Nintendo Wii News
E3 2010: Hands-On With 'The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword'
By Hector Cortez Jun 19, 2010, 7:15 GMT
The biggest change is that this new Zelda supports (read: requires) Wii MotionPlus.
Written by Michael Barryte
Here's the thing about being a fanboy: we're incredibly difficult to please. We gripe and moan about a forgotten franchise (Timesplitters), but when its finally delivered, we pick it apart. The same can be said about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I prayed that another Zelda would be on Wii, but from what I've played I'm not thrilled.
Don't get me wrong, this is Zelda. You're Link, you have the sword, the shield, the items, but there in fact lies the problem. Nintendo felt the need to retool the game. Okay, they're free to do that. However, in this very short play through, I didn't get a good enough feel of what all this would mean.
The biggest change is that this new Zelda supports (read: requires) Wii MotionPlus. Link should now read your sword strokes one to one, although I found myself struggling to land the perfect blow. Also, if you want to use your shield, you have to hold the nunchuck up to your face and you can do a shield thrust by shaking the nunchuck forward, however this too proved more problematic than intuitive.
The game also reworks Link's items. In order to access your items simply press B and drag the cursor to whatever item you want to use. Bombs, arrows, a slingshot, all have a slightly new control schematic than Twilight Princess which takes a little getting used to.
A whip and a beetle are new items to this game. The whip allows you to stun enemies, while the beetle flies for a limited time, guided by your tilting of the Wii remote. I'm very excited for the dungeon where they introduce this little guy, as I'm sure it will bring in a whole new level of complexity with puzzles.
The game also introduces a stamina gauge in addition to Link's health. Link can now dash as long as the gauge holds strong, afterwards he will pant and be somewhat useless. I didn't do much running, only to jump to ropes hanging over pits, but I'm sure there's more to it.
There were two boss battles in the demonstration and I wound up against a massive scorpion with eyes in its massive pincers. This is where I found the slash controls most frustrating. The boss would tilt its pincers making it almost impossible to replicate the angle in your swing to hit the eyes. I found myself dodging and swinging, but to no avail before the demo counter ran out.
Skyward Sword left me in a weird space. Sure I was thrilled that there was a new Zelda coming in 2011, but I'm not sure if it all works. Naturally, this wasn't an actual part of the game, but a sample of its elements. There were a smattering of enemies, two bosses and new items and controls to familiarize yourself with. Until I really get a chance to play in-game, I guess the jury's out as to whether or not this fanboy is completely onboard with the new sword.
Michael Barryte is a Monsters & Critics Gaming contributor and is also the co-creator and co-star of the internet series Ari & Stone.