The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was clearly the biggest title shown on the Wii at E3 this year. Nintendo may be moving towards their new console, the Wii U, but they haven’t forgotten about Wii owners just yet.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword demo was broken up into three parts. The first part was the Bird Flying demo. In this demo, players started out controlling Link and had to jump off a piece of land that appeared to be floating in the sky. Once falling downward towards the land below the player was prompted to press the down button on the D-Pad which would call Link’s bird.
Once the bird swooped in, and Link was riding him, the game would begin. The objective of the game would be to catch up to another rider that was holding a golden trophy. Link would have to do this before some other riders caught up to the bird which made it somewhat of a race. I took a while however and I don’t think that the other riders actually can catch up, but I guess this is more about the story line than anything else.
In this part of the game shaking the Wii Remote up and down would cause the bird to gain altitude. Aiming and tilting the Wii Remote controller did controlled the flight path of the bird. Pressing the A button would cause the bird to dash but the bird was limited to three dashes that would slowly return over time, much like using Epona in Ocarina of Time.
After the player was successful in catching up to the bird the first time it would have be completed again. This time, however, some of the other riders that were also trying to get the statue would throw eggs at you. If Link were to be hit by an egg it would freak the bird out and slow the player down. After catching up to the bird with the trophy again the demo ended.
The second demo was of a dungeon. The dungeon required link to use some of the new items, as well as to explore. With my limited time in this dungeon I was able to try out the new item, the Beetle. If Link is to use this item, which resembles a beetle, it will launch off his arm. Once it does players will be given a third person view of the Beetle and control the flying item by aiming with the Wii Remote. The Beetle could then be used to cut spider webs, hit important switches, or to just get to places that would otherwise be impossible for Link to ever reach. Control of the Beetle felt great.
I was also able to try out the Bow, which I still think controls a bit awkwardly for someone that would rather hold a bow the other way, but it still worked. When using the bow players have to hold the Wii Remote up to the screen, like a real bow, and pull back on the Nunchuck Controller (while holding the C button) in order to aim. Once ready to fire players would have to release the C button and the arrow would go flying.
Also in my exploration I came across various enemies including Spiders and a Stalfos. The spiders had a lone weak spot on their stomach and hitting it required the player to make a stabbing motion at the screen with the Wii Remote as they stood up.
The Stalfos was a bit trickier since it was armed with two blades of its own. In order to hit the Stalfos the player would need to swing the Wii remote in such a way that Link’s sword would attack where the Stalfos wasn’t currently blocking at the time. All of this takes some skill and practice, but it was a lot of fun.
The final demo was a boss fight against a new character named Ghirahim. The first part of this boss was somewhat annoying. It was all about sneaking shots in with the sword, but sometimes Ghirahim would just catch Link’s sword with his hands and throw link off him. After awhile though Ghirahim would pull out his sword and the second phase would begin.
During the second phase the trick was to hit Ghirahim where he wasn’t blocking with his sword. This was tricky, but like the Stalfos, felt rewarding when done successfully. Ghirahim would also at times summon some arrows that he would launch at Link. I actually ended up defeating Ghirahim by reflecting these arrows back at him by performing a shield bash with Link’s shield by thrusting the Nunchuck Controller forward.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword offered just a brief glimpse of what players can expect from the final product but it left me wanting more. This Zelda title is going to be the most interactive in the history of the series thanks to the Wii Motion Plus. Wii owners better prepare for an epic game when The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword launches later in 2011.
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