Zero Punctuation: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

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Jailbird408:

Mr Somewhere:
Regarding the plot hole, when you open an area to explore, you clear the clouds above it...

...but the clouds are never opened until you insert the tablets. So for the milennia before Link was born, there was no sunlight at all. Unless the cloud barrier wasn't very thick...

We never saw that *shrugs*. Well, *spoilers* the one time we do see the past it was awful dark. *spoilers*

Hal10k:
The reason people criticize the series for feeling "samey" isn't that absolutely nothing changes. It's that, while the trappings of the story and the nature of the puzzles can vary, the actual underlying formula hasn't changed (at least in LttP-Spirit Tracks; I haven't played Skyward sword, so maybe it drastically reinvents this formula, I don't know). Link is always a person of little notoriety in the world who travels through an abbreviated version of a Hero's Journey story. He sets of on his quest at the behest of Princess Zelda, who is placed in some sort of peril in the first or second act. His eventual goal is always to purge the land of some vaguely evil entity, who can only be accessed by going through dungeons full of arbitrary puzzles and defeating a boss creature at the end that provides something necessary to beating the bad guy.

But having a formula isn't necessarily bad for a series. After all, the Elder Scrolls have used their own formula for some time now (Prisoner inadvertently becomes instrumental to a larger conflict under the supervision of superiors who are oddly content with letting him wander the countryside for months at a time). What makes the series feel samey is the more specific, negative recurring elements. The dungeons almost never make objective sense; they're always laid out in a manner obviously designed to facilitate the Zelda formula, and it's rare for the designers to actually try to disguise this. The series refuses to use voice acting outside of grunts and screams, even though Nintendo has more money than god and could give every character in the game a Dostoyevsky novel's worth of dialogue for 1% of the game's budget. The series always gives Link a supporting character who always hangs around either stating the obvious or saying the things Link is too mute to say himself. It's things like these that makes the underlying formula of the series more obvious to people who have played multiple games. Ergo, the games feel "samey".

Okay this I can agree with. I am even okay with the designated questing area stuff in Yatzhee's review. That's sensible and a bit of my own complaint. Besides we already have a five out of five review on the Escapist that's, in my opinion, more valid. This one is a deliberate hatchet job of flaws over traits, and he effectively admits it. The whole Beta for the next is also a valid criticism on the Zelda design scheme we have the basic outline for a great game but that outline isn't utilized for a seemless and expansive unique thing and worse the series does have instances of sidestepping complexity (Wind Waker)

An honest question of breaking genuinely free feels.. well honest.

But as for "the controls don't work." Don't worry. One that's bullshit, I'm pretty much after Other M utterly resigned to ignore gaming press on control evaluation ESPECIALLY if I sense the twinges of phantom pain from lost hot keys and mice.

Two. My counter-evidence..

Mr Somewhere:

Jailbird408:

Mr Somewhere:
Regarding the plot hole, when you open an area to explore, you clear the clouds above it...

...but the clouds are never opened until you insert the tablets. So for the milennia before Link was born, there was no sunlight at all. Unless the cloud barrier wasn't very thick...

We never saw that *shrugs*. Well, *spoilers* the one time we do see the past it was awful dark. *spoilers*

Sorry, didn't read the post right. They're clouds, there would still be light. I think we've all seen an overcast day, there's still light.

I don't understand the hate for this game. It's not the best game ever in the world but it is a competent Zelda game.
The only thing that irked me was the upgrade system rather than the doing their usual thing of making them as rewards for mini games and suchlike.
I think its about a million times better than Twilight Princess.
And for the record I LIKE the zelda formula... it's fun.

It tickled me that they made fun of their own tropes ie. Link being late because he has messed around doing side stuff and the fact that you cat break everyones stuff without them shouting at you. It was a funny addition.

Also voice acting = less content.

This is why I like reviews like Yahtzee that don't have a numerical score. I like Skyward Sword and based on my personal experiences I would place it as the best Zelda I've played. However, that comes with a HUGE asterisk. First of all, I haven't played Majora's Mask or Wind Waker. Second, while I admit it's good I have a crapload of complaints (like how it's padded out the yang. Yes, it is over 40 hours long, but how much plot do you think is in that? How much could've been snipped without a whole lot of loss?). Can't exactly put a number on that without going "BUT I SWEAR I LIKED IT!" at the end. Third, while it hasn't aged very well, the Zelda formula isn't bad enough to the point where I'm (personally) sick of it or find it broken. Some people disagree, though I get where they're coming from.

Though I find it funny that 2 of the 3 Zelda games he reviewed included a reference to Okami, always in the context of how it "does Zelda" much better than Zelda itself does (which I agree whole-heartedly). Okami had a similar format to Zelda games (even without Wolf-Link, which I believe was a coincidence and nothing more *cough*), but damn did it hide it better. It wasn't so much "go here and get the sacred flame to prove your worth, now do that 2 more times in the other temples" as it was something fresher and more plot relevant like "steal the kid's key to the temple to save his dog and teach him a lesson in bravery" or "avenge the death of your ladyfriend and bring peace to the coast". Dungeons weren't really treated as (Zelda) dungeons in the game. Just..areas. It blended with the plot and had so much more meaningful context. Skyward Sword felt like it hid some of the similarities at first and then stopped trying after a while. Then it threw up it's arms and went "Screw it, let's make the kiddies collect the tears of light like they did in Twilight Princess WITH the same images but make it more annoying". Kind of makes me want him to go on another release drought and say a little something on Okami. Even if he doesn't worship it or place it on his "Best Gamez Evarr" list, I am interested on his take. Perhaps a potential Extra Punctuation article.

Okami also recycled bosses too, but I was SOOOO frustrated when I faced The Imprisoned TWICE in the same sitting. BLOODY HELL! And it wasn't a particularly long sitting. Just a few hours. I started the game when I was going to face him, and then about 3/4 through I had to do it again!

Wow, I really came down on SS/Zelda hard here. I SWEAR I LIKED THE GAME!

...wait...

xXxJessicaxXx:
I don't understand the hate for this game. It's not the best game ever in the world but it is a competent Zelda game.

The only thing that irked me was the upgrade system rather than the doing their usual thing of making them as rewards for mini games and suchlike.

I think its about a million times better than Twilight Princess.

It's a Zelda game, give it a year, maybe two and people will regard it as a classic.

Lordofthesuplex:

Funny thing about the "opinions" excuse is that the door swings both ways. If I don't agree with it and think some of his complaints are bullshit, I have the right to call him out as such.

No... you have the right to ignore it and not watch the videos. Opinions are not facts that be proven and disproved, thus there is nothing to "Call him out" on.

Lordofthesuplex:

I at least expect Yahtzee to be fair and professional which he's forgotten how to do.

What Yahtzee are you talking about? The Yahtzee I've been watching for years has never been "fair and professional".

Lordofthesuplex:

I also expect him to point out flaws that actually exist instead of blaming his inept ability to work a Wiimote on the game and console instead. I've been playing Wii games since Day 1 and I can tell you right now I can name only one time Yahtzee's complaints about the motion control not being responsive are legit. (And even then he horribly exaggerates it)

Maybe yours works better than his. Have you played on his console? With his remote? How do you know it's perfect?

Lordofthesuplex:

So yeah, don't give me this whole "he's a critic" bullshit. Critics have credibility. Yahtzee has little.

Actually, no... critics do not need "credibility" to be critics. They need nothing more than their opinion, and someone to listen to it.

Darmani:

Besides we already have a five out of five review on the Escapist that's, in my opinion, more valid. This one is a deliberate hatchet job of flaws over traits, and he effectively admits it.

A) Opinions can't be valid, only facts can be valid.

B) With a comment like "It's the worse Zelda game" I don't think he's just nick picking at flaws. I think he genuinely feels it's a poor game that, if forced, he would give a 1/5. (Numbers picked at random to express point)

Yahtzee bashing a wii game..........didnt see that coming......at all........pure shock........out of the blue...........good god!........fuck it

But I loved Skyward Sword ultimately, pure fun and challenging. Its the one game I fully enjoyed playing all year, and thats out of quite a big list.

Draconalis:

Darmani:

Besides we already have a five out of five review on the Escapist that's, in my opinion, more valid. This one is a deliberate hatchet job of flaws over traits, and he effectively admits it.

A) Opinions can't be valid, only facts can be valid.

B) With a comment like "It's the worse Zelda game" I don't think he's just nick picking at flaws. I think he genuinely feels it's a poor game that, if forced, he would give a 1/5. (Numbers picked at random to express point)

For someone who has played the Zelda games since the NES it's not the worst one by far. Twilight Princess is horrible as is Phantom Hourglass (oh god that tower of boring).

While I wasn't expecting him to like it by any standard I'd be intrigued as to how in the world he thinks phantom hourglass is better then skyward sword?

Why does my wardrobe make a guest appearance at 2:17?
I demand royalties!

Excellent review, say's everything you need to know about Zelda games, ever!

Oh and my wardrobe is still available for panto's, mall openings and bar mitzah's

Well, was not expecting that review.

Still doesn't change the fact I'm gonna be getting it for Christmas.

Just watched this and thought constantly. "THAAAAAAAAAAANK YOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!"

Hmmm, I actually think it is quite good.

Though it feels like they forgot some things like decent instrumentation and a fast forward button.

I'm actually sitting here wondering if he's been playing the same game as me....

It's really not that bad a game by any standard.

The irony is the "It's the same game" argument is more stale than the actual Zelda franchise.

Yahtzee: Oh, I see you have a Sacred Cow. What would happen if we put this flaming match to it. Hunh! What do you know? It burns quite nicely.

Internet: HEATHEN!! HERETIC!! KILL THE INFIDEL!! ANNIHILATE HIM!! RENT HIS BODY TO PIECES, CREMATE THE REMAINS, AND SCATTER HIS ASHES TO THE FOUR WINDS!!! DEEEEESTRROOOOY HIIIIIMMMM!

I can just imagine the venomous, blood-vessel exploding rage about the internet at the idea of someone giving severe criticism to a Zelda game.

The badger being my boy scout patrol's mascot (same patrol name all the way from cub scouts to eagle), I'd love to see a game that involves a badger that jumps out and mauls you every once and a while. The closest I've ever seen was the badger weapon from the Postal 3 trailer.

One thin gI don't like about these reviews is that I feel I have to acknowledge the bad points of games when he points them out.
I agree that it feels a little small & padded, but I still think it's really good, & not the worst Zelda.
For me, the Zelda formula still works perfectly, & the way this game detracted from it a bit made it seem a bit worse to me.

BiH-Kira:

trollpwner:

BiH-Kira:
SNIP

Same for you. Why put yourself through it if you don't enjoy it?

Because I actually enjoy Yahtzee. (90% of the times or even more often).

I just hate it when he completely forgets that he does have a bigger impact on the community and starts being a complete hypocrite.

He does point out to flaws of the games, he does have good points, but in some cases (like this one), he just sounds dumb (I know he isn't dumb, I say he SOUNDS). He says how all developers do nothing but make the same gray/brown shooter. Then there comes Nintendo, make a really nice game which isn't bad and he stomps it into ground.

Yes, people's tastes differ from each other, but this isn't a different taste. This is someone who intentionally ignores all the good parts of the game and tries to make it sound as bad as possible. Skyward Sword isn't maybe the best Zelda game. I'm not saying it's the best, nor the worst. All I'm saying is that he should be a critic and not a biased, Nintendo hating, 11yo CoD playing brat.

And it did not ruin my day like for the other guy.
I take nothing on the internet serious enough to have a bigger, negative impact on my day. A positive impact? Yes. Negative? Nope. I'm not gonna let something on the world wide web affect me in a negative way.

Me writing this isn't showing that I'm "hurt". It's just a discussion (some critic and some ranting because I have to much free time :P)

Panning Skyward Sword while also panning the COD clones isn't hypocrisy. If anything, it's perfectly in line with his previous opinions. He isn't against the COD clones specifically because they have a limited color palette, or because they limit the number of weapons the player can carry. Remember that he actually gave a fairly positive review to the original Modern Warfare, which established the current trend in shooters in the first place. He pans the clones because they're clones, e.g. variations upon the same story and gameplay with a few superficial changes that don't alter the core experience.

Hence the Zelda criticism. The Zelda games, whatever you might consider their individual merits to be, haven't changed the basic formula to the story since Link to the Past, haven't made any innovations in core gameplay since Orcarina of Time, and haven't made any strides in overworld navigation since Wind Waker. The setting, art style, and individual challenges might be different, but the underlying themes are all the same. Yahtzee criticizes the COD clones because they only make what he sees as superficial alterations to the same formula; Yahtzee criticizes Zelda games because they only make what he sees as superficial alterations to the same formula.

You wanna hear a funny story? I've never played a Zelda game in my life.

Well this is a new one: I've actually played the game Yahtzee reviews. I feel...perplexed.
Anyway, very much liked Skyward Sword, yet agree with his points. Great show!

Also "I found a plot hole. Nurse!", instantly a classic ZP quote :D

Sadly, this would have to be the first Zelda game which I lost interest in. Now, I've played every Zelda game to completion (CDi excluded, of cause), but I haven't even gone past the first temple.

The motion controls, while amusing at first, just got in the way of the story and general progression. Take example at the beginning where you jump off the statue. I had to try that 3 times before I got on target. Now, if that was just a normal controller (ie Gamecube Controller) I would have nailed it first time, since it is a interface people are use to.

Now, I will TRY and play it some more, but I find the control scheme a big entry barrier to the experience of the game.

Was that an Okami reference I saw there?

I think it was.

I'm taking this as a good sign.

"i found a plot hole, NURSE!" epic.

I must thank Yahtzee ever so much for this and revealing what every reviewer on the planet is too afraid to admit, that Skyward Sword is a total fucking disappointment but "christ it's the only game the Wii has so please don't take it away from us".
I honestly think Majora's Mask and Wind Waker are the best Zelda games. They're binary opposites in terms of gameplay mechanics and tone but they each attempt unique directions with the franchise and that at least is something. I find the players who abandoned Majora's Mask out of frustration or a lack of patience mildly humorous, they're missing out on some of the best moments in the franchise. Giving a video game an interesting approach? What a novel idea!
Even if Skyward Sword disgraces the franchise do we honestly think Wii owners wouldn't buy it?

Knew this was gonna be a negative review from the start. Yahtzee's biases are evident, and I encourage anyone to play the game yourself first to decide whether or not you like it. Don't take the words of a man who has repeatedly stated he dislikes Zelda and Wii games as the end word.

Motakikurushi:
I must thank Yahtzee ever so much for this and revealing what every reviewer on the planet is too afraid to admit, that Skyward Sword is a total fucking disappointment but "christ it's the only game the Wii has so please don't take it away from us".

Skyward Sword isn't the only game the Wii has. Consider Fragile Dreams, Madworld, Monster Hunter Tri, de Blob, Muramasa, Zack and Wiki, Sonic Colors, A Boy and His Blob, Deadly Creatures, House of the Dead: Overkill, Epic Mickey, Red Steel 2, Lost in Shadow, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor, Trauma Center: New Blood, Endless Ocean, Little King's Story, Boom Blox, No More Heroes, and the upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles.

geizr:
Yahtzee: Oh, I see you have a Sacred Cow. What would happen if we put this flaming match to it. Hunh! What do you know? It burns quite nicely.

Internet: HEATHEN!! HERETIC!! KILL THE INFIDEL!! ANNIHILATE HIM!! RENT HIS BODY TO PIECES, CREMATE THE REMAINS, AND SCATTER HIS ASHES TO THE FOUR WINDS!!! DEEEEESTRROOOOY HIIIIIMMMM!

I can just imagine the venomous, blood-vessel exploding rage about the internet at the idea of someone giving severe criticism to a Zelda game.

It's more that fact that the game isn't objectively bad. It's a good game. It's more that his opinion is confusing, than Zelda is some sort of shining example of gaming (which it isn't)

What's worse when some 'burns a sacred cow' or that someone is accused of being a frothing butthurt fanboy when they say 'hang on a minute its not THAT bad.'

itsmeyouidiot:

Trishbot:
I am still baffled that Zelda games, out of most games, get the most vitriol from critics and fans for being "too samey" when they're often the most fundamentally different games to exist. Skyward Sword has a totally new world, totally new art style, totally new story, totally new characters, totally new puzzles, totally new upgrade system, totally new world navigation, totally new bosses, totally new items, totally new monsters and races, and a totally new control system that no other video game has... and yet the same "it's too the same" card gets thrown out.

Skyward Sword, while not flawless, is still a more fresh and original game than, say... Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Saints Row 3, Dead Rising 2/Off the Record, Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Uncharted 3, and even Skyrim. Seriously, Skyrim is great, but it's just a better looking, better playing version of Oblivion/Morrowind/Daggerfall/Arena.[

You said it better than I ever could.

All you ignorant little shits, look at this post, and tell me you don't feel the weight of your own hypocrisy.

If you're going to hate on Nintendo because it's "cool," or whatever, be prepared to be called out on your own bullshit.

It is entirely possible for a game to feel the same without actually being the same. How the game functions at a basic level is still perpetuated through each game, and if someone didn't like it the first time, they won't like it the last time, regardless of how many weapons are new or how sweet the new art style looks.

Also, just because there are new weapons/items/characters added does not mean that much has changed. An annoying character is still an annoying character, regardless of what it looks like. Sure the personality is different, but it is still annoying.

Does the game looks the same? No. Anyone can see that. Does it feel the same? To some, that answer would be a resounding yes.

I gotta agree with Yahtzee. From the very beginning, I was underwhelmed with Skyward Sword. The TWO HOUR intro of painfully extended and unskippable cutscenes, slow and repetitive dialogue, dated graphics, physically irritating flight controls, trite and generic anime plot, poor camera control all just wore on me... and that was before I got to the surface! All of which just screamed "PADDING" to me. Once I got to the surface, Fi interrupting me with unskippable (or un-switch-offable) instruction bits had me pulling my hair out.

JESUS EFFING CHRIST I KNOW THAT GOING FORWARD WILL ADVANCE THE PLOT! YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL ME TO KEEP GOING IN THE ONLY DIRECTION I HAVEN'T BEEN YET!

There is only one conclusion: Nintendo thinks you're stupid.

And we must be... or some of us must be to give this game perfect scores. Famitsu gave this 40/40. Another Zelda game with a 40/40. I don't think they dare give one less at this point. IGN couldn't fellate this game any more. Gamespot dared to give it what it deserves: a 7.5/10. It's ok. It needs work. It's NOT perfect. It's pretty dull, padded out, the controls aren't very tight, etc. If someone who's less than five hours in can tell this much, you know something's wrong...

Then again, maybe spending a whole month and half playing Skyrim every day spoiled me into thinking all games can be that awe inspiring, open-ended, and enjoyable...

Oh, come on, you have to admit that judging ANYTHING based on Okami's standards isn't fair, let alone for Zelda. :D

Oh, come on, you have to admit that judging ANYTHING based on Okami's standards isn't fair, let alone for Zelda. :D

There do seem to be a lot of mixed opinions on Skyward Sword, its either an instant classic or decent but without playing it. I credit Nintendo for actually trying to do something interesting with the Wii's motion controls.

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