Man, what a wonderful, frustrating, repetitive, annoying, yet magical experience.
I am really torn about this game. First of all, I was drawn to keep coming back to the game to play it (which is something a game hasn't done in awhile for me). Most of the endgame stuff was amazing and wonderful. I also thought the dungeon designs (especially the last one) after the first volcano temple were great, and some of the best the 3D Zelda's have to offer. I really enjoyed the look of the game and enjoyed the story and how it pays tribute to the games before it.
But man, some of the design choices in the game drove me crazy. First of all, I am still not sure why Nintendo keeps treating the Zelda audience like a bunch of 5-year olds. I can remember how many rupies a red one is worth--I don't need to be reminded of it each time I get one in a chest. Also, they have this mini-game collect-o-thon that was sort of fun (the bugs-not sure why but I liked flailing that bug net around) but the fact the game always had to tell me what bug I just collected and then switch over to my submenu to show me that I collected a new bug really annoyed me and made me not want to get new bugs. Also, yes, the game starts out really, really slow. It was probably at least 5-7 hours into the game where I felt like I was having some fun and was only after the fist Volcano temple that I started to enjoy the game. Also, man, those silent realms were TERRIBLE!!! I hated the first one, and the next 3 were not any better. Once again, I think the experience wouldn't have been so annoying if I didn't have to see an animation every time those spirit things were alerted to my presence or have to get through like 5 screens of text when I fail and try to restart that "mission". That was easily the least fun part of the game (that or getting those tad poles for the water dragon song).
I think that in level design, Nintendo is still tops. But in overall game design, it is really behind the times. The fact that I have to go though a bunch of non-skippable text boxes to buy something or upgrade something or get/store a item really made me not want to do any of those things. I felt like I was always waiting for the game to let me do what I wanted it to do. If they would let me skip through those text boxes.
The game is also just a bit too long. It would be one thing if the game was 30-40 hours because of all the dungeons you had to do, But really you had to do a whole bunch of boring stuff to get to the dungeons.
With those complaints, I kept coming back to the game. And after I beat it--I kept thinking how awesome the game was. I think for all it's faults, it has such great highs that I can't help but think fondly for it. I sort of enjoyed the combat, but I'd rather use a normal controller for the next Zelda. I did appreciate how there were save spots everywhere and even multiple save spots in dungeons. While I usually finished a dungeon in one sitting, it made me feel better that I had a real options of stopping in the middle just in case something came up. While I thought Majora's Mask was ok, I had a hard time motivating myself to play the game at times cause I knew I had to sit down and devote 2-3 hours of solid play to find/get to the dungeon and then to beat the dungeon. Sometimes I'm tired and really don't feel like I have the energy and try to figure out an entire dungeon in one sitting. In skyward sword, not only are there multiple save points in a dungeon, the levels are designed so that you hardly ever have to do something that you've done before-thanks to the great Nintendo level design. Also, as a long time Zelda fan--I really appreciated how they tried to establish a real world and fiction. I was fun seeing how they were trying to tie all the Zelda games together.
Finally, some random thought's I've tweeted in the past while playing:
-So Ganon is like Dracula? He just sort of comes back every few generations to cause havoc?
-Also, it says at the end of the game, that Demise's spirit is sort of trapped in the Master Sword. Does this mean it's like the one ring? Does it need to be destroyed to rid the world of Demise forever?
-Kind of bugged me that in the first 3 temples, even though Zelda visited them first, it was like I was the only dude ever to enter the temple. How come she, or anyone else for that matter, never picked up the items or keys scattered throughout a dungeon? And how did she get past the dungeon anyway? All the doors were locked, and there were monsters everywhere-not to mention a HUGE boss and the end them.
-I never got how the game wanted me to do that tightrope part. No idea. Just sort of struggled through them.