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Is The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword Another 10?

by Phil Kollar on Nov 04, 2011 at 06:40 AM

UPDATE: The full review is now posted online! Go read it!

ORIGINAL STORY: It’s still two weeks until the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and I can’t post the full review until next week. Since our December issue will be in subscribers' hands soon, though, we wanted to share our score and a few impressions here rather than let it get spoiled for you on some forum.

Here’s the big news: Skyward Sword is one of those rare treasures, a 10/10 game. In fact, it’s the first 10 that I’ve ever given out in my two years at Game Informer. While you’ll have to wait until next week to read my full review and see all the reasons why, here are a few paragraphs to get you started.

Skyward Sword’s combat and puzzle-solving rise above the majority of Wii releases (and even most recent Zelda games) thanks to the clever and challenging implementation of motion controls. Most Zelda titles have simplistic combat where mashing a single button turns into a frenzy of flourish-filled combos. Skyward Sword demands a much higher level of patience and mastery. The direction you swing the Wii remote directly correlates to the angle the sword slices in-game, and enemies are smart and fast enough to block incoming attacks.

I had concerns that carefully plotting my attacks for every swing would get boring or frustrating, but the opposite was true. I’ve never felt as engaged or interested in the combat portion of a Zelda game as with Skyward Sword. If you run into a group of enemies waggling the Wii remote like a madman, you will be torn to shreds. Success in swordplay depends on studying opponents’ moves and attacking at the right time and from the right angle. When the correct method to defeat each foe finally clicked, I felt a sense of satisfaction that repeatedly tapping the A button never provided.

This impressive combat system leads to some of the most interesting boss battles in the series’ history. Whether you’re fighting a giant scorpion or a sword-swinging robot, Skyward Sword rarely falls back on the formula of using a tool to knock out the boss and then attacking it three times in a row. You need to be much smarter and much more persistent to best these bad guys. In fact, the last two boss encounters are the most difficult fights in any Zelda game thus far.

Return to next Friday, November 11, to read the full Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword review, or look for it in the December issue of Game Informer. The digital edition of our December issue will be available here on Tuesday, November 8. If you'd like to become a Game Informer Digital subscriber, click here.