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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

aka: TLoZ: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, Zelda no Densetsu: Skyward Sword

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Critic Reviews 92% add missing review

Common Sense Media ( )

Visually speaking, Skyward Sword is the best-looking Zelda game to date but anyone who spends time gaming on an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC will no doubt feel the graphics are outdated. Also, be prepared for quite a bit of dialogue. It's often repetitive, too, so younger gamers may grow tired of reading all the text (and no, these lines aren't spoken aloud). Despite its few shortcomings, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an extraordinary adventure, whether you're new to the franchise or a longtime fan. It cleverly fuses multiple play mechanics together -- action, exploration, platforming, flying, puzzle-solving, and some role-playing -- all wrapped in a lengthy, enchanting tale.

2011 · Wii · read review

N-Europe (10 out of 10)

An exhilarating journey in every sense. Skyloft is an area you'll want to explore and Skyward Sword is well worth the wait. Prepare to be amazed.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Nintendo Enthusiast (10 out of 10)

Ultimately, Skyward Sword represents different hopes and ideas regarding the game industry. Taken at face value, Skyward Sword is an impressive game, wildly excelling in many key areas that more than make up for a few annoyances that come from some of Nintendo’s apologetic or simply strange design choices. Compared to the franchise it belongs to, Skyward Sword is a crowning achievement in regards to the sense of adventuring that has been the focus of all Zelda games since Ocarina of Time, but it also doesn’t bring back any of the non-linearity and wild exploration of A Link to the Past or Link’s Awakening. How much of an issue this continuing non-linearity will be to different gamers is entirely subjective, but at worst this lack of non-linearity can be a slight disappointment that keeps the game only from being a truly timeless masterpiece.

Dec 1st, 2011 · Wii · read review

411mania.com (10 out of 10)

Ultimately, a review is a recommendation on how you should spend your hard earned money. In the case of Skyward Sword, I can only give this game the highest possible recommendation. A perfect score does not mean that a game is perfect, and indeed Skyward Sword has a few flaws, mainly due to its limited hardware. A perfect score means that I recommend this game with no qualifications, no reservations, and no hesitation. Do you have a Wii? Do you have fifty dollars? If your answer to both of these questions is yes, then you should pick up this game. If you haven’t taken the Wii plunge yet, Skyward Sword is the most compelling reason to own the system.

Dec 23rd, 2011 · Wii · read review

NintendoWorldReport (10 out of 10)

Not only is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the ultimate Zelda game, it’s also the ultimate Wii game. You can see bits and pieces of nearly every other Zelda game and any game Nintendo has worked on with motion controls, from Super Mario Galaxy and Wii Sports Resort to Wii Music and Animal Crossing. If you bought a Wii, you owe it to yourself to get this game right away. After all, isn’t one-to-one swordplay what made us all excited about the Wii in the first place?

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Wiiloveit (30 out of 30)

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comes together to become an amazing, well-rounded package that was well worth the five-year development process. It was called the biggest game Nintendo has ever made, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. This game feels like everything that the Wii has been building up to over the last four years, and it, without a doubt, does not disappoint. This is the best Zelda game ever. This is the best Wii game ever. This may very well be the best video game ever. It is as close to perfect as I have ever seen achieved.

Nov 20th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Cubed3 (10 out of 10)

The beauty of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is that it extracts the key core elements that make the series so impressive in the first place and brings along a large dose of familiarity, but then goes on to mix in a whole host of newly-styled dungeons, brand new puzzles that appeal to a broad audience, as well as superb 1:1 sword control that actually needs to be mastered for progression rather than being added as a gimmick or just for show and a twist on the normal storyline. Nintendo has taken on-board the feedback from fans and critics alike following Twilight Princess’ release and used it to create one of the best Zelda games ever, if not the best.

Nov 24th, 2011 · Wii · read review

God is a Geek (10 out of 10)

The game design itself is mind-blowing. The new inclusions feel as natural as breathing. The story is spectacular. Cinematic is an appropriate description – with lashings of romance, a wonderful cast of characters and a truly beautiful world to explore, this is arguably the greatest Zelda adventure yet, transcending even the brilliance of the revered Ocarina of Time. If you own a Wii, then this is the reason it was invented, the game that finally realises the unreal potential of the console. Nintendo are going to have to pull off something approaching a miracle to top this when they bring Link to their next generation console.

Nov 15th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Tech-Gaming (A)

Making good on the potential exhibited when the Wii was unveiled during the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the console’s consummate title. Flawlessly flaunting immersive motion control, as well as a design which incorporates classic design tropes with an influx of imaginative new ideas, the title brilliantly lives up to its lofty heritage. For players who have ever been awash in elation at the defeat of a temple boss or can recall the ‘a-ha’ moment when a gadget allows access to a previously impenetrable path, Skyward deserves a spot in your library.

Nov 19th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Cheat Code Central (5 out of 5)

Skyward Sword is a game that delivers on the promises made before its release, but it also makes good on several promises five years old. Simply put, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is why you bought a Wii in the first place. So if you hid away your Wii, sold it, or whatever, it's time to reclaim it and prepare yourself for an adventure in Hyrule unlike any you have experienced before.

2011 · Wii · read review

Game industry News (GiN) ( )

Although Skyward Sword is perfect in nearly every way, it does have a few small issues, mainly minor camera problems and Wii Remote quirks such as calibration and sometimes becoming off-centered, but these are easily outweighed by its strengths. Overall, Skyward Sword is very polished, an absolute delight to play and worthy of a full 5 GiN Gems.

Dec 19th, 2011 · Wii · read review

IGN (10 out of 10)

It's fitting that Skyward Sword arrives on Zelda's 25th anniversary, because it truly pulls from the franchise's entire history, even addressing the winding narrative directly within its story. It captures a grandness and scope we haven't seen since the 2D era. It advances combat and control in the most significant way since Ocarina of Time. It finds a tonal and visual harmony between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. And, most importantly, it leaves a mark on the franchise that future installments will no doubt draw inspiration from for years to come. This is the Wii game we've been waiting for. Through all of the mini-games and odd sports collections, many wondered if and when Nintendo would ever find a way to deliver a deeper experience that still fulfilled on Wii's limitless potential. Skyward Sword makes good on that promise.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Retroage (10 out of 10)

Osobiƛcie twierdze iĆŒ owa Zelda speƂnia wszelkie kryteria nie tylko na tytuƂ roku lecz rĂłwnieĆŒ na najlepszą grę tej generacji. ZrĂłĆŒnicowane bogactwo gameplay’u, przepiękna pastelowa grafika, urzekający soundtrack zagrany przez ĆŒywą orkiestrę symfoniczną oraz intuicyjne i dopracowane sterowanie sprawiają, ĆŒe nie ma się do czego przyczepić. Fani serii na kaĆŒdym kroku odnajdywać będą wszelakie smaczki z poprzednich odsƂon, a dla tych najbardziej wytrwaƂych po jedno krotnym skoƄczeniu gry, czeka „Hero mode” w ktĂłrym poziom trudnoƛci znacząco wzrasta. Podsumowując The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to ukoronowanie pięknych 25 lat z chƂopcem w zielonym kubraczku jakie mogƂo zaoferować nam Nintendo i tylko fanboy konkurencyjnej platformy mĂłgƂby stwierdzić iĆŒ ten tytuƂ jest nie grywalny lub nudny. Innym zaƛ tą produkcje szczerze polecam i stanowczo stwierdzam iĆŒ warto byƂo czekać na nią 5 lat.

Dec 16th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Darkstation (10 out of 10)

If there was ever any doubt about the quality of Skyward Sword, perhaps you were forgetting what franchise it was in. Or you were forgetting who it was being developed by. Nintendo’s core franchises get some of the best games amongst all three of the console manufacturers, and Skyward Sword is another stellar addition to a fantastic family of games. It establishes a new direction for combat, and even justifies motion controls- something that’s been a long time coming. The only question left is where it can go from here, but if it’s only half as good as Skyward Sword, it would still be a phenomenal game.

Dec 8th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (10 out of 10)

Maybe you've played enough Zelda games by now that even that won't be enough to cleanse your palate. That would be a fair response, but if it's so, this game wasn't made for you. Like a tale told from one generation to the next, the point is to keep the tradition alive for others - and for them, Skyward Sword will surely be the greatest adventure money can buy.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

NintendoWorldReport (10 out of 10)

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is bound to impress all but the most skeptical of Nintendo and Zelda fans. It is a game that ties the last five years of Nintendo philosophy and development into a (massive, sprawling, epic) neat little bow. Skyward Sword is, quite simply, one of the best video games to come out of Nintendo this year.

Nov 20th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Cheat Happens (10 out of 10)

When Nintendo introduced the Wii, and motion control to the world, it made some hefty promises. Now, nearly six years later, with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, those promises have been delivered on. This isn't just the best Zelda game or the best Wii game, it's also the first game that makes motion controls make sense. With its incredible production values, new gameplay ideas and most importantly heart, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is simply one of the best games I've ever played.

Dec 18th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gamereactor (Spain) (10 out of 10)

Skyward Sword no es perfecto. Skyward Sword no es el juego definitivo. Skyword Sword es no tener miedo a saltar al vacío, confiando que haya alguien abajo que nos sujete. Es meterlo en tu Wii sabiendo sin la menor sombra de duda que es lo mås grande que vas a jugar en años. Skyward Sword no es el mejor Zelda de la historia. Es, solamente, el mejor juego que puede hacerse.

Nov 14th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Switch Brasil / Wii Brasil (100 out of 100)

Skyward Sword agrega o que hĂĄ de melhor em toda a sĂ©rie. Atinge qualidade imensurĂĄvel, porque nĂŁo foi desenvolvido apenas durante cinco anos. A nova aventura de Link Ă© muito mais. Parafraseando Robin Williams no mais recente comercial do game, Skyward Sword Ă© o resultado de um projeto desenvolvido nos Ășltimos 25 anos e a clara confirmação de que somente a experiĂȘncia de um quarto de sĂ©culo Ă© capaz de transformar um jogo em uma lenda.

Dec 1st, 2011 · Wii · read review

D+PAD Magazine ( )

So, there you have it: a bite sized breakdown of twenty-four glorious hours spent in the wonderful world of The Legend of Zelda: The Skyward Sword. The series is now twenty-five years old, and that it is still managing to deliver such rich, involving and innovative experiences bodes well for the series’ next quarter of a century. Pure Nintendo magic.

Dec 20th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Eurogamer.pt (10 out of 10)

Quando se podia pensar que hå limites que se abeiram do poço criativo da Nintendo, a resposta nunca peca por tardia e The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword é um produto revelador dessa transposição de fronteiras e imaginação. Sinal inequívoco da Nintendo em congregar o clåssico com a inovação, este jogo vem entregar aos fãs tudo aquilo que podiam desejar para uma Nintendo Wii que sempre teve como acento tónico o controlo por movimentos. Skyward Sword combina tudo o que se quer nos videojogos. Suculento em termos interativos, nunca deixa o jogador só. Link conduz o grito de revolta e a espada, a Master Sword, representa o símbolo måximo do seu poder graças a um manuseio da espada levado a limites nunca antes atingidos. Demanda épica, Skyward Sword é um prazer em cada instante. A Nintendo repÔe o herói na consola mais vendida da geração e que o justifica.

Nov 25th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Edge (10 out of 10)

How apt that this ultimate tale of hero-making should see Nintendo’s hardware become the console it was always meant to be.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

The Escapist ( )

It's difficult to know exactly how to handle a new installment in a franchise that's been around as long as The Legend of Zelda. Stick to what made the series great, and you risk feeling stale, but break too far away from expectations and long-time fans may feel betrayed. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the perfect tribute to its impressive lineage, honoring its predecessors while maintaining its own identity. If you're a long-time fan of the franchise, you'll love it. If you're brand new to Link and Zelda, you'll love it. Even if you've felt like the series had become tired and stale, you'll love it. It will make you believe the Legend will continue for another 25 years.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Nintendo Life ( )

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a game of stunning creativity: the work of master craftsmen and women, it's a breathtaking technical achievement in many ways, with subtly beautiful visuals and audio blending with rampantly imaginative design. It's as good a Zelda game as we've ever played, and one that fully delivers on the revolution Nintendo promised back in 2005.

Nov 16th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gamereactor (Denmark) (10 out of 10)

Skyward Sword er ikke perfekt. Det er ikke det ultimative spil. Men nÄr du sÊtter det i din Wii skal du vide, udover enhver tvivl, at dette er det bedste spil, du kommer til at spille i mange Är. Det kan diskuteres om det er det bedste Zelda nogensinde, men det er det bedste spil, der kunne skabes lige nu.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gamereactor (Norway) (10 out of 10)

Man kan trygt si at Wii-eiere ikke har hatt mye glede av konsollen sin sÄ langt i Är (med unntak av Xenoblade Chronicles). Men med The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword er alt glemt og Nintendo tilgitt. Spillet minner oss pÄ hvorfor vi elsker Zelda, og at 25 Är er ingen pensjonsalder for denne livskraftige serien. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword entrer min bok som Wiis beste spill, Ärets spill 2011 og det beste Zelda-eventyret siden The Wind Waker.

Nov 15th, 2011 · Wii · read review

The A.V. Club (A)

No, Skyward Sword isn’t better than Ocarina Of Time. But of all the Zeldas to be released over the last 13 years, it comes closest. The game’s greatest achievement is that it never stops aspiring to be more than it is. It never stops reaching for emotional moments, going full-tilt for players’ hearts. Before Skyward Sword’s final battle, Zelda turns to Link and says “You’ve come so far.” Those four words may not sound like much out of context, but within the game, they’re enough to make even the most jaded gamers reach for the Kleenex.

Nov 21st, 2011 · Wii · read review

COGConnected / Canadian Online Gamers Network (98 out of 100)

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a solid game. It not only retains the fun, action and adventure the previous games held, it adds innovation through the use of the controls and some customization that make it appealing to both fans of the franchise and to those who have not played before. Not only did Nintendo continue with the solid action/adventure style which makes the series so good but they enhanced it and added some nice features that make it enjoyable for those who wanted something more than before.

Nov 15th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Official Nintendo Magazine (98 out of 100)

We'll say it upfront: Skyward Sword is the best Zelda game ever made. It's a constantly surprising adventure that progresses at breakneck pace, guiding you through unexpected and original locations, presenting you with breathtaking, inspiring vistas and introducing you to charming, funny and memorable characters. It's an absolute masterpiece from start to finish and a contender for the crown of best game on Wii.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Computer and Video Games (CVG) (9.8 out of 10)

A huge departure for Zelda and a proper arrival for Wii's motion controls. Link's latest is rule-breaking, dream-weaving, tech-loving, heart-soaring stuff. If it Wii's last hurrah, they don't come more impassioned than this.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

RPGFan (98 out of 100)

A gorgeous, fun, engrossing experience, and one of the finest games to ever come out of Nintendo.

Dec 3rd, 2011 · Wii · read review

Retro Gamer (97 out of 100)

Skyward Sword is a fitting tribute to Zelda's past, but an exciting promise of things to come. Here's to the next 25 years.

Jan 2012 · Wii

OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network (9.5 out of 10)

I loved everything about this game. The controls are some of the best of this generation, motion-controlled or otherwise. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an instant classic in a series full of them.

Jan 24th, 2012 · Wii · read review

BeefJack (9.5 out of 10)

Skyward Sword is one heck of a birthday celebration, one to remember for years to come as one of the greatest Legend of Zelda adventures of all time – but, perhaps more ceremoniously, as the game that finally managed to deliver on the Wii’s promises.

Nov 25th, 2011 · Wii · read review

GamerGen (19 out of 20)

En sortant un épisode sur le commencement de la légende de Zelda, Nintendo frappe un grand coup dans toute l'histoire de la série et il ne nous a pas déçu. Espérons que les prochaines sorties seront tout aussi magiques que ce soit sur Nintendo 3DS ou sur la prochaine Wii U. En attendant les prochaines actualités, profitons de ce nouveau Zelda et partons créer une nouvelle légende de nos mains ! Que la (Tri)force soit avec vous !

Nov 30th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Power Unlimited (95 out of 100)

Door de schilderachtige stijl is het sprookjesachtige gevoel sterker dan ooit aanwezig in deze Zelda, terwijl de wapperbesturing de zwaardgevechten zeer interessant en uitdagend maakt. En dan zijn daar nog de vollere buitenplaatsen, het sprinten, de Beetle, de RPG-trekjes en de lekker hoge moeilijkheidsgraad; genoeg nieuws om verliefd op te worden.

Nov 26th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Consoles Plus (19 out of 20)

Sans se dĂ©solidariser de la ligne de conduite de ses ancĂȘtres (le plaisir de jeu avant tout !), Skyward Sword surprend, innove, tente des choses et ce, sans jamais se vautrer. Indispensable.

Dec 2011 · Wii · read review

Jeux Vidéo Network (19 out of 20)

Skyward Sword est un grand Zelda. Long, beau et riche, le titre ne rĂ©invente pas la sĂ©rie mais apporte suffisamment de changements pour nous offrir une aventure grandiose et vĂ©ritablement unique dans le paysage vidĂ©oludique actuel. Plus que jamais, Nintendo dispose avec Zelda d’une des plus grandes sĂ©ries de l’histoire.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

GamesCollection (9.5 out of 10)

Nintendo ci ha consegnato finalmente il degno erede di Ocarina of Time. Ed Ăš ironico che sia stato proprio Eiji Aonuma, Director della serie da Wind Waker in avanti, ad esserci riuscito: dopo aver sperimentato artisticamente con Wind Waker, e aver accontentato i fans con Twilight Princess, l'allievo di Miyamoto ha, in qualche modo, superato il maestro. No, non Miyamoto. Ma Ocarina, quello sĂŹ, e adesso sappiamo che la Leggenda non ha ancora esaurito tutte le storie che ha da raccontarci.

Nov 24th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Jeuxpo.com (9.5 out of 10)

The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword est un titre étonnant. AprÚs un début assez lent faisant presque office de tutoriel, l'intrigue s'accélÚre et nous livre l'une des aventures les plus réussies depuis dix ans. La réalisation technique est d'une rare beauté pour un titre Wii, la jouabilité à la Wiimote Plus est excellente, et l'intrigue nous tient en haleine jusqu'au bout. Bref, Zelda frappe fort, une nouvelle fois.

2011 · Wii · read review

Gaming Age (A-)

So yeah, you should buy Skyward Sword. There’s a good chance you were going to anyways, but if you had any doubts coming out of Twilight Princess or the even the DS titles, you can put them to rest. This is a fantastic entry into the pantheon of Zelda titles, and a pretty great swan song for the Wii.

Nov 25th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Computer Bild Spiele (1.5 out of 6)

Selbst fĂŒr treue Fans der Serie hĂ€lt Links aktuelles Abenteuer erfrischende Neuerungen bereit – allen voran die ebenso originelle wie prĂ€zise Steuerung. Die eigentlich nette Story dagegen wird viel zu dröge erzĂ€hlt. Bis das Spiel so richtig in Gang kommt, vergehen gut 120 Minuten. Doch in den restlichen 18 Stunden brennt das Spiel dann zum GlĂŒck ein beeindruckendes Ideenfeuerwerk ab. Ein absolut großartiges Spiel, das nicht nur kampferprobte Zelda-Haudegen begeistern wird. Auch fĂŒr Gelegenheitsspieler ist gesorgt, denn: Sollten Sie wirklich einmal stecken bleiben, erscheint das Geistwesen Phai und hilft Ihnen mit wertvollen Tipps weiter – die eigentliche Aufgabe mĂŒssen Sie dann aber schon selbst lösen.

Dec 5th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (90 out of 100)

Skyward Sword combineert het beste uit The Wind Waker met Twilight Princess en gooit de volle kracht van de Wii MotionPlus in de strijd. De allerlaatste knaller van Nintendo op de Wii?

Oct 28th, 2011 · Wii

Jeuxvideo.com (18 out of 20)

Skyward Sword passe trĂšs prĂšs du vĂ©ritable chef d'oeuvre absolu. En effet, alors que les premiĂšres heures de jeu nous laissent dubitatifs, le titre prend son envol dans une deuxiĂšme partie absolument magistrale, notamment grĂące Ă  des donjons magnifiques et inspirĂ©s, tĂ©moins de scĂšnes d'anthologie. MalgrĂ© quelques petites imprĂ©cisions de temps en temps, le maniement au Wii MotionPlus est certainement le meilleur jamais vu. Quoiqu'il en soit, Link nous livre une prestation d'adieu Ă  la Wii fort touchante, qui plaira aux gamers grĂące Ă  des Ă©nigmes soignĂ©es et des combats Ă©piques. Si vous avez oubliĂ© ce que pouvait ĂȘtre le gĂ©nie crĂ©atif au service du jeu vidĂ©o, ce n'est pas la peine de chercher plus loin.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Jeuxvideo.fr (9 out of 10)

The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword ne se contente pas de remanier habilement un systÚme de combat qui n'avait pas changé depuis Ocarina du Temps. AprÚs un démarrage en demi-teinte, la progression enchaßne une succession de moments d'anthologie qui semblent ne jamais vouloir finir. De temples dantesques en phases d'approches mémorables, Skyward Sword se joue des conventions de sa propre série pour mieux surprendre et émerveiller, instillant une exaltation de la découverte que l'on n'avait pas ressentie à ce niveau depuis bien longtemps dans un Zelda. Incontournable, tout simplement.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gamereactor (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

Alla briljanta detaljer och den dÀr svÄrdefinierade skopan magi gör alltsÄ detta till en av de bÀsta titlarna, denna stekheta spelhöst. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Àr ett spel som susat frÄn himlen och landat i nÀstintill perfekt skick.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

TheSixthAxis (9 out of 10)

For 90% of the time Skyward Sword is an absolute revelation, with perfect puzzles and well-designed locations. It also provides characters you can care about, and genuinely want to help. The motion controls also hold up well for the most part, although it will still be a sticking point for many gamers. Unfortunately it’s that final 10% that really does disappoint. After sampling some of Nintendo’s finest work, to suddenly find yourself taking part in some extremely uninteresting, generic quests is a bitter pill to swallow. Still, push on through and you’ll still find one of 2011â€Čs best games.

Nov 15th, 2011 · Wii · read review

GNT - Generation Nouvelles Technologies (9 out of 10)

C'est encore une belle aventure que nous livre Nintendo pour sa franchise Zelda. A chaque nouvel opus, l'enthousiasme demeure, la magie se réalise. Les développeurs créent un univers enchanteur dans lequel les joueurs aiment évoluer sans jamais éprouver aucune lassitude. Les nouveautés font leur travail et Link gagne encore en profondeur dans une aventure inédite. Un excellent épisode à explorer.

Nov 22nd, 2011 · Wii · read review

Thunderbolt Games (9 out of 10)

We have waited a long time for a true, Wii Zelda game. Skyward Sword clearly represents the pinnacle of the Wii’s capabilities both graphically and in terms of motion controls. Unfortunately neither works perfectly. The improved mechanics as well as the fantastically told story certainly make up for the system’s shortcomings. You can easily overlook occasionally frustrating controls and early 2000s graphics when the adventure itself consistently motivates you to want more and more for all of the nearly 60 hours it takes to complete. Skyward Sword isn’t perfect, but it absolutely is not a game that should be missed by fans of the series. It easily warrants dusting off the Wii, finding some AA batteries, and getting your waggle on for one last hurrah.

Jan 2nd, 2012 · Wii · read review

newbreview.com (4.5 out of 5)

If Skyward Sword had been released a few years ago then there would never have been any doubts about the capabilities of “proper” motion controlled adventure games. This is easily one of the best games of the year. Fans of old school adventure games should not miss this.

Dec 5th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Console Obsession (9 out of 10)

Skyward Sword, whilst not the most intricate of the series, is as carefully and cleverly designed as always, but those that have long been seeking a dramatic reconstruction of Zelda will once again come away disappointed, though will perhaps be encouraged that it’s the most daring Nintendo has been with the series for quite some time, granting new twists to old conventions and perhaps, at the same time, offering a glimpse at the future of the long cherished franchise, but at this point in time, this is a glorious send off for the Wii, as well as being one of the strongest Zelda games built – but shaking things up a bit – on the existing framework, and that’s no small praise.

Dec 31st, 2011 · Wii · read review

GamezGeneration (9 out of 10)

Wow. Skyward Sword hat mich einfach umgehauen, allen voran wegen der hervorragenden Steuerung und dem orchestralen Soundtrack. Das neuste Abenteuer von Link und Zelda ist cineastischer inszeniert als alle Teile zuvor, weist aber dennoch einige Alterspuren auf, ĂŒber die sich aber hinwegsehen lĂ€sst. Wer einmal Motion Control in seiner Höchstform erleben möchte oder einfach nur mal wieder ein komplett durchdachtes und durchdesigntes Abenteuer erleben möchte, den lade ich ein in die Welt von Skyward Sword. Ein wĂŒrdiges Spiel zum 25. Geburtstag, welches sich kein Fan der Reihe entgehen lassen sollte.

Nov 20th, 2011 · Wii · read review

@Gamer ( )

Yes! Another big dose of Zelda goodness - and just when Wii owners could use a good reason to dust their systems off,

Nov 2011 · Wii

Games TM (9 out of 10)

Buffed and polished to a perfect point, Zelda Skyward Sword is one in the eye of the naysayers, and a spectacular return to form for its developer, a solemn reminder that, when it comes to crafting worlds, nobody does it quite like Nintendo.

Oct 27th, 2011 · Wii

GBase - The Gamer's Base (8.5 out of 10)

FĂŒr den ganz grossen Hit reicht es fĂŒr mich aber leider nicht. Die Ranelle-WĂŒste gibt sich als triste und lieblos umgesetzte Umgebung zu erkennen, und Phai als stĂ€ndige Begleiterin nervt mit seelenlosen Prozentangaben und ĂŒber weite Strecken gefĂŒhlskalter Art. Zweifellos ein sehr gutes Zelda, aber nicht das beste.

Nov 20th, 2011 · Wii · read review

JeuxVideoPC.com (17 out of 20)

Loin d'ĂȘtre un mauvais jeu, et possĂ©dant mĂȘme de nombreux atouts, ce Skyward Sword livre une partition plaisante, malgrĂ© quelques fausses notes. L’on apprĂ©ciera ainsi le cĂŽtĂ© plus humain de Link, grĂące Ă  la jauge d’endurance, et sa rĂ©activitĂ© grĂące Ă  une maĂźtrise parfaite du Wii Motion Plus. L’univers, toujours aussi enchanteur, constitue lui aussi, indĂ©niablement, un des gros avantages du jeu. On pourra nĂ©anmoins regretter, par moment, les faiblesses de la Wii, ainsi que les quelques erreurs qui se sont glissĂ©es dans un casting par ailleurs rĂ©ussi.. AprĂšs vingt cinq annĂ©es de bons et loyaux services, il est normal que la qualitĂ© s’en ressente un peu, mĂȘme si de nombreuses bonnes idĂ©es, comme l’amĂ©lioration des Ă©quipements, ou certaines phases de gameplay vĂ©ritablement originales, viennent Ă©quilibrer la balance.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Wii · read review

4Players.de (84 out of 100)

Nach 25 Jahren Zelda ist dieses Abenteuer eine ErnĂŒchterung. FĂŒr mich ist Skyward Sword der bisher schwĂ€chste Teil der so erfolgreichen Saga – man hat in den ersten sechs Stunden fast das GefĂŒhl, dass es fĂŒr Kleinkinder und Senioren entwickelt wurde, die man langsam an das Thema Videospiele heran fĂŒhren will. Mal abgesehen von der banalen Story und der linearen Struktur mit ihren Wiederholungen: Als Kenner der Serie wird man erst angesprochen, als es in der Vulkan- und vor allem in der WĂŒstenwelt endlich anspruchsvoller und komplexer wird, als man sich wie in alten Zeiten mit sehr viel Spaß durch die vertrackten Dungeons bis hin zum Boss kĂ€mpft. Auch der atmosphĂ€rische Wechsel hin zum Schleichen wertet das umfangreiche, weit ĂŒber zwanzig Stunden wĂ€hrende Abenteuer im letzten Drittel nochmal auf. Das Spiel hat tolle Momente, bietet tolle Musik, aber man vermisst immer wieder das Besondere hinsichtlich Artdesign und Ablauf.

Nov 17th, 2011 · Wii · read review

The Video Game Critic (B+)

The overall design of the game is extremely clever, and I like how easy it is to travel between Skyloft and the various ground locations. The dungeons incorporate a lot of original ideas but some rely on subtle visual cues like cracks in walls that are really hard to see. I often found myself wishing there was an "on the fly" camera control, which might have prevented me from walking into lava so much. Skyward Sword takes a while to gain traction, so you need to invest a few hours before that classic Zelda "magic" kicks in. Save points come in the form of ubiquitous bird statues. Skyward Sword can be a little slow at times, but it's such a well-constructed adventure that you'll want to stick with it.

Feb 28th, 2012 · Wii · read review

neXGam (8.3 out of 10)

Es existieren nicht viele Spiele, bei denen die Bewegungssteuerung derart innovativ eingesetzt wird, wie es bei The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword der Fall ist. Zack & Wiki: Der Schatz von Barbaros zĂ€hlt zu diesen Ausnahme-Titeln. Summa summarum liefert Nintendo mit Skyward Sword ein ĂŒberaus einsteigerfreundliches Zelda-Abenteuer ab, was sich insbesondere in der LinearitĂ€t und im Aufbau bemerkbar macht. Qualitativ ein gutes StĂŒck hinter Ocarina of Time und Twilight Princess angesiedelt, unterhielt mich das Action-Adventure zum grĂ¶ĂŸten Teil vorzĂŒglich - trotz der angesprochenen Kritikpunkte.

Dec 2011 · Wii · read review

Gameblog.fr ( )

C'est certain, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword divisera. Ses qualitĂ©s nombreuses de dĂ©paysement et d'inventivitĂ© sur les puzzles lui permettent d'offrir une quĂȘte dense gorgĂ©e de moments forts, mais certaines approximations et longueurs l'empĂȘcheront de devenir le nouveau flamboyant chevalier qu'attendait la sĂ©rie. Car si la jouabilitĂ© au Wii MotionPlus fait franchir une nouvelle Ă©tape dans l'immersion, elle exige une rigueur de manipulation et engendrera quelques frustrations lors de (rares) ratĂ©s. Reste une bien belle aventure, fiĂšre maniĂšre de fĂȘter les 25 ans de Link, Zelda & co
 mais pas suffisamment Ă©blouissante pour Ă©clipser l'infinie magie des Ocarina of Time ou Link to the Past.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

JeuxActu (16 out of 20)

Non, The Legend of Zelda : Skyward Sword ne sera pas un mythe comme son illustre prĂ©dĂ©cesseur Twilight Princess. La barre Ă©tait visiblement trop haute pour qu'il fasse mieux, ce qui ne l’empĂȘche pas pour autant de disposer d’un gameplay en bĂ©ton armĂ© qui fait honneur au Wii MotionPlus, ainsi que d’une ambiance musicale convaincante et d’un univers collant parfaitement Ă  la direction artistique. Sans oublier l’excellente durĂ©e de vie qui rĂ©pond aux exigences des fans, mĂȘme en rushant. Mais, avec le recul, on a cette dĂ©sagrĂ©able impression que le jeu n'est pas fini, comme si Nintendo tenait absolument Ă  dĂ©velopper un Zelda sur Wii avant, vraisemblement, de passer Ă  autre chose sur Wii U. Ils ont quand mĂȘme travaillĂ© cinq ans dessus, et certaines imperfections sont difficilement comprĂ©hensibles. Le CĂ©lestrier par exemple, clairement sous-exploitĂ© et relĂ©guĂ© au rang de faire-valoir, alors qu'il semblait avoir les ailes suffisamment larges pour assumer un combat face Ă  un boss.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Legendra ( )

Zelda Wii est lĂ , le vrai, celui qui tire profit des capacitĂ©s de la console, qui en use tout le potentiel, technique comme interactif. À la fois authentique et intelligent, Skyward Sword a su faire preuve d'habiletĂ© pour rĂ©intĂ©grer la touche Zelda Ă  un cocktail trĂšs hĂ©tĂ©rogĂšne d'idĂ©es. L'ambiance, le level-design, la bande-son, autant d'Ă©lĂ©ments qui ont manifestement bĂ©nĂ©ficiĂ© d'un soin et d'un peaufinage tout particulier. MĂȘme s'il pĂȘche sur quelques aspects et fait quelques choix discutables, il ne fallait pas plus Ă  ce Legend of Zelda pour contenter les joueurs en mal d'un opus sur console de salon. Fly, Link.

Nov 17th, 2011 · Wii · read review

WiiDSFrance (8 out of 10)

Chaque Zelda trouve son public, et encore une fois, ce test est des plus subjectif. Cependant, l'Ă©quilibre global du jeu me pousse Ă  mettre en garde les potentiels acheteurs : ils seront soit déçus s'ils ne sont pas patients, ou devront l'ĂȘtre pour ne pas rater une Ă©norme deuxiĂšme partie, avec des passages justes Ă©piques Ă  souhait. En bref, persĂ©vĂ©rez, et vous ne le regretterez pas. Ceci dit, ce passage Ă  vide entre la fin de la premiĂšre heure (en gros quand vous quittez CĂ©lesbourg) jusqu'Ă  la dixiĂšme heure de jeu est assez inhabituel pour ĂȘtre soulignĂ© et on ne peut qu'espĂ©rer qu'il ne s'agit pas lĂ  d'un signe du dĂ©clin d'une sĂ©rie extraordinaire.

Nov 18th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gamekult (8 out of 10)

SynthĂ©tisant le savoir-faire acquis par Nintendo avec la Wii, Skyward Sword est un jeu-somme qui concentre et rĂ©interprĂšte Ă  sa façon les codes d'une sĂ©rie nĂ©e il y a un quart de siĂšcle. Cet Ă©pisode n'explore peut-ĂȘtre pas l'ensemble des idĂ©es de gameplay offertes par la Wiimote en configuration MotionPlus, mais sa prise en main est sans vĂ©ritable faille et offre de trĂšs bonnes sensations de jeu. On lui reprochera Ă©videmment sa langue trop pendue, deux personnages centraux manquant de charisme, son parti pris graphique ne fonctionnant vraiment que sur de vieux Ă©crans et une petite tendance Ă  allonger la sauce. Mais il contient Ă©galement des trĂ©sors d'inventivitĂ©. Construit de maniĂšre aussi savante qu'accessible, cet opus anniversaire est une sorte de baroud d'honneur autant adressĂ© aux fans de Zelda qu'au nouveau public attirĂ© par les sirĂšnes du motion gaming.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Snackbar-Games.com (4 out of 5)

Skyward Sword is the best Zelda game I have ever played. There just happens to be a lot of filler surrounding it. I don’t know who decided that Skyward Sword needed to be longer, but there are much better ways to add length than making me retrace my steps and re-fight the same bosses. It’s a great game full of life and polish, and the elements that keep it from being a perfect 5 stick out because everything else is executed so expertly.

Nov 28th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Giant Bomb ( )

Skyward Sword is simultaneously a very good Zelda game and a rather great adventure game. It has some of the most inventive dungeons the series has ever known, sports the most impactful changes to the combat since Z-targeting, introduces wrinkles to the Zelda mythology that will force fans to rethink the entire series, and will have you gawking at it constantly, 480p 'n all. But the series finds itself facing an identity crisis, as it flirts with expanding what has defined the series without abandoning its charming but waning simplicity. Zelda doesn’t need to become something else to maintain relevance, but at a certain point, when “a brand-new great Zelda game” isn’t enough, there’s reason to pause.

Nov 11th, 2011 · Wii · read review

GameSpot (7.5 out of 10)

The good elements do outweigh the bad in Skyward Sword, creating another engrossing experience in this venerable franchise. Strong visual design meshes the cartoony world of Wind Waker with the more realistic approach offered by Twilight Princess, and the riveting orchestral soundtrack brings back many classic tracks while offering a few tasty new ones. However, the formula is beginning to show its age. There just aren't enough new ideas to separate Skyward Sword from its predecessors, and the few additions come with mixed results. Even with many bright spots, Skyward Sword still feels like a nostalgic retread. Those yearning for something new will be disappointed, but anyone thirsty for another exciting adventure will find plenty to enjoy here.

Nov 15th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Games.cz (7 out of 10)

Skyward Sword je v mnoha ohledech pƙekrĂĄsnĂœ: obrazem, hudbou, nostalgiĂ­, atmosfĂ©rou, souboji s ĂșhlavnĂ­mi nepƙáteli, leckterĂœmi nĂĄstrahami dungeonĆŻ, emotivnĂ­m pohĂĄdkovĂœm pƙíběhem, v němĆŸ Zelda plnĂ­ svou jedinečnou Ășlohu. JenomĆŸe tu jsou rovnÄ›ĆŸ zĂĄstupy ĆĄotkĆŻ, jeĆŸ se nedajĂ­ pƙehlĂ©dnout a jeĆŸ prudĂ­ a naotravujĂ­ se, ĆŸe to kolikrĂĄt zmĆŻĆŸe i samotnĂ©ho Linka. VěrnĂ­ fanouĆĄci bez mrknutĂ­ oka vytrvajĂ­ nebo si ĆĄotkĆŻ ani nevĆĄimnou – zbytek nechĆ„ se obrnĂ­ ĆŸeleznĂœmi nervy. ProtoĆŸe nebĂœt oněch zbytečnĂœch chyb a ĂștlocitnĂ©ho opečovĂĄvĂĄnĂ­ jednĂ© kultovnĂ­ legendy, mohla z toho skutečně vzejĂ­t dalĆĄĂ­ vysokĂĄ znĂĄmka letoĆĄnĂ­ho podzimu.

Nov 26th, 2011 · Wii · read review

Gaming since 198x (2 out of 5)

Difficile d'aimer ce Skyward Sword, mĂȘme avec les meilleures intentions du monde. Pas aidĂ© il est vrai par le motion gaming, c'est toutefois dans son design et sa construction que le jeu pĂȘche, n'offrant qu'une longue sĂ©rie rĂ©pĂ©titive d'objectifs pas passionnants dans des environnements beaucoup trop disjoints pour donner Ă  l'univers une vraie personnalitĂ©. Soixante heures d'ennui et de frustration, c'est cher payĂ© pour quelques trop rares moments de grĂące.

Mar 20th, 2017 · Wii · read review

OMGN: Online Multiplayer Games Network (4 out of 10)

It's still a Zelda game. It still has its charm for all its overall lack of identity. There are still moments that elicit a smile, a laugh, a gasp -- or even a baffled head shake. I’ll still beat it, although I probably won’t revisit it. And I'll still buy the next one and get giddy over it. It's clearly not an utter failure, but finding the gems are a lot harder than finding the faults.

Feb 9th, 2012 · Wii · read review

Player Reviews

The greatest Zelda game ever made.
by krisko6 (836)

The Good

What a sad, strange trip it’s been for the Nintendo Wii. Initially pitched as a new way to experience games, the Wii rode in on tsunamis of hype, promising that motion controls are the future of gaming. And EVERYONE, even non-gamers, bought into it. Five years later, the Wii is locked in a tragically ironic state. While it is the generation’s best-selling console, it also receives the least amount of notable games due to its limited hardware, family friendly image, and those darn motion controls. This year has been an especially painful drought for Wii owners: There were NO retail games of note for the first 10 months of 2011. Absolutely, positively, NONE. That’s a long time for any console to go without any worthwhile titles, and it shows in Nintendo’s first annual earnings drop in years. Yet if there is one game that could absolve Nintendo of the mistakes it has made in the console’s last full year of life, it is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

Motion controls have become the laughingstock of the games industry. Panned by critics and gamers alike as a “gimmick”, they have sadly become relegated to minigame collections and party games. While they can be fun in those contexts, they are for the most part very limited. Very few titles, even from Nintendo, actually made extensive use of the Wii’s signature innovation, and even if they did, they were generally ignored amongst critics. That is, until now.

When people first laid eyes on the Wii remote, Nintendo fans wanted one thing: to swing it like a sword in a new Zelda adventure. Well, it took them five years and an updating of the Wii remote, but Nintendo has finally fulfilled that promise with Skyward Sword.

Skyward Sword is meant as a prequel to the series, detailing the origins of several of the series’ more iconic elements, while pushing the series’ control and gameplay design template forward. But while this may be a prequel, it is actually the most advanced and complex game in the series to date. It also just may be the best.
This retelling of the Legend begins in Skyloft, an idyllic island floating far above the clouds. Skyloft was created to protect humans from a great war occurring on the world’s surface between a goddess and demons. Skyloft has been floating around for so long, that knowledge of what’s on the surface has been long forgotten amongst its inhabitants. Link is a young boy training to become a Knight of Skyloft at Skyloft’s academy. He is, of course, friends (and possibly in love) with Zelda, the headmaster’s daughter. While flying about on giant birds known as Loftwings, a mysterious storm sucks Zelda down to the surface below. Link, being the intrepid hero he has always been, sets out to rescue her.

There are a ridiculous amount of things to talk about with this game. I’m sure that the initial design document was the size of a novel, so vast is the amount of things to do and find in the game.

By far the best thing about the game is the controls. Utilizing Nintendo’s criminally underused Wii Motion Plus attachment, the controls provide an immersive and unique experience that you really can’t get anywhere else. In fact, so good are these controls, and the game as a whole, that it completely blows away whatever motion-control games are available on not just the Wii, but the HD consoles as well.

The sword control is BRILLIANT: By the time I had gotten to the first level, the motion controls became completely second nature to me. Rather than simply shaking the Wii remote to get the job done, you have to pay attention to where and when you are swinging at enemies to dispatch them. The sword controls have completely revitalized Zelda combat, making it more dynamic and free flowing, and giving the players even more options to take enemies down. For example, some players might like to shield bash enemies before slicing at them. Others might like to trick them by holding their sword one way and quickly slicing in another. I like to swing when enemies let their guard down to attack, or sneak up on them and give them a nice stab in the back. What’s great is that each enemy requires a different approach, forcing the player to pay attention to each individual enemy encounter moreso than in past games. You can’t always rely on just simply slashing away at enemies either. In fact, the bosses in the game frequently force you to use different strategies to defeat them. These are some of the best boss fights in any game, ever.

But it’s not just the combat that gets a boost from controls, for they also change the way you interact with Link’s items. They re-invent old favorites like bombs and the bow, while providing several fantastic new ones, such as the Beetle. This item is controlled by the player by twisting and turning the remote like a key to control its direction. You can use it to hit distant switches, scout the area, and later, drop bombs and carry items. It’s loads of fun to use. Even the menu choice system works with motion controls, allowing you to select options by simply angling your remote towards the item you want to select rather than pointing it at the screen. It’s intuitive and smooth, and you’ll wonder why so many Wii games didn’t make use of this little feature.

Aside from the controls, the rest of the game feels different from the rest of the Zelda series. For instance, Nintendo has now delivered a new “stamina” meter. This meter is a bright green circle that appears alongside Link when he is running or climbing, and counts down as he continues doing those activities. When it is depleted, the player has to wait for it to fully refill before Link can move at a normal pace again. The stamina meter provides a greater amount of tension to climbing moments. You have to climb quick enough so that Link doesn’t run out of stamina and lets go, but you also have to make sure to grab the Stamina Fruits along the way. Similarly, you also have to pace yourself when running. This can make gameplay moments where speed is required very intense, as you’re constantly pressing and releasing the run button to keep the meter in the green. This provides a more realistic form of movement and creates a new type of challenge for the Zelda series. It also creates the fastest Link yet, which is great for impatient players like myself.

The world layout is also unique. Rather than have a cohesive overworld as in past games, Skyward Sword is split up into four distinct, self-contained regions: forest, volcano, desert, and sky. The first three are found entirely on the surface world, with the sky connecting them. One thing to note is that the surface areas are not interconnected on the ground, so you will have to return to the sky to travel between them. Unlike past games, where once you’ve solved a region you’re pretty much done with it, in Skyward Sword, you have to return to each area multiple times. There’s even a part of the game where you return to the FIRST DUNGEON. While it might not seem exciting to have to retread the same ground again and again, Nintendo does more than enough to keep repeat visits fresh, offering more challenging enemies, new environmental hazards, new locations, new items to find, and new challenges to overcome each time.

In addition, the shop system has been conveniently overhauled. It’s all contained in one area in Skyloft. Two of the shops offer yet another new element to the Zelda formula: upgrades. On the surface, you can catch bugs and collect various treasures which you can use to upgrade both your items and potions that you buy. While I have personally made very little use of this system, it does give all of the collecting a purpose and gives you a reason to spend Rupees. Of course, the main things to buy at the shop are the potions and shields. By the time I reached the final boss, I was nearly dead broke.

The main star of the game is, as always, the dungeons. Skyward Sword showcases what will surely be remembered as some of the series’ best-ever level designs. Each dungeon is unique and offer their own puzzles and challenges. While you get the usual temples and palaces to visit, there are a few offbeat dungeons in the game that are sure to surprise longtime Zelda fans. Each dungeon offers clever gameplay mechanics, some of which could potentially support their own games entirely.

Skyward Sword has received a lot of criticism for its graphics. Yes, they are behind the curve. Yes, they are full of jagged edges and blurry textures. Yes, the draw distance is somewhat small. They’re not even the best graphics on the Wii. But what the visuals lack in power, they make up for with originality and creativity. No other game has a look quite like Skyward Sword. Inspired by French impressionism, the environments are brightly pastel colored and the textures look as though they have been painted with brush strokes, making their blurriness contribute to the paint-like effect, and thus turning a liability into an asset. The characters themselves are cel-shaded, but also fully textured, creating a more mature, yet still artful look. There’s even a weird shimmering effect that you can see as you walk alongside textures up close, which evokes the feeling of moving through a living painting. It’s an impression of what the game would look like on more powerful hardware, which fits the Impressionistic theme very well. The style can produce some very beautiful scenes. Standing on top of the big tree in Faron Woods is especially striking, as you can clearly see brush strokes in the distance where Lake Floria lies. The water effects are some of the prettiest on the console, offering a dazzling blue color and attractive ripple and reflection effects.  Skyloft looks like a village straight out of a Disney movie, with extremely colorful textures that simply pop off the screen. Speaking of movies, the cutscenes are outstandingly scripted and directed, and even without full voice, manage to put across the feelings and emotions of the characters very well. The Zelda series is like no other in that it can completely change its look yet still hold on to the classic values of fun and innovation the series is known for.

Outside of voice acting (or rather, a lack of), Zelda has also become known for it’s great audio, and more specifically, it’s music. Zelda is probably the most musical game you’ll ever find that’s not a rhythm game. Every hit on an enemy creates blasts of strings on the soundtrack, and the menu selection sounds are very melodic and ear pleasing. There’s even a harp that you can play, though control is limited and all it really does is serve as an item for unlocking new areas. The game pulls off some great tricks with dynamic soundtracks. For instance, walking around different shops in the Bazaar will change the way the music sounds. If you play the harp while walking around, the notes that are played match the chord progression of the background music. The soundtrack itself is amazing. As with Super Mario Galaxy, Nintendo hired a symphony orchestra to play some of the music. That seemingly small difference makes Zelda’s music come alive in ways it hasn’t before, invoking a more cinematic feel, and really bringing Disney comparisons home. This game’s soundtrack is one of the series’ best. Rather than sticking to simple, repetitive and catchy themes as in the past, Skyward’s compositions are fuller and more complex. It’s just another reason why this game is so different from the others, yet it’s still Zelda.

The Bad
No game is perfect, and Skyward Sword cannot help take a few minor dents in its armor. To begin with the game has a very slow start, and the player won’t even get to try out the sword controls until maybe about 30 minutes to 1 hour in to the game, which is when the game really begins to pick up. Shop characters strike up long, unskippable conversations every time you try to buy something. While Nintendo has done a good job with Motion Plus calibration, there are a few random moments where you might have to fight against the controls to get them do to what you want, especially during swimming and menu selection. Finally, while I didn’t mind this at all, some may feel that the game offers less freedom than past Zelda titles. For instance, it is possible to switch to nighttime, but this is useless outside of a few sidequests located in Skyloft. You are not allowed to travel down to the surface at night, because the Skyloftians lock up your Loftwing at night to prevent you from flying away. I would have liked to have seen the surface at night, but no such luck. The sky itself isn’t terribly explorable outside of a few random islands. It’s still loads of fun to jump off from an island and hitch a ride on your Loftwing, however, and I personally enjoy the flying sections of the game almost as much as the ground-based ones. In addition, enemy variety isn’t particularly high. Later enemies are simply harder, reskinned versions of the earlier ones. The variety of options you have for dispatching them easily makes up for this, however.

Those flaws are brushed away as easily as Link cuts down hundreds of Bokoblins with his sword. You’ll be more than happy to live with them because the good parts are indeed excellent.

The Bottom Line
I could talk for pages and pages about this game. I could tell you that it takes a long time to complete the main quest, and you’ll be riveted the entire time. I could talk about the various little minigames and side attractions that pop up along the way. I could talk about the epic nature of the story. What it all comes down to is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the best game on the Wii, which automatically makes it one of the best games ever made. When motion controls start to become a viable alternative for gamers, this is the title that everyone will look back on as a true industry trailblazer. It is a title that any gamer should experience.

Mar 4th, 2012 · Wii

Proves motion control is not just for casual games.
by Rensch (215)

The Good
When the Wii system was first released late in 2006, one of its initial launch titles was an all-new Zelda fans had been waiting anxiously for since being unveiled at E3 2004. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, initially meant as a swan song for the GameCube, was also released on Wii to take advantage of the Wii's capabilities. This move provided a perfect opportunity to please people who preferred a more traditional control scheme, as well as those interested in seeing how motion controls could work in a major installment in a household name in gaming.

The result didn't disappoint. The Wii version was every bit as playable, if not even more, than its GameCube counterpart. Pointing staple weapons of the series, such as the slingshot and bow, was much more intuitive when you had the ability to simply point at the targets on the screen.

After the initial novelty of motion control had died down somewhat, however, it became more and more apparent that the game had not reached the full potential of what motion controls could do to expand upon an established core experience. In the end, it was obvious the game was initially designed with the GameCube in mind. The motion controls worked fine, but were simply tacked on a ported GameCube game during the later stages of development. In other words: the game was not designed with motion control in mind.

That's were Skyward Sword comes in, a game designed fully around the Wii's motion controls. As such, you will have to be in possession of either the Wii Remote Plus, or the Motion Plus adapter for the old Wii Remote. The extra investment is worth it, though, as it provides an unprecedented sense of involvement with Link's quest. Now you arm movement is translated 1:1 on the screen. The control scheme is used in many innovative and engaging ways. Instead of having to simply perform a simple wrist movement to plow through legions of monsters, like in Twilight Princess, you have to watch your enemies closely and look for an opening in their defenses to knock them down. Whether you throw objects by making a flinging motion, use a bowling motion to roll a bomb in a small hole or lift your Remote in the air to charge your sword with a divine power, it all makes you feel like you are really doing everything that Link does, rather than making him do it for you. It may seem like a mostly cosmetic difference at first, but the heroic feeling you get after beating the first few monsters with your own movements is something I never felt in a game before and needs to be experienced to fully comprehend it. This is the much-needed innovation promised back in 2006. It's a shame it took until near the end of the Wii's lifespan to get it done right, but this is the game that proves motion controls can also work for core experiences like Zelda.

Story-wise, the game is a prequel to earlier games. While the chronology of the games might not always be consistent, Nintendo avoids confusion this time around by placing it at the very beginning of the series. The kingdom of Hyrule, so often seen in other installments in the series, has not yet been established, and is a dangerous world filled with evil creatures. After an ancient war over the possession of the series' supreme relic, the Triforce, the land's patron goddess, Hylia, sends her people into the sky. Together with the Triforce, the people live on a set of islands floating in the sky. After many centuries, the old surface world has become but a legend. Unreachable because of a barrier of clouds, many now believe it doesn't even exist.

Link, the protagonist, is a student at the Knight Academy in Skyloft, his hometown between the clouds. The titular Zelda is not a princess yet, but the daughter of headmaster Gaepora (whose name is another indication for fans that this is indeed a prequel). Other characters include Groose, a bully who is like a mixture between Biff Tannen from Back to the Future and Harry Potter's Draco Malfoy (complete with two goons) and the main villain Ghirahim, a creepy yet flamboyant character, hell-bent on reviving his demonic master. Link has to traverse various regions, above and below the clouds, to thwart his plans and find the missing Zelda. The story goes from an initial high school love triangle to an epic high fantasy quest that is a mixture of old and new that only Nintendo can balance out so delicately. This is a major improvement over Twilight Princess, which hearkened back to the Nintendo 64's iconic Ocarina of Time a little too much.

The quest leads Link to four areas. First is the Sky, which he can traverse by means of his Loftwing, a bird that acts as his steed. Then there are three surface areas: the Faron Woods, a lush green area full of life, the fiery Eldin Volcano and Lanayru Desert, where the remnants of an old civilization still exist. Each of these four areas is distinctly different. The Sky area acts as a hub from which the other three can be accessed. This is a sharp departure from previous Zelda titles, where the whole overworld was a more open-ended area. In this game the overworld doesn't feel like one piece, but more like its cut in pieces. You'll go back to each of these areas multiple times to do a quest or discover a new part previously unexplored. Each area is a bit more condensed than in older Zeldas, but there is much more to do. Puzzles are much less reserved for the dungeons and are also found outside.

Speaking of the dungeons, they are top-notch this time around. This is where the motion controls truly shine. Whether you swing from your whip across a chasm like Indiana Jones or have a sword duel with an armoured skeleton, the Wii Remote becomes any item you will need. I will not spoil everything, but the by far best Zelda item in many years is a remote controlled beetle that can fly. You can send it into tiny holes to grab items Link cannot reach. The MotionPlus technology gives very precise control over the direction in which the beetle is going and it is simply a joy to use it. Each of the items allow for a different way to use the Wii Remote in a way that simply wasn't possible before. This comes into play especially well in boss fights. Sometimes its a sword duel that requires you to study your opponents movements closely. Another battle has you pulling the limbs of a giant robot with a whip or cutting of the tentacles of a huge sea monster on a pirate ship. Each dungeon is unique and has a boss battle that utilizes the Wii Remote to its fullest. I will even go as far as to say that Skyward Sword has the best dungeons and certainly the best boss fights in the entire series.

But the innovation goes even beyond motion controls. Even familiar dungeon puzzles, like hitting a set of switches in a particular order or defeating a number of enemies to unlock a door, are somehow expanded upon to feel fresh. The coolest puzzles of all, however, are found in the Lanayru Desert in the form of Timeshift Stones. Hitting these stones, reverts the area within a small radius around them into an age centuries ago, when the desert was a still a lush, green, technologically advanced area. Broken robots come to life, flowers bloom and machines start functioning. This allows for very interesting and fun puzzles that are amongst the most clever in the entire series.

The whole main quest takes about twenty hours to complete, but then there are still hearts to collect, Goddess Cubes to destroy, unlocking treasure chests up in the sky, bugs to catch, weapons and armour to upgrade and quests to complete for Skyloft's residents. If you want to complete everything you can double the number of hours, giving you plenty of reason to dust off your aging Wii. And there's an unlockable hard mode as well.

Something that is very unique is the graphical style. It takes elements from the realistic style of Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time and blends it with the cartoonish cell-shading of Wind Waker to create something that is both unique yet familiar, regardless of what Zelda titles you've already played. The most interesting thing about this style, however, is the impressionistic style, inspired by nineteenth-century masters such as Cezanne. When seen from afar, the environments blur into colourful dots like in pointillistic paintings. It's both beautiful and masks the limitations of the Wii system. Much like Cezanne, Van Gogh or Gauguin in their time, Nintendo overcomes artistic limitations by simply blurring them without everything becoming ugly. While it may not be as impressive as the detailed style of Twilight Princess or the interactive comic book that is Wind Waker, Nintendo still manages to come up with a style that suits the game and has its own kind of beauty that sets it apart from other Zeldas. I found the rich use of colours refreshing after the somewhat dark tones of Twilight Princess.

The whole presentation is complemented by an orchestral score. While the compositions themselves may not always be as good as in previous Zelda titles, the fact that we have them orchestrated is something that makes up for it. Each piece fits its area or scene perfectly and you recognize the love that went into it.

The Bad
To stick with the topic of music, it's not as much of a part of the gameplay as we've come to expect from a Zelda game, which is sad. In Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask you could control time itself and in Wind Waker you could change the direction of the wind. In Skyward Sword, it's only used in puzzles here and there or to find secret treasures, but not in a huge, game-changing way, which is kind of a disappointment.

Another missed opportunity was the lack of a truly open-ended world. This was one of the main attractions of previous Zelda games. In this game you are stuck with four separate regions not directly connected to each other. This is a shame as the sky and surface areas would have been a perfect opportunity to fly freely over forests and mountains on your bird. Instead, you get to parachute into holes in the clouds to the world below. It could have been even better than the joy or riding on horseback in previous titles, and would have made getting around much easier.

The number of boring 'fetch-quests' is incredibly annoying. As good as the dungeons are, much of the overworld is done through some kind of lame uninspired collection quest. Most notable is the Silent Realm, in which you try to collect little drops called Goddess Tears. At first the stealth-based gameplay is lots of fun, but after multiple times it gets old. The rest of the quests in between dungeons usually don't go any further than using your sword as a dowsing machine to collect five shards of a key or a searching for a missing object. In Twilight Princess or Wind Waker quests like these were some of the most hated parts of the game, so it is a mystery why there is even more of them than ever in this game. At first I liked how the game seemed to make each visit to a particular area different, but after a while the challenges presented became rather repetitious.

The thing that you will likely hate most, though, is Fi. Fi is like Navi the fairy was in Ocarina of Time, and provides you with useful advise. But, goodness, she can be so annoying, she makes even the infamous Navi seem like heaven. The character itself is not the biggest problem. The robotic speech is hilarious and Fi's design is downright gorgeous. The irritating part is that she is a little bit too helpful at times. You can ask her for extra hints, which is optional, but I doubt you will need it much, because she often spoils the fun for you by almost giving the solution away. Oftentimes you can figure a puzzle out without Fi's constant stating of the obvious. I even found myself figuring a puzzle out before Fi even started to direct me towards the likely solution.

While the motion controls usually work flawlessly, they do not always work well in a few situations. Particularly the rolling motion in which you roll bombs like a bowling ball is often not registered. On rare occasions you might need to calibrate the MotionPlus again, although this is done really quickly and is not a major nuisance at all.

The Bottom Line
Skyward Sword breaks new ground for motion-controlled gameplay that will be built upon by video game designers for years to come. Once again the Zelda series revolutionizes the same basic overworld-dungeon formula that has existed for over 25 years. The fact that it also does take a few steps backwards keeps it from transcending the quality of the other 3D Zelda titles. When all is said and done, however, it still stands proudly among the classics in Nintendo's iconic franchise.

Aug 24th, 2012 · Wii

25 years of awesome games and still coming out with my game of 2011
by Asinine (1003)

The Good
Remember back in 1998 when Ocarina of Time launched and the 3D suddenly treated us on so many new puzzles and possibilities? I got that exact same feeling while playing through puzzle sections in Skyward Sword. Almost every single puzzle was new and it was nearly impossible not to feel like receiving a treat after Twilight Princess turned out to be just Ocarina of Time with a paint-job (essentially making it an expansion). I haven't had so much fun with puzzles in thirteen years, so that alone makes Skyward Sword worth the purchase.

Skyward Sword refuses to simply lift on the success of the series and gives us a complete redesign of the characters and races.This may seem like it would upset the veteran fans, but it doesn't. SS (worst acronym ever) references the older games and some of it gets really clever along the line, there are still Gorons and Hylians to be found, but you also meet new races such as the Kikwi and the Mogma, making it both a fresh experience without abandoning the things everybody loves and expects from the game.

Instead of a huge overworld with nothing but padding, we now return to a formula very similar to the original game. The overworld is a lot smaller, but it is full of secrets and the areas serve as puzzle sections before the actual temples. You have to find ways to make it past easier obstacles and monsters in order to find where you need to be, the actual temples have puzzles that are a lot harder, but this is still a fun way to keep us going.

The actual temples have improved a lot because no longer will you have to travel all around the place in the hope of finding the right path, linearity is what Nintendo went for and it works great. Your path is not hard to find, you know where to go, but it is up to you to find out how to manipulate the room in a way that allows you to actually do so. It is a lot better than say... the Water Temple from OoT or the Arbiter's grounds from Twilight Princess that were overwhelming and annoying.

If you like dialogue, this is the Zelda game for you. why? Well because the dialogue in Skyward Sword is the best we have ever seen in this franchise and possibly even Nintendo. When characters talk it actually feels like they have a character and motivations, flaws and all that stuff that people in the real world have as well. Ghirahnim is easily one of the creepiest characters I have seen in a long while.

The graphics style really rubs me up the right way, people talked about a mix between Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, but I disagree. The graphics put me more in mind of Majora's Mask with modern day animation and it looks great, from the beautiful areas that could be straight from a painting to the details in the character design, it is all done so damn well. I love it how character clothes move, it sounds like something odd to pick up on, but it is just so entertaining to watch Fi's attire move in the wind.

The side-quests were done very well, if a character has something for you to do there will be a small speech bubble following him around and they will clearly tell you what they need and where you should start looking. This is a lot better than in previous games were finding side-quests was either pure luck or meant asking every single NPC in town if they needed Link and his trusty sword for something. Doing side-quests also yields Gratitude Crystals which are needed for another side-quest.

There are a lot of things to collect in Skyward Sword; bugs, treasure, quest-items and the list goes on. However, instead of just been collectibles for the sake of been collectible you can actually use these items to upgrade your tools and potions. I didn't really need to do any of this and could get around very well with my items at a basic level, but this is sure to help less experienced players get themselves and edge in this adventure.

Aside from the mandatory items that Link carries with him (bow, whip and all that), there is also a separate section for items Link doesn't really need, but help him on his travels (shield, extra space for ammo and bottles). The twist is that there is only limited space, so you will have to decide which items to carry with you when travelling. Are you going to carry a lot of potions with you and a shield, or do you prefer carrying as many medallions as you can find to boost the rate of treasure and hearts you find.

Skyloft is beautiful, it only serves as a HUB world from which you can enter the provinces of Hyrule below, but the time you do spend there is worth every second. I admit getting very excited to play more when I first emerged from the academy and saw the knight of Skyloft fly around on their Loftwings while the floating islands stretched as far as the render distance allowed. When I was allowed to step on a Loftwing myself, damn, that is one sweet moment...

Finally, Link is a lot more agile than in all the previous games. For the first time ever we get a sprint function which allows Link to make a run for it in difficult times at the cost of stamina, once stamina runs down you will have to wait for it to regenerate. Also amusing is his ability to climb on Walls Prince of Persia style and use this to reach areas just slightly out of reach.

The Bad
There is relatively little to complaint about and only two things are real problems, but I will write everything down anyway starting with the aforementioned "real problems":

The story is not paced very well and tends to drag on, it is certainly a great story with Zelda and Link been classmates (a refreshing idea after years of princess and hero), but after a while it keeps finding arbitrary ways to keep going. The game told me to create a portal to travel back in time, but first I had to spend hours doing three dungeons and a load of puzzles and in the end it was all just for one cutscene that never seemed to end, one puzzle and a boss-fight that could have been avoided if we didn't create that portal. The scene at the end where everything is wrapping up is also abruptly broken up to fit in two more boss-fights (I got the feeling someone showed up at the office with sprites one day and they felt obligated to put them in last-minute) and then there is the final FINAL cutscene where they spend eight minutes wrapping everything up and emotional states jump up and down more often than a hearth monitor with Parkinson during an earthquake. In the end only one minute of that entire scene was actually touching and that came out of bloody nowhere with no rhyme or reason.

The combat is heavily reliant on the Wii Motion Plus which is a shame because the damn thing doesn't work. I got the limited edition, so I have the Wii remote with the built in Motion Plus and Zelda paint-job, but even with that I had to configure the settings every thirty seconds to get the pointer back where it has to be. Fighting often ended up in just wailing on the enemies, leaving them with no chance to fight back. The final boss-fight took me three hours to complete because the second phase required me to hold the sword in the sky to use a special attack, but it has to be 100% 0 degrees into the sky or it does not work >.<

Now unto some minor stuff.

I can't really figure out what to think about Fi, the companion for this game. She is a lot like GlaDos from Portal, she is a robotic character with no real grasp of human emotions and who always talks about scientific stuff and calculations. The calculation jokes start getting annoying and she is often uncanny to the point of been scary from time to time, but the problem is that I get the feeling that this was Nintendo's goal for the character. If that is the case it is a job pretty well done because the scenes where she suddenly acts spontaneous and unpredictable are very memorable.

Some of the puzzles got a little cruel, such as one where I had to find a key to open a door, but the key was apparently located on a small rock outside of the map. Fi doesn't really help here either because all her advice can be summed up as "Look around and experiment" and she only gives advice about boss-fights after you lost half your lives. For real advice you have to go back to Skyloft and visit the Sheikah stone, but that is a waste of time in a day and age that everybody has a phone with internet access.

The music was probably Koji Kondo's worst I have seen so far, which is like saying you just found the ugliest $100 bill ever lying on the grass. The music is not bad by any means, but it is just so forgettable to the point I only cared to look up the song "Message of the Goddess". Unlike previous games that had a musical instrument in it, there is no real way to just jam on the harp you get this time around because you can only play songs during scripted moments and everything else is just randomness.

This entry makes a bit of a mess out of the established story, suddenly and of out nothing there is only one goddess and Din, Naryu and Farore are not really explained despite of been named quite frequently. I know the Zelda timeline is a giant mess already, but this is just taking the piss.

The Bottom Line
Skyward Sword is a positive sign, it shows us that the Zelda franchise can still be fresh and new if the people working on it are willing to strive for that. They have overdone it a little and the game drags on a bit nearing the end (could have saved that for the next game), but I have reason to believe we are finally moving forward after thirteen years of not really getting anywhere. This game is a wonderful experience with interesting characters, puzzles we never experienced before, an art style that makes the most out of the Wii and just an endless amount of fun from start to end. The few issues I do have with the game are far too minor to actually ruin the experience for me and I love it.

A recommendation for Skyward Sword is quite easy, if you are a fan of the franchise, you'll love it. If you stopped playing because the series started feeling stale, you'll love it and if you are just looking for an awesome adventure, you'll definitely love this. If you were hoping for a much darker story like with Hyrule: Total War (Mobygames doesn't want this game in their database sadly, but I can understand that) than this might disappoint you. Nintendo, good job.

Dec 10th, 2011 · Wii

Plus 29 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Alaka, Asinine, CrankyStorming, Cavalary, lights out party, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Patrick Bregger, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Riemann80.