I love me some Zelda
First off, my favourite Zelda title so far has been Wind Waker. I've played through every home console Zelda title religiously. I thought Twilight Princess was excellent, though it comes with a list of faults (yet you could say this about any 30+ hour game) and felt more like a 'tribute' to OOT.
Skyward Sword is positioned as a prequel to the franchise, the origin of the story formula we're all more than familiar with. Without spoiling anything, Skyward Sword manages this very well - although no revelations are made which would cause you to pick up a past title and go "Holy crap! so that guy is totally...WOAH!", it does enough to setup the rest of the series and provide a great adventure for itself.
Link now has the ability to sprint, which in turn depletes a stamina bar (this isn't a limit for the sake of it, it ties in to some puzzles). Alongside this you have the new Motion Plus controls, these will control pretty much all of your inventory items you collect on your travels (which is now also opened up in real-time, through a circular menu).
The sword combat is varied and rewarding, the best of moments being when you have to 'tease' your foe in to trying to defend himself where you're currently positioning the sword and then flanking his vulnerable point with a quick strike. Some enemies will take a set pattern of slices (sentries for example are horizontal, horizontal, thrust forward), as you progress these combos will require quicker reactions based on scenarios you're placed under. As always in Zelda, some encounters are a mini puzzle within themselves - Skyward Sword broadens this to being most encounters.
Motion Plus is by far the best new addition, as it taps right in to new puzzles and engaging combat. Although every once in a while things could get iffy the games single button press to reposition the controllers calibration is very welcome.
Dungeon design is superb, as it's always been in the series things can be fairly simple but Skyward Sword brings mostly new puzzles to the table (which after Twilight Princess, I am more than happy to see). Motion Plus impacts the design in great ways with lots of small features being changed (e.g. boss keys are now mini-puzzles to place in the door).
All the zones are well made, making requirements to revisit them still fun. Skyloft is filled with quirky characters, packed with animations I couldn't help grin at every now and then. Some side quests offer a nice sense of discovery, but can also drag on when you're set out to collect objects.
With all that said I feel I'm repeating myself somewhere here or stating some obvious things, so to clarify them. This is a Zelda-ass, Zelda game. It's the same formula updated in areas you might not have expected after so many years (you can pick up flower bombs and place them in your inventory now!). A musical instrument is involved, yet the interaction is far from what you'd expect (you wave the Wiimote to the same speed as a pulsing circle on screen, these songs have no real interactive uniqueness). Visually the game is stunning and the soundtrack is great, jaggies are far from being a real problem with how they mask distant objects with a moving-painting feel.
The most apparent weak point being its attempt to expand on Wind Wakers collection of bugs/random objects, upgrading your items isn't super fun and having to manage your inventory for shields and potions isn't so great - though it's not really needed.
Clocking in at around 30 hours to complete, Skyward Sword could well be my favourite Zelda title. It's definitely merited a second play-through very soon once I've collected everything else in the game. After finishing it I can't help but think repeatedly about the whole adventure, the sheer amount of things you do throughout it and just how pleasing the soundtrack and visuals have been.
I absolutely recommend this to anyone who has a Wii or could borrow one, even if it means buying a Motion Plus attachment - treat yourself, celebrate Zelda's 25th Anniversary with it.