The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Demo Impressions

This weekend i found myself lucky enough to play a demo of  Nintendo’s up and coming Zelda release – Skyward Sword! Since this is a game I’ve been dying to check out since it was announced at E3 earlier this year, being given the chance to play through a ten minute demo was practically a dream come true!

The way Skyward Sword utilises motion plus adds a whole new level to the Zelda games as slashes, swipes, and even stabs reflect your movements right up to the angle, and direction you move your arm. This enhanced the gaming experience as it produced varied attacks and less repetition when killing enemies! The best example of this came when fighting plants. The plants that attack you open their mouths either vertically or horizontally, and due to this the only way you can kill them is to cleanly slash in the direction their mouth opens! Whilst annoying at first (Mainly due to the embarrassment of me having wasted a minute slashing for nothing) I soon found this feature grow on me, as encountering enemies became less repetitive, and kept me engaged for my full demo!

Links bow is another weapon that can be seen using the wii’s controls in a positive way. Firing off the bow is made more interesting as you are now required to draw back your nunchuck hand in order to fire an arrow, rather than merely point at a screen and press a button like in Twilight Princess! I’m still in two minds over this feature as i see possibility of it making bow usage take much longer! I mean… i found firing whilst riding Epona hard enough before! Imagine how it’ll be now?!?! So whilst an interesting addition, i find it may also add complexity to the game where it isn’t needed.

Another good feature taking advantage of wii controls is the item selection menu, which was something i initially thought would just be awkward and annoying! The new item selection menu uses the motion tracking, so that you can select the item you wish to use from a dial swiftly, rather than having to click through multiple slots to get to a specific weapon! Another good thing about the menu was that it dint involve going through any start menus, keeping game play constant, and item switches fast and easy!

The boss stage was interesting, as it saw the usual requirement of a specific tactic in order to get past! In this case it was just a matter of attacking eyes when they were of a certain colour, and then stabbing to kill…but a challenge none the less! I found myself being caught in a pincer grip frequently and having to rapidly shake the wii controls like no tomorrow to break free! This combined with the need to actually stab the wii mote to stab his eye made it more active for me and much more enjoyable! After all, these are the controls native to the wii! So to finally see them included in one of my favourite game series of all time is amazing!

After the boss battle i ran towards a door to the next part of the game and “Thank you for playing”….. My time ran out! I was devastated, confused, a bit delerious from waiting with no food and drink for the game, but content none the less! The demo in general was exceptional and removed any doubt about changes in the game for me! Now i just need to wait for the actual release…In the mean time! Here’s a trailer from E3!