Generally favorable reviews - based on 106 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 106
  2. Negative: 1 out of 106
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  1. Aug 13, 2021
    No reviewer on earth enjoys scathing a Zelda-game. More often than not they are grand cru-games players are willing to wait years for. Ever since BOTW we’ve been given crumbs while waiting for the much awaited sequel through remasters and remakes. ‘Link’s Awakening’ scratched that itch. Skyward Sword HD does not. Spoler alert: in the year 2021 motion controls are still horrible.
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  1. Jul 14, 2021
    Although 10 years has passed, Skyward Sword still feels like one of the biggest and most interesting Zelda games ever made. [Recommended]
  2. Jul 14, 2021
    But this many years later, it would've been nice for this new package to include some older Zelda games, much like how the Wii classic Super Mario Galaxy came in a $60 Switch package last year, original visuals similarly intact, with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine in tow. If pandemic-related development issues are to blame for this week's uneven "HD" package, a few classic-gaming bonuses would've gone a long way for a project whose ambition didn't quite reach the clouds.
  3. Jul 14, 2021
    You can see with Skyward Sword that something has to change. See it in the way it tentatively messes with the formula, but ultimately retains one of the most rigid central paths of any Zelda. In the way it introduces stuff like the stamina gauge, which will make much more sense in the game that follows it. It's clear now that Skyward Sword is straining against its own rules and rituals. That makes it fascinating to play, and it means that this strangest and most compromised of Zeldas is also amongst the most human. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  4. Jul 21, 2021
    It’s brilliant in ways other Zelda games can’t be, thanks to its refined combat, meticulously built dungeons, and surprisingly heartfelt story about coming to grips with destiny. Revisiting it in 2021, with its more rigid traditions now broken, it can breathe a little easier. It’s played its part.
  5. Jul 14, 2021
    It runs smooth, the graphics look cleaner (despite a few muddy textures here and there), and the new control scheme makes it a more accessible version of Skyward Sword. There are even some nice little tweaks, like a slightly less chatty talking sword that serves as your guide. The biggest barrier is your expectations. Yes, it can feel dated after Breath of the Wild. But for me at least, the fantastical world, clever puzzles, and challenging dungeons made it worth pressing through. And given that the still-untitled sequel to Breath of the Wild looks like it’ll feature a similar sky-themed world, this could be just the thing to hold you over until its release.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 569 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jul 17, 2021
    Unfortunately ports are a target for review bombing so the user score probably won't be that reliable as people who haven't played the gameUnfortunately ports are a target for review bombing so the user score probably won't be that reliable as people who haven't played the game will just give it a 0.

    I'm a few hours in and really enjoying the game though. The art style really holds up and this is such a great version of Zelda (the character I mean). I love her design and she's quite funny. The quality of life features make the experience noticeably better.

    I also really appreciate that I can use a gamepad. Joycon drift is a big headache so I just couldn't handle playing with joycons.

    Having tried the original version on wii just a few months ago I can definitely say this is hands down the best version of the game. Better control options, less annoying tutorials/pop up messages, visually it's far nicer (the old wii version looks awful on modern tvs), autosaves, camera controls etc. It really is a massive improvement.

    Is it better than breath of the wild? personally not at all. botw has a lot more to offer but skyward sword is full of charm and it's a fun adventure. I'd definitely recommend it.
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  2. Jul 17, 2021
    A wonderful game, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the saga, having the best story,the best soundtrack, impressive dungeons, bosses andA wonderful game, which is undoubtedly one of the best in the saga, having the best story,the best soundtrack, impressive dungeons, bosses and others that make this game very special. A version that corrects a large part of the errors of the past and offers luxuries to the most complaining or picky eaters, already full HD AND 60 PFS, and yes, I said in full HD haters;), without a doubt one of the best Zelda, and an excellent way to relive this title in HD and 60 FPS.

    PS: Beautiful Zelink, the best.
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  3. Jul 17, 2021
    10 years ago The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword released to typical critical acclaim from the media, but an unusually mixed fan reaction for10 years ago The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword released to typical critical acclaim from the media, but an unusually mixed fan reaction for the series - and it has been the fan reception that has stuck with this game in the years since. That was mostly fair, there were definitely a number of issues with this game such as a very prolonged intro, no option to not use motion controls, a broadly empty sky world which seemed like it could have been so much more, and a particular annoying repeated boss, to name a few. Furthermore, the game was unusually linear for a Zelda game, with very little focus on exploration and more on environmental puzzle solving for progression, with the surface world areas essentially playing like dungeons in themselves. This felt like the opposite of what the fanbase wanted at that time - a large-scale exploration-based game with less of an emphasis on motion controls, as the craze about these had died down. Skyward Sword seemed like a dated game on release, rather than a groundbreaking game in one of their most beloved series.

    One important thing has happened in the Zelda series since Skyward Sword, and that is of course the release of Breath of the Wild, the Zelda game of many's dreams. With this game, pushing firmly opposite to the direction proposed by Skyward Sword, the future of the Zelda series as an open-world adventure rooted in exploration seems secured.

    And so we come to Skyward Sword HD. With this game clearly not indicating the direction of the series, we can perhaps view this game in its own right. The critical praise of Skyward Sword did not come from nowhere - there was always a lot right with this game:

    - The dungeon design was the best in the series, with some interesting ideas such as a dungeon which you largely traverse on a large boulder floating through lava, and general novel puzzle solving.
    - The dungeon design was helped by an interesting set of items including the return of some classics (e.g. bombs, bow and arrow etc.) and some new ones (e.g. a mechanical beetle that you obtain early on). Included are some new ways to use familiar items, such as the ability to roll bombs like a bowling ball, which add a few fresh puzzle and combat ideas.
    - Surface world level design, while linear, keeps focused and you are not running through large areas of empty space often.
    - The addition of a stamina wheel allowing you to run faster and climb higher objects than in previous games.
    - The ability to upgrade many of the items you obtain throughout the game giving the game more of an RPG-lite flavour than some previous Zelda games.
    - Fun sidequests up in the sky area give you some downtime can break up the more linear, focused action on the surface world.
    - A story that, while not fantastic, has its moments and is a suitable beginning to the Zelda timeline

    And then the HD version has made several key improvements, some of which directly address issues with the game:
    - It looks visually pleasing. They haven't done much modelling work so the geometry is jagged but the increased resolution and the more defined textures do wonders, and the geometry isn't particularly jarring in the surreal painterly style of Skyward Sword.
    - 60 FPS. People's mileage seems to vary on this, but for me 60 FPS is world's better than 30 and to see Skyward Sword as the first ever 3D Zelda game officially running at this framerate is a big deal for me and dramatically improves the experience.
    - The addition of button controls. These are unintuitive at times as ultimately the game was designed to be played with motion controls, but they do the job and provide an option for those who are not interested in motion controls (or want to play handheld, another feature this port naturally adds)
    - Several quality of life additions, such as faster text skipping, cutscene skipping, less interruptions from your partner, auto-saving and so on. These serve to greatly increase the pace of gameplay, if you're keen to progress quickly the game is going to stop your flow a lot less now.

    Some of the issues of the game are more inherent and have not been addressed, but by improving the overall QoL they are less problematic than remembered. Furthermore, in a world where now we are saturated with open world games, the old-school linear action-adventure gameplay may be refreshing (if it's to your taste), as they really do not make games like this anymore.

    The way I see this remake, I think this is a second chance for Skyward Sword. Selected improvements have been made to the experience to enhance it, motion controls are no longer mandatory, and perhaps most importantly, we have the context that the more ground-breaking experience of Breath of the Wild 2 is on its way. With that said, this may be an opportunity to enjoy Skyward Sword for what it is, rather than for what it is not. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, and if you have the right expectations, there's a good chance you can too.
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