Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Skyward Sword - Joining Hyrule's Mile High Club

In celebration of 25 years of Zelda games, the next instalment in the series is set to be released this year.  With the Wii U coming out soon as well, I expect that this will be similar to the Twilight Princess dilemma: buy it for the console you have now (Game Cube at the time) or wait to buy it until you have the new one?  Hopefully they will make sure that the Wii version comes with the full functionality of the Wii U so that if you do buy the new console you won’t have to get another copy of the game to access all the new ways of doing things.
And I'm free...........  free-falling.....
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword looks very impressive from what I’ve seen so far.  Epona has been replaced by a bird, which is surprising, but Avatar references aside, the story looks very interesting.  It is apparently going to be based around the forging of the Master Sword, making this a prequel to all the other games, and is most directly linked to Ocarina of Time.  Ganondorf won’t be featuring, but I expect there will be plenty of references to the future Hyrule to keep us entertained.

Particularly cool is that Nintendo have been doing a lot of work on the Wii Motion Plus, and all reports so far are saying that the sensitivity has been fine tuned almost perfectly.  Sword fighting, at last, could actually work properly.  Ever since Force Unleashed, we have been looking to see how they could improve upon the quite basic controls implemented there.  Twilight Princess was certainly decent, and the Wii Sports Resort sword fighting game (or whatever it was called, the one with the sticks) got me quite excited to see that it was finally responding fairly accurately.  In Skyward Sword, they’ve kicked it up a few more notches, and hopefully this will mean a really challenging gameplay style, where we will have to keep our sides covered and strike at openings when we see them, rather than just waiting to press Z+A.

I’m wondering what the collectible thing will be.  We’ve had medallions and magical stones, seed and musical instruments; what will be the purpose of the dungeons?  Majora’s Mask was actually fairly simplistic in that respect – it was just the head of the boss.  Gruesome, but they didn’t really go into that much.  If the purpose of the game, in theory, is to create the Master Sword, perhaps it will be things to do with that: the Anvil of Courage, the Iron Ore of Power, and the Hammer and Tongs of Wisdom.  Or something like that.  Right, it’s official, I’m calling it.  Link will be collecting blacksmith tools.  It would be fantastic.  Oh, and the Blacksmith’s Apron of the Triforce.
My how he's grown
The titan that is the Legend of Zelda series now has about 15 games in its wake.  The 16th installation, The Skyward Sword, is looking so far to be a brilliant addition to the collection, and a real celebration of Zelda, as well as pushing the boundaries on what a Zelda game can do.  There have been some images of what the Wii U might do to the format of the game, but hopefully, it will be genuinely useful rather than just tacking on additional things you can do.  The Motion Plus, however, looks like it will finally have its chance to really shine.

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