Nintendo opened their 2010 E3 press conference with the one game people were demanding to see The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The game was announced last year in a closed door Nintendo event, but apart from a single photo of link without a sword, no details were given. A full, and long, year has passed and now Nintendo has shown up ready to reveal everything to us.
The first fact was the new titles, Skyward Sword. This title, accompanied by the sword like woman who accompanied link in his original photo, has many people wondering what purpose this will play into the story and who will Link have as his ‘sidekick.’
The gameplay was introduced to us by none other than Shigeru Miyamoto himself. In a live demo he showed the world the newest game and how it’s controlled. Much like Twilight Princess, you use the Wiimote and the numb chuck to move Link, but this time the control has been revamped. Using the Wiimotion Plus attachment, which many hope will be released with the game, you will have a 1:1 movement with you sword. This will allow you to control every slash, strike, and kill. Then, with a shake of your numb-chuck, you bring out your shield.
Using the new format of control the game has changed with it with enemies requiring more than a simple hit to be brought down. In the live demo we saw a Deku Babas, the carnivorous plants, that cold open their mouths horizontally and vertically, each being a hint as to how to strike them. If their mouth was open vertically then it required a vertical strike to kill. The inventory system has changed, using a floating menu instead of the separate screen used in games past. Even some of the more mobile and skilled enemies, such as the pig men, will block and every parry your strikes forcing you to change direct or outwit him in fencing.
Like every Zelda, Link is blessed with a series of new weapons, and new methods for classic favourites. The bomb has returned, this time being able to be rolled like Wii Bowling or thrown like normal, and the Bow controls have been reworked similar to Wii Archery from Wii Sports Resort. His new arsenal includes a whip and beetle bracer.
The whip’s abilities are similar to that of the one in Spirit Tracks, in that it can grapple enemies and items. It is able to grapple hooks, rods, branches, and whatnot to allow Link to swing across gaps and such. Its design seems to feature a skull on the handle and a magical blue “flame” on the end to grab things.
The Beetle resembles a beetle with very large pincers that can pick up, carry and even drop items from a distance. It has wings that, when launched, fly it through the air. While the Beetle is in flight, its direction and speed can be controlled by tilting the Wii MotionPlus. It can only stay airborne for a short period of time.
Like every game Link’s sword is always important and in this incarnation it looks like it plays a massive part in the story. This sword is seen in the trailer is duly named the Skyward Sword. It is not yet known how the sword is obtained, however, it has been confirmed that this sword is very intelligent and can transform into a human-like figure before eventually becoming the Master Sword, as Skyward Sword has been confirmed to occur before the events of Ocarina of Time.
The new sword will make great use of the Wii’s feature, MotionPlus which will allow users to move the sword in any way that they desire- this is shown in E3 demos, where Link moves his sword in a circular motion to confuse an enemy. Yet for old Zelda fan this game marks the triumphant return of the sword energy beam, charged by holding your blade to the sky, the blade fires beams in an anime like slash.
While some have hesitations over the controls, many of us have faith in Zelda knowing that even at their worst game still have been amazing adventures to play. Skyward Sword, plus the Ocarina of Time Remake makes for a big year for Zelda. In Miyamoto We Trust!