Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Catch-All

maverickz wrote:
Jasonofindy wrote:

I wish I had the patience to continue slogging through this. I started on launch day and just can't seem to push myself forward. It seemed like the game steadily improved up to the third dungeon which I quite liked. Since then it has returned to being a slog. I really didn't enjoy the fourth dungeon or the return of the

Spoiler:

shadow/twilight/dream sphere collection like they had in Twilight.

Between my lukewarm feelings towards both this title and the last couple of Metroid titles, I'm honestly thinking about actually skipping the launch of Wii-U and waiting until they unveil a Mario Galaxy-like experience or something that my kids really want.

This will be the first Nintendo home console launch that I've skipped since the SNES. This honestly makes me feel like a little part of me has died inside as Nintendo used to be the game company I could most rely on. I honestly don't know if I changed or if Nintendo has changed.

For what it's worth, there are some bosses that are really really cool. Might be worth playing just for them. Like the mechanical one.

Assuming the mechanical one you are referring to is the one that was at the end of dungeon #

Spoiler:

4- the egyptian themed boss with the pins holding on his arms,

I agree that it was a great boss. When I last played I had just finished the

Spoiler:

2nd spectral realm and was sailing around with the captain of the sand ship.

That made me miss playing the marimba and xylophone in high school. I really liked those instruments, dammit.

ccesarano wrote:

That made me miss playing the marimba and xylophone in high school. I really liked those instruments, dammit.

Me too. Marimba was my go to instrument when I wanted to play something video game related. It has such a fantastic sound.

So, I finally got around to playing this via Dolphin and the results are incredible. The game is incredibly gorgeous when upscaled and anti-aliased.

Here is a screenshot with the regular 480p image stretched to 1920x1080 (click on the image for the big one):

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/kVzOhl.jpg)

Here is the image upscaled and antialiased:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/neCk6l.jpg)

It's kind of blowing my mind at the moment. It's running great, although I did just encounter a crash and am gonna have to figure that out. Here are some more pretty images!

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/UVvOCl.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/W2MCsl.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/d3ZJcl.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/Dijg3l.jpg)

I'm seeing the difference, but it's not lifting my skirt, so to speak. Isn't it the case that the image is always upscaled to the LCD's native resolution; only in one case it's the crappy hardware and software in the display itself, and in the second case, done by a separate, more sophisticated, and more powerful machine?

I'd say those are an argument in favor of the Wii U. Nintendo has stunning art direction.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'd say those are an argument in favor of the Wii U. Nintendo has stunning art direction.

Yep. The art is the most amazing part of course. I can't stop taking screenshots during the incredibly directed cutscenes. I wouldn't be surprised if they released some sort of HD version for the Wii U.

LarryC wrote:

I'm seeing the difference, but it's not lifting my skirt, so to speak. Isn't it the case that the image is always upscaled to the LCD's native resolution; only in one case it's the crappy hardware and software in the display itself, and in the second case, done by a separate, more sophisticated, and more powerful machine?

You can scale a 640x480 image up using some creative math, some of which is more elaborate than a TV's microprocessors can handle; this is the domain of image interpolation, and it involves filling in the blanks between (that is to say, 'interpolating between') a set of coloured data points to create an approximation of what it would look like if you had more actual data points. The resulting image is a sort of mushy approximation.

Once the Wii dumps those pixels out, you're in image interpolation land; the signal you're working with has been transformed and clipped and down-sampled so many times that no math trick can yield significant improvement. But what an emulator like Dolphin does is increase the number of points sampled directly from the game's 3D environment. And while you cannot usually boost the resolution of the actual source textures on the game disc, you certainly can boost the resolution at which they are sampled after being stretched across the surface of resolution-independent polygons, lit using various resolution-independent shaders, layered beneath other semi-transparent polygons, etc.

So by removing one layer of degradation between your eyes and the stuff the artists drew (in this case the second most significant layer, behind the conversion of high-resolution hand-drawn art into images that will fit on a DVD/into a graphics card) you get cleaner edges as well as clearer textures.

So Dolphin doesn't upscale, it upsamples? That makes more sense. If Dolphin can do this, can the WiiU be made capable of the same?

It would be more accurate to say that it samples from a variety of more complete/robust information sources. The WiiU could in theory do this as well, but there are two big obstacles: One, the amount of computing power needed to render a 3D image increases exponentially with the resolution at which you render it (so the WiiU would need adequate hardware), and two, forcing the software to render in a different way (and on different hardware) can sometimes lead to weird crashes, so probably Nintendo would prefer to develop a thoroughly-tested 'HD' version of the game. (Plus, y'know, they can sell that version to people who already own the first.)

Consoles like the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 are in fact capable of emulating games from the previous console generation, but AFAIK each of these chooses not to try boosting the resolution at which the 3D is rendered because it's safer to keep everything as similar to the old system as possible; some games are better programmed than others, and the only people who have time or inclination to mess around trying to make old software work on new hardware for free are the hobbyists and open source developers working on things like Dolphin.

Pretty sure Nintendo has said the U won't upscale Wii games.

LarryC wrote:

So Dolphin doesn't upscale, it upsamples? That makes more sense. If Dolphin can do this, can the WiiU be made capable of the same?

I still don't think that's correct. It renders at higher resolutions. Again, the textures aren't upscaled or upsampled, as you can tell from the images that tuffalobuffalo posted. The textures look almost identical, but the edges are amazingly more sharp.

For example, if you load a PC game at 640x480 and then 1920x1080, you'll see an amazing difference. That might be a stretch, I don't know if you could go lower than 1024x768 these days, but even that should emphasize pretty emphatically the difference between resolutions.

Oh, and Dolphin can also add AA, which I'm pretty sure the Wii can't do at all.

I don't know if the Wii U will actually display Wii games at higher resolutions. I don't think the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3 play older games any better than the previous generation. I could be wrong... I don't own either, but I believe they look basically the same.

Edit: I think 4xis and shoptroll said it better than I did. Good job fellas

shoptroll wrote:

Pretty sure Nintendo has said the U won't upscale Wii games.

He's right. I wonder if it's a hardware-financial or a software-financial one. Upscaled wii games threaten wii u game sales.

Yeah, the textures really aren't enhanced. It's just very nice to have the edges crisp. Because of the impressionistic art style, it's almost nice to have the blurry textures. If you were going to render at a higher resolution and antialias, this is the game to do it with. the textures are still gorgeous because of the painterly quality.

Edit: And by my comment on how it would be cool if there was an HD version of Skyward Sword released I didn't mean an emulated, upscaled version like what I'm doing. I meant a complete reworking and native Wii U version similar to what was done with Ico/Shadow of the Colossus on PS3.

1Dgaf wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

Pretty sure Nintendo has said the U won't upscale Wii games.

He's right. I wonder if it's a hardware-financial or a software-financial one. Upscaled wii games threaten wii u game sales.

It's generally presented as a compatibility issue. Nintendo prefers to use hardware-based backward compatibility to ensure that 100% of its previous console's library is available to play on its new console. So the DS included GBA hardware, the 3DS includes DS hardware, and the Wii included GameCube hardware. Hardware-based backward compatibility rules out upscaling and other tricks that would make older games look better, or at least that's my understanding of it.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

And by my comment on how it would be cool if there was an HD version of Skyward Sword released I didn't mean an emulated, upscaled version like what I'm doing. I meant a complete reworking and native Wii U version similar to what was done with Ico/Shadow of the Colossus on PS3.

I would be shocked if the eShop isn't eventually stacked with HD rereleases of GameCube and Wii games. I know I'd shell out quite a bit of money for HD rereleases of Wind Waker and Super Mario Galaxy.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

And by my comment on how it would be cool if there was an HD version of Skyward Sword released I didn't mean an emulated, upscaled version like what I'm doing. I meant a complete reworking and native Wii U version similar to what was done with Ico/Shadow of the Colossus on PS3.

I would be shocked if the eShop isn't eventually stacked with HD rereleases of GameCube and Wii games. I know I'd shell out quite a bit of money for HD rereleases of Wind Waker and Super Mario Galaxy.

Well there's certainly a nice little bit of cash to pick up by doing those. I think they've had good sales with the DS/3DS ports of N64 titles, so that doesn't seem too unlikely. Bonus points if they make them playable on the 3DS as well.

EDIT: Even if this doesn't happen, I'm still betting on GameCube virtual console for the Wii U. Possibly Wii games as well.

Man I don't know if I can finish this game. I probably haven't played in 6 months but my kids asked so I dug it out. I figured I had to be pretty close to the end since I had like 35 + hours in the game. Then I am told I have to find the tri-force. Which requires going everywhere again - except slightly changed. I mean how many times do I have to do this? It feels like a huge chunk of the game was just put in to pad the game time.

Oh sweet crap. I just read through a walk through to see how close I was and I have to do another collect the sacred tears section? This game just keeps pushing the terrible parts over and over.

I think I am done with it.

Haha farley3k, I agree it does drag a bit... I definitely didn't feel the same exasperation with it though. Actually I only remember one or two of the sacred tears that got me stuck for a while. I think the last one I got through in one try. Of course... I didn't wait 6 months in between doing them

farley3k wrote:

I mean how many times do I have to do this?

Three times

I actually got bored enough of the same areas that I finally just traded it in without finishing it.

I finally am getting back to this game and have got past the point where I was when I played it on an actual Wii. I'm really enjoying it, but there's definitely a huge nostalgia element to my enjoyment of it. The environments and story are just really relaxing to me. My only complaint is that the controls are extremely sloppy. It can be really hard to get a sword swipe correct. The bug net is nearly impossible to use. I can't recall how well it worked with a Wii, but I"m guessing there are some issues with using a Wiimote and Dolphin.

At any rate, I'm gonna stick with it. I recently completed the Lanayru Mining Facility section and the bit at the Sealed Temple just after that.

Last night I made it to the part where you get through the gate of time and finally get the master sword. I've got a good handle on the Wii-mote combat issues and ways to deal with the problems at this point. All in all, it's still really fun and just scratches that Zelda itch that gets to me from time to time. It's the perfect blend of Ocarina of Time, Windwaker, and Twilight Princess in terms of story and art. The combat would be okay if it wasn't so buggy. I really wish they could go the Dark Souls route and just base the actual combat off of a similar model with a regular controller.

Finished. FINALLY!!! That took me 2 years. I have now completed pretty much every Zelda game except Adventure of Link (never liked that one), Majora's Mask (I actually played a lot of that, but I don't think I finished it), Spirit Track, and A Link Between Worlds. My gold 3DS XL is scheduled to arrive on Monday with A Link Between Worlds. So, here are some thoughts on Skyward Sword.

Liked:
-It's so pretty emulated and upscaled. I know a lot of you don't think it's necessary, but it really is. It looks like crap in 480p. It's gorgeous in 1080p, however. With supersampling there is pretty much zero aliasing unless the actual textures are aliased. It looks like a next generation game. It was essential to my enjoyment of the game. I couldn't stop taking screenshots during cutscenes. The framing was always perfect. Whoever did the cutscene direction did a fantastic job. They were easily some of the best and artistic cutscenes I've ever seen in a game.
-The story! It was fairly simple but touching and didn't get in the way of the normal Zelda adventuring.
-Scope. I liked the size and scope of the world. It was pretty easy to get around to wherever you wanted. Even though you go back to areas you've been, it generally gives you the chance to pick up some stuff you missed and get to the new areas that open up.
-Soundtrack. It's the best soundtrack of any Zelda game I've played. The full orchestra recordings are wonderful and fit into the world. I liked the new compositions as well as the arrangements of the old standards. It's also a huge soundtrack. There is an insane amount of music. I particularly liked the theme that shows up in the Lanayru Mining Facility.

Disliked:
-The control scheme was awful. It's a great idea, but it just does not work reliably. You constantly have to fight it, sync it up, and whatnot. During the last boss fight, after dying a couple times, I just looked up a walkthough. Having to fight the control scheme and the boss wasn't worth it to me and I probably saved myself an hour or two by cheating with a walkthrough. That is the only thing I cheated on if I recall correctly. I didn't use any quicksave emlulation features because it can break saves.
-The control scheme. Another thing is that it works okay with regular enemies once you get practiced. It's the boss battles that make you want to choke your Wii-mote, though. It's just really frustrating.
-There were a few emulation issues and bugs that you have to deal with. One is that I could never completely get rid of some occasional crackle in the audio, even with high audio emulation settings. There is an issue where it crashes going into the spirit world. You have to reload it emulating it with OpenGL settings just to get through the spirit sections. There was also an issue where you sink into the floor in areas with blowable dust/sand. You have to emulate with DirectX 9 instead of 11 to get through those areas. Lastly, there were probably some extra control issues introduced using a Wii-mote with Dolphin.
-No fishing mini-game? Boooooooo.

So yeah, I highly recommend playing it if you've avoided it and loved Ocarina of Time or Windwaker. I would only recommend playing it with Dolphin or waiting for an uprezzed Wii U version, though.

There is a full album of 45 screenshots in 1920x1080 here. Let me know what you think! There are spoilers, though, so don't check it if you plan on playing it to the end.

Here are a few of my favorite non-spoilery screenshots (click through for a full size image):

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/W03qC1Fl.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/ftBwaqcl.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/63hzOU2l.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/z6T47J7l.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/JfaB5Xyl.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/hQvInQTl.png)

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/jBd1zOdl.png)

So you did the whole thing via the Dolphin emulator? Those screenshots look pretty good.
Maybe I should try finishing Xenoblades. I might get further if I actually used it on PC. But actually I would have to start over. Bah.

Citizen86 wrote:

So you did the whole thing via the Dolphin emulator? Those screenshots look pretty good.
Maybe I should try finishing Xenoblades. I might get further if I actually used it on PC. But actually I would have to start over. Bah.

Yeah, I got about 1/3-1/2 through on my roommates Wii when it came out, but then he moved out. Starting over does kind of suck and there is no way to transfer the save.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:

So you did the whole thing via the Dolphin emulator? Those screenshots look pretty good.
Maybe I should try finishing Xenoblades. I might get further if I actually used it on PC. But actually I would have to start over. Bah.

Yeah, I got about 1/3-1/2 through on my roommates Wii when it came out, but then he moved out. Starting over does kind of suck and there is no way to transfer the save.

How do you get the Wiimote and nunchuck to work with the game? I actually have this game.

Balthezor wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:

So you did the whole thing via the Dolphin emulator? Those screenshots look pretty good.
Maybe I should try finishing Xenoblades. I might get further if I actually used it on PC. But actually I would have to start over. Bah.

Yeah, I got about 1/3-1/2 through on my roommates Wii when it came out, but then he moved out. Starting over does kind of suck and there is no way to transfer the save.

How do you get the Wiimote and nunchuck to work with the game? I actually have this game.

First you have to get a DVD drive that will read the game and allow you to rip it with rawdump. There is a list of compatible ones here. I bought one off of Ebay. You can also use an actual Wii with homebrew software on it to dump the disc. That will give you an ISO that works with Dolphin. The Wii mote will pair with your computer as long as you have a Bluetooth adapter. USB ones are cheap. Then you just need a USB or battery powered IR bar which are also dirt cheap on Amazon. Dolphin emulator info is here.

If anyone actually tries it and his issues, feel free to hit me up with questions. I ended up becoming pretty familiar with the process.

Thanks tuffalo. Which ones did you purchase on Amazon? Want to make sure I get the right one.

Balthezor wrote:

Thanks tuffalo. Which ones did you purchase on Amazon? Want to make sure I get the right one.

This'll work for the sensor bar just fine. I think mine was even cheaper (as in not well made). They take 4 AAA batteries and last a good while.

This is basically what I got for a bluetooth adapter. If your PC has one built in, though, you can use that.