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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Hands-on

Earlier this monday, Nintendo revealed their latest Zelda title, named "Skyward Sword". The epic trailer made everyone think their dream has come true. Not long after that, the stage demo started. The controls weren’t responding correctly at all, and they said the wireless interference was the cause. This didn’t make fans any less worried that maybe the game wouldn’t ever work, being the first bad Zelda game ever.
 
Thankfully, Nintendo had the chance to redeem themselves at the end of the conference by showing demos of the game (more demo stations were available at the booth), proving that the controls are not broken. Not only that, they work great and are really easy to get used to.
 
The demo throws you in a forest region with your sword and some items. You walk with the analog, dash with the A button, check the map with +, open the potion pouch with – and the item pouch with B (pressing B uses the item). The rest is up to motion. Shake the Wiimote to draw your sword. Slash with your Wiimote as a sword and Link will slash just like you did, while shaking the nunchuck forward enters defensive stance (a second shake makes the shield bash). Holding the sword on the same position for a while will charge a ranged attack, while moving the Wiimote and Nunchuk in the same direction at the same time uses the spin attack. When locked-on, the A button allows you to jump to dodge.
 
After some time moving around the forest, slashing enemies and solving one single (and simple) puzzle, I met a giant scorpion. His claws would hide two eyes that, obviously, are his weakspot. He’d spin the claws around, and when he opened them before attacking, you have to hit the eye on the correct direction so the attack isn’t deflected by the claw. After some damaging, I managed to destroy both claws. The last spot is the scorpion’s eye, protected by armor. Before I had a chance to try out the items to see how to kill him (I managed to hit a really small spot with an arrow, but there’s probably an easier way), the timed demo ended.
 
Skyward Sword introduces two new items and a new way to use an old one. The first new item is the whip. depending on how you swing it, Link will swing it on a different direction. During the demo, the biggest utility was grabbing far away items and cutting a lot of grass at once, but it was still really fun to use. The second item is a beetle-like thing that you can send flying and control. It has the ability to grab items like bombs and throw it on enemies and stone walls. And the last item is bombs themselves. If you hold the Wiimote above your head and swing, you’ll throw it on the same way you’ve been throwing bombs in zelda games for years; if you press A, you’ll drop it; and if you hold it down before swinging, you’ll throw it like a bowling ball. All of them work really well and are really interesting, showing imense puzzle-solving potential.
 
If you somehow haven’t noticed, Skyward Sword mixed the artstyle from Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, creating an unique style. While it does look great, it’s obvious that it’s still an early build, as there’s still a lot of motion and textures that need fixing.
 
Skyward Sword is set for a 2011 release. Meanwhile, enjoy some gameplay footage.

Spends his days reporting on games, talking about games, thinking about games, watching videos about games and reading about games. So much so has little time to actually play any of them.