Skyward Sword's item menu is so apparently so good, it even impressed Shigeru Miyamoto.
There's a lot of new stuff in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There's a new setting and new items, but it seems that what's getting the bigwigs at Nintendo all excited right now is the game's new menu system, which Nintendo president Satoru Iwata describes as "revolutionary."
Like a lot of the best ideas, the new menu is very simple. Items are arranged in a circle and you select them by either tilting or pointing with the Wii-Mote. Hidemaro Fujibayashi said that once you knew the position of the items, it was possible to choose them quickly without having to look at the screen. He said that Shigeru Miyamoto was so happy with the system that the veteran developer actually doled out some praise, which Fujibayashi said had never happened before, at least not to him.
Fujibayashi wasn't the only person who heard kind words from Miyamoto about the system; he also talked to Iwata about it. "I think it was around the time you had just made that system, I remember very well that Miyamoto-san really bragged about it," Iwata said. "[Miyamoto] said, 'Once you get used to it, you can select items with unprecedented speed and without interrupting the flow of the game. It's quite unique.'"
It's probably worth adding a proviso for Iwata's comment and say that it's unique for a Zelda game; radial quick select menus have been popping up in videogames for years. Still, it's always positive to see a developer refining its interfaces, especially one with a reputation for making the same game over and over again.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comes out for Wii on November 20th.