Wii

North America

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

by Neal Ronaghan - November 11, 2011, 12:00 am PST
Total comments: 69

10

With one release, Nintendo justifies the existence of Wii MotionPlus.

Scroll down to the bottom for a video review.

I’ve always seen the 3D Zelda games as following a clear progression, or at least attempting to. The triumph of those games is that they improve the formula over time, whether it’s the leap in combat (Ocarina being quite basic, Wind Waker adding parrying, and Twilight Princess adding even more layers) or the streamlining of gameplay (Command Melody in Wind Waker vs. the Dominion Rod in Twilight Princess). Those types of improvements are integral to the latest Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which carves its own path as the next great game in the series.

However, not only is Skyward Sword the next great Zelda game, it is also the ultimate proof of concept for why motion controls should exist. Simply put, Wii MotionPlus adds a whole lot to the experience that, at first glance, seems superfluous. The sword combat early on can be rough, since it requires you to be much more aware of the direction you swing the Wii Remote/sword, but the game is designed to ease you in. It gives you time to learn the mechanics and rules, clearly laying them out to you at a fine pace. Eventually, you’ll be mowing down enemies at a nice clip without taking hits. It’s a challenging system, especially when you have to deal with shields that can weaken and break if you mistime your parry with the Nunchuk.

The weapons you gain all have their own nuance to them as well. Bombs can be thrown or bowled, and MotionPlus even reads subtle tilt, allowing you to play Bowling for Bokoblins. Because of the flexibility of the weapons you acquire, there are often multiple ways to solve puzzles and fight enemies. One person might use the beetle to flip a switch, while another might use the slingshot. You can use the sword to slice Deku Babas, toss a bomb at them so they eat it and explode, or fly the beetle at one to cut its stem. If you love a weapon, chances are you can upgrade it using the new forging mechanic. It’s totally optional, as you don’t have to upgrade a single weapon throughout the story, but the upgrades are meaningful, adding new functionality to your items. For example, the slingshot gets a scatter technique that fires off multiple seeds at once.

The line between the world and dungeons is blurred throughout all of Skyward Sword. Each of the game’s main adventuring areas are like dungeons in themselves, as you’ll have to solve puzzles, fight enemies, and fight mini-bosses before you even make it to what older games would label a dungeon. This setup allows the dungeons to be significantly trickier and much more focused. The amount of creativity expressed in the dungeons and the overworld is wondrous. It falters at times, especially as you revisit areas multiple times and complete numerous fetch quests that sometimes feel like padding, but the game holds up very well over a 35+ hour experience.

The bosses, for one of the first times in the series, don’t seem to slavishly follow the typical three-hits-to-kill pattern. With the exception of a few duds, the bosses are an excellent mix of spectacle and challenge. Some highlights include a (highlight for boss spoilers)battle with a giant sea monster on a pirate ship, and a high-flying battle against a parasite-infested flying whale. The final series of bosses are suitably epic as well.

The bosses are quite challenging, but if you get stuck, don’t fret. Nintendo’s use of the Super Guide in Skyward Sword is nothing sort of masterful. Basically, you have access to a multi-layered FAQ in the game. Your Navi-esque character, Fi, gives you vague hints initially. Then, after some time, she spells it out a little more clearly. And if you get really stuck, you can back out to Skyloft and view teasing hint videos at a Shiekah Stone.

I won’t go too deep into the game’s story, but I will say it does indeed link to the series as a whole. It doesn’t have moments that rival the gravity of Wind Waker, but it tells a coherent story that features well-directed cut scenes and fantastic dialog. The localization team at the Treehouse outdid themselves, as there are quite a few sly series and pop culture references.

Skyward Sword is an epic, the sort of epic you call out of work or school for a few days to complete. A focused playthrough will take you north of 30 hours, and if you try to 100% the game, there is a 50+ hour quest to go through. Throw in the second quest, dubbed Hero Mode, and there is a lot of game to play.

Not only is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the ultimate Zelda game, it’s also the ultimate Wii game. You can see bits and pieces of nearly every other Zelda game and any game Nintendo has worked on with motion controls, from Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Sports Resort to Wii Music and Animal Crossing. If you bought a Wii, you owe it to yourself to get this game right away. After all, isn’t one-to-one swordplay what made us all excited about the Wii in the first place?

Summary

Pros
  • Beautiful presentation and soundtrack
  • Excellent dungeon and level design
  • Long, epic, and awesome quest
  • MotionPlus controls make a huge difference
  • Spectacular sense of adventure
Cons
  • A few too many fetch quests

Talkback

EnnerNovember 11, 2011

Based on some grumblings on the Connectivity audio show, I didn't expect the game to be awarded the highest score.


I'm very eager to get this game. However, the bundle with the Wii Remote isn't available on Amazon. A shame since I have a Prime account. Perhaps I will see if other stores have it. Or mabye I should just not bother getting a 4th remote.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusNovember 11, 2011

I didn't think anything less than a 10 was ever on the cards given what Twilight princess got. Even without playing the game, you could tell that they had somehow quantified what went wrong in previous Zelda games. Not to say they were bad, but there was always that nagging feeling that didn't let it surpass OoT.

Whether it was handheld or console, it always felt that they weren't quite completely happy with what they released. With Wind Waker it was the cut dungeons, the repeating temple in hourglass, literal railroading in Spirit tracks, mirror imaged world over Link handiness in Twilight princess, Majora's Masks gaiden like experience. Something was never quite right and you don't get that feeling here.

For this game, their only fault was going a little too far in giving things for you to do and as a flaw there are far worse sins to commit.

scrawntonNovember 11, 2011

Heh? I apologize, I overreacted about a spoiler because I contextualized  it to be something it was not. I apologize if I made a scene.

NeoStar9XNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: Enner

Based on some grumblings on the Connectivity audio show, I didn't expect the game to be awarded the highest score.

Kinda hard to go by that though. Connectivity like NewsCast before it always seems to have a negative and mainly complaining slant to it in general. Complaining about games isn't a bad thing but when it seems like that is the majority stance all the time I can't help but notice it and wonder why some even bother doing the show. Mix messages do indeed get sent. It's why I stopped listing to NewsCast and why I've stopped with Connectivity after a few episodes.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: NeoStar9X

Quote from: Enner

Based on some grumblings on the Connectivity audio show, I didn't expect the game to be awarded the highest score.

Kinda hard to go by that though. Connectivity like NewsCast before it always seems to have a negative and mainly complaining slant to it in general. Complaining about games isn't a bad thing but when it seems like that is the majority stance all the time I can't help but notice it and wonder why some even bother doing the show. Mix messages do indeed get sent. It's why I stopped listing to NewsCast and why I've stopped with Connectivity after a few episodes.

It should be noted that when we were recording an episode of Connectivity, Neal was still in the first few dungeons of the game where the controls were still being tested and on a rough stage. It seems that the game picks up significantly after a few dungeons and the story finally gets into its better moments, so it is likely that this review is a reflection of the experience as a whole. This is why Neal played the full game then reviewed it rather than review the game based on the first four or five dungeons in the game.

Plus, while recording that episode we discussed how reviews for this game would be and how the game would eventually be seen years later. Twilight Princess got great to amazing reviews back when it first launched, and now it is considered to be one of the most disappointing entries in the whole series. So with Skyward Sword we wondered if it would be fair to praise the game if it would eventually fail to live up to its potential years later after the hype has disappeared.

In other words, lots of thought and discussion about this happened. Also, regarding the negativity, once again, if you guys find that upsetting you haven't heard the worse the internet can offer in terms of podcast negativity. Plus, if things were far more positive, the complain would be that it would be too much like a fanboy podcast where everything is great.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: scrawnton

I came for the review, I left fucking dissappointed at the second screenshot of the review that contains a huge spoiler. I kind of figured a Nintendo site wouldn't spoil such an important game to their fans so willingly.

Heh, blame Nintendo on that. They provided several spoiler-ish screenshots for this. Besides, if you don't know the context behind the screen, why is it a spoiler? Because it briefly revealed a scene you were hoping to see for yourself?

AdrockNovember 11, 2011

I haven't the slightest clue what that screenshot means. I see Zelda and a harp. Right.

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Well, I'm glad Skyward Sword turned out to be worth its rather lengthy wait.  I don't believe in any game deserving a 10 unless it's a game that completely redefines how we look at gaming, but from the sounds of it Neal may have justified just that.  It's going to be painful waiting for this game, either until I get it for Christmas or pick it up discounted later on.

I try to avoid paying full price on games whenever possible, but for this, an exception will absolutely be made. My usual approach to Zelda games is to savour them - I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I clocked over 50 or 60 hours the first time through. Work assignments be damned!

CericNovember 11, 2011

Yeah that second screen with Zelda and the harp I could have told you before I knew anything about the game.

Zelda and an Instrument.

Quote from: Killer_Man_Jaro

I try to avoid paying full price on games whenever possible, but for this, an exception will absolutely be made. My usual approach to Zelda games is to savour them - I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I clocked over 50 or 60 hours the first time through. Work assignments be damned!

Broodwars is buying it used in protest to NoA not releasing the Operation Rainfall games.

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Broodwars is buying it used in protest to NoA not releasing the Operation Rainfall games.

Yep, plus there's just a glut of other games I want to play this time of year.  Even if I wasn't anti-NoA at the moment, I don't know where I'd find the money for Zelda right now (though the 15% off New games coupon I got from GS is tempting).  Finances are tighter than ever right now.

I added the video version of the review.

DanielMDaniel Mousseau, Staff AlumnusNovember 11, 2011

I can't wait 9 more days. I want this game so badly. On another note, this game is receiving 10s everywhere.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 11, 2011

Good thing Super Mario Land is supposed to be short. :D

CericNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: UncleBob

Good thing Super Mario Land is supposed to be short. :D

Is it?

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: DanielM

I can't wait 9 more days. I want this game so badly. On another note, this game is receiving 10s everywhere.

Everywhere, huh?  That 1up review brings up some troubling issues with the game's pacing and a somewhat arbitrary nature to the game's mechanics.

It took him 10 hours to realize that the controls were carried over from Wii Sports Resort? Was he not following the game at all beforehand?

I'd like to reiterate something that I feel people are selling short: The Silent Realm segments are awesome. You'll probably hate them, but only because they're so intense and very well done.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: DanielM

I can't wait 9 more days. I want this game so badly. On another note, this game is receiving 10s everywhere.

Everywhere, huh?  That 1up review brings up some troubling issues with the game's pacing and a somewhat arbitrary nature to the game's mechanics.

And one detractor review out of a ton of extremely positive, obviously means it should be the one focused on. Seriously, I think you are just trying to find reasons not to like the game. I doubt you focused as much on detractor  reviews of other games that you are looking forward to more then Skyward Sword. The "complaints" in that review were minor at best and yet the reviewer knocked the game down to a B+. Any game that is 40+ hrs isn't going to be perfectly paced, not even OOT was perfectly paced, lacking fetch quests.



CericNovember 11, 2011

I believe that was just Broodwar making a commentary on blanket statements.  Which holds true that the use of blanket statements in a discussion is like using a word to define itself.

I went though that review looking specifically for what he didn't like and it boiled down to this.

The Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks segments which I can definitely see as being frustrating and Fetch quests being used more then warranted.

I can see why he knock the game down if those weren't his cup of tea.  I do have to agree about the fetch quests.  They are needed but, eventual they hit a threshold where there just filler and annoying.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

I believe that was just Broodwar making a commentary on blanket statements.  Which holds true that the use of blanket statements in a discussion is like using a word to define itself.

I went though that review looking specifically for what he didn't like and it boiled down to this.

The Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks segments which I can definitely see as being frustrating and Fetch quests being used more then warranted.

I can see why he knock the game down if those weren't his cup of tea.  I do have to agree about the fetch quests.  They are needed but, eventual they hit a threshold where there just filler and annoying.

The review score comes across as flame bait with the B+ score. Nothing really in that review justified dragging the score down that far. Now in regards to the fetch quests, maybe Neal can clear that up, are they any worse then other Zeldas?

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Undoubtedly the 1up review of A for Uncharted 3 is justified though.

Actually, if you'd seen my Uncharted 3 topic in Gaming Goodness, you'd know that I've been rather down on that game and found it disappointing.

And I always find the reviews that don't just hand out high scores like Pez candy the most interesting, especially if they can back up their score with solid criticism.  Like I said, I don't take issue with Neal's review specifically.  I just have major philosophical issues with giving a game a 10.  Once you've done that, that's it.  Whether you like it or not, when you give a game a perfect score you are declaring that the game is flawless, that there is no room for improvement.  I've raised this exact problem with sites that are handing out 10s for Skyrim right now, despite openly admitting that the game is buggy, has broken quests, and is prone to crash from time to time.  Even Jonny now admits that he regrets giving Twilight Princess a 10 when it released, but that he got caught up in the hype.

To me, a 10 is the goal that every game strives towards, but very few are worthy of receiving and it should be an event when it does.  I personally would probably only have ever awarded one to Chrono Trigger.  I'm not taking any specific issues with Neal's review and I'm not insinuating this is something he did, but I think in general our industry is way too eager to hand out 10s just because they want the acclaim or infamy of giving a certain game a perfect score.

CericNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Quote from: Ceric

I believe that was just Broodwar making a commentary on blanket statements.  Which holds true that the use of blanket statements in a discussion is like using a word to define itself.

I went though that review looking specifically for what he didn't like and it boiled down to this.

The Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks segments which I can definitely see as being frustrating and Fetch quests being used more then warranted.

I can see why he knock the game down if those weren't his cup of tea.  I do have to agree about the fetch quests.  They are needed but, eventual they hit a threshold where there just filler and annoying.

The review score comes across as flame bait with the B+ score. Nothing really in that review justified dragging the score down that far. Now in regards to the fetch quests, maybe Neal can clear that up, are they any worse then other Zeldas?

B+ would be what the equivalent of a 8-9.  What was the game here that got like a 6 where ever else it was getting 9 and 10.

Anyways, I would like to generalize that question a little more since Zelda's tend to be a little low on the fetch quests for the most part. 

How does it compare to modern Quest based games in the number of Fetch Quests?
I started with RPGs but there are some action games that would fit too.  Darn Genre splitting games.

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

What I find amusing about that B+ is that Metacritic apparently interprets that as an 83.  Funny, but when I was in school a B+ was in the high 80s or a 90.

TJ SpykeNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Whether you like it or not, when you give a game a perfect score you are declaring that the game is flawless, that there is no room for improvement.

As EVERY review outlet I have seen says, giving a game their highest score (10/10, 100/100, A+, etc.) does NOT mean they are saying the game is perfect or flawless. No game, movie, TV show, or anything else in entertainment is ever flawless. Usually it just means that the game is great, the flaws are so minor that they don't detract from the game, and that the game stands out as what other games (especially in that genre) should strive towards in terms of quality.

A 10 doesn't mean the game is perfect. No game is perfect, and it doesn't make sense to have a grading scale with scores that are impossible to achieve. To carry on the school metaphor, if you got a 100% on an essay, does that mean there's no way it could have possibly been any better?


EDIT: TJ Spyke is right on with everything he said.

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

To carry on the school metaphor, if you got a 100% on an essay, does that mean there's no way it could have possibly been any better?

I had very strict teachers on grading back in high school and college, so yes that's exactly what that meant when I was in school.  Taking into account the relative knowledge and skill expected of students my age, of course.

As I said, that's just my personal philosophy when it comes to game reviews and game scores, if you're going to have scores at all.  I can understand that it's not one that other people may share.

As for Neal's review specifically, though, I would have appreciated a more detailed review with a closer examination on the game's pacing (since that's a major issue I've had with Zelda games since Wind Waker), but that's really my only fault with it.  As for the video review, it was nice of you to make one but I think it would have worked better if you literally weren't just reading your written review.  It's like how IGN or Gamespot will condense their thoughts into a few minutes of text with video for emphasis for their video reviews.  Just something to think about for future video reviews.

CericNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

As for Neal's review specifically, though, I would have appreciated a more detailed review with a closer examination on the game's pacing (since that's a major issue I've had with Zelda games since Wind Waker), but that's really my only fault with it.
...

Neal's stated that his review was going to try to be spoiler free.  That was part of the reason he was doing the other entries.  No to mention I think he's still embargoed on talking about the end.

With that being said I know that at one point Neal was looking for people to talk about Skyward Sword on the RFN Live Special ,which you can help make happen like some other guy and me, if there is enough money donated to get to that part.  I'm sure they'll go more in depth there, maybe.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

It's not long. There are just three bottleneck days. 11/4, 11/11 and 11/20. It's worded like "don't discuss anything up until XX"

This was in regards to me asking a question about the NDA size so, as you can see he is still not able to talk about the whole game yet.

Though it would be interesting to have a review without concerns on Spoilers with big spoiler labels on it.

Edit:
Found a better Quote.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: Ceric

When will we be seeing the Floodgates of Info opening?

Friday is review day. I think we can talk about the second act of the game then. Then, final embargo is up on release day.

I have given out three 10s in my tenure with site (Punch-Out!!, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Skyward Sword). I am always very hesitant in giving a game that score, but it obviously has happened.

In Skyward Sword's case, I have issues with the game. I talk about them in the review. But as I thought about it more, the issues didn't sully the experience. It was still an excellent game. I loved it. I wanted to play it again right after beating it, and I plowed through this game faster than I ever have played a Zelda game before.

I could easily pick apart the game (the pacing does drag in some spots, the fetch quests are sometimes lame, tightrope walking is awful),  but none of those issues really hurt it in my eyes. Obviously, it did for some people. It didn't for me. I honestly don't know if I can go back to other Zelda games and enjoy them as much as I did after playing this game. That sounds ridiculous, but its true.

The pacing and fetch quests aren't really anything different from past games. I would say my issues with the pacing come from trying to beat the game in a short amount of time. If I didn't have that constraint, I don't think I'd have a problem with it. I can think of about two examples where the fetch quests annoyed me. Other than that, I didn't mind them. It's more exploring the environment than it is "collect three things to pass," though they use that as the setup.

And the Silent Realm parts are some of my favorite moments in the game, though I'm glad they are limited to a few instances.

house3136November 11, 2011

Neal, I enjoyed the review and I’m impressed that you incorporated a video review. Of course none of us have played the game, or at least not the whole thing, so it’s interesting to see these different assessments. As a college student who has to write essays and lab reports, I agree there is always room for improvement even if the score is perfect; and that it’s unrealistic to strive for a level that’s technically impossible to achieve. I think it’s interesting that you observed the side and/or fetch quests to be a slight negative aspect compared to the regular flow of the game. You’ve reiterated that the Silent Realm is actually quite fun. Is the Silent Realm gameplay among these “fetch quests?” I ask because this portion of the gameplay has intrigued me. The music, while undetected, has an open reverberating echo to it, but when Link is detected it starts music that is reminiscent of Terminator 2, or RE4. If Skyward Sword is the pinnacle of gaming in Wii, and sets the precedent for future games in this series, then it deserves no less than 10.
Not many other sites would reply to the comments of readers, and give an explanation of their review, not that any is needed. The reason why I read this site and listen to the podcasts is because it feels more involved. One of these days I’ve been meaning to send an e-mail to the podcasts; just keep up the exceptional coverage and I’ll get around to it.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I have given out three 10s in my tenure with site (Punch-Out!!, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Skyward Sword). I am always very hesitant in giving a game that score, but it obviously has happened.

In Skyward Sword's case, I have issues with the game. I talk about them in the review. But as I thought about it more, the issues didn't sully the experience. It was still an excellent game. I loved it. I wanted to play it again right after beating it, and I plowed through this game faster than I ever have played a Zelda game before.

I could easily pick apart the game (the pacing does drag in some spots, the fetch quests are sometimes lame, tightrope walking is awful),  but none of those issues really hurt it in my eyes. Obviously, it did for some people. It didn't for me. I honestly don't know if I can go back to other Zelda games and enjoy them as much as I did after playing this game. That sounds ridiculous, but its true.

The pacing and fetch quests aren't really anything different from past games. I would say my issues with the pacing come from trying to beat the game in a short amount of time. If I didn't have that constraint, I don't think I'd have a problem with it. I can think of about two examples where the fetch quests annoyed me. Other than that, I didn't mind them. It's more exploring the environment than it is "collect three things to pass," though they use that as the setup.

And the Silent Realm parts are some of my favorite moments in the game, though I'm glad they are limited to a few instances.

Nice to hear they are limited to a few instances instead of something like Phantom Hourglass. And like I said anytime you have a 30+ hour game you are going to have inconsistent pacing and some fetch quests. I don't think any long game has ever been without them, just as long as it isn't triforce hunting similar to what was found in Wind Waker. Now that was a poorly implemented fetch quest and padding.

broodwarsNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I don't think any long game has ever been without them, just as long as it isn't triforce hunting similar to what was found in Wind Waker. Now that was a poorly implemented fetch quest and padding.

Don't forget all the business where you had to go and check all the statues or collect all the Twilight Tears in Twilight Princess.  Or the forced stealth section in Wind Waker's Forsaken Fortress.  Or the Temple of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass.  Yeah, Zelda's had some really bad padding issues over the years.  Hopefully, the Silent Realm sections in Skyward Sword are mercifully short and don't require you to be a stealth savant.

CericNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

...
I don't think any long game has ever been without them, just as long as it isn't triforce hunting similar to what was found in Wind Waker. Now that was a poorly implemented fetch quest and padding.

And ruins my chances of ever finishing that game and I soo want to because of the final fight...

Quote from: broodwars

I had very strict teachers on grading back in high school and college, so yes that's exactly what that meant when I was in school.  Taking into account the relative knowledge and skill expected of students my age, of course.

I would argue that granularity also matters. It's easier for a game to get a 10/10 than a 100/100. Your strict teachers are closer to ONM, which gave this game a 98, their highest score ever for a Wii game.

UltimatePartyBearNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I honestly don't know if I can go back to other Zelda games and enjoy them as much as I did after playing this game.

So what you're saying is we shouldn't play this game because it ruins the rest of the series?  :) 

That is seriously high praise.  I believe I may be experiencing frothing demand for the first time in quite a while.

CericNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: UltimatePartyBear

...
That is seriously high praise.  I believe I may be experiencing frothing demand for the first time in quite a while.

I am now imagining a bear rocking his cage back and forth.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 11, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

I don't think any long game has ever been without them, just as long as it isn't triforce hunting similar to what was found in Wind Waker. Now that was a poorly implemented fetch quest and padding.

Don't forget all the business where you had to go and check all the statues or collect all the Twilight Tears in Twilight Princess.  Or the forced stealth section in Wind Waker's Forsaken Fortress.  Or the Temple of the Ocean King in Phantom Hourglass.  Yeah, Zelda's had some really bad padding issues over the years.  Hopefully, the Silent Realm sections in Skyward Sword are mercifully short and don't require you to be a stealth savant.

Well, I do agree, but I feel the triforce hunt is perhaps the most horrendous example. At least in Twilight it can be argued the fetch quest is meant to acclimate the gamer to the game, and at least the stealth sections in Wind Waker were few and far between. But PH Ocean King, I cannot defend, I hated it with a passion and never did finish the game because of it, it went into the realm of being both frustrating, and tedious, while many fetch quests in Zelda are primarily just tedious and time consuming.

NintendoFanboyNovember 11, 2011

Lets see, typical 3rd party, like 1up, would review like this.
Nintendo=kiddie  -5 points
Not HD -5 points
No blood or needless violence.  -5 points
Not popular with the "hip/cool" crowd .  -5points
total  =  80%
oops, uses Wii mote not 360 ps3 controler -5
total  =  75% 
its a great NINTENDO game, but would be a  50% on the Grownup consoles.
There is a reason i quit listening to there "OH its so BEAUTIFUL ..."
HD blood fest jizzing.
Dont care if it gets  a 25%, its Zelda, im buying it. I have 5 zelda games in my 3DS currently.

Anyone who places the Silent Realm segments in the "fetch quest" category doesn't understand the concept of them. On a basic level, yes, you're fetching stuff, but the way its structured is more based on fast-paced stealth. I'll just explain in more detail, since I've avoided doing that (I'm really nervous about spoiling gameplay/puzzle details.)

You start off in a circle, and once you step out of it, dudes start chasing you until you collect a tear (think Twilight Tears). When you collect a tear, you have 90 seconds when dudes don't chase you. You can collect fruit littered throughout the map that show off beacons for where the other tears are for 30 seconds. It's lenient enough with time that you usually can plan your movements, but it's tight enough that it's nerve-wracking.

Also, there are a few things that can set off the hordes (touch water, alert patrolling enemies).

There were a few really awesome moments in the fire area where I was being chased around the entire map. I was shitting my pants, but it was exhilarating. You only do these trials after you're already familiar with the map, and it generally limits the area of where you can go, too. I'm ecstatic there are only four of these, but there are really supreme moments of love/hate gameplay.


You love because its really cool and well done, and you hate it because it's nerve-wracking and challenging. I'd imagine this might be similar to the Temple of the Ocean King stuff, but its just way more well done. And because the pace is kept up so well, it doesn't drag like the Twilight Tear hunt in TP.

thedefalcosNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

Undoubtedly the 1up review of A for Uncharted 3 is justified though.

To me, a 10 is the goal that every game strives towards, but very few are worthy of receiving and it should be an event when it does.  I personally would probably only have ever awarded one to Chrono Trigger.  I'm not taking any specific issues with Neal's review and I'm not insinuating this is something he did, but I think in general our industry is way too eager to hand out 10s just because they want the acclaim or infamy of giving a certain game a perfect score.


This concerns me as well. I was really excited earlier today, seeing how many 10s SS was getting until I did a quick Google search for Twilight Princess and saw it got just as many. Honestly, I hated TP. I remember the reveal trailer back when it first came out and I thought the graphics were rough to say the least. It didn't keep me from buying it, but what I didn't enjoy about that game were the tacked-on motion controls (at the time people were saying how GREAT they were), the wolf segments (all of them), the big EMPTY world to (not) explore, the annoying Midna, and the linear gameplay. The only thing I liked about it were the dungeons.

I would have given it a 7 at best. And it got the SAME praise as S.S. is getting now? I am glad that you guys at NWR have thought about what a 10 for this game would mean in 5 years, if you would regret giving it or not, because it really shows you've thought this through. Plus, after actually reading through many of those reviews, my fears were somewhat calmed by WHAT they were actually praising:

1. The graphics. Unlike TP, which I feel like some people pretended they were better than they were because it was a realistic Zelda game, S.S. is truly impressive, even on a 15'' youtube 360p screen.

2. TRUE motion-controls. Now people know what Wii motion controls can do and more importantly, what they can't do, they are saying what we've all been thinking, that its full potential is finally being reached with this game.

3. A story that matters.

4. Worlds chalk-full of stuff to do.

I think this will go down in history as a true 10/10 game.  People who bash the Wii, will now have to put an asterisk next to their bashing to make room for Skyward Sword, because they know this is a great game not just regardless of the Wii, but BECAUSE of the Wii.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 12, 2011

I think the reason Twilight Princess got so many great reviews is because the game was indeed the best launch title for the Wii, and its motion controls were actually new and interesting. Save for Wii Sports (which came with the system anyway), what other game at launch was this full and interesting? Red Steel was a disappointment for many, and the rest of the launch titles were PS2 titles with tacked on waggle. So Twilight Princess came as an impressive game that did its stuff really well. It wasn't until the hype of the Wii died off that people finally saw the game for what it was, and thus gained the reputation of being the most disappointing in the series.

With Skyward Sword, the game seemingly came with little to no expectations. We knew that Wii Sports Resort was a testing ground for some of the ideas seen in Skyward Sword. We knew that the graphics would be a mix of TP's realism and Wind Waker's colors and artistic interpretation. We knew that it looked like it wouldn't be extremely groundbreaking. So when we stripped ourselves out of those notions, we see the game as being this groundbreaking, great title, and thus it stands out better as "Game of the year" material than Twilight Princess did.

In other words, Skyward Sword came at a time where players felt disenchanted by the franchise, and they fell in love with it once it delivered.

Oh and regarding that second screenshot... Nintendo's Facebook page used the same picture. OH NOES SPOILERS LOLOLOL!

Luigi DudeNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: NWR_pap64

I think the reason Twilight Princess got so many great reviews is because the game was indeed the best launch title for the Wii, and its motion controls were actually new and interesting. Save for Wii Sports (which came with the system anyway), what other game at launch was this full and interesting? Red Steel was a disappointment for many, and the rest of the launch titles were PS2 titles with tacked on waggle. So Twilight Princess came as an impressive game that did its stuff really well. It wasn't until the hype of the Wii died off that people finally saw the game for what it was, and thus gained the reputation of being the most disappointing in the series.

Twilight Princess got great reviews because it is a great game and is still regarded as a great game by most people.  Nobody changed their opinion on it, the vocal minority who b!tched about it just wouldn't stop b!tching about it, while people who actually enjoyed the game didn't care to keep arguing the same thing for year after year and eventually just stop trying to argue anymore.

Because if this, it gives the impression that more people hate the game now than actually do because the people who don't like it will post a million times why they hate it and never stop, while most of the people who liked it will usually only post a few times on why they liked about it and leave it at that.

There are definitely people who have changed their opinion about Twilight Princess.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

There are definitely people who have changed their opinion about Twilight Princess.

This. Much like Wind Waker seemed to be hated at first, then gained a lot of love, Twilight Princess got pretty bad after release. Don't get me wrong, I loved the game, and I still do, but its problem once you look beyond its innovations is that it does feel like OoT version 2.0 and the story didn't work as expected.

SixthAngelNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

To carry on the school metaphor, if you got a 100% on an essay, does that mean there's no way it could have possibly been any better?

I had very strict teachers on grading back in high school and college, so yes that's exactly what that meant when I was in school.  Taking into account the relative knowledge and skill expected of students my age, of course.

As I said, that's just my personal philosophy when it comes to game reviews and game scores, if you're going to have scores at all.  I can understand that it's not one that other people may share.

Reviews are not like grades in school.  End of story.

There isn't anything "perfect" outside of school tests where only one answer is correct.  The analogy just doesn't work.

It is also why I despise sites that use a 100 point scale because it encourages the reviews to be compared to school grades.  I prefer a 5 point scale but a 10 point like at NWR is okay.  The less points the more people see it as a review and not a grade.

I personally think 10s should be given out more often.  It isn't some unobtainable perfect score, it means that this game is excellent and shouldn't be missed.  A ten tells you that this game is really something special and may even break new ground.  Don't feel bad for giving out a couple of tens and certainly don't look back years later and question the score.  Reviews are very much related to the time they came out due to subsequent games building on it, increases in technology and rising/changing standards.

I have now read the NWR review.  Back to my self imposed exile until the game is in my hands.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusNovember 12, 2011

10's are valuable, from their rarity and what it implies. I find 10's are given out all too readily. Hell, 9's and 8's get given out too easily especially for games that have broken/unenjoyable gameplay if they were ever examined closely enough. *Cough*Oblivion*Cough*Fallout 3*Cough*Geist*Cough*Dead island*Cough*. I really should get that cough looked at.

All those games have clearly defined open wounds and some are missing limbs in game design. Those flaws alone should have automatically disqualified them from 10's. Let alone the games where only half the gameplay works as intended. Lets not even get into paid for reviews seen elsewhere jacking up scores.

Score inflation is not the answer to better games, nor is it a tool to message that you like this game and you should buy it too. Score inflation like money, devalues it in the long run. Don't do it.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 12, 2011

Quote from: Luigi

Quote from: NWR_pap64

I think the reason Twilight Princess got so many great reviews is because the game was indeed the best launch title for the Wii, and its motion controls were actually new and interesting. Save for Wii Sports (which came with the system anyway), what other game at launch was this full and interesting? Red Steel was a disappointment for many, and the rest of the launch titles were PS2 titles with tacked on waggle. So Twilight Princess came as an impressive game that did its stuff really well. It wasn't until the hype of the Wii died off that people finally saw the game for what it was, and thus gained the reputation of being the most disappointing in the series.

Twilight Princess got great reviews because it is a great game and is still regarded as a great game by most people.  Nobody changed their opinion on it, the vocal minority who b!tched about it just wouldn't stop b!tching about it, while people who actually enjoyed the game didn't care to keep arguing the same thing for year after year and eventually just stop trying to argue anymore.

Because if this, it gives the impression that more people hate the game now than actually do because the people who don't like it will post a million times why they hate it and never stop, while most of the people who liked it will usually only post a few times on why they liked about it and leave it at that.

I agree 100%, I went back and replayed it, I forgot how wonderful the game is. It is a great Zelda game, and my favorite of the 3D Zelda's followed closely by Wind Waker and OOT. Also people's opinion of wind waker changed when they actually played it instead of judging the visuals.

broodwarsNovember 12, 2011

I've tried a couple of times to go back and replay Twilight Princess, but I just can't muster the interest to advance beyond the opening 3 dungeons.  That part of the game is just so absurdly uninteresting due to poor pacing outside the dungeons, especially those first few hours around the Forest Temple.  Plus, Twilight Princes has IMO some of the worst and most boring dungeons in the series, with notable exceptions like the Desert Temple and a surprisingly-clever Water Temple.  I think I've come to sour on that extremely yellow and brown color scheme over the years, too.  To each their own, but I prefer Majora's Mask or Wind Waker.

CericNovember 12, 2011

TP I enjoyed till the threat was effectively eliminated.  I have a feeling if the Overworld was better then I probably would have been better with the whole game.

MagicCow64November 12, 2011

I will join the pushback against Twilight Princess hate. It's a bit muddy aesthetically, and did feel like the ghost of OoT was haunting it too much, but it's a top-notch game nonetheless. I would compare it to Mario Sunshine: widely disparaged, and yet still the best example of its genre in the generation it was released.

I remember IGN Wii shaking their heads in disbelief when Okami won game of the year. They said something like "how did a shameless Zelda clone win GOTY when there was a Zelda game out the same year that was better on the merits?"

And did people forget how good the fishing hole was?!

GoldenPhoenixNovember 12, 2011

Funny thing is that Wind Waker is probably the least polished among the Zelda games, the dungeons were average IMO (I still cannot really remember much about them, except they were bland), and there were only a few. The bosses were fine but like the dungeons there were hardly any, they were vastly more interesting in Majora which did a good job with limited dungeons, likely because it was designed around time restraints. Wind Waker felt unfinished, and the triforce quest is easily the worse padding the Zelda series has ever had and if anything felt thrown in to extend length, it was the triforce scavenger hunt, which was far worse in the Japanese release. People bash TP's overworld but I enjoyed more then the one in Wind Waker, which is quite sparse and uninteresting.


I think Wind Waker the game survives more based on its artistic merits, story, and its battle system. Twilight Princess was an extremely polished game, and I enjoyed most of the dungeons, the story was fine, had some great boss battles along with being the first Zelda game that felt like a true sequel. To see many of the same sights found in OOT, but ravaged by time and war was fantastic.


Did TP have flaws? Of course it did, but Wind Waker had a ton of them as well, right down to being a rushed product. But both games have many redeemable qualities as well. Is TP similar to OOT? Yeah it is but that doesn't mean it is bad, it does plenty to distinguish itself, and I find the similarity in the worlds to be apart of its charm, as a sequel of sorts to the events of OOT. Now if there was another game in the series that felt similar to TP and OOT in regards to setting, I would be far harsher, but as it stands, I find TP to be a great follow up, and homage to OOT. So basically I love Twilight Princess but do not want to see another game similar to it!


Picking my favorite 3D Zelda is still a very hard task, only Majora's Mask and the handheld 3D games did I not enjoy much. With Majora though I admit is a great game but just isn't for me. Now with Skyward I am glad to see nintendo shaking things up, and seemingly implementing great motion controls that actually show why motion controls can be a positive feature for gaming. The game's release can't come quick enough!

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

There are definitely people who have changed their opinion about Twilight Princess.

I am one of those. I really loved the game when I played, but like broodwars, I can't get past the first few dungeons. It's just so awfully paced.

I think the three-day opening is one of my least favorite things in any Nintendo game ever. It's almost inexcusable. At least with the Wind Waker Triforce quest, you can go off and do side missions during it to spice it up.

The Forest Temple is also stupidly long. Maybe that dungeon is the same length as ones in other games, but it just feels sooooo sloooowww. My last playthrough managed to get me on the cusp on the second dungeon, but I just have no will to continue.

I might try to pick it up again, as I remember really liking the Water Temple, but after lots of thought, mostly brought on by Skyward Sword, I think TP is by far my least favorite 3D Zelda.

That actually seems to be a trend. I stopped playing Ocarina at the Forest Temple too. It's worse with Twilight Princess though since it's right up front and the whole beginning drags.


Timely.

DasmosNovember 13, 2011

Can I offer a suggestion? I love the addition of the video review, but maybe you could add some different content to what's already in the written review? Unfortunately I read the review first and all I could think was having the video review act as just a readout of the written one with gameplay video seemed a little redundant, doesn't it? Maybe having the VR act as a game overview with a shorter version of the review, so you could leave the WR as a more indepth look at things that were noted in the VR?

Quote from: MegaByte

That actually seems to be a trend. I stopped playing Ocarina at the Forest Temple too. It's worse with Twilight Princess though since it's right up front and the whole beginning drags.

Timely.

Not saying it reminds me of a certain lowball score I gave a certain high-profile franchise game, but...okay, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Ian SaneNovember 14, 2011

I find that with Zelda games it can very hard to determine how good the game is from reviews.  Zelda is kind of "sacred" with gamers.  OoT can so many perfect 10's it was like a stunt.  It was the "best game ever" and your magazine or website would lose credibility if it didn't have the same opinion.  People say there is no such thing as bad publicity but that's not quite true.  Being contrary can hurt one's credibility.  If you don't like Zelda, that's like a film critic not liking The Godfather or a music critic not liking the Beatles.  It is such a contrary point of view that everyone thinks you're either nuts, have horrible taste, or are being contrary on purpose.

As a result I feel that Zelda gets a lot of benefit of the doubt from reviewers.  Zelda is supposed to great.  The expectation is so ingrained that for a Zelda to not be great would be like a hit to our very belief system as gamers.  Zelda being lousy or even just okay is videogame blasphemy.  So reviewers are going to be looking to give it a high score because, deep down, they're fans and they want Zelda to kick ass as well.

Mario gets this a lot, too (the real Mario; not spinoffs).  So does Blizzard.  Phantom Hourglass has an 88.91% average on GameRankings.  That game with it's wonky controls and annoying Temple of the Ocean King would have gotten ripped apart if it was not a Zelda game.  But it got great reviews (though not as great as Zelda often gets).

The "bad" review of Skyward Sword at least gives the impression that the reviewer did not allow "OMG IT'S ZELDA!!" to cloud their judgement.  Of course they could also be contrarian just because.

I'll know what this is like when I play it because I love the Zelda series enough to give it a chance.  But I gave Phantom Hourglass a chance, hated it, and did not play Spirit Tracks as a result.  If this an annoying wagglefest, I'm not buying any other Zelda with the same type of controls.

Ax23000November 15, 2011

A lot of people have been bringing up Twilight Princess, but I think there's one VERY distinct difference between that game and Skyward Sword.  Twilight Princess was a highly anticipated launch game for a highly anticipated console.  Skyward Sword is the swan song for a console that most people think died a year ago with controls that have had everyone skeptical from day one.

Twilight Princess received lots of favorable previews, where on the other hand, until the last month or so, Skyward Sword had been all but dismissed.  Even a lot of Nintendo sites have seemed down on the game.  Pretty much from the second that disastrous E3 conference took place people have been harping on the game.

My point here is that I believe that the scores for Skyward Sword have been, on the whole, less influenced by hype, because when you get down to it...there has been little hype for Skyward Sword for much of its life.  Yes, it's Zelda and that alone creates a stir, but the levels are still far lower than what I remember of Twilight Princess.  Now, certainly, this lack of hype could be having the opposite effect on some where low expectations lead to greater enjoyment of the game.  But I still believe that the high scores for this game are impressive considering the state of people's thoughts both on the franchise (with complaints of franchise fatigue at an all-time high) and also on the Wii itself

Luigi DudeNovember 15, 2011

Quote from: Ian

Mario gets this a lot, too (the real Mario; not spinoffs).  So does Blizzard.  Phantom Hourglass has an 88.91% average on GameRankings.  That game with it's wonky controls and annoying Temple of the Ocean King would have gotten ripped apart if it was not a Zelda game.  But it got great reviews (though not as great as Zelda often gets).

Only Phantom Hourglass didn't have wonky controls and the Temple of the Ocean King wasn't annoying to everyone.  Phantom Hourglass got the reviews that were quite accurate to how most people felt.  Some people found the game to be a new and unique take on Zelda and loved it, which resulted in high reviews.  Others didn't which resulted in more negative reviews.

Quote:

The "bad" review of Skyward Sword at least gives the impression that the reviewer did not allow "OMG IT'S ZELDA!!" to cloud their judgement.  Of course they could also be contrarian just because.


Considering most of the negative reviews are docking it points because it's not on an HD system or doesn't have an huge open world like Skyrim, I wouldn't consider the bad reviews any more acurate than the some of the OMG greatest game ever reviews.

ShayminNovember 16, 2011

So Nintendo's really putting the marketing budget to work for Skyward Sword. Famitsu 40.

To quote myself from the staff email thread: "Oh boy, that means it's as good as Nintendogs!"

Chad SexingtonNovember 17, 2011


So I've decided to buy Skyward Sword and I realized I don't have a Motion Plus.


1) Does the normal copy of Skyward Sword come with a Motion Plus?
2) Does the Skyward Sword bundle come with a Motion Plus, or just the Gold Controller?


I'm guessing the normal one doesn't because it's listed at $49... and the bundle seems a little too reasonable with a controller + motion plus... so I have to buy the game and a motion plus separately to play the game?


Thanks.

The Gold Wii Remote is a Wii Remote+, which has Motion+ built into it.

Chad SexingtonNovember 17, 2011

Ok, so that's a better deal then?


I don't really care too much for the gold controller.  It'll be nice, but I just want whatever's cheaper.


I think motion pluses are like $25 on Amazon.




edit: whoa, nm.  I need to shop around a little I think.  I think they slashed the price down to $16.

Chad SexingtonNovember 17, 2011

Ordered.


I decided to go with the Gold Bundle from Gamestop for $70.


The shipping costs were actually more for the 2 products from Amazon than the bundle alone from Gamestop.  It kind of evened out.  Anyway, I kind of like having it be one piece instead of an add-on.

LithiumNovember 17, 2011

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

There are definitely people who have changed their opinion about Twilight Princess.

I think the three-day opening is one of my least favorite things in any Nintendo game ever. It's almost inexcusable. At least with the Wind Waker Triforce quest, you can go off and do side missions during it to spice it up.quote]

Agreed. The opening is probably the sole reason why i will never replay twilight princess.

CericNovember 17, 2011

Quote from: Lithium

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

There are definitely people who have changed their opinion about Twilight Princess.

I think the three-day opening is one of my least favorite things in any Nintendo game ever. It's almost inexcusable. At least with the Wind Waker Triforce quest, you can go off and do side missions during it to spice it up.quote]

Agreed. The opening is probably the sole reason why i will never replay twilight princess.

I can live with the 3 day opening.  To me it wasn't its fatal flaw.  Its halfway through the game and the story drops out from under it, where I felt pretty driven to go forward before I know instead feel like whats the point?  Also how the world was laid out.  I found the fishing when I was literally at the end of the game.

hydropieDecember 09, 2011

There is absolutely no way this game could be as good as 10 out of 10. In fact, I've heard from many people that the game was terrible. No overworld, too easy, bad story, way too much dialogue, snorefest puzzles, game breaking glitches, as well as constant rehashes of the terrible collection quests that every single 3d zelda has been plagued with!. How could nwr editors be foolish enough to give this game a 10!?

TJ SpykeDecember 09, 2011

Have you played the game? If not, then you can't say the game doesn't deserve a 10/10. To quickly address your complaints (others can tear your post apart more):

1)There is only 1 glitch that could be considered game breaking. Ideally there would be 0, but this one is more than easy to avoid.
2)Almost every mainstream outlet is giving it high praise (there is a reason it has a 93 average on Metacritic). It does have a overworld, reports I have seen say it's harder than previous Zelda games, etc.

I really hope your post was satire.

GrabMyBoomstickDecember 15, 2011

Finally picked up Skyward Sword yesterday. Having a blast thus far. Only a few hours in but what I've experienced thus far is absolutely phenomenal.  :D

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Nintendo

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