Sky-waggle Sword

Just an update in case anyone's wondering where I've been. in the world of Skyward Sword. New Game+ (unlocked after finishing the game normally) is called Hero Mode and I'm about a quarter way through. Here's my review:

TLDR version - 9/10. Zelda-riffic, but waggle haters can go blow themselves until teh next CoD:MW installment.

This isn't really meant to be a review, but rather a rebuttal to teh various complaints about teh game. There are some big flaws in teh game, but teh ones most folks whine about aren't them.

Firstly, teh waggle haters. Teh Wii is five years old. In that time, Nintendo mostly used teh motion controls for shovelware and party game compilations. The sort of stuff Kinect and Move owners are now seeing. There were a couple of attempts at making use of teh motion controls with core franchises - Super Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Galaxy and sequel, Metroid Prime 3. Waggle haters please note that these are some of teh best games made in recent years.

Skyward Sword is even moar motion control focused. If you hate teh waggle, skip this game. It plays like an argument for why this console generation's first motion control is teh best. And it's a pretty persuasive argument.

It really does feel liek you're holding teh hilt of teh Master Sword and swinging that bugger around. There's lotsa complaints that it doesn't work - but I suspect that this is teh voice of hurt pride talking. Yes, this requires moar co-ordination than remembering where triangle and circle are located. Actually swinging teh remote is moar difficult than just pushing a button. But lotsa folks get by just fine, totes able to swing in all eight directions. Sure if you twist teh Wiimote before swinging it borks up your attack, but guess what? Feature not a bug. Swinging an actual sword with teh blade on an angle is gonna bork things up too. Plus, it's not supposed to be childishly simple, just pretty easy. Like your mom. A small exception - sometimes when you slash to vigorously, Link follows up with a thrust - probably due to centripetal force on teh controller or teh sensor reacting to teh sudden stop at teh end of your swing or wev. Just bear in mind that you don't need to flail teh Wiimote like you're chopping down a tree.

Teh controls work awesome. Flying teh loftwing, skydiving, swimming and teh beetle are excellently done. Basically, all teh various gadgets work great with teh motion controls. There are many points in teh game where different motion control bits are required. If you are unwilling to try something different, something other than dual analog sticks, well then wev. Enjoy your tiny little box of gaming experience. OMG! Console games aren't teh same unless played on cathode ray tubes!

Another common complaint - backtracking. Uh, d00ds - it's a Legend of Zelda game. That means backtracking. Also too SPOILERS, almost all of teh backtracking isn't really backtracking at all. Revisiting Faron Woods to do teh Spirit Trial in teh Spirit World is totes different. Teh next revisiting occurs after teh entire region is flooded and underwater. It may be teh same locale with teh same landmarks, but this is not backtracking. Running Eldin Volcano during teh eruption phase - not backtracking.

Teh Camera. 3D third-person action games always solicit complaints about teh camera. Here, there's no player control over teh camera except z-targetting and going into first-person look around mode. But really, that's all you need - a way of re-focusing teh camera quickly with a single button tap for time-sensitive situations and a way to leisurely take in teh surroundings and assess teh environment for clues. Moar control of teh camera would probs be less helpful in teh majority of circumstances.

Teh complaint that Fi sucks. Well, Fi does suck. She's no Midna, let me tell you. I got nothing here - considering teh dozens of hours you spend with her as a guide, it would have been nice to have a bettar companion. All I got is - at least she skates around real purdy,

So basically, teh misdirected gripes and complaints about Skyward Sword are about gameplay. That's messed up. Teh gameplay in Skyward Sword is amazing. Some new mechanics mixed into Legend of Zelda's already winning collection - well executed too. Pacing is a little slow at the beginning, but what with teh new control scheme, maybe warranted. Espscially considering all teh waggle haters who can't get past a Bokoblin's guard. Level design is sensational. Lanaryu and teh Timeshift stuff especially.

My problem with Skyward Sword is moar fundamental - teh storytelling. There's a huge fricking hole in teh overall narrative that sucks teh life out of it. Teh issue is that I have great difficulty caring about what happens. As is typical of teh genre, our hero has to rescue all of existence from teh Big Bad - but as you play through, there's a nagging feeling that develops about why you would bother. It's a good thing teh gameplay is so engaging because if you stop to think about it, you notice teh surface world isn't really worth saving. I mean, sure it's pretty and filled with exciting and complicated puzzles - but it's also almost totally devoid of characters which evoke any real sympathy whatsoever.


Teh first region has teh Kikwis. There's five of them and you barely interact with any of them. All they do is hide. Later there are also teh underwater umbrella d00ds. There seem to be a number of these guys, but they are even less interesting than teh Kikwis. It's looked after by teh Water Dragon who is a condescending and annoying bitch.

Region 2 has Mogmas. These guys have a moar prominent role in teh game, comic relief. They are poorly sketched out and their only defining characteristic is that they are acquisitive greedy little bastards (if that can be considered a single characteristic). Teh guardian of this zone is teh Fire Dragon who is a loud and insensitive buffoon.

Region 3 has teh little robot d00ds who are genuinely interesting, unforteunately, they went extinct a thousand years previous to teh start of teh game (you interact with them through regions affected by Timeshift Stones which put you into teh distant past). IOW, they are already gone by teh time you can do buggerall about them. Teh Thunder Dragon (not Bhutan this time) is teh least offensive of teh regional guardians, but he's basically dying when you meet him. This entire zone, teh only one that might have been worth saving, is filled with folks who are already dead or well on their way.

There are also a few Gorons that are pleasant enough d00ds, and also archaeologists too! That's pretty cool - but is it enough to warrant teh wholesale slaughter of all those Bokoblins and Moblins? There are way moar enemies on teh surface than anything else. So wouldn't teh democratic thing be to let teh baddies take over? wev. I'm struggling through Hero Mode because teh game is genuinely a blast to play. With a marginally less annoying NPC population, this game would be perfect.

1 comment:

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I have been considering it. I am far from an avid gamer, but I had a load of fun with the first Zelda.

Otherwise, the wii is just sitting there acting as a Netflix server.