Next month the latest Legend of Zelda game, dubbed "Skyward Sword" is going to be released for the Wii. This entry in the Zelda franchise is receiving an odd lack of hype or excitement about the game. There are a number of reasons for that - this is another Zelda game being released in the twilight of the Wii's console cycle; smash-hit shooters and other American properties have continually dominated the market, especially in the Holiday season -- add in the disenchantment some gamers have felt towards the Wii and it's lack of hardcore gaming titles, and the fact this entry is HEAVILY motion controlled --- there are just a lot of reasons all grouping together all at once. It didn't help matters when Skyward Sword was first demoed by Miyamoto - and we witnessed a less than stellar first-peek at an unfinished game; instantly making us fear this could become another overly-motion sensitive game with unresponsive or sloppy controls.
There's just been a lot of negativity surrounding this game's release - with all the myriad of things that could go wrong for this entry in the franchise. I also think there might be wee bit of ambivilance towards the series in general since Wind Waker. When everyone first saw this game demoed, it worried people to see a more brighter color pallet, similar to Wind Waker.
Yet now that the game is nearing release, with footage being previewed, I think this might prove to be one of the best Zelda games yet. I myself was quite weary about picking up the title - seeing as I don't always enjoy motion control - but once I saw this trailer:
That trailer just brought the whole Zelda experience back for me. The art style simply looks incredible, and thus far all the features shown look like they are going to stand up to the test of scrutiny gamers are no doubt going to give the game. I'm not even worried about the motion control aspect, either -- seeing as it's using the Wii-Motion Plus (which is required to play the game), it just looks like all the various motion-sensitive features are going to turn out great.
The Motion Plus requirement was another reason I didn't immediately get on board for this title. I've gone this long not having gotten a game that needed that additional periferial, so having to get it for this one game seemed like an added burden.
When looking I found they had a Special Edition of the game - which comes with a Golden Wii Remote, with the Motion Plus already included inside of it. It costs $20 more than just getting the game itself - but I've frankly always needed a second Wii Remote. It does seem a little gimicky, the remote being painted Gold - but there is also the addition of a Music CD, giving us Zelda Music from throughout the series. (All copies, special or not, are getting the Music CD; but I think only with the first initial production run.) You can find the regular edition of the game here, and the Special Addition on sale here.
As for the story and the game itself - it looks like it's going to have enough of the traditional elements from a Zelda game we all like, but with fresh new takes on the format. The setting, placing Link and Zelda as childhood friends in a floating city in the sky seems very different -- but all the new things I keep hearing about the plot and game mechanics seem like it's going to all come together. Being set in the sky there is going to be Avatar-style flying, atop massive birds. The game may start in the clouds, but soon goes down to the surface. Being focused on sword-play, the story is going to have us see the creation of the Master Sword - instead of just finding it, like it in all the other games. Equipment is going to be upgraded through item collection.
Here are links to some other videos showing off the variety of new things to expect from the game.
Story; this trailer shows elements from the opening of the story, including some gameplay.
Tools and Combat; this trailer shows someone pyshically playing the game, demonstating the swordplay and the use of the Beetle Flyer tool.
Upgrade System; here they demonstrate elements of the upgrade system. You can also see what traveling between the surface and Skyloft is like.
Dowsing; where you use you're sword as divining rod, tracking down specific people or characters.
Skyview Temple; this shows parts of the first Temple you go into, and the new villain Ghirahim.
Tools; this is a Japanese trailer, though there's nothing needed to translate to understand it. It shows uses of various tools, including the bow and arrow, double hookshot, water-jug, and other things. (It also has another piece of music; as I know some of the trailers are just repeating the same tune.)
Hidden Melody; someone found a hidden song, snuck into the music of the trailer which you can hear if played backwards - Zelda's Lullaby theme from the Ocarina of Time.
While this game isn't coming out with a lot of hype behind it - I think it's going to prove to be an exceptional addition to the Zelda franchise.