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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zelda Skyward Sword, Overrated, and why Twilight Princess is Better


Last night I completed The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I've had it since Christmas. I know right? Why did it take me this long to beat it? Oh there are reasons, which I will explore very soon. (I was never stuck on any level, just in case you thought that was a reason.) No you see, the latest Zelda game is overrated. Yes, I just called the game that got perfect scores almost everywhere overrated. I'm not here to say the game is bad, it's quite a good game really. But one of the best games ever? One of the best Zelda games ever? I don't think so. The game is slow, it's often times boring, and some levels really tempt you to look up a walkthrough somewhere for the sheer annoyance of them.

There are two main types of Nintendo games. There's the Mario styled ones, where everything is rather straightforward and you keep going straight while jumping over obstacles to reach your destination, then there's the heavily puzzle-themed Zelda styled ones. Whereas Mario relies on its fun gameplay and worlds, Zelda relies more on its stories. Skyward Sword is a big game, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Zelda series, and also serving as a prequel to the franchise. I'm going to be honest and say I really don't like these type of games. Twilight Princess I enjoyed, which I'll talk more about soon, but games like Kingdom Hearts get on my nerves. Too many side-quests when the game should just get to the blasted point. Who the heck wants to collect coconuts and mushrooms? Those type of games dwell on those little annoying side-quests or mini-quests too long. Skyward Sword suffers from this. Sometimes I went whole weeks without playing, a lot of the time it was more of a chore than having fun. Do I have to mention it? Yes, yes I do.

THE TADTONES LEVEL

Oh my gosh, this level is the one where you have to obtain a bunch of tadtone things for the Water Goddess. It is also the most useless level I have ever seen in a video game. It serves no purpose other than to annoy the player. It's, it's just there to buy more time. When you play a game, you're there to have fun, not to go underwater and search for tadpole-looking things. I wouldn't be complaining about this if it was a 1 2 3 thing, but nope, it takes awhile. It's like this game wants to keep you from reaching your destination as much as possible so you could die enjoy the scenery. Again, often the game feels like a chore rather than a fun adventure. Now, about Twilight Princess...

When you hear about Zelda, the ones that usually come to mind are Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and now this game. However, unlike the others, you'll notice that Twilight Princess is often regarded as the 'black sheep' of the main Zelda games. It's the one that gets the most negative reviews out of them, everyone pretty much thinks this game is better (far superior) than Twilight Princess. Not me. You see, Twilight Princess was more fun to play. It didn't bother dwelling on side or mini-quests that much, and the intro wasn't overly long. The story was kept at a better pace, it felt like you were advancing pretty fast, unlike Skyward Sword, where the story stands still sometimes. In Twilight Princess, the villain Zant is established better than Ghirahim, who only made occasional appearances every now and then. Skyward Sword could have done a lot of a better job with him, they could have made him more of a focus rather than popping up only like five times during the 30 hour game. Twilight Princess made you feel like you were in the story rather than just playing it. Also in TP, you actually feel for Link and want him to succeed. His growth there makes him a better character than the one in Skyward Sword, it just felt like he was a plot device used to get through the story there. And don't get me started on the disappointing final boss. First off, I actually like Demise, he was a great character. I would have liked to see more of him. Unlike Twilight Princess, the final boss fight is unsatisfying. Twilight Princess had the most epic final boss battle I have ever seen in a video game, it felt like you were right there, it felt like it was all up to the player, and most of all, it felt like the end. The final battle with Demise feels rather shoehorned in, there's no level of 'epic' to it. The battle with Ghirahim had more of an 'end' feel. (Mainly thanks to the music.) The final battle with Demise felt like something from the middle of the game, not as the final one.

I'm not saying Skyward Sword is a bad game, but perfect scores? Best Zelda game ever? The game is often devoid of one thing: fun. There are too many things happening when the player just wants to see the story progress. See, I didn't bother doing any of the optional side-quests. Why? I didn't care. I had no incentive to do so. In Twilight Princess, you cared for the characters, here you really don't care at all about the optional side-quests. I will continue to buy future Zelda games, I can only hope that they become more 'direct' in the way the story and quests goes. A little puzzle is for good measure of course, but when something like this game takes it too far, it loses the core reason why we play these games: to have fun.

14 comments:

  1. I agree, this game is overrated. I think it was kind of boring and the controls didn't help it at all. (Btw I'm that guy who asked for the Unleashed review.)

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  2. I can understand calling it overrated, but worse than Twilight Princess? Well…maybe I suppose. I felt like I was having more fun with Skyward Sword than I did with Twilight Princess. But I do agree wholeheartedly that I cared for the characters in Twilight Princess more. Maybe it was because I went into Skyward Sword with such low expectations. I wasn’t even going to play it until one of my coworkers at Dish recommended it, so I hesitantly put it in my Blockbuster @Home queue. I will say one thing though, it took me way longer to beat than I might have imagined. I’m glad I didn’t rent it from Redbox like I used to rent my games; that would have really added up a couple bucks a day.

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    1. I could hardly say that I had any 'fun' at all with Skyward Sword. It takes too long to get going, and had way too many side-missions. Twilight Princess I felt had a much better story and was more engaging. Skyward Sword took me 40 hours to beat, it's by far the longest game I've played.

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    2. Sorry but I can't let this go without a strong argumentOctober 22, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      Twilight princess had too much focus on graphics, and Nintendo kept trying to make link look cool, instead of challenging the player. Twilight princess was far too easy(except for maybe snowpeak) the final boss as well as the rest of the game, while epic, were mind-numbing. The one thing I like about TP(besides the epicness) is that in its storyline, until you meet ganondorf, you can't really tell if hylians are the good guys. Essentially TP is like an interesting movie, and skyward is a challenging and fun game. Ps: if you can't handle side-quests, then you really should pick a different series

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    3. I can 'handle' side-quests, but in Skyward Sword they're just annoying. In Twilight Princess the characters grow on the player, but in Skyward Sword it could feel like a chore sometimes by how slow-paced the story is.

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  3. For once, I agree (And that's weird considering how much I hate the way you described Other M as a good game).
    Skyward Sword is indeed fun and I don't really mind the sidequests, but you're right, the game is obviously buying time. It is literally one dungeon and a duller hub world away from being Wind Waker and it knows it, that is why it tries so hard to lengthen itself by forcing you to do repetitive and boring stuff. The dungeons are not just short and easy, they're repetitive, something that Zelda never had done since it made the leap into the 3D scene. 3D Zeldas have always had your forest dungeons, your volcano, mountain or ice dungeons (TP had one of each of these), your desert, water and grim dungeons, but not Skyward Sword. Skyward Sword enforces the same graphical style, the same layout and the same boring archetype in almost every single dungeon, and then it enforces all of them in the last one just in case you forgot how much variety they lack.
    The story is bearable, but is a clear step back from Twilight Princess' and Wind Waker's narrative. It is just too cliche to take seriously. Characters like Ghirahim, Demise, Groose and Impa are not only unidimensional stereotypes, they're horribly shoehorned and rarely blend in with the game. Zelda has gone from a calm and composed woman into a complete and utterly annoying Mary Sue, little miss perfect is loved by everyone, well-meaning and all-powerful, the three cliches that make the Mary Sue the worst character archetype ever.
    The hub world is barren to say the least, even the Great Sea knew to throw an event at you every now and then, Skyloft is easily as big yet it lacks any interesting mechanic other than the Bamboo game, the restaurant and the town, and even these are dull and filled with less than charming characters and chores.
    Not only this, but Nintendo is one again, though not as blatantly as with Metroid Other M, tearing established lore apart. From a very long time ago, the Master Sword was already established as the product of the Sages' work. Not only this, but Wind Waker actually shows that the sages are a poignant element in giving the sword it's sacred strength to repel evil. Skyward Sword simply decides to do away with this by having Link and Pokedexia arsepull the power to do this.
    And Fi, oh my god that pest! Fi is the most overrated excuse for a character ever. While the few previous Zelda games, namely Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, have strived to make the companion an integral part of both plot and gameplay Fi is just the obligatory and unneeded Navi throwback that is only there to point out the obvious every few minutes, never being of any real assistance (At least not like Midna was with the portal and Shadow Crystal/Master Sword combo, Daphness with the sailing or Ezlo with the size changing magic) other than to remind you of stuff you already know or hinder the last few minutes of life of your controller batteries with the constant "Your batteries are running low" BS. She doesn't even play a part in the plot. While Midna was the Twilight Princess and rival of Zant, while Ezlo was Vaati's former master and while Ciela was the amnesiac Spirit of Courage, one can easily go through Skyward Sword disregarding Fi's very existence with no consequence to the plot. Plus, Pokedexia Fi had several opportunities for development that went unused, then suddenly and out of nowhere she feels happiness. PLZ BTCH!

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  4. Twilight Princess may be the definitive Zelda game. I dare say that it could be the best, but it has competition from Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker. Though I have to say that I didn't mind the tadstone level much

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  5. graphics are everything. Naturally your eyes look at things that look better. Twilight Princess byfar look way cool but skyward looked like a little kid chose the graphics. Ew

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  6. It's the other way around. Twilight Princess is extremely overrated. Out of all the Zelda games TP receives the most undeserved praise. It's constantly called the best Zelda game ever, but there's too many things wrong with the game itself. All the characters were shamelessly thrown in, the graphics were colorless and bland, the overworld was uninteresting and empty, the bosses were ENORMOUS anticlimaxes(I mean seriously, you won't lose more than 2 hearts on your first time playing on any of them unless you are new to the series), and it just was a disappointment. Though i thought Skyward Sword was a step down from Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, I thought it was a step up from Twilight Princess. It's overworld war far better and the bosses were somewhat of a challenge on your first time.
    Let's talk about the bosses. While all the bosses certainly looked intimidating None of them were really any challenge, especially morpheel, who is one of the biggest anticlimaxes in a video game. I thought the best boss was blizzeta, but only because of the music. Zant was my second favorite and in my opinion should have been the final boss of the entire game.
    Now the main gimmick of the game, the twilight realms. Honestly, while some people may like these realms I can't stand them. They're incredibly linear and I never look forward to these when replaying the game. And during these Twilight Realms, no one is really suffering, no one is dying with the exception of the Zora Queen, so why is the game labeled the "darkest" when the honer goes to Majora's Mask? Where people actually DIE?
    The overworld, oh god, the overworld, it's terrible. They took the mediocre overworld from Ocarina of time and made it even worst with an EVEN BIGGER green void. People don't seem to understand that size doesn't matter if it's empty. Sadly, I think the best overworld of the 3d Zelda games was Skyward Sword, which still wasn't that great of an overworld, the best overworld of all imo was Link to the Past's, where it was huge and there were many setpieces to make areas unique.
    The characters were atrocious. None of the characters were memorable, and none of them showed much expression. The only memorable characters were Midna and Zant, ALL other characters INCLUDING Zelda and Gannon were thrown in there for the sake of extending playtime. This is especially the case with Illia, who was literally thrown in to start the adventure. Link himself also shows no character. He literally just makes nods and grunt while minorly changing his facial expression. Skyward Sword had much more memorable characters such as Groose, and they also made Zelda more of a character at all, instead of just being thrown in like in Twilight Princess.
    Twilight Princess isn't a bad game, but it's definitely the most overrated Zelda game. Fanboys of TP constantly bash other Zelda games such as SS and MM but they never seem to accept that their game had problems too. People say TP was for adults but really, the difficulty level is for children.

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    1. I'd like to agree with you, but I like twilight princess the best.the characters I felt in this game were much more real than in most others. I mean, Zant was like THE boss that you just hate in twilight princess, and I don't usually feel that way in other games. but was (I feel) represented incorrectly in the battle with him. He seemed like this calm guy who would stand there and destroy you.

      Now, about the other players. I feel the same about Illia in the game. I mean, the only thing she did was get link and herself into trouble in the beginning. And, after a while, I totally forgot about her altogether until she held the key to the sky. I mean, link loved Midna more than her!
      And, on the subject of Midna, she was like THE most loved character out of the whole game. I mean, she was like a complete mystery that just Had to be solved in the game. She was also my favorite because off her unique twilight powers.I mean, she could turn you into a wolf and back again. Which was like awesome. Not to mention she showed complete control over all twilight thingymabobers. And get biggest secret of her true form. I mean, like awesome.

      And about the storyline.I found it to be the greatest Zelda storyline for me so far.not only was our in constant fast and continuous action, but it kept you in with more things being revealed after every major achievement. The only part I could not stand of this game was the Zora temple.I mean, that thing took up, like, 1/3 of my whole gametime.
      I've of the cool things of the game was the hidden skills. They were a unique part of the game that none others had. Not to mention they are all optimal to learn and use. There was never a boss or enemy that required them to pass.
      Now Zelda, she was just one of those finishing characters that always helps you in the ends of these things. And that's about it on her.
      Now Ganondorf, man. I loved that guy.a gray comeback for him. Nite to mention the Zelda puppet, giant lion thing, house riding memory of the beginning of the game and the final hand-to-hand combat that would nearly kill him and bring him to his final ending and finally finish the game! Whew. Well that's my comments. Like the page and discussion.

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    3. Man. I messed up a bit. Sorry. I'm on a Mobil device with Swype.the only major thing I need to correct is the end part. It should say horse, not house.

      Ok, by

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  7. I think you made some valid points, but I actually enjoyed the 'side quests' that you really shouldn't ignore if you want to finish the game. Twilight Princess was awesome but I played it 3 times from start to finish then got bored and haven't picked it up again. In Twilight Princess, the side quests were difficult and unnecessary, like I didn't need to do them to enjoy the main game so it got old really fast. Whereas I've played Skyward Sword over 10 times and I still manage to find new things every play through and the game makes side quests interactive and you get a greater sense of fulfillment when you get the item from a side quest and later in the game you go "oh so that's what it was for!" and you're like "that is so cool, I didn't know you could do that that way when you used a different item~". The game has a more random feel to it, like in real life where the same thing doesn't appear in the same place twice, unlike Twilight Princess where everything got kinda boring after you figured out where most of the stuff were. I have to say that while it took some getting used to, I enjoyed the actual gameplay of Skyward Sword more. I found it interactive and enjoyable and I loved the accuracy of the controls (I really don't get the complaints about that, I never had a problem with the directions). Though, yes, the storyline leaves a bit to be desired, you really can't beat Twilight Princess's storyline and graphics and that epic boss fight XD but on a whole, once I got the story of Twilight Princess, it kinda loss it's appeal, like a movie you watch once and love and never watch again. So for me, I think Skyward Sword isn't overrated, it's innovative and I'd love Nintendo to make another just like it.

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  8. I wouldn't say Skyward Sword is overrated. Ever since it came out, I've heard tons of people say that the game "sucked" and that it "ruined the Zelda franchise" and things like that. I've played it myself, and I personally loved it. I really don't understand all the hate the game gets. I mean, sure it's not the best Zelda game ever (imo), but I don't see anything particularly bad about it, at least not bad enough to warrant all the backlash it receives. Personally, I feel the game is actually underrated.

    I agree with you on Twilight Princess, though. Twilight Princess is a PHENOMENAL game! Sadly, though, it's also the most underrated Zelda game ever (and in my opinion, possibly the best Zelda game ever). I don't understand the hatred for TP either -- it has an amazing story, good graphics, Midna, a gorgeous soundtrack, challenging dungeons, fun boss battles, Midna, cool new items, Link's wolf form, Midna... I mean, really. There is literally no reason to hate the game. Seriously. It is quintessential Zelda awesomeness!

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