The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – Quick Thoughts

Our first impressions of Link's newest adventure...

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

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In case you haven't noticed yet, this holiday season is absolutely loaded. With a gaming staff as small (and damn intimate) as our own, we all get loaded up with games to cover. This week alone I'm writing reviews for Super Mario 3D Land, the campaign of Modern Warfare 3 and, this, Zelda: Skyward Sword. I know, I know, "excuses are like assholes…," but I just wanted to let you know why, exactly, you're getting "Quick Thoughts" as opposed to a review today.

Skyward Sword is lengthy. At 12 hours in, I've only just completed the third temple. That, I'm assuming, stands for maybe a fourth or fifth of the full game. That's not enough for me to be satisfied with what I've seen. I intend to complete the game before I give it a score, and I will be doing that before its November 20th retail launch date.

What I've seen so far, however, has all been fantastic. I'm a Zelda fan in general. I've enjoyed just about every entry in the franchise, both console and handheld bound, and I've been a lover of the lore and characters for literally as long as I can remember. With that in mind, know that I hated Twilight Princess. I never broke the 10 hour mark and found myself constantly frustrated over the way-too-simplistic "motion controls." It was a waggle-fest with a light emphasis on aiming, and I found the entire experience to be lackluster on the Wii.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Skyward Sword? It's beautiful. I'm not even necessarily speaking in a strictly graphical sense, though its art style is superb, I mean as both a Zelda and motion control experience. It sings on all fronts, and the one-to-one MotionPlus addition makes it an absolute joy to play. I don't feel like the A button has been swapped for a simple shack and twist, I feel like it's been replaced by full, sword swinging control. It plays wonderfully.

Outside of swordplay, the motion control arm of this experience continues to make sense. Items that should make use of tilting and twisting actually do so in a way that works. You won't ever think, "ugh, more motion control…" For a Wii game, that fact goes a long way.

I'll save the more provocative waxing for my full review, but I will leave you with this sentiment before I head back to the air…

Zelda: Skyward Sword is not at all what I expected it to be. The game is unlike any quest before it, the open world plays like a massive round of dungeons, bosses are exceptionally inventive, the storyline (which will only get more involved as I continue) is captivating and the characters, both big and minor, are unique. I love what I've played so far, and this is one game that I consistently want to dive back into the moment I turn it off.

I'll finish the quest and get you folks a score. For now, know that I like what I've seen. I can already tell you that Zelda fans should get prepped to drop the bucks for this game on launch day.