The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo Wii - Rating: 8/10

Well, this is a Zelda game. The formula has remained unchanged ever since The Ocarina of Time. The princess has been abducted and you must work your way through the various dungeons one-by-one, collecting a new power in every dungeon. Each game in the series introduces a new game-play element. In the case of Skyward Sword that is its (supposedly) precise motion controls.

Skyward Sword requires the use of the Wii MotionPlus controller. While it’s definitely an improvement over other games that have tried to use the standard WiiMote as a sword, you still end up just flailing your arms like an idiot. The key here is to realize that the game is forgiving enough to allow you actually to take your time and be precise for many of the bigger battles.

The motion controls are also a large part of the flying sections of the game. They work well enough, but there really isn’t much fun to be had while flying. It just needlessly lengthens play time as you slowly navigate to the next zone. I found myself abusing the “dive” function as a hacky way to increase my altitude rather than concentrate on manipulating the bird in slow arcs.

Wii frills aside, this is really just a standard Zelda game. Like with the DS Zelda games, I found myself getting bored by the simplistic narrative. On more than one occasion I had to set the game aside and move on to something else for a while. I would eventually return and get a little farther on but there’s only so much un-skippable, insipid dialogue a guy can take.

Now, there are moments of inspired challenge, but for each one of those, there are mini-quests that have you back tracking over finished areas over and over. This was not a bad gaming experience, but Nintendo needs to kick it up a notch. I’m hopeful that Breath of the Wild might break from tradition enough to bring back this once great series.

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