Monday, October 24, 2011

NYCC 2011: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Our adventure into this year's New York Comic Con was not exactly as peachy as we would have liked, but when is a convention not stressful? We were only able to attend the Thursday and Friday events for both economical and physical reasons, but we got a handful of videos and impressions to make for you all.


This year, Nintendo gets to end its 25th Anniversary of The Legend of Zelda with a bang. Using Wii Motion+ and a slew of new design elements, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword could be the last massive game on Nintendo's current gaming system. At this year's New York Comic Con, we got to check out some of the demos, which were taking up a large chunk of Nintendo's booth on the showfloor, and it was difficult to control at first, albeit rewarding once done right.

The demo was split into three parts, consisting of a flight section, a dungeon section, and a boss fight against Ghirahim, the game's main villain (or at least original villain). On my time, I only got to play the battle agianst Ghirahim, and from my short experience, I found the game more challenging than its predecessor, Twilight Princess. The battle takes place at the end of the Skyview Temple, in which Link encounters the dark being in his attempt to capture Zelda. While explaining his hatred toward those in the sky, Ghirahim eventually decides to bring Link to the brink of death, and the battle begins.

You know when you encounter a guy with purple eyeliner and a menacing smile, a fight will begin.

Swinging the Remote is vastly important, which can be confusing for some after playing several games using "waggle." In the battle, Ghirahim approaches link and tries to grab the sword from his hands, so it is imperative to slash where his hands are not. After doing enough damage, he will make his sword appear, bringing in a real sword fight. If you slash at his sword, he will counter with a powerful slash attack. The boss also creates a number of darts to shoot at you, but if you slash at them just right, they launch right back to the creepy villain. In the end, as with the rest of the game, where the sword goes is very tantamount to the success of a battle.

Forget Epona, this animal can FLY!

The other two sections, covered by the video below, were played by people other than us, but we were able to gauge the experiences in a mixed fashion. In particular, we noticed two differing reactions from the dungeon section of the demo. Sometimes the player would swish the sword in a swift, waggle motion, but that resulted in the Stalfos killing off Link fairly quickly. However, once a user actually used the Remote like a sword, the battle became a lot easier. From the experience, the game will be difficult for many gamers, particularly as it brings emphasis to direction of a slash rather than the timing of it. Hopefully people will not take this difficulty in a terribly negative way.

Wagglers will soon become strugglers, even early on.

The graphics and music are altogether charming. The music is mostly orchestrated, which adds to the emotional subtext to the areas around Link. From the adventurous sounds of the sky to the dark and ominous violin solo in the dungeon, the soundtrack has a lot of benefits from the use of real instruments this time around. Graphically, the game looks top notch; bloom is not overly used and is instead used sparingly amid the well-modeled environments. Animations were smooth, and the colors give the game an impressionist style.

While the demo was very minimal in content, it was still a good window to look through and see what will come to us this November 20th.

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