The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD - Launch Trailer
Who it Caters to
The Legend of Zelda's timeline is a convoluted one, with several games taking place in alternative realities and thousands of fans still debating over the chronological order provided by Nintendo a few years ago. One thing's for sure, though: Skyward Sword is the starting point of this messy phenomenon, and so it became a must-play for all true Zelda fans since its release in 2011.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Nintendo is now releasing an HD remake with updated graphics and some other new features. A perfect opportunity to replay a classic or, if you're new to TLoZ, your chance to jump into the adventure in chronological order!
What to Expect
Skyward Sword, being developed with the Wii features in mind, is a game that many of you may remember because of its divisive motion controls. Of course, the Nintendo Switch also allows you to detach the Joy-Cons and use motion controls, so you can still roleplay as Link as you bland your imaginary sword. If you are more of a button-pressing person, then you can do so too, since the whole gameplay has been revamped.
All in all, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is a beautiful game, containing everything you would expect from a Zelda game, plus some unique features and cool minigames to keep you busy.
Skyward Sword, thanks to its pictorial art style, has always been considered one of the best-looking The Legend of Zelda games. With new HD textures and better resolution, the Switch version is by leaps and bounds a better experience for those looking for graphics.
While the Wii game has to be played at 480p @ 30fps, this remake offers 60 frames per second and true HD resolution when docked—if you play in handheld mode, then it's 720p, but it looks great on such a small screen. You can hardly notice rough edges or pixelated textures, and cutscenes are now skippable!
Let's be honest, all Zelda games have fantastic soundtracks, and Skyward Sword is no exception to that rule. In fact, it featured the first orchestral soundtrack in a Zelda game! In this HD remake, the OST stays pretty much the same, although there are some notable changes.
In case you're wondering, Skyward Sword HD doesn't have voice acting, and gibberish is the best you'll get. Regardless, the amazing music and great use of sound effects make up for it.
A long time ago, Demise, the evil Demon King, tried to steal the powerful Triforce but was defeated by goddess Hylia, who also took all humans to the sky in an effort to save them. Now, Demise is back, and only Hylia's chosen hero can defeat him. Following a basic RPG formula, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD tells the story of Link, a young knight in training who lives in a floating city called Skyloft.
As you can see, it's a simple premise... the same one we see in almost every TLoZ game: Demise (Ganon, in other games) is the antagonist, princess Zelda (the reincarnation of Hylia) protects us, and Link (the ultimate hero) finally helps Zelda and puts an end to the baddie. Still, this adventure is quite charming and worthy of your time, especially since it explains a lot of things you need to know to understand other Zelda games.
Finding and defeating Demise won't be easy. Before that, you need to gather several items, explore some dungeons filled with monsters and puzzles, help some random villagers here and there... you know, the same you do in almost any RPG. To be honest with you, we were never fond of the Wii version's motion controls. Moving your controller to emulate the use of a sword sounds cool on paper, but it's a gimmick that gets old really fast and, on top of that, makes everything harder if you find it hard to coordinate your moves—plus, you can break things around you if you're not careful enough. If you want to, you can use the Joy-Cons and play the game "the way it's meant to be played" but, luckily, you can also play like a normal person and still have fun.
The new control scheme allows you to use the Joy-Con's buttons and sticks to move around and attack. Also, the new Free Camera mode is perfect for those who hate fixed cameras. Granted, having to press a button before moving the right stick feels weird, but not as weird as the Wii's inexplicable use of cameras.
Another thing this improved version changes is how Fi, our annoying guide, works. In the Wii version, Fi's apparitions slow down the gameplay and, most of the time, only offer long dialog lines that are both unnecessary and boring. Now, Fi will appear when you call it, giving you hints only if you need them. Simply put, Skyward Sword HD gets rid of most of the things that Zelda fans hate about it, so we strongly recommend it for those who want to enjoy the adventure with a reduced amount of issues.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is not an innovative exploration game, and that will surely disappoint some of you. On the other hand, there are those who miss old-school role-playing, with linear plots and a lovely cast to interact with, regardless of the lack of a sandbox open world. For what it's worth, this remade version tries to fix some of the original game's mistakes while being faithful to all the little flaws that helped forge Skyward Sword's nature. Maybe that's still not enough to be considered the best Zelda game, but who cares? It tells a beautiful story and gives you dozens of hours of TLoZ joy.
Improved graphics and better frame rate, of course.
New QoL features like autosave, skippable cutscenes, button/stick-based control scheme, and reduced participation of Fi.
Motion controls are awkward still...
Honey's Final Verdict:
The Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will always be ther for you to try it, but it's nice to know there's another version of it, with better graphics and a more enjoyable experience overall. Feel like giving it a try? Skyward Sword HD is now available as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...