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
Edited by Contro

@Enigma777:

Not at all dude, as I say in my post I couldn't care less about the score, doing so would be completely nonsensical. This about review content, it's poorly composed structure and readability, and the wayward bad thinking behind some of his points. The reviewer makes ugh inducing monumental statements that seem intended to cause attention to this poor work, their well worthy of being taken to point about, especially in light of Tweet that suggests the severity his Skyrimming and attention span (!).

As I alluded to in my post, I couldn't care less about the score, but if you're going to review a game of this type, at least give it due attention, write a review which is easy to follow and break down by the readership. That includes kids also.

As others have said also, this review is poorly written. Get over some people having this opinion, why does it anger you so to see the work of staff criticised?, it sounds like your butt hurt. These comments sections are for passing opinion, on this site they seem like their used for massaging egos primarily.

Posted by Enigma777

@Contro said:

@Enigma777:

Not at all dude, as I say in my post I couldn't care less about the score, doing so would be completely nonsensical. This about review content, it's poorly composed structure and readability, and the wayward bad thinking behind some of his points. The reviewer makes ugh inducing monumental statements that seem intended to cause attention to this poor work, their well worthy of being taken to point about, especially in light of Tweet that suggests the severity his Skyrimming and attention span.

As I alluded to in my post, I couldn't care less about the score, but if you're going to review a game of this type at least give it due attention, write a review which is easy to follow and break down by the readership. That includes kids also.

As others have said also, this review is poorly written. Get over people having this opinion, why does it anger you so to see the work of staff criticised?, it sounds like your butt hurt. These comments sections are for passing opinion, on this site they seem like their used for massaging egos primarily.

You couldn't care less but you still wrote a multi-paragraph criticism and included multiple links and custom quotations? Yeah...

Also I'm not sure why you think I'm feeling angry over people disagreeing with Patrick. If anything it makes me laugh. The irony is just so delicious...

Online
Edited by insanejedi

There's some grammatical errors and just basic paragraph structuring that bothers me in the review. Two sentences could make a paragraph but you never see anyone like Jeff or Alex doing that.

And Patrick don't start a paragraph with a conjunction like "and" like in...

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.

Why isn't this just one paragraph? You could have just fused paragraph one and two together and not have this weird break in the middle where your starting your new paragraph with an "and."

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.

The use of a comma after "tepid" is also weird. So what your saying is "My reaction was fueled by a combined indifference to the game's uninspiring tepid." Remove the comma after the tepid, there's no need it being there.

Quite literally, you are part of combat, and motion controls, done well, provides a satisfaction that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Read this out loud. Weird again isn't it? Just remove the comma in the middle of "controls" and "done."

I'm not usually a grammar nazi and I'm far from perfect, but these grammar mistakes are literally stuff you learn to fix in grade school. It has no place being on a website with some of the top reviewers in the industry.

Posted by Contro

@Enigma777:

When you pick up development knowledge on a game and you understand the logic behind the decision making, why shouldn't I then argue those points across and use them in criticism?

Edited by sanzee

good read pat.

Edited by Contro

@insanejedi said:

There's some grammatical errors and just basic paragraph structuring that bothers me in the review. Two sentences could make a paragraph but you never see anyone like Jeff or Alex doing that.

And Patrick don't start a paragraph with a conjunction like "and" like in...

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.

Why isn't this just one paragraph? You could have just fused paragraph one and two together and not have this weird break in the middle where your starting your new paragraph with an "and."

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.

The use of a common after "tepid" is also weird. So what your saying is "My reaction was fueled by a combined indifference to the game's uninspiring tepid." Remove the comma after the tepid, there's no need it being there.

Quite literally, you are part of combat, and motion controls, done well, provides a satisfaction that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Read this out loud. Weird again isn't it? Just remove the comma in the middle of "controls" and "done."

I'm not usually a grammar nazi and I'm far from perfect, but these grammar mistakes are literally stuff you learn to fix in grade school. It has no place being on a website with some of the top reviewers in the industry.

I had to pass light comment on this also, but pointed out a more obvious error. It makes for a lack of flow and a jarring tone, and I will say no more on the matter.

On a lighter note, "you are part of the combat", is amusing, I'm not sure what he means, but it sounds like a tag-line Nintendo would use back in the 80's.

Edited by Tolshakk

@insanejedi said:

There's some grammatical errors and just basic paragraph structuring that bothers me in the review. Two sentences could make a paragraph but you never see anyone like Jeff or Alex doing that.

And Patrick don't start a paragraph with a conjunction like "and" like in...

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.

Why isn't this just one paragraph? You could have just fused paragraph one and two together and not have this weird break in the middle where your starting your new paragraph with an "and."

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.

The use of a common after "tepid" is also weird. So what your saying is "My reaction was fueled by a combined indifference to the game's uninspiring tepid." Remove the comma after the tepid, there's no need it being there.

Quite literally, you are part of combat, and motion controls, done well, provides a satisfaction that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

Read this out loud. Weird again isn't it? Just remove the comma in the middle of "controls" and "done."

I'm not usually a grammar nazi and I'm far from perfect, but these grammar mistakes are literally stuff you learn to fix in grade school. It has no place being on a website with some of the top reviewers in the industry.

Tepid and half-hearted are coordinate adjectives, so the comma is fine. You're suggesting that tepid is modifying 'half-hearted implementation', which would not make sense. Also, it's 'there're some grammatical errors' not "There's some grammatical errors...". Reading aloud isn't the silver bullet to grammatical inerrancy.

Posted by TheCerealKillz

I'll take the 95 on Metacritic, cause that has all the reviewers scores their. So that makes it the most knowledgeable.

Anyways, it's actually disheartening seeing all the Nintendo hate going on.... (Not from Patrick, but from the users). It's either "it's a 10" so your a fanboy, or you were paid.

And then one comment particularly interested me into signing in to the site again, and that was:

"It's over. Nintendo's finished"

Really bro? Nintendo's no where near done.

Posted by MelissaPeterson

I don't know what your getting at with Zelda being an RPG, because it has never been one. It has no elements of one either, whether it be Eastern or Western style. This game should be classified as more an Action-Adventure really. Please don't get this game confused with an RPG style game next time.

Posted by Mexican_Brownie

@braincraters said:

I was also amused that he dedicated so much time to the upgrade system, which is purely optional and fairly inconsequential, as the game's difficulty doesn't exactly require it. The "quest log" thing may well be a valid criicism, but still. It's not that I even disagree with these assessments, they just don't seem that integral to the game as a whole, and yet they somehow warrant three paragraphs! It's as if he couldn't adequately back up his opinion with any serious legitimate criticisms and so had to disproportionately inflate a minor criticism to match his opinion. What about the music, the characters, the story, the excellent inventory system that IGN claimed wast the best in any game they've ever seen? THAT'S what makes me mad. I'm sick of some of the comments acting as if the only people disagreeing with this review do so just looking at the score, or are just a bunch of stupid fanboys who think Zelda games are beyond criticism. That's blatantly false. This review is discombobulated, unclear, and spends an unfair amount of time critiqueing minor components of the game while ignoring comparable things like the inventory system. That makes for a suspect review in my book, Zelda or otherwise.

Great post. I couldn't articulate what I felt was off about the review but you did masterfully. I though the review was good for what it was, a well written review, but I did feel Patrick focused too much on stuff that, as you said, seems to not be integral to the experience. I mean I get how not having a quest log might be problem, but entirely skipping them because of it seems kinda weird. I would have loved to know about the quality of said sidequests.

I hope Patrick elaborates more on his review on next week's bombcast. I really like Patrick because he's a great writer and very knowledgeable about games in general, but i really do feel that while well written his review was bit misguided.

Posted by EnduranceFun

It was an interesting review and raised some valid points, but people are right to call out some of the weird structuring. Patrick's a good reviewer, sure, I just don't see why they didn't give this to a more experienced staff member... you'd think this would be considered quite an important game.

Posted by Gildermershina

I'm fine with a four for this game. The text seems mostly positive about the game, but it sounds like there's enough of a move away from certain Zelda tropes that doesn't sit as comfortably with the rest of the experience.

Posted by Monstermania

I think most of you are missing the point in regards to if its a correctly given score or not. I wouldn't be surprised if someone out there would of given the game 1/5 - people have different tastes.

The whole system is flawed and metacritic is in the center of it. You can't take a bunch of different opinions from people you don't even know and form a reasonable conclusion with just a 1-100 scale.

What everyone needs to do is find a couple of gaming sites - join the community and get to know the writers, their tastes and writing style and then come to your own conclusion of if the review is credible to you or not based on what you know about the reviewer.

That's why I continue to visit giant bomb these guys give us a huge view of their day to day - showing me what they are into and allowing me to relate a lot to the points and opinions even when they are buggering around.

I'm sure when Patrick was writing he didn't expect everyone to agree with him. So I don't see why so many of you are expecting him to create a biased review based on other people experiences with the game.

Thanks for keeping it real Patrick and get yo' self some review pictures I want to see some sweet-ass cartoon hair.

Edited by frythefly
Posted by MaxxS
Posted by Cusseta

@frythefly:

Modern Game Journalism: The Movie = Amazing

Posted by Sh4kezula

I read the review and think it's very unfair. I think someone before me mentioned how they focus on very minor things and critique them. While it is a good review and the reviewer brings up a few good points, some of the critique is very lame. What really set me off was how he claims the start is way too slow. I just think that isn't a valid point of critique to a Zelda game. I do like how he states that Zelda games are always making changes to the series which I think devs aren't doing enough of today.

Posted by jmrwacko

@dastly75 said:

Just get rid of the star rating system and give the review text only.

This review is actually really harsh. It isn't the review score that people so much are complaining about, but the fact that the reviewer criticizes the game for the very features that make it a Zelda game.

Posted by jmrwacko

@lawlerballer said:

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.

I'm no Nintendo fanboy, but this game has a 95 metacritic rating and universally positive reviews. The reviewer massively underrated this game, from what I can tell.

Posted by LukewarmGravity

Ah, people complaining about a score for a game that they haven't played... even when it's a good score.

The last few weeks have showed that there are some real idiots allowed to use the internet

Posted by RANTER

@Adus said:

@RANTER said:

@kyrieee said:

@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?

Not really...but putting flaws in balance what do you think will affect the player's experience most? An overworld which doesn't quite feel connected, a minigame which has no part of the main quest, or a game which overall has programming issues and doesn't even let you complete quest? I think is safe to say that Skyrim should have gotten a 4/5 also just because of this flaw only. It is pretty frustrating...

You're right. You don't get their rating system, because Jeff has stated that the rating is an afterthought. You also don't seem to get that people have different tastes. Patrick didn't review Skyrim. He seems to really like it, but who knows, if he reviewed it, maybe it also would have gotten 4 stars.

You are the perfect example of someone who needs to just calm down about ratings. Maybe you weren't overtly angry or tossing out profanity, but you're still placing too much weight on insignificant stars. Still comparing one review to another, especially when done by different people. This is the sort of thing that needs to stop.

Stop caring so much about stars. Read the review. Agree with it. Don't agree with it. Just stop caring so much that one guy liked one game more than another guy liked another game.

Maybe you need to read my comments yet again. Like I said, 4/5 is a good score. Great actually, but I simply can't understand the method they use to lower the score ultimately leading to less stars. I don't pretend that you understand since apparently you don't get it and probably won't. And, it some way, it does matter the amount of stars. Why? It means that the reviewer found some flaws, therefore lowering the score. And what do most people do first before reading a review? Look at how many stars it has. If, like me, I say a game I'm interested and see it got 3/5 stars I would definitely read the entire review and pay close attention to the reviewers criticism.

And placing too much weight on the stars ultimately means, which is what I'm trying to make people like you see, that the reviewer found flaws which lowered the score. But when does flaws mean stupid little things like Patrick here mentions compared to some serious issues other games have, it just makes me wonder if these guys know what they're talking about and what truly matters in a review score. Because a lot of people do look at the score and think about. If not, you and most people, wouldn't be here talking about it. And relax dude, you'll spontaneously combust...

Posted by TheLeamenator

Well, I (I being a massive Zelda fan) could listen to this review, OR go over to IGN and listen to their perfect score review... Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Edited by XxRANGAxX

Ok still can't wait for this being a huge Zelda fan and all, I know change is good but as Patrick said Zelda dosnt need to majorly change because well Zelda is ZELDA not anything else, it's the only thing I'm not looking forward to is the things that might not feel real Zelda like, even if there good I want to play a Zelda game and feel like I'm playing a Zelda game, although I'm kinda exited to try these new motion controls but at the same time scared, now after reading a few things I gather not a lot of people liked Twilight Princess all that much but as for me I actually loved it because (i think alot of people will agree with me hear) Ocarina of Time was THE best Zelda game in the series (probably not alot of people will agree with me hear) and for me at least playing twilight princess was the closest I could get to playing Ocarina of time without actually playing ocarina of time for me it just really did feel like Zelda to me, so you can see im one nostalgic type when it comes to games like this, still looking forward to Skyward Sword though after all the whining...

Posted by Belmont_Shadow

@shlimmy said:

the mention of the slow start kills it for me. It's why I only played 3-4 hours of TP

TP was terrible. I'd give this game a chance though.

Posted by Floope

@TheLeamenator said:

Well, I (I being a massive Zelda fan) could listen to this review, OR go over to IGN and listen to their perfect score review... Decisions, decisions, decisions...

go away forever.

Edited by braincraters

@Mexican_Brownie: Well thanks dude, for real. Usually my comments go largely ignored (probably because they're so longwinded) most of the time, so it's nice to see some feedback. I think you could almost make the point that this is the harshest review this game could've gotten without being really, really unfair. That's what it seems like to me anyways.

Posted by braincraters

@Napalm: Well hey, I appreciate it. I suppose part of the reason I said anything in the first place is because for the most part, my opinion seemed to be underepresented in the previous comments; I think you can disagree with this review pretty strongly and validly without resorting to blind, rabid fanboyism that thinks the Zelda series is beyond reproach. That was my intended purpose, at least.

Posted by punkxblaze

Oh man, you guys. The internet never disappoints me in its finest hours. I was expecting 8.8 round 2 when I saw 4/5 stars, and by golly, I got it!

God it's sad that this shit still happens.

Edited by Contro

@MelissaPeterson said:

I don't know what your getting at with Zelda being an RPG, because it has never been one. It has no elements of one either, whether it be Eastern or Western style. This game should be classified as more an Action-Adventure really. Please don't get this game confused with an RPG style game next time.

Well it has a very basic upgrade system for weapons and potions, but this is in no way an attempt by Nintendo to make the series more like an RPG one. It's simply there to add more substance to the collecting - a long standing hallmark of the franchise.

The Legend of Zelda is the archetypal Action - Adventure series, and always will be.

Posted by Figcoinc

It is almost like Mega64 new this review was coming. Hahaha.

Edited by FoxMulder

I'm with Jeff...I don't get at all why modern Zelda still has no voice work. Seems like that is something held over from the NES days similar to Mario having lives and coins.

Posted by ohjtbehaaave

Any real Zelda fan doesn't give 2 shits what the reviews say.

Posted by Mexican_Brownie

@braincraters: LIke I said, I'm not the most articulate person around when it comes to writing my thoughts and feelings so I really enjoy reading long, insightful posts. Maybe I like doing so hoping to learn to write better, I don't know.

Keep on writing dem long posts son. I'll read them :)

Posted by louiedog

Guys, 4/5 stars. That's 80/100 or 800/1000! Think about that. 200 points gone. We must get to the bottom of what happened. Surely there is fault with the review. Let's analyze the grammar and structure!

Posted by Claude
 Zelda and Robin are not happy.
I love this stuff. Internet drama is the best.
Posted by PureRok

Anytime anyone calls Zelda an RPG I want to smack them in the face. There is nothing remotely RPG-like in the Zelda games. They are (Action) Adventure games.

Posted by kyrieee

@RANTER said:

@Adus said:

@RANTER said:

@kyrieee said:

@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?

Not really...but putting flaws in balance what do you think will affect the player's experience most? An overworld which doesn't quite feel connected, a minigame which has no part of the main quest, or a game which overall has programming issues and doesn't even let you complete quest? I think is safe to say that Skyrim should have gotten a 4/5 also just because of this flaw only. It is pretty frustrating...

You're right. You don't get their rating system, because Jeff has stated that the rating is an afterthought. You also don't seem to get that people have different tastes. Patrick didn't review Skyrim. He seems to really like it, but who knows, if he reviewed it, maybe it also would have gotten 4 stars.

You are the perfect example of someone who needs to just calm down about ratings. Maybe you weren't overtly angry or tossing out profanity, but you're still placing too much weight on insignificant stars. Still comparing one review to another, especially when done by different people. This is the sort of thing that needs to stop.

Stop caring so much about stars. Read the review. Agree with it. Don't agree with it. Just stop caring so much that one guy liked one game more than another guy liked another game.

Maybe you need to read my comments yet again. Like I said, 4/5 is a good score. Great actually, but I simply can't understand the method they use to lower the score ultimately leading to less stars. I don't pretend that you understand since apparently you don't get it and probably won't. And, it some way, it does matter the amount of stars. Why? It means that the reviewer found some flaws, therefore lowering the score. And what do most people do first before reading a review? Look at how many stars it has. If, like me, I say a game I'm interested and see it got 3/5 stars I would definitely read the entire review and pay close attention to the reviewers criticism.

And placing too much weight on the stars ultimately means, which is what I'm trying to make people like you see, that the reviewer found flaws which lowered the score. But when does flaws mean stupid little things like Patrick here mentions compared to some serious issues other games have, it just makes me wonder if these guys know what they're talking about and what truly matters in a review score. Because a lot of people do look at the score and think about. If not, you and most people, wouldn't be here talking about it. And relax dude, you'll spontaneously combust...

Games don't start out as five stars and then get stars removed as the reviewer finds flaws. You can't look at the review and point to one or two things and say "that's why it didn't get five stars". I just think of it as "this is how much the reviewer enjoyed the game". Look at Modern Warfare 3, it doesn't have any big flaws except that it's similar to the old games and it got four stars, probably because Jeff enjoyed it less because he's getting tired of it. "Objectively" though, it's probably as good as all the CoD games that got five stars.

Posted by Grognard66

Most of these comments make a strong case for banning children from using the internet.

Posted by IClavdivs

I love all the neck-beards in here complaining about people with opinions by saying "Dude a review is just an opinion". I suspect that if your Franchise Du'Jour was judged in a way that you deemed unfair, you'd be on here voicing your opinion as well, either that or you'd saunter your butt-hurt self on over to IGN.

Also, if you're using the word fan-boy. You're not only a fucking retard, you're a fan-boy. Seriously, shut up. The only true vitriol I've seen in these comments is coming from the people defending this review.

Posted by jtt02

That's it! I think it's time for war! Everybody meet at the nearest waffle house to the Giant Bomb headquarters tonight at 2:00 AM. Dress up as Link if you are AGAINST the review and wear a wife-beater and really baggy shorts if you are FOR it. We're gonna have a good old fasioned beat-down. Only rules are no swords, hookshots, boomerangs, bombs, etc. You gotta use your fists.

Posted by DentalBeaker

I, like most if not all of you, have yet to play the game so I can't really speak to the specifics of the review but I do take issue with a few of the suggestions offered by the reviewer. I have played Zelda games most of my life and I can honestly say I do not want a quest log in a zelda game. These games are meant to evoke a sense of wonder and discovery, not to write out a laundry list of chores. I honestly feel like shit like quest logs have ruined games in some ways. Sure it makes finding and saving tasks for later easier but I often find myself more concerned with clearing my "chore" list then paying attention to why I'm even doing what I'm doing. Complete task check move onto next. I think the side quest stuff in Zelda is meant to make the world feel full and alive and you can do it if you want to but at no point should it feel like something you have to do. Newer games like perhaps skyrim are starting to become just that, laundry lists of shit you have to do. Go here fight this collect that, check. Sounds awful to me.

Also I'm not sure what the final line in the review is supposed to mean. "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."

Is he implying that the games "relevance" isn't strong enough? In what context is this relevance to be taken? Relevance to the industry? to the gamer? If so I think this game will sell gangbusters and the reviews are enough to convince me that the game is not only considered relevant but a watershed in some aspects, so in the end I'm left feel one thing...perhaps in and effort to remain relevant this reviewer gave a four star review to a seemingly five star game. Perhaps when I actually play the game I'll be singing a different tune but it's hard to ignore the subtext of this review. I've seen it throughout the thread, whether it was his intention or not people are seeing a young dude new to giantbomb attempting to make his mark by posting a controversial score to a greatly anticipated game. If that's true then man is that sad. I'm also feeling like it's sad that I spent all this time writing out my thoughts on a video game thread that has absolutely no bearing on my real life but then again we all have our shortcomings.

Posted by laserbolts

A pretty shit review but I didn't expect much.

Posted by alisonbrie

@laserbolts:

Pretty shit, because you thought he did a poor job writing it? Or a pretty shit review because you didn't agree with his opinion. That's something that should be established.

Posted by Protonguy

If you're here for an honest review you got it. People have different opinions. My understanding so far is if you love Zelda games and TP in particular you'll probably like this one. If on the other hand TP bored you as much as it did myself this title probably isn't for you.

People trying to attack the score and Patrick aren't here for an opinion, they're here to make themselves feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They want reassurance (most but not all of course, a few i'm sure have valid comments). Those who are up in arms about the affect on Metacritic are showing they don't want an 'honest' average score on Metacritic. To those people, you're missing the point of reviews in general and Metacritic. If you just want a nice walled garden where everyone thinks alike you probably shouldn't be surfing the internet.

Posted by DentalBeaker

@Protonguy: I felt as though the review was lacking, and the score was sensationalized on their part. IGN posted a far more comprehensive(albeit gushing) review. When I was done reading it I felt as though I had a better picture of what the game had to offer. This review however felt like a bunch of off the cuff remarks cobbled together into a basic and short review structure. Which is why I tend to go elsewhere for reviews. I've never played the game so I can't say whether or not the score is accurate, but based on what I know of Giantbomb and it contributors, they are all prone to contrarianism. The general consensus among the rest of the industry is that the game is a masterpiece. All opinions true but at some point you've got to appreciate the shear volume of high to perfect scores. Now whether he intended to or not Patrick now appears simply to be playing the devil's advocate. I'm hoping that they'll touch on this in the next bombcast cause if they all agree with klepick then at least I can appreciate the integrity of review. Also the stuff he complained about in the review such as upgrades and side quests etc. were praised in other publications so I guess it's all in who you trust as a reviewer. I find giantbomb to be far more cynical then other sites but then that's kinda why I'm here.

Edited by braincraters

@EnduranceFun:

Your comment got me thinking. Sometimes it seems like the videogame media treats Wii games as sub-par as compared to their HD counterparts. So naturally, the less experienced 'novice' editors might review Wii games whilst the senior editors review the more important, more cared about PS360 titles. I'm not necessarily saying GB does this, but I think it's a point worth consideration. Looking back at this review, it's almost as if they chose Klepek to handle this game as a sort of experimental exercise to test his chops, which is ridiculous. Skyward Sword could easily be called the most important Wii game that will ever be released, and yet it's handled by a rookie editor whose strong negative opinion of the previous franchise entry was in the radical minority (going by almost every review on Metacritic, at least). Would they really have done that with MGS4, Halo 3, Uncharted, or Skyrim? Why not have your most experienced, senior editors review the most important games? All in all, I just think it could've been handled better than it was.

I probably also ought to add this. I don't think Giant Bomb habitually engages in this sort of behavior (that sounded weird). I'm only talking about THIS specific review. I thought Ryan Davis did a great job with SMG2, for example. Similarly, while I disagreed with Gerstmann's infamous review of Twilight Princess, I still thought it was much more well-written, comprehensive, clear, and fair. Nor am I trying to smear Patrick Klepek. He actually seems to be an intelligent and knowledgeable person. I just think he was an odd choice to review this particular game.

Posted by braincraters

@DentalBeaker:

Wow. I find your comment well-written and refreshing (the fact we basically share the same opinion doesn't hurt, of course :) There's a few points I might add to it which would also sorta work as a response to Protonguy. My problem isn't with Klepek's opinion of the game per se, it's this. How do such small criticisms, even if true, constitute the loss of a full star? Three whole paragraphs solely dedicated to the upgrade system and quest log? Really? Why doesn’t Klepek take that same high-powered magnification and aim it at the music, characters, story, art style, or any other such thing (some of these things he completely fails to even mention)? It feels to me like he had a score in his mind from the get go, eventually found it unsound, and so then had to overcompensate by inflating some minor criticisms to SUIT that score. I suppose you could counter that HE feels those objections fairly constitute four stars, but then I would just call him unfairly critical.

Something else deserves mention too. Wherever did he get the idea that the Zelda series is an action RPG? That is a something which I would vehemently disagree with. More importantly, his bloated critique of the upgrade system seems to be based upon this crucial assumption. If it’s unfair to fit Skyward Sword and Skyrim within the same genre though, then a lot of what he has to say after that point becomes much less relevant. I find it very interesting that Edge, a notoriously hard to please magazine, thought this element of the game was it’s weakest point--and yet still gave it a perfect 10/10. Why was that? For one thing, in view of the game’s difficulty they claimed it’s purely optional and unnecessary; filler. They also insinuated the game can be fully enjoyed in blissful ignorance of that system, and perhaps even be made better by the lack of it. I think these comments serve to further the view that Skyward really isn‘t an action RPG, otherwise why would Edge and other publications consider the weakness of this system so light a critique? At it’s heart, Zelda is an action adventure made great by things like exploration, discovery, ingenious puzzle and level design, and awe-inspiring boss battles. As long as those elements are actually there as they‘ve been since Zelda‘s ever existed (and Klepek seems to think so), than I don’t understand how his objections can carry so much weight.

Edited by Knives

I don't know how people survive film critics, an industry where it's not uncommon to dislike and give unfavorable reviews to otherwise competent, good movies. Roger Ebert gave Lord of the Rings 3 and a half stars, and The Golden Compass 4. Sometimes things click differently with different people. I don't know why, in the video game industry, we can't get past that. And I'm actually surprised how relatively consistent the consensus generally is. Perhaps websites are more afraid of rabid fanboyism than they let on.

Posted by Oginam

Deduct points for: its on the Wii, Motion Controls, OoT can never be topped, and its not Windwaker 2. 1/5

"sighs"

I don't even care. These user comments are all so damn depressing.

Posted by sungahymn

In the short 15 years of life, I've learned that all people, in some way, to some people, are asses. The comments here are more than enough proof.