Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Catch-All

ccesarano wrote:

I think more reviewers need to judge a game on its actual merit. If a "linear" experience can somehow grant me 60-70 hours of fun, then what the Hell is the problem?

I agree except they can't know what will grant you fun, only what grants them fun. So if being linear is a game ruiner for them then that's how it goes..

Jasonofindy wrote:

Looks like the embargo is over and the reviews have started rolling in. They look pretty positive across the board. Unfortunately, the internet is already being the internet and raging over the fact that Klepek over at Giant Bomb only gave the game an 80 (Gasp). Of course, he actually gave the gave a 4/5, and they don't do half stars. So 4/5 usually denotes that they quite liked a game, but simply weren't in love, and that is how the text of the review reads.

He's a great news guy, but I've never liked his reviews (or podcast appearances). I was pretty bummed when I discovered he was going to be doing reviews for Giant Bomb, especially for a game like this. As Minarchist alluded to, he's one that seems to go out of his way to find fault with Japanese titles and ignores those same faults in titles with Western influence.

Plus, if a large part of the game involves choosing what activity you want to do (hunting skulltulas/whatever, doing the plot, finding bottles), it isn't really 'linear' in the way most people think of the experience. Branching plotlines are not the be-all and end-all of game design, nor is allowing you to do the 8 dungeons in any order. Agency != multilinear endings, beginnings or middles.

Actually, I think Clockworkhouse has an excellent point here. Linearity is bad if part of your genre's allure is open design. A linear GTA would be a worse game than an open one.

But linear progression is kind of baked into an adventure design and concept. It's like faulting Street Fighter for not having a good plot and for being "repetitive" because all you do is do one on one fights all the time.

There are many instances in reading various reviews whether I seriously have to wonder whether the reviewer's trying to get a rise out of his audience by saying something that clueless, or if he or she really is just that clueless.

4xis.black wrote:

Plus, if a large part of the game involves choosing what activity you want to do (hunting skulltulas/whatever, doing the plot, finding bottles), it isn't really 'linear' in the way most people think of the experience. Branching plotlines are not the be-all and end-all of game design, nor is allowing you to do the 8 dungeons in any order. Agency != multilinear endings, beginnings or middles.

Completely agree with this. Deus Ex is incredibly linear from a plot / objective perspective, but you are given a lot of freedom in determining how you'll play the game. And that's one of the most well-regarded PC games made.

Been watching Karla play this for a bit. Love the art direction and animation in it. Shame it has to run on that ancient Wii hardware, but they do a good job of making you forget about the jaggies after a while.

I'm a little disappointed that "good for a Wii game" is still such a persistent gamer meme, even at the turning of a new generation. I was sort of expecting more, I suppose.

A game does not need or require more hardware than what its vision calls for. Indeed far too many games on HD platforms sarifice artistic direction and inventiveness for higher resolution and fancier effects, all of which will look dated in a few years, at which point we're just left with a bad looking game.

I'm rather different, I suppose, in that graphical or control gimmiickry doesn't have a lot of hold on my interest. I liked Muramasa's graphics a good deal better than Batman's graphics or inFamous' graphics, because Muramasa is a perfect execution of its artistic vision, whereas both of the latter games were exercises in Uncanny Valley, and compromised or just plain bad graphical direction.

Fortunately, Nintendo games don't fall to this mistake. Super Mario Brothers 3 is still a great looking game, as is Wind Waker. Skyward Sword just seems to be a continuation of this too-rare practice.

It is, in other words, probably better to look 'good for the Wii' than to look bad for the 360, as virtually all games manage to do.

Completely in agreement with LarryC. Nintendo is usually really good with their art direction, and that's the thing you need for your game to look nice a few generations later.

If polycounts were all that mattered, people would've stopped playing WoW years ago.

Certis wrote:

but they do a good job of making you forget about the jaggies after a while.

Get a smaller tv or move the couch farther back

I think everyone is missing the big picture in Certis' post. His wife is already playing! /jealous

The Gametrailers review was surprisingly harsh. While it ended up at a 9.1 they certainly didn't seem to like the game much.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

I think everyone is missing the big picture in Certis' post. His wife is already playing! /jealous

HAX!!!!

Shennanigans!

At least I have Skyrim to swallow my soul until I play Skyward Sword...

Duoae wrote:
mrtomaytohead wrote:

I think everyone is missing the big picture in Certis' post. His wife is already playing! /jealous

HAX!!!!

Shennanigans!

At least I have Skyrim to swallow my soul until I play Skyward Sword...

I was just realizing, this is the only new/upcoming catch-all thread I'm involved in currently as I'm either not interested or purposefully avoiding (Battlefield 3, Arkham City, Uncharted 3) all other threads for this fall's games. So I have no other game to occupy me, outside of the old stuff on my pile. Which has been great for pile clearing, but not so much for my involvement on the site.

farley3k wrote:

The Gametrailers review was surprisingly harsh. While it ended up at a 9.1 they certainly didn't seem to like the game much.

Eh, most of their negatives sound like positives to me. Less nonsense in favour of a more fleshed out world is more than worth it to me.

Fxeni wrote:
farley3k wrote:

The Gametrailers review was surprisingly harsh. While it ended up at a 9.1 they certainly didn't seem to like the game much.

Eh, most of their negatives sound like positives to me. Less nonsense in favour of a more fleshed out world is more than worth it to me.

It sounded like every time they knocked it, they followed up with how Nintendo still did something amazing. But I don't know if anyone will argue (ok, I know someone will) against the points of how some of the overall presentation may be found lacking on some points. From the town with 'only 20 inhabitants' to save points to any number of points that could be improved and brought to the next level instead of polishing the way they did it over 10 years ago, I've often felt Nintendo just refuses to believe that extra bit really could help.

mtomaytohead:

It's probably a sense of artistic direction rather than delusion. After all, the inhabitants of Borderlands' major town hubs number about that much as well, and you can only talk to less than 10 of those. Borderlands has save points, too, and some of those also involve trekking rather large distances.

Batman AC also uses a save point system.

As far as I can tell, it's a difference of expectation vs. intent. A lot of Western reviewers and many gamers keep wanting Zelda to be a playable movie along the lines of Uncharted. For my part, I'm just as happy that it's not; because to me, Uncharted is a towering example of everything I don't like about that approach to game design.

More than anything else, those complaints sounded to me a lot like commentary that Diablo 3 would have been a LOT better as a first person shooter, since it's clearly aiming for that ultimate realization.

LarryC wrote:

A lot of Western reviewers and many gamers keep wanting Zelda to be a playable movie along the lines of Uncharted. For my part, I'm just as happy that it's not; because to me, Uncharted is a towering example of everything I don't like about that approach to game design.

I think they've struck a nice balance of 'cinematic' moments in previous Zelda games, and I expect the same here. One aspect of this I really wish they would change is voice acting. I understand not wanting to give Link a voice, but I really wish they would have all the other roles fully voice acted.

Kosars wrote:
LarryC wrote:

A lot of Western reviewers and many gamers keep wanting Zelda to be a playable movie along the lines of Uncharted. For my part, I'm just as happy that it's not; because to me, Uncharted is a towering example of everything I don't like about that approach to game design.

I think they've struck a nice balance of 'cinematic' moments in previous Zelda games, and I expect the same here. One aspect of this I really wish they would change is voice acting. I understand not wanting to give Link a voice, but I really wish they would have all the other roles fully voice acted.

I feel like if they made all the other roles voice acted... it would just ruin the "way" that gamers know about Zelda games. I'd rather not they ever put voices in their games. Because really, it wouldn't feel right to me to add voices to any of the other "signature" archetypes we recognize in the series. It would feel weird.

IMO, rarely ever is the writing in a game good enough (and/or the voice acting interesting enough) that I will listen to it instead of scanning the subtitles and skipping past the delivery. There is something to be said for the stylistic abstraction that is text.

The only games wherein I enjoyed the conversations were ME series and DA2 (DAO was long winded as all get out). Also the few Japanese AVNs I've been privileged enough to play, but then again, both ME series and DA2 are kind of heading in that direction. Could be why I like them.

Dominic Knight wrote:

I feel like if they made all the other roles voice acted... it would just ruin the "way" that gamers know about Zelda games. I'd rather not they ever put voices in their games. Because really, it wouldn't feel right to me to add voices to any of the other "signature" archetypes we recognize in the series. It would feel weird.

I feel the same way as well. No voice isn't going to ruin a character or game like a poorly cast or bad voice actor

The day Link gets a whiny teenage anime male voice is the day many gamers will regret asking for it.

Just rechecked to make sure I didn't say I wanted voice acting. Good. For the record, I didn't, and don't want to see that, even if I implied it. However, sometimes the delivery of the dialog via the text and how it cuts was quite awkward in Twilight Princess, where someone would say something as the screen was moving, the screen would stop, and make it look like Link was busy just pondering away. It's more that when it comes to dialog I find is a bit lacking.

Larry, I'm still playing through Borderlands for the first time. I think what makes it not as bad is the fact that the whole game is supposed to be an abandoned wasteland, and the few that don't have real lines usually say at least 1 line every time you 'speak' to them. It's still not great, but it fits better than at a town like TP's Kakariko. Hyrule Castle town is much better, though, iirc. Granted, all the problems are there in Borderlands, and the save thing is only sorta save points (playing on PC), which may be similar in SS. Where you can typically save and quit anywhere, but it will always restart you back at the last town / major area. This is a huge annoyance for me right now, trying to make it through the General Knoxx DLC as it seems every time I make it down the insanely long road, I have to step away and so restart from the main town. DLC's are worse than the main game as they only have 1 point to spawn at (so far), but it's still a pain. At least they have death based respawn points usually quite close to areas you are likely to die at.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

Just rechecked to make sure I didn't say I wanted voice acting. Good. For the record, I didn't, and don't want to see that, even if I implied it. However, sometimes the delivery of the dialog via the text and how it cuts was quite awkward in Twilight Princess, where someone would say something as the screen was moving, the screen would stop, and make it look like Link was busy just pondering away. It's more that when it comes to dialog I find is a bit lacking.

This is a harder problem to solve than it might first appear. There are pretty much two ways to deliver dialog in a game: voice acting and text. Text has issues like you mentioned, primarily with pacing and getting the characters to act while they deliver their lines. You can get around that by switching to voice acting (which has issues of its own with delivery, localization, and lip synching) or by using text that auto-advances; however, auto-advancing text usually gets knocked for either being too fast or too slow, depending on the gamer's reading speed.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing voice acting added to the games for side characters (I also wouldn't mind the games staying text-based). I'm confident that Nintendo could spend the money to get decent voice actors, and they're certainly a company with resources to throw at localization. Since the cast of characters mostly changes from game to game, there aren't many iconic characters to screw up. Link doesn't say anything, which would make Zelda and Ganon the only tricky bits of casting. But they successfully voiced Samus Aran (even if you didn't like the story in Other M, you can at least acknowledge that the voice fit and was reasonably well-acted), so I'm not too concerned.

Zelda comic made by Penny Arcade, showcased by Nintendo.

One a week for 5 weeks...? Nintendo really knows how to build UP to release.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

One a week for 5 weeks...? Nintendo really knows how to build UP to release.

You're sure it's not one a day for 5 days? Game comes out in 5 days. Seems a bit odd for them to dribble out a page a week for a month after release.

EDIT: Also, very happy to see Nintendo tapping the PA guys for some promo work!

EDIT 2: Just checked Joystiq. Huh, it is a weekly thing. Weird.

Yeah straight from the horses' mouth:

The press release[/url]]NINTENDO JOINS FORCES WITH PENNY ARCADE TO CREATE ORIG. COMIC FOR THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD

Nov. 15, 2011

Nintendo has teamed up with the creative team from the popular Penny Arcade online comic strip to create a special comic in celebration of the Nov. 20 launch of The Legend of Zelda™: Skyward Sword for the Wii™ console.

Starting today, the first of five weekly comic panels will appear on http://www.zelda.com/skywardsword/comic. The comics include characters and themes from the new game, and are drawn in a style that combines the game's distinctive new look and Penny Arcade's signature style.

"I was 14 when I first played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past," said Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik. "That was 20 years ago, and today I am introducing my son to The Legend of Zelda. The opportunity to work with Nintendo to create a Zelda comic is not only an incredible honor, but quite literally a childhood dream come true."

EDIT: Gabe's post about it.

I've been thinking about Nintendo's releases lately, and they seem to be the only publisher/developer out there (with the possible exception of Blizzard) who doesn't work their release schedules, advertising, and launch to maximize first week sales. Most games sell the majority of their copies in the first week, but I think Nintendo recognizes that their games have long shelf lives and don't need as much up-front push to move units. I've seen far, far less advertising for Skyward Sword than for Skyrim and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, but I'm sure that it will not only sell well at release but will sell better than those games over time and retail at a higher price for longer. Nintendo seems to know that and so is less interested in building up to a single day or week for everyone to buy a copy of their new game than in giving the game jus a little bit of pomp and circumstance on its way out to sell over the long term.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've been thinking about Nintendo's releases lately, and they seem to be the only publisher/developer out there (with the possible exception of Blizzard) who doesn't work their release schedules, advertising, and launch to maximize first week sales. Most games sell the majority of their copies in the first week, but I think Nintendo recognizes that their games have long shelf lives and don't need as much up-front push to move units. I've seen far, far less advertising for Skyward Sword than for Skyrim and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, but I'm sure that it will not only sell well at release but will sell better than those games over time and retail at a higher price for longer. Nintendo seems to know that and so is less interested in building up to a single day or week for everyone to buy a copy of their new game than in giving the game jus a little bit of pomp and circumstance on its way out to sell over the long term.

That said, they're doing a big event on the 19th, the day before the rest of the US, at the Nintendo World Store in New York and letting people buy the game a day early, and giving out a poster along with it.

I'm not saying they don't do big events. It's more that they don't build up to a single, big climax for a day or week of sales that are expected to taper off quickly.