Zelda: Skyward Sword’s Biggest Issue Was Not Its Motion Controls

Although Nintendo made no mention of the Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary during the February 2021 Direct, it did have two Zelda announcements to share during the presentation: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is getting DLC, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is coming to Switch in July. Considering that Skyward Sword itself is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it seems like a fitting time for Nintendo to dust the game off and give it some modern touch-ups, including a new control method. But while the original controls were a common point of contention, they were never the biggest issue plaguing the game.

As the first full-fledged Zelda adventure designed specifically for the Wii, Skyward Sword made extensive use of the Wii Remote, eschewing the series’ traditional control scheme in favor of motion controls. Many aspects of the game were designed around gesturing with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck; you had to physically swing the controller to slash with your sword, for instance, and firing arrows involved pulling back on the Nunchuk to draw your bow.

Although Skyward Sword generally reviewed well at the time of its release, its motion controls would prove divisive among many (to say nothing of the accessibility issues inherent to the control scheme). I can only speak to my own experiences with the game, of course, but I personally felt the motion controls were implemented well; in the multiple times I played through it, I rarely found myself struggling to execute any of Link’s actions–with the exception of the rotating block puzzles that replaced boss keys, which can all go in the bin. But I was also fortunate enough to experience the game in a setting where I had ample room to swing my controller (and no judging eyes around to see me pretend sword fight).

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Author: Kevin Knezevic