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What Critics Are Saying About The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD" is an exciting new "Zelda" remaster that looks to fix some of the biggest problems with the original release. Despite a bit of controversy surrounding Nintendo's decision to hide some features behind an amiibo paywall, fans have still been looking forward to the game's release.


Critics across the board have agreed that the Nintendo Switch update of "Skyward Sword" has plenty of good in it. Andrew Webster from The Verge said that the journey through the game's map and story has "a satisfying sense of progression," despite the "dated" feel of a "Zelda" game that's not open-world like "Breath of the Wild."

In terms of appearances, Travis Northup from IGN said that "Nintendo has completely nailed" the visual upgrades in the game. The original "Skyward Sword" was released on the Wii, which Northup points out had a resolution of 480p that pales in comparison to the Switch's 1080p. Meanwhile, PJ O'Reilly from Nintendo Life remarked that the new features "give the underlying game here a whole new lease of life."


While these are great points for the game, both critics also had some major problems with the controls in the game. Northup noted, "'Skyward Sword' feels very much on par with the original version, both good and bad."

The controls are still a struggle

If you didn't already know, the original "Skyward Sword" came out in 2011, when the Wii was Nintendo's pride and joy. That meant that the controls in the game were motion-based — if you wanted Link to use his sword, you had to get up and swing your Wii remote around. 


These original controls were not particularly popular, which is why Nintendo announced that it would be adding motion control-free options for the game. Unfortunately, some critics have noted that this alternate control scheme doesn't live up to expectations. Travis Northup mentioned that the motion-free option is unintuitive, and that are "the exact same issues of inaccuracy as you'd get from motion controls." Meanwhile, Andrew Webster found the game's new free camera controls to be "a little wonky."

Meanwhile, some critics found the game lacking in other areas, particularly when compared to the more recent entries in the franchise. Matthew Castle from The Guardian argued that the world itself was "unimpressive." According to Castle, "the regions you skydive on to never convince as organic worlds to explore and unpick."


Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is worth it

Despite occasionally unreliable controls, the game was still enjoyable for the majority of critics. Andrew Webster was pleased with some of the "quality of life" changes that fans have been looking forward to, like the ability to skip dialogue and tutorials. According to Game Informer's Ben Reeves, these changes significantly enhance the replay value of "Skyward Sword HD." In his review, Reeves specifically called the game "a diamond buried in the rough," and that seems to be exactly what it is. 


PJ O'Reilly was highly impressed by the game overall, saying that "this remaster really has taken a ten-year-old game and made it sing like never before" and that the new version is how "[the game] was meant to be experienced." Matthew Castle joined in on the praise, finding the title to be a "wildly imaginative and magical experience created by Nintendo's brainiest puzzle architects."

Even with a few weak points and mechanics that haven't aged perfectly, it seems that the game is still worth playing — especially if you've never experienced "Skyward Sword" before.