The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. So I take notice to every single Zelda game that ever comes out. While Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and some other Zeldas have all been good they just lacked the magic Ocarina had. Sure it’s hard to beat nostalgia, but Skyward Sword comes awfully close.
While I thought Twilight Princess was a great game, I also felt like it brought the series behind in many ways. It had little originality, as if they were making it too close to Ocarina instead of following down a more creative path. Skyward Sword breaks down every wall, and is also the ultimate prequel to the series. Which gives them so room to breathe and they fix many things that were getting dull.
The game also takes advantage of the Wii’s motion plus accessory. And by “take advantage of” I mean it’s mandatory, but I’m glad they use it. They even redesign classic Zelda weapons, and give them also a new control method. While Twilight Princess used the IR sensor, even pointing is used internally by the Wii Motion Plus. So a simple re-center with a tap of a button will fix any problems with the cursor leaving the screen.
I think the new change is actually pretty good. It’s a little weird at first, but you easily get used to it. I’d like to see this used more with Wii games. First person shooters developers could take some notes.
I think the #1 thing holding Zelda back was the combat. Twilight Princess wasn’t that much more evolved than the 1998 N64 game to be honest. A few taps of the B button, and most of the work was done. Skyward Sword however requires you to swing your sword like you would in real life. Enemies can precisely block your attacks as well. They also attack in groups, take notice to dangers around them, and really test your abilities each step of the way.
The dungeon count is plentiful, and most of them are fantastic. My favorite was the one that’s actually a pirate ship, and the last one really tested my puzzle-solving skills. I think the biggest joy of the game were the boss battles. They were epic, and provided for first time in a long time: a challenge.
I think the biggest gripe I have with the game is the world itself. There are really only 3 main areas plus the Skyworld. Sure a forest, volcano, and a desert have their moments, but I was hoping for a bit more variety. Also the Skyworld with the Loftwing riding just didn’t compare to the boat sailing in Wind Waker. The barren air land has many secrets, except most of them are junk or hard to find.
While it may not be perfect, Skyward Sword has delivered something no video game has done for me in a good while. That’s a 30+ hour adventure I enjoyed almost every minute of. Though Ocarina of Time is still my favorite game ever, Skyward Sword is one of the best games in the Zelda series. While the first hour or two might seem gimmicky due to the controls, I assure you that every corner is better than the one before it.
Score: 10 out of 10