When we left
our heroes in our last hands-on preview, Zelda had just been kidnapped by a
tornado monster and Link was suiting up to leave Skyloft and venture down to
the surface world to find her. Equipped with the sail cloth – an item that
allows Link to survive a fall from any height – plus the Goddess Sword, wooden
shield and a potion (just in case), we set out through the break in the cloud
barrier to see what secrets lie below.
It's fair to
assume that the surface is much bigger place than Link's home in the clouds,
but thankfully our mysterious companion Fi (who talks in probabilities and statistics like a computer, by the way) steps
in to tell Link about dowsing, a concept Pokemon fans should be familiar with. With an indicator of which way he should go, Link sets off into Faron
Above: Link can search for Zelda (and Kikwis) by dowsing
introduced to the adorable forest people known as Kikwis, and their leader (the big guy pictured above)
tasks Link with his first real quest – to find a number of his missing kin and
make sure they're safe from the monsters that have been terrorizing their
verdant home. Luckily, we can use our dowsing powers to find the Kikwi too, so we
soon track each of them down through the forest's labyrinthine terrain.
encounter some of the forest's more hostile inhabitants, one thing becomes
incredibly clear – the "Wii waggle" doesn't work here. It took awhile
to break ourselves of the automatic spastic response, but the Goddess Sword is
best wielded with deliberate movements. The Wii MotionPlus controls work well,
and many enemies can only be defeated by specific sword movements – you have to
look for visual cues in the enemies stance/appearance to know how to strike. If
you waggle, chances are the random movement Link makes won't be the correct one
you need to take down your enemy.
Above: To do any damage, you must
slice in the direction the Deku Baba's mouth opens
And lo! What
do we find in the heart of the woods? Why, a temple, of course! We played
through a portion of Skyview Temple during Skyward Sword's Comic-Con demo, but
this time we got to play through the whole thing from start to finish. It's not
a huge dungeon (it is the first one in the game, after all), but it does
feature its fair share of Zelda-style puzzles, including plenty of switch
hitting and even some raising and lowering of water levels.
heading in though, we use the goddess statue (goddess statue = save point) outside
the temple to return to Skyloft to rest and prepare. Link can
return to his home from any save point, and not only that, but he can then
teleport back down to any previously encountered save point too, making travel
around the surface quite easy.
highlights from Skyview Temple
spending more time with Link's new beetle item, we feel a little bit better
about the flying controls than we did during our previous demo. Sitting on a
sofa in a typical gaming configuration, the motion controls are much more manageable,
if still not our favorite thing ever. It helps that it's a multi-purpose item
too – you can use the beetle not only to hit switches, but also to explore
areas you can't see from the ground, and its pincers can clip Skullwalltula
We won't go
into all of the puzzle solutions here (that would be a bit spoilery, wouldn't
it?) but suffice it to say we eventually acquire the boss key and head through
the boss door for our first encounter with Ghirahim. Again, this is the same
boss fight from the demo we played at Comic-Con, and he's still just as tough – like a good Zelda boss, Ghirahim puts the skills you've learned to the test.
defeating Link's creepy antagonist (or at least, forcing his retreat), we've
played about eight hours into the game at this point. After a
full day playing Skyward Sword, we can't wait to play through the rest before
its November release.
Oct 7, 2011