The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is finally here and, after a pre-launch period that gave us plenty of insight into the differences between this shiny new remaster and its Wii predecessor, we now get the perfect opportunity to see exactly what has been changed. , simplified, cut and added.
Over the past few weeks, Nintendo has been busy releasing videos showcasing various aspects of this remastered classic, clarifying certain new elements while remaining quirky about some of the other, game-changing additions.
So, now that we’ve had a long time playing the game and seeing for ourselves how things have rocked, let’s go ahead and see everything that changes in this revamped adventure.
Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch) vs Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) – What’s the difference?
Visuals and Framerate
Our original experience with Zelda: Skyward Sword in 2011, the Wii version of the game ran at 30fps with a resolution of just 480p. It’s still an adventure that looks lovely to behold due to its clever use of the dappled, dreamlike art style, but in this remaster things now look better than ever with visuals updated to full HD, sharp and clean. Character models and cutscenes look spectacular, Skyloft and The Surface are now virtually free of jagged pixelated edges and everything feels so, so much smoother to play with framerates doubling to a silky smooth 60fps.
We’re not big framerate nerds here, but it’s totally transformative to experience Zelda’s dungeons at 60fps. The combat, traversal and puzzles feel a lot better than the original and this instantly gives the game the next big addition.
Improved Gesture Control and all-new Button and Stick Control Scheme
We’re not sure exactly what’s been doing in the background or if it’s just a result of the increased framerate making everything about the game feel better, but for us, the motion controls now do their job exactly as we’d hoped. when this game was first released.
The motion controls now do their job exactly as we expected when the game was first released
During the time we spent playing through this one for review, we fought our way through multiple bosses and dungeons with movement control and didn’t experience the number of missed sword slashes or stabs that tend to happen back on the Wii. You’ll still need to recalibrate once in a while, quickly holding down your Joy-Con on the screen and pressing Y, but overall it’s a much more satisfying, responsive and immersive experience thanks to the increased framerate and enhanced motion control technology.
Of course, some people won’t have access to gesture controls for various reasons, you might be playing on Switch Lite, for example, and this is where the all-new control scheme comes in. When playing portable or using a pro controller, the game switches to a new button and stick scheme that sees you using the right stick to slash your sword. This may sound a little complicated but in practice, it provides almost the same level of accuracy as gesture control and we quickly became comfortable using this method while away from our TV. Probably not pretty good immersive is like swinging your Joy-con around the room as you face a boss, but this new way of playing Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is certainly a great alternative and a big win for accessibility.
If we had one problem with the new control settings, it was that the newly released in-game camera – which can be freely controlled by moving the right stick while using gesture controls – needed to be used here by holding down on the left bumper and then moving the right stick. It’s a compromise that has to be made, and we got used to it pretty quickly, but it just doesn’t feel free-flowing when you have to remember to hold down that bumper at all times. It can also make you swing your sword when you don’t mean to. Apart from these minor issues, the ability to move your camera freely around here is a truly transformative aspect of this HD remaster that makes things feel a lot more modern.
Yes, as seen from one of Nintendo’s sneak-peak videos, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD now has an autosave function that saves when you pass the Bird Statue without needing to stop and do it manually. It’s a small touch, of course, but another nifty little addition, in addition to the multiple storage slots, gives you more options for how you choose to record your progress.
Fi, Opening Tutorial, and Efficient Item Description. Skippable Cutscenes and Dialogue
We never thought much of Fi in the original Wii version but the choices Nintendo made here are undoubtedly the best in terms of how this revamped game flows. Fi has been streamlined, now keeping to itself throughout the game until you call in it for guidance, updates or objective hints, and the somewhat slow opening tutorial has had some dialogue cut or even skipped entirely, making the lead more zippier to the game’s flesh.
Additionally, all cutscenes and dialogue are now also skippable and, most importantly, items are only given a description the first time you pick them up. This may seem like the last little tweak but it’s pretty amazing how much better it feels to play Zelda without being stopped with a description at all times You take things.
Zelda and Loftwing amiibo
The last major addition to the game is a slightly controversial one. Picking up the official amiibo for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD gives you the ability to simply tap your NFC touch point to have a direct Link move from The Sky to The Surface and vice versa in-game.
It’s a big enough function to hide behind what’s essentially a £25 paywall — and one that fans are already pretty upset about — but, if you’re lucky enough to own this new Amiibo, it’s definitely another aspect of this HD. a remaster that improves the overall plot of Link’s latest adventure.
It looks like you’ve reached the end of this guide; why not head back to our Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD hub for more tips and help on the game?
There you will find tips on the pros and cons of motion control vs. analog stick controls, a list of the main differences between Skyward Sword on Switch and the original Wii, how to use the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo, where to find Merchant Moonlight and Thunder Dragon, and how to defeat each boss and minigame.
You’ll also find guides for all the heart piece locations, all the goddess cubes, and where to find every Gratitude Crystal, every upgrade treasure, every bug, and every potion recipe to fill your bottle.