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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review - Wii

8
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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need to hunt for all the pieces of a key, or carefully search for a way forward in an area that appears to be a dead end. The range of environments isn't always the most original, we've seen forest and volcano areas multiple times before in the Zelda series, but the presentation is good and the challenges are well thought out. Travelling from one area to another can be a little time consuming, since you have to return to the sky whenever you finish exploring, and then fly around for a bit to reach the next entry point. To help with your exploration, Link now has the ability to dash. Holding in the A button while walking will make Link start running at high speed. A stamina gauge appears as he does so, slowly depleting until it runs out and Link has to stop and catch his breath. Making good use of dashing can help you navigate the world much more efficiently, and it actually has some practical uses at times, as it allows Link to run up steep hills that are normally inaccessible. This is one feature that I'd be happy to see future Zelda games take advantage of.

Now, to the combat. Link's sword is almost completely under your control this time around, thanks to the Wii MotionPlus/Wii Remote Plus controller. As you move the Wii Remote, Link's hand will also move, following your actions very accurately. You lift it, swing it, twist it, thrust it, whatever you like. The in-game tracking is excellent, and even simple actions like cutting grass are made that much more interesting by being able to feel as though you're actually swinging a sword. This control over Link's sword also extends into battle. The game's enemies have been designed with this in mind, and will need to be attacked in particular ways so that they can be damaged. They might block with their weapon in a particular direction, so you need to swing your sword in opposite direction to land a hit successfully. Otherwise, your strike will be blocked, and you're likely to receive a counterattack. Other times, their weak point will open up periodically, and you'll need to thrust your sword at them in order to quickly damage them.  Unfortunately, the tracking isn't 100% accurate in battle. Rather than being able to attack in any feasible direction, your strikes are interpreted as either a vertical or horizontal slash, with a bit of room for changes in the angle you hold the sword at. This doesn't take away from the combat too much, it's still enjoyable and intuitive, but it feels as though the limitations of the Wii MotionPlus/Wii Remote Plus are showing. In addition, the thrust action can be an occasional bother. You thrust your Wii Remote towards the sensor bar in order to execute the attack, but the game doesn't always recognise it correctly. You may end up with Link performing a regular slash attack instead, which can ...

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