Game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: EU – November 20, 2011
NA – November 20, 2011
JP – November 23, 2011
AU – November 24, 2011
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Review Platform: Nintendo Wii
Number of Players: 1 (Single Player)
Ratings: ACB – M
CERO – A
ESRB – E10+
PEGI – 12
This review is based on a retail copy of the game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a much anticipated Wii game that many fans have been waiting for since Twilight Princess was launched when the Wii came out. Thankfully Skyward Sword was not a dual release like Twilight Princess! I had purchased the Skyward Sword bundle that comes with the gold coloured Wiimote with the Triforce Eagle logo emblazoned on the front. The first run of Skyward Sword also comes with a limited edition 25th Anniversary Legend of Zelda soundtrack and sounds amazing, but definitely pales in comparison to the experience of a live performance.
The graphics in Skyward Sword are gorgeous and I’m loving that Nintendo is still pumping out quality titles like this for the Wii, even after five years of being “behind the pack” in graphics and horsepower. Even in 480P, this game has a sense of style that puts it up in the upper echelons of art style and shows what game developers can do even with less horsepower. Colours are nicely saturated and are reminiscent of Monet paintings, which take a departure from the grittiness in Twilight Princess and Cel Shading in Wind Waker. The graphics and artstyle are something that really help a game out with the mood and I personally think Nintendo has done a fine job with it again even though the hardware is a bit behind.
The sound design in this game is definitely high quality, even for a Zelda game. Sound effects come from all the sources you’d expect to, Loftwings, enemies and NPCs all have set noises and responses you would expect from any modern Zelda game. The only gripe is I wish they had more ambient noises in the background to make the experience more immersive. As a musician, I tend to nitpick about the quality of the music that is put into games. Thankfully, the background music is exceptional and a big step up from the MIDI that past games have had. The orchestrated music feels organic and natural and it feels right within the environments within the game. Hopefully more games for Nintendo’s consoles follow suit and have more music that are performed by musicians. This would really help the soundtrack and sound effects blend better and feel more natural.