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Zelda Skyward Sword has been released on Nintendo Wii and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword transcends its own brilliant design to deliver a character drama of surprising impact. Even those whose Wii consoles may have gathered a little dust would do well to brush them off for this epic..."
- Novel Gamer (Fri, 25 Nov 2011)
"Legend of Zelda gets the podcast treatment as we spend half an hour talking about what these games mean to us..."
- Game People (Wed, 30 Jun 2010)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword promises to be the most advanced Zelda adventure ever and will provide a hardcore boost for MotionPlus.
Details are emerging about the first steps the new Link will be taking in his latest adventure for the Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Link is raised in the floating village of Skyloft (ed: Bioshock Infinite meets Twighlight Princess?), in which few of the inhabitants have ever set foot on the ground and are masters of riding huge birds. When Zelda goes missing, Link is forced to travel to the surface to begin the epic search.
Any new Legend of Zelda game is always as much about revisiting the tradition of the series as it is about introducing new ideas and puzzle styles. In terms of a quest to rescue the missing Zelda, acquiring the Master Sword and popping stones at beasts with a slingshot, all the familiar Zelda action seems in place with a few new additions to canon, including the creation of the Master Sword.
However, The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword provides some new tools including a whip, a dowsing ability and even a little touch of Parkour: the new Link has the ability to dash short distances, allowing him to perform a vertical wall-run and climb up to nearby ledges. The dowsing ability also allows Link to hold aloft his sword to help find the direction of the missing Zelda, a little bit like Shadow of the Colossus.
The new whip and ever-faithful sword will make full use of the Wii's motion-plus control, designed exclusively for the Wii MotionPlus controller. For those who feel that the MotionPlus has seen little service, especially in Europe, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will redress the balance with full motion control for sword combat.
For those without a Wii MotionPlus controller, it may well be worth considering the Special Edition of the game. Retailing at £49.99 it comes with a gold MotionPlus controller branded with a Skyward Sword insignia, as well as a soundtrack CD. This pretty good value, however there are rumours that the CD soundtrack will be supplied with every pre-order, including the standard edition; but, many vendors currently do not have this listed in their product descriptions.
Given the advanced controls, there are conflicting reports of lag in the responsiveness of the game. We'll be keeping an ear out for this issue and whether or not there is any impact on the game as more information is available.
With the most advanced engine to date for a Zelda adventure and the promise of new play styles, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword demonstrates that there are plenty of big adventures to be had on the Wii.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is currently planned for release on Nintendo Wii on November 18th 2011.
Zelda Skyward Sword steps forward with MotionPlus to be the real Wii Zelda game.
Having hedges their bets a little with Twighlight Princess being for both Wii and Gamecube, Nintendo's E3 announcement of Zelda Skyward Sword exclusively for Wii looks to set that straight.
There is a focus on game play over visuals once again as Zelda edges back into cell shaded territory - just a little. The extra processing power can then be put to good use with MotionPlus Wii controls for fighting, shooting and flying around Hyrule.
There is finally a one-to-one sword motion with the direction and weight of swing effecting your on screen combat. A new whip weapons looks to capitalise on the added fidelity of controls and joins series favourites each with new controls.
But more than any of these inventions, that this is a new Zelda game is enough for fans who will lap up the opportunity to play a new game. Set for release in 2011, they won't have to wait too long and can be thankful that the Wii has warranted two Zelda games on one system - a rarity for the franchise.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: