The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a remake of the Nintendo Wii game, Skyward Sword. This game is a reboot of the series and takes place in an alternative timeline where Link has been reincarnated as a Hylian girl named Hilda.
Skyward Sword HD review – ign is a game that has been released on the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD was reviewed by IGN giving it an 8.5/10.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the only “mainline” Zelda game I hadn’t played before taking on this Switch edition. I was one of only four people on the planet who didn’t own a Wii back in the day, and I didn’t feel like repurchasing one on the Wii U years later. It simply sat there, waiting for me to play it, despite the fact that I wasn’t in the mood for a ridiculously long adventure with obligatory motion controls in the year 2016. I was aware that it was widely regarded as the most controversial Zelda game ever, with equal numbers of fans and detractors.
It was a nice surprise to learn about a Switch remaster. I was very excited to play this game and see why fans were so divided about it, especially since reviewers had earlier hailed it as the second coming of the messiah. Even though the $59.99 price tag was ridiculous (it’s Nintendo, after all; they had us pay $60 for three Mario ROMs), the prospect of being able to play this game with various control choices and on the move was too appealing to pass up. Now I fully see why this game has such a polarizing fan base. A LOT of things about it appealed to me. At the same time, I despised a slew of design and gameplay decisions that I had never thought of criticizing in any previous Zelda major game. Buckle up, this is going to be a long one.
The greatest version of Zelda is found in Skyward Sword. This isn’t a debatable point.
By and large, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a “definitive version” of the 2011 Wii classic. It takes the original source code and provides it a complete remastering process that Super Mario 3D All-Stars lacked. It improves the graphics, controls, presentation, design decisions, and framerate of the original game. But I’ll go into more detail about these improvements later in my review. First and foremost, let’s speak about Skyward Sword.
Skyward Sword is the official precursor to the whole Legend of Zelda franchise. It includes the earliest canonical versions of Link and Zelda, as well as the genesis tale of Ganon. All Hylians in this world dwell in Skyloft, a holy village above the clouds established by the goddess Hylia to safeguard them and the Triforce from a demonic assault on the surface. As a result, mankind has forgotten about the outside world and has spent centuries living among themselves and some enormous birds known as Loftwings. Link begins his adventure as a student in a knight school, where he meets Zelda and other characters, including fan favorite Groose.
Hello and welcome to Skyloft. I’m not sure how the residents aren’t freezing to death.
After a storm hits Zelda and her Loftwing, Link goes to the surface to search for her. He learns that Hylia has selected him as a savior to rescue the surface and Skyloft from a demonic invasion. He’s followed by Fi, a spirit that sleeps within the goddess’s sword and leads him across Hyrule’s desolate landscape, instructing him where to go and what to do if he gets lost (more on that later).
I’ll stop talking about the storyline here since there’s a lot more that occurs after that, and I know not everyone is familiar with Skyward Sword’s plot in depth. To summarize, it’s a great tale overall, but it’s hindered by a general lack of stakes, since someone more powerful than you is constantly there to bail you out in some of the plot’s most pivotal moments. At no time is anybody abducted, which is both a positive and a negative. It’s a plus since it deviates from the series’ clichés. It’s a flaw because, well, the story would have been handled whether Link was there or not.
It’s hard to imagine this was once a Wii game. This game is really stunning.
The people in this game’s narrative are the greatest part. Skyward Sword includes my favorite version of Zelda, who is feisty and extroverted, and who, for once, has a personality. She has a far stronger bond with Link than any previous or subsequent iteration of Zelda, and I can’t help but like her depiction in this game. Groose is a bully who has become a friend. Impa despises Link from the start, as if to say, “I’ll detest you until you show you’re not a waste of my time.” Link, on the other hand, is a loser. But it isn’t always a negative thing. He begins as a slacker, but eventually transforms into the hero he was destined to be. Despite the absence of stakes, I love the narrative development of the most of the characters.
I understand why a lot of people despise Fi. I conducted a lot of research on the game’s original edition and realized how irritating she was. Holding your hand throughout the game, bombarding you with useless lessons and statistics that contribute nothing to the overall experience. Most of her lessons are optional, and most of her text boxes are skippable, so the creators were able to “neuter” her a little. As a consequence, she didn’t enrage me. She was simply there for the journey, sometimes offering a helping hand when I needed it. In fact, a first for a Zelda game, the overwhelming bulk of the game’s cinematic sequences may be bypassed.
Ghirahim isn’t Zant, but he’s still a great secondary antagonist.
This version of Hyrule, on the other hand, isn’t very compelling. Skyward Sword is known for being one of the most linear Zelda games ever, with its rendition of Hyrule consisting of just three provinces that aren’t even linked. You’ll constantly be instructed where to go next, with little opportunity to explore the surface apart from discovering the occasional Goddess Cube (which unlocks some treasure in the Sky) and crafting materials. Go to a province, perform some puzzle-solving and platforming, unlock a shortcut in a Dark Souls-style manner, locate the dungeon, conquer the dungeon, rinse and repeat.
The Sky in Skyward Sword is the game’s “open world” portion, and it’s a small improvement over the Great Sea in Wind Waker, which was much too large for its own good, taking a lifetime to go from point A to point B. The sky is much smaller now, and you can clearly identify any islands or portals without using a map. With that stated, the sky is virtually devoid of life.
It’s a lot of fun to fly about with your Loftwing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do in the Sky…
There’s nothing to do in the Sky save for Skyloft and a few tiny islands here and there. After hitting the appropriate Goddess Cube back down on the surface, you may sometimes unlock a chest. This was a huge waste of time for me, and it was just there to give you a cause to fly about with your Loftwing every now and again. You can acquire a few Pieces of Heart and improve your items, which is always great, but the Sky as a whole seemed like an afterthought. This is just a reason why you should not complete the game in a single sitting without straying from the primary storyline.
The linearity of Skyward Sword is frustrating since the game’s “levels” are well-designed and the objects are entertaining. The Beetle is one of the most important items in Zelda history, since it is essentially a tiny drone that enables you to explore dungeons and the overworld with more flexibility and accuracy. Not to mention that it may be improved further, enabling you to carry explosives and dump them on top of opponents and switches, much like a Call of Duty UAV.
You could simply open a store in Skyloft, Beedle. There is plenty of room for that…
The issue is that, while having one of the greatest item choices of any Zelda game, a large number of them seem unnecessary. Take, for example, the Slingshot. The Slingshot is rendered worthless as soon as you get the bow. Even before then, the Beetle could fulfill most of the tasks of the Slingshot without having to worry about running out of ammunition. Another example is the Whip, which becomes obsolete once the Clawshots are obtained later down the line. Because of the game’s emphasis on linearity, there isn’t even an optional platform puzzle that needs the Whip to reach later in the game. As a consequence, in Skyward Sword, you’ll only utilize two or three things at a time and disregard the others.
Then there’s the roundabout route. Because Skyward Sword only contains three provinces, you’ll find yourself returning to previously visited locations many times, which is a pain. Granted, the landscape of each province varies somewhat each time you visit it, but the fact that you have to retrace all the time in such a straight game is absurd in my view. You’ll even have to return to a dungeon at some time! Due to the time manipulation mechanism in Ocarina of Time, this only worked in that game. Backtracking may be a pleasant challenge in certain cases, like as when you have to gather Tears of Light in different versions of each province, although this only occurs once per region. More places to explore in Skyward Sword might (and should) have been included.
Many people despise Fi. I don’t despise her. Because much of her speech is now skippable, she only appeared briefly throughout my playthrough.
When it comes to dungeons, they’re OK. I’ve always heard from fans that Skyward Sword has the greatest dungeon selection of the whole series. This was amazing to hear at the time, since Twilight Princess had raised the standard with its incredible dungeons and boss fights. I like a couple of the dungeons in Skyward Sword, although they were not very memorable. The ones in Lanayru ended up being my favorites, since they all centered on inventing new methods to tamper with the time-space continuum. In terms of pure simplicity and the number of chambers to explore, the first two temples were weaker than the Great Deku Tree from Ocarina of Time. Not to mention the fact that they were very linear.
The bosses, on the other hand, are a different story. Those were a lot of fun. Even the bosses that most people despise, like Scaldera and Tentalus, were enjoyable and spectacular in my view. Other bosses, such as Koloktos, were on par with some of the franchise’s greatest fights, such as Twilight Princess’ Stallord and Majora’s Mask’s Twinmold. The three fights against the Imprisoned, on the other hand, seemed like a complete waste of time. One of the most frustrating parts of Skyward Sword as a whole was the mix of lame weak points, poor monster design, the aforementioned lack of stakes, and the fact that you had to battle the stupid thing three times throughout the game.
So far, I’ve gone through the original Skyward Sword in great depth… But I haven’t even mentioned the remastering. For better or worse, here is where things start to become interesting…
I have a feeling his design was influenced by the CDi figures…
Let’s start with the greatest feature of Skyward Sword HD: it’s stunning. It’s hard to imagine that this game is 10 years old and that it was first launched on the Wii, a system with hardware that was only slightly more powerful than the Gamecube. With well-detailed figures and an absolutely amazing impressionist layer of paint on every single location, the visual style, which is best characterized as a comical spin on the solemnity of Twilight Princess, is fantastic to look at. It’s vibrant, vivid, and appealing to the eye. Plus, being able to see this at a continuous 60 frames per second at a 1080p quality (720p on mobile) is incredible. Even more than Breath of the Wild, this is the best-looking Zelda game ever.
The sound design is in the same category. Skyward Sword is credited as being the first Zelda game to include an orchestral soundtrack, and Nintendo did not disappoint. There isn’t a single terrible song in the whole game, with Skyloft’s theme song being my personal favorite. The sound effects are also fantastic, and I enjoy the absence of voice acting in this, particularly given how bad that element was in Breath of the Wild…
It takes some time to get accustomed to the fighting systems in Skyward Sword HD. I like that there aren’t any motion controls, but they’re clunky as hell.
I have no complaints about the work made in to make a game published 10 years ago on a ridiculously underpowered system seem like it belongs in 2021. Other Switch remasters, such as Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition and the disgrace that was Super Mario 3D All-Stars, pale in contrast to the graphics and performance of Skyward Sword HD.
But the problem is, it was made for a system whose primary selling point was motion controls. Skyward Sword was essentially marketed as the primary incentive to purchase a Wiimote Plus. However, the Switch is mostly used as a portable console. Nintendo had to figure out how to convert the motion-based controls from the original game to a more conventional button-based system, with mixed results.
They tried, to their credit. Nintendo has devised a new control system that does away with motion controls entirely. That means you can play Skyward Sword HD in its entirety in portable mode, using third-party Joy-Cons with a higher build quality than Nintendo’s, or even a Pro Controller. That is excellent in general. Because many people dislike having to use motion controls, more underappreciated Wii treasures may be transferred to the Switch in the near future. The issue is that these controls were not implemented properly on a standard controller layout.
Do you even know what Zelda is?
Take, for example, sword fighting. Skyward Sword’s primary selling feature was a one-on-one sword fighting system that mimicked Wiimote motions. Nintendo transferred this control technique to the right analog stick, which was the only input that could have been modified. When you swing your sword with the right analog stick, there is a little latency, but you’ll grow accustomed to it. It’s far from ideal, yet your brain can (and will) adjust to this terrible circumstance.
This fighting system is a little sluggish, but it’s hardly the worst part about how the right analog stick is utilized in Skyward Sword HD: the same stick controls the camera, but you can only move it around by simultaneously holding down the L button. This is neither practical, helpful, nor intelligent. Because Skyward Sword lacks the variety of opponents seen in previous Zelda games, I believe Nintendo should have combined this capability with the sword fighting techniques. To put it another way, you’ll have to hold down or just press L once to “unlock” your sword mechanics with the right analog stick. It’s much too inconvenient, so I simply used ZL to center the camera behind Link like on an old Nintendo 64.
Groose is well-liked by everyone.
The usage of the right analog stick throughout the game is befuddling. It’s often used while shooting a bow or slingshot, for example. It works perfectly. However, you must move about with the left analog stick to target the trajectory of your bomb toss, since the right stick determines whether you will throw or roll the bomb. I find it strange that Nintendo totally redesigned certain control schemes while keeping others with a far more antiquated (and often annoying) input mechanism.
Another aspect of the game’s general control system with which I disagree, and which might have been addressed in this remaster, is the fact that you can only equip one secondary item at a time. The ZR button is always assigned to it. Now, unlike the Nintendo 64 Zelda games, the game itself does not need you to continually swap things. However, given how seldom the X button is used throughout the game, I’m wondering whether Nintendo could have included a second item slot to make things even easier. After all, they accomplished it with the 3DS remakes of Nintendo 64 games, as well as the remake of Link’s Awakening…
I’m hoping the architect of this temple was dismissed.
As a consequence, using motion controls is the “best” method to play Skyward Sword HD, but this choice eventually destroys the remaster’s main selling feature. It’s not as much fun to play the game in docked or tabletop mode as it is to play a big 3D Zelda on a handheld. You’ll need to get accustomed to some complex control methods in order to properly enjoy Skyward Sword HD on the move. Again, I don’t believe Nintendo made all of the wrong choices; they had the terrible job of converting motion controls into buttons. But it doesn’t excuse me from criticizing some of their most bizarre decisions, such as the camera controls.
To avoid seeming like a total naysayer, there is one element of the game’s new gameplay that Nintendo nailed: soaring about with your Loftwing. Despite the fact that there is virtually nothing you can do in the skies, the brand new control system, which needs no motion input, makes flying with your bird easy and enjoyable. It’s almost like a cross between running about with Epona in Twlight Princess and a decent Star Fox game’s free-form flying features. If only there was something interesting to do in the sky…
The first few dungeons are visually stunning, but the chamber arrangement and riddles left much to be desired.
I’ve finally figured out why Skyward Sword is so controversial. The storyline, level design, and gameplay options are all great. However, they are countered by some poor design decisions in the same sectors. This is also true with this remaster. Every positive enhancement, such as the amazing visuals, performance, and the ability to completely avoid using motion controls, is countered by an annoyance, such as the implementation of such non-motion controllers and the strange camera movement. Skyward Sword HD is an intriguing game that can either delight or irritate gamers. It’s almost as though there’s no middle ground. This is far too much money for a Wii game, but the idea that you can play it on the move is worth praising. Even if you have to navigate some perplexing controls to do it.
Skyward Sword may have the most stunning visual style of any Zelda game ever created. The higher resolution and fps make what was already attractive to the eyes much more so.
I like that I can play Skyward Sword on the move without having to use motion controls, but the button placement and design choices, particularly when it comes to the camera, generally work against the player. As a consequence, docked mode with motion controls remains the best option, although this goes against the Switch’s primary selling point.
Not only is the completely symphonic music excellent, but the sound effects, which I normally ignore in Zelda games, are also really well-implemented in this one. Given how bad the voice acting was in Breath of the Wild, the absence of it is really a godsend.
There was something in Skyward Sword HD that hampered my pleasure for every aspect of gameplay or narrative that I enjoyed. The amazing boss fights, innovative weapons, and great characters are countered by the absence of significant sidequests, average-at-best dungeon design, annoying amount of backtracking, and a narrative that is really bereft of stakes.
Final Score: 7.5
On Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is now available.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
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The skyward sword hd — price is a review of the game, which was released on the Wii U. It has been remastered for the Nintendo Switch and includes new features such as motion controls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD worth it?
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD is a game that was released in 2011. It has received mixed reviews, with many praising the graphics and gameplay, but others criticizing it for its lack of innovation.
Is Skyward Sword HD fun?
Skyward Sword HD is a fun game.
Why does Skyward Sword HD look so bad?
The game was released on the Wii, which had a limited number of pixels.
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