Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skyward Sword Blade Journal, Day 1

Similar to the Spirit Tracks Rail Diary two years ago I will blog about my progress through Skyward Sword. Thoughts, early impressions, stuff... I call this the "Blade Journal" this time. But most importantly, BEWARE OF SPOILERS. Only read this if you're already deeper into the game and/or if you don't care about being spoiled. I will talk freely about the game and I won't refrain myself in any way. Though I probably won't talk much about the story.

I'm currently five hours into the game and I just entered the first dungeon. So, I thought this was a good pause to write this post and get a good night's sleep afterwards. My first impressions? I'm impressed! This game has been really fun so far. It's full of nice and fun details, there's a lot to explore, it feels like the complete opposite of the empty game that Twilight Princess used to be.

Well, it takes some time to get started. It took me about two hours to get back to the point, where I started at the press event. There's a lot of story in the beginning and some tasks that have to be done. However, I was also exploring a lot, for example I would enter every room, talk to every person, etc. And the story is quite nice, like I expected earlier I'm totally into the cute Zelda, she's very lovely. And the story feels right, it's an interesting and fresh set up. The Knight Academy reminds me a little bit of Harry Potter. Actually I've never seen a Harry Potter movie or read any of the books, it just reminds me of it in general. But it's not a bad thing, the school setting is much cooler than expected and offers many colorful characters.

Also, most of the tutorial stuff seems to be completely optional, for example I think you can skip the sword tutorial. I did it anyway, but it's nice to know that you can skip it in a replay. So, overall it doesn't feel as bad as the beginning of Twilight Princess, where you have to herd goats, teach children sword moves, feed cats and other annoying things. Everything done in the beginning is somehow meaningful. However, it seems you can't skip cutscenes. I hope you can do this in a replay, because skipping cutscenes was probably one of the best features of Twilight Princess.

At one point they mention that the Knight Academy is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, which is a nice reference to the anniversary of the Zelda franchise. The 25th Anniversary logo even got included into the game.

When we played the game on the press event, we spent quite some time looking for Rupees to buy a Wooden Shield. It turns out that you actually don't have to buy it, one of the teachers of the academy gives you one... *facepalm* However, I thought it was more interesting to buy it on your own and to have the option going to the forest without a shield.

Since I already played the forest at the press event, I focused on exploring Skyloft first before going to the forest again. And it actually lets you fully explore the entire sky area, you can visit all the small islands, even though you can't do much on most of them. But there was one island with this pumpkin bar, where you can let a chandelier with a Piece of Heart on it fall down, which is a hilarous scene. Overall the game offers tons of funny stuff that you can do in the individual houses. The Knight Academy has a toilet, which you can use. Or there's this old lady which collects old vases and you can actually roll bump into her shelf destroying her entire collection. I bursted out laughing so hard, you can really screw around a lot in this game. Or you can look into people's shelves, which never appeared since Link's Awakening.

And you can actually go to sleep in ANY bed. Going to sleep is the only way to enter night time, which is very atmospheric. You can't leave Skyloft yet during night, but I'm guessing you will get one of those headlights for your birds. Maybe entering the overworld areas during night will lead to very different experiences.

One of the first things I did after getting the Slingshot was visiting Beedle. He sells a lot of useful stuff for a lot of money. I bought a Bug Catching Net worth 50 Rupees and two 300 Rupee expansions for the purse worth 100 Rupees each. But he also offers a medal for 800 Rupees and a one slot Adventure Bag upgrade for 300 Rupees. I also upgraded my Wooden Shield to the Bandaged Shield, got two bottles by now and collected quite some bugs and spoils. And there's tons of other stuff to buy. This game really puts use into your hard earned Rupees, which is great.

When you sleep at Beedle's he takes you out to a tiny island at night. He sits there at a camp fire and stares at his favorite bug. These are the moments, where the game really shines. It's a living world with many things and secrets to discover. There was clearly putten a lot of detail into the game.

No comments: