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ActionRemix Blog

Every platform I own has been a major aggravation this past month

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PC: For Civ 5 requiring I go to the main menu and then restart the program to change graphic settings and for still stuttering at the lowest possible settings (even though I can run Crysis). For Hamachi losing all networking functionality. Wii: For Hallway of Zelda: Forward Sword. For the worst jaggies I've seen in a video game since the PS1. For my nunchuck losing waggle detection. PS3: For running Skyrim at 15-20 fps. For my PS3 freezing halfway through the Back to Karkand download multiple times. For the new Oman. For requiring 8 hours to format its HDD. I think I should give the PS3 the lose, but I'm not sure if I can give another platform the win. I honestly had more fun winding wire around a tube than playing a video game in the past month. Maybe I'm getting out of modern gaming altogether.

Skyward Sword Early Impressions

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Okay, so I played the game for about five and a half hours today. Anyone interested in my spoiler-free impressions of the game? BEST ZELDA GAME EVER! 10/10 Well, that's what I wanted to be able to say. But here's what I really think: Graphics Let me just get this out of the way first. Sometimes the game doesn't look far behind 360/PS3 games, but some textures look absolutely terrible. The vines are the ugliest climbable wall texture since Ocarina of Time. Framerate is not consistent. Big dips aren't frequent, but they are common. Resolution hasn't been an issue for me. Flying Flying is excellent. Exploration isn't quite as expansive as Wind Waker, but it seems like it's going to be a really enjoyable part of the game. You have to parachute onto the little islands and be fairly precise. Very reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy. Combat Combat is indeed challenging. I died against Stalfos a couple times before I beat him. Enemies hit hard in this game. Don't expect to only lose only a quarter of a heart. Some of the classic enemies have had creative reimaginings. I particularly like the new twist on Skulltula. Control has not improved significantly since Twilight Princess and is still worse than Wind Waker's smooth control. Swordplay works fine, but it's not ideal, and falls far short of hype. It's not 1:1. You can only slash the sword in 8 directions, stab, and spin attack (horizontally and vertically). You won't consistently swing in the right direction, either. Whichever reviewer said that the motion control worked 80% of the time wasn't kidding. Actions that involve the nunchuck work even less. Dare I say it? I would enjoy this game more on a dual analog gamepad. There's nothing stopping a right analog stick from controlling the sword. It's not 1:1, guys. It's just eight-directional slashes. The motion controls have gone to complete waste. Most of the time, they're just just used to replace buttons or analog sticks. There's even gimmicky gameplay mechanics that exist only to show off the motion controls. Jostling the rope you're tightrope walking on is especially annoying. There's nothing that I've played so far that could only be possible with Wii Motion Plus. If this is Nintendo's closing argument on the viability of motion controls in core games, case closed. Wiimote aiming may be a suitable replacement for dual analog camera control, but waggle cannot replace buttons. Gameplay Some of the human characters are really annoying and the whole plot comes off as High School Musical: The Anime. The gameplay was about as thrilling as walking around in Twilight Town in Kingdom Hearts. There is a lot of running around trying to find the right people to talk to. If it weren't for the sword dojo, buying things at the store would be the most fun I had in Skyloft. That is not a lie. Really. And then it all changed. About two hours in, it was actually good! "Of course!" I thought. Everything before that point was just the tutorial. I was really feeling an epic vibe at this point in the game. I knew that the game was really about to start. Within fifteen minutes I was back to boredom. What a letdown. There are parts of this game that are very good, but it feels like these parts made up less than an hour of over five hours of playtime. After five hours, I finally made it to the first dungeon. It was actually kind of cool. But good dungeons don't make a good Zelda for me. My favorite Zeldas have better overworlds than dungeons. Twilight Princess felt like one dungeon after another with a very boring. So far this feels similar, minus the dungeons. Conclusion Best Zelda game ever? It's not even a GOOD Zelda game! I haven't beaten the game, of course, but it's been far from spectacular up to this point. I haven't played enough of it to really judge it, and I hear there's a point where it gets much better, but if the rest of the game is as padded as the first five hours, Skyward Sword is among the worst Zeldas. I give the first few hours a 6/10.