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E3 2011: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword First Impressions

Feature; Jun. 8, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
Zelda and Link return on the Wii
Los Angeles, CA, USA

The biggest weapon in Nintendo’s Wii arsenal this holiday season is definitely The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, due for release this holiday season. The game is, of course, at E3, prominently displayed near the front of the Nintendo area. I got the chance to put in some game play time with the highly anticipated title.

Skyward Sword logo at Nintendo's E3 Presser

The demo starts with three choices: skydiving, dungeon, or boss battle. The demo allows time only for one, so I decided to check out the dungeon.  This demo showcased the Sky Temple, which has a large, circular room, with a smaller room in the middle. The larger room had several enemies and items hanging and flying from above, which gives players the perfect opportunity to try out two of Skyward Swords most anticipated items: The bow and arrow, and the flying beetle.

After you use the beetle to open the door to the middle room, a mini-boss battle ensues with a large Stalfos Knight. This gives demo players the chance to showcase their sword fighting skills with the Wii Motion Plus. Defeating the Stalfos Knight rewards you with an upgrade of the beetle, which you use to get out of that room. My time with the demo ended shortly after that, but I did also get to use the Wii remote to throw bombs at a Venus flytrap- like enemy before it was over.

Overall, I didn’t feel like this was that big of a difference from the previous title in the series, Twilight Princess. The swordplay felt very similar, and I honestly didn’t notice many differences with the Motion Plus. The items I tried were fun to use, but I definitely think there’s a learning curve with the ones I got to try out, particularly the bow and arrow. My biggest problem with the demo was the way you move Link around with the analog stick. Frankly, it was difficult to move Link where I wanted him to go.

While these minor control problems are concerning, I still look forward to playing through the entire game when it releases near the end of the year. Seven to eight minutes is never enough time to fully embrace yourself in the land of Hyrule.

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