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‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’ is the Only Reason To Still Own the Wii [Game Review]

Gameplay_(Skyward_Sword)
Zelda.com/SkywardSword

Mock us if you must, but we’ve always been suckers for running around pretend forests while wearing green skirt-tunics and imagining we’re pointy-eared, boy heroes.

And now, thanks to the spectacular ‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword,’ we’re adding earrings to the ensemble.

Would it help to justify our Zelda obsession if we added that our quest is always to save a woman? The eternally kidnapped Zelda, second only to Mario’s crush Princess Peach in propensity for abduction, is lost once again near the beginning of the new game  and it’s up to us and our trusty bird to rescue her. Although we’re not sure why we’re wearing earrings in this outing, we can’t question our manliness because we’re so handy with swords.

For the first time in a Zelda game, the Wii replicates your stabs, swipes and killshots with precision accuracy, turning swordplay into intense, strategic and physically exhausting battles. The game lets you use either your right or left hand to wield your Wiimote, and thus your in-game sword, and we recommend using your left, because Lord knows you give your right enough of a workout during “alone time” with your laptop before bed.

In addition to the sword, you collect more weapons than a pawn shop owner as you mass-slaughter your way through dungeons.

Zelda games have fallen into a rut over the last decade or so, but the latest entry does what it can to break the monotony. Although the series stubbornly rejects full voice acting, it does more with less, telling a gripping story in the manner of a silent film, using subtitled dialogue to underline the convincing drama told by spectacularly animated cutscenes.

The quests are diverse enough not to feel like fetch-quests or collect-a-thons. Set pieces make you feel like an utter badass, and the killing animation, which you start by raising the Wiimote and nunchuk into the air, then bringing it down, is a heedless blast of bloodlust every time.

Never mind that the hero in the game is the ultimate “friend zone” loser when it comes to romance. Boy, has Zelda proven hard to get over the last 25 years. Maybe if we save her a few  dozen more times she’ll give us a peck on the cheek.

Because Nintendo has long since left the Wii for dead, ‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’ is pretty much the only reason to own the console these days. If you’ve gotten rid of yours, swipe your grandma’s, because you really can’t miss this game.

RATING: 9.5/10

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword ($60), was developed and published by Nintendo and is available on Wii. Rated E 10+. The publisher provided a copy of the game for review.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at becauseitoldyouso.com and follow him on Twitter: @philvillarreal

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