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#1 ganonlord6000

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:13 PM

I just finished Skyward Sword yesterday and to narrow down what I thought of the game, I was impressed. The dungeon design was pretty good along with the overworld, and the story was one of the best I've seen in Zelda in a long time especially since it helps to give a bit of sense to the second half of TP. As for the difficulty, I thought the game was pretty hard, especially compared to TP. I actually enjoyed the challenge especially since most of the games since TWW have been way too easy. I also liked how Nintendo incorporated elements from all of the major Zelda games, most notably TWW and TP. I also like the controls since they made the game more fun and I'm guessing the controls are part of the reason the game was harder than most of the recent Zeldas. The only complaints I had with the controls were the skydiving portions (seems that even the world of Zelda can't get away from daredevils Posted Image) and stabbing during some of the boss fights.

What did the rest of you think about the game?

Edited by ganonlord6000, 10 December 2011 - 10:24 PM.


#2 D~N

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:49 PM

Pacing was perfect, and the story telling was the best so far. This is all in my opinion of course, but dang I really liked Zelda's character, rivaling Midna's character development from Twilight Princess. Midna, though, is the only thing in TP that comes close to how good the character development was in this game; even characters like Fledge had development; damn. And it all moved at a smooth pace.

The combat was very enjoyable but I couldn't do this kind of sword fighting forever. I wouldn't mind one more installment like this, but a return to buttons would be nice someday. Still, I found the controls very good. It also brought a challenge that, like you said, hasn't been seen for a while. It was refreshing.

Returning to areas was great (but I'm a Metroid fan and that's what we do best) and the flying was smart and enjoyable. Dungeon design was fresh; fire dungeons will always exist, but at least things like the water temple and the final temple were incredibly uinque, as was the pirate ship. And of course, anything with timeshift stones was incredibly fun.

New items were all very well implimented. Bosses were challenging but more importantly they were fun. The only exception was the repeated use of The Imprisoned. That boss battle was never fun in the first place; having to do it multiple times was frustrating, and the way the boss does damage with shock-waves of electric-knockback was just irritating.

Other than this small gripe, I think I enjoyed every other aspect of the game. Lots to do, great characters, smooth graphics with a unique style, fresh villian, dungeons were relatively new-feeling, items were fun and used well, superb story telling; so much to like! And the one-to-one controls! And Zelda's character development!!! This was one hell of a game.

EDIT: omg and I forgot to talk about the music!!! In short, it's quite possibly my favorite Zelda soundtrack so far. Everything was brought to life by the orchestra. I would have loved for another "gerudo valley" or some such memorable tune, but I'm afraid this game is short on those. But what it does have, sounds phenominal. In fact I'm listening to it (the soundtrack) now! :)

Edited by D~N, 10 December 2011 - 10:51 PM.


#3 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:03 PM

http://www.escapistm...a-Skyward-Sword

So, uh, how accurate are Mr. Yahtzee's barbs, then?

#4 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:40 PM

I have been looking forward to this review for a long time.

After having watched it, I can say that some of his anger was justified. Pretty much just the "prove your worth" part.

Look, the 2D games will always be my favorite Zelda games (besides Majora's Mask) because they lay everything out for you at the start. You need to collect 8 Triforce pieces. Then you can beat the game.

A Link to the Past relies on a twist, but that's not a bad thing. It helped make that game into something great. You're collecting three pendants so that you can wield the Master Sword. You get the Master Sword, it's time to kick Agahnim's ass. But oh no! he just made Zelda disappear! It turns out you have to go into The Dark World and collect seven pendants. That's fine and dandy.

Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask didn't really change that aspect of the gameplay.

Then Wind Waker showed up and I really loved this game up until I had to collect 8 pieces of the Triforce of Courage. At that point, it just feels like padding.

The same problem is in this game. Twilight Princess basically followed Ocarina of Time's gameplay but the problem with that game was that I didn't really enjoy the story enough to want to continue. I enjoyed it at first. Exploring worlds in Twilight was fun. But I just didn't care about Midna and it almost seemed that Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf were just thrown in a game that they had nothing really to do with.

Now Skyward Sword. This game is great. But it keeps asking me to do more and more things, always with the theme of 3. Go to three areas and get three tablets. Now that you've got those, we need to go back to the three areas and get flames. Okay. Wow, I've got my Master Sword powered up! Now I can go kill Demi--wait. What? I have to go talk to three Dragons and get a song? Okay, that sounds simple I gue--oh. I just don't like this part at all. I guess I need to realize that nothing is ever going to be simple when it comes to a quest that could've been simple. I think when they got to the forest aspect of the game, they just got lazy, because the Water Dragon is a fucking idiot. You didn't like the fact that there were monsters in your forest so you flood it, possibly destroying it's delicate ecosystem in the process? All for a few monsters? At this point they are just padding this damn game out. But luckily, I'm past all of that and I'm back to temple hopping.

My problem with this way of doing things is not that I have to do them. It's that it feels like I've been doing chores around my house all day and I get done with all of them and say to myself, "Wow, I am finally finished. Now I can move on and do something worthwhile with my day." But it turns out that my mother doesn't like that idea and instead gives me more chores to do just for the fuck of it. Lame. Just tell me everything I need to know from the get go and I will get shit done, Zelda game. That way you don't have to pad the game out with artificial length.

Edited by The Princess, 22 December 2011 - 12:43 PM.


#5 Raien

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/5148-The-Legend-of-Zelda-Skyward-Sword

So, uh, how accurate are Mr. Yahtzee's barbs, then?


From my experience, it was scarily accurate. When he referred to his sword swinging in a direction he moved the remote several seconds earlier, that was EXACTLY what happened to me on several occasions during the game. And before anyone asks, no, I don't think Skyward Sword has unresponsive controls. The problem is that the controls are programmed to force players to make slow, precise swings. If you're the kind of player who enjoys using their reflexes and trying to beat enemies with speed, the game actively punishes you for it. Playing Skyward Sword as the developers intended felt unnatural and not fun for me.

When I finished the game, I went back to Wii Sports Resort to see how that game's swordplay compared. I hadn't played it in a long time but now I realise it's actually pretty perfect. You can take it cautiously and you can take it at speed depending on your play style. The sword plays offense and defense at the same time which gives the combat lots of depth. I'd love to play a fantasy game that incorporates Resort's combat. The shield has been getting redundant for quite a while anyway. I didn't even really use it in Skyward Sword.

Edited by Raien, 22 December 2011 - 02:01 PM.


#6 Showsni

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:40 PM

Hm, I never had much of a gripe with the sword. I guess I did tend to get electrocuted a fair bit and Lizalfols were pretty annoying, but I tended to use the Ultra Boomerang to do most things. Just stand a room away, then have it fly bombs to destroy all my enemies and collect every item in the room before I get there. Then I normally just used Skyward Strikes followed by finishing blows when actually fighting.

A few of his nitpicks are spot on - no, I don't need to see the Waking Water animation every single time. Harp playing was a little lacking (so you can play nice background music anywhere, but you can't just break the harp out and play an actual song). Fi didn't grate on me much, though. Three areas + the sky did make the world feel very small, though - revisiting the areas adds gameplay length, but it would be nice to see wholly new areas.

Oh, and can anyone tell me why the last dungeon had a room you never needed to enter, with nothing useful in at all bar a bunch of enemies/puzzles? That's an eighth of the dungeon you don't even see on a normal playthrough unless you specifically try to. And you get no reward for doing so!


#7 SteveT

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 10:44 PM

So I just started. All I could think for the first game was "This looks like a really cool game. Why won't Nintendo let me play it?" Every five minutes, you're interrupted for a cutscene. You can't pick up a rupee without being told what a rupee is. Fi repeats whatever plot point/request another character JUST MADE. You don't even get an f*ing green suit until about an hour and a half into the game. Oh, and my personal least favorite: walking into a new area triggers a cutscene showing where that place is on the map. Then it zooms in like three times to drive the point home.

It's especially jarring because I'm simultaneously playing Ocarina of Time 3D. The way OoT eases you into the gameplay is so much better. Yeah, you have Navi and Saria telling you where to go, but they don't stop you from going off the rails. You find the sword by poking around until you do, and no one's stopping you to remind you that you're on your way to a sword and where it is. You learn to use the sword by reading completely optional signs, not by being forced into a tutorial. You were in your first dungeon within half an hour, and the highlight of your first playing session is fighting Queen Gohma, not mocking a dude's pompadour.

It's like Nintendo doesn't trust us to understand what video games even are. I stopped because I couldn't take it anymore. I really hope that when I pick it up again, this kind of crap will become less frequent.

Edited by SteveT, 23 December 2011 - 10:48 PM.


#8 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:58 AM

So I just started. All I could think for the first game was "This looks like a really cool game. Why won't Nintendo let me play it?" Every five minutes, you're interrupted for a cutscene. You can't pick up a rupee without being told what a rupee is. Fi repeats whatever plot point/request another character JUST MADE. You don't even get an f*ing green suit until about an hour and a half into the game. Oh, and my personal least favorite: walking into a new area triggers a cutscene showing where that place is on the map. Then it zooms in like three times to drive the point home.

It's especially jarring because I'm simultaneously playing Ocarina of Time 3D. The way OoT eases you into the gameplay is so much better. Yeah, you have Navi and Saria telling you where to go, but they don't stop you from going off the rails. You find the sword by poking around until you do, and no one's stopping you to remind you that you're on your way to a sword and where it is. You learn to use the sword by reading completely optional signs, not by being forced into a tutorial. You were in your first dungeon within half an hour, and the highlight of your first playing session is fighting Queen Gohma, not mocking a dude's pompadour.

It's like Nintendo doesn't trust us to understand what video games even are. I stopped because I couldn't take it anymore. I really hope that when I pick it up again, this kind of crap will become less frequent.


Yeah, egoraptor summed it best with this video on Mega Man.



The amount of "yeah, I get it" has increased over the years. Very few people seem to know how to make a game that teaches you how to play by how the levels are designed.

#9 SteveT

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:56 AM

Yes! That video is great. I actually saw it last week, and almost posted it here, except for the language. I was saying "Mega Man! Mega Man!" a lot during the first few hours of Skyward Sword.

What really gets me, though, is that Nintendo used to be good at this. I think someone linked to this essay at on this forum some time ago: http://www.significa...-design-lessons as another example. It didn't end with the NES either. As I mentioned, Ocarina of Time managed to ease you into the game without feeling like a tutorial.

The lack of voice acting is also a problem for me, and not in the way you might think. Prince of Persia did it first, at least out of games that I played, but it's becoming more prevalent now that people talk to you WHILE you travel to the next objective, instead of breaking the game for a cutscene unless absolutely necessary. It really helps lower the annoyance factor, especially in a game like this where they couldn't decide whether the first hour should be a game or a cutscene.

#10 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:40 AM

Now that I look at it, these are all 2D games. I wonder if it's impossible to do similar things with 3D games, hence all the exposition?

#11 SteveT

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:16 PM

I don't think 3D is the issue, so much as all the added complexity. Like the Mega Man video says, you used to just be Jump'n'ShootMan. You had a jump button and a shoot button. Now, if you take Skyward Sword, there's a target/camera snap button, a look button, a contextual interaction button, an item equip/select button (depending on whether you tap or press), a second item select button, a map button, a help button, a talk to Fi button, a move joystiq, and motion controls...some of these are things you wouldn't even be looking for, things you wouldn't know you could do unless you were looking for them, or things that are subtle enough that you might not notice what's going on.

There are just a lot more action in modern games, and it could just be that intuitively teaching them to you was deemed to difficult or cumbersome, so we have the swordmaster telling you that you should swing your Wiimote to swing your sword, and Fi helpfully adding, "Link! Link! Waggle to swing your sword!" I feel like Mario Galaxy didn't have this problem. I liked the way Skyrim handled it, even though it wasn't all that different really. Not sure why it bothered me less (possibly because I've only played 3 Elder Scroll games, rather than 15). Arkham City handled it well, too. I remember an early scene where Batman is about to get smacked by Penguin. It showed the lightning bolts over his head and there was a prompt telling you how to counter. It didn't feel as much like a tutorial because it was feeding you helpful information in the context where you absolutely want to know it. You're still not discovering it on your own, but it doesn't pull you out of the game quite so much.

Anyway, that annoyance seems to have gone away for me, around the time I entered the first temple. Only took 3 hours...

#12 Raien

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:01 PM

Now that I look at it, these are all 2D games. I wonder if it's impossible to do similar things with 3D games, hence all the exposition?


The Minish Cap was full of exposition so 3D is obviously not the problem. And of course it's just coincidence that the exposition and obsessive hand-holding started appearing right after Eiji Aonuma took creative control of the franchise.

Gee, I can't see how we're going to get to the bottom of this mystery...

Edited by Raien, 27 December 2011 - 03:03 PM.


#13 SteveT

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

And of course it's just coincidence that the exposition and obsessive hand-holding started appearing right after Eiji Aonuma took creative control of the franchise.


Are you suggesting that having a master game designer like Miyamoto dropping down to a less active role might effect the quality of gameplay?

Don't be absurd.

(Really good point, btw. I hadn't made the connection.)

#14 Raien

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

Are you suggesting that having a master game designer like Miyamoto dropping down to a less active role might effect the quality of gameplay?

Don't be absurd.


You want to know what's really absurd? Miyamoto is the only reason that Aonuma plays any prominent role in the Zelda franchise. Aonuma is actually Miyamoto's protege. Everything that Aonuma has done to Zelda, from the hand-holding to the overabundance of puzzles, was backed and supported by Miyamoto since the very beginning.

The story of Zelda is not about a good developer handing the reigns to a bad developer. It's about a good developer going bad and then handing the reigns to someone even worse.

Edited by Raien, 27 December 2011 - 06:13 PM.


#15 Emiko

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 11:44 PM

I just started playing it, I am at the Faron Volcano....I will say the first bad guy...well the over all bad guy...he is pretty hard. Aydin started crying cause I kept dying. He was like: " I don't understand! In Mario, its just three hits and you beat the bad guy, here u hit and hit and hit him and he keeps killing Rink!" He can't pronounce the Li very well...then he laughs cause Ethan calls Zelda, Yelda lolol

#16 SteveT

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:28 PM

The story of Zelda is not about a good developer handing the reigns to a bad developer. It's about a good developer going bad and then handing the reigns to someone even worse.


Normally, I'd defend Miyamoto to the death, or say something about committing the worst software design blunder: designing for management. But not today. There's no other explanation.

I'm almost done (just gotta finish off the final boss), and this was one of the most frustrating and least fun Zelda games I've ever played. Almost as bad as the DS titles. It's a shame, too, because the dungeon design is phenomenal. The Sandship may just be the best dungeon in Zelda history, and the Ancient Cistern managed to make a water level fun. But even then, do I really need Fi pointing out the boss door to me EVERY TIME? And the plot was completely nonsensical. Take the end:

Spoiler


Anyway, this is how to do a tutorial:



Watch the opening of the stage. First, a clock flashing, pointing out that you have limited time and trusting you to get it. Then, Mario falls into the stage and lands on the Goomba. A clock pops out and adds to your total, trusting you to get it. Very few players are going to be confused about why they die after 39 seconds, because it's been unambiguously pointed out that you're being timed. Players are going to keep stomping goombas, because the game explicitly showed the benefit without a single line of dialog. They accomplished that transfer of information in about 2 seconds. It's clear, efficient, painless, and treats the player like an intelligent human.

Now, imagine if Skyward Sword had a timed stage.

Fi: LINK! Before you go in there, you should be aware that there is a 72% chance that you'll need to accomplish your task before time runs out.

*Link walks into the room*

Fi: LINK! You've only got 30 seconds left! Wait, no, 25!

Link: ARRGH! SHUT UP I'M BEING TIMED.

A bokoblin appears in a cutscene.

Fi: LINK! There's a 52% chance that is a bad guy. You should kill it. You remember how to use your sword, right?

*Player selects yes*

Fi: OK, well just to make sure, you have to swing your Wiimote to use your sword. Do you understand?

*Player selects yes*

Fi: OK, Get that bokoblin! Don't let it hit you, or you'll lose a heart.

*Link kills the bokoblin and a clock pops out*

Fi: That's a clock. There's a 84% chance that collecting clocks will increase the time you have to complete this area.

*Link picks up the clock*

Fi: LINK! You've collected a clock. Look, you're time total is going up. Now you have 30 seconds again. You should keep killing bokoblins and collecting clocks to make sure you have enough time to complete this stage. You remember what a stage is, right?

*Player selects yes*

*Fi explains it anyway.

Total Mario time to explain a simple concept: 2 seconds.
Total Zelda time to explain a simple concept: 5 minutes

And don't even get me started on Fi summarizing other character's dialog for you, only adding BS percentages.

I used to love Nintendo and think they made the best games in the industry. Nowadays, the only one the seem to be able to handle is Mario.

Edited by SteveT, 14 January 2012 - 10:25 PM.


#17 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

I wholeheartedly agree about Fi.

#18 Raien

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:01 PM

I'd be more pissed off about Fi if she wasn't only mildly worse than previous helper characters who put you through the same bullshit. The most offensive thing about Fi is that Nintendo didn't even pretend to give her a personality this time.

I also see Fi as the symptom of a much bigger problem, which is the developers' constant attempts to force their direction on players. It feels like Nintendo are re-creating the experience of an annoying friend who owns the game and constantly takes the controller from you whenever you get mildly stuck or want to go off the beaten path. If Nintendo didn't include helper characters, you can be sure they'd find other ways of forcing you to play the game their way.

#19 Masamune

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 10:59 AM

Given Nintendo's love of helper characters in Zelda and unwillingness to ditch them, they really need to just... go ahead and add voice acting. Fi would be less tiresome if she was explaining all this, but not taking us out of the action to do it. (Nothing is more egregious than her reminding me my batteries are dying, by the way.)

#20 SteveT

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:09 AM

Yeah, I'd be a lot less annoyed if she did her prattling while I was walking around.

#21 Wolf O'Donnell

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:47 AM

Given Nintendo's love of helper characters in Zelda and unwillingness to ditch them, they really need to just... go ahead and add voice acting. Fi would be less tiresome if she was explaining all this, but not taking us out of the action to do it. (Nothing is more egregious than her reminding me my batteries are dying, by the way.)


You basically just described Bastion there.

#22 SteveT

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:28 PM

Agreed. Bastion did it right. A closer, and earlier, analog is actually Farah from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. That game solved this problem ten years ago, but Nintendo never noticed.

In Bation, the Stranger plays the role of narrator. Farah really is nothing more than a helper character. She acts as a sidekick, takes a role in solving puzzles, and provides character development, exposition, and advice without stopping the game once. That game (and series, really), has set my expectations for storytelling in games...and sadly, it set the bar a little too high.

Edited by SteveT, 15 January 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#23 Fin

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:36 PM

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.


you know, ever since i played that game when it originally came out i've lost all patience for slow character actions. one of the most irritating things about twilight princess was how they slowed down link's climbing animation from previous games. the prince manages to push huge blocks in a timely manner.

Edited by princess hypercortisonism, 15 January 2012 - 12:37 PM.


#24 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:32 PM

I find myself losing patience more with newer Zelda games than older ones, and this (conviniently) started with The Wind Waker. That said, I've enjoyed them all in the end, just...not as much as the older titles.

#25 SOAP

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:09 PM

Given Nintendo's love of helper characters in Zelda and unwillingness to ditch them, they really need to just... go ahead and add voice acting. Fi would be less tiresome if she was explaining all this, but not taking us out of the action to do it. (Nothing is more egregious than her reminding me my batteries are dying, by the way.)


Well that's just dandy except for the purists who are deadset against the very idea. I'm for the idea, not because it'll be cool but because I think it's actually necessary for the very reason you stated. This whole "No talking in Zelda because of tradition" is really killing the series. Either Nintendo needs to really simplify the games like they did with FSA to where it plays more like Mario and thus less need for handholding for inexperienced gamers. Or they need to add voice acting so there's less interruptions while playing the games. Heck, SS would really have benefited if Fi was the only character with actual voice acting. Technically she does, but it's gibberish like with Midna. It would have been more logical if Fi suddenly shouts out "Master! You're on fire" while you immediately roll around to get the fire off instead of a dialogue that opens up with her commenting on the fact that you're on fire, forcing Link to stop in his tracks while he's engulfed in flames.

If need be, they can keep Link silent but I think they really need voice acting in my opinion.

#26 joeymartin64

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:41 AM

This whole "No talking in Zelda because of tradition" is really killing the series.

A lot of things about Zelda "tradition" are doing the series more harm than good at this point.

#27 SOAP

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:15 AM


This whole "No talking in Zelda because of tradition" is really killing the series.

A lot of things about Zelda "tradition" are doing the series more harm than good at this point.


Exactly. People complain that Nintendo changes/keeps only the wrong things but that's only because they listen to the wrong fans. There are people who seriously got pissed because SS Link is right-handed as if Nintendo committed some great blasphemy. The only people are should be mad about that is left-handed players who don't get a lefty option and have to play either right handed or deal with Link's right hand trying to track the movements of the wii-remote in their left hand.

Seems to me the problem is is that Nintendo is trying please both casual in-experienced gamers and unreasonable purists while losing touch with some sort of middle ground between the two polar extremes.

#28 Kwicky Koala

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

^ I'm not sure I'd call it that way. I would imagine its very hard for Nintendo to process all of the things a global fanbase is saying and sort the suggestions and complaints into whether they come from the "right" or "wrong" kind of fans. In my opinion the game designers just need to block out all this stuff and just make the game they want to make. I mean, they're Nintendo, they should know how to make a good game.

This means, however, also abandoning the business models which I would say are the true reason behind the decline of Zelda. I've not played SS but isn't Fi the result of Ninty going for the casual market and treating the novice gamers like idiots again? I know Nintendo is a business but it was a business in 2000 when Majora's Mask came out, or in 2003 when the Wind Waker was realeased. I like those games because they took huge risks and didn't think about the fan reaction, and both I'd say paid off in the end.

It may be unrealistic but I'd like it if the developers abandoned their understandably confused ideas of what fans want, and the wider Nintendo business plan, and take a risk with the next Zelda. But having not played SS I admit I'm only speaking as an observer - which brings me to ask, if SS is a poor Zelda game, why did it get such glowing reviews? :confused:

#29 TheAvengerLever

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:00 PM

SS is not a poor Zelda game at all. As a matter of fact, it's almost on par with Ocarina of Time (in my opinion). Nevertheless, it is unfair to just look at the game through fanboy goggles, and it does make some huge mistakes. Hand holding/Sidekick Speaker/padding are the biggest issues for me.

Edited by The Princess, 16 January 2012 - 12:00 PM.


#30 Elvenlord

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

From my experience, it was scarily accurate. When he referred to his sword swinging in a direction he moved the remote several seconds earlier, that was EXACTLY what happened to me on several occasions during the game. And before anyone asks, no, I don't think Skyward Sword has unresponsive controls. The problem is that the controls are programmed to force players to make slow, precise swings. If you're the kind of player who enjoys using their reflexes and trying to beat enemies with speed, the game actively punishes you for it. Playing Skyward Sword as the developers intended felt unnatural and not fun for me.


So, as a swordsman, I would be irritated beyond belief at the swordplay? Damn.




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