Should You Buy Legend Of Zelda Skyward Sword HD? The Nintendo Switch HD Remake of the first (chronologically) story in the Zelda franchise.
Originally launching for the Wii 10 years ago the game was a success selling 3 million copies worldwide but now in 2021 with the Switch selling close to 90million units many players would have missed the opportunity to experience the first story in the Zelda timeline. Nintendo hope their new HD revision will be enough to entice players to experience Skyloft and the surface.
Seeing Zelda and Link told as childhood friends is a refreshing tale and characters have extra life to them compared to other entries. This is a more linear experience when compared to the vast open world of Breath of The Wild but this linear approach helps guide you through the storyline and will help younger players from getting lost or stuck as easily, especially when you can call on Fi at any time now for help or hints. The quality-of-life changes, such as; skippable scenes, fast forwarding text and the lack of forced interactions is a change that truly makes this game feel more modern, giving you, the player, more freedom with your chosen playstyle.
A hugely welcomed change is the graphical upgrade. Textures and cutscenes are now in glorious HD and it is much easier on the eyes than the horrendously blurred and gittery Wii versions, now dated, 480p. Characters, scenes and areas are now detailed with a distinctive, almost watercolour aesthetic that suits the original direction of the game but also makes it acceptable as a more modern Switch release. It looks great and the best thing is that it runs great at an almost locked 1080p 60fps fluid experience with no noticeable dips in performance.
The camera controls have changed too, featuring an unlocked camera that can be moved freely due to the right JoyCons control stick. As this was originally a Wii game it was developed with motion controls but with the Switch Lite’s lack of removable JoyCons Nintendo have now implemented button controls to mimic motion controls, these work well but having to constantly press L to unlock the camera is frustrating. Instead, they should have assigned the sword to the L button.
The best way to experience the game is via motion controls and for the most part these work brilliantly. The main issue here though is the lack of the Wii’s sensor bar for the Switch, this means you’re consistently pressing Y to reset the camera to the centre of the screen when the gyro’s forget where you’re pointing your JoyCon and this is frustrating over time. Selecting menus or even looking around in the dedicated View mode also feels slightly delayed and sluggish when compared to other motion-controlled games that used the original or Wii Motion Plus remote. Despite these small frustrations the controls work well as a whole and if you can get over re-calibrating your camera often, the game is very enjoyable and playable to today’s standards.
So, should you buy The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword? If you’re new to the series, enjoyed Breath of The Wild or a die-hard fan then this is an excellent HD port, with beautiful visuals locked at 60fps and a truly amazing orchestrated sound track, that’s worthy of the Zelda title. If you don’t enjoy linear gameplay or sometimes problematic controls then you may want to sit this one out.
But what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
🛒 Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
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