Thursday, June 14, 2012

Skyward Sword

Is Skyward Sword the Best Zelda Game?

 What can i say to the game reviewers who claimed it's even better than Ocarina of Time? YOU'RE LIERS! YOU'RE LYING TO ME. YOU'RE LYING TO OTHER CONSUMERS. YOU'RE LYING TO YOURSELVES! Skyard Sword is fun to play. When the controls work. Which, unfortunately, is seldom. If it worked the way it was meant to, I'd even prefer it over button mashing. The visuals are about as good as it's gonna get with what the Wii can do, though I do think it's a bit of a step back from Twilight Princess. Link is just as awesome as he always is, and the way the player controls his movement is fun and innovative. Again, when the controls actually WORK. So there are plenty of reviews out there praising this game in just about every possible way for just about any mediocre reason. I'm convinced those reviewers need to take off their Zelda gaggles and call this game for what it is: Average for a Zelda game. There are many things wrong with this game. Here are my top ten reasons why Skyward Sword doesn't live up to the hype.

Skyward Sword Trailer

Reason 1. Dowsing

When I got Skyward Sword for Christmas I thought I as getting Skyward Sword, not The Legend of Zelda Waste Time Looking for Treasure. Why is this game forcing me to use that annoying Dowsing ability every hour? Just running around a level listening for a Beep.........Beep......Beep.....Beep...Beep..Beep.BEEP! BEEP! Not only that, the first person controls while Dowsing are incredibly awkward and clunky. Who actually LIKES dowsing? I haven't played such a misguided game mechanic since the mining in Mass Effect 2. Great game.... but mining...... UGH.

Reason 2. Inventory Screen

How come every time I pick up an Amber Relic the game has to stop whats it's doing, takes me to the inventory screen, just to show me I now have 63? Thanks..... this would be helpful, I guess... only I already knew I had 62 about half an hour ago. Why? Because this game insists on dragging you through the inventory screen as if you have short term memory complications.

 Reason 3. The Controls

The controls don't work half the time. I went out and bought a wii motion plus, just to play this game. BECAUSE IT'S ZELDA. I thought to myself. If it needs the motion plus SO BE IT!!! So why then, do the controls FAIL to work for what seems like at least half the time? I'd argue that half the time I'm getting my tights handed to me, that's right, Link still styles the tight tights, is because the controls don't know what I'm doing. I'm trying to stab and Link slashes to the right or from underneath. WHY??? I'm stabbing right in front of me, extending my arm and wrist in a straight line, aaaaaaaaannnd.... Link swings right against an enemy that's only vulnerable to stabbing, and Link goes down again. And that's just with the sword C'MON!!!!

Skyward Sword E3 Demo Interview

Reason 4. Fi

 Now, some people thought Navi from Ocarina of Time was annoying. Some didn't care for Midna in Twilight Princess. I would rather listen to Navi and Midna for the rest of my life than suffer through Fi's endless drowning. They might as well make her speak in binary. There is no emotion at all. The character gives you nothing, she just can't emote. Why should I care about a character that may as well be a robot? If you're gonna give us a robot, why not Bender from Futureama? She's basically Spock. Which I guess is cool ......only I checked the cover and this is SKYWARD SWORD, not STAR TREK!      FAIL!  FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!

Reason 5. The villain

Okay, I understand at least half of the game's target market is the kiddos and they don't want an over the top scary bad guy. And that's one of the things that just so right about the Zelda franchise, just about anyone, regardless of age, can enjoy them. But this villain, I just.... Let me explain. I have a background in Japanese culture. I have family and friends from Japan, some live there even now. A current trend, for those who don't know, is the pretty boy fad. Right now, the look guys go for is downright feminine, and in many cases, at least by American standards, flamboyant. And nothing against that. I know some of you reading this might think I'm homophobic or something and discriminatory and prejudice and blah blah blah without outright saying "I hate homosexuals". Well, A few members of my family are gay and some of my closest and dearest friends are gay. I love them all just as much as I would if they were straight. I don't care about their sexual orientation. If they're a person of integrity, that's all I need to know. Okay, just had to get that off my chest. As such, I will go on to say that the feminine look and flamboyant mannerisms of the main villain just don't give him that feeling of a bad guy who is evil and must be stopped. There's no feeling of dread or suspense as the hero fights against an adversary who is ultimately and significantly more powerful (at least for most of the game as adventures go). I swear, every time I run into the guy I'm laughing at him. I wonder how he keeps his hair so perfect while fighting? And then I think, if Link really wants to upset this villain and get under his skin, he should chop some hair off and tear his designer clothes. It must take the guy three hours in front of the mirror just to feel ready to walk out the door.. And to have this kid with a green hat and tight tights mess up his look.... THE NERVE!!!! Just a thought Link....

Skyward Sword Gameplay

 Reason 6. Skywars Sword's Loftwing

Niiiiiice, I've become one with Awah. I see nature and the spirit. I'm one with my Ikran. His name is Patches and we've been through so many adventures together. Why just yesterday we.... oh wait.... that was Avatar... This game gives you a flopping red bird thing to ride around on instead of a Ikran. And Epona is no where to be seen. The bird is hard to control and it's just.... kinda there. During the first hour of gameplay you hear almost nothing but how special the red bird is, and the unique bond you share with it. But there's almost nothing in the game to reinforce those claims. Have the developers ever heard of the saying "show don't tell"?  You just don't care about the bird. If anything happened to the bird, I'd simply shrug and ask where I can get a replacement. So along with Fi, the bird is another missed opportunity to have strong characters the player can care about. Maybe next time.....

Reason 7. Lackluster Characters

There are no stand-out character's in this story other than Link and, perhaps, Impa, the Villian, maybe Zelda.The relationship was there with Navi and Minda. And Tatil or whatever the second fairy's name was doesn't count cause she was just over the top annoying. But even Tatil's bad, condescending, snarky attitude would be preferable over Fi.  And besides Link, what stands out about the others mentioned stand out for all the wrong reasons. Zelda is just annoying, maybe even more annoying than the helpless gasping princess we all grew to love and hate in Ocarina of Time. She's just nag nag nag, look at me and my bloated in-your-face attitude, aren't I spirited? I get what the developers were trying to do here. No doubt they understand that people, I'd imagine especially women in the gaming community, were upset that Zelda is always the one helpless and saved in the end. The problem is, it's a bit much, you can tell they're really trying, and it takes away from the character. Link is a very strong character, but in a subtle way that's just as effective as "hey look at me, aren't I bad?", and I'd argue it's even more effective. That's what Zelda needs to be, strong, but not obnoxiously, mangaishly so. Is mangaishly a word? It is now. The villain I already discussed. Laughing a little just thinking about it. And Impa is bad. Really cool. But that's about it. In Ocarina she was like a guide showing Link the way. In Skyward she's just really cool. Which is fine, but I personally would have liked a bit more effort with her character. Yes another painful example of a missed opportunity.

Reason 8. Scavenger Hunting in Skyward Sword

A cool thing about Skyward Sword is that you can upgrade most of your items. The bad? You have to run around the different regions of Hyrule looking for the required items necessary to craft the upgrades. Some people may think I'm overeating. Perhaps if Zelda were more of an RPG this would be okay, even expected.   In my opinion is just padding in the worst possible way. The upgraded items should be earned through tests, something like Twilight Princess or Windwaker where the player had to get through several levels packed with increasingly difficult enemies. In Ocarina of time where the player had to navigate and the Gerudo Training Grounds to get the ice arrows. That engages the players, makes them work for what they get but in a fun way, not some mindless scavenger hunt for six hours just to get the upgrades you want. Again, simply, mindless, and worst of all, BORING. In a game that's consistently dropping the ball on opportunity after opportunity to do something FUN, this is something that's unforgivable. It's a shame really.

Reason 9. Link declares Bankruptcy

Why is everything so expensive in this game? Maybe, instead of buying more and more wallets to hold more and more money so you can pay for items costing 38947539845639570923 rupees, the developers could have made them perhaps cheaper, maybe a prerequisite item, or earned through mini games and tests and quests. Not running around  Even with the treasure medallion it's hard to find enough money to pay for what you want. Why do this? I REFUSE to play that terrible Skyloft game where you guide Link through hoops and try to land on a spinning color to earn money. That's what everyone suggests you do to get money quick. As for me, I got the heart piece so.... NEVER AGAIN.

Reason 10. Skyward Sword Same Old Story

This one might come to bite me in the rear. But let's think outside the box for a sec. How about a Zelda where you're not, I dunno, saving Zelda? Well, at least in Ocarina of Time she ran around as Shiek a bit. But I stand by it. It's hard to make an original story and adventure when game after game is about saving the princess. It's kind of old.

Skyward Sword: Final Verdict 

For it's inconsistent game mechanics and countless missed opportunities that could have made this game a perfect 10 out of 10, this boring treasure hunter chore of a game earns an unfortunate rating of 7 out of 10. This score makes me sad. But someone had to give you, the consumer, an unbiased review.

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  1. There is a 97% chance you'll leave a comment. Your opinion matters!

  2. thanks for sharing.

    1. You're very welcome! I hope you enjoyed and I appreciate the comment. Feel free to check out my other reviews. I try to write a review at least once a week, often times more. Thanks again,

      - gamermonkey