Hello all, Javier here, it’s been a while huh! I’ve been busy getting married and doing life stuff. But here I am back to review another entry in the gaming series I’ve been playing since day 1 of my gaming life, lovely Zelda. So you may or may not know that I am actually a pretty big Zelda/link fan, Link’s awakening was in the first set of gameboy games I ever owned (which was the first gaming device I owned) so you could say that Zelda and her ever keen hero for hire, Link, have always been a huge part of my life. I’ve played the vast majority of Zelda games but somehow I missed skyward sword on Wii, despite loving Twilight princess….well I say missed, I had actually sold my Wii for a profit before it came out. Then more recently I loved the remaster of Link’s awakening but was one of the few, very few, people who didn’t enjoy breath of the wild (I know, don’t @ me). I think this really boiled down to it not feeling enough like a classic Zelda game, thankfully Skyward sword has filled that hole and I’m willing to say that this is the best Zelda game on the Switch.
Now this is a review in progress as I’m still doing life stuff so haven’t had a chance to play LOADS of it, but there will be a video to follow with my full review….so lets dive in….
As mentioned I have never played this game before this week so I’m hitting this with a complete and utter fresh opinion, and you know what this game just fills me with utter and pure joy. The general feeling to me is a mix between wind waker, ocarina of time and of course twilight princess. It’s yet another perilous story where Zelda is mixed up in some bad doodoo and Link has to don his green tunic and find this poor girl, such a troubled life. What’s VERY different however is you start the game being pals with Zelda, she isn’t some far away unobtainable princess, and you have to compete in some bird flying antics to gain some quality time together. After some intro stuff teaching you how to use the sword, shield, fly the bird etc… you find out that you live above the clouds (in some sort of heaven community) and there is a ‘rumoured’ land below the clouds that is corrupt etc. It stays rumoured for about an hour when Zelda gets dragged down and you must go and help her.
One thing that brought me joy from moment one is the awesome motion controls, why oh why aren’t there more dumb gimmicky games on Switch?! It has an incredible set up where you don’t need any sort of camera or motion control bar things to capture your movements, and these little motion controls have made me very happy. Why not swing your joy cons around to fly a bird or hack down a tree. The sensors are very smart and any time they’re slightly out a quick press of ‘Y’ will re-calibrate it easily. I originally thought the bird controls were rubbish but it turns out I just hadn’t read the instructions properly…. Now it is worth mentioning that playing it undocked isn’t nearly as fun, they’ve made some odd decisions on which buttons do what and my main issue really is that the right stick controls the sword, not the camera, so that’s a bit janky…..so yeh play it docked, besides this is how it’s supposed to be played! Running around and swinging away at bad guys and aiming your little catapult will keep me (and I’m sure you) entertained for hours.
As a remaster I think it looks really good, the textures have all had a revamp, the characters and backgrounds all look a lot crisper and more detailed and, from what I’ve read, the motion controls are a lot better than they used to be. There really isn’t a lot here to tell me that this wasn’t just a Switch release and definitely has that ‘Nintendo Switch’ style of graphic that enables it to be applied to dock or TV screen with great quality, I still think that’s a technical feat.
Besides the motion control fun and slightly different story Skyward Sword has a brilliant world to get lost in with many different AREAS to explore. You can freely jump between your little cloud community and the down below but beware there’s not quite an ‘open world’ feel to this but I really like the way it’s laid out and look forward to discovering all of the little secrets in each area. In every place you visit you must use your sword’s magical powers to guide you to Zelda’s location, of course along the way you’ll meet plenty of other characters who will give you menial side tasks to get you lost, and encounter lots of puzzles to have fun with. The entire time motion controls are used and mini games are introduced to keep the side tasks fun and feeling important, so far I’ve spent more time jumping back n forth (between ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’) doing side tasks than I have trying to find Zelda…..typical. The combat is genuinely fun and most of the new critters you’ll meet will require a different form of attack, having to think about how to swing my sword and get around an enemy’s block made the game feel a lot meatier than I had anticipated.
In Skyward Sword there are a LOT of mechanics that have been taken into later games, especially BOTW, there is so much here to enjoy and apart from it not really working in undocked mode this is an exceptional Switch game which I really hope shows other developers that we want motion control fun in our games, If I (a 31 year old man) enjoy it imagine how much the kids will be losing their shit. I think the wedding REALLY took me out of gaming and then nothing really broke the mould for me, but the simple (yet well built) fun of Zelda has brought me right back in again. This really isn’t a Switch game you can miss out on and I give Skyward Sword HD a: