the Hedgehog. Arguably the biggest anniversary would have to be the 25th anniversary for a series that has, over that time, gone on to define and redefine genres, and occasionally single-handedly drive the triple-A game design template - The Legend of Zelda. The latest addition to the venerable series, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, is a fitting and fantastic way to celebrate what has been, and continues to be, one of the brightest shining beacons of video game medium.

Over the course of 25 years, the series has constantly looked to innovate and bring new elements to the table, while still managing to retain a consistent spirit across a rather convoluted timeline. The Ancient Battle over the fate of Hyrule, between the competing Triforce elements reached its zenith in 1998 with Ocarina of Time, which is still considered to be the paragon of console gaming. Despite producing nothing but gems, subsequent titles always had the unenviable task of living up to this legacy, and since Majora’s Mask, the pressures to produce have clearly weighed down one of the most heavily debated series in gaming, as the fanboys frothed at the mouth over the tiniest of details with no sign of ever being satiated.

It begins... for real this time!

It begins... for real this time!
Close
Hence, to understand and better appreciate The Legend of Zelda series post-Ocarina, it’s much more appropriate to look at the series as the Hayao Miyazaki of games; along with Nintendo’s brash attempt to go its own way, The Legend of Zelda series has taken a stance of being the best of its own title, with its own sense of identity, endearing innocence, storybook adventure and gameplay excellence. Just as you always know when you’re watching a Miyazaki movie, you always know when you’re playing a Legend of Zelda game. For what it no longer does to be the paragon of the medium, Skyward Sword boldly embodies a unique experience that cannot be found in any other title. And it’s the first console Zelda title since Marjora’s Mask that doesn’t blatantly feel like it was rushed, unlike the issues surrounding the dungeons cut for the holiday release of Wind Waker or the system transfer of Twilight Princess.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword goes back and attempts to establish the beginning of the convoluted series timeline. This is the story of how many of the iconic elements in the series came about, from something as small as the protagonist Link’s uniform to the formation of the Kingdom of Hyrule and the relationship between Link, the Princess Zelda and future antagonists. The adventure itself, like a Miyazaki movie, purports a beautiful sense of youthful vigour and innocence; the coming-of-age story of a young man’s attempt to rescue his childhood sweetheart unknowingly sets them on the destined path towards the rise to become the Hero of Legend, the Princess of valour and the inception of the eternal rivalry between Power and Courage.

The sky is no longer the limit.

The sky is no longer the limit.
Close
In spite of Nintendo’s refusal to add voicing, and some predictable outcomes, Skyward Sword is the perfect tonic to the proliferation of testosterone-induced tub-thumping loud machoistic gaming affairs that have been a dime-a-dozen in the modern area. It shows what a truly ‘mature’ title is supposed to be; retaining the makings of a tale for the ages, subtly clever, humorous and witty themes and dialogue and all without a single extremely violent, crude or overtly sexual moment. It goes back to a time when a game was a game, looking to tell a tale that (like a great animated movie) provides a window into the soul of youth and is genuinely accessible to anyone that appreciates a finely designed product. Skyward Sword represents the ideal marriage of classic animation sensibilities and triple-A gaming. And like a good storybook, as opposed to a wide-open sandbox or confined corridor, Skyward Sword has a well-defined beginning and end, which allows the setting, characters and gameplay to shine and do one thing; play.

At the time the Wii was released, HD adoption was still pretty low and it could get away with being a standard definition console. By 2011 though, the Wii is creaking out of the collective consciousness with developers complaining about the lack of processing power on offer (amongst other things). But just as Metroid Prime provided a master class on the GameCube how limited disc space on offer can be expertly utilised, Skyward Sword shows up a significant portion of the modern HD titles out there with vastly superior attention to artistic detail and technical prowess. It manages to squeeze every last sinew of power from the Wii, but unlike a title such as Shadow of the Colossus, never lets on that it’s maxing out the system.

It's not Zelda without attacking plants.

It's not Zelda without attacking plants.
Close
But it’s not the power squeezed out of the system that’s impressive, but a meticulous attention to the artistic detail of the game, proving that (with a bit of calibration) a Wii title can indeed compete with this HD generation. Forgoing a lot of modern techniques, the team at Nintendo has clearly stuck to what they do best, in creating an artistic masterpiece that will still look fantastic in the years to come. Mixing a style somewhere between the more relatable Ocarina of Time and the cel-shaded cartoon flavour of Wind Waker, the team builds an eclectic mix of superlative animation, rich colour, lively vibrance, passionate flair and a unique flavour to its surroundings that can only be found in a Legend of Zelda title. In an exceedingly impressive manner, the game runs virtually flawlessly, with barely a second of slow down and not a single load screen. Now what HD title can boast that?

The lack of voicing has been a contentious issue for the series, but the title manages to dodge poor dialog and voicing, which is so profligate in modern gaming. Sure enough, the ‘sim-lish’ language somewhat feels like it has run its course, but it’s more an odd design choice to disallow control of text speed and skipping. In any case, voices are hardly missed as the facial expression and cinematic direction combined with a magical soundtrack still do a wonderful job of conveying emotion and the overall theme of the game. The soundtrack itself keeps in the theme of innocence, growth and adventure, with the kinds of tunes that you’ll be hearing long after the console is switched off, and never taking the pedal off from a journey that’s nothing but enjoyable and buoyant.

Watching for the cues to success.

Watching for the cues to success.
Close
Skyward Sword does a fantastic job of blending the spirit of series with a new setting. It starts off in Skyloft, an island above the clouds, where history has forgotten what lay beneath. As a ‘sky knight’ in training, this era’s Link gets around with his trusty mountable bird (the loftwing). Traversing the skies is much more endearing and dynamic than traversing the seas of Wind Waker and a lovely change of pace from the back of Epona. There is a lot to discover, plenty of side quests to undertake and mini-games play, and these only multiply in number as you continue playing. Each time you return to the sky there will be something new to see or find. As enjoyable as it is, it does feel like there could have been a greater scope of exploration though, though this could also come down to limitations of the Wii.

Aside from being the Zelda title that should have been launched with the Wii, Skyward Sword almost single-handedly creates the most comprehensive motion controlled core title since the inception of motion gaming. Furthermore, it shows that had the Wii been originally been released with Motion-Plus capabilities, the entire generation of game development could have taken a whole different course, over dodgy mini-game and waggle fests. Just about everything is controlled with pretty much the ideal and relatively intuitive mix of motion and convention. And as far as the control and integrity of the motion control, it’s about 90% of the way where it should be. If anything is missing, it’s the ability for the system to adapt without fully simulated motions, and the occasional stiff motions, such as those associated with the bug net.

Hope you've learned the combat by now... you'll need it.

Hope you've learned the combat by now... you'll need it.
Close
It’s ambitious, and while not quite at the level of proficiency as expected from a traditional controller, it does enough to provide an experience that feels different and unique from its predecessors while rarely being a hindrance across the entire span of the adventure. It makes you feel like you’re the hero behind the sword or the bow, and a traditional scheme is never really missed or preferred. Intelligently, everything has been moulded so that it all still fits within the context of being a game, even the interface, while making sure that most mistakes are at fault of the user rather than the game. Motion additions such as the Beetle, gameplay differences such as the addition of a stamina gauge allowing for a more athletic Link and subsequent design changes have been brought together to make things feel fresh enough.

However, an aspect that could have been better, is the overall progression of the combat. While it may not be one-to-one exactly, the gameplay mechanics are designed so that it doesn’t need to always be and the combat starts out great. If you’re patient and understand the mechanics, the combat is excellent and allows for a lot of dynamic actions, creating a whole new system to play with. Unfortunately, there is a stark lack of enemy variety to make use of this system, which becomes apparent all too quickly, and there are one-percenter errors that hold it back from being amazing. It’s a great system but one that doesn’t utilise its full potential... which seems like an unfortunate hang over from trying to keep the game accessible.

Bosses still take centre stage.

Bosses still take centre stage.
Close
There has been a lot said about the formulaic approach taken to the structure of Zelda titles, and for all the changes brought in by building a game around motion control, this feature remains fairly consistent. However, to say that the formula needs to be changed or refreshed (without offering any alternative...) is paramount to saying that Halo needs to be played from third person, Mario needs a gun or that Sonic needs to slow down. This is what a Zelda title is and what makes it a unique experience (with Darksiders being the only clone in over half a decade). Rather than this template adherence being a bad thing, Skyward Sword has some of the most enjoyable and mind-bending dungeons in the series. There aren’t any really sprawling or multileveled designs, but they fit in much better within the context of the environment and you’ll still see a lot that you’ve never seen before, even though you’ll have a much better chance of getting through them if you’re an experienced campaigner.

Skyward Sword gets off to a very slow start, which is dangerous in this age of instantaneous gratification, though you probably need another hobby if you’re going to pass judgement on the first 15 minutes of this game. The ‘tutorial’ goes on for a little bit too long, and many experienced players will get irked by the constant meddling of your ‘help’, as Fi provides this generation’s Navi. This wouldn’t be so bad if you could turn her off or limit her help... Still, she can actually provide some genuine help when you’re stuck. In any case, the players hand doesn’t really need to be held as tight as it is. After the slow start though, the gameplay cooks at a considered but ideal pace, where you slowly earn new items to open up more of the game, and the design becomes appropriately more challenging, requiring you to use everything at your disposal to get through the obstacles in front of you. It got to a point where the mind was ticking over at a furious pace, thinking about the best way to get past everything in front of Link while happily shooting off to explore the numerous side tracks along the way.

Redefining the leap of faith.

Redefining the leap of faith.
Close
It isn’t until roughly 75 per cent through the game that the challenge truly opens up, where all dungeons and obstacles will have you sifting through pretty much all your items and tools. It’s at this stage that the design is at its most endearing and enjoyable, particularly for veterans of the series. Now while this applies to primarily the main quest, one area that Skyward Sword doesn’t do too well is the amount of fetch quests masquerading as side quests, which try and artificially expand the experience. This is a real shame, because the amount of variety that’s been squeezed into the game is actually quite impressive, but occasionally unnoticeable through the phases that you’re playing delivery boy. Finding and getting some of the deliveries can actually be fun and make good use of a more athletic Link, such as catapulting yourself from the top of high structures (which is nowhere near used enough), but at the same time, he’s probably too reliant on dowsing. On the plus side, there’s no tedious Triforce collection like in Wind Waker or arduously repetitive grind like in Phantom Hourglass and the God-forsaken Temple of the Ocean King.

In effect, it’s not the dungeon formula that needs refreshing, but the need to make more ambitious ways of completing some of the game’s other tasks, which again points to hangover from making the game accessible. Probably the most unfortunate hangover from this mantra is the lack of scope to the overall game. Each of the environments, and the even the sky, are all wonderfully varied and well-designed, many of the enemies are clever and there is a good mix of the new and old items, but simply, there is the overriding feeling that all these aspects really could have and should been wider reaching, especially enemy variety. Again though, this could have been a system limitation. Still, even when an excess of 50 hours were spent covering just about every nook and cranny of the sky and ground, there was still more to find, and additions such as treasure collection and item upgrades make this one of the most content packed experiences, Zelda or not, available. While the difficulty is ‘accessible’, Hero mode unlocked at the end of the game will give the experienced players out there a good run.

Here's to another 25 years.

Here's to another 25 years.
Close
Taking away the expectation that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is meant to revolutionise and lead the gaming medium, and taking away the expectation that it’s meant to surpass Ocarina of Time is quite liberating. You can then see that it’s a franchise akin to being the Miyazaki of video games; a beacon of unique gaming philosophy that shines with indefatigable quality, defiance to modern convention and an endearing innocence that sets it apart from a sea of loud and brash wannabes, making it the quintessential fantasy storybook gaming adventure. It is immensely enjoyable, immensely huge and finely designed to create a unique, pure and vintage tille, completely befitting a 25th anniversary, while (almost) creating the definitive motion controlled experience. Rather than looking at the flaws as that, they ought to be viewed as ways that the series can still continually improve on itself, for hopefully another 25 years. It mightn’t be the greatest game ever created, but The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, for mine, is the greatest reason to turn on the console and be part of the fledgling medium of video games.
The Score
A magnificent homage for the 25th anniversary of one the biggest franchises in gaming, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword provides a compelling gaming and artistic showcase for the indefatigable potential of the medium as a whole, and a reason to have gaming as a hobby.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Content

Nintendo to release Zelda art book
15 Dec, 2011 Celebrating the legend.
Skyward Sword five minute overview trailer
02 Nov, 2011 Spoiling you with spoilers.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword harp trailer
23 Oct, 2011 Let me play you the song of my people.
77 Comments
2 years ago
Benza wrote
I loved both Princess and the Frog and Tangled. Those movies are a show of how you can make a movie aimed at one specific demographic that's actually enjoyable for people of all ages and genders that go to see it. Hell my mum loved Tangled and she's in her 50's.
And people of all ages enjoy Skyward Sword. If you didn't enjoy Princess and the Frog would you complain it wasn't made specifically for you? I mean you might do so, but you'd look like a bit creepy ;)

Benza wrote
The old Zelda games made when the chief demographic of gaming was 10 year olds treat their audience as being smarter then the zelda game that comes out when most people playing games are in their 30's. Does that make any sense to you?
Yeah, how many of those players make up the over 90 million Wii owners? Worldwide sales of OoT were under 8 mil for the generation.

The game isn't any easier than OoT, you're just told where to go next without pushing C-Up to listen to Navi. There's no Super Kong or Cosmic Guide. It's annoying, I would like to be able to turn it off, but it's in no way ez-mode.
2 years ago
Quote
And people of all ages enjoy Skyward Sword. If you didn't enjoy Princess and the Frog would you complain it wasn't made specifically for you? I mean you might do so, but you'd look like a bit creepy icon_wink.gif
Well I like to think my greivences were a little bit more indepth then "This game isn't made for me" and more a long the lines of "This game is rubbish" icon_razz.gif

Quote
The game isn't any easier than OoT, you're just told where to go next without pushing C-Up to listen to Navi. There's no Super Kong or Cosmic Guide. It's annoying, I would like to be able to turn it off, but it's in no way ez-mode.
I think you missed my point, I'm not saying they are, yes granted that a lot of the people that own the Wii have never played console games before, it's tapped into a huge previously untapped market. My point was that a lot of people playing the 64 would have been just as unfamiliar with video games. But that didn't make them treat their consumers like idiots.

There is a big difference between making a game ez-mode and talking down to your consumers, Skyward Sword does the latter, it treats you as the player like you're incompetent and unable to remember what you were told to do like 10 seconds ago. Something like when you get the slingshot, the big fat forrest dude gives you instructions on how to use it, what buttons to press etc, then when you walk to the entrance of the temple that is like 1 minutes walk away, Fi pops out and gives you the exact same instructions again.

It isn't making the game easier, it's treating you like you're a moron that can't remember what was said 60 seconds ago.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
I like to think my greivences were a little bit more indepth then "This game isn't made for me" and more a long the lines of "This game is rubbish"
As that may be, it's subjective, and the only way to get anything resembling an objective point of view is to look at a game's overall reception which, in this case, is far from rubbish :)

Benza wrote
My point was that a lot of people playing the 64 would have been just as unfamiliar with video games. But that didn't make them treat their consumers like idiots.
It's not the same comparison between generations. It was established gamers generally buying the N64, as the PS1 was by far the most popular machine.

Benza wrote
It isn't making the game easier, it's treating you like you're a moron that can't remember what was said 60 seconds ago.
Or like someone who's never played an action adventure game before. For each of us going 'stfu you squeaky hag' there may very well be someone thinking 'that's helpful'.

I would just like to see people separate 'I don't like it' and 'it's a bad thing'. Which, I know, is a pipe dream.
2 years ago
drinniol wrote
It's not the same comparison between generations. It was established gamers generally buying the N64, as the PS1 was by far the most popular machine.
Problem here is that when this generation (PSx, n64) was released, there were no "casual" games. They basically started coming out late in the Playstation's life cycle, with stuff like EyeToy. Sony had won the console race well before then. Ergo, established gamers were the only market at this point. Before that, the closest you got to "casual" games were things like Mario Kart.

Anyway, this stuff is off topic. Here's somwthing a bit closer to the topic in hand: What's with all the hate for the DS Zelda games? I enjoyed those much more than Twilight princess. Admittedly, I haven't played Skyward Sword. I probably won't ever play it, to be honest. I've not enjoyed one of the 3D zelda games.
2 years ago
drinniol wrote
only way to get anything resembling an objective point of view is to look at a game's overall reception which, in this case, is far from rubbish icon_smile.gif
Ocarina of time - 99 critic score, user score 94.
Majora's Mask - 95 critic score, 89 user score.
Wind Waker - 96 critic score, 86 user score.
Twilight Princess - 95 critic score, 90 user score.
Skyward Sword - 93 critic score, 78 user score.

Objectively there, critics still love rating Zelda, but user ratings have generally be getting worse indicating that more people think Zelda is rubbish as time goes by. So, objectively, shut up and accept the criticism.

drinniol wrote
It's not the same comparison between generations. It was established gamers generally buying the N64, as the PS1 was by far the most popular machine.
Citation needed.

drinniol wrote
Or like someone who's never played an action adventure game before. For each of us going 'stfu you squeaky hag' there may very well be someone thinking 'that's helpful'.
What, like a kindergarten student? I can't think of any other part of society where basic information is repeated ad nauseum in such a fashion. And sometimes, with the same colourful presentation.

Personally, the thing that's soured my opinion of this iteration is that I can't watch it without wanting to pay it out. I love watching other people play Zelda games. Usually. This one, there's just far too many bad decisions (such as the ill-advised stamina bar, and Fi - who is actually far more annoying than Tingle ever was) for me to enjoy it. For every bit where I think it's cool, there's something just around the corner that annoys me. I didn't even get that on Phantom Hourglass, which seems to be the turning point for quite a few people here.
2 years ago
sobriquet835 wrote
Anyway, this stuff is off topic. Here's somwthing a bit closer to the topic in hand: What's with all the hate for the DS Zelda games?
Because they have problems (looking at you Temple of the Ocean King), and because the Zelda fanbase, like any fanbase for a legacy franchise, is one of the worst in all of gaming. The widely varied cocktail of game mechanics that make up Zelda causes people to gravitate towards difference elements over others, and the wide variety of Zelda games in general, in terms of setting, themes, direction, and gimmicks, makes it easy for people to pick their favourite and moan when others don't follow suit.

Some people like motion controls, some don't. Some people want open world Zelda, some like the funnelled environment design. Some like the story, others want more subtlety. Some want better combat, some wish there was better combat. Touch screen rules, touch screen sucks.

You can stand back and objectively criticise elements of every game and have pretty insightful discussions with the right people. But from experience those people are hard to find. For some 'fans' simply setting Skyward Sword in the sky was enough for them to hur derp over how awful this game is. "Link rides a bird and once I was swooped by a magpie and it hurt me plus I like horses and cat people this Zelda is the worst ever Nintendo doesn't know what they're doing they should fire Eiji Aonuma PS my favourite Zelda is Majora's Mask".

Much like a lot of these franchises I just stop talking about them to people because I'm tired of the bitching that I don't agree with half the time, just play and try and enjoy the game as it is, and then post my own personal whines on the internet.
2 years ago
drinniol wrote
get anything resembling an objective point of view is to look at a game's overall reception which, in this case, is far from rubbish icon_smile.gif
What? No it isn't, an overall reception is a horrible way to gain an accurate measure of it's quality. Otherwise I'd have to jump on the train to suck Bioshocks cock because so many critics were awed by someone using art deco and a shitty book to make a game while ignoring fundamental gameplay elements like... fun and challenge? I'd have to accept that fucking war horse is a better movie then Tin Tin because reviewers fall for that saccharine sentimental bullshit every fucking time and ignore the fact that it's a transparent Oscar bait movie with no redeeming qualities.

At this point in time the critical reception for first part Nintendo games means basically nothing. They consistently get ridiculously over inflated scores that I struggle to believe that an identical game made without a Nintendo license would receive.

Quote
Or like someone who's never played an action adventure game before. For each of us going 'stfu you squeaky hag' there may very well be someone thinking 'that's helpful'.
Do you remember all the hand holding in the original Zelda? You know the one that pretty much invented the action adventure genre?

Quote
I would just like to see people separate 'I don't like it' and 'it's a bad thing'. Which, I know, is a pipe dream.
But I don't like it because they're bad things. The game functionally doesn't work like the controls do not do what they should half the time. This isn't a design decision this is a broken game mechanic. The stamina idea is a bad idea. Having to wait for your stamina to fill up while you do a block pushing puzzle is objectively bad. It serves no purpose other then to pointlessly make you wait. These aren't little slip ups these are broken game mechanics. They are bad things.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
But I don't like it because they're bad things. The game functionally doesn't work like the controls do not do what they should half the time.
This is one of those things that no matter how much you try to claim is an objective fact, is still ultimately subjective, because your experience is not interchangeable with mine. 'Functionally doesn't work...half the time' is, for my game time, factually incorrect. I voiced my issues with some of the motion controls, particularly the thrust, but 80% - 90% of the time controls were responsive and accurate. Sword play, item use, controlling Link, aiming, etc; it worked.

So, if we were to debate this, where could we go? I think it sucks you and others had that experience, and to me shows there is some technical issue. But I cannot buy into the claim as an absolute. It would be intellectually dishonest, because my first hand experience was completely different, and I've seen others feel the same way.

Its really quite incredible how polarised, both in taste and technicality, the Zelda fanbase is, especially for Skyward Sword.
2 years ago
A game not working for some people isn't subjective, it's not a matter of me not being a fan of the motion controls (I'm not but I'll live with them) it's a matter of the game is resetting the default position of my wii-mote after half an hour of play or so so that when I'm holding it in front of me it's registering as me holding it half behind my head. It's a glitch that exists, not a subjective opinion of the control scheme.

It's kind of like saying "Well I'm playing Skyrim on the 360, so the fact that it's broken on the PS3 is subjective cause I haven't had slowdown"
2 years ago
I wasn't questioning the objectivity of something technical being wrong with the game, but your personal experience relative to mine and others, and the extent to which 'functionally broken' defines Skyward Sword's controls.

This is the reoccurring theme I see with so much of the game's criticism; people mixing subjective mechanic issues with inconsistent technical reports and using this as a basis for "No man, the game sucks, you just don't get it". Not that I'm accusing you of such things, simply playing devil's advocate to the whole debate.

And in the case of Skyrim, yes, it is broken. On the PS3. Because 100% of PS3 users experience these technical issues. The 360 build, on different hardware, with different technical issues, is not broken to the same extent, and users are unlikely to run into the same problems.

We're talking about the same game played on the same hardware with the same controls, yet the differences in experience here are just as polarising as Skyrim's two builds.
2 years ago
Quote
On the PS3. Because 100% of PS3 users experience these technical issues.
They haven't though, my mates never had a problem with skyrim on the PS3 and he's been playing far longer then me... well by no problems I mean the slowdown from the long gameplay, he's still had the mental dragons and shit like that.


... although I guess to be fair, even if the controls had continued to work as well as they did when working, my opinion wouldn't change on the game, it's still balls.

Quote
What's with all the hate for the DS Zelda games?
To sum it up succinctly, the ocean king temple.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
They haven't though, my mates never had a problem with skyrim on the PS3 and he's been playing far longer then me... well by no problems I mean the slowdown from the long gameplay, he's still had the mental dragons and **** like that.
The technical issues on the PS3 and the known software and hardware causes well documented, to the point where it is a near certainty your friend will run into the same issues eventually. The Obsidian dude went into detail about why the engine does what it does on the PS3's architecture, and the difficulties of fixing it.

There's really no argument here, just that the bitterness of having a horrendous experience with the controls, for whatever reason, technical and subjective, are not universally agreed upon by all people who play the game. A contribution to why you dislike the game so much is how unresponsive and 'functionally broken' the controls were. A contribution to why I enjoyed it is how responsive, enjoyable and functional the controls where. Either one of us is lying or there's a significant degree of subjectivity and/or technical experience difference between our two playthroughs.

And my point was, ultimately, this why I don't listen to many hands-on opinions of Zelda games, because of how different experiences can be. You could have argued to me until your face turned blue that the controls are broken and horrible, but it would be an inaccurate assessment of the guaranteed Skyward Sword experience, and had I listened to you I would have missed out on the game. On the other hand, I might have had the exact same problems as you and voice the same complaints. But I didn't.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
At this point in time the critical reception for first part Nintendo games means basically nothing. They consistently get ridiculously over inflated scores that I struggle to believe that an identical game made without a Nintendo license would receive.
http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-2/okami
http://www.metacritic.com/game/ds/shantae-riskys-revenge
http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/little-kings-story
http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/modnation-racers

Yeah, I guess there's a bit of bias, but it's not like terrible games are getting 10/10 just because they have Mario on the front.

GooberMan wrote
Objectively there, critics still love rating Zelda, but user ratings have generally be getting worse indicating that more people think Zelda is rubbish as time goes by. So, objectively, shut up and accept the criticism.
Not at all. All it means is that Skyward Sword has attracted a larger, more mainstream userbase. The Metacritic user ratings don't just reflect the quality of the game, but also the type of people who played it as well as how much internet hate it managed to garner.

If we're going to look at the user ratings as a measure of quality, Metal Arms is better than Halo, and Modern Combat: Domination (made by Gameloft) is leaps and bounds ahead of Modern Warfare 3.

TL;DR: Disparity between user and critic ratings for Skyward Sword (probably) has nothing to do with critics being out of touch. Instead, it's because of the increased popularity of Metacritic between 2006 and now resulting in a significantly higher number of fucktard fanboys.

Hence why no change is seen on sites that have been popular for far longer:
http://au.gamespot.com/the-legend-of-zelda-twilight-princess/platform/wii/
http://au.gamespot.com/the-legend-of-zelda-skyward-sword/platform/wii/
http://au.wii.ign.com/articles/749/749286p1.html
http://au.wii.ign.com/articles/121/1212220p1.html
2 years ago
Esposch wrote
All it means is that Skyward Sword has attracted a larger, more mainstream userbase.
Citation needed. You can start by comparing sales of it to Ocarina of time, which managed over 7 million on the N64 and 3 million so far on the 3DS. Skyward's only done 3 million so far. The userbase is obviously not larger, and a claim of more mainstream is mere conjecture unless you can correlate the people who buy Skyward Sword with those that only play Wii Sports and Raving Rabbids etc.

Further, let's go to the numbers. 676 users have rated Ocarina of Time on Metacritic. Only 153 more have rated Skyward Sword. Now, just for some fun conjecture with numbers, if 676 of those Skyward Sword raters managed to get an average of 94, those remaining 153 users wouldn't be able to bring it down to a 78 average if they all rated 1. Funny thing about bell curves too - it's statistically highly improbable that 153 users rated the game 1.

What gets me is despite the numerous complaints in this thread about various aspects of the game, devout fans of the game will pass off any kind of criticism. Be it an aggregated site or specific comments. The general consensus I've found from both the internet and people I know in real life that have played it is that it's an underwhelming disappointment.
2 years ago
GooberMan wrote
You can start by comparing sales of it to Ocarina of time, which managed over 7 million on the N64 and 3 million so far on the 3DS.
Sure, when Skyward Sword has been released for 13 years as opposed to 3 months.

As for users on metacritic? Let's see what quality those views are. Cock-A-Saurus helpfully gave it a 0, but in his review says "In the end, I don't think this game is awful, but its not great, let alone the "best Zelda ever" as so many idiots have noted."

Totally balanced there. Let's not forget the 88 critic vs 3.2 user MW3.

Benza wrote
Do you remember all the hand holding in the original Zelda? You know the one that pretty much invented the action adventure genre?
Now are you trying to say the NES and the Wii demographics are identical?

GooberMan wrote
What, like a kindergarten student? I can't think of any other part of society where basic information is repeated ad nauseum in such a fashion. And sometimes, with the same colourful presentation.
Holy shit that's my point - it's a kid's game.
2 years ago
2 years ago
GooberMan wrote
Esposch wrote
All it means is that Skyward Sword has attracted a larger, more mainstream userbase.
Citation needed.
Sorry, poor wording.
I meant to say that it had a larger, more mainstream userbase of Metacritic user reviewers.
As in, Metacritic was not nearly as big as it is now when all the older Zelda games came out, hence for Ocarina of Time, most people reviewing it would be people who played the games 10 years ago and have nostalgic ties to it, and for Twilight Princess, it would be more immune to internet hatespamming as Metacritic was a smaller site back in 2006.

That's why I gave the GameSpot and IGN links as a comparison, as both were pretty popular sites back in the GameCube era as well as today.

GooberMan wrote
Be it an aggregated site or specific comments. The general consensus I've found from both the internet and people I know in real life that have played it is that it's an underwhelming disappointment.
Unlike Twilight Princess?
2 years ago
drinniol wrote
GooberMan wrote
What, like a kindergarten student? I can't think of any other part of society where basic information is repeated ad nauseum in such a fashion. And sometimes, with the same colourful presentation.
Holy **** that's my point - it's a kid's game.
uh... you realise it's rated M right?
2 years ago
^It's still got child-friendly themes in it, like Xenoblades. It's E10+ in America.
2 years ago
Ocarina of Time was also a childrens game, as was Twilight Princess and many other Zelda titles, but none had the insane amount of hand holding that Skyward Sword allegedly has. Those games were also loved by the 10 year olds of then and no one had a problem with it. I don't think I was 9 let alone 10 when I played it and was fine with what it showed me.

I haven't played the game so I can't pass my judgement on it, but from what I'm hearing it seems that they overdo it with reminders and tutorials and it comes out as almost condescending as if to say that every gamer has some serious issues with remembering things.
2 years ago
GooberMan wrote
Further, let's go to the numbers. 676 users have rated Ocarina of Time on Metacritic. Only 153 more have rated Skyward Sword. Now, just for some fun conjecture with numbers, if 676 of those Skyward Sword raters managed to get an average of 94, those remaining 153 users wouldn't be able to bring it down to a 78 average if they all rated 1. Funny thing about bell curves too - it's statistically highly improbable that 153 users rated the game 1
I don't think you understand how Metacritic user reviews work. The only people that bother to rate it either like the game and give it 90-100 or they hate it and give it a 1. I can easily see 153 people giving it a 1.


On the control issues, I had next to no problems. All the controls worked perfectly except the thrust on occasion. When my batteries were going flat I had some problems but they disappeared when I changed them. I have heard that a Wii remote with the Motion+ extension works differently to the Wii remote with it built in so that might be the original of some issues.

To people complaining about Fi, I've read multiple user reviews on Metacritic whining about the controls when it is obvious from reading it they were 'doing it wrong'. So many people skipped all of Fi's instructions because they already know what to do but don't. Then they blame the game.
2 years ago
Benza wrote
drinniol wrote
GooberMan wrote
What, like a kindergarten student? I can't think of any other part of society where basic information is repeated ad nauseum in such a fashion. And sometimes, with the same colourful presentation.
Holy **** that's my point - it's a kid's game.
uh... you realise it's rated M right?
Because the M classification has always been a stalwart bastion of access control in this country, amirite?
2 years ago
If there was one 3D Zelda that runs the risk of ageing poorly it's Skyward Sword.

Nintendo appear determined to make motion controlled gameplay work and I can see them using SS as a sort of platform for them to advance not only the Zelda series but also the motion controls themselves. 10 years from now I can still see people enjoying Ocarina of Time for what it is but I can't say the same for Skyward and can see people cringing during certain sections and some of the primitive uses of motion control.

It will still have it's fans, especially those who realise that Nintendo made the right decision to go in the direction Skyward did but I believe the overall concensus will look down on this game. I wouldn't feel too bad for Skyward, it could be worse, you could be Twilight Princess and nobody will really remember you fondly except for the furry community.
2 years ago
Big Pete wrote
10 years from now I can still see people enjoying Ocarina of Time for what it is but I can't say the same for Skyward and can see people cringing during certain sections and some of the primitive uses of motion control.
Ocarina is excellent but as time goes by it's popularity will wane as the old grow older and the rose tinted goggles of nostalgia don't effect the new generation who didn't grow up with the game. Same goes for Mario 64 and the 'magic' of every game each and every one of us played as kids. They were perceived as ten fold better than however much we might have liked them if we played them first today, regardless of how good they are.
2 years ago
I don't think future generations will look at Ocarina as the series magnum opus like the current generation does but I think they'll appreciate it in terms of concept and pacing.
Add Comment
Like this review?
Share it with this tiny url: http://palg.nu/53X

N4G : News for Gamers         Twitter This!

Digg!     Stumble This!

| More
  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  20/11/2011 (Tentative)
Publisher:
  Nintendo
Genre:
  Action
Year Made:
  2011

Read more...
Currently Popular on PALGN
Australian Gaming Bargains - 08/12/11
'Tis the season to be bargaining.
R18+ Legislation
R18+ Legislation
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Preview
Hands on time with the game. Chat time with the CEO of CyberConnect 2.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2007
24 titles to keep an eye on during 2007.
PALGN's Most Anticipated Games of 2008
And you thought 2007 was populated.