As the sixteenth installment of Nintendo’s iconic Legend of Zelda series, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword needed to live up to the hype and high standards of its predecessors, a feat in and of itself. 5 years of production and development later, Nintendo accomplished just that. Skyward Sword retains the nostalgia inducing gameplay style of the classic action-adventure series but livens the series up with a fresh story, new world, and innovative controls. The game was released exclusively for Wii and Wii U in 2011 to an eager audience of all ages- typical avid teenage gamers, fans of the vintage original series, and curious casual gamers alike all flocked to purchase the latest title.
The story is somewhat typical for a Zelda game- Zelda is captured and Link must rescue her, Link is thwarted at every turn until his heroic final boss battle, the classic Tri-Force is present as always, etc- but incorporates twists such as the inclusion of a spirit world, plus intriguing new characters like Fi, the Spirit of the Goddess Sword and the gamer’s main guide throughout Skyloft. Fighting monsters, exploring new worlds, and embarking on countless quests keeps you from getting bored of the gameplay as there is always something new and exciting to work towards. The Wii controls make the game a little more interactive, giving you the option to actually swing your remote around like a sword and work up a bit of a sweat. Of course, the reliance on the Wii’s MotionPlus controls leads to occasional frustration when you’re forced to recalibrate the remote during an intense boss battle.
The painstaking details put into the development of the game are what truly make it special. Graphics are beautiful, inducing cartoon Link nostalgia while still being relatively realistic. Performed by a live orchestra, Skyward Sword’s soundtrack accompanies the game so well that fans of the series can listen to it even when they’re not playing- the game is packaged along with a CD of the Skyward Sword symphony.
Skyward Sword was well-received upon its release, earning praise from many video game publications such as IGN and Famitsu. Outselling enough titles to earn the tenth most purchased video game of 2011, the latest Zelda title was a must in every gamer’s collection. While I consider myself just a casual gamer, I highly recommend Skyward Sword to anyone looking to immerse themselves in a video game. It’s graphically beautiful, highly rewarding, and only occasionally frustrating- after all, if a video game doesn’t get your adrenaline rushing every once in awhile, is it really a quality game?