What do you think of Skyward Sword?
Fucking FILLED with mini-cutscenes constantly fucking grabbing your control away.
I bought this at the same time as Dark Souls, and was playing both of them back and forth. I found myself playing Dark Souls more, and was like, “Why am I not playing skyward sword? I was majorly anticipating this?” Before release it seemed to me like they had seriously opened up the game, they added a sprint option, you could sprint up walls, you could finally slash using the Wiimote and not just as a replacement for the A button. You had a realtime weapon switch menu, you had a real outlet for all those rupees you’re constantly collecting in the form of upgrades and shield durability.
I didn’t get why I was only playing it for short periods of time and got tired of it so quickly. One of my chairs is still leaned over from the way I used to sit in it more to the left side while playing a lot of the slower paced games I used to play, including twilight princess. It was like a chore that I was waiting to be over with.
I read this piece by Tevis Thompson roughly when it was originally published: http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/ I thought it was ridiculous at the time, how could you say Zelda’s bad? However it planted the idea, and as I continued to play, I saw a strong parallel between the lock-and-key design and generally everything in zelda. Zelda doesn’t tend to provide you with anything like Beowolf in DMC3, you don’t get a new weapon like a dark souls zweihander. When you get a new item in a Zelda game, it is good for this one specific thing. When you see the hookshot symbol, that is the place you can hookshot. When you see a pile of sand, you can use the gust jar there. When you see an eye, shoot it with an arrow. It’s not a question of what’s your playstyle? What items do you prefer? What is this item good at doing versus other items? Nothing overlaps at all. Sure, everything has its own niche relative to everything else, but things have no interaction between each other, things have no multiple uses, and they do not allow you to obtain varied results through the application of skill or in differences of context.
Of course, when going back through Tevis Thompson’s work, I found he was really really pretentious. He intentionally uses descriptive adjectives or onomatopoeia in the place of describing things because he thinks it’s stylistic instead of annoying. Beside the point.
Skyward sword is probably the most rote and formulaic zelda ever made. It’s filled to the goddamn brim with tons and tons and tons of things that take away your control to tell you this unnecessary thing. Even the stamina system is limited by running out quickly and essentially forcing you on narrow paths to pick up regenerating fruits.
Watch this shit, look at HOW MANY GODDAMN CUTSCENES PLAY EVERY 5 MINUTES. I question how long this would be without the cutscenes. And that “secret” tune that plays so often it’s practically patronizing.