GAME NAME: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
RELEASE DATE(S): 18 November 2011
Ninty’s premier adventure has gone off the boil somewhat in recent years. The Zelda series arguably peaked way back in the N64 days with the recently re-imagined Ocarina of Time. The core dilemma appears to have been a strange reluctance to allow Link to embrace a revolution, leaving him forever stranded in Hyrule Field with just a boomerang for comfort. Until now.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has abandoned just about everything related to Hyrule Field. In fact, they’ve stepped so far away from Hyrule that Link’s new home has ended up in the clouds and goes by the name of Skyloft. Here Link has grown up alongside childhood friend Zelda and attends a boarding school. Without spoiling too much it’s rather obvious that something happens to Zelda and that Link will be off on a new adventure in his green suit to save the troublesome princess. Skyward Sword still has that Zelda pedigree but it is in the controls department in particular that everything has been turned on its head.
Waggling is something of the past as Skyward Sword was drenched in Wii MotionPlus control frivolity. The first thing players will get to control is the new travelling mechanic largely based around a feathered Epona called Loftwing. Soar through the skies by flapping with a wave of the remote and executing speed bursts by pressing A. Once on solid ground Link is controlled by using the analogue stick but that is also where any familiarity ends. Link will pick up your exact 1:1 movements. Slashing horizontally, vertically or diagonally can be the difference between annihilating a bunch of enemies or being destroyed by one of the many end-level dungeon bosses. The slingshot and bow and arrow is a matter of aiming and pressing A to shoot the target. Should Link find himself in a pool of water a press of the A button will submerge him and a tilt of the remote will control his direction. Flicking your nunchuck as you near the surface makes Link shoots out of the water to gain access to higher platforms.
The MotionPlus–enabled controls don’t end there. Bombs are rolled with a ten pin bowling motion or thrown with a basketball throw motion (dependent on how you’re holding the remote), whips are cracked with the flick of the Wiimote and unreachable areas can be reached with your remote-operated beetle by tilting it the same way as you control Loftwing. The beetle critter is often used to activate unseen switches. The nunchuck also plays an important role as it manipulates Link’s shield. Though the WiiMotion Plus needs re-calibration once in a while it in general all works fantastically well.
There is so much unsaid, as there is just so much to do – Side quests, catching insects and discovering rare items to upgrade weapons, the ingenious dungeon maps, Fi – Link’s new sidekick, the artistry and the overall atmosphere is just an incredible experience. The Legend of Zelda :Skyward Sword is a many-year-old promise Nintendo has eventually fulfilled after announcing the Wii back in 2005. It’s what the Wii was originally intended for before a bunch of casual brats spoiled our once cherished Nintendo Gold Seal and it could very well be the best game Nintendo has ever released on any of their consoles to date. The sky is quite obviously not the limit for Link and Nintendo.