The lights are on
Ever since the release of the Wii and it's motion controller, people still thought that games were better off just using a basic controller. Throughout the life of the Wii, a few notable games show up every once in a while that prove that motion controls are here to stay, and although Skyward Sword may be the last (or one of the last) major titles to hit Nintendo's current console, it is just one more title that proves Nintendo's take on the future of motion-controlled gaming.
Right from the start of the game, players will notice the visual and artistic difference between Skyward Sword and the previous Zelda title in the series, Twilight Princess. It blends the art direction of Gamecube's Wind Wakerwith the much darker realism that Twilight Princess had to offer. Every environment to be seen is lush and colorful, and there is never a dull picture. The use of bright colors helps to keep the game captivating and the action more intense as you fight everything from giant spiders to red orc-like tribesmen.
The cutscenes are nothing short of beautiful. An excellent use of cinematography and the use of bright colors give villains a more menacing appearance, or Zelda a more godly image. Certain camera angles and shots make each scene look and feel like a movie and not just a transition from one significant point to the next. Link's facial expressions that most players remember from Twilight Princess have also returned, which draws the players emotionally closer to Link as a protagonist. One specific scene shows Link explaining Zelda's disappearance to her father as the camera slowly pans out of the room, and the last thing we see is Link moving his mouth and making gestures with his body and hands. If there is anything Nintendo improved on in their most recent title, it's portraying Link as a recognizable individual, which helps make NPC characters look like they're not just talking to themselves, and also helps to immerse players more into the storyline.
With the next Nintendo console releasing in HD, I can't wait to see what the next-gen Legend of Zelda titles are going to look like if Nintendo managed to create such a beautiful Zelda title in standard definition.
Nintendo has always had an interest and emphasis on innovation, and with the implementation of motion controls in Skyward Sword, their use of innovation couldn't be any more perfect. A swing of the Wiimote unsheathes Link's sword, and his hand and sword follows every angle and direction you swing the controller. Button pressing in combat is kept to a very minimal, making combat more focused on timing blocks and swinging Link's sword accurately. He has a few new gadgets in his arsenal now, such as the Beetle, which he can launch to grab rupees and hit switches from far away with the tilt of the controller. The Motion Plus controller lets you aim his bow and slingshot more accurately and nothing feels choppy or out of place.
With a game that's so visually captivating, what better way to back it up than with excellent sound production. That is exactly what Skyward Sword has, with everything from little beeps to notify you of hints and little secrets to discover, to a powerful orchestra to provide a soundtrack that further enhances the experience. Plus, there's no more of that annoying "Hey! Listen!" that veteran Zelda gamers despise. Anybody who picked up the limited edition can get the full musical experience of Skyward Sword with the included soundtrack performed by the Zelda 25th Anniversary orchestra. With a musical soundtrack plus a limited edition gold Wii MotionPlus controller, it is more than worth the extra twenty dollars.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, although late in the Wii's lineup, is without a doubt one of Nintendo's must-have titles for your Wii collection. Whether you're a Zelda veteran or new to the series, this is one title everyone will enjoy for the dozens of hours this Zelda adventure has to offer.
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