News Article

Talking Point: Why Skyward Sword Sales Failed to Soar

Posted by James Newton

Sword blunted

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was one of the most anticipated Wii games ever. After years of teasing it finally launched in November 2011, and has so far racked up 3.52 million sales around the world, a decent performance over a five-month period. It's on par with Wii launch title Twilight Princess, which sold 3.27m units between December 2006 and 31st March 2007.

The obvious difference is Twilight Princess came at the start of the Wii's life, when motion control was fresh and new. Here we are, five years and 95 million consoles later, and Link's latest adventure only mustered an extra 250,000 sales. Clearly something went wrong, but what?

The biggest reason has to be that Skyward Sword just arrived too late. First hinted at back in 2009, the game was properly revealed at E3 2010 and eventually released in November 2011, five years into the Wii's life cycle. By this point, the Wii's audience had all but completely shifted across to the dance and fitness genres — arguably fulfilling a transition Nintendo started with Wii Fit — while fans of single-player adventures had to look elsewhere for their entertainment. You can count the number of quality solo-focused Wii games released in 2010 and 2011 on your fingers — maybe adding a toe depending on your feelings towards Metroid: Other M — and while Skyward Sword was pick of the bunch that's damning with faint praise (although we still love you, Xenoblade Chronicles). It's easy to understand if those who had been waiting for Zelda jumped ship to satisfy their single-player cravings, and it's impossible to tell how many of those 95m Wii consoles have been traded in, resold or simply left in cupboards, untouched.

Shigeru Miyamoto admitted Nintendo could have released an inferior Skyward Sword a year earlier, but that wouldn't have been the Nintendo way.

Wii hardware sales also played a big part in Skyward Sword's diminished impact — Twilight Princess had years of Wii hardware growth to attach to, whereas Skyward Sword has no such long-tail potential, barring an improbable second wind when Wii U comes out. By November 2011, Wii had lost practically all of its sales momentum: hardware sales fell nearly 35% against the previous year, and were more than 50% down on two years prior. The install base might have reached 95m, but falling hardware sales brings software sales down too: Wii game sales dropped from 171m to 102m year on year.

Some would point to the game's MotionPlus-exclusivity as a factor against its success, but with global Wii Sports Resort sales sitting at 30 million it's hard to argue there aren't enough MotionPlus-enabled controllers out there. Not to mention the fact every Wii sold since early 2010 came with either the add-on or Wii Remote Plus.

It's not all doom and gloom, though. Despite only launching in November, Skyward Sword was Nintendo's third biggest-selling Wii game of the past financial year, behind evergreen titles Mario Kart Wii on 5.4m and New Super Mario Bros. Wii on 4.3m. Compare this to previous years — NSMBWii sold a staggering 14.7m copies in its first financial year — and you can see the software slump affected Nintendo across the board, not just Zelda.

Shigeru Miyamoto admitted Nintendo could have released an inferior Skyward Sword a year earlier, but that wouldn't have been the Nintendo way. While the company sacrificed bigger sales to put out a better game, it wasn't prepared to do the same with 3DS, admitting it completed the big Christmas Mario games as an urgent matter to grow the 3DS userbase.

Ultimately, considering the hype and critical reaction around the game, Nintendo will likely be disappointed Skyward Sword didn't have a bigger sales impact, but Zelda has always been as much about prestige as sales — as the sixth highest-rated Wii game ever (according to Metacritic), it's unlikely Miyamoto and team are crying into their sleeves about its sales.

It's interesting that the Wii's first and arguably last Christmas both came with Zeldas: one an adapted GameCube game with passable motion controls, the other built for the console and a game arguably impossible on any other format. That the two share such similar sales perhaps suggests nothing more than Zelda games continue to sell to the same group of people, rather than any specific failure on Nintendo's part. Either way, Wii owners received two excellent Zeldas in one console generation — at the day's end, is that anything to complain about?

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User Comments (142)



Shotgunryugan said:

To be honest,aside from WindWaker this game was just so boring,there were so much unimportant stuff throw in,that by the end of the game,i didn't care about the generic final boss,heck Ghirahim was a far more interesting boss,exploring the sky was surprisingly boring(i was really excited for this),there were like 3 to 4 places besides the dungeons to go to,everything else was just for the treasure chests.

Another thing is "Fi" and all the obvious things she says,i mean come on Nintendo,i liked it at first,but she became rather annoying.

Although i will give Skyward Sword some credit,i loved the motion controls,i never had a problem with them and the Anniversary CD was great,Zelda didn't get captured in the first 5 minutes and was given more personality which is another bonus,but overall like i said earlier i was so bored by the end of the game that it just killed off all the excitement and the "hype" for the game,i didn't even bother with "Hero Mode".

A few weeks after that i bought "Metroid Other M" and "Sonic Colors",i enjoyed those much more,even though they were a lot shorter.

And sorry if i'm ranting,but i just had to say that and i hope for the future of Zelda games they stop being so slow.



Shiryu said:

Since I'm not a Nintendo stockholder, sales figures mean nothing to me except the possibility of Nintendo making a new one in the future. As a gamer, I gladly took the extra yeard of wait for the amazing experience that is "Skyward Sword". The so called "Nintendo Way" has served me well indeed in the past decades, so no complaints from me.



Slapshot said:

I honestly didn't realize that the game hadn't shifted more copies. I, for one, have yet to pick up Skyward Sword. I played through a few earlier Zelda titles on my 3DS earlier in the year and I burned myself out on the series. I'm taking a long break from it, and then I'm going to grab Skyward Sword when I'm in need of a fantastic Zelda fix.



ajcismo said:

I love the Zelda series the same way I love pizza, baseball, and Indiana Jones... Its comfort, and I'll always come back to it. Skyward Sword was great, but considering the effort Nintendo put on the Wii with "older" or "mature" gamers the last 2 years, especially here in the States, I'm almost surprised it sold over 3 million at all.
They hyped the hell out of it for months prior to release, showed off some year-end awards, and then said "look at all the goodies on the 3DS and Wii U we've got coming". If you didn't buy it before the holiday season, you probably wouldn't even know its out anymore. Meanwhile, Mario gets advertising for a game thats been out just as long as SS, and a new article or press release almost weekly, to the point of over-saturation.
I've played 2 games on my little white box this past year: Skyward and Xenoblade Chronicles, the latter being all that I do with my free time the last few weeks. The Wii is in ICU right now, and Big N knows it. Otherwise Skyward Sword would be continued in hype and advertising.



FantasiaWHT said:

I haven't bought Skyward Sword and there's one specific reason - wii motion plus. I'm not going to buy a game that requires one peripheral that I will never use again. The Wii's largely done for me, I'm not going to make that investment. for one game. If I really feel like playing it at some point, I'll borrow it from a friend.



Chrno-x said:

In my opinion Zelda had never been so much "for all people" game like the games with Mario (that are bundled with consoles just like Wii sports, Resort) so how can we talk about failure? Over 3.5 million units is a great success because it not only differs in controll but just like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker it uses cel-shaded graphics. Most of the Zelda fans preffers/ed the "Dark Fantasy" style Zeldas like in Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess (aside that the TP could be called an alernative OoT just like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories to the first original SH). And I don't think that Wii Motion Plus was the problem. The Problem is that like I mention at the beginning, the problem is only that Zelda series is for the Zelda fans (especially Skyward Sword with tons of stuff winking at you and hinting you that somethin similiar or the same was in the previous titles and that was very neat). I hope that the next Zelda on 3DS and Wii U will be again directed to Zelda fans. Oh and don't forget that Wii U will be backward compatibility and Skyward Sword in the long term sales can sell way better than Twilight Princess.



Weskerb said:

The reason Twillight Princess performed relatively better is because everything , and I mean everything, about Twillight Princess was better than Skyward Sword.



King_Boo said:

I think you should have taken the sales of both the wii and gamecube versions of twilight princess for that time frame, I'd bet skyward sword sold less. And I think it was the appeal, the water color look and heavy motion controls probably made a lot of people think twice.
There's also the lack of heart pieces, starting with 6 hearts and finding two heart medals cut out 20 pieces. That's 20 side quests and cave that could have been there.



Lunapplebloom said:

I bought it straight at launch, but I still haven't completed yet. I must get on that straight away. But anyway, I love all my Zelda games, and I think this game deserved more sales, but the amount it did is nothing to snuff at. I like it's water color style that it uses, and the motion controls are top notch. I'm glad they took there time with it. It is one of the best entries in the series. Also the CD was a nice bonus.



motang said:

Twilight Princess was my favorite Zelda game till Skyward Sword. It has been a slow burner for me, and I am almost done with it and i have to say that Skyward Sword has replaced Twilight Princess as my favorite Zelda game.



Alienfish said:

Yeah, it came too late for most people, but rest assured, Nintendo will be raking in money from re-releases of it for years to come. I wouldn't be surprised if it was an early downloadable title for WiiU or even offered as part of an HD package alongside Wind Waker and/or Twilight Princess. People who are interested in Zelda will find a way to play this title eventually, and Nintendo will be ever vigilant in making sure that those are paying customers.



sdcazares1980 said:

James is probably right about the game arriving too late in it's console cycle. Same thing happened with Twilight Princess for the GameCube. You could argue that TP for the GameCube was a bit pointless since it was also on the Wii, but both of those games appeared by the end of each of the console's cycle... and their sales suffered. It might not be a coincidence.

While it's nothing to complain about having two great Zelda games, by the end of the day, sales actually do matter.



Doma said:

Exactly the same thoughts as mine. I'm just not buying the M+ to be used once.

The other factors that's put me off though, is hearing about all the excessive hand-holding/tutorials. Also, being too formulaic - one of the main reasons TP bored me.



shingi_70 said:

Japan doesn't care about zelda (or metroid) and as good as it was wii motion plus was a barrier of entry. And nintendo thought they could launch in November with assassins creed and call of duty among other games. You don't try to go into big lacked month with a title on a system the overall marekt Kant looking at.

Launching in September would have been much better.



shingi_70 said:

You know the big irony in this is. Skyward sword didn't do ghat well but last year was a big revival in fantasy games that was already brewing. Skrim and Dark souls shifted a lot of copies. Kings of amular started string and the witchery 2 has been sold out for a while. Dragon's Dogma is getting a lot of positive buzz and the fable series sales really well. Not only that but this genre has a big female fanbase.

So why did skyward sword flop when other games in the genre are doing well?



PixelatedPixie said:

I would have to agree with what some commentators have said. Twilight Princess was for me simply a better Zelda game. What Skyward Sword brought to the table was an interesting art style, novel controls, and a change to how temples/dungeons were integrated into the overworld. Unfortunately, in the process, Skyward Sword also managed to feel more like a string of motion-control mini games and less like an adventure. Rolling bombs, Flying the Beetle, Skydiving, Balancing on a rope, Balancing on a boulder, Sword Fighting, Twisting and turning the golden keys to open locked doors, these were all things we'd seen before in either the Wii Sports titles, the Mario Galaxy games, or Metroid Prime 3. Nintendo did their best to adapt these concepts to the Zelda universe but each time I had to perform one of these tasks it took me right out of the experience. Not that they weren't enjoyable, but they're just not what I'm looking for from a Zelda game.

My biggest complaint of Skyward Sword, however, is that the world did not feel cohesive or grand. It lacked the wide open spaces and vistas that had made Hyrule and Termina feel like real places. In Skyward Sword there were no expansive fields, huge lakes, or imposing castles. Even when eventually you were given a larger area to explore (a certain sea) it felt unconnected to the rest of the game and more like something designed to be seen once and then forgotten. Again, it just didn't feel like a cohesive world to me.

I don't think Skyward Sword is a bad game, I just don't think it's a particularly good Zelda game.



SuperMinusWorld said:

3.52 million is rather decent, and honestly Nintendo shouldn't expect anything more than decent sales from the Zelda series. I mean, it doesn't have the mass appeal of a Mario or a Smash Bros. The Zelda games are really games just for their fans. Not many others are willing to pick up a hardcore single player game like Zelda. Mario is just so easy to pick up and play and you decide whether you play for 2 minutes or 2 hours; Zelda games make you commit, almost. And that's fine.



sketchturner said:

"That the two share such similar sales perhaps suggests nothing more than Zelda games continue to sell to the same group of people."

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I think a lot of the earliest adopters of the Wii were probably big Zelda fans who wanted TP. So even if the Wii has sold 95 million consoles, it doesn't really matter since the bulk of those were not people buying a Wii for Zelda.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

Oh well. All I can say is I bought it and I love it an the music cd was an AWESOME bonus! Thank you again Nintendo!

I really hope Nintendo continues to be Nintendo and does not sell out and just try to make money for the sake of money. Keep making quality games and I know I will continue to buy them.

Too bad we live in a society where people think that having the ability and knowledge to steal something gives you a right to take it without paying for it. They live a life with no core, no inner moral code. I can't change those people but I know I will NEVER be like them.



aaronsullivan said:

Loved Skyward Sword, and I've played the others so much now that I like them all for different reasons. I do wish the dialogue was shortened in Skyward Sword. It was all well directed and choreographed and animated. It was dramatic and emotional, BUT the text felt endless at times. If it was spoken dialogue that was more efficient this game would have had twice the dramatic impact.

As far as sales go... Zelda and Metroid are aimed at people looking for longer deeper game experiences and the Wii has alienated a great deal of those people. Nintendo already knows this. This is why on some level Nintendo is acknowledging the need to win the dedicated gamers back with the Wii U.

I think we'll see how serious Nintendo is about bringing them back with the NAME of the console or possibly another vector at attracting older Nintendo fans that remember the glory days but who value more hardware flashiness and serious subject matters. Perhaps a line of games like the old Touch Generations initiative that was meant to broaden the appeal of DS to non-gamers but... I guess the opposite.



LordJumpMad said:

Skyward Sword is no Skyrim.
Out of all the Zelda games I played, Skyward Sword was the slowest to pick up in action.
While Skyrim on the other hand was nothing but action.
They both came out the same year, and yes, they should be compare.



shingi_70 said:

Question how is selling 4 million in a. Couple of months good. Gears of war sold 3 million in a week and skyrim 7 million in one week.

While zelda had sold 3 millionin twwo months. I wouldn't call that good.

(Yeah I know massive budgets, not making x and y and death of AA)

and I consider stuff like dark souls and the witchery different as they aren't looking to be the next big franchise those games are trying to make the brand mmore well known.



shingi_70 said:


You the same stealth from. Gonintendo.

And as I said eariler by December skyward sword had sold 3 million. Gears made that it in a week and skrim sold 7 million its first week.




Alienfish said:

@MakeMyBiscuit #30
Agreed. People need to stop pirating their games. Now, shutting down the used games business is not cool since that would be like shutting down pawn shops and used car dealers. Bottom line: don't be a thief, it's just not a good practice.



Jamix012 said:

I see a lot of people disliking Skyward Sword here which honestly suprises me. I found it to be the best game I'd played in atleast 8 years and it really re-ignited my passion for quality games. Since I finished it though I haven't picked it up again. Story based games like that are one time experiences and turn in to fond memories.
Anyway, there'd been a similar article a while back on Zelda Universe and it was discussing how Zelda simply changed too much to be accepted by the masses. Each new Zelda reveal would be different enough for the last that it would lose more fans than it would gain and as a result Zelda sales as a whole have declined.



LztheQuack said:

Well Nintendo should be happy that around 3-3.5 million buyers are happy with Skyward Sword.




I thought the sales were satisfying but you know I gues they weren't spectacular as expected. I think it was like you said it came a bit to late and in the back of my mind feel the new cartoony graphical style had something to do with it to.



Luffymcduck said:

Considering how long SS was in development it repeated the same areas too many times. Great game, but something was lacking. I want to ride around the Hyrule field in next Zelda.



C7_ said:

I thought sales were hindered just because there were so many hit titles coming out at once, and after people were done playing new games they had either forgotten or gotten over the Zelda hype.

Personally I thought the game was pretty awesome, and the only main complaint I hear about it in person was "I don't like motion control"



Hokori said:

@sony but Skyrim is multiplatform, and the difference between nintendo games and others that sell well is the western games sell a crap ton in the first week and nothing from there on, while Zelda, Mario, Pokemon continue to sell even 5 years latter



Haxonberik said:

They should promote it by lowering the price to 30$ or putting it as a download when the Wii U launches, since the install base will be more hardcore there at least at start and I have heard of a lot of people who sol their Wiis an would rather buy the game when the Wii U launches



Popyman said:

Are those Twilight Princess numbers taking into account the Gamecube version as well? If so, TP didn't do all that hot...



Haxonberik said:

Btw I loved the game and even though it wasn't a traditional Zelda, it was for good as one more TP would drive me crazy. Maybe the best Zelda game, but not the most impressive or game changing, that was OoT



Ben_Rage_V2 said:

Even though Twilight Princess had it's moments, I had trouble enjoying it on the same level as previous Zelda titles. It was simply more of the same which isn't inherently bad, but not mind blowing by any means. From my perspective, Skyward Sword isn't simply the finest Zelda experience ever made, but perhaps the best game ever made. As a child I always wanted to be the sword fighting hero like Aragorn or Conan. Even though I'm an adult now, Skyward Sword has allowed my childhood dream to come true.



mamp said:

LOL my friend and I always have this really stupid argument that's kinda funny. He hates final fantasy games because every game has different characters and I hate Zelda games because most of them involve reincarnations of Link and Zelda.
On all seriousness I didn't get SS because I don't care for Zelda I figured out the Zelda formula so I gave up on it. I just don't like the typical Zelda dungeons (forest, fire, water bla bla bla), and you tend to pick up a lot of the same equipment (with a very slight variation on the equipment) and Nintendo focuses more on gameplay than story so there's never some epic story that can just suck me up into the game. Ocarina of Time is the only Zelda I really like and I can play that game over and over again (I feel like playing it right now actually).



shingi_70 said:


But were comapring core franchises that are more similar to one another. And my comparasion was fair as these games hit around the same time period. And the audience buying zelda isn't the same buying wii fit.

@every one else

Alright that was a bad comparsion. But how do you explain gears.



shingi_70 said:


That and western companies sell doc to expand there games while nintendo doesn't do that.

And western games sell a lot after there initial showing. Not as much as nintendo games have you but sales don't just drop dead.

Ans I'm not sure why people are bringing more casuel franchises into a discussion on hardcore holiday titles.



misswliu81 said:

@aaronsullivan As far as sales go... Zelda and Metroid are aimed at people looking for longer deeper game experiences and the Wii has alienated a great deal of those people. Nintendo already knows this. This is why on some level Nintendo is acknowledging the need to win the dedicated gamers back with the Wii U. >>

and that is exactly why third party support has to be strong for the wii U. the vast majority of people who bought a wii were either fans of nintendo franchises or those who wanted to play dance games. if you wanted to play fighting games or any other genre, you'd probably go for a PS3, x-box.

the fact that just dance, zumba fitness have sold more copies than a game like zelda: skyward sword is an indication as to why the Wii U has to offer the different types of gaming experiences one has had with the gamecube, super nintendo.



CanisWolfred said:

I'm surprised it did as well as this. With the Wii U already on the horizon at launch, it really was too late for this game. Not much to do with the game itself, just bad luck really.



hYdeks said:

I had a Wii but I sold it in favor of a ps3 cause they weren't releasing any games and I didn't wanna wait for just skyward sword. I of course regret that alil now cause there are tons of great games out AND games coming, but neither do I regret getting a ps3 cause it gets alot of the games I wish I could have gotten on a Nintendo system like marvel vs capcom, lost planet, uncharted etc.

it's kinda what @misswliu81 saids, they went alil too casual with Wii, but I do have alot of hope for Wii U and I absolutely LOVE my 3DS.



sinalefa said:

Sales never mean if a game is good or bad, and that should be the important part. It is not like Nintendo will stop making Zeldas. I can only see Nintendo building upon this new Zelda approach.

I got the game at launch and for months it was inside my Wii, and I loved it. It is a Zelda game, so not a franchise for the masses, and it was a different and experimental Zelda, so many fans would be turned off by it. Notice that none of the comments here disliking SS actually admit to having played it and not liking it, it is just being dismissed from the start. Well, except you Mardt.

TP might seem a better game sometimes, but it is just a refinement of the old OoT formula, while SS tried to shake things up and proved how cool it is to feel like you are wielding a sword.

To sell 3 and a half million copies in five months on a single system that it is being overshadowed by Nintendo's new console and new portable is no small feat. Specially while at the same time it is garnering a ton of critical acclaim.



gojiguy said:

"You can count the number of quality solo-focused Wii games released in 2010 and 2011 on your fingers"

But... 2010 was Wii's best year. Ever.
Monster Hunter 3
Tatsunoko vs Capcom
No More Heroes 2
Sin and Punishment Star Successor
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Sonic Colors
Epic Mickey
Goldeneye 007
Samurai Warriors 3

and many, MANY more...



MakeMyBiscuit said:


Agreed. I buy used games too. I'm not made of money. I try to buy games new when I can to support the people behind the game and their efforts such as Skyward Sword and recently Xenoblade Chronicles and definitely Last Story.

As many people said, I think many core games gave up on the Wii. Personally I don't see why because there are SO many great games for the system aimed at the core player but "people" did not buy them and those game developers suffered. Right now I have so many games and no time to play them so I don't understand when people say "I sold my Wii because of a lack of games."

Oh well, I also know a lot of it is in perception. Real gamers know a good game when they see one but for the masses, the sheep, the Wii was not "cool" enough so they didn't get it or moved on.

It will be interesting if Nintendo will try to change its image for the Wii U.



CanisWolfred said:

"Sales never mean if a game is good or bad, and that should be the important part." - As proud as Nintendo may be, I'm sure sales are the most important part them. While the reception has been good, so this probably won't change how Zelda plays, this may change when Nintendo puts Zelda games out. I wouldn't be surprised if the Next Zelda game was put out within a year of the Wii U's launch, and I kind of doubt the Zelda afterwards will be another Swansong.

@gojiguy Take off Epic Mickey (because it's not very good), and replace it with Super Mario Galaxy 2 (as much as I hate the formula, it's still good for what it is), which was pretty much the only good Singleplayer Wii game that wasn't sword, and I could still count the number of quality singleplayer games on my own two hands. That's kinda what he's getting at here.



Bliquid said:

Personal opinion: SS was already old when it was launched.
Stale game mechanics, stale narrative, cranky old gen controls (especially camera controls).
It felt like an endless list of dull chores.
Got me bored pretty soon.
Tbh, i can't see anywhere, in this game, a 5 year long production.
Could have been done in less than one.



CanisWolfred said:

"Could have been done in less than one."

How 'bout you go into game-making for a while, then come back and try and tell us Skyward Sword could've been made in a year.<_<



verymetal said:

I am obviously a Nintendo Fan for being here, but I have some negative thoughts regarding Nintendo. First, I have been a fan for too long to remember and have always supported Nintendo. Here is the thing. Nintendo needs to grow up. There, I said it. I own a PS3 as well, and I think that the so called hard core crowd wants more realism in their games. Skyrim is a work of art, and you can tell just by the overall production of that game, that more time and money was involved in developing it. From the graphics to the interaction with the entire world is genius. I think Skyrim has to be mentioned, because the whole time Im playing it, I keep saying to myself that what if Zelda was like this. Zelda needs to change, it has to include enemies that look scary(Im tired of the whole big goofy eyeball with almost every enemy) and there needs to be more of a challenge. The towns and community in Zelda are just so weak. Is that from the limits of the system? Well, with the Wii U - they have better change, or the same old formula will finally be the end of them.



Bliquid said:

@Mickeymac : i don't have to.
As an informed customer, i perfectly know the times of a AAA title development nowadays.
Working with fewer people instead of investing in human resources is quite typical of Nintendo.
That's why to them it takes longer than other software houses which, btw, develop on multiple platforms more often than nor.
I'm not sure if Nintendo model will last long in the upcoming generation, considering the fast changes the videogame industry is going through.



Ren said:

I have to say I really loved this game almost as much as the other zeldas but it did feel a little limited and overly guided. I can't see any fun in doing it again because it's so guided and linear. Maybe more so than many of the others. It's a great experience while it lasts but I see no reason to go through it again, and had I seen that coming I would have rented it and not bought it. I want to sell it now, honestly. I finally got an HD system and it's hard to believe how Nintendo can compete with so many other massive open world HD games. I hope things change with the WiiU online and in general. The third parties also seem to be where the other systems shine, I wish Nintendo could better support more of that.



verymetal said:

Also, I don't think the time frame has anything to do with the effect on sales for Zelda. Bottom line is this - Great games = huge sales (over 10 million), Mediocre games = decent sales (3-5 million), bad games = poor sales (not even close to 1 million). Again, great games sale a lot, and they also increase console numbers. I will buy a console just to have that one game that rules. With Zelda it is mediocre at best, and that is pushing it. I played it, and was really hoping for better. I would give it a 7 out of 10, and to me Zelda needs to be a 10. Just my opinion, but give me Skyrim over Zelda any day. That is sad to me, because Zelda deserves to be the best fantasy adventure game there is, and it is broke and needs to be fixed.



WOLFER said:

Well, one problem i have heard that Skyword Sword had was "backtracking". I mean flying is cool and all but man there was so much backtracking.... what happened to warp zones.... it was in twilight princess and it was awesome.... yea u could ride your horse but warping saved so much time and kept the flow of the game at a steady pace.... if SS would of had this feature, i believe it could of made a difference in the game... but no Nintendo wanted you to keep flying and flying... what a gimmick....



CanisWolfred said:

@Bliquid Obviously you don't know how long it takes, since the biggest games, even Call of Duty, take 2 years or more to get out the door. You also seem to forget that Nintendo lives in Japan, and has people working on several projects at the same time - I don't think it's possible for them to have multiple huge staffs working on Mario, Zelda, Kirby, new consoles, new periferals, etc. at the same time, all to get them out at a quicker pace.



shonenjump86 said:

I guess I kinda lost intrest in the Wii which why I did not get this game. I enjoy the Wii a lot and I don't plan on getting rid of it but I really have not played anything on it in months. By the the time SS and the new Kirby game came out there were just other games on the other consoles that got my attention. I don't think I will be getting SS anytime soon.



C-195 said:

I think It was mostly due to a lack of interest and other games coming out around the same time. Most people who own a wii aren't even slightly interested in SS and the ones who would be were probably turned off by something like the graphics.
COD 1.753, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim were released around the same time, so that probably put a dent in the numbers as well.



TheRegginator said:

It's just the timing of the release. I have a feeling that SS will sell less in the long run after the Wii U comes out and people have forgotten about the Wii.



Royspaceghost said:

@Sony_70 Well it's kinda obvious that skyrim was like in every other platform so the number of salles very well reflect that , but there's also a big mayor point here, or at least one that I've found very concerning:every game that involves more than 5 seconds of thinking isn't very well received today by young gamers that are into the call of duty and gears of wars franchises, many of my friends turn their bakcs on zelda not because it is a child's game, but for their inability, or lack of interest in focusing or thinking more than 30 seconds on a video game which is kinda sad, but I love those guys haha



Bliquid said:

@Mickeymac : sure thing, but the sheer production value in terms of graphics, sounds and almost everything else, including online multiplayer features, surpasses more than twice TLOZSS.
This coming from someone who doesn't like very much COD and similia.
And as you repeated something i already said, nintendo lacks manpower and effort, and i feel to criticize this fact considering it's a multinational enterprise we are talking about.
In the end, i have nothing more to say to someone who debates trivially suggesting i should " try to develop something like SS in one year alone" before writing my personal opinions.
That said, so long.



Sgt_Garlic said:

I could care less if it sold 2 million or 10 million, it doesn't change the quality of the game. For me Skyward Sword is my second favorite right behind the Wind Waker. Yea a number of possible reasons for sure. Late in the Wii's life cycle, clueless people thinking its just some waggle-fest, the art style, whatever. Zelda isn't a pick up and play game like Mario and it shouldn't and never will be. I can't wait for Zelda Wii U.



Mandoble said:

I've always been a Zelda fan and I cannot recognize Zelda in SS. Link is there, Zelda is there and that's all, the rest is just a set of mini puzzles one after another with great focus on the WM+ and pretty weird graphics. Probably this is the Zelda that non-zelda gamers would like, but these would have little interest into buying any Zelda anyway. Similar case did happen with Metroid other M, after the three last outstating Metroids Nintendo came with that thing "full of innovations", and as expected, a sales dissaster. And I'm pretty sure in few months we will see another article wondering why the hyper hyped Ikarus was selling way lower than expected. Said that, comparing Skyrim or Fallout with any Zelda is like comparing any Zelda with 1$ smartphone games, they are playing in different leagues.



Henmii said:

Reason 1: motion + required, thus making it more expensive.

Reason 2: Almost no tv commercials in Europe. Because, you know, Nintendo only markets games that do NOT need it (like all Mario games).

Reason 3: Sales of Zelda games are lowering all the time.

Reason 4: Skyward sword is just not good enough! Mind me, it's still pretty fun. But I think it's time to REALLY shake things up. Why not hand it to Retro studios or Nintendo's Tokyo studio? I am sure they can breath a lot of new air into this franchise, lifting the franchise skywards again! To the top, where it belongs!!



shingi_70 said:


Now you framing idoit.

1) the puzzles in zelda are child's play.

2) the games your comparing aren't even remotely the same.

3) yet somehow the gears of war audience also bought fez and darksiders which are walk puzzle based.



Nintenbro said:

@Chrono_Cross, I thought you had fairly decent taste in videogames, but I guess I was completely wrong. TLoZ: Skyward Sword is a videogaming masterpiece, and should be nothing but praised for it's gaming mechanics and it's gorgeous impressionist water color art style visuals. The art direction was a breath of fresh air, and it enveloped the TloZ series with perfection. NPCs and Enemies were full of detail and character. The storyline was the most emotional, endearing and entertaining than in any other entry before it. For all of those complaining about purchasing a WiiMotion Plus controller or the add-on just for one title, TLoZ: Skyward Sword makes that purchase totally worth it on it's own. You're all missing out on one of the very best videogames, if not the very best videogame of all-time.



kdognumba1 said:

I think Skyward Sword would of done a lot better if the Wii Motion + was supported better and 2011 would of had more of a line up. Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower should of been released globally in 2011 to help secure the core audience's interest in the Wii in 2011 however they dropped the ball, especially in NA where if it wasn't for a grass root campaign, they probably wouldn't of even gotten any of the mentioned games. If things were to of been changed, sales probably would of been much better.

It's really a sad thing that 2011 turned out the way it did and Wii Motion + didn't take off. Myself, I didn't get Wii Motion + until about a month or so ago when I found the Red Steel 2 with WM+ bundle in K-mart for 13 USD and followed up that purchase with Skyward Sword at Toys R US because it was on sale for 30 USD.

Hopefully they learned from this though and the Wii U controller will be FINAL when it comes out and come with everything the controller needs to have DAY 1.



SamuraiShyGuy said:

@Chrono, It's okay to not like the game, but to say that it's awful is just an ignorant statement. Did you get the attention that you wanted?



Expa0 said:

I didn't get the game because I just don't find the Zelda series interesting anymore at all. The series topped at Majora's Mask and Wind Waker, and has lost all the little spark it used to have from since.



Henmii said:

"Who the hell did you think made skyward sword. EAD TOKYO 1"

To my knowledge it was made by the Kyoto people, the people who almost always do Zelda games. But the Tokyo studio made Mario galaxy 1 and 2. And they made DK Jungle beat and Mario 3D land. Those guys are really strong, and they make the best looking games on Nintendo-systems!



WaxxyOne said:

This article could have expressed the entirety of the situation with much more brevity:

"Motion-controlled Zelda sucks."



sc100 said:

It's funny to see how people's tastes in games vary so much and how they think everybody should have the same view that they do. I know someone who says that Zelda 2 is the best game in the Zelda series, which is definitely an unorthodox view but, hey, if that's the game he enjoys the most that's all that matters for him, not what somebody else says. We all like things for different reasons.

I'm almost done with Skyward Sword and I've enjoyed it quite a bit more than my first playthrough with Twilight Princess. I've grown to like more and more what Twilight Princess brings to the table though now that I've finished it and can see the game for what it is in its totality and what it uniquely brings to the Zelda series.



LegatoSkyheart said:

The Truth of the Matter is this.
The Wii just isn't as interesting as the PS3 or 360, not to mention the Motion Controls aren't exactly what people want either.
I'm not saying they're bad, Zelda's Motion Controls are actually pretty well done and it's pretty impressive, but I talk to people about Games on the Wii and they're just like "It's not for me." or something like that. It's that "Nintendo is for Kids" Mentality.
What Nintendo needs to do is to cut that Myth into pieces, which means opening up more space for the File Size of Downloadable games (which it seems like what they're doing for WiiU and 3DS), Make games with a more Traditional Controller Layout (Classic Controller and WiiU Controller) and get games that these gamers want to play, like Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Red Dead Redemption, etc....Not to mention they need to up things to an HD Resolution because apparently we have a lot of Graphic Crazies Out there now that think Resolution is end all be all.
Another thing that I think is what went wrong with Zelda Skyward Sword is the Linearity of the Game. They should have made the game a bit more open.



Capt_N said:

I have to do some catchup on Zelda titles. I'm gonna start w/ SS, once I decide on whether to fix my Wii's disc drive, or wait until WiiU details, to see if I am going to get the system. In the interim, I might just wait out the WiiU, to see if I like it. I'm not a millionare, nor do I have never-ending supply of cash. I really can't make any comments on SS, since I don't own it.

I did, however, play a demo of it, @ my local Target. It took me awhile to get used to the WM+ control. I kinda liked it, but I couldn't really make a call on the game, since I had to get used to WM+ the majority of the time the demo lasted, before it reset. Btw, I was playing the dungeon entrance portion of the demo.

I played it a second time, another drop by to Target, & I this time made it to the sword fight w/ Ghirnam(wrong sp?). I kinda liked fighting him. & as far as I was concerned, my cousin was right, when he had told me sometime months/(maybe a year?) earlier, that the WM+ was really better/more accurate than the WM, from his playing WSResort.

Edit @LegatoSkyheart I love the non-linearity of my fav Zelda: LttP.



CaPPa said:

Skyward Sword's sales are pretty much in line with the Zelda series. In the scale of things it isn't as huge of a seller as Mario but a bit higher than Metroid.

If your Wii is out of warranty and you own SSBB or Metroid Other M then you can get your Wii repaired for free (due to them being dual layer disks). If you don't then you can just pick Other M up for about $10.



irken004 said:

A friend of mine says she neglected to buy this simply because she hates the Wii and its motion controls in general. She loves the other games in the series though.



phoenix1818 said:


I completely agree with you. While Skyward Sword was still enjoyable to play, I felt it was more of a disappointment, not because it was a bad game (which it wasn't), but beacuase of what it was missing. After five years in development it just didn't live up to the almost impossible expectation built up by fans of Twilight Princess. Especially after all MIyamoto's promises about it being a "revolutionary" Zelda game that would completely change the series, it just didn't feel like much of an advancement for the franchise. Everything I enjoyed about Skyward Sword, I felt like I had done it a million times before in other Zelda games, and everything new about it (besides the orchestrated music) was either repeatedly annoying or unenjoyable for me.

I probably sound like a grumpy old man saying this, but to be honest I've been disappointed by the latest Zelda games because of the increasing linearity and formulaic nature of the gameplay. While Skyward Sword attempted to reconcile this with the "levels" between dungeons, it really just felt repetitive. The sidequests that I used to love in games like Majora's Mask seem to have been replaced by fetch quests and minigames. The puzzles, too, which were some of my favourite parts in previous Zelda games, were made far too easy and obvious for me, especially when Fi would continuously interrupt the game and straight out tell you the answer. I also didn't like the segregated "level" type nature of Skyward Sword, which felt bland and disconnected from the world. The lack of interesting secrets also made backtracking an annoyance for the first time in any Zelda game.

I feel that I'd have to say I enjoyed this game less than every other console Zelda since A Link to the Past. Don't get me wrong, I still had fun with it. There were some parts that I liked (namely exploring the sand sea), but my true loyalty to the Zelda franchise lies with games like Twilight Princess and Majora's Mask. I only hope that the next Zelda lives up to the revolutionary title Miyamoto promised with Skyward Sword, as well as the expectations developed by the Wii U Zelda tech demo, unlike the original artwork shown at E3 for Skyward Sword.



grenworthshero said:

If more people knew about Fi before the game was released, I'm sure that number would be even less. Fi automatically keeps the game from being anything more than an 8, imo.



phoenix1818 said:

@grenworthshero I felt Fi completely ruined all of the puzzles in the game. I suppose Nintendo are trying to appeal to a younger audience by making the game less frustrating, but what are puzzles without challenge or thought process? Can you imagine how fun it would be to play a game like Portal 2 if GLaDOS and Wheatley told you exactly where to put the portals to finish the test chamber? That's exactly what Fi did to Skyward Sword. It would have been okay if there was at least an option to turn off all hints from her, but there wasn't. And that's why Skyward Sword turned out to be a game about following a list of directions rather than exploration and puzzle-solving as it should have been

It's fine if a Zelda game is going to have a passive companion, but at least Nintendo should try to stop them from ruining the game. They got it right with Midna from Twilight Princess, so why does Skyward Sword feel like a step backwards for the franchise?



Noire said:

Because Zelda is a core game and core gamers have fled to places where they're treated (relatively) decently?

Can we please skip to the part where Nintendo starts making games third-party. This stuff is getting old.



grumblebuzzz said:

I found Skyward Sword to feel a little bit half-finished and lazy. The enemy variation was awful (bokoblin after bokoblin after bokoblin), there were barely any memorable npc characters or significant side quests, the skies of Skyloft were barren and boring to explore, the list of flaws goes on and on. To me, the game felt like a handheld Zelda title in scope, even though I'm pretty sure that Spirit Tracks had more areas, side quests, and people to talk to. I feel like they maybe tried to dumb Zelda down to make it more accessible to casual gamers but in the end it made for a lackluster (and over-hyped/rated) game, in my opinion.

As far as the sales are concerned, I would think that the reason it wasn't a huge blockbuster was mainly because of it coming at the end of the Wii's lifespan and also because it required use of Motion Plus. I know several people who refused to get it because it required it.



JimLad said:

@Phoenixborn I agree with the first part. Hardware sales don't necessarily = software sales. This is a clear sign that Nintendo's core fanbase has been abandoning them in droves, that's why their new software doesn't sell as much.
Massive gaps in your release schedules will do that.



misswliu81 said:

i hate to say this but as much as i am a fan of the wii, the lack of quality third party games killed the system. first-party support from nintendo was excellent, but third-party wise, the wii just didn't have enough quality titles to keep people interested in the system long enough. instead, most of those third party games were shovel-ware.

at times, i was envious of seeing the likes of sega, konami, namco to name putting out their great titles for the PS3, x-box and not for the wii.

nintendo needs to come out in public or to their fans, hold their hands up and say, 'yes, we blew it with regards to the wii's 3rd party support'.




An all time great. TP was brilliant, but not as good as this. No way in a million light years. That's utter madness IMO. Just a question of timing. This game is toward the end of the Wii's life. TP was towards the beginning. Simple.

Why are people in who swoop totally forgetting the huge sales of Wiis worldwide?



Kage_88 said:

@verymetal - If Zelda ever became like Skyrim, that would be a dark day.

Skyrim is a buggy and poorly-made mess of a game, with ugly textures and NPCs that looked as if they came out of a microwave (and are all voiced by what seems like 3 voice actors). That fact that title won multiple Game of the Year Awards is a damning indictment of the gaming media in general, IMO.

If people don't like the Skyward Sword, of course that's fine. But at least Nintendo actually inject their games with heart, creative whimsy, and are unafraid of doing something different (damed if they don't, damned if they do). I'm also glad people are enjoying Skyrim...but I personally cannot, knowing how lazy Bethesda have been in QA testing. Ask a PS3 owner.

@Sony_70 - Zelda games are made by Software Development Group 3; EAD Tokyo 1 makes the main Mario games.



misswliu81 said:

@Kage_88 That fact that title won multiple Game of the Year Awards is a damning indictment of the gaming media in general, IMO. >> it's also a damning indictment of the video games industry on the whole today and the direction it is going.



verymetal said:

You obviously don't have Skyrim and basing your opinion on other opinions. I am a PS3 owner, and ever since the latest patch there have been no problems. I have a 1080p TV, and the game is gorgeous. At least Skyrim has voice acting - something Zelda has never had. I am not in no way a Nintendo hater - I have and (probably) will continue to support them. Zelda is just getting stale, what made me realize this was Skyrim. They are both fantasy adventure games, but the Wii just has too many limits with the system that ends up scaling down the game. I want Zelda to rule all, and sorry, but that is not the case anymore - I think the sales of the game reflect that. The Wiii U should put Nintendo on the right direction, but I will be pissed if I see another boss with a big eye that stands out (gee, I wonder how to defeat this beast?). Zelda needs to grow up, and by that it doesn't need nudity or blood, no - what it needs is enemies that dont look cute, and a difficulty level that provides a real challenge. Also, 180 plus hours in Skyrim, and I am not even halfway done.



Mike1 said:

I think that Skyward Sword was my least favorite 3D Zelda I have played. The story is fantastic, but I hated the over-done motion controls. Like someone else said, the puzzle keys in the dungeons are just tedious and stupid. Fi is really annoying, way worse than Navi. If they had done the controls like Twilight Princess, this game would have been prefect. It's not a bad game, but I hope they don't use the over-done motion controls for the next Zelda game (although they probably will).



BattleBorn said:

I completed it and enjoyed it. But after the longest development and hype cycle in Zelda it wasn't as revolutionary as it should have been. Skyrim sold SS's current total tally in it's first two days; that should show how far off Zelda is from the relevancy radar.

At the same time, it was a victim of Nintendo's short-sighted Wii game plan which doomed pretty much every quality single-player release on the system. It may have sold 90M+ systems and that's truly impressive, but the casuals ended up flocking to iOS/Android and the core audience was completely alienated from E3 2008 onwards... leaving it with a miserable attach rate and perception.



Henmii said:

I don't get why so many people compare Skyrim to Zelda! I haven't played Skyrim, but from what I have seen/heard it's more of a dark, deep, rpg for the beardo's (aka the Lord of the rings people). Don't get me wrong: Lord of the rings is awesome and to me Skyrim looks like a good game.

But Zelda is and was the total opposite. It's lighthearted, cheery, and not a proper rpg at all. It's more a adventure series. Totally different stuff!



drumsandperc92 said:

zelda is and always will be my favorite series. because of classics such as ALTTP, OOT, and MM contributing epic adventures in incredibly realized fantasy worlds with lore, different races, legends, gods, everything you'd want in a fantasy universe, but it was somehow different from what you typically see in the fantasy genre. Also, I love the idea of questing to find something that will forge you into a hero and then also give you the strength to defeat the enemy (master sword!)
SS was fun, the dungeons were clever, a decent difficulty, and combat with M+ was pretty great. However, I felt there was no scale. Most zelda games the difficulty level in the dungeons really racks up by the end, but in SS i felt that the game was pretty flat from beginning to end as far as difficulty. i felt the first dungeon was actually pretty hard for a first dungeon, but after that they didn't really get that much harder.
Also, the entire exploratory segments were pretty shotty as far as zelda games go. OK, maybe hyrule field in OOT isnt the most exciting place to roam around but everything felt connected, like it was part of one beautiful land. You could see all the locations from hyrule field...the desert, the castle, death mountain, everything was there. It felt immersive in that way, especially for its time.
In SS the idea of going back to the sky to go anywhere else on the ground was terrible. I understand they wanted the player to have to work harder in each area, and they tried to tread the line between overworld and dungeons more by making overworld areas dungeon like, but to be honest i didnt really feel like they pulled it off that well.
And although riding the bird was a ton of fun, the sky was the most boring location in zelda history. Even the ocean in WW was better.
Also, I felt like the game could've made use of better new items. I wasn't that thrilled with the bug, the gust jar was cool, the whip was cool, but you didn't get to use these items enough. And in the dungeons that did call for them, the novelty of them wore off for me pretty quickly. They just didn't have the impact that getting a Bow or a bomb bag or hookshot has in zelda games.
I think overall Skyward Sword was a beautiful game, I loved the art style it worked really well for the Wii's graphical limitations, the dungeons once you got into them were all fairly pretty good and did provide some variety from previous zelda games, but overall I just felt that the pacing wasn't that great, the difficulty could've provided more ups and downs, and the entire design of the world you played it could've been much more connected, immersive, and more exciting to be in. It was a good game, but I remember enjoying twilight princess better when it first came out. (although now i really hate playing TP on the wii, it's just a waggle fest)
I do have high hopes for the next zelda on Wii U.
Graphics in the style of what we saw in that demo please, but it's time for a new model of link. the TP model is great but let that be for the Wii.
Also, I want either a return to Hyrule thats not just bigger for the sake of being bigger (TP) or Link to travel to a new land thats a new LAND, not the sky, not the ocean. Land.
More dungeons, more difficulty, M+ controls from SS should return, and new items that are more iconic and exciting. Heck, even the story in SS wasn't as epic as i thought it would be.
OoT and WW both had better storytelling.



koolbob1872 said:

First of all, I have not played SS, I've only seen videos, mainly from NCS.
However, this is what I think.
The main storyline gets a ton of momentum at first with the love story between Link and Zelda. And when you have to rescue her, it makes you want to go into the game even more. But it starts to SLOW down to the point of thinking, "Why am I doing all this again.... Oh yeah Zelda."
The game areas seem way too broken apart. They really should have stuck to a Hyrule Field-type thing. The sky seems boring, but its really not all that huge. The land areas have absolutely no lasting appeal whatsoever. The dungeons are pretty weak too. Nothing about this game is epic, like the ocean in WW, the entirety of OOT, or the sheer size of TP. The dungeons rank dead last in my mind in all of the Zelda games.
Then the controls. They are very polarizing. Either people hate them or love them. Personally, I don't like it very much. Too much of the game relies on the motion which is not as reliable as buttons. Don't give me the tired argument of innovation. Controllers have been around since day 1 of video games and will never become outdated.
Last, there's Fi. My god this seems like it makes the game damn-near unplayable. At least you didn't ever have to hit Navi's button to see her talk. She just kept saying, "Listen!" Simple fix, MUTE.



Nintenbro said:

@drumsandperc92, I really have no idea what videogames you were playing my friend, but in no way at all did OoT or WW have a better constructed storyline. Hell, OoT barely even had a storyline at all.



koolbob1872 said:

@G4L He said story telling, not storyline. So of course OOT is going to have better storytelling, there wasn't much to tell. And SS has much less story than WW. Fi telling you what to do every 13 seconds is not good quality story telling. Seeing Zelda keep disappearing a million times with no clue what's going on is not quality story telling either.



Betagam7 said:

Perhaps it didn't get more sales because after playing Twighlight Princess and experiencing first hand what a boring, soulless, OOT wannabe that game was, people then had no faith that this new game would be any better...which, incidently, it isn't.
There hasn't been a truly great Zelda game since Wind Waker and at this rate, especially with the game being dumbed down to the extent that the domestic housepet of a borderline idiot would struggle not to know what to do next in it, there never will be again.
"Master, you have found a minor item. My calculations show a 98% chance that the game will now explain to you for the 100th time what it is and what to do with it. Incidently your hearts are running low, I will now activate several annoying beeping noises alerting you to press the D-pad so that I can inform you that your hearts are running low! Futhermore, the batteries in your wiimote are running out. I calculate a 98.5% chance that I have just destroyed any last vestige of immersion you had in this videogame that I am explaining to you step by step even though you are in Hero Mode and have chosen expert settings."



JebbyDeringer said:

The reason people compare Zelda to Skyrim is because Skyrim is epic while Zelda is a shallow turd in comparison. YES they are different games but there is no reason why Zelda can't strive to be more epic, and deep, while still staying "light hearted." The problem with Zelda is you REALLY feel you are just playing a game. The world is so closed in and confined, the controls are confined (action button for jumping and everything else!?!), the formula is old. While it would be silly for Zelda to copy a game from Skyrim it doesn't mean they should completely close their eyes to what other games are doing. People love Zelda because it's Zelda not because they want to play the same game over and over again with slightly tweaked mechanics and graphics. Most game series follow some sort of formula but with Zelda it's glaringly obvious within the first 30 minutes. Maybe if you are young enough you can't see the pattern but I get bored with Zelda games because I know exactly how they are going to play out and lose interest.



grimbldoo said:

Twilight Princess had an enjoyable and extensive story, the only problem is that it was a lot to cram into the game. So as a result, some of the quality of the gameplay was lost. Skyward Sword attempted and succeeded in making the gameplay a whole lot better, but the story lacked depth.

I personally enjoyed playing both games: I enjoyed roaming and messing around in SS while I enjoyed the side quests of TP. Because the map was so large and took a long time to cross in TP, they went to the opposite extreme made the areas in SS fairly small, which took some life out of the game.

I preferred the color scheme of SS over that of TP but I was sad to see just how much detail was thrown out the window. Link's suit in TP was just amazing while in SS, it resembled a toga. This extreme jump was due to complaints that TP was too dark (and as every artist knows, the more detail there is, the darker the scene will be and vise versa) so they took out almost every detail they could and left you with an outline only efficient enough to tell the difference between a pear and an apple.

The recurring problem here is the jump to extremes. Too much story, almost no story. Too large of a map, almost no map. Too dark, put on some sunshades in order to play comfortably. Nintendo needs to stop for a moment and think harder about what fans want. People complained that Wind Waker was too light so they make Twilight princess really dark and people complain about that, so then comes Skyward Sword, which is even brighter than Wind Waker, and, here's a shocker, people complain that it is too bright. Myamoto, you're cool and I respect you, but take a hint. People don't want it extremely dark and neither do they want it extremely light, solution? Make it in between.

But that may be too hard as Nintendo themselves have had trouble, right? Not necessarily. Take the beautiful and artistic detail of TP but then use the color scheme (but darken it a bit) of SS and, BAM! You've got yourself an art scheme that both sides of fans will enjoy.

For the map, you don't have to make it smaller, just make it easier to travel (less obstacles perhaps), have a faster method of transportation (Epona's got that covered though), even better yet, have a restricted speed travel. Say that you can only speed travel from town to town and only while in towns, but also set rules like towns only allow you to travel to one other town (which means no travel backs). Because it is nice to have a large map with lots of land to explore.

Make an extensive story with plenty of side quests, just cut into more indigestible pieces (kinda like how I put spacing in between these paragraphs, it makes it a whole lot easier to read and less stressing.)

Take some advice from this fan, Nintendo, because I am not the only one that thinks like this.



BulbasaurusRex said:

I agree with most people that the motion controls in Skyward Sword really improve the gameplay, but I also like how it excels in two other areas where my opinion is not so widely shared.

While Wind Waker looks too cartoony to me, I think the more realistic form of bright cel-shaded graphics used in Skyward Sword looks more attractive than the dark, gritty, ultra-realistic look of Twilight Princess.

C-3PO-esque Fi is a lot more fun to have for an annoying sidekick than Link's previous annoying sidekicks. If you're going to have an annoying sidekick, that's the way to go (outside of using Yoda's verbal patterns).



Ernest_The_Crab said:

The motion controls seem to add to the gameplay but the areas in the game just feel too disjointed. It doesn't really feel like the world is connected together, which is a pretty important factor for a Zelda game. I'm kind of hard pressed to find another example of a Zelda game where the world isn't connected together. Afterall, exploration is a key aspect of the Zelda series.

The game sold fairly well considering it came out very close to the Wii's end while also requiring a mandatory attachment. It also didn't have the benefit of being a release title in a fairly lackluster launch line up like Twilight Princess. I have yet to see an example from the same genre of game that meets these aspects (ie waning console and mandatory attachment) yet manages to outsell it (on one platform).

*A quick look through the posts tells me that it needs some serious cleaning up. For every well thought out post you have, there are some like GanonDorf(1), KaiserGX(2), potomas(103) which don't add anything or are in flame bait territory.



CoreyCannabis said:

I will always buy every Zelda game, regardless.
I hope that Wii U (should be called Super Wii) tech demo is legit. Looked EPIC!



Mandoble said:

And why Nintendo keeps changing the art style of Zeldas all the time is something hard to understand. Lets have a look at Bethesda, Elder Scrolls have been there since the times of MS-DOS, always with the same art style and nobody says hey they must do it more cartoon-like, or they should use a happier colour palette or they should do nice looking evill enemies. You may like them or not, but when you buy an Elder Scrolls game you already know how it is going to look like. Bethesday is not trying to content everybody's taste, that is a waste of time that would have backfired to them long time ago.



rjejr said:

Did SS sales fail to soar? Has anybody seen Nintendo's expectations for game sales? And don't tell me they didn't have any, nobody is going to invest 5 years in a game w/o sales expectations. Maybe sales even beat expectations?

I agree w/ almost everybody who has something negative to say about this game. I describe it as a lullaby. Everybody as a baby loves to hear their mother sing them a lullaby. But after a few years it's time to move on to rock or country or opera. This game is a great lullaby, like Zelda was 10 years ago, so if Zelda is your mother you may love it still, but nobody else wants to hear your mother sing them a lullaby. For a flagship franchise this series has gone nowhere, held back in large part by the Wii's limitations. I don't see anything in this game that in 2011 would get a non-Zelda fan to want to play it, unless they want to be put to sleep while they are waving their arms around. I haven't played Skyrim or Gears, but about 9 years ago I played Starfox Adventures on the Gamecube and it had full voice acting, better graphics, and a lot more going on than SS. I'm not saying it was better overall, but it seems a lot more "modern".



Onett said:

I have to disagree with a lot of the complaints about Skyward Sword. I thought the controls were fun and engaging. Twilight Princess was dark, boring and stale, feeling like more of the same. Meanwhile Skyward Sword actually tried to make the player feel more involved in the puzzles through its controls. I loved the valentines day article about this game as well. I believe it pointed out a lot of other profound/groundbreaking changes they made in this game that made it far better than Twilight Princess.

Gamers these days need to let go of the past, open up their minds and welcome new ideas.


I loved Starfox Adventures and played through it at least six times. I will agree with your point about the graphics and voice talent but I also believe that everybody's complaints are a bit shallow.



Whopper744 said:

Skyward Sword is a great game. But, I think I expected a little more. Honestly, I prefer TP for several different reasons (don't feel like going too into that though).
One thing I will mention about Skyward Sword, is that I didn't like the lack of being able to explore on your own quite as much. Seemed very linear. I didn't really like the idea of three different levels as much as I thought I would. Plus, I feel like they took a step back in looks from TP. Still a great game, just not quite TP.



Zweck36 said:

I thought Skyward Sword was a great game. There is no such thing as a bad Nintendo made Zelda game. However I found TP way more enjoyable, and the graphics and details are far superior. After a while I just got bored with SS. Just kinda like " Been there done that." I don't know. I feel the series took a step back on this one.



grimbldoo said:

@Mandoble #122
Because there were large amounts of complaints about the color, and then Nintendo decided to make extreme jumps in order to please rather than just a little adjustment. I personally like both TP and SS's art equally.



Henmii said:

"And why Nintendo keeps changing the art style of Zeldas all the time is something hard to understand"

To give the game a new, somewhat fresh feel. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with that. In fact if they always chose the same style, the samey gameplay would get more apparent. By coming up with new graphic styles and new controls they try to keep the game somewhat fresh. But I think it is time they should take more drastic measures. Though the series always should stay a perfect combination of puzzles and fighting!



BulbasaurusRex said:

@TheSolarKnight I don't think the mandatory attachment is that big of a deal. It was bundled with Wii Sports Resort, which is one of the highest selling Wii games there is, and the Zelda fanbase is such that most Zelda fans who didn't already own one would be willing to get one just for the latest Zelda game.



Mandoble said:

And that's shocking, why is that colours are so important for some ones in Zelda? Microsoft is changing the colour scheme of its flight simulator in each release to please people? Do you have each Bioshock released with a fully different pallete and art style? Zelda is not Mario, it has never been. The most significative Zeldas were OOT and Majora's mask, both of them following the same art style, same "dark" colour scheme and TP was following that line, the very same presented by Nintendo with the WiiU Zelda demo, even A Link to the Past 2D dungeons were "dark", why they try to transform Zelda in what Zelda has never been? If now they are trying to please Mario fans, they will fail for traditional Zelda fans. Zelda has been always a bit creepy, as immersive as current tech was allowing, it has been about exploration more than about minipuzzles.



Buob said:

I'm going to try to answer everyone.....whether they see this or not.

I'm seeing a lot of "Super Mario Galaxy (2) was such a great game, while Skyward Sword was quite dumb." I was the complete opposite. I found Mario Galaxy to be really short and dull, and the best thing about the first one was Rosalina. Don't get me started on the second one. I got less than five minutes into it and said "This is stupid" and promptly threw away the disk.

Skyward Sword on the other hand, was a lot better. The storyline was great, the "romantic" moments made me laugh, and the graphics were great. I do have a few bones to pick with the game...Fi, the backtracking, the giant potato guy with the terrible toenails, and the upgrading of items to name a few....

I'm also seeing a lot of "Skyrim is great, Skyward Sword should be like that." Glitchy? Dark and Depressing? Meme generating? Seriously...the people who say that need to take an arrow to the knee. What makes Skyrim so great? The fact that it's not Zelda, that's why. The Elder Scrolls has its storyline, the Zelda series has its storyline. Can we please agree on that? Zelda is not a freeroam RPG, so get that in your heads.

Something about Voice Acting as well.....Um, may I say "Other M--'Nuff said?" Seriously, if Nintendo were to go the Voice Acting route, they would get even more complaints. It's best for EVERYONE if they leave the voices out. I leave this paragraph with "Do a barrel roll!"

Also, I saw something about this game taking a year. A movie can't be made in a year, and a video game takes longer to create than a movie. 'Nuff said.



Rhombous said:

I really enjoyed SS, it kept me going for 3-4 months. Fi was irritating, and the flying was boring at times. Yes it lacked the large scale world and sense of immersion of previous games, next to no side quests, a linear main town area and no real motive to revisit certain areas also hurt. Despite all this, what SS presented was a fresh mix.

Some of the locations were so creative and interesting. The story was cool, the music was beautiful, I thought the artwork excelled. I loved the soul trials, wow what a good fun and new aspect to the game. The powerups were also great, and I actually kind of enjoyed the item upgrade stuff.

In my opinion, SS is Majoras Mask to Twilight Princesses OOT. A strange follow up piece set in different circumstances. Yes I am a fanboy, but Nintendo should be applauded for trying different art styles. If they didn't experiment, we would be moaning about their predictability. It also gets me down how dismissive people can be online. Twilight Princess and SS, both superb games. We will never have that first feeling of "wow" compared to the first time we saw OOT hyrule field, that is a moment of videogaming history. TP was astounding though, I don't see how real Zelda fans couldn't love that game.

Back to SS - I won't be replaying in the "hero" mode for a while, give it a year or two methinks. I really don't know how Nintendo will develop the series further - how do you keep old fans happy and the newer/modern gamer interested without losing all feel/tradition and without being stale/same old formula? Hard job.

BTW I completed Xenoblade just before I got SS, I have come back to that and there is so much left to do, and twice the life of SS. I haven't played Last Story yet but for me (quite surprisingly) the wii had some amazing role playing games:
Xenoblade, SS, Okami, TP and arguably Monster Hunter Tri.




grimbldoo said:

@Henmii #130
SS was before all of the darkness came (I guess you could say afterwards as well), so it makes sense that it would be lighter. I liked the bright and vivid colors, it's refreshing compared to the many games on the PS3 and 360 with their Amazing (gritty and ugly) art.



ReleaseTheBears said:

I tend to take the Malstrom view of why SS didn't sell. There's a limit to how long you can wait around hoping for what made original Zelda, Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time good to reappear, and the minds behind modern Zelda seemed to have no interest in making any of that happen. Maybe it will with Miyamoto mentioning a possible LttP sequel, but I won't be holding my breath.



Henmii said:

"I liked the bright and vivid colors, it's refreshing compared to the many games on the PS3 and 360 with their Amazing (gritty and ugly) art"

They tried to combine the Windwaker and Twilight princess styles to reach both audiences. But the result was not good enough, in my opinion. I don't want to see this style back, unless they can greatly improve it. Otherwise I just want Windwaker graphics again (I loved those and I guess they can make them look even better on the Wii u), or the awesome looking Wii u demo graphics, or a totally new style!



RyanE said:

What I look for in a game isn't really based on numbers or graphics engines. It is the experience of these worlds that I love. My favorite thing about Zelda is going into the world, the back-story of the characters, and how it all fits together.

As for the reason, this didn't sell to the expectations of the company; simple they were expecting too much from it. It was a game released at the end of a console's time, with controls that most people (public) associated with cheap games and "family games" (because you can't have fun playing a video game with your family, right?), and most people's concept of gaming in general.

To me gaming now is more about the numbers, the big sale day figures, how many copies of Call of Duty have been shipped, and how "awsume" something looks in term of graphics. That is NOT gaming for me. Gaming is an experience that you have with the world of the game, regardless of the age of the system or the graphics, or sales figures. Other wise, why would have these franchises (Zelda, Mario, Sonic, Metroid, Castlevania and many, many more) keep having new games, and new worlds for us to explore?

I'm apologize if it sounds like I'm directing anger to you folks. I'm not. Its to the groups who thumbs their noses at something I enjoy doing without really giving it much consideration.



Vampfox said:

I hated Skyward Sword. Twilight Princess was way better. TP actually made me care about the characters, like Midna. I never cared about the characters in SS. Fi is the worst partner.

Also SS would have been better without the motion controls.




NL rated Zelda TP 7/10 (I'd give it a high 9) and rated Zelda SS 10/10 (agreed by score policy).

Fi isn't a substitute for Midna anyway. Its substitues for mr. "hey listen" !



Nightsider said:

When i read this, i felt bad so i went out and bought this game. This game is honestly the most captivating game i have ever played and is easily my favorite game of all time



grumblebuzzz said:

@Buob You played Mario Galaxy 2 for FIVE MINUTES and then threw the disc away? Wow. You must have the attention span of a gnat and some really, really wealthy parents.



Hunselbahn said:

The most interesting part is, that Skyward Sword isn't the first Zelda game in this bad sales situation. Majora's Mask had the very same problem, it only sold roughly 3 Million and it was released at the end of the N64's lifespan and it required an expansion pack, just as SS now requires the Wii-Motion Plus. Yet is nowadays widely considered to be a fan favourite among the Zelda-fanbase.



Uchuu said:

I personaly don´t really like the artwork in SS, I mean it is a good game, but it lacks a bit that special Zelda feeling. It is to bright and shiny in a childish way, that is not bad, but Zelda is all about the special feelings one gets from the graphics and the music/sounds. The enemies are also a bit on the childish side. The continous help from Fi is too much, it gets to easy. It feels like it was designed for children that had not played Zelda yet. The dungeons and forrest etc. are too much constrained, there is no big freedom and it feels not natural.

On the other side it has many good things, like motion control, it has beautiful graphics, has a nice story and the bossbattles are very interesting. The music is a bit different then in other Zeldas, it is not outstanding but good.

The best Zeldas in my opinion: ALTTP, OOT, TP
Dense atmosphere.



Qsabe said:

Skyward sword is laying in my games drawer still uncompleted. The Wii was so hard to come by at it's launch, I bought the Twilight Princess for the Cube. It was an excellent and fun game in that genre. When I finally was able to get my hands on a Wii, I bought TP for it. Not bad but not as much fun as the cube version. Instead of curling up in the corner and playing a fun game, I was now standing up trying to point the thing in my hand. I finished it, but was unimpressed. Did the routine, bought the favorites, Mario Galaxy and such. they were fun. But the Wii and it's motion controller became a less than fun game box. Now I'm an older guy, old enough to have purchased every Zelda game for the TV since the it's launch with OoT. I even got the Master Quest to satisfy my Zelda passion while waiting for Windwaker. I consider it one of my favorite series, but here I was buying a PS3 to get games I could curl up and enjoy playing on my large screen TV. When Skyward Sword was released, I was on the pre-order list. Got the attachment for my wand to wave around, but the game was a sever disappointment. The entire game was built around attempting to accomplish simple actions while standing on the couch waving my arms around. I kind of liked the toon shaded thing again, but the action and storyline that in initially hooked me on the series was missing. Just accomplishing simple task was not fun but annoying. I don't have a Wii U and most likely will never buy one until a Zelda with a good story line and a curl up in the corner controller is available. I wish Nintendo would allow Sony to create some of it's really good titles, I would really like to play them curled up on the couch with a real controller. The only Nintendo game played here now is my wife and her daily Animal Crossing hour. Even that game where to have more towns you need to buy another game machine is a disappointment. Memory cards were so nice.



thalonelygirl said:

I've played Zelda games for years and what disappoints me is that Skyward Sword seems to have left behind what makes the series great and added unnecessary things which are just so annoying. In Link to the Past, I remember getting stuck somewhere for hours having no idea how to solve the puzzle in order to advance. This just hasn't happened to me yet with Skyward Sword. Granted I haven't yet finished the game. I'm just so disappointed with the over saturation of color in the graphics, not enough sidequests, and that gosh darned stamina meter. Whose idiotic idea was that? I mean, did the game really need that?



TheAdrock said:

It was a cute game, but nothing amazing. Not even in my top 5 Zelda games list. Nintendo also took WAY too long bringing it out. There should be a team of Zelda developers FULL TIME banging out awesome titles every 2 years... if they hit some and miss some, no biggie, but waiting 8 years between titles only to be given this infantile adventure is upsetting to fans.

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