Skyward Sword HD – Further Thoughts
I’m pretty pleased with myself. I haven’t dropped off Skyward Sword HD and I’m well past half-way now, I think?
Better still, I’m really enjoying myself. Skyward Sword HD is a proper Zelda game, and whilst nothing will top Breath of the Wild for me, nor will the first time of Ocarina of Time of Majora’s Mask, ever be topped. Skyward Sword HD is proving to scratch my Zelda itch in all the right places.
Tri-force through flames
I love the way Skyward Sword HD looks and sounds. It’s lovely. Bright, vibrant and full of all those good old Zelda sounds. But more than that, I love that Link is unlocking a tri-force again.
This is a Zelda mainstay and to my recollection, it seems to be missing in Breath of the Wild (apart from designs etc). Those three triangles are synonymous with the Zelda series and to see them being unlocked trial by trial is a joy.
I’ve hit a point where I feel like I’m close to finishing. I’m part way through the last dungeon to get the flame that will power-up my sword. I hoping for a Master Sword upgrade at this point, but we’ll see!
The dungeons and areas have been great. Although I have a love/hate relationship with the mines and the desert. I love the concept of the stones unlocking the past and present, and the mechanics that it allows for, but it’s dragged out for a long old time.
All in all though, Faron Woods, Lanayru Desert and Eldin Volcano cover a great swathe of classic biomes and dungeons. Fire, forest, water, desert and the all of the sky travel when you go back to flying around. Skyward Sword HD gives you plenty of variety.
The trials required before getting into the dungeons, to pursue the flames have been a lovely change of pace between classic dungeons. I thought after getting the three tablet pieces it might become a drag, after clearing three dungeons, but Nintendo know how to make a Zelda game. Who knew?
Link isn’t shy of having kit to achieve the job and Skyward Sword HD seems to me like it takes it really seriously. I have a whip, a wind blower, digging claws, a net. You name it!
I was sad to see that there’s no classic hookshot, but I have a clawshot instead! It doesn’t fetch distant items, but it does get me to places I couldn’t get to before.
I know it’s a classic game mechanic to give you gear as you go and re-visit areas to find you canget to new places in spaces you’ve been to already. But Skyward Sword HD really delivers that in spades. Being able to swim underwater or dig things up or even hook myself to a higher-up spot is a joy in these nicely thought-out areas.
The other classic Zelda tool is a musical instrument! Skyward Sword HD gives you the Goddess Harp. Not so involved as say the ocarina from Ocarina of Time, but still nice to use from time to time, and nice to hear specific songs and themes. I think the back and forth motions on the controller to “play” it fit nicely. Making it more of a timing thing, than a “learn a song” situation. Tonally it works really well within the themes of the game.
Story-wise Skyward Sword HD is pretty standard fare. Try save/help Zelda, fulfil an ancient destiny, stop the bad guy. That’s stupidly reductive of it, but the standard Zelda story beats are there. I’m not sure if I’m to expect any twists, but as I understand it Skyward Sword HD is the first game in the series, and the catalyst for everything that follows it game-wise, which is everything!
I’m really looking forward to seeing how that plays out and understanding the beginning of that cycle of demise.
I do love how the cutscenes are shot and framed. Everything has been thought about and presented really well. Sure this is a HD remaster and the textures etc have been updated, but I would guess that these shots are essentially the same as the original version of the game?
Ghirahim is a total tool, and I love that. Confident and arrogant, you feel like justified in trying to destroy him in a fight. Fi is fine, not always that useful or helpful, but I feel like she’s an analogue to Navi. A travelling companion that is there to try and help and steer you in the right way. Although she has more back story and involvement within the narrative.
So far, so good
I’ve played about 25 hours now and feel like I’m perhaps two thirds of the way through. I could be wrong, I try not to read ahead or look into it as I like to enjoy it as it comes.
Skyward Sword HD has given me some great dungeon and puzzle moments, it’s been a little long and drawn-out in some spots, and it’s been fun and clever in others. I would say it’s actually one of the most well-rounded games in the series. I’m really interested to see where it goes story wise, and having a lot of fun as I go.
If it carries on this way, and it doesn’t drag itself out for too long in what I’m expecting to be the final act. I think I’m going to really have to re-think my Zelda game ranking list!
All the gear, some kind of idea and an anticipation to see what else lies ahead. What a great place to be as a gamer!
I’ll pop my final thoughts up once I’m done! In the meantime, check out my bit on Skyward Sword and what Breath of the Wild took from it, over at Fullsync.co.uk