Giant Bomb Review

470 Comments

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

4
  • Wii

For mostly better and only a little bit worse, Skyward Sword is the best Zelda game in years, and makes a strong case for motion controls when done right.

An early boss brutally teaches you to avoid telegraphing attacks.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is Nintendo’s closing argument on motion controls with Wii, especially as it relates to traditional games. It seems fitting that saving the world alongside Link will, for many of us, act as the first and last time we spend dozens of hours with a game inside our Wiis.

And boy, how far we’ve come. It takes only minutes with Twilight Princess again to understand how tacked on those motion mechanics were, and Skyward Sword’s evolutionary leaps only compound the idea that we should have played Link’s last adventure with a GameCube controller in both hands. How you come into Skyward Sword partially depends on how you took to Link the last time. Top to bottom, I found Twilight Princess painfully boring, which is, perhaps, a fate worse than bad. My reaction was fueled by a combined indifference to the game’s uninspiring world, characters, and gadgets, and the tepid, half-hearted implementation of motion to make the mechanics more physical.

Especially as it relates to the last point, Skyward Sword could not be more different. It’s not just the added fidelity from Motion Plus that makes the difference, it’s that your physical actions are truly meaningful when it comes to engaging in just about every combat scenario in Skyward Sword. The very first enemies in the game will beat your ass to the ground if you’re not reading their moves, and Skyward Sword quickly teaches players that “waggle” will not work here--period. To be successful in combat, reacting to the placement of each enemy’s hands is of utmost importance, and while one becomes extremely adept at taking out the early combatants after a few hours, from start to finish, Skyward Sword asks much of your wrist. When the credits rolled, my hand ached, and it felt great.

Combat never becomes difficult, but remains challenging, as you’re constantly tasked with reacting to enemy actions (i.e. placing their sword to the left) with your own (i.e. slashing your sword to the right). Early on, the enemies are very blatant about showing weaknesses. That's less true later, forcing you to spend several failed encounters sussing out various “tells." In one case, a lizard appears to be hiding its weak arm on the left, when in reality you must swing around from the right--a sleight of hand. Furthermore, for him to even show off that weak point, you must swing away a few times and force him into a defensive posture. The most satisfying encounters are when enemies swap tells over and over, asking players to be extraordinarily quick with a response, and this becomes more demanding over time. The game is always reading your sword in relation to the enemy, and if you telegraph an attack, enemies will smack back.

Get to know your sword well, as it's basically a living companion.

Link’s sword is front and center here, with only a few of the gadgets playing into combat. Mastery of the sword is of utmost importance. It’s strange to spend so much time talking on and on about combat in a Zelda game, but it’s no longer about smashing on the attack button anymore. Quite literally, you are part of combat, and motion controls, done well, provides a satisfaction that wouldn’t be possible any other way. This is the finest example yet.

One facet of modern games Nintendo’s dodged is overcomplicated design, focusing on a simplicity that appeals to a larger audience. The Zelda series has always been described as an “action RPG,” but in light of what the RPG has become with games of immense depth like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Zelda has become more RPG lite. And that’s fine! Nintendo can contently stay in its corner, while Bethesda tackles another. But Skyward Sword takes steps to address the gap and falls short. The game includes a forgettable element of potion-crafting and item-upgrading, a case of good ideas that don’t go far enough. Providing such a tiny amount of customization that’s also built upon the same grinding mechanics of other crafting systems (prepare to catch lots of bugs, and read descriptions of what those bugs are every single time!) meant I only ended up upgrading when I just happened to have the right materials, and never bothered the rest of the game. It doesn’t help that Skyward Sword’s isn’t particularly tough, which isn’t outright a bad thing, but in the context of creating upgrade desire, not dying more than once or twice didn’t create much motivation.

Some depth would have gone a long way here, especially if players could have any customization of Link's sword, the weapon he spends the most time with in the game. The sword's path is all story-driven, and that makes it difficult to forge a unique identity through upgrades. It ends up feeling like you’re working way harder for upgrades that would have been found naturally in a dungeon in any other Zelda game.

It’s hard to overlook other areas where Skyward Sword doesn’t play catch up, too. It’s unacceptable now that Link doesn’t have access to any catch-all quest log. Sure, the replacement for Navi, the robotic Fi, will provide you hints on where to go next, but that only relates to the primary goal, and she does not keep a database of side quests stumbled upon while exploring Skyloft. Characters have conversation icons above their heads if they have anything to say, but it’s contingent upon you to either resolve a side quest when you encounter it, or make a note of and come back. Mostly, I just never came back.

There’s plenty to keep you busy, however. Even if you don’t touch anything but the main storyline, Skyward Sword will take you well over 30 hours to complete, and if you want to see everything, that number could easily double. It’s a packed journey, and while it’s one that plays with some of the same tropes the series has become known for--Link, Zelda, evil, Triforce, forest, desert, volcano--the world of Skyloft, situated in the clouds, feels genuinely refreshing. What’s old feels mostly new again, thanks largely to some truly devious, changing dungeon design. None of the dungeons are particularly long, there’s not a single “bad” one, and the more active combat provides a welcomed contrast to puzzle barrage.

When in doubt, take a deep breath and look around for clues.

An early puzzle asks you to recreate a specific motion that wouldn’t be possible without Motion Plus, and it took me over 20 minutes to come up with the solution, purely because I’d never encountered something like it before. You’re constantly doing new everything here, and it’s the moments when the designers most daringly break from the past (ironic, given the game’s “birth of a legend” branding) that Skyward Sword makes the game worth playing, even if you’ve grown tired of Zelda at this point. My favorite dungeons involved playing with time, where Link will move from room to room, switching between the past and the present to solve puzzles and avoid enemies. Creatures spawn in and out of reality in real-time, so rather than having to fight them, you can move time objects out of their vicinity--and poof! You’re forced to think about the environment in entirely new ways, and ways that often don’t feel very Zelda-like.

And that’s one of the weird things about playing a Zelda game, as it’s impossible to play a Zelda game without acknowledging it exists in a large vacuum of other Zelda games. It’s not unlike what has happened to Call of Duty, in which many devoted players are simply looking for more Call of Duty, rather than a complete reinvention. Coming to terms with the latest game becomes a nostalgic balancing act of understanding the latest game in relation to itself, where it's come from and everything surrounding it.

Skyward Sword doesn’t do itself any favors in taking its sweet time getting started, and longer before introducing you to some of its most creative highlights. Designer Shigeru Miyamoto once said “the first 30 minutes of a game is the most important,” and Skyward Sword fails to pass that test. It takes several hours before you’re given any sense of real freedom, which is too bad, as the game manages to merge the sublime openness of the sea from Wind Waker (without the Triforce madness!) with the directed fun of most other games, as it's easy to just keep moving forward without much fuss. And by the time you start seeing what the designers really have in store for you (wait until you get to the pirate section, where your boat is able to...well, you’ll see), you actually don’t want it to stop, even if you’re able to constantly, cynically predict when the game will ask you to find just One More Thing before it's all over.

Good luck skydiving, one of the game's most frustrating bits.

Perhaps the most surprising disappointment is how little control players have over the game’s central instrument, a harp. If you’re going to call back to one of Ocarina of Time’s most memorable features within a game that makes such exquisite use of the new options afforded by Motion Plus, you’d think the designers would come prepared with something altogether unique. That’s not the case. Though Link learns several songs for the harp over the course of the game, you have no choice over which one to play, and playing anything involves haphazardly waving the Wii remote back and forth.

Even in Skyward Sword’s lowest of lows (don’t get me started on a late sequence involving swimming underwater and collecting musical notes for 30 minutes), the game benefits from the prettiest art direction since Wind Waker. The game seamlessly transitions between various degrees of an impressionistic painting, based on where objects are in the foreground and background. And while I detest the meme “it’s good for a Wii game,” at the point where we’re beginning to gripe about the limitations of our high-definition consoles, it’s a testament to the art direction that I immediately forgot the hardware's aging technology after a few minutes of play. Skyloft is an extraordinarily pretty place to explore.

Skyward Sword is simultaneously a very good Zelda game and a rather great adventure game. It has some of the most inventive dungeons the series has ever known, sports the most impactful changes to the combat since Z-targeting, introduces wrinkles to the Zelda mythology that will force fans to rethink the entire series, and will have you gawking at it constantly, 480p 'n all. But the series finds itself facing an identity crisis, as it flirts with expanding what has defined the series without abandoning its charming but waning simplicity. Zelda doesn’t need to become something else to maintain relevance, but at a certain point, when “a brand-new great Zelda game” isn’t enough, there’s reason to pause.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
470 Comments
Posted by StevieQ

Just want to say that there's a few gems in these comments. The review is hardly surprising. I think it's pretty obvious that GiantBomb exists in a different mindset than the rest of the industry (which is great, it's why I'm here). I don't mind the comparisons to Skyrim. To me, that says Patrick judged based on how good it was as a game, not as a Wii game, which is exactly the way to do it. To the average gamer, Skyward Sword is a 4 star game. To a "ZOMGNINTENDOZ" Wii fan, it's a 5 star game. That's how I see it.

Posted by Max_Hydrogen

I don't think: "It's good for a Wii Game" is a meme and memes can be anything, not just negative copied behavior.

A right-handed Link is still blasphemous but I hope "Wind Waker in the sky" will be as good as Patrick says.

Posted by tourgen

sounds like to me this is a 3/5 game that got 4/5 because it's Zelda... But maybe not, I haven't tried the new combat system yet for myself.

Edited by Tan

@StevieQ said:

Just want to say that there's a few gems in these comments. The review is hardly surprising. I think it's pretty obvious that GiantBomb exists in a different mindset than the rest of the industry (which is great, it's why I'm here). I don't mind the comparisons to Skyrim. To me, that says Patrick judged based on how good it was as a game, not as a Wii game, which is exactly the way to do it. To the average gamer, Skyward Sword is a 4 star game. To a "ZOMGNINTENDOZ" Wii fan, it's a 5 star game. That's how I see it.

This is exactly how I see it too.

And guys, 4 stars is GOOD. Saints Row 3 was just given 4 stars and anyone been hearing how much Jeff and Ryan have been hyping that game? All the things Patrick's complaining about sound like legitimate complaints--and all things I predicted based on the videos they've been releasing.

Also someone needs to draw Patrick a picture, this is getting out of hand.

Posted by FCKSNAP

@Marokai said:

@Tiago said:

There goes the Metacritic score. I normally don't care but I wanted this game to be one of the highest rated this gen... 8/10 won't help. Crappy 5 star system.

Cry me a river about the identity crisis BS.

You are part of the problem.

Essentially, The One Percent everyone is marching on Wall Street about. Tiago is the one percent. You are it.

Posted by kyrieee

@RANTER said:

Giant Bomb, I officially don't get you and your rating system. Why? Since yesterday I have been playing Skyrim for quite some time now and although this game is quite great and deserves great scores, some sites mentioned it's huge bugs and they're right. You guys had to give it a 5/5 star score when just this morning I couldn't complete a quest because the game kept bugging me out of the next step?

Now, most sites don't mention any bugs whatsoever in Skyward Sword and you guys just happen to find reasons to lower its score to a 4/5 which is not bad but compared to the other 88 games you guys have rated with 5/5 rating, this just gotta be a joke. Flower 5/5? Kirby's Epic Yarn 5/5? NBA 2K12 even with its huge online failures? GTA: Chinatown Wars? Wow...

But hey, it's your opinion and everybody is entitled to their own but thanks to this I now know where NOT to look for a general reference in game-buying...PEACE!

You're looking for buying advice but apparently you still disagree with the review before you've played the game. Sounds to me like you're looking for validation, not purchasing advice. Do you only want to read stuff that agrees with your opinions?

Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish

Well played, PK, well played. 

Posted by Doctorchimp

@WhiteBrightKnight said:

@Contro: I looked up this tweet, and yeah..."Skyward Sword credits rolling means I can finally return to Skyrim tonight." It might be a typo/misused grammar but the way that it's written implies he had already played or was playing Skyrim while reviewing Skyward Sword. I have some issues with the review but overall I think it's fine. However, how can he be unbiased when playing/thinking about another game?

Isn't it kind of Zelda's fault then if another game completely ensnared him while he was playing it?

The review isn't to jerk you off and tell you how awesome Link is, it's purchasing advice. If Skyrim gets a 5 and Zelda gets a 4 on GiantBomb that means fans of Zelda or people who want to play Zelda are going to be happy.

Skyrim has universal appeal ergo his comparison (even though it wasn't in the review) is quite apt.

Posted by Doctorchimp

@BisonHero said:

I'm not going to say anything as crazy as "This game should get 5 stars" since I have no first-hand experience with the game, but while reading Patrick's review, the review text really seemed to read like a 5-star review.

It sounds like Patrick had fun throughout and liked that it basically re-invented Zelda combat, which is a pretty big deal given that Zelda combat has been almost unchanged since Ocarina of Time. Some of the best graphics on the system. His only criticisms seem to be some relatively small things that could've been improved, like a a deeper ugprade system and the addition of a sidequest log (which I fully agree with - Majora's Mask had a side quest log and that was 10 years ago). But those sound like minor missed opportunities, as opposed to anything that actively detracts from the experience.

I just get the sense that there were similarly minor complaints in Giant Bomb's recent 5-star reviews of Uncharted 3 and Arkham City, where one or two aspects could've strived to be more (e.g. Catwoman sections were pretty meh, Uncharted 3 didn't really fundamentally change anything in either the singleplayer or multiplayer aside from tossing back grenades, etc.), yet the core experience of the game still warranted a 5 star score. For me, Patrick's review read the same way as those reviews, but then ended up with 4 stars.

Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask are from the N64, Batman and Uncharted came out 2 years ago.

Which mechanics do you think need more updating?

Posted by D_train_lives

I'm sorry its to late at this point. nothing is going to make me pull my wii out of the closet... This game had everything going for it except... you have to play it on a wii count me out

Posted by iBear

I was fine with gerstmann's 8.8 fo real.

But patrick, it seems to me that you were looking for another epic RPG experience. I mean, you spent two paragraphs on the crafting system, which is way too much detail for such a little aspect of the game. And at the same time, you wrote a couple sentences about the story and atmosphere. Seems to me that you were directly comparing this to skyrim in a way, and no reviewer should ever do that. You're absolutely getting shit on right now, minus the GB nuthugging losers that bow at your guys feet, so I won't make it rain too hard.

You're a pretty quality writer, but I'm curious as to why GB gave you such a high profile review. The in-depth combat aspect is really the only thing I gained from this review. After that you cover the upgrade system for two fuckin paragraphs, and then argue with yourself about how zelda improved, but should it really have? I was too preoccupied with getting this review over with so I could go back to skyrim, so I didn't have time to complete the side-quests or check the extra content. It's probably good, who the fuck knows, check IGN if you wanna find that out.

Literally, this whole review could be summed up as...

It's a zelda game, eh, I'm gonna go back to playing skyrim now.

Overall too, it sounds like you're just flatout not a zelda fan. Why would GB send their inexperienced reviewer who dislikes zelda to review it, I don't know. Maybe you could switch places with navarro for a little bit untill you get more experience in specifically writing reviews. You can take over the XBLA releases and navarro can get back to kickin ass.

SIDE NOTE: remember when patrick putup that article commending that guy at eurogamer for giving uncharted an 8. Totally and completely related. Patrick admires the guy with stones, and he's comin out with his imitation pebbles aw yea.

Posted by Bacon

"Zelda doesn’t need to become something else to maintain relevance, but at a certain point, when “a brand-new great Zelda game” isn’t enough, there’s reason to pause."

lol I don't even know what the fuck this means.

Posted by HydraHam

the amount of bitter fanboys here is just outstanding.. it's a number it means nothing and even if it did 4/5 is not a bad score.

Posted by Sergeant_Stubby

im a huge zelda fan, and a 4/5 stars is fine with me, I can not understand why people are bitching about this score 4/5 is good. Be fucking happy the game was not a failure like MM... Nintendo still got it guys no need to worry, so please stop your little fan boy pissy fit... you are the type of people that make me ashamed of being a video game fan.

Posted by sodapop7

I'll wait to play it until I judge fully but I guess the score and the actual text don't really mesh for me. It seemed the biggest negative I saw was that Twilight Princess was boring? I dunno the last paragraph didn't make much sense I'm interested to hear next week's Bombcast hopefully he's on it.

Also I'm laughing at everyone who immediately posted on here how awesome Patrick is after seeing the score and probably stopping there.

Posted by g6065

Wonderfully balanced review Patrick.

Thank you.

Edited by Knives

"Top to bottom, I found Twilight Princess painfully boring, which is, perhaps, a fate worse than bad." So like, what am I to do as a reader after reading a comment like that? Answer: Stop reading. This review is not for me or you. There, now wasn't that simple? We can all stop commenting on the score now.

Posted by gorkamorkaorka

8.8

Posted by JoshB

oh snap!

Edited by haha_dead

Why did you guys give this to Klepek? He wasn't into it going in, and said so on the podcast. Shouldn't somebody enthusiastic about Zelda review Zelda? Also, how is a 'painfully boring' experience 4 stars?

Posted by Blaz3

I'm still unsure as to why a full star came off due to the lack of speech, occasionally repetitive side missions and the inclusion of a rather dramatic, but not genre changing system. This system sounds to be very well done, keeping Skyward Sword a Zelda game, but easing it into a new style of gameplay.

Taking skyrim for example, I've run into numerous ai bugs and glitches which hugely detract from the experience, the combat system is just as repetitive as it always was, enemies are more or less the same, texture pop-ins galore, tediously boring side quests which all end up feeling pointless at the end and a general feeling that this is really oblivion 1.5 with far superior graphics, a few ai improvements, bugfixes and a new story and off you go.

To take another stellar example, Uncharted 3, which is also a spectacular game, manages to retain a 5/5 stars, which the review is basically just praise to Uncharted 2 and basically just says that nothing much has changed apart from story and a few multiplayer enhancements.

If these 2 can score a 5/5, I fail to see how the minor gripes in Skyward Sword warrant a 4/5, I'm disappointed Patrick, rethink your review, it's bad.

Posted by dudeglove

Just so you know, Zelda games are never actually as good as you remember them to be.

Posted by haha_dead

@Pr1mus: My point is that maybe neither a rabid fanboy nor someone totally unmoved by Zelda - who hated the last one, even - should review it.

Posted by ShadowDoGG

Sorry but the only person who should have reserved this is Jeff. He gave 10/10 to Ocarina of time on Gamespot and that's what Skyward Sword should be compared too. Patrick who? Don't care if it was St. Patrick himself.

Posted by Giantstalker

Wind Waker sucks. Sound like I'll love this game though.

Posted by Phenwah

Sure are a lot of Skyward Sword opinions from people who've never played Skyward Sword in these comments.

Posted by me3639

I hate to say this but people who whine and cry over a review score are losers.

Posted by Phenwah
Posted by Actraiser

He didn't even mention the soundtrack? That's kind of a blunder on his part, honestly. What about the characters, the towns/villages, or just the story in general? Pretty damn lazy. And most of his actual criticisms aren't elaborated and/or end up being contradicted by his own logic anyways.

Probably the worst part of the review was his blatant Skyrim bias. Like complaining that you can't customize Link's sword? Complaining that the game takes several hours to open up? Hmm.. I wonder what inspired those complaints.

Posted by forsakenwicked

Great review. I was thinking of skipping this title but the review made me interested in the game again. Might pick it up sometime next year.

Edited by Mexican_Brownie

Good review, Patrick. I think you could have elaborated some more on some points but whatever. I really wish you would have talked about the music, medals, and the SPOILER though.

Hero Mode thing unlocked after beating the game
Posted by Gamer_152

I don't mind people disliking Patrick's review or disagreeing with him but some of the comments here are delusional and ridiculously hyperbolic. I thought the Giant Bomb community was free of this sort of nonsense but I guess not. Still, it's good to see that what is probably the majority of people are trying to be sensible about this. Good review Patrick.

Moderator
Edited by jamBOT

There is no reason to get pissed at Patrick for this review. If that's what he thought…what are you going to do, shoot the man for having an opinion? I'm buying this game no matter what he says. (Yahtzee doesn't like Zelda either, am I going to fly down to Australia and kick his ass? No, I'm going to get in line and buy Zelda)

A long 3 hours game opening….big whoop. That is nothing. I love RPG's, I eat that time for breakfast. I played Twilight Princess for 144 hours, on my 4th play through. I love Zelda and anything Zelda-esque. 4 out of 5 stars, or 8.0 out of 10 --- changes nothing. If you're a true Zelda fan, you just roll with the punches. Nothing to get mad about. Bid Patrick a good day and get started rescuing the Princess.

Edited by jasondesante

Dear Giantbomb:

Nintendo was the first to make a game series that evolved over to a new "generation" of consoles, so I would appreciate not reading a review that the writer thinks his opinions are more valid than the designers, and they are somehow, in his eyes, not delivering, on an evolutionary design concept they pioneered (simple ex. platforming [mario kirby etc], difficult ex. essence of adventure [zelda metroid etc])

I can't recommend this site to any kids that I teach music if I want to tell them where to learn about games and stop asking me about them, this review is a good example why. They won't be able to filter through Patrick to understand the actual meaning of the review. It will be misleading. I understand that was the point of Giantbomb, to have the personalities that you grow to learn, but in this case you simply can't have it. You can't if you want to have some sort of balance, and you can't if you want someone who's never read anything else to actually understand it.

It frustrates me those things aren't taken into consideration, but only because I actually like this site, and would like to recommend it to people that would benefit from having a more informed opinion, but how could they get started if you're writing reviews with the young uninformed gamer completely taken out of consideration. Those people can be easily influenced by someone's personal bias when they had no influence to begin with.

Is Giantbomb an elitist website only for people that already know it all? A site designed to be read by adults who can filter out the types of subtle things that could be easily taken the wrong way. Looking at the way this was compared to Skyrim, and then looking at the changes in gameplay from the previous zelda and elder scrolls, it is easy to see that Patrick has no idea what he is talking about when separating an editorial from a review of a game, which are normally about gameplay, because I'm pretty sure one game is still about pressing attack, and another game has umm...changed a bit..

Edited by jamBOT

Guys -- You cannot have a Zelda fan review a Zelda game. That's not possible. If you are a "fan" of something, that means you won't be objective in reviewing the material. And…let's be honest here, for Zelda fans, that rule applies twice.

I can tell you for a fact. That the Zelda franchise isn't just a "game" to me any more. When something has been apart of your life for so long, the characters become real (in a sense). They live in your head, they live in your heart. When I'm upset about shit that's going on in my life -- I turn on Zelda. Link is there to help me not have to worry about my own problems for a while. After 20 - 50 hours, I've usually come up with a solution to my problem. Link saves the fucking day again.

So, If I was to review a Zelda game, It would automatically get a 10 out of 10. For the simple fact of being a Zelda game. And there wouldn't be any argument about it because….shut up. I would have given Spirit Tracks 4 out of 5 stars, because I didn't love it, but it still Zelda so… that means it gets 4 stars. Yeah, that's being just a tad bit bias, in favor of Zelda, don't you think?. But that's not what a good reviewer is supposed to do. A good review has to stay frosty, write his honest opinion, even if we don't want to hear it.

Posted by awadnin

8.8 again

Posted by RoadCrewWorkerer

@me3639 said:

I hate to say this but people who whine and cry over a review score are losers.

Why would you hate to say such an obvious fact? 99% of humanity are in complete agreement with you.

Posted by Contro

@jasondesante said:

Dear Giantbomb:

Nintendo was the first to make a game series that evolved over to a new "generation" of consoles, so I would appreciate not reading a review that the writer thinks his opinions are more valid than the designers, and they are somehow, in his eyes, not delivering, on an evolutionary design concept they pioneered (simple ex. platforming [mario kirby etc], difficult ex. essence of adventure [zelda metroid etc])

I can't recommend this site to any kids that I teach music if I want to tell them where to learn about games and stop asking me about them, this review is a good example why. They won't be able to filter through Patrick to understand the actual meaning of the review. It will be misleading. I understand that was the point of Giantbomb, to have the personalities that you grow to learn, but in this case you simply can't have it. You can't if you want to have some sort of balance, and you can't if you want someone who's never read anything else to actually understand it.

It frustrates me those things aren't taken into consideration, but only because I actually like this site, and would like to recommend it to people that would benefit from having a more informed opinion, but how could they get started if you're writing reviews with the young uninformed gamer completely taken out of consideration. Those people can be easily influenced by someone's personal bias when they had no influence to begin with.

Is Giantbomb an elitist website only for people that already know it all? A site designed to be read by adults who can filter out the types of subtle things that could be easily taken the wrong way. Looking at the way this was compared to Skyrim, and then looking at the changes in gameplay from the previous zelda and elder scrolls, it is easy to see that Patrick has no idea what he is talking about when separating an editorial from a review of a game, which are normally about gameplay, because I'm pretty sure one game is still about pressing attack, and another game has umm...changed a bit..

Here, here. My mind was slow clapping this post. +1

Edited by KaneRobot

@jasondesante said:

Dear Giantbomb:

Nintendo was the first to make a game series that evolved over to a new "generation" of consoles, so I would appreciate not reading a review that the writer thinks his opinions are more valid than the designers,

...then what the hell are you reading reviews for in the first place?

"I can't recommend this site to any kids that I teach music if I want to tell them where to learn about games and stop asking me about them, this review is a good example why. They won't be able to filter through Patrick to understand the actual meaning of the review."

I don't know how long you've been coming here, but if you're just now realizing this and are any kind of long-term visitor I can't really do much to help you. This is clearly an enthusiast site and the people reading a review about a f'ing LEGEND OF ZELDA GAME are prrrrobably going to have at least a smidgen of experience with the past titles in the series and don't need to have their hand held while reading the review for the zillionth game in one of the most popular franchises of all time. More on "filtering through the reviewer" in a minute.

Is Giantbomb an elitist website only for people that already know it all?

That is kind of a prick way to put it, but in many ways yes, it is. You can like it, or you can stop reading it. Gaming easily has a large enough "hardcore" crowd to make a site like this more than worthwhile.

it is easy to see that Patrick has no idea what he is talking about when separating an editorial from a review of a game,

This isn't some stupid template IGN (for example) review where the name on the byline has no meaning. This site's reviews are meant to have a certain kind of voice depending on the reviewer is. If you're reading a Mortal Kombat review done by Jeff, you should KNOW by now he's a fan of the series so that should be taken into consideration. If Brad is reviewing a game helmed by Carmack, you should KNOW by now he's a huge fan of him and that should be taken into consideration. They do not apologize for this and they shouldn't - it's what separates GB from many of the other sites that post reviews. Who reviews the game actually matters. Novel concept, huh?

If you're looking for editorial voice to be omitted from a review on this site, you're asking a pencil sharpener to clean your toilet. You have no clue.

Then again, maybe you're just pissed it only got 4 stars instead of 5.

Posted by superfunhappygun

Console Zelda's haven't been great since Majora's Mask. Wind Waker was charming and fun to play but easy with rather weak dungeons and a tiring endgame, and Twilight Princess had fantastic dungeons and items but the wolf-bits in the opening bored me to tears and the world just wasn't that much fun to explore.

Don't know what to think of Skyward Sword yet, all I got from this review is that it has good motion controls and that it isn't Skyrim. That it instead is more Zelda which is a good thing but also not a good thing because it introduces some big changes but also not enough changes? Did I get that right? (How is this different from Skyrim compared to Oblivion anyway?)

I think I got to the point in the review where Patrick spent an entire paragraph complaining about the lack of quest log and how unacceptable that is, when I felt like he was really just clutching at straws. I'm not even a Nintendo-fan (don't own a Wii) or Zelda apologist because I agree the series has been going downhill and a 4/5 is what I would've given both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. I haven't played Skyward Sword yet either so I can't comment on that but some parts of the review feel very jarring and nitpicky, and I feel like the review just isn't up to Patrick's article quality.

Posted by lawlerballer

As soon as I saw 4/5 stars I knew the Ninty Fanboys would be a ragin' lol, really if you want your 5/5 go to places like IGN or any of the other mainstream review sites that easily overrate games just to please the fanboys.

Posted by marchismo

8.8

Posted by rcath

@tourgen: Nail on the head my friend. TP should not have gotten such a high score and this seems like it should have gotten at most 3 stars.

Posted by rcath

@Figyg: Spent 40 hours at least with that game. Boring.

Posted by awadnin

@jasondesante said:

Dear Giantbomb:

Nintendo was the first to make a game series that evolved over to a new "generation" of consoles, so I would appreciate not reading a review that the writer thinks his opinions are more valid than the designers, and they are somehow, in his eyes, not delivering, on an evolutionary design concept they pioneered (simple ex. platforming [mario kirby etc], difficult ex. essence of adventure [zelda metroid etc])

I can't recommend this site to any kids that I teach music if I want to tell them where to learn about games and stop asking me about them, this review is a good example why. They won't be able to filter through Patrick to understand the actual meaning of the review. It will be misleading. I understand that was the point of Giantbomb, to have the personalities that you grow to learn, but in this case you simply can't have it. You can't if you want to have some sort of balance, and you can't if you want someone who's never read anything else to actually understand it.

It frustrates me those things aren't taken into consideration, but only because I actually like this site, and would like to recommend it to people that would benefit from having a more informed opinion, but how could they get started if you're writing reviews with the young uninformed gamer completely taken out of consideration. Those people can be easily influenced by someone's personal bias when they had no influence to begin with.

Is Giantbomb an elitist website only for people that already know it all? A site designed to be read by adults who can filter out the types of subtle things that could be easily taken the wrong way. Looking at the way this was compared to Skyrim, and then looking at the changes in gameplay from the previous zelda and elder scrolls, it is easy to see that Patrick has no idea what he is talking about when separating an editorial from a review of a game, which are normally about gameplay, because I'm pretty sure one game is still about pressing attack, and another game has umm...changed a bit..

+ 1

Edited by GaspoweR

@iBear said:

I was fine with gerstmann's 8.8 fo real.

But patrick, it seems to me that you were looking for another epic RPG experience. I mean, you spent two paragraphs on the crafting system, which is way too much detail for such a little aspect of the game. And at the same time, you wrote a couple sentences about the story and atmosphere. Seems to me that you were directly comparing this to skyrim in a way, and no reviewer should ever do that. You're absolutely getting shit on right now, minus the GB nuthugging losers that bow at your guys feet, so I won't make it rain too hard.

You're a pretty quality writer, but I'm curious as to why GB gave you such a high profile review. The in-depth combat aspect is really the only thing I gained from this review. After that you cover the upgrade system for two fuckin paragraphs, and then argue with yourself about how zelda improved, but should it really have? I was too preoccupied with getting this review over with so I could go back to skyrim, so I didn't have time to complete the side-quests or check the extra content. It's probably good, who the fuck knows, check IGN if you wanna find that out.

Literally, this whole review could be summed up as...

It's a zelda game, eh, I'm gonna go back to playing skyrim now.

Overall too, it sounds like you're just flatout not a zelda fan. Why would GB send their inexperienced reviewer who dislikes zelda to review it, I don't know. Maybe you could switch places with navarro for a little bit untill you get more experience in specifically writing reviews. You can take over the XBLA releases and navarro can get back to kickin ass.

SIDE NOTE: remember when patrick putup that article commending that guy at eurogamer for giving uncharted an 8. Totally and completely related. Patrick admires the guy with stones, and he's comin out with his imitation pebbles aw yea.

Patrick was't commending the guy, he was just making an editorial about how review scores for certain games affect certain people (Uncharted 3 getting an 8 sent certain people over the edge). Additionally, Patrick never said he wasn't a fan of Zelda, but he did say he wasn't a fan of Twilight Princess. He said in the Bombcast that he loved Windwaker and wished that he was playing that after going through Twilight Princess, which was a sentiment he shared with Ryan Davis. Why would that make him a Zelda hater if he loved Windwaker?

He wasn't even comparing Skyrim and this game throughout the entire review. He was just making the comparison of what RPGs are these days and what genre Zelda belongs to. Lastly, it seemed that you were the one who was too focused on those two aforementioned paragraphs about the crafting system and being nit-picky about it than the reviewer was. He was just highlighting the fact it wasn't done very well it could have been left out of the game altogether. Just wanted to clarify that. It read like a good review to me.

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Posted by Benny

I fucking love these comments. You people don't get it AT ALL.

Posted by edsone

@Knives said:

"Top to bottom, I found Twilight Princess painfully boring, which is, perhaps, a fate worse than bad." So like, what am I to do as a reader after reading a comment like that? Answer: Stop reading. This review is not for me or you. There, now wasn't that simple? We can all stop commenting on the score now.

There you have it!

Posted by TheHBK

@Blaz3 said:

I'm still unsure as to why a full star came off due to the lack of speech, occasionally repetitive side missions and the inclusion of a rather dramatic, but not genre changing system. This system sounds to be very well done, keeping Skyward Sword a Zelda game, but easing it into a new style of gameplay.

Taking skyrim for example, I've run into numerous ai bugs and glitches which hugely detract from the experience, the combat system is just as repetitive as it always was, enemies are more or less the same, texture pop-ins galore, tediously boring side quests which all end up feeling pointless at the end and a general feeling that this is really oblivion 1.5 with far superior graphics, a few ai improvements, bugfixes and a new story and off you go.

To take another stellar example, Uncharted 3, which is also a spectacular game, manages to retain a 5/5 stars, which the review is basically just praise to Uncharted 2 and basically just says that nothing much has changed apart from story and a few multiplayer enhancements.

If these 2 can score a 5/5, I fail to see how the minor gripes in Skyward Sword warrant a 4/5, I'm disappointed Patrick, rethink your review, it's bad.

I don't know, you kinda convinced me that Skyrim and Uncharted may be deserving of 4 stars. But the thing is that you play the game, you add up all those things and you can give it a mathematical score. Or just play, step back and say, "this game felt like x number of stars." I mean, I have been playing Skyrim and Uncharted and they felt like 5. From what i read, while zelda may have the similar issues of just a few things wrong with it, the overall experience may not leave you feeling as great as those first two games do. Maybe you can form your own opinion when the game is out.

Edited by GaspoweR

Man...So much fan hatred coming through in these comments. Where the hell are the Skyrim comparisons that are APPARENTLY being mentioned in the review?

Oh yeah I also read that IGN review and it read like propaganda from the first paragraph. So many superlatives being used right out of the gate...it almost sounded like a "Metorid Prime is the Citizen Kane of video games" review more than anything...goodness.

I get it the game is great and I'm going to pick it up soon...but please Mr. George of IGN, you didn't have to convince Mr. Joe Gamer and his grand mother that IT IS A GREAT GAME by calling it the GREATEST GAME OF THIS GAME FRANCHISE ON THIS GAME SYSTEM EVER. That guy just went over-the-fucking-board with his review. Goodness gracious. He could have left that part out in the beginning and just stayed with the other parts of his review.

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