The HotSpot - Zelda Skyward Sword - 11/21/11

Nintendo's latest Legend of Zelda left GameSpot slightly wanting, and The HotSpot crew offers a spoiler-tastic take on just how Link lost his way.

by

First of all, oh my god spoilers! Whew, OK, now that we have that out of the way, Tom Mc Shea, Peter Brown, and Tom Magrino dig into Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, a game that we will emphatically call pretty good. We also take a few live calls, some of which are on topic!

The HotSpot - Zelda Skyward Sword - 11/21/11 by gamespot

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Discussion

245 comments
trixantea
trixantea

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Zelosthebrave
Zelosthebrave

Tom's a noob. I never center that sh@t b*tches, and it works perfectly fine. Padding?!? Thats what Zelda games are! You back track in all Zelda games idiots. Okay, why didn't you say all this stuff in your review the first time dumba$$. Why didn't you complain about the bosses in your original review, if it was such important problem? I can't watch this down syndrome kid talk anymore.

potsiiscool
potsiiscool

I'm not saying that Tom should have given a perfect score but I do think he took a few points out of the game simply for controversy. Just look at the irony of him saying "I do think it's a very, very good game" while that big "7.5=good" is right next to him. There is a huge difference between a good and a very, very good game (that's 2 verys mind you). Anyway, I think the fact that he is avoiding to elaborate on the biggest flaw he says he found with the game, is very odd. His first and main complain was the controls. The main question Zelda fans (not fanboys) wanted answered was regarding his opinion on the controls. Yet he brushes it off by saying "controls are just the means and it would still get the same score". As for the whole "pointer being at the center of the screen when using an item", it took my like 10 minutes to get used to that without recalibrating.... I've given this guy the benefit of the doubt more than once but I just can't take the review seriously, especially after watching his over-generalized, non-specific arguments on what was the biggest concern people had with the review. One good thing about the review was that the Zelda boards had some pretty hilarious "OMG! WE'RE GONNA DIE!" topics....

Markey83
Markey83

LOL controls are the biggest problem, but did not directly impact the score...(talks about the controls for almost 6 minutes and how they mar the experience and also mentions it as a main point in the review with a broken-controller emblem). I think the controls probably played more into you review than you admit. But, it's all good Tom. I disagree with some of your points in your review, but I agree with some of them as well. For me, the controls are not that bad. I felt like the controls worked about 90% of the time, and I kinda felt like this was more of a hardware issue rather than a software programming issue, but that's just my opinion. I would have liked to see more variety. The more things changed for the game the more they stayed the same. I get where you are coming from and applaud your explaining your review. I understand more about why you gave the score you gave, but I believe I would have given it an 8 because despite its flaws; it is still one of the best games on its platform, and that counts for something in the way of its review score. It is important to compare this game to current games, but also more important to keep things in perspective as the Wii is a much different platform that the PS3 and XBOX 360 and in comparison to current Wii games...well there is no comparison unless you talk about Metroid Prime 3 or the Super Mario Galaxy games or so on and so forth...which aren't as current now.

JackZor23
JackZor23

(FYI, score inflation strangles puppies to death)

JackZor23
JackZor23

Weirdly enough, even though my wounded Zelda fan heart is still bleeding, Mc Shea is right. Let this review be the opening salvo of a war against score inflation!

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

Worst review and now just a bunch of excuses to show they don't even know how to use a Wiimote. Is so disappointing to see how this place has turned against the best Zelda in years just to call for attention...

captainfork
captainfork

I don't know what to think of GS anymore. They always used to seem so professional, but this whole "we only support each other" bit seems...out of place, I guess. Like another user mentioned, why do these guys on the show only agree with him? Where's the critical look at Tom's review? Even though I'm having a literally perfect time controlling Link as I'm playing, I came into this with an open mind, ready to believe what Tom said and understand his point of view. I can see his beef with the "padding," even though I personally think it's fun. But there's much more content that outweighs the "padding." And they always go back to the controls, even though Tom keeps saying that it's not what lowered the score. Why spend so much time defending yourself, then? What scared me the most, though, is how they consider the bulk of the professional reviewers "brainwashed." If most everyone, from professional reviewer to amateur gamer, calls this game a masterpiece, how immature is it to defend your review by saying that everyone else is brainwashed? I mean, they keep saying that their problems with the game are objective and should be evident to any serious reviewer, but when they are the ONLY ones saying this... If you didn't like the game, or if motion controls just aren't for you then please, just SAY it already. Don't say that you thought that the game was "really good," then backtrack and call out all of the other reviewers.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

It is official, I have now beaten the game and I have to say Tom, your review is BS. I didn't have a single control issue, the story was great, the art style was amazing, the puzzles were clever and the bosses were amazing. You're love for the old style of zelda The original on nes) has clouded your judgement severely. (tom love's the original game and claim's that is the best in the series because of it's non hand holding approach to adventure game and its aimless exploration)

lil_leftee
lil_leftee

There's such a downplay on the positives in this review, I can't help but think he's biased and cynical on the negatives. IF he took an overall look at the game and think it's a 7.5, then I just have to say to take another look at it by looking at the positives of the game just as enthusiastically as the negatives. He doesn't give much praise for the art direction, nor the music. The storytelling and presentation of it is superb, something that is dramatically improved from it's predecessors. If he looked at the game in a more balanced, non-biased overall view, I can definitely see a 8.5 pass, but I don't see how it can merit a 7.5.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

@FrozenNeon92 yes, yes it is fine. The reason people play zelda games is because they like the design of the game. The dungeon crawling, puzzles and fetch quest is what people want and expect from zelda, deviate and guess what, we get another majoras mask, which is good, but not as fondly remembered as the other games in the series. Games can keep the same gameplay and still feel fresh, look at diablo 3, that is basically the same game as the last one, but do you see people complaining about that, not really. This is what people want out of a zelda game, and you should play something else if it isn't what you want.

FightForTheLost
FightForTheLost

Actually your analogy doesn't hold up mastretta since the control scheme for Street Fighter games is fluid and sound without any issues. With Skyward Sword its controls are terrible and need to constantly be recalibrated and recentered and are much of the time unresponsive so its the game's fault not the skill of the individual player of Skyward Sword whereas if someone screwed up a Street Fighter II hadoken it would be their fault assuming their controller was in good working order at the time of their attempt to pull off the move.

banditjingx
banditjingx

I second the two comments below mine

mastretta
mastretta

Dudes, its amazing. Its like if i complain for not getting the hodoken right and blame the control scheme. I have beaten the game and all the problems that these guys talk about are solved within the learning curve. You guys are so lame, giving people the wrong impression of a game just because you don't know how to play it is just wrong. I had those problems within the first 5 hours of gameplay, but hell its rewarding for the rest of the game!

SacredVega
SacredVega

Well after playing the whole the game and listen to this reviem I must say I'm dissapointed in the score. After Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, no other Zelda game has been a challenge (for me anyway) until Skyward Sword. Not only challenging but also fun and even thougth it does not have that feeling of exporation it's still is a wonderful Zelda game. I think this game deserver at least a minimun 8.5. Even if he gave that score for me Skyward Sword was the best Zelda game following Ocarina of Time. And for all the Zelda fans! Ignore his review and have fun traveling with Link and seeing how he fulfills his destiny! :D

blankshore
blankshore

Wow. I'm really surprised with Gamespot's experience with the game. I'm about 2/3 through the game and I honestly haven't had a single control issue. Of course people will think I'm just saying that, or that I'm just trying to overlook the game's flaws, but I'm not. I just genuinely haven't had any problems. I haven't had to recenter my sword once, and the few times I've had to recenter the gyroscope for aiming my Slingshot or Gust Jar have taken literally half a second. I love the story, I love the characters, and the structure feels really different to me. The whole game feels like a dungeon now, and the use of items is far less predictable. It's a shame Gamespot had such a bad experience with it, but what can you do? They weren't blown away, and that's that. For my money, it's the best 3D Zelda game, and probably my favorite game of the year.

Metal_Gear_LR
Metal_Gear_LR

hm...to each their own I suppose. yes folks older games are great we already know this fools this isnt video game tea club, sheesh, look a 7.5? well thats the reviewers choice its not that big a deal you guys the important question is do you like the game? if so then thats what should matter. To be honest I've noticed that the reviewers dont seem to be much of nintendo fans and in my book thats good because it means they wont get all gaga and give it a good review just because the nintendo brand is on it, it means a nintendo game can fight for a score fairly. anyway so far I'm loving skyward sword I just beat that demon lord guy i'll be damned if I have to learn to spell his name xD

0mrick
0mrick

I agree with Tom. 7.5 I started with Super N and A Link To The Past. I am 70, but still beat the tall skinny guy that likes to grab sharp swords. I won't give my details now, but I liked Twilight Princess much more than Sword Skyward. Maybe when I finish the game I will add more. Cheers from Canada.

asisv
asisv

At the end he gives you a magic "7.5 hero score", which is totally useless but makes link fail all the sword swings.

asisv
asisv

It's impossible to watch at Tom without thinking: look at that controller waggler now trying to waggle our oppinion about his waggling habits. The next Zelda game will feature Tom McSheas' house, where you must bring 100 "nerd waggling wands" to release him from a curse that makes him speak ill about nonexistent infrared lights that makes him waggle senseless.

loojtuam
loojtuam

this is exactly what he wants, attention. Maybe even Gamespot is in on this. Let's not give he what he wants. The best thing we can do is forget about him.

johnnybowman
johnnybowman

Sorry Tom but many people (including me) looking forward to getting Skyward Sword never played the 2D Zelda games of yore that you love to refer to. For many people Ocarina of time was their first Zelda game and they loved it. So when you say that Skyward Sword repeats the mistakes that started in Ocarina of Time it makes you sound like you have no idea what you are talking about.

koorkoor
koorkoor

After hearing that honesty vs PR claims segment, I feel Tom McShea has matured as a critic. Gamespot now has another great, honest reviewer. And while I may not agree with every single score he's given (e.g. Infamous 2, Bloodrayne Betrayal), I know it's his honest opinion. Way to go

Viiper
Viiper

If a 7.5 is what it deserves you better stick with it, Tom. Stay true to your reviewing heart. Oh yeah, Tom, I really dig that dual camera view you had shown in this episode.

does286moss403
does286moss403

Still the most fun games podcast because of its mixture of spontanaiety and integrity

Magrino
Magrino

@everyone Today's video is doing me dirty, but the audio is up: gamespot.com/6346654. Expect the video in about an hour and a half.

Magrino
Magrino

@EdibleFood Because I get yelled at when it's not up at 6pm PST.

thedarklinglord
thedarklinglord

For me, what made Zelda - the original Zelda - such an awesome experience was the open world exploration and the true sense of discovery that came with uncovering all those delightful secrets just waiting to be discovered, where each new item you collected had the potential to unlock new hidden places and items. You were just dropped into that world with only the vaguest direction of where to go and what to do. You played the game by living it, exploring it, figuring it out for yourself. It was an adventure in the truest sense of the word. You couldn't wait to share your experience with friends and marvel at how different their experience was, growing more excited as you swapped stories and giddily eager to go back and play more as you learned about secrets you hadn't stumbled upon yourself. Skyward Sword sounds like it's lacking pretty much all of that, that it's a very by-the-numbers, almost on rails experience. It sounds like, beyond the controls, it does nothing truly innovating or interesting, that it neither reinvents the Zelda brand recaptures the charm and enchantment that made the original the classic that it is. While the game still might be fun, it sounds rather disappointing that it didn't live up to its promise or potential. Doesn't sound like the game deserved more than 7.5 or, at best, an 8.

Vince21C
Vince21C

@FrozenNeon92 Cont' pg3 What is a better argument is actually this podcast Get someone to back you up Reinforce your arguments and let it be publicly known It's important to stand up for yourself but you must also realize your position. One person simply cannot take out an army in single hand to hand combat without outside help. Although this podcast is by no means a "nuke," it still better than nothing. imo Tom should also ACE his next review which would reinforce the notion that he had valid points for giving a 7.5 to Skyward Sword. Although it is quite hard considering a review is so subjective he should still try his best. I also think that he should star in the next "Now Playing" or "Tonight on Gamespot" and show off some crazy gamer skills. It is probably the best way to show everyone he is a competent and PRO gamer and that his opinions/judgements are not hindered by noobiness or lack of ability.

Vince21C
Vince21C

@FrozenNeon92 Cont' pg2 The main thing that sparked this wild fire is the fact that Tom stands out alone, and against, a crowd of well known, trusted, and reliable reviews. The fact that Tom is also well known also goes against him as many take his review as, like you said, HIS opinion and not that of Gamespot. This only furthers the fact that he is alone and against the crowd. The inevitable fire will spread, as it so did, and unfortunatly for Tom these kinds of fires can't be put out by a simple call to 911. Alone he stands while he is burned and charred by the very home he lives in.

Vince21C
Vince21C

@FrozenNeon92 Although 7.5 is a "good" score you must take into account that this is the Legend of Zelda, a game with high standards.By this same reasoning you must also take into account that as a reviewer for Gamespot, Tom's opinion is more akin to a judgement than it is a casual conversation about "your thoughts" in a philosophy class. Although these opinions are Tom's true thoughts about the game you should not be so quick to silence the gamers who cry in outrage to his review given the prestige of Zelda as well as Gamespot as a trusted game related website. People simply cannot believe a 7.5 from Skyward sword and when there is a consensus among review scores that the game desevers an 9, people will be outraged Basically what I am trying to say is the argument that "it's his opinion" and that "7.5 is a good score" does not hold. These arguments have weight but it is simply not heavy enough to fend off a raging tide

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

Ahhh why are new episodes being uploaded at 11:59????

FrozenNeon92
FrozenNeon92

I think many people are forgetting that 7.5 means that this is a good game. Tom as a reviewer is probably the most honest of the lot, and the honesty of game reviews on this site from him, Kevin, Chris, Carolyn and the other contributors are one of the reasons I value them so highly. And even if you do disagree with his review, it's his opinion. I'm sure alot of people will like it more, and a lot like it less, but maybe a section of the community needs to stop letting the nostalgia get to them, and think about the game as it is.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@True_Avery : giving a game a lower score because other titles are getting too high scores is also just as bad...just because (imo) Super Mario Galaxy was slightly overrated doesn't mean we should give New Super Mario bros. a lower score..it should be based on the game..not past games or the company. When it comes to reinventing (or lack thereof) pardon my grammar but ''don't fix what ain't broken'' ..there is a basic formula that doesn't change but it is indeed a very basic formula that doesn't change..we see new (or at least completely new iterations) worlds,new modes of travel,completely different and unique soundtracks,drastically different art styles,new modes of travel,almost completely new characters,new music,(of course) new story,new character design,and one major new system added..almost all of which Skyward Sword has,if they changed the basic formula Zela would no longer be zelda now would it?

FrozenNeon92
FrozenNeon92

@FreedomPrime How can you say that they are complaining about what makes Zelda, Zelda? They bemoaned the flaws in the games design. Everything needs to become current sooner or later, and Zelda has clearly taken the much later option. They have been making the same game for years and years. If in another 10, 15, or 20 years, they are still cloning the old formula, is that fine because it's just how Zelda is?

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

tom, if you can 'waggle" to beat the game and you don;t like the idea of playing it the right way, then what do you have to say for games like God of war!? you can totally mash square over and over again to beat that game, so why isn't acceptably in that game but not zelda?

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

It seems like you guy's are complaining about what makes Zelda, Zelda. I mean cm on, we all go into every Zelda game Knowing and expecting these things. " i fetch a item i need, then proceed to the next dungeon, solve some clever puzzles, I receive a new item that assist with the puzzles, and finally I defeat said dungeon. This is the formula created by the original game that Zelda fans adore. I myself find it boring sometimes but i understand why the fan's love it. if you want something different then I suggest you play something else, cause this is how Zelda is and should always be.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

I have played the game fro about 15 hours now, mind you I am not a huge zelda fan and I have to say i am impressed. I did not find any issues with the control's.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

@True_Avery, If the PS3 came with the 6 axis controls firs, good for them. None of the developers did not know what to do with it (other than using this feature in small parts), or were to afraid of changing the conventional controller for a motion controller, and instead they stuck to the easy solution, by implementing this feature the easy way out, or having minor roles in the game. Maybe you remember when the Wii came out; many (including myself) were a bit skeptical about it, since Nintendo tried this before. Both developers and gamers were a bit harsh into not accepting a change, or a bit of fresh air when it came to controls or a gaming experience overall. Fast forward now a days, whether people like it or not, the Wii changed the way we see and expect gaming experience. Saying that, nobody expects all the games to be fully motion control, but Sony and Microsoft completely changed their opinion about the whole motion controller experience... Which in the end its a bit hypocritical of them, game developers and gamers who before were attacking the Wii but now they are believers in motion controls. No matter the gaming console, if developers aren't attracted to it, or think it is a risk, they all will stick what they know best, and that is the unfortunate side of gaming business, they need to make money, and to do so, they will come out with the same stuff over and over with slight variations, but you know this already.

D3dr0_0
D3dr0_0

I'm guessing Mcshea enjoying the circle jerk he received in this HotSpot.

stick2zero
stick2zero

Men.. Those are some long comments. I usually say Hi!

pinicolaroxa
pinicolaroxa

Stop Gamespot please, your embarrasing yourselfs You already got the attention that you wanted with the review

ejpaine
ejpaine

Majora's Mask was brilliant and I dont care what anyone says. Most innovative, most interesting items, most evil boss(the mask itself is a demon), and the 2nd best soundtrack of the series imo. Plus it is actually a direct sequel in the same universe as ocarina. No more princess saving bs and so the game seems fresh yet has developed characters already.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@True_Avery True points, but i have my doubts, no matter the case I will still respect his reviews,all in all, different reviews give different attributes, collecting main things is nerely the only way to judge a game you cant play yet, otherwise playing it yourself is the best. My opinion of the matter the whole "Same tired Formula and no innovation" Daunts me as that isnt true to me, SS changes a rather intriguing amount of the Zelda style which shows that Nintendo is still wanting to make some new additions and is refereshing the series for 25 years, other sites DID say how Nintendo took a risk and that they did a great job without taking too much of the formula. The anniversary game succeeds, or atleast is a great first step, in that, regardless of what any single person says. I find his character(Tom) very intriguing, there are certain games i would want to hear his opinion about considering his harsh nature. Enough of this balyhoo, Ive grown quite tired of always having to come here. I think we can agree on the same things, Positives and Negatives. Tom's Review is a very intriguing piece of Writing. Extra Note: Again, Nothing Negative but seriously they're throwing off nerely everything to make Skyward Sword look like an Overall 7.5 and justify every single thing Tom said regardless of everything else, I personally find that rather unfair, otherwise its just what they want to do.

True_Avery
True_Avery

@hitman047m4 All good points, but SS is not innovating anything in the controls department. At this point all the wii -can- do is fine tune, which is more what I meant. The Motion plus is a great addon, but it is also not a revolutionary innovation as the six axis technically existed in the PS3 first and has been used in games that use the similar sweeping and technical motions. The wii mote is a tuning job at this point, and the real innovation will probably come with the next generation console(s). I do not think controls should not be innovated, but rather that innovation was not a key idea in this particular journey. It was about adapting tech together into a game that has been stale, in my opinion, since Twilight Princess for the Wii. I will applaud the WiiU when it uses Link to do something interesting, but I do not feel this is the case at the moment. I also agree with your second paragraph, but in that same vein I think that is why it got hit with the review it did and particularly why Tom felt the need to call out other reviewers for their very high scores. You are absolutely correct in saying "risk" in context of Nintendo making another rehash of Zelda (just fine tuned), as I think it is becoming a risk for them. If I wanna get all starry eyed and whimsicle, Tom's review could be the beginning of a much needed wake up call for the series.

True_Avery
True_Avery

@moviequest14 Good points, but I think it is important to remember that Tom did not review any of the CoD games primarily because he is hugely biased against them and does not allow himself near them, as they are his kryptonite. Chris reviewed those games, and while he scored MW3 and BF3 at 8.5 (lower than their previous games), he did point out in his review and on the podcast that the games are getting stale and unimaginative so I think it is a little hyperbole to suggest it has never been brought up. Tom himself says that he couldn't give Dead Rising 2: Case Zero a higher score because 3 Dead Rising 2 games had already come out, and this is from the man who has stated that Dead Rising 2 was his all time game of the year full stop, and mentions so in his review. I would also like to mention that the "lack of innovation" complaint was also brought up in both Twilight Princess reviews. Maybe we just read different reviews, but I do see these complaints brought up a lot. As for it being a rather extreme score... eh, personally I don't think so. Between everything he brings up, I may have optimistically given it an 8 but I also feel to a more selfish extent that a score of this rate is what Zelda and especially Nintendo need. Handing out hugely impressive scores to a game that has essentially already been released in its own way encourages more of the same, which is why OOT rerelease for the DS didn't get another 10/10.