Skyward Sword

JP website

US website

AU website

UK website

E3 2010 trailer

GDC 2011 trailer

E3 2011 trailer

Comic-Con 2011 trailer

Japanese website trailer

Romance trailer

Opening movie

Awards trailer

Harp trailer

Overview trailer

Nuff said. Pretty cool to see it evolve compared to the first trailer. More footage on the JP website showing areas/temples, combat systems, upgrading/crafting, item usage etc. I won’t be posting more outside perhaps whatever overall trailers they have for the launch because these feature videos tend to be spoilery.

It’s going to be amazing! I already have the bundle with golden wii-mote + reserved!
I can foresee this game getting reviews of 9 and higher.

Love the art direction Wii-mote + gameplay and scope of the game! Thank you Nintendo.

I got to play the demo and speaking as someone who loves motion controlled games like Red Steel 2 and Wii Sports Resort (so I’m not one of those who put little effort in understanding new implementations or just bash things for no reason other than they’re not traditional controllers even though they work fine and often even have obvious advantages when implemented well), it was disappointing, controls wise.

First of all, the pointer is awful, using just motion plus tracking rather than the sensor bar, similar to Move FPS games, which to me isn’t nearly as good in either feel or reliability. You have to wrestle with it moving around constantly, yanking and persisting to get it exactly where you want. In most Wii games (or even the main menu) which use the sensor bar you always have the same exact accuracy, pointing all over the screen exactly how you want in an instant once you get used to it, you don’t feel like you’re dragging a cursor.

In addition, the sword slashes get mixed up often. With 8 primary directions being needed it really has to be better in order to avoid frustration since you don’t want it to do a diagonal slash instead of a vertical one and end up losing some life because the enemy counter attacked after blocking your misinterpreted strike.

Though that may be fixable as you get used to the controls and do better swings yourself, it probably at least means you can’t play it as relaxed as you could play something like, for example, Red Steel 2 (when you set that to the more relaxed sensitivites it allowed for in the options). The jury is still out I guess.

I’m comparing it primarily to Red Steel 2 instead of Wii Sports Resort because the feel of the sword fighting is closer to that in my opinion, since all the 8 directions you slash are essentially gestures you activate with a proper swing, not complete free movement as in WSR, though there’s free movement in every other motion and it blends well enough to not be jarring. I don’t care about that, it’s a design choice that works either way, I just hope it works overall better in the final game. It really has to.

The pointer is a big problem for me since I absolutely adore Wii pointer controls when done right like in the various recent FPS games or shooters like Sin & Punishment 2 and of course SEGA’s lightgun game ports. In Skyward Sword players will be using it often too, with the improved first person mode (which allows you to move around this time, while just looking around or using the bow) and the ranged weapons.

In other situations, like selecting stuff in the circle menus, or various options from left to right, they’ve made the cursor compensate well, you barely have to move and it’s reliable.

I hope this issue exists because this was meant to be a public demo, it’s the same one as in previous events with the Flying, Dungeon and Boss areas. They could perhaps have made it not use the sensor bar at all due to potential interference in public places and the final game may use the sensor bar cursor method wherever applicable.

Either way I hope the final game has improved these aspects. I don’t want what’s bound to be an overall great experience soured by technical issues that can be been fixed.

Other than that, there’s not much to add. Everyone’s seen the content in the demo over and over. The game is a looker and the addition of mechanics like the stamina bar or the sword ranged attacks and the fact shields are now breakable and of course the directional motion controlled combat system are all going to be great when coupled with later challenges. The whole design already feels much more organic.

Oh, and the demo is widescreen only, like Xenoblade and some other Wii games, so if the full game works in the same way then even if you have a 4:3 TV set aside for your Wii, it’s best to set the Wii to widescreen mode and the TV to 16:9 to squish the image with black bars. This improves image quality as opposed to having the Wii itself waste some of its limited resolution into rendering the black bars. It sounds silly but it does make a difference. In Xenoblade for example certain menu screens use small colored fonts for statistic comparisons and they’re almost unreadable in 4:3 yet crisp and clear in 16:9.

I played through parts of the demo again and I got used to the controls. The pointer stuff don’t pose a real issue in the end but it still makes no sense they did it this way as it would certainly be faster and more reliable otherwise. Thank God Zelda isn’t a speedy FPS I guess (though you can control it similar to one now, being able to move in first person).

I explored more of the demo dungeon, the demo has a time limit so it’s hard to see real progress but I activated some switches, unlocked some doors, raised the water level, defeated enemies it locks you in rooms with, etc. The water effects are neat, similar to the Twilight Princess river type flowing water but with refraction and nice looking ripples as you swim (I think the diving ability isn’t in the demo unless I missed a button).

I got the hang of sword swinging better too. It’s still mixing up vertical into diagonal hits and vice versa since they’re so close but with slower deliberate swings it’s mostly reliable. The specials you do with gestures of both the Wiimote and nunchuck can feel a little wonky too, so I still hope everything’s improved in the final game but at least it shouldn’t be as much of an issue as I initially felt. Thank God. Well, I’ll have it soon enough.

That said, the control learning curve alone will probably mean many of the coming ratings will be lower than expected. Not that it’s going to matter, but there’s that, I guess.

its a charming game, but the 1st couple of hours are boring the graphics rather weak (Jaggies everywhere) and the controls and camera system pretty dreadful.

That said the game setting and charming art style makes you want to continue playing

Already past the 4th dungeon, the boss in that one was great, as was most of the dungeon, except a room or two. All the items in the game are great and have varied uses and effects even outside their particular boss/puzzle purpose. You actually have to use items all over the place instead of just in a single dungeon, and the new radial menu selection (instead of having to set just 4 items on the dpad and keep switching them out) works like a charm for that end. The primary controls are sublime, outside the annoyance for the pointing function I mentioned in previous posts, and a particular type of unlocking puzzle mini game for the boss doors that works well but is a little annoying to wield. Still, amazing motion controlled games like this one, WSR, Red Steel 2 and any half decent FPS that made its way to Wii make it extremely disappointing to know Nintendo’s next home system doesn’t even try to evolve in this direction and instead goes back to a traditional dual analog setup + touch screen for the most part. Sony will hopefully carry on with the Move and partially make up for that. This is shaping up to be the best 3D Zelda yet for me, outside keeping OoT on a pedestal due to doing many things before everyone else. Speedy start too, nothing like TP’s. The upgrades system is simple but effective and alongside certain other items gives a use for all those rupees you tend to pile up in these games. It’s definitely of the jaggiest Wii games (even on SDTV) but the art design is enough to get past that. There are a few low points though, some bland areas here and there, or badly animated scenes, but not many, and brief. I wish the sky had more than Skyloft but we can’t have everything, a few more side quests and things open up as you play at least. But the game certainly feels very Metroid-like and very condensed instead of attempting to have an open world or whatever, since in the sky you basically just travel to other lands outside minor side tasks and said lands all have environmental puzzling and challenges like a dungeon even before you actually enter one. The world design is really great, I love how you make shortcuts for yourself as you go through an area making later runs much speedier and very easy to get straight to the newly accessible areas after getting new tools/abilities. There’s some filler type content that might get annoying if it repeats though, Silent Realm trials in particular, though the first and only one I had to go through so far was sort of neat, like shoving Super Mario Galaxy style environmental challenges in Zelda, and there shouldn’t be more than three or so of them going by the story told so far. I also heard you have to beat a particular boss like three times, that’s another bad decision if the fight remains largely the same, I’ve already fought it once and that first time was cool though, and if it’s the same it won’t take long at all the next couple times so that’s something. I’ll have to play this game again a few years from now, hopefully on Dolphin with a fancy new PC by that time, I think it will age very gracefully outside a few minor annoyances, similarly to Wind Waker, but better.

Its just starts off so slow , but when you land on the planet the game really starts to take off