The Legend of Blah Blah: Early Skyward Sword Impressions
30 Sep 2011 — by hinoseijin
Let me start at the top of Phil Kollar's article, where the second thing he mentions (the first being the general plot of the game) is the fact that Link's sword acts as a dowsing rod. I immediately loved this idea, especially as it reminds me a bit of the compass in Link's Awakening, except Fi, the female spirit who accompanies Link on his quest, will let Link know that other items are hidden in the area. And since the sword is used as the compass, treasure and boss locations will be automatically marked on the map when you find it. With the sword acting as the compass throughout the whole game, this also allowed the developers to treat the overworld as a dungeon itself.
This was revealed a long while back, but thanks to the Wii Motion Plus, bombs can either be thrown as usual or rolled along the ground. And I absolutely love this. On a related note, upon getting the bomb bag, Link can replenish his bomb supply by picking up bomb flowers, another excellent idea. Around this point in the article, Kollar reveals that not only can Link be caught on fire for a few seconds, but pulling out a bomb while he is on fire will automatically detonate the bomb. It's little details like this that puts a smile on my face.
One of the more frustrating aspects of the Zelda series is the fact that by the middle of the game, you've expanded Link's wallet as much as you can, and it is bursting with the max amount of rupees. This wouldn't be so bad if there was something worth buying, but there isn't. Well, Skyward Sword fixes this problem by adding an upgrade system. The demo Kollar was playing didn't include the system, but he was able to provide some information on the subject. Link can collect items upon defeating an enemy, and he can then use them to upgrade his items. It is still unsure exactly how item upgrades will work, but the example given in the article gave me a good laugh: the slingshot can be upgraded with a spread shot to hit larger groups of enemies. And if you're not clear on why that made me laugh, then just say "slingshot shotgun" out loud.
The final thing in Kollar's article that got me excited about Skyward Sword is actually in the middle of his article. He begins the segment by describing the new stamina meter, which determines how often Link can use special attacks or use new abilities, such as dashing up steep hills he can't normally climb, or dashing into walls to climb a short way up and grab onto a ledge. And while this is impressive in itself, what really tickled me was how Kollar described enemy interactions. While he's climbing a steep hill in segments, Kollar comes across bokoblins on ledges, and one of these bokoblins stomps on Link's hand while he's still hanging from a ledge. There's also a bokoblin with a horn that will summon more bokoblins until the horn-carrying bokoblin is defeated. These more intelligent enemies will undoubtedly add a fun new level of challenge to the Zelda series.
Just in case you haven't heard yet, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is set to be released on November 20. Recently, some of the members of The Desert Colossus forums have expressed interest in reviving TDC with new content concerning Skyward Sword when it's released (or any new content, for that matter); if you're interested in helping, then register an account with the forums and join the discussion.