Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Impressions of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I had the opportunity recently to play about an hour's worth of Skyrim Sword, which was all it took for me to conclude that the newest Zelda game completely sucks. Well, I'd need much more time to come to that conclusion, really, but there were a couple of things that failed to impress me with the game's introduction sequence.

First on the list of stupid things I noticed is that this town in the sky is called "Skyloft." Seriously? They couldn't come up with a more original name than Skyloft? We already know from the game's title and every other detail of this game's release that it's set in the sky, does the starting town really need to be called Skyloft? For a society that treats living on islands in the sky as the mundane norm, you'd think they would have a less ostentatious name. It'd be like if I called my house "Brickdwelling"---it's not a name, it's just a dumb description of what it is.

More of my nitpicking awaits in the full article, after the jump.

The other thing that bothered me is how every single thing in the first hour is a prolonged tutorial. They try so hard to integrate the tutorial with the game world, but then they inevitably have characters tell you "Press 2 if you need help," or "This is called the autojump," which breaks my immersion more than if they'd just left a floating message on the screen, cause those characters aren't supposed to know they're NPCs in a video game. 

Beyond that, it's just annoying having the game constantly hold my hand and tell me things that anyone who's ever played a Zelda game before would know. I was especially annoyed when I thought I was doing an optional side-quest which only turned out to be a tutorial on how to move barrels. And then Link just conveniently hasn't been practicing his flying skills before the big competition, just so that another character can explicitly teach me how to do something my character is already supposed to know. Sigh.

I also don't feel like they did a good job of establishing the lore of this society at the very beginning. Perhaps this develops more as you play, but I didn't learn much at all about the people of Skyloft (are there other towns in the sky?) or their culture, other than that they live in the sky and fly birds, as if that's all they have going for themselves. In OOT and MM I felt like I was exposed to more things about the Kokiri and Clock Town, just within the first hour, like I had a greater sense of society, or at the very least understood that there was much more going on than what I could see on the surface. I don't get that impression from SS.

The motion controls still don't feel quite right to me. Granted I only played for a short period of time, but I still struggled to cut the ropes that were imprisoning my Loftwing (another stupid name from a sophisticated society in the sky). The ropes were all at different angles, and that sequence mostly resulted in clanging the sword against the wall more often than I'd hit the rope. Other than that, combat wasn't especially enjoyable, as I mostly just waved the wiimote around in front of me without much necessity for precision. Hopefully this aspect improves down the road.

Also, why is Link still wearing a completely useless, pointless, superfluous piece of fabric wrapped around his waist? That's the stupidest fashion accessory I've ever seen. I thought it was ridiculous in Twilight Princess and I'm insulted that it's returned in Skyward Sword.

I do like the graphics, though. They look nice. Apart from the low resolution and utter lack of anti-aliasing and filtering.


  1. I thought it was an amazing game, i guess the beginning in Skyloft is a bit boring but the rest of the game is great, Nintendo needs to have the tutorial in as 5 year olds play this game and they really wouldn't have a clue without it. Also the sash around Link's waist is actually a very cultural piece of Japanese clothing often worn by martial artist and warriors it's actually quite significant. Furthermore, Link wore a similar sash at the beginning of Twilight Princess so it's not a new thing either.

  2. you said Skyrim Sword you n00b