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KHCast

Zelda Skyward Sword HD (July 16th 2021)

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-Using joycons to mimic the original games motion controls as expected. 
 

-Also includes button mode if you don’t want motion controls. (It looks very weird, and with joycon drift this’ll probably be concerning for a lot of people) 

 

-Skyward Sword joycons also releasing alongside the game 

Zelda-Skyward-Sword-HD-Custom-Joy-Con.jp

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I'm really tempted by those Joy Con, ngl. I have my original grey Joy Con, but the left stick got hit with drift and I eventually bought a neon red and blue pair because that's what was cheapest and I still find them to be super ugly.

Anyway... I was really hoping for a Skyward Sword port with a Joy Con control scheme like this. I'm really, really glad that they included it. Sure, I'm going to give the button controls a go, but Skyward Sword has always been a game about motion controls to me. I enjoyed them on the Wii originally and expect that they're probably even better here. Plus that gorgeous 60fps framerate. Yes fucking please! I'm super satisfied with this announcement. 

I do hope that they've added some QoL changes though. Like, the ability to turn off all of Fi's "helpful" interruptions would be a God-send. SS was released during Nintendo's peak "player intrusion" phase brought on by the Wii and DS hitting a mass market with families and non-gamers. They wouldn't dream of making many of the design choices in that game again today, so I hope that they can buff those blemishes out somewhat. I don't need Fi telling me about low batteries, telling me where to go after an NPC told me where to go or giving me a running total of collectables every five minutes. SS would be improved dramatically if they've gone the extra mile here.

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I also might pick those joycons up. Ngl I only played SS until it’s first dungeon, and then put it down. The motion controls were really off putting to me when I was younger, but I’m down to give this another try, especially since it was the last traditional Zelda game before BotW. I think it’s only fair to play it through all the way finally lol. But yeah there’s some stuff I hope they tweak and make so it’s not as padded and frustrating, similar to WW HD

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I have been waiting a very long time for this. I am extremely excited for it. I won't buy it again if they don't adjust Fi's interruptions. The game has a lot of problems but that's the only one I can't look past. 

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I've been interested in Skyward Sword for awhile, but it was inaccessible for me because I didn't have Wii Motion Plus, so I'm happy about this, although I really hope this means they'll take the plunge and port WWHD and TPHD as well. 

Given the QoL stuff in Wind Waker HD at least, I imagine the more infamous problems will be removed (Fi's tutorials), or at least given some kind of toggle (it'll let you disable the tutorials).

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They're going to need to make some significant changes if they want me to play this again. I hated Skyward Sword and it's not something I intend to play again without significant alterations, which, besides mapping motion controls to the analog stick, I don't think they're going to do. 

Happy for those who like the game, though. 

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5 minutes ago, Indigo Rush said:

They're going to need to make some significant changes if they want me to play this again. I hated Skyward Sword and it's not something I intend to play again without significant alterations, which, besides mapping motion controls to the analog stick, I don't think they're going to do. 

Happy for those who like the game, though. 

I wouldn't be surprised if they made it possible to limit Fi's tutorials. Nintendo was fully aware of those criticisms towards Skyward Sword and from those they learned a lot of lessons about how to take a much less intrusive approach. BotW was most noteworthy for how it broke several Zelda conventions, and one way that it did that was by trusting the player to know what they were doing and figure out what to do if they were unsure. Skyward Sword shows the player what to do so that they're never left in the lurch... then it tells them what to do in plain English... then it meticulously explains every single step as you approach it... Then it tells you you completed a step... Then it reminds you of all the remaining steps.

I don't think that they can alter too much of the game; it's simply built upon back tracking and revisiting the same linear over world again and again. But what they can do is remove some of the intrusive tutorials and hand-holding should the player not want it. And truth be told, I'll actually be surprised if they don't make any efforts to streamline the game at all. Just make it a bit less tedious. Easier access to the Thunderhead, perhaps. If we're really lucky, they'll add in some way to avoid flying later in the game. Being able to use regular controls for flight will help a lot, but that won't suddenly make flying fun or meaningful.

Wind Waker had Swift Sail added as an optional item and significantly reduced the Triforce Quest. MM3D reworked the Bombers Notebook, allowed you to save send continue, added more save spots and gave you the opportunity to warp to any hour using the song of double time. Twilight Princess HD removed several of the Tears of Light and increased the wallet sizes.

Whoever is making this, be it Grezzo (most Zelda ports/remakes), Tantalus (TPHP cause Grezzo were busy) or someone else, I think that they and Nintendo will want to address some of the loudest criticisms. They've hit upon the controls already because it was necessary to ensure full compatibility with different Switch configurations. 

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Sigh, I actually liked Skyward Sword, but it's still annoys me that Nintendo still at it selling 8 year games with little to no improvements or new content  for full price. Or in this case, even more seeing as the original release is fifty bucks. Sad that they can get away with this, esp when every other company in the industry, even the ones with the worst reputations don't have the sense not to do that. What's worse is that it'll still top the charts. 

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Despite it's flaws, Skyward Sword is a good game - even the worst 3D Zelda game is a damn sight better than a lot of it's contemporaries.  I had such a miserable time with the last boss:

Spoiler

(It outright tells you that Skyward Strikes won't work and I did not pick up on the visual cue that they begin working again halfway through the fight - ironically my downfall was one of the very few times they don't handhold you lol - I had to go look up a Shiekah Vision to figure it out for the first and only time in the game and felt so insulted when I saw the solution)

that I think it left a really bad last impression in my mouth, and since then my only real exposure to the game was the years of critique that came after (mostly notably Matthewmatosis' Zelda review series, which I rewatch often because I mostly agree with them and just enjoy his voice to be honest lol).

I'm glad this re-release exists because I don't think I would have EVER gone back to it and given it a second pass otherwise to really solidify my opinion of it (one way or another).  I'm looking forward to doing so.  I also feel like the art style might look really nice in HD - I always felt the painterly style that handled distant scenery blurring just looked muddy and unappealing on the Wii.

Hopefully removing the inventory screen interruptions and Fi handholding are no-brainers.  I also really hope they just make the sensible decision to have flight and swimming be handled by the control stick no matter what control scheme you're using.  I want to use motion controls for the sword and I'd hate if it ends up being all-or-nothing on motion controls.  Considering they included gyro aiming but removed other pointless "motion controls for motion control's sake" moments from Twilight Princess HD, hopefully this one is a no brainer too.

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Skyward Sword's motion controls work nicely with the sword imo but in nearly every other instance I find it annoying, the bird being the most egregious case because it demands your attention for navigating the most barren nothing over world ever. At least WW had the decency to do most of the work for you. The swimming also similarly so but at least there's much less of it 

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14 minutes ago, Soniman said:

Skyward Sword's motion controls work nicely with the sword imo but in nearly every other instance I find it annoying, the bird being the most egregious case because it demands your attention for navigating the most barren nothing over world ever. At least WW had the decency to do most of the work for you. The swimming also similarly so but at least there's much less of it 

The sword play is great ands I enjoyed the beetle, bow and most of the other motion controls too. But you're right; flying was dreadful. If ranged bring mildly annoying to flap upwards to incredibly uncomfortable to angle downwards and gain speed.

Let's be real though. All that button controls will do for flying is take away from the physical discomfort. The sky will still be barren and boring to navigate. I'm willing to defend a lot of Skyward Sword as I think it's a really good game held back by overbearing hand-holding, but not the flying. Not even close. That shit stinks from every angle.

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16 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

The sword play is great ands I enjoyed the beetle, bow and most of the other motion controls too. But you're right; flying was dreadful. If ranged bring mildly annoying to flap upwards to incredibly uncomfortable to angle downwards and gain speed.

Let's be real though. All that button controls will do for flying is take away from the physical discomfort. The sky will still be barren and boring to navigate. I'm willing to defend a lot of Skyward Sword as I think it's a really good game held back by overbearing hand-holding, but not the flying. Not even close. That shit stinks from every angle.

Which sucks because that was like the main hook of the game or...... I guess more like it's main identity people recognize it by like the sea is with WW. But there's nothing to discover that the game doesn't guide you towards, no mini dungeons no other towns. Just a mini game island or two, the pumpkin tavern, the thundercloud and goddess cube locations you find by exploring the land anyway. And yeah it was just not fun even moving around in it because of those controls.

If I was Nintendo I'd just shrink the entire sky area by 50 percent because there's so much empty useless space anyway nothing would really be lost besides getting out of the sky quicker 

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The sky was definetly wasted potential but I can't see them changing it too much since overworld changes didn't hit the other ports. Hopefully they do something like add fast travel between the statues in the game to cut down on all the flying back and forth.  

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The flying sections sure were no great sea, that's for sure. Motion controls were... fine, for me at least. 

I think the real dream is having a fully functioning flying mechanic work on BOTW's map. We were halfway there with Skyward Sword being ABOVE the clouds - and halfway the other end in BOTW gliding (or rock launching) below them. What I would have given to be able to ride on the dragons for freeroam transport... or the hook-shot Spider-Man swinging mechanic that was removed.

I fully appreciate WHY neither of these are in the game... but they should be in the next one, even if it's an endgame sort of reward. 

ANYWAY - I love Skyward Sword, warts and all. Linear-ness wasn't a bother for me, nor was the repeat returns to the surface areas considering they changed or evolved each time. Personally I found that it worked well in tandem with the full on approach to motion controls in this game, much the same that I don't think full motion controls would have worked with the type of game design BOTW's had. I was a real advocate of "not going back to buttons" after playing Skyward Sword, especially as I often felt like one of the 10% of people that had working Wii-Motes because the control scheme apparently "didn't work" in the game. It certainly did for me. 

I am bit concerned about the art style being affected with the HD translation, it works on Wii with the blurred art style to hide the limitations of the console. We might get a better draw distance in this game, but I hope it doesn't come at the expense of making the title look a little too flat. That being said... OMG 60FPS in a ZELDA GAME AT BLOODY LAST!!

Also the music in this title is amazing, especially with Nintendo having finally gone almost fully orchestrated for the entire game. The beginning with Zelda actually singing the main theme, the ending credits striking orchestra taking my breath away, and Ballad of the Goddess is legitimately my No1 pick for best game soundtrack piece of all time. Whoever realised Zelda's lullaby played backwards could legitimately be made to sound this beautiful is such a feat of literal reverse musical engineering. 

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Oh, forgot about the Beetle... yeah the motion controls work fine there because I think it adds to the experience of it being this curious little tinker toy of an item that it's just a LITTLE unwieldy to use, plus you only ever use it for short amounts of time.  I hope if they do remove motion control from flying and swimming, they don't overcorrect and remove it from this as well (I'm sure the bow will remain motion controlled).

The fact that BotW had a more-detailed-than-typical-Nintendo-games options menu gives me hope that maybe they'll let us enable/disable motion controls for different actions individually, but won't hold my breath on that one.

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I am very excited to see a Skyward Sword remake! I don’t even have a console to play it on but this was the last Zelda game I played and have a lot of memories attached to it. This was basically my whole freshman year of high school. I remember listening to Natasha Bedingfield throughout my entire play through. It was the perfect soundtrack to my adventure.

 

I vividly remember the Lanayru province, especially the sand sea shipyard. Going there felt really epic having already been there during Twilight Princess (also my favorite province of that game) and all of the time traveling, time-bending themes. 
 

It felt surreal. I still wish I could play BoTW so I know how it compares.

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Honestly I’m torn on if I wanna use motion controls for my first real playthrough of this, like how it was intended, or if I should just stick with Pro controller since that’s pretty much my default for anything on the system that isn’t Mario Galaxy 

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24 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Honestly I’m torn on if I wanna use motion controls for my first real playthrough of this, like how it was intended, or if I should just stick with Pro controller since that’s pretty much my default for anything on the system that isn’t Mario Galaxy 

What's there to be torn about? You've got the option to use both, so give both a go and see which you prefer. "How it was intended" is totally different to "what is best". If you end up finding the game to be insufferable with motion controls but fun with the analogue stick, then "how it was intended" simply isn't what was right. I already know that I enjoyed the motion controls on Wii, but I might end up preferring traditional controls now that that option exists. Why does it matter what was intended when you've got the opportunity to try it another way? The original control scheme isn't going anywhere. 

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The physical precision of using the motion controls, and several puzzles, are designed with the physical challenge of being dexterous in mind, so my gut would say to try with motion controls first and then just repeat an area with traditional controls to test it out.  I get the feeling some parts of the game that were novel for how they worked with motion control might become sort of weird without (like how the mandatory fishing at the start of Twilight Princess was blatantly put in to show off motion controls but is just weird on the Gamecube and HD versions due to how uninvolved it is with control stick input instead).

Having said that... such sections might translate just fine, since I assume the bits where you have to gently move the sword rather than just swing it will instead translate to gentle control stick movement instead of flicking it in a direction, still requiring dexterity on the player's part.

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Not gonna lie; I can already see myself switching to the pro controller just to put a boss key in the door and possibly whenever you have to fly as well. But the regular gameplay, especially the sword, is so much fun with good motion controls. 

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17 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

Not gonna lie; I can already see myself switching to the pro controller just to put a boss key in the door and possibly whenever you have to fly as well. But the regular gameplay, especially the sword, is so much fun with good motion controls. 

This is why I DEFINITELY hope that at best, we get a comprehensive menu that lets us toggle motion controls for specific actions on/off.

But since Nintendo hates options menus with a passion, I hope that at worst, flying/swimming is always controlled with the control stick.  I don't mind Motion Controls staying for the Beetle and Boss Keys though personally, they make sense there (and aiming, but I feel that's a given - hopefully gyro will be available for that even when playing with a controller).

(BotW and AoC both had options menus with more customisation than Nintendo usually care for though, so here's hoping Skyward Sword HD continues that trend).

Come to think of it, on the subject of options menus, I'm... actually kind of hoping they overhaul the UI.  Switch Zelda games thus far are so sleek that I'm not really looking forward to going back to Skyward Sword's big, chunky, brightly coloured, serif-font filled UI.

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16 minutes ago, JezMM said:

This is why I DEFINITELY hope that at best, we get a comprehensive menu that lets us toggle motion controls for specific actions on/off.

But since Nintendo hates options menus with a passion, I hope that at worst, flying/swimming is always controlled with the control stick.  I don't mind Motion Controls staying for the Beetle and Boss Keys though personally, they make sense there (and aiming, but I feel that's a given - hopefully gyro will be available for that even when playing with a controller).

(BotW and AoC both had options menus with more customisation than Nintendo usually care for though, so here's hoping Skyward Sword HD continues that trend).

Come to think of it, on the subject of options menus, I'm... actually kind of hoping they overhaul the UI.  Switch Zelda games thus far are so sleek that I'm not really looking forward to going back to Skyward Sword's big, chunky, brightly coloured, serif-font filled UI.

I don't mind the messier HUD and UI of SS personally. It gives the game some personality that I think is actually missing from a number of modern games. But he graphics will inevitably be redrawn in HD and as with WWHD and TPHD the huge will likely have a much smaller footprint on the screen. 

Fly and swimming (and a few other things like vine swinging and rope balancing) needn't be motion controlled. Unlike the sword play, beetle and bow, those things could have been accomplished exactly the same and better with regular button inputs. They felt like generic 2007-era Wii shovelware waggle controls. There's mindless waggle and there's tangible motion inputs.

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The sword was kind of novel since directional slashes weren't precise enough in previous games to implement them in a meaningful way , but I didn't find anything else about the motion controls more compelling or easier to use than their Twilight Princess equivalents. Shooting your bow with the Wii's pointer in TP wasn't just more precise, it freed the player up to multitask and do it while they were fleeing or riding a horse. drawing the bowstring back with the nunchuck and having to keep the motion plus in check just felt a lot more sluggish and less fluid in comparison.

I guess the upside is that there's an added sense of balance and immersion taking this approach. I did like that other ranged options were more relevant since the bow didn't work like a lightgun. This just doesn't really transfer over to other stuff like flying and swimming. There was no natural way to transfer those motions over to the wii remote's limited technology. It just wasn't the catch all tool for motion control Nintendo thought it was, so some actions shouldn't have leaned on it. 

Being able to pick and choose would be ideal but Nintendo is still struggling with remappable controls on the whole so I don't expect it.

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