The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Made For Everyone Who Dreamt Of Being Link

By Spencer . June 21, 2010 . 5:41pm

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Nintendo’s press conference demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword appeared laggy, perhaps unresponsive, but my hands on experience was nothing like that. When I got my hands on Skyward Sword and moved the remote left, preparing for a slash, Link’s arm (and sword) accurately followed me. I swung the remote and sure enough Link copied my motion, hitting a grassy patch in front of him.

 

There’s more to The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword than waggle, dare I use the term. In fact, Link won’t follow a flurry of remote-to-sword swipes well. Compared to other Zelda games, combat in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword emphasizes precise slashes over rapid hits. Take the Deku Baba, as an example. You can shake all you want, but Link won’t defeat it unless you match a slash with the way the carnivorous plant opens its mouth. If it opens its mouth vertically, you can split the Deku Baba with an overhead chop. Basically, there are three kinds of attacks – horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. The direction the attack comes from matters too, but we’ll get to that later. Oh, Link still has his hallmark spinning slash. To do it, you have to swing the remote and nunchuk at the same time. It’s useful when a group of pig-like monsters armed with meat cleavers surround Link.

 

What would a Zelda game be without items? A handful of tools were available for Link from the get go in the E3 demo, but players will have to find equipment, just like other Zelda games, in the final version. You can switch items on the fly by holding B to bring up a menu and pointing at the tool you want on the screen. The whip was invaluable during the demo because a single crack could hit multiple bats. Similar to the boomerang, the whip doesn’t defeat Link-sized enemies, but it can stun them. Switching back to the sword takes little time so you can stun and then slash the porky ground creatures. Controlling the beetle, a projectile you can fire to pick up far away items, is as easy as moving the remote. The beetle flies depending on how you tilt the remote. Watch out for Deku Plants while using it! You can’t damage them with the beetle. The bombs are the most evolved item in Link’s arsenal. In addition to throwing them by making a lobbing motion with the remote, Link can roll them on the ground as if they were bowling balls.

 

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It seems like Nintendo took the bowling ball controls straight out of Wii Sports and implemented them for bomb rolling in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The bow and arrow controls are reminiscent of archery in Wii Sports Resort and the sword slashing reminded me of the Japan-only release Zangeki no Reginleiv. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword feels like it is the culmination of those games plus Twilight Princess.

 

Link has two other modified items, his shield and bottles. You can raise Link’s shield by raising the nunchuck. This makes Link block and sets up the shield bash, a move that lets Link reflect Deku nuts with the C button. Using potions to refill life is faster in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. You can restore health without opening any menus. Potions are mapped to the minus (-) button.

 

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After slicing through bamboo gates and aggressive pigs, I went straight for a boss. The demo had two bosses – the scorpion and a skeleton. I blasted a rock door by rolling a bomb and ended up with the skeleton. This monster was armed with two swords, which it used to block attacks. I needed to get between them. Sometimes the skeleton would leave itself relatively open by holding both blades horizontally. This stance would shield the skeleton from vertical slashes, but a horizontal slash would pass right through. Other times, the skeleton would hold its swords like an “L”, which would deflect downwards slashes and horizontal attacks from one direction. You could wait for a more open stance, but it is possible to hit the skeleton in this position. The trick is to come at the skeleton with a horizontal attack from the opposite direction. So, if it’s blocking the left side, a slash starting from the right would hurt the skeleton. A few hits and a potion swig later, and the skeleton’s bones were on the ground. I passed the remote to someone else and went on to play another game.

 

This is the closest thing to being Link, short of finding the Master Sword and a green tunic in a forest.


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  • Chow

    “Great! I can’t wait to bomb some dodongos!”

  • nyobzoo

    the demonstration and vids of this game really doesn’t catch my interest for some reason

  • Draparde

    i know i’m going to try this one out when its released. sounds pretty intresting.

  • Deco Teague

    I want a sword-wielding game in which I can stab something, then twist the sword to inflict more damage or just to finalize the kill.

  • http://twitter.com/The_9th_Sage Ian Chamberlin

    I’ll be honest…when I first saw the Wii, I imagined a Zelda game that controlled like this one does. I have to admit I’m pretty excited to get a chance to try it. Heh, I used to run around playing ‘Zelda’ outside when I was a kid. I’d go find a decent stick, and grab some rocks to use as bombs, then spend some time fighting imaginary Octorocks and Moblins and things. :D

  • fallen

    It took four years, but this is what I wanted when the Wii came out.

  • Guest

    More right handed Link.

    :|

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micah-Pettit/1831972676 Micah Pettit

      70-90% of the world’s population is right handed. Nintendo knows this and knows that if they were to make the game with Link being left handed, it would make for awkward gameplay for large portion of their consumer base. Link’s right-handed now for as long as they keep doing motion based controls. Deal with it.

      • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

        They should make him ambidextrous, I’m left handed and now I’m left out in the cold.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adriaan-Den-Ouden/100000912148099 Adriaan Den Ouden

    Hey Spencer, how responsive were the nunchuk controls for the shield and shield bash? I recall in Twilight Princess that getting the shield bash command to work with any consistency was practically impossible. I know the wiimote has Wii Motion Plus helping it out, but as far as I know, the nunchuk doesn’t gain any benefit from that.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      It works better since you only have to move the nunchuck to go into “shield mode”. Once Link has his shield raised you press “C” to shield bash.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/SplashdownTiger STiger

    Does the D-pad allow for Travis Touchdown-like dodging? Because that would be awesome. (Although, it seems it moves the camera?)

  • http://madebyluke.com madebyluke

    “Made For Everyone Who Dreamt Of Being Link”, not quite. There are a large group of disabled gamers, big Zelda fans, who will have to sit this one out because of the required large arm movements.

    Nintendo have made this game with no option for classic controller making it no longer accesable to disabled gamers.

    Nice one Nintendo. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo should stop putting “Anyone can play” in their PR for the motion games, it’s wrong and offensive.

    • http://twitter.com/plounted plounted

      way to buzzkill, kid.

      • http://madebyluke.com madebyluke

        It’s a serious and easily solveable issue that everyone is ignoring due to all the excitement of motion control and tracking. Accessibility in games is weak, some developers still don’t put subtitles in their games when it’s damn easy to do.

        • malek86

          I remember the old PC games from 1996 and before, pretty much none of them had subtitles. Even though they’d have been damn useful (for example, The 7th Guest has very low voices volume). Nowadays though, there’s no excuse.

    • thebanditking

      agreed, for those with disabilities and for those who just don’t want motion controls there should always be an option.

  • thebanditking

    “Made For Everyone Who Dreamt Of Being Link” Sorry Spencer I think that line is BS. I for one will be skipping out on this Zelda because for me as a gamer its just too damn motion heavy. I have said it before and will continue to when I game I want to relax sitting down letting my self become immersed in the games world. I can’t do that flailing my arms about standing up. My game room is also not 400×400 sq ft, so overall I really just think this took it a bit too far. Its a real shame too because this looks to be the best one in a while (I did not really like Twilight Princess, but loved Wind Waker)

  • ForeverFidelis

    The bad thing about this game is the fact that it’s easier to play standing up

    I like sitting down while playing..

    Ah well, looks to be worth a day one or two buy

  • malek86

    Doesn’t look bad, but I’m disappointed. Remember when rumors were going around that the new Zelda would’ve been radically different?Of course we’ll have to wait for the game before we can say for sure, but right now, it looks pretty much standard Zelda with motion controls.

  • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

    Everyone except left handed people that is… Prove me wrong Nintendo! Please include left handed options!!!

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