The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword


Author Reply
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
No thread for a new Zelda game? Crikey, people must be getting really sick of pushing blocks and lighting torches...

Well, anyway, this is out today - fortunately my preorder turned up yesterday so I had a chance to play the first hour last night. And my first impression was that Nintendo certainly don't seem to be in any rush to overhaul the traditionally slow Zelda opening sequence with anything, y'know, a bit more fun.

It's never less than polished, of course, it's just that in comparison to most big titles these days, which tend to draw you into the game with a spectacular, action-driven opening, the sedate and rather talky opening for Skyward Sword does drag somewhat.

The motionplus-powered sword fighting seems very promising - extremely responsive and beautifully balanced. Initially I think I didn't really realise how precise it is because I've been so used to relatively wooly motion detection on the Wii that I was using quite broad, general movements - but it does allow you a lot of precision. The only potential gripe I have with it is that having had a year or more's hiatus from Wii gaming, the requirement to regular shake and point the controls rather than just lazily prodding at buttons does grate a little.

Visually it's a difficult title to judge - the graphics somehow manage to look more crude and low-res than they actually are on closer inspection. But I think it may come into it's own in some of the more open areas - the opening section is confined to a relatively small area of play. The only other thing that
struck me about the visuals is how poor some of the animation is, particularly when Link is doing things like climbing or hanging from ledges.

Thankfully I now seem to have gotten most of the tutorial sections out of the way, so hopefully on my next play I can actually get stuck into the game proper.
#1 at 10:28:05 - 18/11/2011
HairyArse
Flag
Posts:6388
Comments:1774
Thread Kills:127(2%)
AATG Pts:350
Star Rating
Gold Medal
Initially I wasn't all that bothered about playing this, but the more I read about it the more I'm interested.

I really should play LTTP again as that's just the perfect Zelda game.
#2 at 10:35:17 - 18/11/2011
evilashchris
Flag
Posts:2189
Comments:592
Thread Kills:53(2%)
AATG Pts:200
Star Rating
Gold Medal
I'm not allowed to play mine until Christmas day :C
#3 at 11:52:33 - 18/11/2011
oneiros
Flag
Posts:1185
Comments:78
Thread Kills:41(3%)
AATG Pts:95
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
I'm kind of interested in this, but the Wii is still languishing in its box (up the loft) after our house move. I was even half thinking of giving it to a mate's kids for Christmas...
#4 at 13:21:12 - 18/11/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I would have created a thread on this, but I didn't want to read any spoilers. :)

Super-excited about playing it, but unfortunately my copy hasn't turned up yet. Ordered with Mario 3D Land, and although that arrived yesterday, this hasn't even been dispatched - so probably won't get it until next week now. At least I've got Mario to keep me busy in the meantime.

Not surprised to read about the slow opening (all the recent Zeldas have suffered from that). I thought some of the visuals and animation was poor too when I played it at the EG Expo, which is odd since they've been praised in most reviews. I guess there's only so much you can do with the Wii. Trying to keep my expectations low for the game, despite all the praise it's been getting from most places... I'm sure it'll still be a great Zelda game, just not sure if it'll be as fresh and inventive as some places are claiming it is.
#5 at 14:39:28 - 18/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
nekotcha said:No thread for a new Zelda game? Crikey, people must be getting really sick of pushing blocks and lighting torches...

For some reason this forum doesn't immediately scream "full of Zelda" fans, to me. Which is either odd because most of the posters are old enough to remember all the games in the series, or totally logical since most of the posters are old enough to remember all the games in the series. ^^;

Well, anyway, this is out today - fortunately my preorder turned up yesterday so I had a chance to play the first hour last night. And my first impression was that Nintendo certainly don't seem to be in any rush to overhaul the traditionally slow Zelda opening sequence with anything, y'know, a bit more fun.

I also got mine yesterday, but only ended up playing to the first part where the game forcibly says "do you want to save your game here?". The only small annoyance I had in terms of pace was the fact that you can't click a button to immediately display text in a dialog box, even with no voice acting and being able to hold down a button to speed it up, it's still not quite fast enough.

I actually thought the setting and everything was a nice change of pace from "you have been taken prisoner and attacked by a Dragon" etc.

The motionplus-powered sword fighting seems very promising - extremely responsive and beautifully balanced. Initially I think I didn't really realise how precise it is because I've been so used to relatively wooly motion detection on the Wii that I was using quite broad, general movements - but it does allow you a lot of precision.

Yes, I have also been surprised at just how nice the controls are. Not having to point at the screen is a great idea, and both the sword and the Loftwing controls and great fun. I just hope it holds up once the dungeons become more complex.

Visually it's a difficult title to judge - the graphics somehow manage to look more crude and low-res than they actually are on closer inspection. But I think it may come into it's own in some of the more open areas - the opening section is confined to a relatively small area of play. The only other thing that
struck me about the visuals is how poor some of the animation is, particularly when Link is doing things like climbing or hanging from ledges.

I think it suffers enormously from the limitations of the Wii on a large, HD screen. The aliasing and interlacing-like effect look really bad.

I didn't think all the animation was as bad as that - climbing I thought was OK, but the jumping looks a little silly the way he is kind of frozen in midair.

Thankfully I now seem to have gotten most of the tutorial sections out of the way, so hopefully on my next play I can actually get stuck into the game proper.

Yeah, this is why I stopped when I did, just in case the game is going to suddenly open up, although I would guess I have at least some more of the introductory section to play through from the way people talk about the early parts of the game.
#6 at 19:58:57 - 18/11/2011
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Having played through the first area and into the first dungeon I have to say I'm seriously impressed with the combat. It's got a precision to it that I've rarely encountered in a combat game, and I'm not just talking about the fact that the motionplus so accurately recreates your movements - it's also the fact that each enemy is so finely tuned to test each and every technique in your repertoire.

As a result it's one of those rare games that manages to completely eliminate button-bashing without feeling too difficult for it. Every single enemy signposts his weaknesses extremely clearly, the challenge is in stringing together your attacks to be able to exploit them.

Another good thing is that Nintendo have relented and no longer punish those of us who can't play for hours at a time. So save points are generously scattered throughout the world and there are many shortcuts you can trigger to ensure that having travelled somewhere the hard way once, you don't need to do it over and over again. It makes it a much friendlier game to play.

The only thing I'm struggling with a bit right now is the complexity of the control system, and some slightly odd choices for button functions. So, pressing the A button makes Link run and jump and climb on things, yet to climb any further once you've grabbed something, you need to push the analogue stick or wave the remote - pressing 'A' again makes you fall. This feels counter-intuitive to me, but perhaps that's because I've come to it straight from Uncharted which uses exactly that system. I'm sure I'll learn it in time anyway.
#7 at 18:48:07 - 20/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I think it can only be the direct comparison with Uncharted in that regard, as I can think of a couple of other games that use SS's system like that for ledges.

Great news about the save points though, I was hoping that would be the case given how many there are in the small starting area so glad to hear that confirmed.
#8 at 19:37:05 - 20/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Reached Faron (really not a spoiler I don't think). So far I think it's lovely. MUCH nicer tone/feel than TP. The palette is gorgeous and I think the art in general thus far has been fantastic.

I can see this keeping me away from bf3 for a while.
#9 at 11:16:47 - 21/11/2011
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
First boss is a bit annoying. I'm still not entirely clear how I managed to beat him, particularly for the first phase of the fight.
#10 at 17:04:02 - 23/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I keep on meaning to play this some more and not just play so much Skyrim, but I'm still only just inside the Sealed Temple. :-/

First minor bug-bear with the game though, the way the shields work. Not just the fact that it is a total waste of money even buying that shitty ass starting shield, but the fact that you don't go back to a block position after blocking an attack is not great, given that the nunchuck shake is hardly the most responsive way to ready your shield.
#11 at 02:52:32 - 24/11/2011
frod
Flag
Posts:1242
Comments:102
Thread Kills:34(3%)
AATG Pts:130
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
pffft, Zelda Sports Resort.

;-)
#12 at 10:29:44 - 24/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
ilmaestro said:I keep on meaning to play this some more and not just play so much Skyrim, but I'm still only just inside the Sealed Temple. :-/

First minor bug-bear with the game though, the way the shields work. Not just the fact that it is a total waste of money even buying that shitty ass starting shield, but the fact that you don't go back to a block position after blocking an attack is not great, given that the nunchuck shake is hardly the most responsive way to ready your shield.


Have to agree with this. The mechanic is very at odds with the rest of the game (which to me seems very intuitive). In all my Zelda's I've never had so much trouble with those deku seed spitting shrubastards!
#13 at 11:01:57 - 24/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
frod said:pffft, Zelda Sports Resort.

;-)

You say that as if it's a bad idea! :p
#14 at 23:21:41 - 24/11/2011
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Binky said:
ilmaestro said:I keep on meaning to play this some more and not just play so much Skyrim, but I'm still only just inside the Sealed Temple. :-/

First minor bug-bear with the game though, the way the shields work. Not just the fact that it is a total waste of money even buying that shitty ass starting shield, but the fact that you don't go back to a block position after blocking an attack is not great, given that the nunchuck shake is hardly the most responsive way to ready your shield.


Have to agree with this. The mechanic is very at odds with the rest of the game (which to me seems very intuitive). In all my Zelda's I've never had so much trouble with those deku seed spitting shrubastards!


Let alone the skulltulas... they've become properly terrifying now that the slightest misdirected tap can send them spinning in all directions (and usually seconds later straight back into your face).
#15 at 09:44:14 - 25/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Yeah, had some trouble with them today myself. That said, I'm 12 hours in and about to look at the second zone. Starting to get that OOT vibe, in that I want to stay in the game world for a long while.

Windwaker will always be my favourite Zelda to return to but OOT has so many memories, this is already stirring up those similar feelings. Love it.

Oh - 1 disappointment so far... Was expecting more of a spectacle for the first boss and didn't get it. Think I was spoiled by the glorious baddies in WW.
#16 at 00:36:36 - 26/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
2nd area done. Still getting the OOT vibe.

Wifey even been watching every dungeon (and "helping" too). LOVE. THIS. GAME.
#17 at 10:09:48 - 28/11/2011
billdoor
Flag
Posts:3886
Comments:183
Thread Kills:158(4%)
AATG Pts:180
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Voice over man on the tv advert says this is the most critically acclaimed game of ALL time?!
#18 at 10:54:46 - 28/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Well.... He should know, right?
#19 at 11:00:14 - 28/11/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Had some mega sessions with this over the weekend, nearly done with the second temple. A few minor annoyances aside, it's great, though so far not quite the revolutionary Zelda I was hoping it would be.

So far, the bad:

- the opening - not bad per se, and much better than TPs, but still derivative of pretty much every other Zelda.
- lack of mini-map.
- slight lag with pointer controls - this was an issue with TP, but it seems to be even worse here, takes some getting used to.
- slightly disappointing music (for me, anyway) so far - although the Loftwing flying music is awesome. More of that, please.

The only other issue so far is that it seems to follow the standard forest/fire etc. template YET AGAIN. I do wish they'd rip up the rulebook and use the mechanics to make something totally unique and unpredictable - I can totally understand anyone playing the first few hours and dismissing it because it seems like "same old Zelda"... hell, even I felt the same at times. That said, they have made some positive changes to the actual formula, and most of the puzzles at least are new and interesting. Now for the good:

- gorgeous graphics. I'm actually surprised at how great it looks on an HDTV, the art style was a great way to work around the limitations of the Wii.
- athletic Link - being able to run and clamber makes for a much more dyamic experience
- bird flying controls are actually rather good! A big relief, as this was the one thing I was concerned over.
- much improved save system
- combat. Not the motion controls per se (still not wholly convinced that it's actually better than pressing buttons), but the new strategic element that comes into play - one recurring enemy in the 2nd dungeon demonstrates this beautifully, and this is still early on in the game - I can see there being some epic battles later on.
- it's got the sunny Wind Waker vibe, a stark contrast to the drab TP. Characters and sidequests are as charming as ever (anyone solved the mystery of Kulkiel's disappearance yet? :D
- the beetle is an awesome item

The game feels a lot more dense and involving than ever. The overworld regions take ages to clear, and every battle feels like an event. It does feel very Metroid Prime-y at times. Still far too early to tell whether it's a great Zelda game, at the moment it's merely a very good one.
#20 at 11:13:09 - 28/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
@Kay The disappearance reveal was fantastic. Put a massive smile on my face.

Agree with the WW vibe. Sunny, happy... lovely.
The emotion the game manages to convey is probably the best in anything I've ever played. Trying to think of anything that stands close... Possibly GTAIV and the fire.

I do agree on the locations to an extent. Oh, here's the forest, here's the lava... They do seem genuinely new though so still happy with them.

The music - Love it. Wait for the music at the second boss stage!!
#21 at 11:22:21 - 28/11/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Binky said:The emotion the game manages to convey is probably the best in anything I've ever played. Trying to think of anything that stands close... Possibly GTAIV and the fire.


GTAIV, fire... what's that?

I'm hoping the cliched locations are because it's still early on, hopefully it will become more interesting later on.

Also, I think the shield is fine fwiw... the motionplus is extremely sensitive, so a slight nudge is more than enough. Not had any problems with the deku scrubs, or parrying in combat. Loving the twists on the usual enemies, you genuinely have to be wary with them... as neko mentioned, even the skulltulas are terrifying. In previous Zeldas combat was piss easy, it usually took a few hits to lose even one heart, but in this one it doesn't take long for you to lose them all if you're careless in combat. Another big improvement for the series.

nekotcha said:First boss is a bit annoying. I'm still not entirely clear how I managed to beat him, particularly for the first phase of the fight.


You have to move your sword around so that he tracks it at first, and then when he holds his hand still you strike from the opposite direction. I remember watching videos of this fight at E3 and wondering how to beat him. I honestly thought that battle would be from later on in the game.
#22 at 12:56:26 - 28/11/2011
Binky
Flag
Posts:1401
Comments:160
Thread Kills:33(2%)
AATG Pts:150
Star Rating
Bronze Medal
Now that I've learnt the shield, I'm over my initial confusion with it to be honest.

The GTAIV fire... That bit where you turn the corner to find Roman's taxi firm on fire. I got quite emotional then. A real "OMG" moment for me.
#23 at 13:12:47 - 28/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Kay said:Also, I think the shield is fine fwiw... the motionplus is extremely sensitive, so a slight nudge is more than enough.

The shield controls don't use M+ though, it's mapped to the nunchuk. And my comment was more about the game mechanics than physical mechanics of doing what the game requests.

I agree with your comment about Link's athleticism, a nice touch to add.

I think the main way it differentiates itself from old Zelda in the early stages is the "field dungeons", so navigating your way to the next temple is a lot more interactive.

And yeah, I would also *love* a mini-map.
#24 at 03:07:39 - 29/11/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
ilmaestro said:
Kay said:Also, I think the shield is fine fwiw... the motionplus is extremely sensitive, so a slight nudge is more than enough.

The shield controls don't use M+ though, it's mapped to the nunchuk.


Of course... d'oh. I think it's just meant to be another subtle way to make the combat harder, though, to stop players from just keeping the shield held up all the time. Same with the spin attack (which I only just realised you can perform by shaking both controllers) - an easy way to quickly take out a group of bokoblins, but it also completely drains your stamina gauge if you use it too much, leaving you vulnerable for a few seconds.
#25 at 18:56:01 - 29/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
I agree it makes it harder in some ways, which makes it even stranger for Nintendo since they are usually aware of the Japanese casual consumer's hatred for that sort of complexity in their games. But perhaps they did just mean for you to constantly use shield bash and dodge instead of using the shield in a traditional manner.

As for the spin attack, did you not go to the guy in the sparring hall at the start of the game? :p You can also shake both controllers vertically for a pretty cool looking forward-flip double strike thing.
#26 at 19:53:34 - 29/11/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
D'oh again. Was about to say I don't recall being taught the spinning move, then I remembered about the logs that were placed in a circle around you. I think it must be because I'm so used to the standard Zelda mechanics that I automatically ignore / auto-pilot my way through the boring tutorial stuff. :)

On the third region now, and the game is really beginning to hit its stride for me. Although the setting may not exactly be new for Zelda, the tone of the place and style of puzzling certainly seem different... without wishing to spoil, it feels more Metroid Prime-y than ever.
#27 at 11:25:43 - 30/11/2011
nekotcha
Flag
Posts:1709
Comments:175
Thread Kills:38(2%)
AATG Pts:140
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Kay said:

nekotcha said:First boss is a bit annoying. I'm still not entirely clear how I managed to beat him, particularly for the first phase of the fight.


You have to move your sword around so that he tracks it at first, and then when he holds his hand still you strike from the opposite direction. I remember watching videos of this fight at E3 and wondering how to beat him. I honestly thought that battle would be from later on in the game.


Ah nice, cheers - that'll probably be useful as I'm sure he'll be making another appearance...

Second boss much better - just the right level of difficulty, incredibly well tuned to test out your newly-acquired equipment, and enormously satisfying to beat. Zelda doing what it does so well, basically.

Also spent some time exploring the sky area before starting the second dungeon - the flying really is fantastic, and I'm starting to find a number of sub quests that feel quite Majora's Mask-esque. Definitely no bad thing in my book.
#28 at 21:55:09 - 30/11/2011
ilmaestro
Flag
Posts:6577
Comments:421
Thread Kills:290(4%)
AATG Pts:240
Star Rating
Silver Medal
Finally stopped Skyrimming enough to finish the first dungeon. Love the Beetle, and there was a fair bit more "meat" to it all than maybe I expected. Boss was fun (btw neko, Fi is always there if you need a helping hand! Just call her while you're targeting something and she might be able to contribute), but needed a couple fewer reps in each stage as he wasn't hard enough to make it genuinely engaging for more than a couple or three hits.

Skyview Spring was easily enough reward though, very pretty.
#29 at 20:57:03 - 01/12/2011
Kay
Flag
Posts:2120
Comments:342
Thread Kills:51(2%)
AATG Pts:160
Star Rating
Silver Medal
nekotcha said:
Also spent some time exploring the sky area before starting the second dungeon - the flying really is fantastic, and I'm starting to find a number of sub quests that feel quite Majora's Mask-esque. Definitely no bad thing in my book.


I haven't even spent much time exploring the sky, tbh... in fact I thought it looked a little half-baked, featuring mostly tiny islands with nothing but treasure chests. I'm hoping that's not really the case and there are loads of neat surprises and sidequests hidden there...

The meat of the game, however, has been top-notch so far. I reckon this is easily the most tightly designed, puzzle-heavy 3D Zelda yet - it's unforgiving at times, whilst remaining completely accessible. On the third dungeon now and the game just keeps getting better. Hopefully it will be able to keep this up, and there won't be some padding or rushed design to extend the length (like in Wind Waker)...

Also hoping the storyline lives up to the fantastic intro at the start. It is supposed to be the Zelda origin story, after all, so I'm expecting something suitably epic.
#30 at 14:00:00 - 02/12/2011

home
1 2 Right