Nintendo has been dropping Skyward Sword HD details, tweets, and trailers in recent weeks leading up to today’s release. Among them were the Overview Trailer, and The Hero Rises trailer. These trailers have all been loaded with bombastic, heroic music. However, they mostly haven’t revealed new stuff since the overview trailer a couple of weeks ago.
With today’s release of Skyward Sword HD, new details have been surfacing all week. A couple of days ago, Nintendo of Japan confirmed direct camera control in a tweet. You can do this via the right stick when playing with motion controls. If you play with button controls, you’ll need to hold down the R button to move the camera. This is because button controls use the right stick to control your sword/weapons by default.
（Joy-Con 2本持ちならRスティックを回す。ボタン操作ならLボタン＋Rスティックを回す。） pic.twitter.com/I4g94H2SNi
— ゼルダの伝説 (@ZeldaOfficialJP) July 13, 2021
According to GameXplain‘s detailed Skyward Sword HD review, the motion controls are not without their issues. The original game used the Wii sensor bar to automatically recalibrate them. However, the Switch has no sensor bar. As a result, the Y button is a dedicated reset button for the motion controls. This is reminiscent of Star Fox Zero on the Wii U. While most of the changes seem to be quite positive, one is a bit unfortunate. That is the new warping mechanic being locked behind an amiibo paywall.
Other Skyward Sword HD details include the auto-save feature. It functions sort of like a 4th save slot. Loading times are also significantly faster than the original. Furthermore, slowdown/stuttering caused by the Timeshift Stones is no longer an issue. While we already knew some of Fi’s help prompts are now optional, you can also speed up all game text. Most cut scenes are skippable, as well. Also, according to GameXplain, new checkpoints seem to have been added in certain missions. Naturally, this all leads us to one obvious question about the game.
Is Skyward Sword HD Worth It?
This is not a new game, and no one will think it is. However, the Switch version runs at 60 FPS, and in HD. This also means you can see that some objects and characters may look a tad dated. HD graphics rendering makes pointy edges more noticeable on the edges of lower detail models. Nonetheless, the HD graphics are a net improvement over the original for sure.
If you haven’t played the original Wii game, it is easily worth it. However, it is a traditional Zelda game, not the massive open-world affair Breath of the Wild is. Some fans maligned Skyward Sword on Wii for being overly linear in structure. While this was an issue, it was still a great adventure. On the other hand, what if you’ve played the original? Is the Switch version worth a double-dip? If you’re a big fan of the series and really enjoyed the Wii game, then it’s likely worth it. Of course, the Switch version also lets you play anywhere in handheld mode. Skyward Sword HD‘s button controls are also an important improvement, especially if you dislike motion controls.