i want to play skyward sword now
i was a little curious about it and i remember how these games work at least for a bit so i'm not so likely to get stuck for 40 minutes on something that's not supposed to even be particularly tricky. so i dove right in last sunday
i'm not sure i know anyone who likes this game much outside of TT, and i'm not sure anyone could've told me something that would've let me expect how i'd feel. at first the motion stuff kind of comes off as a weird series of minigames, which i was already fine with because i love warioware, but after getting more actions, adjusting better to the controls, and learning how to recognize situations quickly, it grows into something really special, and deeply suited to the series. of course the toolset has always been full of items with their own subtleties, but i really love the feeling of switching between these very different actions, which are all the more differentiated and unique because most of them use the controls so differently from each other, and mixing in little traversal actions with combat, the other item interaction with objects, and stuff like the beetle flying is a really satisfying mix that keeps the game fun to the end, even though it's a bit of a long one on the critical path. it feels active, adventurous, and ambitious, and while that's not to downplay the rest of the series, that sense is so potent here that i'm really enamored. but even outside of the initial discomfort this is a game that starts to ask a lot
of the player pretty quickly so i can easily see how it can be hard to get along with. i mostly wrote this paragraph before i finished tonight and the last bosses are pretty hard too, and particuarly really blow you up for mashing. kind of reminded me of sekiro of how much you can just totally defeat yourself if you start getting tilted and impatient
narratively the broad strokes turn into the standard zelda fare quicker than i was hoping, although it's not like the opening was super original
as much as sort of novel for the series. like a chill playstation 1/2 rpg, aside from that zelda starts out really
into link instead of it taking all game. and she's funny and charming in her own right before she...y'know, mostly disappears from the game. alas. the supporting cast this time is really good though, so that wins back a lot in my heart
still, i got pretty into this world's details and minor characters. the knight's academy has separate rooms with a big bath and a toilet. most everyone in skyloft lives with their parents (which highlights that...link doesn't have any. i know this is a given in zelda games but because of this focus it seems weirder than ever for no one to even bring it up). and the problems you solve for them in sidequests are mostly mundane, and people you talk to have no idea what's actually going on outside of skyloft or the places a few of them travel, so those aspects only get whimsical and interact with the surface stuff when you have to do a bunch of platforming to dive into a bird's nest or something. i find that pretty charming, and coming off of botw and elden ring it feels really human
the final round of stuff feels a bit drawn out, and especially because the game's structure makes it easy to cause yourself to fight the imprisoned twice within, like, the same hour, with one of the game's most frustrating boss fights in between
, it comes off really weird, even though there's still a couple really fun moments in that last leg. the middle trio of dungeons and areas is really good, though, in every way. obviously cistern is the big standout, with a lot of great moments and a nicely built up (and referential) narrative punch at the end, but i ended up really impressed with the ship too because fi's hint is the same the whole time after you defeat the midboss yet was somehow so elegantly worded that it helped me unblock my brain twice
without feeling like it gave the whole thing away either time. although the boss was also one of the game's most annoying. and the fire sanctuary didn't have the same kind of interlocking design as the rest of the game for the most part, which was kind of surprising but not bad, and with how satisfying each little section was to unspool one by one, it was also a real highlight
i think i found all the cubes, and solved a good chunk of the sidequests as well (i had 50 crystals at the end...). the game's best reveals that you don't have to come across to finish the game were realizing how to reach the crystal in zelda's room, which felt like the synthesis of like 3 other things that had slowly come together over the course of the game (and after which i also realized that if there's one character who has something for link in their dresser...
) and finding the sign on beedle's island, both of which felt like brilliant conclusions to really bizarre little mysteries which had puzzled me for virtually the whole game
i wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of the series (i mean, would it have taken me so long to play these two games, and twilight princess which i've still never touched but am waaaaaay more likely to somewhere down the line after this experience, if i was?) but i've often found myself pleasantly delighted by little surprises and/or the core feeling of the mechanics, so it's easy for me to walk away from them pretty satisfied even when i wouldn't call most of them anywhere near my favorite games. and this one is easily in contention for my favorite zelda right away, because i felt like it really killed it on both of those fronts. i basically haven't played anything else since i started it! i might seek out sidequests a bit more, but even if i don't i'm quite satisfied calling this one a wrap. great game.