Link’s back for another adventure and Skyward Sword is most definitely going to be the last one he has on the Wii. This time the young boy who takes on the role of adventurer lives in the land of Skyloft and after a ceremony in which he becomes knighted, his sweetheart Zelda is soon thrust down to the surface below and Link has to go and look for her. Cue the usual mix of dungeoneering, questing, talking to townsfolk and using the old grey matter to get from A to B.
Despite the graphics and some of the animations looking a little tired on the Wii, the game still has a magical feel about it which says a lot about the team who made it. Music is fantastic, characters are well thought out and although all their words are in text, the noises they make go a long way to displaying emotion. You can even tell what’s going on in Link’s head despite him not uttering a word! The controls use the Wii Motion Plus to mimic how you swing and thrust the controller so in combat you’re supposed to use some strategy as to which side to attack from, whether you swipe horizontally or vertically or if you just stab. The reality is that motion controls never work as well as pressing buttons so sometimes it can be frustrating fighting enemies and bosses when you know what to do but the game just won’t play ball.
It’s also very useful that Fi is on hand to give you advice and is much more helpful than Navi ever was. You still might hit the occasional brick wall but thankfully these moments are few and far between. You can also now use the items you collect out and about to upgrade your items to give them new abilities or make them tougher. Travelling around is also very different to anything that’s come before as you fly about on your Crimson Loftwing above the clouds and drop through holes to enter new locations below. There are other islands you can explore around Skyloft as well which offer up some side quests that vary in excitement, ranging from delivering soup to someone to collecting pumpkins. They can feel like a chore though so if you’re not bothered then you don’t need to do them but the bonuses you do get for doing them may make things a little simpler down the road.
Inside the dungeons there’s the usual mix of using a combination of items and techniques to open paths, find keys and unlock doors to get you to each boss and these final battles really are great. Each boss has their own unique weaknesses and after a bit of thought it’s satisfying to work out what it is and defeat them.
Some people online have complained that it’s more of the same but personally I think if the formula’s not broken, don’t fix it. Here Nintendo have wrapped up old ideas into a new package and it works very well. Aside from the clumsy movement of Zelda and the wonky motion controls it’s still a great game which definitely deserves a play if you like getting lost in fun adventures. It gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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