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The Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword back to reviews
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Skyward Screaming!
Usually I find that when a game starts out bad, it gets better as it goes on. In this case it started wonderfully. By the time I got to the volcano region, frustration and tedium alternated one after another. I wouldn't say Skyward Sword is the worst in the series, but it's definitely the worst of the 3D titles.

The best aspect of the game is the motion controls. The satisfaction of slaying a monster with your own hands really puts you into the game. Many of the monsters now have their own clever way of taking them down, instead of just wildly swinging your sword. Many enemies are challenging, as my main complaint about past 3D titles was that enemies were too easy to fight. On the negative side of the controls, the shield-counter mechanism is interesting for reflecting projectiles, but it turns some fights into simply standing there, waiting for the right moment and countering. The Beetle and the item upgrading are great additions to the series. You'll also spend much of your time having to recalibrate your controls, a task made easier when you can center the pointer on certain screens.

Stages and dungeons are rather small and linear. You'll spend much of your time making shortcuts along the way, and for good reason. This game adores finding ways to make you return to the same areas for fetch quests and an escort mission, even through the first dungeon again. The dungeons themselves tend to only have six to eight rooms, rather puny compared to previous Zelda titles. The world above the clouds is also rather uninspired compared to the Great Sea of Wind Waker, with only a few actual buildings among the tiny chunks of rock where you'll find Goddess Chests. The slowness of piloting the bird made me not even wanna bother collecting those.

Then there's Fi, who forces herself into your face frequently. There is an 80% chance that she will do so for the lone purpose of reiterating what an NPC just said seconds ago. She will also pop up to tell you where you need to go next, even if you've had to perform this same action twice already. Her text also rolls by slowly, leading many frustrated gamers holding down A, doing what little they can to speed it up.

All in all Skyward Sword puts controls innovation first, and level design second. I feel it should have been the other way around.
I find it weird that people complain about the backtracking in this game when you're always given something new to do when you go back to a previous area, be it because of a new item that allows you to explore more, or because the area itself has changed. And while the dungeons are rather short, the areas that lead up to them have enough puzzle elements in them that they are essentially dungeons themselves. And while the game certainly isn't as big as Wind Waker, there certainly isn't as much padding in traveling, as sailing to an island in WW often took more time than exploring the island itself.

While the game does have backtracking, I don't really consider that padding since you're given something new to do. Hell, when you revisit the first dungeon, you can swim, which you couldn't do before, allowing you to find something you couldn't reach before. Backtracking and being able to do something you couldn't do when you visited before is a staple of many great games, just take a look at Metroid.
comment #12432 Zennistrad 21st Jan 12
Yes and no. Sometimes it's more tolerable, like when you're finding the way to the Lanayru Gorge. You pretty much already know where it's gonna be since you could see what you couldn't access last time. The Silent Realm trials were also okay since they were unlike anything in the rest of the series.

What got on my nerves was having to run through the same old areas just for something stupid like finding sacred water in the first dungeon. Traveling all the way to the peak of the volcano only to backtrack and seek out the key shards. The escort mission with Scrapper, collecting Tadtones in flooded Faron. It's like the Temple of the Ocean King from Phantom Hourglass all over again.
comment #12440 KashimaKitty 21st Jan 12
I found that if the backtracking wasn't meaningful, at the very least it was fun.
comment #16327 Kexruct 30th Sep 12
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