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'[GAME] Zelda: Skyward Sword'

This thread has been linked to the game 'The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword'.
Sat 28/01/12 at 15:53:
Regular
Posts: 261
The Zelda series has a formula that I quite like. I never tire of wanting to see different puzzles and varying level design that makes new use out of old equipment. I also like to make progress with anticipation of the next boss fight. This is why I enjoyed Darksiders even though the combat was simplistic.

I was highly anticipating Skyward Sword for these reasons, but also because it would mean that the dust cloth that came with my Wii wouldn’t be the most used item for it.

Skyward Sword is a prequel to Ocarina of Time, filling in details of the origins of the Master sword and Ganon. The game starts in Skyloft, a floating island above the clouds, where the inhabitants ride birds called “loftwings”. Link is seen lying in his bed dreaming of a nightmarish beast, when he is awoken by Zelda’s loftwing who holds a message telling Link that he promised to meet her before the Wing ceremony starts. The winner of this ceremony becomes a Knight of Skyloft and performs a ritual with Zelda. Link meets a rival in Groose who thinks of himself highly and has a desire to be with Zelda, but we all know who is going to win the Wing Ceremony *rolls eyes*. Seriously, I don’t think it is possible to lose the Wing Ceremony as I didn’t have a clue how to fly properly at the beginning and I spent ages with my head below the clouds before I finally won.

I felt that Zelda had a lot more personality in this game than any of the previous Zelda games I’ve played, but it doesn’t take long before she disappears for the remainder of the game, apart from end of temple cut scenes that serve to make you feel like you are making progress, like tying currency notes to a string and pulling it away as soon as you get too close.

I like the art style in this game, as the cross between “Realism” and Cel-shading has pleasing aesthetics. I also enjoy the music in Skyward Sword, which is similar to that of Ocarina of Time, with simplistic melodic sounds that are memorable.

Not long after the ceremony, you will be introduced to your advisor, Fi. Due to her monotonous robotic speech she is often compared to Glados from Portal. The reason that Glados is a more loved character is that she is funny. Fi doesn’t try any humour at all like: “There is an 80% chance you are adopted and there is a 99% chance you are obese”

I don’t know why she has to work with percentage figures when she talks about certain facts all the time. She is an example of a poorly implemented advisor and it shows that a good advisor only gives advice when asked. She repeats information that only just a few seconds ago was given to you. I couldn’t believe it at one point in the game when a boss dramatically makes its presence known and Fi is like “There is 80% chance this is a boss and you may possibly have to fight it”. She manages to kill dramatic moments all the time.

One of the scenes reminded me of Uncharted 3, so I then Imagined what it would be like to have Fi in Uncharted 3:

Fi: “Nate, there is a 99% chance the next ledge you touch will crumble”
Fi: “Nate, there is a 99% chance the next pipe you climb will snap”
ND: “ I can take a barrage of bullets and I’m not afraid of death, but I can’t take this anymore!”

The game also gets pretty annoying with beeping. You beep when your hearts are low, like all previous Zelda games, but Fi beeps to tell you that your hearts are frikkin beeping!!!!

I also don’t want to be informed by her when the batteries are low. There is a battery symbol in the User Interface that lets me know how low my battery is and I ultimately will only stop playing when the control ceases to function, so even the UI is redundant to me.

The developers decided to add a variety of different drops into the game so that they could be used in an upgrade system for all your items and potions as well. The problem is that they decided that you should be notified of the item name and have it inserted into your inventory when you pick up a different item and that you will be notified again when you reload a save, which starts to become quite annoying.

The Item upgrade system was an interesting idea, but although I collected a lot of items, I couldn’t be bothered to obtain much tumbleweed…. The most precious material of all (I just couldn’t be bothered), and ultimately never upgraded any of my items.
They probably should have had tumbleweed as a drop from an enemy as sometimes you wonder where the incentive is to kill enemies. There are big red hulking enemies that take a fair beating to bring them down and for me they rarely dropped anything, so I ended up ignoring them. This is a reason why having an “orb” system is a positive thing, because as mentioned previously Darksiders had pretty weak combat, but the guaranteed incentive of orbs to strengthen your character makes it more bearable.

Although it is nice to have a choice, I never bought any other potion other than health, apart from a Stamina potion for a side quest and never upgraded the potions apart from preparing for the final boss.

It is interesting to note that Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask worked with real time day to night cycles where you will see people doing different things at different hours of the day and night. In Skyward Sword, it is just a static day or night where it stays constant until you sleep again. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing and I’m sure it is easier to program and manage, but I wonder what stopped them from doing it again. Then again with all the filler content that was put into this game, you would get the impression that time was a limiting factor.

The day and night cycle plays a big part in the side quests that are done in Skyloft. You will find Gratitude crystals hidden around Skyloft at night and will be rewarded with them when you complete a side quest. You will be able to trade these points in for rewards after you complete the first side mission in the game.

The motion controls for the game work very well, unless you have issues calibrating the control properly and there are occasions when flying that you may lose control and fly in circles, which I found to be quite annoying but it didn’t happen enough to be much of a problem. The motion control sword play works very well and shows its best capabilities in boss fights, where you have to use it. It is good that this is the case, as for most of the normal creatures I flailed the remote like no tomorrow and managed to find it quite easy. The Yellow Deku Babas that require multiple slashed were disposed of by throwing a bomb at them because I couldn’t be bothered, but it is a nice touch that they can be beaten in different ways.

Shield bashing is a useful thing to learn against certain bosses and I was surprised that a Zelda game, famous for long slow starts with compulsory tutorials, to not force me to learn how to use a shield before I encountered the first boss. I would have found it much easier to beat the first boss with shield bashing than my method of not even using a shield at all.

You can see some of the influences gained from Twilight Princess in this game. When the devs were wondering how they were going to pad the game out they thought of Tear Collecting, which I wasn’t a big fan of. They then added pseudo-stealth and a time limit to give it a lot to differentiate it from tear collecting and the Silent Realm was born. I do have to say that the “tears” were placed in somewhat interesting locations and the music and guardians manage to make it a lot more tense and exciting than tear collecting, so ultimately I see it as an improvement. That said, the guardians aren’t very fast and I managed to run from them for a very long amount of time on one occasion, which takes away the tension somewhat.

I felt that Twilight Princess had an empty over-world and that there could have been more to discover. The dev team heard these complaints from many people as well and decided that Skyward Sword was going to be “Dense”. What they actually did was reduce the size of the world and find reasons to re-use the same environments over and over. When I heard that the game was going to be like Metroid, in that you were going to have to re-visit the same areas with new tools to reach different areas, I was worried that you were going to have to stop half way through a temple to get a new item and then return. This isn’t the case, but you will re-visit one of the temples just for an arbitrary task and it won’t be the last time either. It feels like they decided to try and find ways to burn time rather than create something enjoyable to play through. Before you enter the next dungeon, you are given the ability to use “Dowsing” which will bleep rapidly when you are facing the right direction to what you need to find… as if you need more bleeping in this game.

I was disappointed that they also decided to make you fight the same boss three times over, as although the finishing methods may be different, the way you stop the boss is the same each time and it gets even more annoying when he increases his speed sending a higher frequency of shockwaves with each step. I know there is a story reason as to why this is the case, but I didn’t enjoy them.

As far as temple design goes, I liked the ambition of some of them. I liked using the time shift stones to switch between the past and the future, and the final temple allows you to rotate the rooms around forcing you to work out how to get to the room that you wish to be in. However, for the most part they aren’t that special considering the amount of padding you have to wade through to get to them.

There are a few bosses that are very short and feel like mini-bosses rather than a major boss. I did enjoy the motion control swordplay in the fights with Ghirahim and I liked the boss of the water temple, so I have to say that they are well designed for the most part. The thing is like the previous Zelda games, you have plenty of fairies and health potions which makes failure unlikely.

Ultimately, if you aren’t a fan of the previous instalments of the game then you probably won’t forgive the amount of padding that you have to get through and I doubt this would turn you. If you are a fan of the series, then you are likely to enjoy some of the bosses and impressive level design on offer. This is my favourite 3D Zelda and it is a great example of what motion controls are capable of, but I think the Zelda series could do a lot better.

Good
+ Good Motion Control swordplay for bosses
+ Quite fun Time stone mechanics
+ Silent realm orb placement and tense music
+ Zelda Well characterised

Bad
- Repeating the same boss 3 times
- A significant amount of padding
- Cpt Obvious Fi and her annoying beeping
- Item collecting notification gets a tad annoying

8.5/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sat 28/01/12 at 15:53:
Regular
Posts: 261
The Zelda series has a formula that I quite like. I never tire of wanting to see different puzzles and varying level design that makes new use out of old equipment. I also like to make progress with anticipation of the next boss fight. This is why I enjoyed Darksiders even though the combat was simplistic.

I was highly anticipating Skyward Sword for these reasons, but also because it would mean that the dust cloth that came with my Wii wouldn’t be the most used item for it.

Skyward Sword is a prequel to Ocarina of Time, filling in details of the origins of the Master sword and Ganon. The game starts in Skyloft, a floating island above the clouds, where the inhabitants ride birds called “loftwings”. Link is seen lying in his bed dreaming of a nightmarish beast, when he is awoken by Zelda’s loftwing who holds a message telling Link that he promised to meet her before the Wing ceremony starts. The winner of this ceremony becomes a Knight of Skyloft and performs a ritual with Zelda. Link meets a rival in Groose who thinks of himself highly and has a desire to be with Zelda, but we all know who is going to win the Wing Ceremony *rolls eyes*. Seriously, I don’t think it is possible to lose the Wing Ceremony as I didn’t have a clue how to fly properly at the beginning and I spent ages with my head below the clouds before I finally won.

I felt that Zelda had a lot more personality in this game than any of the previous Zelda games I’ve played, but it doesn’t take long before she disappears for the remainder of the game, apart from end of temple cut scenes that serve to make you feel like you are making progress, like tying currency notes to a string and pulling it away as soon as you get too close.

I like the art style in this game, as the cross between “Realism” and Cel-shading has pleasing aesthetics. I also enjoy the music in Skyward Sword, which is similar to that of Ocarina of Time, with simplistic melodic sounds that are memorable.

Not long after the ceremony, you will be introduced to your advisor, Fi. Due to her monotonous robotic speech she is often compared to Glados from Portal. The reason that Glados is a more loved character is that she is funny. Fi doesn’t try any humour at all like: “There is an 80% chance you are adopted and there is a 99% chance you are obese”

I don’t know why she has to work with percentage figures when she talks about certain facts all the time. She is an example of a poorly implemented advisor and it shows that a good advisor only gives advice when asked. She repeats information that only just a few seconds ago was given to you. I couldn’t believe it at one point in the game when a boss dramatically makes its presence known and Fi is like “There is 80% chance this is a boss and you may possibly have to fight it”. She manages to kill dramatic moments all the time.

One of the scenes reminded me of Uncharted 3, so I then Imagined what it would be like to have Fi in Uncharted 3:

Fi: “Nate, there is a 99% chance the next ledge you touch will crumble”
Fi: “Nate, there is a 99% chance the next pipe you climb will snap”
ND: “ I can take a barrage of bullets and I’m not afraid of death, but I can’t take this anymore!”

The game also gets pretty annoying with beeping. You beep when your hearts are low, like all previous Zelda games, but Fi beeps to tell you that your hearts are frikkin beeping!!!!

I also don’t want to be informed by her when the batteries are low. There is a battery symbol in the User Interface that lets me know how low my battery is and I ultimately will only stop playing when the control ceases to function, so even the UI is redundant to me.

The developers decided to add a variety of different drops into the game so that they could be used in an upgrade system for all your items and potions as well. The problem is that they decided that you should be notified of the item name and have it inserted into your inventory when you pick up a different item and that you will be notified again when you reload a save, which starts to become quite annoying.

The Item upgrade system was an interesting idea, but although I collected a lot of items, I couldn’t be bothered to obtain much tumbleweed…. The most precious material of all (I just couldn’t be bothered), and ultimately never upgraded any of my items.
They probably should have had tumbleweed as a drop from an enemy as sometimes you wonder where the incentive is to kill enemies. There are big red hulking enemies that take a fair beating to bring them down and for me they rarely dropped anything, so I ended up ignoring them. This is a reason why having an “orb” system is a positive thing, because as mentioned previously Darksiders had pretty weak combat, but the guaranteed incentive of orbs to strengthen your character makes it more bearable.

Although it is nice to have a choice, I never bought any other potion other than health, apart from a Stamina potion for a side quest and never upgraded the potions apart from preparing for the final boss.

It is interesting to note that Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask worked with real time day to night cycles where you will see people doing different things at different hours of the day and night. In Skyward Sword, it is just a static day or night where it stays constant until you sleep again. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing and I’m sure it is easier to program and manage, but I wonder what stopped them from doing it again. Then again with all the filler content that was put into this game, you would get the impression that time was a limiting factor.

The day and night cycle plays a big part in the side quests that are done in Skyloft. You will find Gratitude crystals hidden around Skyloft at night and will be rewarded with them when you complete a side quest. You will be able to trade these points in for rewards after you complete the first side mission in the game.

The motion controls for the game work very well, unless you have issues calibrating the control properly and there are occasions when flying that you may lose control and fly in circles, which I found to be quite annoying but it didn’t happen enough to be much of a problem. The motion control sword play works very well and shows its best capabilities in boss fights, where you have to use it. It is good that this is the case, as for most of the normal creatures I flailed the remote like no tomorrow and managed to find it quite easy. The Yellow Deku Babas that require multiple slashed were disposed of by throwing a bomb at them because I couldn’t be bothered, but it is a nice touch that they can be beaten in different ways.

Shield bashing is a useful thing to learn against certain bosses and I was surprised that a Zelda game, famous for long slow starts with compulsory tutorials, to not force me to learn how to use a shield before I encountered the first boss. I would have found it much easier to beat the first boss with shield bashing than my method of not even using a shield at all.

You can see some of the influences gained from Twilight Princess in this game. When the devs were wondering how they were going to pad the game out they thought of Tear Collecting, which I wasn’t a big fan of. They then added pseudo-stealth and a time limit to give it a lot to differentiate it from tear collecting and the Silent Realm was born. I do have to say that the “tears” were placed in somewhat interesting locations and the music and guardians manage to make it a lot more tense and exciting than tear collecting, so ultimately I see it as an improvement. That said, the guardians aren’t very fast and I managed to run from them for a very long amount of time on one occasion, which takes away the tension somewhat.

I felt that Twilight Princess had an empty over-world and that there could have been more to discover. The dev team heard these complaints from many people as well and decided that Skyward Sword was going to be “Dense”. What they actually did was reduce the size of the world and find reasons to re-use the same environments over and over. When I heard that the game was going to be like Metroid, in that you were going to have to re-visit the same areas with new tools to reach different areas, I was worried that you were going to have to stop half way through a temple to get a new item and then return. This isn’t the case, but you will re-visit one of the temples just for an arbitrary task and it won’t be the last time either. It feels like they decided to try and find ways to burn time rather than create something enjoyable to play through. Before you enter the next dungeon, you are given the ability to use “Dowsing” which will bleep rapidly when you are facing the right direction to what you need to find… as if you need more bleeping in this game.

I was disappointed that they also decided to make you fight the same boss three times over, as although the finishing methods may be different, the way you stop the boss is the same each time and it gets even more annoying when he increases his speed sending a higher frequency of shockwaves with each step. I know there is a story reason as to why this is the case, but I didn’t enjoy them.

As far as temple design goes, I liked the ambition of some of them. I liked using the time shift stones to switch between the past and the future, and the final temple allows you to rotate the rooms around forcing you to work out how to get to the room that you wish to be in. However, for the most part they aren’t that special considering the amount of padding you have to wade through to get to them.

There are a few bosses that are very short and feel like mini-bosses rather than a major boss. I did enjoy the motion control swordplay in the fights with Ghirahim and I liked the boss of the water temple, so I have to say that they are well designed for the most part. The thing is like the previous Zelda games, you have plenty of fairies and health potions which makes failure unlikely.

Ultimately, if you aren’t a fan of the previous instalments of the game then you probably won’t forgive the amount of padding that you have to get through and I doubt this would turn you. If you are a fan of the series, then you are likely to enjoy some of the bosses and impressive level design on offer. This is my favourite 3D Zelda and it is a great example of what motion controls are capable of, but I think the Zelda series could do a lot better.

Good
+ Good Motion Control swordplay for bosses
+ Quite fun Time stone mechanics
+ Silent realm orb placement and tense music
+ Zelda Well characterised

Bad
- Repeating the same boss 3 times
- A significant amount of padding
- Cpt Obvious Fi and her annoying beeping
- Item collecting notification gets a tad annoying

8.5/10

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