Game Review: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was released just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the little green adventurer known as Link making his way into the land of Hyrule on the NES. The Legend of Zelda has seen 16 main entries in its heralded franchise, and it’s probably the most beloved and recognizable franchises in gaming history. With that said, Skyward Sword is still being called the greatest Zelda game ever created, so of course, I had to go out and buy myself a new Wii system and Skyward Sword for Christmas and try out this game. After completing the game, I can confirm that Skyward Sword is definitely worthy of the praise it receives.

The plot of Skyward Sword is a simple but very effective one. Link and Zelda grew up in a land known as Skyloft – a floating city in the sky that is full of deep heritage and tradition. The people of Skyloft all own a special bird that allows them to fly above the clouds and venture from one floating island to another. However, they are unaware of the world beneath the clouds as no one has ever flew beneath them to scout the land. One fateful day, Zelda is caught in a storm and flung off of her bird, and she falls beneath the clouds before link is able to save her. So, Link sets off on a quest to find and rescue Zelda on the unexplored and mysterious surface once he opens a path through the clouds. The story only accelerates from there as Link soon find many new allies in the inhabitants of the world below and a dreadful enemy in a wizard known as Ghirahim who is after Zelda for unknown reasons.

As the story progresses, you realize this is the best storyline a Legend of Zelda game has ever contained. The game is still family friendly, so you still won’t see any bloodshed, and there will be some cheesy dialogue that will make you roll your eyes, but this is still a great game. There are no returning characters in Skyward Sword aside from Link and Zelda, but the game is still full of memorable and quirky characters that you’d expect from a Legend of Zelda title. The worlds are nicely designed as well. You’ll travel to three places throughout most of your journey, but they never get boring as they always open up a new area or alter the environment in some way to feel as though you’re entering a whole new land. There is simply a lot of content and a great game here; it will take you 40+ hours to fully explore the skies and all of the areas in the game, and you’ll want to, because this game is great.

Much of your time in Skyward Sword will be spent fighting enemies and exploring dungeons. Fighting has been greatly improved in Skyward Sword with the help of Wii Motion. The controls are fast, responsive and accurate, and anyone can pick them up and learn them with a minimal learning curve. You’ll need to be strategic to defeat your enemies however. Some enemies will require you to use precise slashes and jabs with your Wii Remote to cause damage, and each enemy will require different tactics to take down. Dungeon exploration has also been improved from previous Legend of Zelda entries. Your equipment is all basically new with the exception of the classic bow and arrow and bombs. These new items allow for more versatility in combat as well as the creation of some ingenious puzzle design, and Skyward Sword definitely features some great puzzles. Perhaps, the only thing better than the utilization of these items to progress through dungeons in the game is how you use them to defeat the bosses of each stage.

The presentation of Skyward Sword is great as well. The graphics in the game may not stack up to the game’s competition on other consoles, but they are some of the best Wii graphics we’ve ever seen. Nintendo manages to pull off some beautiful scenery and characters thanks in large part to colors utilized in the game i.e. it almost looks like you’re playing a painting. The soundtrack is a nice harmony of orchestrated music as well. Although the songs may not be as memorable as classic Legend of Zelda soundtracks, they are still very catchy and add an extra sense of immersion. Of course, there is still no real voice acting, as story is told through text. However, no Legend of Zelda game has needed voice acting to be great in the past, and Skyward Sword is no exception.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the best Wii game ever made. Whether or not Skyward Sword is the best Legend of Zelda title to ever be released is based on opinion, but it is worthy of consideration for best ever. Skyward Sword is a wonderful game full of ingenious puzzles and enemies as well as great graphics and songs. There is even a Hero Mode to playthough after you’ve completed the game giving you a reason to come back and play long after you’ve beaten the long storyline. Skyward Sword should be owned by any fans of The Legend of Zelda franchise, and it is a must own for anyone with a Wii as well.

Release Date: November 20, 2011
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Genre: Action Adventure/RPG

Game Review: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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