E3 2010 - Wii
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
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I know we already have an E3 2010 topic, but I thought I'd start to create some topics around a few of the games announced. I'm hoping to include some variety, but I will really be focusing on the games I'm interested in myself. It'd be cool to see some new game-specific topics pop up. I was inspired by the Metal Gear Solid: Rising topic - it's already led to a pretty interesting discussion.
Anyway, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was unveiled at Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference. The trailer was shown right off the bat, but there was also a physical demonstration involving Shigeru Miyamoto and Bill Trinen. What's notable about this is that the demo was absolutely terrible - not, apparently, because the game itself is terrible, but because they could not overcome the wireless interference in the room. If you actually watch the conference you'll see that there's enormous lag between Miyamoto's actions and Link's on-screen responses.
This is pretty unfortunate because if you've ever used a Wii Remote (and if you've ever used a Wii Remote with MotionPlus), you have a strong idea of the real responsiveness of the controller.
In any case, Skyward Sword seems to be a pretty radical departure from previous Zeldas, at least in terms of game control. Link moves his sword just as you move your arm - unlike Twilight Princess, where a simple waggle in any direction would suffice. This new mechanic is important because defeating enemies is now no longer simply about hitting them a certain number of times - instead, it is necessary to actually slash at them with the correct angle (and their designs give away the appropriate angle, more or less).
What I find interesting, though, is the fact that this new 1:1 sword control mechanic is obviously going to be used quite heavily in puzzle solving. In the video you can see that Link moves his sword around in a circle to confuse a large eye on a door, thereby unlocking it.
The new controls are also relevant in terms of item use, which seems to have changed quite significantly this time around. Now all of your items are controlled with gestures rather than button presses. The bomb is a great example - you can throw it over-arm or you can roll it under-arm.
You'll also notice that Skyward Sword changes the art style of Zelda again, in the sense that Nintendo have somewhat reverted back to Wind Waker-esque graphics. The key difference, though, is that the Link model is now "adult Link" rather than child Link. Still, it is only really true to say that Skyward Sword's visuals echo those of Wind Waker; it seems to me that this game is much less stylized and significantly more detailed than Wind Waker.
The E3 demo was incredibly short and only displayed a single small location in the game. So it's a bit hard to go on this, given that so much more has yet to be revealed. For one thing, we know that Link can now travel back and forth between his new sky world and the underworld below (by using his sword and apparently some sort of gesture). I'm really wondering what the visual contrast will be between these two worlds.
For me, though, the biggest question is how much (if at all) the game's basic structure has changed. I don't know about you guys, but I'm a little tired of the typical Zelda dungeon layout. Even a small mix-up to this formula would be most welcome. The video does show at least one dungeon, but beyond that it's anyone's guess really.