The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Genre: Third-person action-adventure
Rating: Everyone 10+ (Animated Blood, Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence)
In the spirit of celebrating The Legend of Zelda’s 25th Anniversary, Nintendo’s released its newest installment in the storied, epic series. As always you take on the role of a young man who’s destined to save Princess Zelda… but the circumstances are, also as usual, a bit different this time.
The saga has always had some semblance of continuity among its parts, and this installment is no different; it serves as a prequel to Ocarina of Time, previously the first chronologically. That means there is no land of Hyrule yet; that’s still an untold number of years in the future. There is only the sky, where most inhabitants of the world make their home in a floating city called Skyloft, and the surface, a vast realm of danger and wonder which has, to most of the inhabitants of the sky, taken on a mythological quality.
As with all recent Zelda games, you have your mount to allow you to get across the vast reaches of the clouds quickly and easily; here, it’s a Loftwing, a bird that looks not unlike a toucan but is large enough for a person to ride. It can be jarring at first to watch your friends leap off the side of the city floating perhaps hundreds of feet in the air, only to whistle and let their Loftwings whisk them away, but that is exactly what you’ll do, and find the rifts in the clouds that take you down to the surface world.
And controlling this wonderful, vast game is more exciting than ever thanks to the addition of Wii MotionPlus technology! With this device attached (or with a new remote that has it built in), you have much finer control over where your bird goes, how you use your gadgets, and perhaps most importantly (and excitingly), how you swing your sword! That’s right, you can move your sword in any direction and swing any way you choose to attack your enemies; indeed, you must change your swing’s direction many times to affect the various enemies you encounter.
Through your travels in both worlds you will make many discoveries, meet many people, face many harrowing trials and hopefully find Zelda alive and well by the end; this is, of course, the formula for all Zelda installments, though it’s no less thrilling for that.
It can be mildly frustrating to have to re-center the MotionPlus gyroscope and accelerometer frequently when they fall out of alignment, but it’s easy to do and not really intrusive at all, once you get into the game. What I see of the graphics is very good, though it should be noted that I use a rather old TV with my Wii that is nowhere near as sharp as it might be if I were to use a better one.
All that said, this is an amazing game and one I highly recommend. Five out of five!