Top critical review
A good HD remake of a fantastic game....But not a great one.
Reviewed in Australia on 16 July 2021
Make no mistake. The original version of this game has it's flaws but remains likely one of the most underrated and underappreciated Zelda games. Here i'll stick to the new version.
- The motion controls are much, much better than the original. I'm a stick and buttons purist, but even I couldn't resist the new motion controls. Flying the loftwing is intoxicating!
- The tutorial is "streamlined" but not hugely different. (That's good for classic Zelda fans)
- For those who never played the original: This game is a proper Zelda game and is completely different from BoTW. The only thing you'll find in common is Link, Zelda, and... well that's about it. Expect dungeons, special items, heart pieces, hidden paths, and to use your head!
- Fii no longer interrupts your game to remind you your batteries are low, among other things.
- Very smooth at 60fps.
- Some muddy, low-res textures look like they came straight from the Wii version.
- Link, Zelda, and the usual suspects look great, but other characters and scenes appear to have just been upsampled and suffer from low polygon counts.
- Dedicated button controls are uninmpressive. Be prepared to hold down the L button whenever you're using the free-pan camera because the right stick is for controlling the sword. I found it difficult to use and quite counterintuitive.
Overall, a great way to revisit the original. But debatable whether it's worth the price of admission. The improved graphics don't really add to the games impressionist charm, and I had no problems returning to the wii version, which played suprisingly well for it's age.
The biggest improvement is undoubtably the enhanced motion controls and streamlined start. The latter however skimps out on Skyward Swords best assets: it's incredibly qurky, colorful, and memorable cast. Something a certain 2017 game lacked in it's entirety.
I'm enjoying it because it's Skyward Sword and a comforting reminder of what a Zelda game should be like. But too little has been done in terms of refining the game and bringing it up to modern standards.