Thursday, November 24, 2011

Skyward impressions

What's up beer gamers!

If you've read my beer pairing for The Legend of Zelda, you know that I'm currently playing Skyward Sword. I sliced the last boss to pieces yesterday and since I promised you my personal impressions of the game : AWESOME!

Continue reading for my full review!

Nintendo has finally given us a true Wii Zelda and it's awesome. Link sets on a new adventure to save Zelda and, little did he know, the entire world. I said a new adventure but, in fact, it's his first! Yep, Skyward Sword is the first game in the Zelda timeline and does a pretty good job at setting everything up. If you've never played a Zelda game, you won't feel lost in the story, it will only make you want to play the others.

The first thing you see when you enter this new world is the art style and graphics. Skyloft and the world under the clouds are gorgeous! It's like a midway point between Wind Waker and Twillight Princess and it's the best way Link and his world as ever looked. If you took the SNES Link to the Past and put it in 3D, I think you'd get Skyward Sword (minus the purple hairs). You're thrown in this colorful and living world filled with cute characters and deadly enemies. I never felt Link's emotions this much in any of his games before, he's not the little kids who's always smiling anymore.At one point, he really looked pissed! He's not the only interesting character either. You've got some really nice people on skyloft, from the headmaster of the academy, to Groose the bully and all the sellers from the bazaar. You also cannot forget Zelda, who his more involved than ever in the story.

The dynamic of the game as also changed a bit now. You no longer go from one temple to the next while going through an empty field or town. In between the temples are big area filled with bokoblins and other new baddies. You'll encounter puzzles and quests outside of the dungeons which makes the world more alive and real. At anytime, you can go back to Skyloft to ride your loftwing, help your fellow Skyloftian(?) and upgrade your gear in the bazaar. This is where that, using the  loot that you collect from enemies, you can upgrade a good chunk of your items and potions, making you that much more involved with your character. A new feature that is more than welcomed.

Now what would be the most important aspect of a game? Being able to play it! This new Zelda is built to be played with the Wii Motion+ attachment that allow your remote to be more precise. You are now in complete control of your sword and items, slicing and dicing horizontally, vertically, diagonally and stabbing with ease and aiming your bow to headshot annoying archers from afar. You'll probably never want to go back to analog sticks after playing through this epic adventure with that much control over Link. You've got new items like the beetle that flies all around and forces you to rethink how you approach some puzzles. It happened a couple time that I forgot about those items and got stuck for not using them. It's things like this that keeps this game fresh while keeping its Zelda magic. Combat is also like a puzzle now. You have to wait for an opening before hitting the enemy with your sword at the correct angle, making combat more strategic.

However, there is really only one thing that really grinds my gear in this beautiful game and she has a name : Fi. For me, this character is extremely annoying and also pretty forgettable, it's worst than Navi in Ocarina of Time. She is supposed to be your guide and help you along the way but she always seems to pop up either after I manage to find what to do by myself or worst, after the game already showed me! For example, in a certain temple, you come to a barred wall and a cutscene shows you a big chest, which is the same chest you found the boss key in before. You can then safely assume that it is the boss key inside. Right after the cutscene, Fi pops up, stopping you from playing, and tells you that there's a chest in the room and that it as something like 85% chances that the boss key is in it.... Thank you I knew that! She tries way to much to hold your hand and treat you like a stupid person.

Seriously, I think I found her useful maybe once or twice in the whole game. The game would've made perfect sense if Fi wasn't there and if Nintendo tweaked the text in the game just a bit. I don't like her, I hope I never see her again.

Once she's out of the way, I can honestly say that this game is a masterpiece. It brings enough new concepts to the Zelda formula while keeping the classic feel that was built twenty five years ago. The story is engaging, the characters are believable, the worlds are well crafted and above all, the game is fun to play, thanks to the great controls.

While I was playing the game, I was constantly wowed by new story development and thinking : "It's still getting better!" I truly believe it's one of the best game on the Wii, if not THE  best, it's a must have for any adventure fan. It deserves a good 9.5 out of  10 which makes it the highest rated game on this site....Also the first one!

Grab a beer and enjoy this gem!

Play responsibly!
Cheers ;)

*Images from IGN

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