Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1582 Ratings

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  • Summary: A Link to the Future - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword shakes up the tried-and-true adventure game formula and marks a turning point for the franchise. The introduction of full motion controls enabled by Wii MotionPlus technology synchronizes player movements with Link's actions while offering the most intuitive play control of any game in the series to date.


    * The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword boasts the most realistic sword combat of any game to date, turning every encounter into a challenge of both brains and brawn. Wii MotionPlus technology accurately translates the angle of every sword slice, effectively putting Link's blade in the player's hand. Analyzing enemy attack and defense tendencies and counteracting with precise swings of the sword provide a satisfying experience that blends puzzle-solving with a new and distinctly unique combat system.

    * Explore a massive, multilayered world that seamlessly blends soaring exploration in a sea of clouds with intense ground-based adventuring that blurs the line between the main world and traditional Zelda dungeons. Link soars through the skies on the back of a noble bird and dives beneath the clouds to the continent below in an epic quest that lays the foundation for the events in the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

    * Prepare for intense puzzle-solving as only The Legend of Zelda games can deliver. Exploration of the forests, volcanoes and deserts requires players to think on their feet as they solve puzzles, overcome obstacles and escape deadly traps. Once they find their way to each dungeon, they are confronted by even more puzzles guarded by fiendish enemies.

    * The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword redefines the traditional Zelda framework and introduces an arsenal of items, upgrades and rewards unlike any game in the franchise to date. The adventure guides players into, out of and back to dungeons and areas they've already completed. Along the way, Link gathers a massive inventory of peculiar items and resources that can be used to upgrade many of his weapons and equipment.
    * Every copy in the initial production of the game will come packaged with a special music CD featuring orchestral arrangements of select songs that will be performed at The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert.
    * This version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comes packaged with a special Gold Wii Remote Plus controller. You can also purchase a copy of the game without a controller.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. 100
    Skyward Sword is an epic, the sort of epic you call out of work or school for a few days to complete. A focused playthrough will take you north of 30 hours, and if you try to 100% the game, there is a 50+ hour quest to go through. Throw in the second quest, dubbed Hero Mode, and there is a lot of game to play.
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    An exhilarating journey in every sense. Skyloft is an area you'll want to explore and Skyward Sword is well worth the wait. Prepare to be amazed.
  3. Feb 6, 2012
    Overall, this is the best experience I've had playing a Zelda game since Ocarina of Time and I'd have to say they are pretty equal in my opinion. Either way, you won't be disappointed getting this game, it's a masterpiece.
  4. Nov 14, 2011
    My new favorite 3D Zelda title, beating out Majora's Mask and Wind Waker by a substantial margin. It would be hard to go back to any of those games now. All of the gameplay innovations, emotionally involving moments, beautiful little details, and purely blissful experiences in this game have me completely and utterly spoiled.
  5. Dec 20, 2011
    It's excruciating, mostly because Skyward Sword is such a rare, utterly wonderful game. It fully deserves to be thought of as a modern classic and a masterpiece, and it's so good that even controller frustrations couldn't keep me from sinking a completely crazy amount of time into it.
  6. Nov 21, 2011
    Link is back in the best shape we've seen him in for years. The puzzles and challenges are brilliant, and the motion controls really shows you how to do something right. This 25 year old kid is still as relevant as ever.
  7. Jan 9, 2012
    After finishing the game, I can say that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was not what I expected. I thought it would be a good (but not great) practitioner of the Zelda formula hampered by unnecessary motion controls, much like Twilight Princess was. Instead, I got a game that's cripplingly hamstrung by its controls and even falters when presenting the basic Zelda recipe.

See all 81 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 715
  1. Mar 5, 2012
    The game that takes beyond the challenging and worn out mechanics of the saga. A pity Wii's technical limitations, but we would be speaking about a bomb explosion. Perfect in your development, ingenious, varied, entertaining and that uses the possibilities of wii in an exemplary way. The best Zelda and the Wii's best game. Expand
  2. Nov 20, 2011
    This is the game the Wii was built for! The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end. IGN, a trusted website, doesn't hand out perfect 10's lightly. A must own. 10/10. Expand
  3. Dec 27, 2011
    This game has me addicted. The amount of dislike is boggling my mind, maybe it is people who have never experienced the series or people who just can not get their head around the controls. But I love it. My favorite of the series was Twilight Princess for the Wii, I also loved Ocarina of Time on both the N64 and 3DS, and LTTP on SNES. However this is very quickly becoming my favorite. The setting of the story is one of the best of any game ever, it is brilliant. The freedom of the skies is more interesting and more beautiful than Hyrule Fields which we all have known and loved for the last 10 games pretty much. The loftwing and its brilliant controls make me want to say "Goodbye Epona!" The story of the game is absolutely sensational as well, a backstory to Ocarina of Time? Amazing! Some little tidbits of the game do get a bit frustrating as well, the dialogue does go a bit slower in this one, but that is just a nuisance, nothing game breaking. The really sad part about this game is your guardian. She is really lifeless and boring, Midna is really a hard character to beat, with her sassy attitude, her cool looks, and her backstory. However they are just side characters so it isn't gamebreaking, however I would like to see Midna return in the next game somehow. At least as a side mission or shown in a background story. The controls are actually surprisingly good, if you got the gold Wii remote which looks amazing, the Wii Motion Plus will be no bother to you, and swinging should not get you tired. The swordplay is a bit off most of the time, doing jabs proves to be pretty hard in intense situations, but it gives a bit more of a challenge. The design of the game is pretty amazing, I have walked around Skyloft quite a few times and just marveled at how amazing it looks and how alive it really feels. Through three temples it does feel kind of repetitive, you collect like 3 or 5 of an item, get in the temple and do your business. But the temples really amazing, especially the Earth Temple I loved its design, the lava, the rolling eye, the boss battle was incredible, that short Indiana Jones moment. Everything was just amazingly fun. The graphics are awesome, everyone got their dark Zelda with Twilight Princess and also got toony with Wind Waker. This is a mash up of the two. It looks like Twilight Princess painted with water colors. The graphics are really fantastic for a Wii game. There are no parts that look really gross in terms of graphics.

    For all these reasons I say pick this game up without thinking about it. This maybe the last big game for the Wii, and I must say, what a way to go out!
  4. Nov 24, 2011
    Pretty good, at first the controls were hard to control, but it turns out there's ACTUALLY SKILL INVOLVED IN SWINGING THE SWORD. The fact that waggling to kill no longer applying made my **** day. I recommend this game highly. Expand
  5. Nov 24, 2011
    This is a great game. I can understand why people may have minor gripes with it, but anything below an 8 is just silly. Not only does it contain everything we love about Zelda already, it really does innovate. The blurriness of distant objects I find truly striking and not unlike a Nintendo nod to Monet and other impressionists right there on my screen, blending seamlessly with the action oriented foreground. The controls are not perfect, but they do a damn good job. It's Zelda - chill out from your MW3 session and enjoy it for what it is. Expand
  6. May 28, 2012
    Not quite the masterpiece everyone claims it is, but an excellent entry in the series. Uses the Wii's limited hardware to put forth the best looking game possible that controls the way the Wii should in the first place. 40+ hours of solid, interesting gameplay, side quests and intelligent dungeon designs. A definite purchase if you're a fan of the series. Expand
  7. Oct 15, 2014
    This is the only Zelda game I ever bought that I resold to a used video game vendor. To learn that this game had so many high reviews was just baffling to me. The wii controls made me want to pull my hair out. Yeah it made fights more challenging but I always liked the feeling of knocking back a ton of enemies and feeling a step above all of my opponents. The fact that even battling a goblin was a tiresome task made me want to throw the game away before it ever started. I admit the flashy cutscenes are really truly enjoyable but if that is what gives this game it's high ratings than it truly defines where we put our value in videogame quality. Fi felt like a dripping faucet and a nagging girlfriend who did everything but actually help me. There is absolutely no exploration with this game either. Worst Zelda game ever and I truly hope Nintendo doesn't repeat this model or zelda games might very well be ruined for me forever. Expand

See all 715 User Reviews

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