Skyward Sword

High highs but low lows, Skyward Sword is not the game I hoped it would be.

15th February 2012

'I've deliberately read very little about Skyward Sword aside from watching the main trailer, which is enough to get me extremely excited. I've pre-ordered it and can't wait to play it. I don't know why, but I have a feeling it will be the best in the series yet.' - Declan Tyson, 2011

False hope occasionally gets the best of us all, and although Skyward Sword is a fantastic game which utilises the motion controls of the Wii to perfection, it's flawed. Massively.

The town of Skyloft is amazing, and there's secrets in every nook and cranny and every character is brilliantly realised and given their own story and quest. It's in this hub that the most fun of the game takes place, and there's enough sidequests to keep you going for hours. Outside of this, though, the world is disappointingly small. The three main hubs are pretty linear and don't have that many places to explore and there's no other towns in the game at all. If there were other places - just a couple more - like Skyloft, the game would be infinitely better.

In fact, in a lot of ways, where Twilight Princess was OOT's spiritual successor, Skyward Sword follows the pattern of Majora's Mask. The fantastic hub surrounded by smaller areas (Clock Town in MM, Skyloft in SS) and the shift of storyline from Ganondorf to something a little more supernatural (a mask in MM, an evil demon sword in SS). It's not quite as obvious as OOT to TP, but the elements are there.

The items, too, are slightly disappointing. They lack invention - aside from the Beetle I think all of them are from previous games. And the Beetle's shit until you upgrade it.

Which leads me along nicely to one of the game's better points - the upgrade system. It's a brilliant, if small, addition, that makes you really want to go get the treasure and bugs that are scattered around the world - it would be good if they applied this to your sword too, but this gets upgraded through the storyline.

And that leads me on to my final point - the story. The characterisation is second to no game I've ever played, which is extremely impressive, considering that all the dialogue is text-based. The story starts off brilliantly and continues well through the middle, but as it reaches the end, it feels padded out to include the final three dungeons (all of which are very good, by the way) without any real reason. OOT at least attempted to make excuses for the dungeon - there's a monster coming out of the well, the Gorons have been kidnapped, Saria done fucked up, etc. But Skyward Sword just keeps saying 'the Goddess is testing you, Link'. In fact, a good 75% of the game is Link trying to prove to the Goddess that he's not a bad guy. If I was Link, I'd have walked straight back home and got a different princess.