|The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword|
|International Release Date(s)|| November 18, 2011 EU|
November 20, 2011NA
November 23, 2011JP
November 24, 2011AU
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword takes place before Ocarina of Time, and tells the story of Link, a resident of Skyloft, who travels below the clouds to Hyrule to defeat the evil forces that have taken hold over the land. Along the way he will search for a dear friend, who has long since been considered lost.
Skyward Sword incorporates a fresh art style that really makes the enemies and the environment seem much more "alive" than in previous games. Though it is not quite as bold as the cel-shading techniques used for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Skyward Sword's impressionistic cel-shaded design is somewhat darker, in the sense that the characters and enemies retain their mature designs from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
In addition to a new look, Skyward Sword also makes some changes to the gameplay that remains at the core of the series. Thanks to the Wii MotionPlus attachment, Link's sword arm (which is sadly limited to being his right hand) now follows the pattern of the player more precisely, meaning players won't have to worry about non-responsive motion controls in the heat of combat. Link also has a few new tricks up his sleeve, including some new sword moves: the return of the sword beam, and the ability to run by holding down the A button. Mind you, arbitrary actions such as sprinting and climbing will drain Link's stamina (displayed as a small circular meter), which he can restore by walking or standing still for a brief moment.
The inventory/menu system has also been overhauled. Instead of being forced to toggle through a bunch of cumbersome menu screens, players now must only press the B button to bring up the menu in real-time. The new menu design allows players to change weapons on the fly, all without pausing or stopping the action temporarily while they shuffle through a menu.
Link will now be able to Dowse for his friends by using the Goddess Sword, given to him by the Goddess to complete his journey. This ability can be triggered by pushing C on the nunchuck and will allow Link to see in what direction the person or object to which he is searching for is. This ability is essential when searching for the missing Zelda.
In addition to this, after completing the main quest, you will be asked if you wish to continue into Hero Mode on the same save file. Hero Mode is a second quest of sorts, although no changed are made to the dungeons or the overworld themselves. Hero Mode is similar to the normal quest, although there are difficulty boosts such as:
- Link receives double the damage from any hit.
- There are no hearts or heart flowers, giving the player a heavier reliance on potions, fairies, and places to sit.
- Only a Heart Medal will make hearts and heart flowers reappear, although enemies still have a low chance of giving hearts upon death.
- Your Skyward Strike will be charged much quicker, as if you had the Master Sword in the first quest.
- Many NPCs acknowledge that you are playing in Hero Mode, allowing you to skip through previously necessary dialogue.
- You can now skip cutscenes by pressing 2.
- Princess Zelda
- Goddess Sword / Fi
- Servant of the Goddess