Our First Take on Skyward Sword

Posted by at 4:09 pm on June 14, 2011

While the Wii U was the headliner for the big N at E3 year this year – Skyward Sword, the second Zelda game for the Wii, is the gem we will see this Holiday season in out living rooms.

The game had been designed from the ground up. Twilight Princess was a great game, but only an average Zelda game– with some using it as proof that the series had begun to get stale and predictable.

The plot of Skyward Sword is still a little obscure from the demo we got at E3. There is a simple flying race with large primary-coloured birds. In this Link is in normal civilian duds and trying to win a date with Princess Zelda. To get the date, Link must catch a yellow bird carrying a special token, which great way to demonstrate the impressively sensitive Wii MotionPlus controls.

We’re told that flying will play a major role in the game, with the implication that the bird – or some other mount – will become the equivalent of Epona carrying you around the game world.

Next the demo took us to a dungeon, featuring Link back in his familiar green outfit. A large enclosure in the middle of the demo area is surrounded by giant spiders. Their only weak spot is a purple area on their bellies but the game offered a number of ways to get at it.

The one we used involved the new flying beetle item, which allows Link to fire a little wrist-mounted remote-controlled gadget with controls similar to the birds. The beetle was able to snip the strands of web holding up the spiders, who then dropped to the ground and become easier targets for Link’s sword.

They were still tough opponents though and helped show off the new motion controls, which are vastly more sensitive than those in Twilight Princess – or indeed any other sword-fighting game. The real test though was with the giant skeleton inside the central area, who holds up his twin swords to protect himself so that you can only get at him by aiming a sword slash at a certain angle.

The controls seemed to work perfectly every time and together with the forward thrust used to defeat the spiders was much more satisfying than the random waggling of the previous game.

The final section of the demo was a boss fight against a sword-wielding cove called Ghirahim. His pale skin, white hair and strangely-lipstick-ed smile made him look more like a generic anime enemy than the usual Zelda opponent but the strategy needed to beat him was still interesting. He constantly reached out to grab Link’s sword and only by twisting it in the opposite direction could you land a blow.

His main attack involved a high speed rush at your position, which you could deflect with a forward lunge with your shield (also motion-controlled with the nunchuck).

The demo as a whole was enjoyable but there was little beyond the controls themselves to show the series is going to have a major move forward. At the same time it is Zelda, an old friend, which almost always been a great time of game play.

Since the game will be forwards compatible with the Wii U it should be able to find a sizeable audience on both systems.

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