I have been a major fan of the “Legend of Zelda” ever since the first game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. From collectables, to a “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” tattoo on my right bicep, I have lived and breathed this franchise for 30 years.
That is why it came as such a shocking realization to me that for all of the videos, games, and speedruns I have seen of “Skyward Sword”, I had not actually played it myself despite owning the 25th anniversary copy with the accompanying “The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Special Orchestra CD”. Apparently the game got mixed in with the other 486 games in my library and forgotten about. That is, until the 2021 Nintendo Direct announcing the release of “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” for the Nintendo Switch later this year.
I dusted off my Nintendo Wii-U console, hooked up the sensor bar, and decided to give this a game a whirl for myself. I am so glad I did. Upon firing up the game I am greeted by bright vibrant colors, familiar music, and the hope for a great story. I haven’t been disappointed yet.
One of the biggest complaints in the Zelda community is the motion controls in this game are hard, weird, awkward, etc. It took a bit of time to get the placement of the motion sensor for the Wii correct but eventually I was able to set it up for my living room with minimal issues. An additional factor could be that playing the game on the Wii-U console, instead of the original Wii is that I am using the “Wii Remote Plus” controller instead of the regular one. There is an overall improvement in response time and sensitivity.
What I think makes this game great is several things. First off there is an original story. In fact this game was written to be the “Legend of Zelda” origin story. This is the prequel to every prequel. Next off, is that we have a flying mechanic right off the start. The controls take some time to get used to, but the flight component adds a layer to the franchise we have never had before, and haven’t had since. To top it all off, once you get the hang of the controls, who doesn’t love the concept of controlling the sword and shield with motion controls.
I also appreciate that we see both Link and Zelda in their “pre-heroes-of-Hyrule” stage. They are young adults, who are tasked for the first time ever to save the world. This isn’t like many other Zelda games before it where it is clear that the world is taken over by some cruel evil right from the start. As the viewer we find out snippets of details the same time as our hero. There are new mechanics we haven’t seen before. There is also a lot of mechanics, such as the “Stamina Fruit” and the “Sail Cloth” that we see replicated in similar forms in “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”.
When the Nintendo Direct announced that this year we would get an updated, enhanced, 60fps version of Skyward Sword, I was like many Zelda fans and was very disappointed. I had hoped for one of the other games to get ported to the Nintendo Switch. However, after playing Skyward Sword every day for the last week, while I see the complaints many fans have, I also can see why the game was rated very high overall upon its release. IGN.com gave the game a 10/10 and “Editor’s Choice” upon the game’s release in 2011. Even if the biggest complaint among fans is about the controls, it still holds up as a fun playable game now 10 years later. I look forward to seeing the Nintendo does with it later in 2021 when it ports it over to the Switch.
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