While I’m already ashamed that I just now started playing Skyward Sword, I’m even more so baffled that I’m actually not impressed with it so far. Maybe my expectations of a new Zelda game that I waited 5 years for are a bit too high, but honestly I don’t really see why the game scored so well across the board just yet.
I’ve only played Skyward Sword for about 4 hours and I’m extremely pleased with how the combat works. It’s just a shame that it took Nintendo 5 years to actually create a game that makes sense for the Wii. Don’t get me wrong, Nintendo has made some great games for the system themselves, but I could have had just as much (if not more) fun using a standard controller. Skyward Sword is the prime example about what the Wiimote *could* have been at the consoles launch, but instead it’s the systems last hurrah from Nintendo.
Outside of the combat though, I’m just not feeling the rest of the game. I know the Zelda franchise has never been the epitome of epic storytelling. Most games in the series are little more than saving Princess Zelda while letting the plot take a back seat to let the world shine instead, and that is absolutely fine with me. Zelda is hands down my favorite gaming series and has been since I was given the original Zelda back on Easter of 1987, so I’m no stranger to the lack of plot. Maybe it gets better down the line, I don’t know.
Graphically, I just don’t think that Skyward Sword is very nice to look at. I get the “watercolor painting” gimmick of scenery far off in the distance, but why do all of the environments look blocky as hell and textured like a Dreamcast game? I was playing when my girlfriend woke up and the first thing out of her mouth was “wow, this looks like shit” which is the same thing that crossed my mind when I gained control of Link. In my opinion, Twilight Princess still looks better than Skyward Sword.
Now I’m not a graphics over gameplay guy, so the graphics aren’t a total buzzkill for me. If I wanted great graphics over solid gameplay, Crysis 2 would have been a great game, but it wasn’t. I know the game is much bigger than any other Zelda title to date and I still have high hopes for Skyward Sword as I put more time in to it, but so far I’m just not sure why it received the praise that it did. Once it’s all said and done and the credits roll, I’m almost positive I’ll have a totally different outlook on Skyward Sword. This is just a first impression after all and we all know that most Zelda titles start off very slow (I’m looking at you, Ocarina of Time). So here’s to 40 more hours of gameplay and hopes for a brighter experience.