Reviews - Updated on March 31, 2022

Relevant for platform: NSW

When The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out, the incredibly successful Wii was coming to the end of its life, and this game remained the only Zelda on that console. Since the Wii supported swipe control, the developers decided to experiment by building the whole game around this mechanic. At first, many were delighted – critics gave the highest scores, users were happy about the new Zelda. But over time, the attitude towards the project has changed a lot – it was called almost the weakest part of the series. Is this also true for the remaster that recently came out on Switch?

To wave or not to wave

The most important change, of course, is related to the management – it is because of it that the original is considered poorly preserved. On the Wii, you had to wield the Wii Remote (with MotionPlus) and nunchaku – with these devices, the player swung a sword, threw bombs, and performed many other actions. Since there is a Switch Lite (and since not everyone wants to look weird from the outside), Nintendo added an alternative control scheme to the re-release.

The main thing is not to hesitate, but to beat several times in a row.

You can now perform many actions with the right stick, including controlling Link’s movements during battles. However, in this case, there is a problem with the camera – in order to turn it, you have to hold down the L button and only after that tilt the right stick. Perhaps it would be more logical to do everything the other way around, but even such control seems to me not the most convenient.

But I really liked the swing control – yes, sometimes the character does not do what you wanted, but it’s still more fun to play this way. Joycons are responsive, no expressive hand waving is required, and calibration is a one-click process – if you’re having trouble, just hold the controller horizontally and press the Y button, which always has your thumb next to it. Throwing bombs in an arc, shaking the joycon while climbing the stairs and throwing enemies off the ropes stretched between the platforms does not get boring.

Sometimes the wounded can be effectively finished off.

Remaster not remake

Perhaps it’s because the swipe controls don’t annoy me that Skyward Sword doesn’t seem like the bad game some people make it out to be. Here is one of the best stories among all the “Zelda”, in which the characters are convincing, and you believe in the “chemistry” between Link and Zelda. There are wonderful dungeons here, puzzles in which it is pleasant to solve – even if the clues are obvious, the process itself is a great pleasure. There are some great boss fights here.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD: Обзор

I want to take and crush the creature on the right.

Of course, there are problems with the pace of the story. You need to visit the same locations, some battles are repeated, some tasks seem to be added to stretch the timing. The central location Skyland, where Link periodically returns, only looks huge – it seems that you can sit on your skywing and fly wherever your eyes look. But it turns out that there are not so many islands in the area, and there is nothing to do on them – only open chests that are unlocked by interacting with cubes in neighboring areas.

You can also blame the game for excessive linearity – after this part, Nintendo began to give the player more freedom. In a way, Skyward Sword is hard to exist in a world where there is Breath of the Wild, which even third-party developers admire. On the other hand, this is a kind of outlet for those who miss the old Zelda, because Nintendo is unlikely to return to the old formula anytime soon.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD: Обзор

You worry more about their relationship at the beginning of the game than about your own.

Gameplay improvements will be invisible to those unfamiliar with the original. Fai’s assistant doesn’t bother you for any reason, item descriptions appear only when you find them for the first time, there are autosaves. Another new addition is the ability to teleport to the Sky at any time, but you can’t use it without an amiibo figure. However, in reality this is not really necessary – teleporting totems are here at every turn.

Visually, the remaster is not as good as we would like, but only on the big screen. When playing in handheld mode, the Skyward Sword HD looks enchanting – the Impressionist-inspired style has stood the test of time. Plus, now everything is played at 60 fps, which is much better than 30 fps for a game with swipe control. Well, another big plus for the Russian-speaking audience is that the game was officially translated into Russian for the first time.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD: Обзор

By the way, the translation is good.

Last year, Nintendo celebrated Mario’s anniversary with the release of a collection of three games, one of which is truly a masterpiece. The anniversary of Zelda was celebrated much more modestly – for the same price we received only The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, a remaster of one of the most controversial, strange and experimental parts of the series. We were not expecting such a gift, but you can’t call it bad either – the developers tried to modernize the game as much as possible as part of the re-release. This is an exciting adventure that has the very magic that even the flaws that have survived from the Wii days are unable to spoil.

Pros: Sweep controls aren’t as scary as some people think, especially with joycons (and now players have an alternative); gameplay fixes made the game better; cute story with adorable characters; exciting dungeons; support for 60 fps; translation into Russian.

Cons: problems with the pace of the narrative are not resolved; button control turned out to be not the most convenient because of the camera; high price.

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