Sunday, November 27, 2011

Skyward Sword Blade Journal, Days 10 and 11

Yeah, I'm still playing.

At first I played the Hero Mode for a while. And I can't tell you how much I'm disappointed about this missed opportunity. Just some tougher enemies here and there. That would have been all to make this 2nd Quest really great. But instead it's the same old thing. It's a little bit tougher at the beginning without any hearts, but you'll make it. Because your sword is stronger now, you can use the fully powered fast loading Skyward Strike right from the start, which is quite useful. I've heard that when you get the True Master Sword, it shoots Skyward Strikes with every attack. That would be badass, I'm really looking forward to that. I think the only real problem might be the Boss Battle Mode, where you can't heal yourself this time, especially in case you have to fight Ghirahim 3 or Demise. I still can't beat Ghirahim in the old Boss Battle Mode with normal damage. Getting the Hylia Shield might be a tough challenge.

However, I quit playing the Hero Mode and returned to my old file for various reasons. I'm currently working on a sidequest guide for ZeldaEurope and today I was busy catching insects. I wanted to figure out the ideal farming spots for every insect. Also, you keep all your insects and treasures when you start the Hero Mode. So, I made it into my goal to collect as much stuff as possible and then start a new Hero Mode file with all that stuff. That way I can upgrade every item as early as possible. The only issue will be the Rupees. But for example I can get a Lvl3 Wooden Shield right away. Or upgrade the Bug Net immediatly into the Big Bet, get the Spreadshot right after the Slingshot, etc. And that feels great and might be helpful. So, I'm getting a giant collection first and then I play the Hero Mode.

The Boss Battle Mode actually includes the fight against Ghirahim's Army, which is great. That was a fun sequence, though the Hack'n'Slay'ish feel can get boring after a while. I prefer enemies, who offer some real fights. But I think it's also the only place, where you can find Stalfos now. Or any enemies for that matter. They even removed the freakin bats and slimes from Skyloft! I think this is connected to the Gratitude Crystal quest, as soon as Batreaux gets human, the monsters go all away. Even from the cave. That was a nice farming spot for Monster Claws and Jelly Blobs. And now it's gone. And the cats aren't aggressive anymore. For me this all of this was part of what the atmosphere in Skyloft at night so great. I think it's a bad decision to remove enemies from anywhere. Especially in a game, where you really want to hit things with your sword, because it feels great. Eldin is also very empty by now, only the Lanayru Desert kept its enemies, but fighting electric slimes isn't much fun. Well, that the enemies got wiped was related to the story, I get that, but in this case the story just sucked.

So, I got the last Dowsing ability from the Mogmas: Rupee Dowsing. And it's actually not that unreasonable this time, because it shows a lot of hidden stuff, which I never would know about. For example there are many spots, where Rupees come out when you shoot things with the Slingshot. I never knew that. And there are many bombable walls, which I just missed. They were all cracked, but the crack in the wall is very hard to see in Eldin. But I like this, ever since A Link to the Past bombable walls were way too easy to spot. And I was surprised how many spots I've missed, though there wasn't really anything valueable hidden in these places. No new medals or something, just some Rupees and treasures.

That's it for this post, nothing special, just a small update.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your review, and overall feelings about the game.

I really enjoyed much of it. It's a much more confident entry than Twilight Princess and Wind Waker. Certain things are still really frustrating (like Fi spoiling puzzles and bazaar merchants giving you five pages of repetitive dialog before you can upgrade a damn potion). But those are made up for by the new approach to the overworld.

I can't stress this enough — they FINALLY made a 3D Zelda world that feels as playful and interesting as Hyrule in ALttP. In particular, the woods and volcano areas were just wonderful. Fun to explore, varied but with enough distinctive landmarks that you don't really get lost, cohesive and interconnected, and really fun to traverse.

I applaud the developers for their departure from convention. Hopefully this will embolden them to move still further away from crusty orthodoxy in areas that still need it.

- Long Time Reader of Time

TourianTourist said...

I agree with all of your points. I love the overworlds and I love Skyloft. Probably the best environments in 3D Zelda yet.

But the dungeons took a beating. Except for Level 7 I thought the dungeons were all pretty weak. Sometimes I even thought the game would have been better without the dungeons, especially in case of the Lanayru Mining Facility.

And I'm not a fan of story based linear progression. Better Zelda games or most Metroid games use item based progression or are entirely non-linear. Such a design is usually much more interesting and offers higher replay value. And that's completely missing in Skyward Sword.

Also, I see a lot of wasted potential. The Hero Mode is a good example. I would love to fight some tougher enemies in a more regular fashion. Or the Medals, there's lots of potential in the Medals, just look at the 64 rings in the Oracle games. But in the end there were only seven different Medals, which is a little bit disappointing.

Well, these are the three main points of criticism from my site. Overall the game is very good, probably one of my favorite Zelda games. But it could have been even better, which angers me.

Chris said...

I found a video i think you will dig big time! Post it?