joish's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Limited Music CD Edition) (Wii) review

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A game in need of an editor.

I'm not an eloquent writer but I have to cleanse myself of this game by writing some disjointed thoughts about its good and many bad qualities.

The Bad:

-The game uses every opportunity it can to pull you out of the experience. You'll be watching little clips of nearly every item you pick up or grab from a chest. You'll also get little clips spelling out every "puzzle" you solve or switch you activate. Push a log over a ledge to let you access an area more quickly in the future? Enjoy a 5 second clip and musical cue. I relished the few times you accomplish something and the game just lets it happen in front of you. Similarly, you sit through the same text every time you talk to a shopkeeper and for each and every item you buy. Want to pick up 4 potions really quickly before adventuring? Too bad, you have to sit through the same song and dance 4 times. Then there's Fi. She fulfills the role of singing and dancing and spelling out in bold, colored letters what the game has already told you one or two times. She also serves as another source of interruption without real purpose. She offers no entertainment value, useful play assistance, or real purpose to the story.

-Painfully slow start. You aren't really let loose in the game world until about 2 to 3 hours into the game. What's wrong with getting the action going right away? A Link to the Past did that and was all the better for it.

-Swimming and bird flying controls are awkward.

-Anything in the forest/water segments. Special recognition goes to the Tadtone collection segment. Yes, the game has you collect colorful, musical note-shaped tadpoles and combines that brilliant stroke of game design with the painful swimming controls. Worst of all, this is one of the activities you perform just before the climax. So much for a sense of drive and urgency.

-Frequently reusing locations.

-The writing is incredibly bland and the text moves painfully slow. Text cannot be skipped outright.

-Stupid, ugly character designs. The worst offenders are Groose, Ghirahim and the Bazaar shopkeepers.

-Speaking of Ghirahim, his most menacing moment is when he sticks his enormous tongue out and licks his lips near your face. Ugly and stupid.

-Consistently annoying grunt, groan, and gibberish sound effects from all characters. I'm sorry but nobody makes a sound like they're doing max weight deadlifts every time they gear up to sprint.

-Speaking of annoying sound design. Why do I need to hear constant beeps when my hearts are low AND have another beep from Fi that if I check it to shut her up tells me that my hearts are low?

-Frequent padding/fetch quests. You're actually enjoying yourself in the volcano dungeon when you have to find a bird statue, fly your stupid bird the the forest, have a boring conversation with the water dragon, have a boring conversation with your little robot carrying slave and he picks up the water jug, and then your robot slave only brings it to the foot of the volcano so you have to escort him up the same mountain you've explored twice before. Dumb. Finish a dungeon and you have to fly back to the town or the temple of songs to waste some more time in bland dialogue, usually with the most annoying character of all, Fi.

-No voice acting. The reason I hate this is that there are a lot of moments when you could continue playing the game while a character speaks. Best example is while fighting the huge Imprisoned monster (for the second and third times, by the way), the action breaks for Groose to explain to you that his slingshot is ready and it's really awesome and you should use it to help defeat the monster.

-Speaking of the Imprisoned. Not only do you fight it 3 times but the battle makes the mistake of interrupting the gameplay to show a movie of the monster falling over. If you're going to try to ape Shadow of the Colossus learn the lesson of letting me play while the huge, imposing monster falls to the ground. It keeps the player in the game and feels far more satisfying.

-Side quests that earn you gratitude crystals. Waste of time. Do NOT bother doing these if you decide to play the game.

-Goddess cubes and upgrading weapons and potions. These activities get you some nice items but since you rarely if ever really need any of the upgrades to complete the game easily, there's really no incentive to waste your time. I did it, but if you bother to play this game, I recommend you don't bother with this stuff.

-Frequently needing to recalibrate controls, usually in the heat of battle.

-Few real puzzles. More often you are doing puzzles of this type: vacuuming dust to uncover the key code to the door.

-Motion controls shoehorned into nearly every part of the game. (E.g. Swimming controls, skydiving, flying, balancing on a tightrope, etc)

The Good:

-Most of the time spent in the desert areas with the timeshift stones.

-Final dungeon actually lets you play a greatest hits of the game's challenges without much interruption from the game.

-Dungeon 4 robot boss. This was easily one of the best parts of the game. You tear his arms off with the whip and then use his huge swords to cut his limbs off before smashing his weak spot. Gaming bliss.

-Final two bosses. They were menacing and fun to figure out.

-You keep using your special items throughout the game, rather than just using them in the dungeon and letting them collect dust the rest of the game.

-The rapid equip radial menu for equipping special items, shields, etc. Quick and easy (unless the pointer is completely out of whack and needs to be recalibrated).

-Swordfighting combat. Overall this worked really well once you take the time to learn how to accurately execute the various slashes.

-The music was pretty great overall, especially the new orchestral pieces. My favorite is Zelda's theme. I also appreciated how the music was context sensitive.

That's about it. I'll close by suggesting you spend your time playing a Zelda game that doesn't insult the player or interrupt his fun every 5 minutes, A Link to the Past.

0 Comments

Other reviews for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Limited Music CD Edition) (Wii)

    I love me some Zelda 0

    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 ...

    5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

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