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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Is Skyward Sword HD Worth It?



A decade ago, during Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’s original release on the Wii, I remember tremendous excitement. Partly because I was 14 and easily excitable but a larger part was because it offered a new way to play. The motion control plus, or in my case the Wii remote that offered extra motion capabilities, was unlike anything I’d ever played with before. And then there was the story which fascinated and delighted young me, ever the Legend of Zelda fan.


With its new rerelease, motion controls like that are old hat, so without the new technology as a selling point, is Skyward Sword HD worth the money to buy?


The story itself remains as delightful and original as ever. You play as

Link, obviously, but you live in a world above the clouds called Skyloft, with your best friend Zelda, who is not yet a princess in this world. One day a tornado sucks Zelda below the clouds, and it’s your responsibility to get her back, by journeying where no one else has in eons.


This drive pushes you through many recognizable Zelda type dungeons, to fight through monsters and do intense puzzles. These puzzles, ten years ago, were intended to really flex the muscle of the extra motion controls available at the time. Flicking, slicing, jabbing and looping your controller were the thing that got you through the dungeons that was the gimmick. However, it’s possible now, with the switch, to play the game without motion controls at all.


The dungeons and the gameplay, even the ones that were originally meant to be motion controlled, are still as entertaining, challenging and satisfying if you choose to play the game on handheld or without motion controls. However, there are some things that needed to be modified in order for this new controller type to work. The right joystick becomes the motion control in a sense, in that whatever way you move it, that’s the way your sword moves. To perform more complex moves, you have to quickly flick the controls in two directions, to perform a side slice or a deadly strike from above.


There are also changes to how the camera is angled having to hold down one of the shoulder buttons to move the camera. Some of these changes are bothersome to begin with, but aren’t so annoying that you can’t adapt to them.


I did play through a few levels with the original motion controls and they still stood up to time and were a lot of fun too, so it’s really up to you how you want to play.


There are characters that are delightfully weird that you meet along the way, new species of creatures below the surface that are different than in any other game, and villains that are charismatic, and you can’t wait to see what they do next.


On that, the legend of Zelda has always had great, intimidating villains, Like Ganondorf, Zant, the Moon etc. In skyward sword however there is a villain so unhinged, so camp and so flamboyant that every time you finish a dungeon you automatically wait to see if he’s going to show up. You hope he does even! He’s charismatic, over the top, and completely unhinged, and he’s one of my favourite Zelda characters full stop.


On the other end of the spectrum, you are helped along by the spirit of the sword that seals the darkness, Fi, a floating spectre who lives within your sword. She’s a bit robotic but is very useful to Link on his journey, providing statistics and information that lead you in the right directions during gameplay. However, in the original, she would appear without provocation possibly a little TOO much. Now, with a press of the down button you have the option to listen to her advice or not. I forgot this during my playthrough and barely heard from her the whole way through. To some this would be a welcome change, but she still has lots of interesting advice so it’s worth asking her when prompted. Other improvements to the game include fewer interruptions when collecting items, being able to fast forward dialogue and skipping cutscenes.


Overall, several quality of life improvements have kept Skyward Sword playable in the new age of gaming, the story remains enchanting, and the option to be able to play the game without motion controls is a big pull.

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