The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Image
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93

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

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8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2135 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 whileA 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.

    FEATURES:

    * 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.
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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
    100
    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
    100
    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
    95
    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
    91
    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
    90
    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
    60
    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: 62 out of 769
  1. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Okay where do I even begin? This game is a masterpiece and a must have for all of the gamers out there. This game brought me back to the "good old days" when I would sit in my room, away from all distractions playing some Zelda. I spent my entire week playing this game and didn't face a single moment of boredom. The only annoying thing about this game was having to reset the calibration on my wii motion plus controller every now and again. Despite the resseting issues, the motion sensing gameplay was fantastic. I did miss the Zoras and Dekus but the replacement kikwis, parella and mogmas are a new look at the Zelda universe and are actually pretty cool. The boss battlesgradually grow harder as you proceed into the story. The environment is huge. Flying your loftwing is great. The entire game is compelling and, as hard as it is to say this, matches the greatness of LoZ OoT! Expand
  2. Nov 20, 2011
    10
    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 trustedThis 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. Mar 26, 2017
    10
    The controls are love-em-or-hate-em. If you take an hour or two to really focus on the nuances of the motion controls (small gestures, notThe controls are love-em-or-hate-em. If you take an hour or two to really focus on the nuances of the motion controls (small gestures, not giant swinging), you'll fall in love with this game. The puzzles and enemies are unlike any other game because of how precise and fantastic the sword controls are. It's linear, but that aids the story. Also, the characters and side quests make this world a fantastic one to live in! Expand
  4. Nov 22, 2011
    10
    Its the best zelda game of the series, and probably the best wii game. Good graphics, good gameplay, intense history about the origin of theIts the best zelda game of the series, and probably the best wii game. Good graphics, good gameplay, intense history about the origin of the master sword and use all the wii features you can desire to play.If you have wii or dont, buy it and play one of the best games of the generation. Expand
  5. Nov 21, 2011
    10
    I gave this game a 10/10 because it definitely deserves it (thus far. i'm about 4 hours into the game). The music is astounding, the colorsI gave this game a 10/10 because it definitely deserves it (thus far. i'm about 4 hours into the game). The music is astounding, the colors are amazing, and the story line is just as intriguing as OoT. If the game somehow starts failing as I continue playing, i'll change my review but i don't see that happening. Definitely worth the money and imo, better than TP. Expand
  6. Nov 29, 2011
    8
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. As with almost any other franchise, it's hard to look at one game in a series without comparing orThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. As with almost any other franchise, it's hard to look at one game in a series without comparing or reflecting on other entries that have come previously. Unfortunately, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time seems to always be the precipice of all follow on entries of this series; being hailed as the best Zelda of all time. What players and reviewers often forget is that, that game too, for the most part, was a rehash of the one before it but in three dimensions. Collect three things, get the sword. Collect seven things, save the princess. It has been that design for these games that has been used for follow on entries, aside from a few exceptions. In comes Skyward Sword, a game that tries to break the mold but keep a familiar feeling to hold true to that "Zelda-esque" design. For everything that Skyward Sword does well, it has a few things that are done equally terrible. What we have here is a series that has gone from little to no story outside what was in an instruction booklet to the fullest story told in the franchise. This series is muddied by inconsistencies told throughout, until Skyward Sword. A story that within it's conclusion wraps up nicely the reason for all previous games. I will not go too far into the story in fear of spoilers, but for a fan of the series, you get that "Ah-Ha!" moment; for newcomers, it's easily followed along and makes jumping into the other games that much easier. Story: 8/10 Back in 2000, the world was shown what Zelda would look like in upgraded graphics since the time of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. A year later we were shown Wind Waker. People, myself included, were shocked; some even appalled. It took playing and seeing to believe what Nintendo was truly capable of doing with motion design and emotional storytelling. Then came Twilight Princess, the ode to Ocarina of Time. A dark dreary game told in a threatened world once again. I mention these two games because it is so hard to feel the mixing of the two together to get the graphical design we see here in Skyward Sword. An older Link in a beautifully cel-shaded world. The world is so bright and colorful, full of detail and as things move off into the distance and fade into the background, it almost looks like a Monet style painting. The art direction for this game, fits perfectly to house all of the content and people that reside in this world. It makes sense to have kooky blue haired people in a world that looks and feels like this. The gorgeous oil/guache/water color design is absolutely gorgeous. Graphics: 9/10 The controls for this game are amidst huge debate among it's fans. Almost everything is controlled with the help of WiiMotion+ to it's advantage and dismay. When the controls work, it's incredible fun to see it all being played out on the screen in front of you. It really gives you the feeling of full control. It's when it doesn't work, which is about 20% of the time, that you wish you had a standard controller. Instead of fixing their control scheme they placed a work around in the controls to reset the center of the Wii-mote. This game can be completely played without the sensor bar because it's all relative to the Wii-mote. With this in mind, I found myself not having to reset very often. It was a mindset that took getting used to because of always having to point at the screen. Is it possible to waggle in this game? Yes. If done "right" it's actually quite effective. What ends up happening if the Wii-mote is waggled too ferociously is that you have to recalibrate the motion+. After having played with these controls, however, I couldn't imagine playing a Zelda game any other way, so long as n=Nintendo keeps improving on this method. Controls: 8/10 As with almost every Zelda game out there, there is some degree of exploration. Unfortunately, for Skyward Sword, as much exploration as there is, the locales are of 4 places; granted they are huge, you feel very confined. The level design is thoughtful and intriguing, I just wish there was more of it. I am glad they got rid of, for the most part, the "overworld" design put in place by Ocarina of Time. The surface world is full of surprises and things to see and opens up more and more as you progress through the game. Unfortunately, the only reasons to ever venture down there seem like padding. This game doesn't learn that fetch quests are redundant time fillers and can be quite annoying. There's a specific time where I wanted to choke someone out in Nintendo screaming "Why are you doing this to me?!" Getting over all of the fetching, the side quests, collectibles and other additions to this game round it out nicely. It was nice to see the bug net make its return. Gameplay: 6/10 Overall, I feel like Skyward Sword was a decent entry into the series and brings about the end of the Wii nicely. Skyward Sword: 8/10 Expand
  7. Apr 7, 2017
    0
    This is the only Zelda title that completely lacks an overworld. Instead you have linear slices to play through that you visit multiple timesThis is the only Zelda title that completely lacks an overworld. Instead you have linear slices to play through that you visit multiple times that all look & feel kinda the same (except that one's green, one's red, and one's yellow... That's all that's really different.) You mostly fight the same few bosses over & over instead of getting new boss challenges to solve. Combat is slow and repetitive. The first few times swinging the sword to slice the enemy at the correct angle, it was alright, but after that it was more of a hindrance to push through to get back to playing the game.

    Not that there was much game to play through. The whole thing was super easy. The hardest part was sitting through the interruptions whenever the game decided to tell you the solution to something you already figured out on your own, or to re-display text you already read about what things are.

    The gratitude crystals were also very forgettable, unlike other Zelda games' collection items. There was no real searching needed to easily find them all.

    The final dungeon was alright. I liked that dungeon's main gameplay mechanic. (Avoiding spoilers, but if you've played it, then you know what I'm talking about.) That's the only good thing I have to say about this game though.

    The desert had a mechanic in it that looked like it could've been a lot of fun if they actually did much with it, but instead really just added a bit of blue coloring. (Avoiding spoilers, but if you played it, you probably know what I'm talking about.)
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See all 769 User Reviews

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Awards & Rankings

1
1
#1 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2011
1
#1 Most Shared Wii Game of 2011