News Article

Nintendo Delayed Skyward Sword To Get It Just Right

Posted by James Newton

The Nintendo way

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword spent five years in the works at Nintendo, but a recent Iwata Asks reveals the game could have seen the light of day last year.

Shigeru Miyamoto said it's feasible the game could have been released last Christmas, but that plan wouldn't have been the best move for its quality:

If we'd only been thinking about what was most convenient for the company when we made this new game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, we probably would have put a half-finished product on sale last Christmas by saying that we have managed to make it on time just because it was the order from the company.

Miyamoto and Nintendo president Satoru Iwata both felt that releasing the game before it was ready would have been a mad move, Miyamoto revealing the game went through six months of polishing to get it up to standard:

Because the game we were making was so huge, we needed to work that hard on it. Otherwise it would have felt like a waste. We spent so much time making a really good game and it came out so well that it would have been a waste not to make sure that it was really polished.

Miyamoto is known for saying that "a delayed game is eventually good, but a bad game is bad for ever", and while we doubt that's the case with Skyward Sword, considering the game's stellar scores — including a well-deserved 10/10 in our own The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword review — the extra delay paid off.

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (56)

rafaelluik

#2

rafaelluik said:

May I ask for those who have a Wii and the game if does it really look good?
On the Web the most images look like medium definition and aliased, maybe it's an impression.

As for the controls, I'm convinced Nintendo have done a good job! :)

ElFlorro

#3

ElFlorro said:

In fact all game developers shouldn't release their games until they are really ready. It's perfectly alright to wait for such a gem.

@rafaelluik: The game looks really good. It has a great art design & distinctive watercolor style to it. But don't expect HD in any way. The graphics are as good as they can get on Wii. But to be honest: Mario Galaxy 1+2 had more "special effects" like fur and gloss effects. But still this a amazing looking non-HD game ;)

Will-75

#4

Will-75 said:

This is truly an awesome, awesome game well deserving of all the 10 out of 10 its getting a masterpiece of a game.......

dizzy_boy

#5

dizzy_boy said:

i just wish that ethic would rub off on other devs. i`d rather wait a bit longer for a game to be made to high standards than have a game thats been rushed out.

NintyMan

#6

NintyMan said:

Nintendo isn't known for rushing half-baked games to market, but it's still pleasing to see how much Miyamoto and Nintendo care about the games they make. That's why I've come around to Kid Icarus: Uprising being delayed to early next year so that can be made to its full potential. Sakurai likely shares Miyamoto's belief too.

Link79

#7

Link79 said:

I'm loving this game so far!
Nintendo did a really good job making sure this wasn't the same old grind.
It has a really fresh exciting feel. The controls did take some getting used to but now I'm really enjoying it.

Well I could go on and on about it but I gotta get back to the game.

TKOWL

#10

TKOWL said:

Translated: "We already were finished awhile ago, but we just waited to release it over the holiday season."

GreenSpleen

#11

GreenSpleen said:

I started playing last night... about 4 hours in now. I can already tell how much epic fun its going to be...

eviLaTtenDant

#12

eviLaTtenDant said:

Guess Shiggy didn't have a say in NoE releasing Professor Layton and the Last Specter without London Life then ...

bonesy91

#13

bonesy91 said:

So glad they did this. They ended up with the perfect game. (my new personal favorite... sorry OOT.)

Yogsoggoth

#14

Yogsoggoth said:

Yet they didn't get it just right. The graphics are terrible (remind me of the N64) and are filled with jagged lines, pixilation, and bland textures. Worst is the almost complete lack of voice acting. What year is this again? Oh, right, Nintendo is always given a pass for not meeting industry standards. Well, they learned from the 3DS that they actually have to work in today's market, hopefully they will modernize their approach with the Wii U, if not, they are going to find themselves in a very bad place again.

Seems to me that Miyamoto is part of the problem. He is responsible for so much innovation, but I think he stuck in the past. That is exactly what playing Skyward Sword feels like - a great game that is stuck in the past.

Mandoble

#15

Mandoble said:

@rafaelluik, the graphics are exactly these that you can see in the screenshots and youtube vids, it is not your impression, is that they are this way (sadly).

zionich

#17

zionich said:

I'm on limited time with taking care of family stuff and work. What I have played I really enjoy. I'm finding that the sword swings have to be a smooth not to fast motion for it to register correctly.

Geonjaha

#18

Geonjaha said:

Every gaming company would say that they delayed a game to make it better. It makes them look dedicated and shows fans that they arent slow in game production. Not calling them liars of course, just saying how its no suprise.

sinalefa

#23

sinalefa said:

At Yogsoggoth

You only seem concerned about technical aspects, so nice to hear you don't have a single complaint about the gameplay.

I got this gem of a game today. The amount of care and personality given to the characters is amazing. They might not be realistic looking, but they do feel alive.

retro_player_22

#24

retro_player_22 said:

@ Yogsoggoth Hmmm... yeah exactly what year was it cuz last I remember Nintendo included all those features in Metroid: Other M and look how that turn out. You said Nintendo doesn't learn, well after Other M you bet that Nintendo did learn by not turning it into another Other M.

killer6370

#25

killer6370 said:

Who cares about graphics? i am not a Graphic junkie i dont care about those HD , i preffer play a game with poor graphics but fascinating gameplay and story than playin a game with the best graphics ever made but the wosrt and boring story like duke nukem or NFS shift ect

rafaelluik

#26

rafaelluik said:

@3. ElFlorro and 16. Mandoble, thanks for the info!
@17. bonesy91 hahaha!

Well, the game looks very good after all (we need to put into consideration the hardware limits too). And Zelda has a unique style, story and gameplay. ^^ It was very well done. @26. killer6370 I agree, I think there's a lot of war / FPS games out there that are just stupid.

Gamesake

#27

Gamesake said:

If only Iwata had delayed Skyward Sword for one more year, they could have worked even harder on it and added some voice acting. :( Skyward Sword was released too soon.

killer6370

#28

killer6370 said:

@28 Noway this would kill the game, i never really liked voice acting, Link never talked before and i dont want him too talk,to many bad memories thinking back at "well excuuuuusssse meeeeee princeeeees" nintendo charakters are great just the way they are like mario only saying 2-3 words and link making fighting noise and btw it has voice acting, Zelda sings the Ballad of the godess in Hylian and Phai also speaks Hylian when talking to link

Traxx

#29

Traxx said:

A year ago it wouldn't have looked THAT outdated at least. On second thought, we already had MH3, Mario Galaxy 2, oh and TP/Wind Waker back then...

Back to Xenoblade (with proper voice acting, appropriate visuals, immersive world, story and 100% button controls).

Ernest_The_Crab

#32

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@rafaelluik Well it does depend on what type of cables the game is using as well. I was a little worried when I played it at a demo kiosk (in Eaton Centre). When I actually played the game with my component cables though (at home), there was a very noticable difference (it looked A LOT better).

MakeMyBiscuit

#33

MakeMyBiscuit said:

Go Nintendo! That is why they produce the best games! I wish more companies would do this.

The Ferrari racing game comes to mind. There are no realistic racing games on the Wii worth mentioning. That game looks like it had the goods but it was rushed to market without the Wii Wheel controls tested and the game controls badly and suffered for it :(

Keep leading by example Nintendo!

killer6370

#34

killer6370 said:

btw did anyone notice that the ballad of the godess is just zeldas lullaby from ocarina of time played reverse? i love those easter eggs it sound like a fully new sound but also familiar for long time fans ^^

Ren

#35

Ren said:

With all of the vocal detractors on this game you can sense that they are people who have seen or played the game for a relatively short time and haven't actually played through it. There will never be a Wii game that can match the fidelity of any HD game from the 360 or PS3 but after really playing zelda:SS there is no question that it is really an incredible experience in terms of the feeling of connection to the drama and physical interaction throughout.
After I read some of the complaints of the naysayers I was afraid I would be bothered by the lack of complex textures and detailed environments, but much as I scrutinized it, it has still been one of the most engaging gaming experiences I have ever had (and I'm still not all the way through).
I'm more than ready for the WiiU, because it's really time for the detail of HD and bigger files, but I can't see how anyone could expect a better adventure experience than this. This game is pure adventure and adventure is not about graphic detail, it's about adventure. You need to be really jaded to actually play through it and not regard it as an instant classic. OOT has finally been bested and it was worth the wait. No amount of delay could have produced a better Wii processor, though, so if that's what you wanted then just stick with your PS-360 or actually play the game through and then troll the comments.

Traxx

#38

Traxx said:

@36: I'm a grown up peson with a job and family. If I invest about 20h into a game and it's still just plain and with padding, with no flavor and gameplay flow, that's reason enough to dislike it and go on. No credit roll after 10 hrs more will change the fact that this game does not grab me. Maybe Xenoblade spoild me because it does so many things so much better.

And stop bringing PS360 into play if you don't like people complaining about the poor graphics engine: I have no other console, just Wii and 3DS. I have no problem appreciating the visuals of SMG, MH3, even Xenoblade (and WW); SS on the other side has no art style to speak of and no useful post processing to improve the visuals. Even the distant blur still does not stop the pixilation.

Maybe with the Wii U Nintendo will realize powerful hardware is not just for the extra texture resolution, it actually can help providing bigger, more detailed, immersive worlds with less loading and better AI; in general: an improved gameplay experience.

Token_Girl

#40

Token_Girl said:

I'm fine with the delays. Zelda games that get massive delays get great reviews - see OoT! Wind Waker got rushed out, and we missed a dungeon. Glad we're back to the old ways.

arrmixer

#41

arrmixer said:

for all you "modern gamers" , except for a few exceptions, most of the games made in this "HD" generation are going to be just that "HD" games....

I'm not saying nintendo publishes classics all the time. This game however is a game I would definitely play 10 years from now just like I played OOT again when it was released on the virtual console.

If all you care about is graphics, get yourself an i5 pc with a good graphics card and call it a day... :)

MeloMan

#42

MeloMan said:

That's why I'm not bothered much by delays... if it's a delay for the sake a quality, then I don't mind, it just gives me more time to play current and other titles I've been meaning to play.

JGMR

#43

JGMR said:

It's easily the most amazing looking Zelda, and maybe even the best Zelda of all-time... And I must say that the game is not that difficult, when you're using logic you can walk through the game quite easily. But what a journey!

retro_player_22

#44

retro_player_22 said:

@ Ren

Actually there are a lot of Wii games that outmatch a lot of PS3/Xbox 360 games. Though not by spec but by completeness, a lot of the HD games were rush to market and had to rely on DLC to keep it going, on Wii almost all the games were full game meaning once you bought it, everything you bought are everything you get, no hidden fee for unlocking stuff.

rafaelluik

#45

rafaelluik said:

@33. TheSolarKnight Remember they had signal interferences on the E3...? That must have been the case, and they may made it better on later development also.

Infernapeking

#46

Infernapeking said:

Kid Icarus Uprising is gonna be great epic then same reason why Super Smash Bros Brawl was awesome after it release. Nintendo knows how to develop games and give us games that doesn't have too much glitches, errors, or bugs. Like those third parties games on ps360 are rush games. Skyrim right now is getting a patch.

Popyman

#47

Popyman said:

I'd love to see what it looked like this time last year. Or any of Nintendo's games, really. They always delay their stuff so I think it would be cool to see the difference their delays actually have on the games. I mean, is it stuff that any of us would even notice? It could be really minor things that they are just OCD about.

SLiM

#48

SLiM said:

Good move on the delay. Loving all the items I have picked up so far. They have come up with a lot of clever puzzles, and great ways for using the Wii Motion Plus.

motang

#49

motang said:

5 years between console Zelda games is a bit long. Hopefully the Wii U one will come out before 2016.

Dodger

#50

Dodger said:

@Motang I'm willing to wait until 2016 if it can top Skyward Sword. Not counting handheld Zelda games, there was a long wait in between A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are all good games but none of them come close to being the best Zelda ever. We waited 5 years for Skyward Sword and I think it has topped OoT.

But waiting is hard. I want Smash Bros. 3D now, not in 3 to 5 years. D:

t-money

#51

t-money said:

This is a beautiful game. It looks cheesy at first, but once you get sucked in the gorgeous environments jump out at you. I only finished one temple of SS, and so far OOT seems to be better in terms of gameplay (I just played OOT in anticipation of this release). After I finish SS I'm going to buy an Xbox. I don't feel like waiting around for Nintendo to release the Wii U. Who knows when it will be out. The situation is not helped by the fact that they are holding back their best games from North America.

rjejr

#52

rjejr said:

This game is a lullaby. If you don't like lullaby's you're not going to like this game no matter when it came out or what the graphics look like. It was really slow and horrible looking the first 2 hours but now I'm 10 hours in and I've forgotten all about the graphics and the slow beginning and that nobody talks so I read everything (probably helps that I just played Paper Mario) and I can finally just relax and enjoy the game. For all the motion controls it's still a relaxing enjoyable experience. When I think about it I do wish it was HD w/ voice acting but when I'm playing it I'm just playing it so that's what I take away from it.

Eclipse_Dj

#53

Eclipse_Dj said:

This is one thing that concerns me about the imminent Wii U and inevitable step-down or retirement of Miyamoto in the coming years. Will Nintendo begin conforming with 'industry standard' as some have asked by releasing games on their dead line dates and then 'patching' bugs/glitches like most current games? Wouldn't you rather play through a game from start to finish as it is intended? I am glad SS was delayed, though I'm sure it would have made better financial sense to get such a huge title out last winter.

My views on voice acting are mixed really, I am enjoying Skyward Sword and believe it certainly has some of the best cut-scenes of any Zelda game to date, conveying true emotions and feeling - yet I find myself thinking, "would this experience be improved by voice acting?" As I sit reading line after line of text, I question whether it detracts or breaks the cinematic feel this game is striving to achieve. Personally I'd like to see voice acting brought in to the next Zelda title, but as an optional preference to keep everyone happy. When you start your quest you can choose whether to turn the voice acting off and simply read the subtitles in a 'classic' mode.

My one bug-bear with Zelda: SS is the constant image of the Wiimote on screen, a few different hud options would have been nice. I love the art style, but agree it fails to really impress to the same standard as SMG 1 and 2 or Xenoblade have.

HylianYoda

#54

HylianYoda said:

@Eclipse_Dj - there are multiple HUD options. In fact, at one point in the game (I believe shortly before descending to Faron Woods), Fi interrupts you and tells you that if you've gotten the hang of the controls you can optionally change the HUD to be less intrusive. You do this on the Gear screen, there's a button that says "Interface" that you can click on with the A button. The "Pro" interface eliminates almost the entire HUD, and there's a Limited interface that at least eliminates the outline of the Wii remote from screen.

@t-money - You're somewhat right. Ocarina, as I recall, had over a dozen dungeons, and they were, for the most part, much more expansive than the dungeons presented in Skyward Sword. There were way too many "collection quests" built into the main quest of SS - particularly annoying was the quest for the Water Dragon's part of the song and looking for the little tadpoles. I'd have liked to have seen more dungeons, more epic boss battles. That all being said, though, the motion controls, new items and innovations added to this game certainly make it worthwhile. Particularly, making fighting less button-mashing and actually provoking thought about which direction I'd swing my sword in was a killer aspect of the game. I'd love it if at some point they "modernized" Ocarina onto the Skyward Sword game engine, replaced the bad guys with ones requiring some of these strategies for fighting... it'd be pretty epic.

Urbanhispanic

#56

Urbanhispanic said:

Well if they delayed it for these reasons, then it was the right move. It's the last Zelda game for the Wii and further proves that it still has some fight left in it before the Wii U makes it debut.

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