The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an adventure RPG for the Nintendo Wii that revolutionises the series by utilising motion controls to allow the player to further enhance the experience.
Skyward Sword features a vibrant world that takes inspiration from Impressionist artwork. It is colourful and full of personality and each new location is a joy to explore. The introduction of flying and many puzzles in the over-world give the game a huge sense of scale and the numerous weapons and tools in your inventory keep the game play feeling fresh and fun to play. The Legend of Zelda series has been around for 25 years, but Skyward Sword still captures the spirit and wonder of classic instalments while updating it with a modern control scheme and new ideas.
The game’s story is the earliest in the The Legend of Zelda timeline and outlines the origins of Zelda, the Master Sword and the series villain Ganon. Game play definitely takes centre stage, but the narrative is engaging and the characters are genuinely interesting. Zelda is given more personality than previous instalments and the antagonist Ghirahim is menacing and memorable. Voice acting is not present in the game, but the silent protagonist is still a great “Link” between players and this magical adventure.
Game play is the main focus of Skyward Sword and the implementation of motion control takes combat to another level. Using the Wii remote the player has full control over Link’s sword. Many enemies will block your attacks, unless you strike them from different directions and later in the game the AI is no push over. Sword combat is fun, but motion control is also utilised to aim the slingshot, throw bombs, crack whips, guide the remote beetle, shoot arrows and guard attacks with your shield. Bosses take it up another notch requiring thoughtful strategy and precise attacks. Once you have mastered the control scheme it really feels like you have complete control over your arsenal of weapons. Skyward sword also features some of the best designed dungeons in the series including imaginative enemies, though provoking puzzles and great locations.
Another first for the series is a fully orchestrated soundtrack. The music is melodic and epic, featuring brilliant new compositions and enhancing some old favourites. “Ballad of the Goddess” is an energetic main theme, while quieter pieces such as “Isle of Songs” and “Zelda’s Lullaby” are beautiful. The music complements the art style and world adding some extra emotion to the game.
Skyward Sword is the reason we play RPGs, to participate in an adventure through imaginative worlds. If you wish to play an RPG that puts you in control of a hero unlike any other game, then you should play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.