Title: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Category: Action, Adventure
Release Date: November 18, 2011
How we got the game: We bought it
Skyward Sword was always one of our favorite Legend of Zelda games in terms of graphics, music, and story. We’ve only played through it once before, so we were interested in seeing how it held up this past couple of years when we dived into it again.
Those who are familiar with the Legend of Zelda franchise would find most of Skyward Sword’s mechanics intuitive. As the protagonist Link, you maneuver through the world and its linear story using the analog stick on the Wii’s Wiimote and Nunchuk combo for controls. Special items are assigned one at a time to the B button while gear like shields and potions can be brought out with the 1 button on the Wiimote. Skyward Sword did utilize the Wii’s motion controls for Link’s swordplay.
The motion controls were unique and fun to use at the time the game released. After all this time, the controls hold up fairly well. Would we rather the Switch or no motion controls at all? Yeah, probably. Still, it’s fun to play it the “old-school” way.
Well, it’s mostly fun. I, for one, do find it a bit outdated in today’s age to use the Wiimote and sensor bar, especially for Link’s swordplay. It’s not as responsive as it used to be, but it’s definitely still playable. With that said, the controls still do well enough to enjoy the game, and it’s been interesting using the Wiimote and Nunchuk together.
It’s a fun throwback to say the least. Either way, the game itself is great. Link lives in the sky on Skyloft, a floating island. There is, beyond their knowledge, a world below them and that’s where Link ventures off to in search of Zelda. There are three major areas he travels to, going through various dungeons, collecting items, and battling bosses.
While Skyloft, and the surrounding floating islands and the sky around it, are explored by giant birds called Loftwings, the Surface areas are explored by foot. Side quests for citizens, both on Skyloft and on the Surface, are unlocked throughout the game, with some even being required to continue. Link also has a stamina gauge for more strenuous activities, like sprinting and carrying heavier objects, that will leave him temporarily vulnerable if it is depleted. It does take a bit of strategy to be sure Link does not run out of stamina during battles or puzzles.
Each dungeon Link comes across on the Surface has its own theme to it, which unravels more and more of the mystery behind the game as he gets closer to where Zelda is. The first dungeon, for example, has Ghirahim as a boss which is the main villain’s minion, if you will. I personally love this character.
I remember marveling at the graphics and art style of this game when we turned it on for the first time. The bright colors and vivid imagery of Skyloft and the sections of the Surface were stunning. Booting up the game now, the graphics aren’t quite as sharp as I remember, but I’m still enjoying the art style just the same.
Honestly, I still love these graphics. They’ve held up well even if you can clearly tell this is an older game. The designs overall – the characters, backgrounds, dungeons, etc. – are awesome.
You can never go wrong with the music in Legend of Zelda games. Skyward Sword has some of the best tunes, in my opinion, in the franchise. The Ballad of the Goddess is definitely one of my favorites. Considering this is a game where we have cried at certain scenes, the music is fantastic at helping to create emotional moments.
The Ballad of the Goddess is one of the best Zelda songs, hands-down. I loved the theme song to this game as well that played along with the opening sequence for the main menu. I listen to these songs on a loop in my car sometimes.
Skyward Sword is credited as the “origin” story of the Legend of Zelda franchise. In many timelines for the games, it is chronologically the first game in the series, and Skyward Sword’s story depicts Link and Zelda going on journeys to discover their destinies.
Obviously, we’re playing as Link. He doesn’t seem to know too much of what’s going. He knows he has a destiny to fulfill. However, all he seems to care about is that his friend Zelda fell from the sky and he wants to find and save her. Of course, he goes through some… stuff.
Link’s journey, at first, is in pursuant of Zelda, who has come to terms that she isn’t just a normal Skyloftian (yes, that is now a word). In fact, she is the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, just as Link will eventually come to terms that he is the reincarnation of the original Hero. While Zelda is preparing to become who she really is, Link must also do the same with the help of Fi, the spirit in his sword.
And so Link presses on and does what he needs to or what he’s supposed to do. Throughout it all, he just seems done with life, though. It’s kind of great.
It kind of is, yes. Link’s personality shines in this game! His determination to rescue Zelda and then protect the world when it becomes apparent that Zelda and he are trying to finish what Hylia started many years ago is perfect, even if he’d rather be napping. Even Groose, Link’s initial rival, plays a part in the story, helping Link when the main threat in the form of Demise appears to try to destroy the known world.
All of the characters, actually, sort of band together in their own way to help Link and Zelda at one point or another. The story as a whole is pretty wholesome as the beginning of something. It felt brand new even though the series itself has been well-established long before this game.
This game is probably one of the most linear Legend of Zelda games out there. Nevertheless, it does have a decent amount of secrets and a harder Hero Mode after the first finished playthrough as well as charming characters that will make you want to pick up the game again at a later date.
Even though this is the second time we’ve played it since it originally released in 2011, I know I’ll play this game again at some point. It’s too good.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword gets…
4 out of 5 lives.