Almost ten years have passed since The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was released on Wii alongside that lovely golden Wii Remote. Now it’s back for another spin on Nintendo Switch thanks to Skyward Sword HD.
Skyward Sword has always been one of the more divisive Legend of Zelda games, thanks in part to its inconsistent motion controls and a lengthy tutorial section that puts some players off before they’ve even begun. Of course, this new Switch release includes a slew of new quality-of-life features aimed at making the overall experience a little smoother.
For every Nintendo 64, GameCube, or Wii title that has received a remake or remaster, we can all think of at least a dozen other titles of comparable quality that have yet to receive this treatment.
However, the Zelda series is unaffected by this. With the release on Switch, all of its 3D entries – from Ocarina of Time to now Skyward Sword HD – have made the jump to newer consoles and handhelds with significant improvements over the originals.
As previously stated, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD will finally join this list today, but it appears that this remake of the legendary Wii game will fall short of Nintendo’s previous remakes. Despite this, the game remains a top-tier Nintendo game.
Skyword Sword HD is not the best remake from the franchise
The Switch now has two controllers, the Joy-Con, which allows Nintendo to adapt the original controls without sacrificing anything. The only notable absence from the Wiimote is the IR pointer, which no longer serves any purpose in the game (as opposed to Mario Galaxy, whose version of 3D All-Stars had to be revised for this reason). So playing on the TV or in portable mode with the Joy-Con removed and the screen on the floor is nearly identical.
Despite many changes to well-known animations like swords and jumps, the developers were able to retain the essence of Skyward Sword‘s first version while also improving many animations. They’ve also improved the controls that were heavily criticized in the Wii version.
Another enhancement that has been implemented in both systems is a slight lightening of notifications and dialogues. It’s worth noting that, despite being in production for nearly a decade, Skyward Sword was the last Zelda game released before Breath of the Wild. Therefore, it deserves a lot of credit for steering the series toward a more open and seamless experience.
Skyward Sword spent as much time as any previous release explaining controls, mechanics, story elements, details about each area, and even, on occasion, the solutions to some puzzles. In fact, it did so to the point of overburdening a lot of players who were used to playing without all of the distractions.
It may appear to be a minor enhancement, but it will pay off in the long run, especially if we participate in optional missions like assisting the characters of Skyloft (Link’s hometown in the middle of the sky) or searching for materials and insects to improve equipment.
This remaster, released nearly a decade later, serves to draw attention to the game’s eponymous aquatic aesthetic, alleviate the burden of some limitations, and allow players to play without motion sensors if they so desire. Aside from these welcome changes, online reviews indicate that Skyward Sword HD is a conservative product with limited transformative potential.
The foundation is excellent, and its supporters (both old and new) will keep it that way. However, others will not give up hope of something even better. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is now available on the Nintendo Switch for $59.99. You can buy either a physical copy or a digital copy through the Nintendo eShop.
This may not bother new fans of the franchise who are accustomed to the prices of today’s games, but for old fans who played the original Skyward Sword on the Wii, this is a delicate subject because the original price of the game was much lower than the price of this remake.