Writing this, I found out that reviewing a Zelda game is a lot trickier than what I would expect. The series has been out for 25 years, sold millions of copies and at this point I believe nearly everyone with a passing interest in video games knows what the series is about. So, I’ll focus on the aspect specific to this one, namely the Wii Motion Plus controls.
It’s all about control
Skyward Sword is the second game in Zelda series to come out on the Wii, the first being Twilight Princess.While Twilight Princess was a success the one downpoint many reviewers agreed on was that the Wii controls felt off and didn’t really do the game justice.
That’s where the Wii Motion Plus comes into play. For those wondering, the Wii Motion Plus is an upgraded Wii controller that allows more precise controls and better detection of motions. Instead of just taking into account where your pointer is at like the basic controller, Motion Plus is aware of the whole positioning of the controller which can turn your controller into a sort of sword hilt…. for example…
So how does controlling Link’s sword with the Motion Plus feels? Pretty good! If you swing from right to left, Link does the same, left to right? works too! In fact you can do vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts in both directions, a stab and overhead strike and chain them all together in whatever crazy combo you want. The game also uses this a lot to challenge you and enemies will block to the left or leave one particular opening forcing you to use to the correct strikes.
All in all, the swordplay is some of the best I’ve seen in any game and Skyward Sword shows us a glimpse of what motion control can bring to serious games.
But there’s also some downsides… Skyward Sword uses motion control for nearly everything in the game and while 90% it’s fantastic, you’re also feeling you’re touching the limits of the technology sometimes. Motion Plus is great for broad movement but it shows its weaknesses in precision movement. Some precision movement, especially when flying or placing puzzle pieces to open doors requires you to twist and turn precisely and you often end up twisting your hand in an uncomfortable position trying to make the right movement. It becomes worst when you have to be precise while under pressure due to enemy attacks or time limits.
Overall, the Motion Plus controls are a plus to this game. There’s some shortcomings but nothing game breaking and after some time you start learning how to overcome the precision limitations so it’s not too bad. By the time you’re done with the early part of the game, you won’t even pay much attention to the controls. My point here is that in the end, the Motion Plus is worth it even if there’s some adjustment to be made.
Fine but is it a good Zelda game?
Let’s forget the control for a moment… is it a great Zelda game? Hell yeah! Absolutely, one of the best out there for sure and I’d even dare say it’s as good if not better than Ocarina of Time. Great graphics,great dungeons, great story, great everything! It’s a Zelda game in every aspect and it’s simply a blast to play through. It has a bit of a slow start but once you get going it just keeps building up to being ever more awesome.
I’ll sum it up by saying this. If you’re any kind of Zelda fan you have to own this game. If you like video games at all this is probably one of the best games you can buy this year.
The monkey loves:
-The overall experience. There’s so many little things I just love about this game so I’ll just lump this all together.
The monkey liked:
-The experiment with the Wii Motion Plus and the effort put into making it integral in a real game.
The monkey disliked:
-Slow start to the game. For a while at the beginning I was wondering what the hell I was playing.
The monkey would like to see improvement:
-Fine controls. Motion plus is great for broad moves but for precision it shows some frustrating flaws.
Read Full Post »