The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Available at Amazon

“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword received high praise from reviewers when it first came out, but is often criticized by fans. Common complaints against it point toward a lack of exploration since there is no interconnected overworld (you drop down from the sky into whichever region you want to visit, rather than crossing from one region to the next), too much handholding (since your companion, Fi, explains most of your goals to you), and a reliance on motion controls.

All of these things are true, although I didn’t have a problem with the motion controls. I found it to be a nice change of pace to actually swing my Wiimote in order to move Link’s sword, and it make me feel more like I was actually battling the enemies. However, sometimes the motion controls misinterpreted my movements, which could be frustrating.

The flipside of the exploration issue is that the areas, while not connected, are fun to explore. Some of the dungeons were very interesting. On the other hand, the Fi issue is definitely there. She doesn’t take away the game’s challenge, but she may prove annoying as she repeatedly offers advice.

What I really enjoyed, though, is that Skyward Sword is one of the most story-driven Zelda games I’ve played. Most games in the series have a basic plot to carry the player through the gameplay, but Skyward Sword actually gets pretty in-depth with its lore. It’s chronologically first in the series, so anyone interested in the Legend of Zelda story or timeline should definitely see what this one adds.

It also handled its characters well. The secondary character Groose was amusing and entertaining, the new villain Ghirahim was delightfully creepy, and there’s a surprising amount of characterization for Link and Zelda through their interactions.

You get numerous sidequests as you play, and there are hidden treasures to discover as well. It may not have as much exploration or as many secret areas as past games in the series, but it’s generally enjoyable to play as long as you can handle the motion controls. Since motion controls are used for many aspects of the gameplay, they might be what determines when you’ll love it or hate it.

Personally, I love controlling Link’s sword for a change, and the unexpected focus on story was a pleasant surprise as well. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an unusual sort of Zelda game, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.”

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