Skyward Sword's "water color" art style was chosen because it makes the game better, says producer Eiji Aonuma.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword's cel-shaded look is about more than just looking pretty, says Aonuma, it's designed to help you play the game by showing off the exaggerated characteristics of the characters and enemies.
Skyward Sword uses the Wii Motion Plus to create a more detailed sword fighting system, and often enemies must be attacked in a specific way in order to defeat them. Aonuma said that this meant that how an enemy carried its weapon was very important, and that a less realistic art style was the best way to communicate this information.
"We thought that because we want to highlight the sword fighting combat, we have to exaggerate the features," he said. "You have to match the art style to how the game plays, and we thought this worked best. We matched the artwork so that we can highlight the over-exaggeration in the gameplay."
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is scheduled for release at some point in 2011.