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Scan_Man
It took me 35 hours to beat and I did not one side quest (I did look for goddess cubes) because they are have always been kind of pointless, to me at least, to beating the game. A side note to that, I wish I had did some side quests to get more bottles because more bottles would of helped a lot in this game.

I must say Zelda is one of my favorite series, I've played every game during their original releases. Skyward Sword does a few things that are the best in the series, and some things that are the worst in the series.

Best:
Dungeons
puzzles
challenge/difficulty
stuff to buy with rupees
bosses
mini-bosses
pre-dungeon stuff*
There is this part where you obtain a small key in a certain way. Simple but very cool "Only Nintendo" moment.

*There are a few exceptions here that will be hit or completely miss with some players. Like the swimming for music notes part. That part is complete trash, partly because the point it comes in the game and mostly the controls. But, for the most part I thought the variety was refreshing.

Worst:
Navi-like helper (Fi)
The amount of hand holding and repeating stuff that stops the game dead in its tracks. Basically, unnecessary padding *
Music (its great, but not catchy like you would expect from a Zelda game)
Overworld; while mostly fine in the context of the game, it makes the seamlessness this series is known for non-existant.
NPC quirkyness
Villain

*Sometimes you are reminded in three different ways via cutscene, NPC, and Fi. But then a few times you get the classic LoZ/LA/LttP puzzle hint that is vague and cryptic that tests if you were paying attention; 30 hours ago in one case lol. I love the latter because it's classic Zelda. Otherwise, some stuff truly does pad the game, even though it can still be considered fun. An example would be the Silent Realm with an explanation each time and a reminder when you picked up an item you have already gotten. But I think Nintendo made this game with their non-hardcore Wii audience in mind because it would be less annoying to someone who plays games 2 hours a week as oppose to 8 hour a day stretches.


About controls:
Now the controls are mostly fine if you have an optimal setup for them. The intro may be a little too long for veteran Zelda players, but they had to make it that way because they are forcing a new control on everybody. You are suppose to take your time and play around with it. With that in mind the intro is fine and certainly better than Twilight Princess.

Swimming is ass. It works until you get in a narrow space and need to turn. The jumping out of water onto a platform is stupid most of the time. Phil will hate this, I think. The music note part especially.



The game is really challenging though. Most of the game I was running around with 1 to 4 hearts because I got wrecked. Not Dark Souls difficulty of course, but challenging enough to keep you on your toes. That reminds me of another thing. Drop rates for hearts, rupees, and arrows are low in this game. So collecting rupees is fun because there is stuff to spend them on they will actually help you out; like potions and items that will increase drop rates. Can't wait to play the harder difficulty where enemies do more damage and there are no heart drops to save your ass. The boss rush in the harder difficulty will be insane.
Crushinator
I was kind of excited for this game, but the more I saw of it, the more I remembered that every Zelda game has felt like they've been doing the same shit over and over since the N64 games.

Rather than having a grand unknown adventure like the 8- and 16-bit games felt like, its just a series of tutorials showing you how to use each item you got in the dungeon, so you can eventually use it on the respective boss.

Maybe Dark Souls has just out-Zelda'd Zelda so far for me that I can't even take this type of adventure game seriously anymore.
Scan_Man
Indeed Crush, I miss the unknown adventure of the NES and SNES games. This is what Dark Souls nailed. The text tutorials are annoying as hell in this, but I would not say the dungeons completely serve that purpose like before (more on that below). Like I said in my last post there are a couple puzzles or situations that you are kinda left on you own to figure out, much like the 8-bit and 16-bit games, because the hint is cryptic. It's similar to the original Zelda where that guy in the dungeon is like "Grumble Grumble" and you have to figure out he wants meat. Great stuff, but there is only three or four instances of this type of puzzle. Welcomed surprises none-the-less.

This game is quite fresh. It's not doing the same old thing most of the time. The formula is there, but they cut out a lot of the fluff and predictable stuff. You know how in Twilight Princess there was a large open world, but nothing to do but ride Epona. Here its more streamlined. Think levels almost like a Mario game but in a Zelda way.

It's not really a bad thing, unless you really like the overworld because it gives the feeling of an open-world. In Skyward Sword every time you have to go back to an area you are doing something new. Like one part you get stripped of all your items and you have to figure out how to get them back, so the puzzle element here is how to best utilize each item you find to get the rest of your gear one-by-one. There is not much to hate here really unless one is just looking for things to hate. Except the music note collection part. That is like a Mario game, but it is ass, ass I tell you!

I will say Zelda games have always been linear, but the overworld has always given it the illusion that it is open. Here that linearity sticks out. But again its streamlined to cut out the stuff that has grown stale. Most people will like this change or hate it. Ultimately, this game comes down to what you like in a Zelda games. If you like dungeons, puzzles, and bosses; this Zelda is for you. Not so if you like exploring and getting lost in the world.

Forgot to talk about items. The way items is handle is the best. You will use all of your items quite frequently throughout the whole game. Yes the featured item for the dungeon and then use on boss is there, but you will be using everything you picked up along the way. Well not entirely, some of the key items you will not find in dungeons; which also mixes things up. So, when you get to the dungeon you just have to figure out what you need to use. It's not always apparent like in previous 3D Zelda games.

But the bosses are amazing, and the way you use the items on them is not entirely predictable like in past games. They tried to rid the game with puzzles you have done before in previous Zelda games. For example, there is only maybe 3 puzzles revolve around a switch or a block, and there are no lighting torches. Most everything here is fresh, even the instances where you have to hit a switch by pushing a block. It really is not predicable if you have played other Zelda games.



This is why the game is getting 10s from a lot of places. However, a few will hate it for this very reason.

I mean Nintendo said before they released they hated to keep continuing on certain features from previous Zelda games, but only did so because the fans wanted them. They want to evolve the series, but have been worried about fan outcry. And this is a nice baby step to evolving the series I think.


The big thing in this game is this time travel mechanic they have for a great deal of the puzzles later on. Never seen anything like that in a game. It's fucking brilliant! Both mechanically and visually, it's awesome.The last dungeon is brilliant too because it really test how you have learned everything in the game. Very challenging. Not to mention the layout of the dungeon is a puzzle that you have to manipulate by moving the rooms around at various points in order to solve it and progress(Hey dawg, I heard you liked dungeon puzzles). Blew my mind!

I bet a million bucks this time travel mechanic will be used and expanded upon in like Portal 3 or some other unforeseen puzzle game. And it will be nutty as hell.


I freakin loved Dark Souls. It still is my game of the year, but Skyward Sword (even with its problems, Dark Souls has them too) is close. The deciding factor in favor of Dark Souls is the nearly infinite replay value, the online features and atmosphere. And I've played just about every major release this year. So yeah, both games have brilliant level design and are challenging; of course Dark Souls is more challenging (though the patch nerf on Dark Soul made it for babies boooo!). Which why I like them both so much. The new game+ in Skyward Sword will be Dark Souls level of difficulty in some parts, I can tell you that. Especially the boss rush.

At one point it just clicked, at about 8 hours in, as to why people gave this game 10s. I got the same feeling I had when I played Ocarina of Time and Link to the Past for the first time. Reading on forums, this is the point in the game it will happen for most people. Most specifically after the 3rd dungeon.


This game is going to be very polarizing for now. But, when the next Zelda comes out everyone will talk about how great Skyward Sword is.

But yeah Crush, if you feel like you have outgrown Zelda, it is best probably to move on. The negatives will probably bother you. A lot of the issues is because its running on vastly outdated hardware and made the game too friendly for Wii's non-hardcore gamers in certain places. It did not bother me because I was having load of fun and the great moments are the best yet.
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