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post #61 of 208 Old 09-30-2011, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Non-spolier detail, but Ninty confirmed that there's 3 hud's available, newb-playa-pro, all with varying amounts of info displayed.
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post #62 of 208 Old 09-30-2011, 07:08 AM
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Yeah, Nintendo's been moving toward minimalist HUDs for a while now, so I can't imagine they'd force you to play with that giant information-overload overlay at all times.
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post #63 of 208 Old 10-04-2011, 07:06 AM
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Skyward Sword is confirmed to have an orchestral soundtrack, which I am...very pleased about. The stated rationale was that if Mario Galaxy had one, they couldn't let Zelda get away with less, which is more or less what I thought the instant I heard Mario Galaxy's soundtrack. This is probably an opinion bordering on just plain wrong, but I find an orchestral soundtrack adds more of an "epic feel" to a game than HD graphics or digital audio. Galaxy 2 is a near-perfect game, and yet the soundtrack was one of the best things about it.
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post #64 of 208 Old 10-06-2011, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Skyward Sword is confirmed to have an orchestral soundtrack, which I am...very pleased about. The stated rationale was that if Mario Galaxy had one, they couldn't let Zelda get away with less, which is more or less what I thought the instant I heard Mario Galaxy's soundtrack. This is probably an opinion bordering on just plain wrong, but I find an orchestral soundtrack adds more of an "epic feel" to a game than HD graphics or digital audio. Galaxy 2 is a near-perfect game, and yet the soundtrack was one of the best things about it.

Orchestra is a nice touch. This game, or at least the previews we've seen, is shaping up amazingly, and it could be quite the swan song for the Wii... I keep my hopes up that they won't somehow 'Pull a Sakamoto' and have some immature anime plot or a "OoT via Wii Sports Resort" formula, but it really seems to be a worthy addition to the Zelda legacy at this point.

Some soundtrack for y'all, via the into:


Did someone say screenhots? Screenshots ahoy!





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post #65 of 208 Old 10-06-2011, 08:55 AM
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Wow, that looks gorgeous. I'm so glad they're eschewing straight boring realism in favor of an actual art style.
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post #66 of 208 Old 10-06-2011, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Wow, that looks gorgeous. I'm so glad they're eschewing straight boring realism in favor of an actual art style.

Agreed. What did you think of the music? I can't tell if the YT embedded link worked (coz my work blocks it), I had to pull this up on my phone... I thought it felt perfect for Zelda, very grand and fits the world perfectly.

I have to admit tho, I didn't watch the video... I just turned my phone over so I wouldn't get spoilered.

audio only MP3 link, if anyone else is trying to avoid spoilers but would like to listen:
http://minus.com/mM8GJmGXB
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post #67 of 208 Old 10-06-2011, 12:05 PM
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Haven't had a chance to listen to it yet; no audio on my work computer. But I'm generally pretty pleased with the tunes in Zelda games. Sorta blew my mind that the game's theme turned out to be Zelda's Lullaby backwards.
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post #68 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 03:26 AM
 
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I was reading an article on some site and the morons did a very slight spoiler right fof the bat with no warning. Thus why I try not to read anything.
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post #69 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 09:02 AM
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Yeah, I'm done reading anything about this too. Too much information is coming out now. I mean, I saw an article title called "Here is how Skyward Sword will begin" or something along those lines.

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post #70 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 10:32 AM
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Yeah, agreed. We've now started into the media blitz phase, I guess. One site has the opening score, another has like 10 minutes of gameplay and another has the opening cinematic. I'm avoiding stuff like that.

Now that I've decided I'm getting the game and it's getting close, I don't want the experience spoiled by over-zealous articles. I'm a guaranteed sale, I don't need to be convinced.
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post #71 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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So... I'll spoiler this, then

Quote:


My Goodness, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Deserves to be Called
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
an RPG!
November's The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword looks almost nothing like the old Nintendo Entertainment System Zelda II, but now that I've finished the new Wii game's first dungeon, I can say that, folks, after more than 20 years, the wait is over. We can finally call a Zelda a role-playing game again.
The last time I think the Zelda series deserved to be called an RPG was in 1989, maybe 1990, when I was playing Zelda II in my parent's house, black Nintendo player's guide at my side.

When 13-year-old me played that second-ever Zelda game, I was experiencing an installment of the series that wasn't just about exploration and combat, puzzle-filled dungeons and doing exciting things while great video game music played. I was playing a Zelda that was also about math—about stats!—and allowed for some decision-making that might make my Link, hero of Zelda, a little different than yours. I was playing a Zelda I'd call an RPG.

(Check out the game's new screenshots and two videos that hit today.)

For years people kept trying to call new Zelda games RPGs, but the term became less and less appropriate. Zelda games have been loved, but they've hardly earned that RPG label of late. And so what? They were wonderful, mostly. Maybe they didn't need to also be RPGs.

I think gamers expect certain things of the games they call role-playing games. They expect a long adventure, a quest. They also expect choice: choice of what to say, choice of who to help or hurt, choice of which armor to wear or guns to upgrade, and choice of which items to buy and sell. People who play RPGs play with a to-do list in their head as they consciously or subconsciously make decisions about who the character they are playing will become. Their character gradually morphs from stock world-saver into someone who feels and is customized, special. Zelda games had the long quests, but they didn't offer much choice and hid the few stats that used to define their hero's abilities.

Choice wasn't abundant in Zelda, certainly not the kind that would create statistically distinct experiences from one player to the next. In a Fallout or even a Final Fantasy RPG we could bet that I set my characters up differently with different skills or weapons or levels of proficiency.

If you and I played through any post-Zelda II Zelda game we would have very similar experiences. Our Links would be the same, our experiences close to identical. I might collect more heart containers than you and finish a few more side-quests, but we'd get through the same dungeons with the same items, using the same swords and slingshots that all had the same attack and defense properties. I'd bolster my arrows to shoot fire; so would you. We both would have to finish the game. Skyward Sword, surprise, surprise, isn't exactly like that.

Your Skyward Sword Link will probably be outfitted distinctly from mine and measure up differently statistically. If we both play through the game, we'll have made different choices, maybe not in terms of quests or dialogue (I wasn't shown enough of the game to see any signs that there are branching paths), but, having played through the first dungeon and poked around in the game, I can now tell that we will have customized different Links. I didn't figure this out directly. No one told me this. I sniffed it out, and I think that RPG scent is real.

Before I get deep into what's so interesting and RPG-ish about Skyward Sword, which I played in a conference room staffed by Nintendo personnel earlier this week, I must say that I don't want try to stretch the Zelda II comparison too far. That game was a side-scroller. It starred Link in a strange adventure that introduced towns to the series and experience points, the latter of which then vanished and have not returned in this new Wii adventure.

Skyward Sword stars Link. It's no side-scroller, of course. It's a lush, modern three-dimensional Zelda. People who don't consume every Zelda in full might not even sense that this new one is that different, but in it, just under the surface are many little-discussed elements I found while clearing the game's first dungeon. These little RPG-ish things got me appreciating how different this new quest is.

The dungeon I fought and puzzled through in front of those Nintendo folks is called the Skyview Temple, or Forest Temple. It's the first one in the game and has mostly been shown already in videos (like this one) shot at June's E3 gaming bonanza. You reach the dungeon after a land sequence I didn't play which itself follows the game's opening section in a city on the clouds (our Kirk Hamilton wrote about the game's opening cloud-based adventure last week). At E3 in L.A., gamers got to rush through as much of the forest temple as they could on a 10-minute timer. They could also skip ahead and fight the dungeon boss.

There's no timer in the real game, so I played Skyward Sword's first dungeon at my own pace, swiping Link's sword through spiderwebs, battling with big spiders, fighting Stalfos (skeleton dudes), getting the remote-controlled beetle gadget, figuring out how to unlock doors guarded by giant eyeballs, chopping the heads off a tri-headed beast in one correctly-angled stroke of the Wii Remote Plus, swinging on vines a bit, finding the map, swimming, raising the water level in the dungeon (don't panic! It's no Water Temple), finding the boss key and preparing to fight the boss. I did all that at my leisure.

At my leisure, I also poked around in the game's menus. Zelda fans know that's where you learn cool stuff. In those Zelda menus I began to find more signs of how the game is RPG-like. I already knew that shields can degrade and need to be repaired. That had been shown at E3. In the menu, I could see my wooden shield's damage bar and assess whether it needed repairs. Managing the condition of an item like that? That's fairly RPGish, yes? I could also see a full page of potentially collectible items, most of them not yet found and shown only in silhouettes, mostly bugs and I think some skulls and other loot drops. I got a sense there might be a crafting system. Ah, very RPG, if true. (I didn't actually find a crafting system yet.)

In one of the game's menus I found some numbers. They were a big surprise. I was—bear with me—talking to my in-game friend when this happend. Or, I was talking to Fi, the spirit or whatever she is that accompanies you in your quest, morphs into your sword and talks a bit like a computer. In a menu for her, I found an option to ask her for advice. She'll give a hint about what you should do next. I then found an even more peculiar option to ask her for "analysis". What's that all about? I selected it and got to read some text from her. She told me that the suitability of the items I was carrying was at 75% for the area I was in and that the items in my pouch were balanced.

Huh?

I'm happy to see Stephen also noticed the increased, almost RPGish depth of Skyward Sword. Hi, Kirk here, just wanted to chime in. Stephen picked up his New York demo right about where my SF demo (which we ran last week) left off. There were a few small things I saw that I haven't written about—leaving the village of Skyloft and landing in the green glens and valleys of Faron Woods and its environs. While I was there, Fi taught me about Dowsing, (first-person homing beacon following) and also met some incredibly cute little guys called Kikwis.

The more I think about the game, the more I get that feeling of possibility that marks all RPGs. Typically, Zelda games feel more like process to me than possibility. You get the tool for the job, and then you do it. It works: Nintendo's process is really fun! But it's not the same as in a full-on RPG, that feeling of "The sky's the limit!" I'm really more of an RPG Guy at heart—I like stats, I like tailoring to my own play-style. Skyward Sword feels comfortable to me in a way that some other Zelda games haven't. As Stephen points out, it's still very much Zelda—there's no leveling or experience points, and there's no branching narrative. But still, several layers of depth have been carved into the sturdy tree-trunk of classic Zelda gameplay, and for an old-school RPG fan like me, it's a welcome addition.

The Nintendo people I was playing the game in front of weren't ready to spill. I'd learn more about what that all meant the more I played, they told me. But I'd learned enough: You can have an unsuitable array of pouch items in this game! That sure sounds like a weird thing to get excited about. But if you've played Zeldas you know that the game doesn't ever tell you that you have unsuitable items. The games don't calculate the suitability of what you've stocked. The games don't do this because it just doesn't matter. In Zelda games past you either had what you needed or you didn't; you were either right or wrong. In percentage terms you were either 0%s suitable or 100% suitable. Maybe you were short a health potion, but you pretty much always were what I guess you'd have to call balanced. But Skyward Sword does calculate and weight exactly these kinds of things, somehow, for some reason. I'm sure playing would reveal more, but...

Hold on.

I also found another Fi menu option called "Rumors". I asked the Nintendo people if they could comment on it, which is an inside joke (loyal Kotaku readers will get it). What Rumors would Fi tell me about, I wondered? I clicked the option for her to speak. She started talking about a rumor that "medals" will give you beneficial effects as long as you're carrying them. Oh my. Effects? I can equip special items that bolster certain qualities of my hero or his gear? That's pure RPG right there. I couldn't find any medals, mind you. I didn't even have the one she described, which was a so-called potion medal that extends the duration of potion effects.

These are the exact kinds of things I wasn't expecting to find: evidence that there is more choice about the kind of Link I can be in Skyward Sword. That's not the kind of choice, underpinned by the mathematics of status effects and item balance that we've had in Zelda games just about ever. I assure you that this game hasn't gone full hardcore RPG. Not even close. You're still going through dungeons finding major items required to solve specific puzzles, all as you would in any Zelda, but on the periphery of a familiar blueprint I see options to tweak some of the finer details of this latest Link quest.

***
From the start, Nintendo has encouraged Zelda fans to think of Skyward Sword as something special. As the years of promotion for the game have gone by, it's become clear that much of what's special about this Zelda is how atypical a modern Nintendo game it is. The game's a little tougher and a lot longer—50-100 hours, they claim—than the kinds of easy, quick-play games Nintendo has marketed for the mainstream Wii market. It's for hardcore Nintendo fans who want a long adventure that will test them.

It has not been clear, these last few years, however, how atypical a Zelda this would be. It has long appeared to be a common one, structured with an overworld and dungeons, steadily cajoling the player to think and battle through a fantastic world while acquiring bombs, shields and swords. Typical, typical Zelda stuff. But at a more granular level this week I saw signs that there is something fundamentally different about this new Zelda game.

The marketing for Skyward Sword advertises how, thanks to the required Motion Plus tech, the game will require players to think about the deliberate directions they swing their Wii remote, so that they can enjoy relatively complex swordplay. That marketing hasn't advertised the apparent truth that gamers will also be cajoled to think about the deliberate ways they customize their hero, choosing specific ways for Link to arm himself and boost his abilities.

This isn't a full swing to BioWare or Final Fantasy role-playing game territory for the Zelda series. I saw no signs of experience points and I still expect there to be, at most, a tidy array of weapons and items.

This is, however, a clear swing toward an almost forgotten aspect of Zelda. Skyward Sword makes Zelda an RPG again, at least through the first dungeon and hopefully far beyond.

(Look for more coverage about Skyward Sword here on Kotaku in the coming weeks. The game will be out on the Wii on November 20.)

from Kotaku. Quick hint: spoiler content rhymes with "Are Pee Gee"
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post #72 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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lmao, jhof, I know... that IGN article about the beginning of the game... that's so ridiculous. Why would anyone want to be told everything that happens in the game before they get it?

When a zelda game was released years ago I was looking at message boards and some troll put in a title that Ganon was in the game, which ruined a lot of it for that too.

It seems like everything is spoiled now. If you read a description for a tv show it tells the whole plot and then when you watch it the plot is presented as if it's trying to surprise you.
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post #73 of 208 Old 10-07-2011, 07:28 PM
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I scanned that.

Since when does a little bit of character customization equate to it being an RPG? That seems to be the entire basis for them thinking so.
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post #74 of 208 Old 10-20-2011, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so It IS Official Nintendo Magazine and all (they gave Other M a 91%), but first SS review is in:

http://www.officialnintendomagazine....iew-98-in-onm/

Quote:
Originally Posted by ONM View Post

"98%"
"Best Zelda game ever made"
"Around 35 hours to complete the main quest, double that to 100%"

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post #75 of 208 Old 10-20-2011, 07:05 AM
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Yeah, I don't buy reviews from single-platform publications. About the only review score I pay any attention to at all is Eurogamer, since they tend to be much harsher than most.
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post #76 of 208 Old 10-20-2011, 01:05 PM
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I'd trust Nintendo Power much more; they tend to be harsher in their reviews (they gave Other M an 85, which was generally in line with most reviews), even for first-party titles. Most third-party mags barely cover the Wii, so I tend to defer to websites more than print for them.

But honestly, is there really any doubt that Skyward Sword will be good? Miyamoto has been heavily involved with it's development, it was developed internally (sorry, Team Ninja, you blew it) and Ejii Aonuma is producing. The director has worked on five previous Zelda games (for the GBA and DS). The only recent ZElda game he didn't work on was the one I didn't like all that much: Spirit Tracks. Plus, it's been in development for years and intended to be a tent-pole project (as opposed to 'M', which came out of nowhere, effectively).

I would be stunned if we had another 'Other M' on our hands.
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post #77 of 208 Old 10-21-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Good points, all. And, well, apparently we have the new Metroid Prime on our hands:

Edge gives Skyward Sword a 10/10
http://www.next-gen.biz/reviews/lege...d-sword-review



Screw it, I'm dedicating the rest of this month and next to Zelda replays. I have to compare now... If this were to somehow upset WW as my favorite, well, that would be OK.


Hype level rising.
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post #78 of 208 Old 10-25-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright, there's been some updates so I'll post a non-spoiler screen capture (lo res) and spoiler tag the rest (bold highlights are mine)... but, as always: Read at own risk, blackout-ers!




On the M+ Controls:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Freed from the shackles of buttons, Nintendo’s monster designers concoct a giddying bestiary of revamped favourites and startling debuts. Gelatinous blobs must be vigorously diced before they regroup, Stalfos dual-wield (and occasionally quadruple-wield) for added defence, and Lizalfos hide vulnerable bellies behind Hellboy-ish stone gauntlets. One striking industrial region hosts security drones whose glowing hinges beckon like dotted ‘cut here’ lines. No parental guidance is required, though younger adventurers may find it offered, if not enforced. The fact that one reoccurring boss boasts no greater gimmick than quick reflexes shows how far Skyward Sword has moved beyond earlier games.
Quote:
[edit] I assume it's this guy, as he was pretty agile in the demo

MotionPlus permeates Link’s kitbag from items to interface. A simple thing like bombs differentiating between underarm bowls and overarm lobs rejuvenates an item long thought exhausted. Projectile weapons demonstrate a true breakthrough, rejecting Wii’s sensor bar for purely gyroscopic aiming. Tilting the Remote grants control finesse to rival Metroid Prime 3, untainted by the jitteriness of a hand held aloft. Comparing gliding archery here to Twilight Princess’ flighty bow cursor, we wonder why Nintendo didn’t pursue this avenue of control to begin with. The technology powers all in-game menus, picking between dialogue choices or navigating item wheels with the smoothest of gestures.


On the Puzzles:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

As for those puzzles? How’s this for a statement of intent: not a single torch-lighting number, and only one push-the-box-on-the-button incident. How does it have the nerve to call itself a celebration of 25 years of Zelda? Blame Link’s unusual toys. A flying beetle pulls players up into the rafters as digging claws bury deep into foundations. Add other tools that blow, yank, glide and drag, and designers have a juicy verb sheet with which to concoct fiendish head-scratchers. Where Twilight Princess’ gizmos gathered dust after glorious debut dungeons, Skyward Sword keeps its kitbag tight and in constant circulation with ingenious multitasking and surprise upgrades along the way.


And overall:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Unsurprisingly for a game with a key mechanic that involves flinging Link into tumbling freefall, a glint of matinee idol derring-do is never far from its eye. Its 35 hours – that’s ignoring a wealth of trinkets – fly by in a heroic blur of pirates, dragons and zombie-filled crypts. A reliance on riddles and cranking up ancient machines finds its treasure-hunting roots not in Wind Waker, but Indiana Jones. As cracked tablets lead to forgotten sanctums and mystic hymns stir memories in Link’s otherworldly aide, the hairs on the back of the neck bristle to salute a quest unique in its unabashed lack of irony. This is a game made for Christmas Day, released an agonising six weeks before.

Firstparty experiments have tested Wii’s boundaries, deducing what does and doesn’t work. Their findings resonate throughout Skyward Sword. In Wii Sports-powered bomb bowling. In skydiving and swordplay learnt on a Wuhu holiday. In the surreal beauty and orchestral bombast beamed down from Super Mario Galaxy. In the metallic Metroid chu-chunk of a door lock. Even the opinion-dividing Wii Music is vindicated in subtle moments of auto-tuning cleverness. How apt that this ultimate tale of heromaking should see Nintendo’s hardware become the console it was always meant to be.



And I've started Link to the Past... I'll never finish it in time. Or maybe I'll delay SS until Christmas.... HAHAHA! Right!
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post #79 of 208 Old 10-25-2011, 09:17 AM
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And I've started Link to the Past... I'll never finish it in time. Or maybe I'll delay SS until Christmas.... HAHAHA! Right!

I'm convinced that I could beat LTTP at this point just by thinking about it, having played it so many times. Dude, it's what, a 10-hour game at most? Plenty of time!
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post #80 of 208 Old 10-25-2011, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

I'm convinced that I could beat LTTP at this point just by thinking about it, having played it so many times. Dude, it's what, a 10-hour game at most? Plenty of time!


Man, I can't take peer pressure. I'll do it... they say public resolutions can help to spur personal commitment, so I solemnly swear that I won't play SS until I whoop LTTP.



As to the 10 hours part, let's not forget that I've had it since like 1998... I'm really good at procrastinating.
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post #81 of 208 Old 10-26-2011, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

I'm convinced that I could beat LTTP at this point just by thinking about it, having played it so many times. Dude, it's what, a 10-hour game at most? Plenty of time!

When I got Link to the Past in 1997 or so when it was rereleased as a Player's Choice title, I spent weeks on it. I bet I easily spent 30 hours finishing it and didn't even get one of the heart pieces on the way. 10 hours sounds way too quick for a first play through, even for someone that tends to rush and not do a lot of exploration. I bet it's a minimum of 15 hours for fast players their first time through, if not more.

Felt like it took the majority of my summer vacation that year to play through it. Great game, I just wish I could erase my memories of it. I've yet to fully replay through it (Although I've gotten close, slowly been going through the GBA port over the past 5 years, about two dungeons away from the end) or any other Zelda game. They're special games that are great, but they're best enjoyed on the first play through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WizarDru View Post

But honestly, is there really any doubt that Skyward Sword will be good? Miyamoto has been heavily involved with it's development, it was developed internally (sorry, Team Ninja, you blew it) and Ejii Aonuma is producing. The director has worked on five previous Zelda games (for the GBA and DS).

I count 4 major Zelda titles that he's worked on (Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Twilight Princess). What's the 5th game? Edit - Looks like he played a role in the development of Ocarina of Time, Spirit Tracks and Link's Crossbow Training if you count that. While I really enjoyed 3 of the 4 (Phantom Hourglass is a B game in a series that deserves an A+ everytime out), there's no question in my mind that the quality of the series has diminished somewhat compared to the levels reached in the 1990's with Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, and Ocarina of Time.

So I'm glad to hear that Miyamoto is heavily involved since I'm not particularly crazy about Ejii Aonuma's vision for the Zelda series.

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Originally Posted by voodoozen View Post

Man, I can't take peer pressure. I'll do it... they say public resolutions can help to spur personal commitment, so I solemnly swear that I won't play SS until I whoop LTTP.

It's a great game, even by today's standards. You won't regret playing through it. Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time are the greatest games in the series in the opinion of many Zelda fans (A sentiment I share).
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post #82 of 208 Old 10-26-2011, 06:48 AM
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Oh, I didn't realize you'd NEVER played LTTP before. Now that's interesting. Why did you choose to waste your life until now?

Given that I first played LTTP when I was what, 12 maybe? I'm sure it must have taken me quite a while to beat the first time. I remember wandering around the lake/desert areas for hours wondering what to do next, theorizing with dork friends at recess that the three pendants would transform into the Triforce (and one kid always claiming he'd found the Triforce in a hidden cave, and it made him invincible and he beat the rest of the game easily, and then Zelda got naked). After you beat the game it places a small number in the corner of your save file. Mine was "90," which I took to mean that I did really well at the game, scoring an A-. It wasn't till quite a bit later I found out that number's your death count throughout the game.

Aonuma has overseen some damn good Zelda games. Majora's Mask is severely underrated (I'd rather have that for 3DS than OoT), and Wind Waker is my favorite 3D Zelda. Twilight Princess did get away from him a bit, and Phantom Hourglass felt a bit like an undercooked experiment--though nailing two out of three "experimental" Zelda games ain't bad. Hope he's learned from his mistakes.
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post #83 of 208 Old 10-27-2011, 06:27 PM
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Does anyone have word if it's on a dual layer disc? My Wii has problems reading them which I found out when I rented Super Smash Bros. It'd be nice to know ahead of time so I can send in my Wii if I need to.
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post #84 of 208 Old 10-27-2011, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ThisOneKidMongo View Post

Oh, I didn't realize you'd NEVER played LTTP before. Now that's interesting. Why did you choose to waste your life until now?

Given that I first played LTTP when I was what, 12 maybe? I'm sure it must have taken me quite a while to beat the first time. I remember wandering around the lake/desert areas for hours wondering what to do next, theorizing with dork friends at recess that the three pendants would transform into the Triforce (and one kid always claiming he'd found the Triforce in a hidden cave, and it made him invincible and he beat the rest of the game easily, and then Zelda got naked). After you beat the game it places a small number in the corner of your save file. Mine was "90," which I took to mean that I did really well at the game, scoring an A-. It wasn't till quite a bit later I found out that number's your death count throughout the game.

I've played LTTP- but "played" is all... I collected the 3 pendants, found the master sword and thought I had the game beat... then never had the manhood to finish. And I started the game from scratch probably 3-4 times, because you know you never really feel caught up starting mid-stream, but I've always quit/got distracted before I could even get back to that same point. I nearly had that problem with WW (I was playing it in bursts whenever I could), I got to the Triforce quest and felt like time was against me... so glad that I didn't stop, WW is easily among my top 5 games ever now.


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Originally Posted by bytor View Post

Does anyone have word if it's on a dual layer disc? My Wii has problems reading them which I found out when I rented Super Smash Bros. It'd be nice to know ahead of time so I can send in my Wii if I need to.

I'd say yeah, it's gotta be dual layer; no way it'll fit on single-layer disc. Not confirmed (anywhere that I know of), but there's little chance that Ninty could get 40 hours of gameplay and supporting data on a single-layer disc looking as good as it does.

Or else they ARE wizards...
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post #85 of 208 Old 10-30-2011, 01:08 AM
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I'm kind of concerned about one aspect of this. The size of the game world is small. They felt like players didn't like huge worlds and would prefer revisting the same few spots throughout the game to do new tasks in existing locations.

And now with a shot of the full world map (Linked below), I'm thinking they took that strange thought they had just a bit too far. I hope there is a lot to each location like there was in Majora's Mask (Which also has a world that at first glance might seem too small).

http://nintendoeverything.com/wp-con..._sword_map.png

I hope there's more to the world in this game than what the full map seems to indicate. Looks like it could all fit in one corner of Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time...
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post #86 of 208 Old 10-31-2011, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

I'm kind of concerned about one aspect of this. The size of the game world is small. They felt like players didn't like huge worlds and would prefer revisting the same few spots throughout the game to do new tasks in existing locations.

And now with a shot of the full world map (Linked below), I'm thinking they took that strange thought they had just a bit too far. I hope there is a lot to each location like there was in Majora's Mask (Which also has a world that at first glance might seem too small).

http://nintendoeverything.com/wp-con..._sword_map.png

I hope there's more to the world in this game than what the full map seems to indicate. Looks like it could all fit in one corner of Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time...

I expect there's more backtracking and running about, similar to Super Metroid. Early rumors had the dungeon count at 6, but of course rumors tend to be BS... Anyone see the supposed leak? I haven't watched it, but I assume spoilers here:


Also, ooooohhhh. Pretty! (if you lose the wiimote cover)
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post #87 of 208 Old 10-31-2011, 02:22 PM
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Yeah that Wiimote doesn't look good. Didn't like the Skyward Sword logo on it and really don't like how it looks in the plastic sleeve, which I always use. So I don't mind missing out on that package.

I imagine the world will be just fine. The world of Majora's Mask was small, but so much was going on that it never seemed that way (Although it still looks bigger than Skyward Sword).

http://projectzelda.tripod.com/mm/termina-map.jpg
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Yeah, that is ass-ugly in the sleeve...though I do chalk most of that up to the sleeve itself. I guess they opted not to do a translucent golden sleeve because it'd be very hard to do that and not just have it come out looking piss-colored (well, that and cost).

A relatively small, hopefully dense map sounds fine to me. Nintendo's yet to really make a terribly engaging overworld in a 3D Zelda; they all feel empty and take a bit too long to navigate. The best one was probably Wind Waker, where the desolate, lonely nature was at least appropriate. As for Skyward Sword's map, even though it seems like there's really only three or four main areas, it looks like there's several distinct locations packed into each section. Plus it's also possible there's smaller islands along the way to the main areas that aren't on the map.
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Spoilers ahead, watch at your own risk... but
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
New anemone looking boss, and is that a previously unseen new character?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

I'm kind of concerned about one aspect of this. The size of the game world is small. They felt like players didn't like huge worlds and would prefer revisting the same few spots throughout the game to do new tasks in existing locations.

And now with a shot of the full world map (Linked below), I'm thinking they took that strange thought they had just a bit too far. I hope there is a lot to each location like there was in Majora's Mask (Which also has a world that at first glance might seem too small).

http://nintendoeverything.com/wp-con..._sword_map.png

I hope there's more to the world in this game than what the full map seems to indicate. Looks like it could all fit in one corner of Hyrule field in Ocarina of Time...

In the Gamepro review they said it took 15 hours to clear the first 3 dungeons, and the whole game was 40 hours. If it's 5 hours/dungeon with sidequests and backtracking, 6 dungeons and 30+ hours seems to make sense... but the map does make it look like we'll revisit the same areas, or else there's multiple dungeons in each area.

GP put the game 1% point behind TP, BTW, 93% vs 94%. And here it is, translated for your reading pleasure and spoiler tagged appropriately to avoid giving away too much (it's the most spoiler-iffic review I've seen, which is why I stopped reading it):
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The first game in the continuity? Possibly. The last Zelda game on the Wii? Definitely. As epic as the series so far? Guaranteed!

By Nino Kerl (translation by Michael Heide)

Video games have reached the mainstream - be it casual schlock like karaoke, plastic guitar or fitness fidget schlock or huge productions with million dollar budgets that end up being just pretty graphics around a hollow core. The inevitable result: dumbing down of the actual content. What ends up missing is the charm, the magic, a chance to create an emotional bond to the heroic alliance or to identify with the protagonist. Games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Metal Gear Solid 4 or Red Dead Redemption are slowly becoming extinct. Be honest: when was the last time you sat through the credits in awe (unless you got an achievement or trophy)? In most cases, your attention disappears immediately after the last boss battle or the final shootout and gets transferred to the next title. Video games are turning more and more into a casual fling. You get to know someone, spend a few awesome hours together, but before you shamble into a cab, the memories of your short time together are beginning to fade. With Zelda, it's a bit different, though. With her, video gamers had quite a few unforgettable magical moments. It's hard to say good-bye and realise that the time you spent together is over. You want to see her again. At all costs. Zelda-Fans had to wait five whole years for this latest reunion, for Skyward Sword. It's about time for a few more magical moments, for video game charm.

Timeline-Theories
According to Nintendo, there is a confidential Zelda timeline in which every Zelda game has its chronological placement. Details about the overarching storyline are kept secret by Miyamoto and company, though. At least Nintendo mainstay Eiji Aounuma (involved in the development of Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and other games) leaked that Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time. And indeed, this gets confirmed close to the ending of the first (and last) Wii-exclusive Zelda adventure. The action adventure starts with a prologue that happens centuries before the actual plot of the game. A non-specified country (Hyrule?) is haunted by a dark power. A huge monster that might as well have been designed by American artist Alex Grey (who did the cover art for cds by the band Tool, among other things) broke through the ground like a poisonous plant. Evil spread like a cancer, and the land that had been full of life drowned in despair, death and chaos. The dark powers were looking for the "Power of the Goddess", a power that the divine keeper of the lands had inherited from her ancestors. To prevent armageddon and to save the remaining people, the Goddess sent the survivors into the sky, into the sea of clouds. After that was done, she and her followers declared war and eventually sealed away the evil. After this long forgotten age, no human set a foot on the earth. The once existing peaceful world below the clouds fell to oblivion. Until now.

A familiar chosen one
At this hidden realm in the sky, the so called Skyloft, you'll meet protagonist Link for the first time, sleeping fitfully because of a recurring dream that the pointy-eared boy is having every single night. A strange voice is whispering to him: "The time has come for you, the chosen one. Awaken!" Suddenly, a huge bird puts his head through the window and wakes our hero. The guy almost slept through his big day. The day of the "loftwing rider ceremony", a traditional contest in which participants ride on the feathered backs of loft birds (a cross between a chocobo and a parrot, it seems). This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ceremony (easter egg alert!). Not only does the champion get to have a romantic date with the girl Zelda, he will also be given a loft knighthood. Link jumps out of bed, and you take control of the young Skyloftian.
Accompanied by a typical Zelda score, you navigate Link from the usual 3rd person perspective through the knight school (an academy for loft knights in training) and into the open. When the wooden gates of the knight school shut behind you and you feel the first breeze of fresh air, fans of the series are already experiencing that warm feeling of homecoming. Although Skyloft is a brand new Zelda scenario, everything seems familiar. The unparalleled Zelda magic puts a spell on you immediately.

Tornado turmoil
Flight sequences being a main element of Skyward Sword, you use the upcoming bird race to get comfortable with the controls for Link's feathered friend. You move the wiimote left and right to navigate the loft bird, shake it to make him flap its wings and gain height. Tilting the wiimote down makes your "Crimson Red" nose dive. Additionally, pressing a button grants you a short boost (feather icons at the bottom of the screen indicate how often you can use it, comparable to Epona's carrots in Ocarina of Time). The flight controls seem sluggish at first, but feels natural after a bit of practice. The actual race shouldn't be too challenging. The "Time Attack" races on the Lon Lon Farm (N64 owners will remember) were a completely different caliber. Once you won the loftwing rider ceremony, you'll receive the first key item of the game, the so-called parascarf, a kind of parachute that will come in handy numerous times, preventing you from breaking your bones. After that, you fly with Zelda into the end of a seemingly perfect day. The romantic flight ends abruptly, though, when a tornado comes out of nowhere and starts chasing the turtledoves. While link gets thrown off his bird and only gets a few bruises, the storm swallows the helpless Zelda like a hungry predator and drags her down into the abyss. Down to the Earth realm.

Divine direction
The mysterious being that had whispered to Link in his sleep meets him face to face the following night. In a hidden sanctuary, our hero learns from "Phi", servant of the Goddess, that Evil is trying to get the power again and that Zelda's disappearance must undoubtedly be related to this looming threat that you will have to fight off now. Obviously every chosen one needs a fitting weapon. In this case, it's the Sword of the Goddess. But this blade is more than a mere weapon, the shiny metal also harbors the shelter of Phi, who will accompany you through the whole game, similar to Midna from Twilight Princess, offering you precious hints. The traditional sword pulling ceremony happens surprisingly early in Skyward Sword, but it's celebrated more epically than ever: First, you steer Link in front of the altar. Then, the game asks you to turn the wiimote (as if you'd be holding the handle of a sword that is sticking in the ground). Now you make the movement you would make if you pulled an actual sword out of an actual stone and pointed it at the sky. Granted, to neutral spectators that might look through your living room window, the sight of a dude in sweatpants that triumphantly holds a wii remote over his head might appear strange. But be assured: Not later than this inconceivably epic moment, pleasant anticipation of the upcoming hours will flow through you like a fever rush!

Plus precision
Skyloft and the Earth Realm are separated through a holy seal that you and your bird can't break. That's why the goddess creates a portal, a green glowing pillar of light, reminiscent of the life stream from Final Fantasy VII. This portal is a link between the two worlds. To get to the Earth Realm, you move (the by now in his traditional green colors garbed) Link on his bird over the portal and jump down at the touch of a button. After a soft landing (thanks to the parascarf), you'll find yourself at the Seal Grove in the Earth Realm. The surface is full of enemies (bokblins, keese, stalfos, skulltulas, lizalfos, etc). But why do you think you carry that sword with you? At the touch of a button, you aim for an enemy with the familiar lock-on function. The always excellent camera is now focused on the foe. With the right timing, you will run for cover, perform a backwards flip or wait for the right moment to charge forward. Wii-Motion-Plus makes the annoying flailing of Twilight Princess a thing of the past. Every movement that you perform with the Wiimote-blade are transferred to the screen simultaneously. Be it vertical or horizontal strikes, blows from bottom left to upper right or vice versa, the motion detection is extremely precise and better than in any Wii game before. But the Plus controls are anything but a neat add-on, the skillful use of your blade is essential to the whole game. You break your enemies' defenses with certain attack patterns for example, like the obligatory Deku Babas, whose mouths open horizontally or vertically, always revealing a specific weak point. If the maw opens to the side, you can only wound the greedy green with a vertical slash. If you just shake your wiimote around uncontrolled, you stand no chance! Other monsters cover their faces with shields and are impervious to vertical attacks. In their case, you strike at them horizontally if you want to do any damage. Some very tenacious opponents change their cover dynamically. With them, you are going to want to locate their vulnerable spots within fractions of a second and hit them with a well-directed strike. Compared to Twilight Princess, you don't bash them to the side carelessly, you must downright defeat every single one of them.
Phis powers make it also possible to locate the auras of certain items or characters. First you choose the aura of the desired object in the ring menu. Depending on the distance between you and the respective aura, your sword gives an acustic signal like a metal detector. Additionally, you can follow some kind of crosshairs that give you the general direction of the location. This way, you can locate hearts, treasures, persons or key fragments over the course of the game.

Shield-Shenanigans
Now of course you don't want to neglect your own cover. To use your own shield, you raise the nunchuck (like you would raise an actual shield). That way, you can block your opponents' attacks or return projectiles to their sender. But be careful: Just like in the PSOne classic Soul Blade, there is a shield bar. In other words: Defend too many attacks, and your shield will break apart! Now you are faced with two options: Either you are prepared and carry a second shield at all times (yes, that is possible!). But because the items you can carry are limited like the amount of bombs or rupees in your bags (the rest will be stored in your item stash in Skyloft), that isn't recommended. Or you can use a new gameplay element and let the scrap show owner fix your shield. To get it repaired, you visit his shop in Skyloft. For a mere 10 rupees, he will restore your shield. Additionally, you have the option to upgrade your items. For that, you'll need rupees, along with certain items (bones, horns, slimes, etc) dropped by defeated enemies or hidden all over the world. This turns a wooden shield into a more robust version, and the slingshot can be upgraded to the scattershot. The same principle applies to potions. A heart potion then refills all hearts instead of just the common six. To get the wonder cocktails brewed, you need the respective base potion and certain insects that are crawling and flying everywhere. This makes the bug catching net which you can buy in Beedle's store a recommended asset!
Especially in the not very rare situations where you are confronted by a boss or are surrounded by meanies, attention and the proper use of sword and shield are mandatory. Once you know the motion patterns of Wiimote and Nunchuck by heart, the battles in Skyward Sword are a really immersive gameplay element that blur the line between you and Link's fictional world. Under fatigue in your wrists (by the way, never forget to wear the strap!), you defend yourself relentless against the slimy, scaly or scary enemies as if you were facing them in real life. Fantastic!

Link's lungs
When the rush of enemies doesn't slow down and the last heart in your health bar at the top of the screen starts beating heavily, you can run away and automatically use a new gameplay element:At the touch of a button, Link can sprint now. Especially handy: If you steer towards a wall or a crate, Link (like the hooded assassin Ezio in the Assassin's Creed games) will perform a wallrun, push himself off and grasp a ledge, from which you can shimmy to safety, assassin-style. The new wallhanging and sprinting elements give you a lot more freedom in the game's areas, but they come at a price. Link's constitution is represented by the endurance gauge. That is a circular green icon that pops up during especially exhausting actions (sprint, climb, carry heavy objects around) and depletes itself clockwise. Once the endurance is exhausted, Link catches his breath for a couple of seconds and you are unable to act! Over the course of the game, you can expect numerous parts and sequences where the precisely rationed endurance is of utmost importance. When you run out of air on your run from a treehigh boss enemy, you are helpless. If you climb on ledges in vertigo-inducing heights and your endurance wears off, you will fall down. The new endurance system fits perfectly into the gameplay and demands foresighted actions, creating suspense. Expressions of panic or relief like "climbclimbclimbclimbclimb" or "Dude, that was close!" are inevitable.

Dungeon-diary
The numerous dungeons and temples in Skyward Sword (Cave Sanctuary, Vulcan Temple, etc) are not as sprawling as the ones in Twilight Princess, but that is evened out by a dense amount of puzzles. You often make it through those with the right use of motion controls. After a few steps in the first dungeon of the game, the Skyview Temple, you are standing in front of a closed door, over which you will see an eye that watches you. Now if you think that one of your ranged weapons (slingshot, bow, etc) is any help, you're wrong. The huge eyeball follows the movement of your blade. If you put the sword away, the eyelid closes. So you lock on to the thing and make a few fast round moves with the wiimote. The eye is getting dizzy and the door opens. Genius! Handling the wiimote highly sensitively is mandatory. Another great example: To cross a gaping chasm, you balance across a rope with cautious movements of the wiimote. Just one sudden jerk, and Link loses his balance. Naturally, there is a huge offer of typical Zelda-style puzzles as well. You need to move crates, detonate fragile walls and press buttons. Like in earlier games of the series, the right item is often the key to success. Very cool and massively useful is the remote controlled beetle that you find early on in the game. With the Wiimote, you can move the robotic insect (like your loft bird) through narrow airducts to collect rupees, cut ropes, activate switches or just explore the dungeons. Later on, you can even upgrade the beetle with a useful grappling arm. With that, you can fly by a "Thorn plant" (bomb) and switch to a bird's eye perspective. Drop the explosive sphere onto your enemies or into a cup to activate a mechanism. By the way: You can pluck the thorn flowers (as usual), but this time, you can store them in your inventory. Another new option is the possibility to roll the bombs like explosive bowling balls. For example, this feature gets used in the boss battle against "Beradama" (the flaming variant of "No Face" from classic Studio Ghibli movie "Spirited Away"). To leave the burning beast behind, you can roll a couple of thorn flowers between his legs. The explosions chip away at the boss's armor, revealing his vulnerable spot. After a few strikes at his weakness, the lava lad is defeated.
All dungeons (and their keepers) are diversified, as usual for the series, and they impress with a healthy mix of enthralling fights and extremly inventive puzzles.

Earth exploration
The Earth Realm is divided into three main parts. But Faron Woods, Eldin Volcano and a third area - that we aren't allowed to talk about yet - are no connected areas, but separate parts of the map. That means that you can only reach these areas with the corresponding portals that are opened over the course of the game. On the Earth Realm, you will discover liberally distributed bird statues. Not only do these statues save your game, you can also use them to travel back to the sky. Here, you can search the cloud ocean for numerous small islands or visit Skyloft. In Link's home, you can score the shelves of Beedle's flying oddity shop, buy magical potions (the heart potion restores your health as usual, the armor potion repairs your shield) or visit the Shiekah Stone that gives you useful hints in the form of "Visions" (mini walkthrough videos) if you don't know how to continue. The kicker: Upon your return to the Earth Realm, you can land at every statue you've discovered in the respective area. That spares you from annoying backtracking. This fast travelling system is an elegent solution, but it doesn't distract from the missing (interconnected) overworld. A ride across Hylian Fields (like in Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess) is as absent as extensive exploration or a dynamic day/night shift that added to the atmosphere of earlier games. Of course you always have the option to head back for the clouds or temporarily stray from the main quest to play minigames or solve side missions. You can visit Bamboo Island to break the record in bamboo slashing, deliver hot soup to a swordmaster in a race against the clock or travel across the whole world looking for "Jewels of Compassion" (crystallized human gratitude), to help a benign demon with his transformation into a human.
Despite those optional side elements shake things up, the gameplay appears highly linear thanks to the strict division into three areas that you visit one after the other. The exploration usually follows the same pattern. First you fight and puzzle your way to the end of the area. With the help of the aura search, you locate forest dwellers, key fragments or hints at a code combination. Once you reached the end of the area, you're at the entrance of a dungeon. Once you've fought through the dungeon and against the boss, a cutscene in ingame graphics moves the plot forward and you open a new portal to reach the next area.

Earth exploration, part two
After about 15 hours, all three areas should be cleaned. That's when the plot takes a serious twist that we won't to spoil here and now. Whereas you're looking for Zelda in the first half of the game, the second half is dedicated to three "Divine Flames" to forge your sword. With the Lyra of the Goddess (a harp you'll receive at a certain point of the game), the pattern is repeated and you explore a second, previously unreachable areal in each of the three main areas, one after the other. Your beautifully depicted harp play grants you access to a test in each of the areas. You sneak through a location like in Phantom Hourglass, collect tears in the soul jar (the equivalent to the Vessel of Light in Twilight Princess). Once you passed the test, you'll receive a key item - like the scale of the water dragon - that gives you access to the new part of the area. That way, you make your way to Lake Floria in the Faron Woods, for example. The test shake things up a bit, but the repeated journeys through the main areas not only means annoying backtracking, but it also means that you have to go through several dungeons repeatedly! In order for the divine water dragon Faron to give you access to the fourth dungeon in the game, you need to give him a bottle of holy water first. To get the miracle brew, you fight again through the Skyview Temple, where different puzzles and new enemies are waiting for you. The recycling of the dungeons pads the game artificially, a different approach would have been more than welcome. In this particular case, the water dragon could have helped us in advance, granting us access to the fourth dungeon, from which we would have brought him the holy water. But no, the miracle soup has to be found in a spring inside Skyview Temple.

Zelda magic
Following the series' tradition, you will encounter a lot of dialogue over the course of the game. In several of them, you will have different choices in how you answer. As opposed to Xenoblade Chronicles or Deus Ex: Human Revolution, your answers don't influence the gameplay, though. You can spot pedestrians in Skyloft or the creatures of the Earth Realm (like the wood dwellers known as the Kikwi) that have information relevant to the plot by the thought bubbles over their heads. The absurd, comical characters are once again convincing because of the loving designs, but don't expect any voice acting. Yet another Zelda game that lmits itself to whimsical (and anything but contemporary) "Heh"-, "Hey"- or "Hihi"-samples and a gazillion of text captions. Charme and tradition are fine, but at least the main characters in a 2011 game must have a voice. Even Link doesn't manage to bring more over his lips than his obligatory "Huh?", "Ugh" and "Hiyaaaaa" repertoire. Visually, the game stagnates as well in mediocrity, compared with his predecessor Twilight Princess from 2006. The view into the distance is handled very elegantly: If you climb the Tower of Light at Skyloft and the whole sky presents itself to you, it appears as if Link was standing in front of a huge water color painting. Up close, the buildings, rocks, trees or the giant statue of the goddess aren't very pleasing, though, their washy textures and flickering edges are reminescent of Link's time travel adventure from 1997. On the other hand, the cartoony look is very consistent and appears in the level design as well as the character or monster designs. The wonderful soundtrack offers a healthy mix of familiar Zelda tunes and jingles (like an opening treasure chest) and numerous new tracks and always captures the mood perfectly.
In the time of CoD and company, it's far from usual that a game with naive graphics and coloring like Skyward Sword appears. The storytelling isn't genre-redefining as well, instead settling for familiar (and outdated) tropes. Still, the game sticks out of the programmed mainstream schlock. Once again, a Zelda game managed to wake the adventurous child within us. And when our date with Zelda -that we had to wait for so long - was over after about 40 hours and the credits rolled, we sat there staring at the screen. Like we did in 1991, when the townspeople of Kakariko waved at us for a final time. Or in 1997, when Navi the fairy disappeared through the window of the Temple of Time. Once again, we were happy, sad and touched all at once. Not many games manage to create so many emotions. Especially in recent years. Indeed it was about time for a bit of video game magic. And we're sure: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will enchant you all as well.


Zelda: Skyward Sword:

Graphics: 8/10
+ quirky, fitting comic style
+ impressive cutscenes
- flickering edges
- textures with few details

Sound: 9/10
+ offers everything from melancholic melodies to powerful sounds
+ familiar Zelda jingles
- samples instead of voice acting

Pros & Cons:
+ epic story
+ a lot of successful changes
+ userfriendly menus
+ brilliant controls
+ typical Zelda flair
+ huge areas
- no overworld map
- outdated techniques


Summary:
Unique Zelda Magic! Link's skybound adventure is a more than dignified good-bye present for the Nintendo Wii.

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