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How The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Differs From The Original

Fans simultaneously felt both excitement and disappointment when Nintendo announced that it would be remastering "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" for the Nintendo Switch.

Twitter reacted to the announcement with mixed responses. While "Zelda" fans were happy to see "Skyward Sword" getting some love and being presented to a new generation of gamers, many felt sad that Nintendo didn't update the world on the progress of "Breath of the Wild 2." Nonetheless, it has become clear that "Skyward Sword HD" will have a few key differences from the original version that was released on the Wii in 2011.


"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" marked an evolution in Nintendo's "Zelda" franchise. It integrated motion controls that attempted to mimic players' direct movements using the new Wii Motion Plus technology. Even though it was revolutionary for the time, Nintendo can't just release "Skyward Sword" as it was in 2011. The beloved Japanese company plans to completely remaster "Skyward Sword" for a new generation of consoles and a new group of gamers to enjoy, overhauling it in more ways than one.

Motion controls

One of the key components in the original version of "Skyward Sword" was the Wii Motion Plus control system. Using the updated gyroscope, Link's sword was supposed to directly mimicking the movements of the Wiimote. However, that all worked better in theory than in practice. With a new system and more technological experience under its collective belt, Nintendo decided to alter motion controls for the Switch remaster of "Skyward Sword."


"Skyward Sword HD" will solve the original's motion control problem by providing players with a few different options. Instead of relying solely on motion controls, "Skyward Sword HD" will also feature an optional handheld mode, which allows Switch or Switch Lite players to use the right joystick to control Link's sword. This change may seem small, but it's an important tweak for those who disliked the game's finicky motion controls and want a more classic control scheme.

For those that want to enjoy "Skyward Sword" as it was originally designed, the Switch's Joy-Cons will act as Link's sword and shield, respectively.

Improved graphics

At the time it was released, "Skyward Sword" looked phenomenal. With bright colors and smooth animation, the game used all of the Wii's graphical capabilities to make a beautiful game. However, the Wii's graphics just don't cut it anymore for today's audiences. Even the Switch, which packs higher resolutions into a smaller frame, doesn't stack up compared to the PS5 or Xbox Series X|S. While some fans will probably still want updates on the rumored Switch Pro, there's something to be said for the extreme glow up "Skyward Sword HD" went through.


In the comments on a YouTube video highlighting the improved graphics of "Skyward Sword HD," gamers had plenty to say about Link's new look. Some noted that the differences between the two versions aren't quite as noticeable until they're seen side by side. Another player noted that all things considered, "Skyward Sword" just needed a small facelift. After all, the game was gorgeous to begin with.

Not everyone has shared that opinion, though. Many fans have argued that "Skyward Sword" was supposed to mimic a watercolor painting, but that shouldn't excuse any messy textures in the final product.

Fans will have to wait and judge "Skyward Sword HD" for themselves when it releases on July 16, 2021.