Hi everyone, it’s Jason. Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is widely considered one of the greatest video games ever made. But the Legend of Zelda franchise has had its misses too. Today, Nintendo is hoping to convince gamers to reconsider one title that’s gotten a bad rap in recent years.
In honor of Zelda’s 35th anniversary, the Japanese game developer is releasing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, a remake of the 2011 original with updated graphics and features for the portable Nintendo Switch. It’s another chance to jump into a series that’s become renowned for its gameplay, music and sense of adventure.
For Nintendo fans, the release of a new Zelda game is always cause for celebration. But reactions to this one may be mixed, as Skyward Sword has become polarizing among gamers.
When it first came out for the Nintendo Wii, Skyward Sword was praised by critics for its story and atmosphere. Like previous Zelda games, Skyward Sword put you in the floppy green shoes of an elf named Link as he sets out to save the eponymous princess Zelda, collecting items and solving puzzles along the way.
But weeks after Skyward’s release, fans began to complain that the game felt padded, formulaic and full of sluggish tutorials. There was little of the vast exploration of the kingdom of Hyrule that players had come to love. Some pundits declared that this marked the death of Zelda and that the series was too stale to continue.
The game would go on to sell almost 3.5 million copies, lower than most previous entries in the Zelda series, despite the fact that the Wii was Nintendo’s best-selling console of all time.
Of course, not all was lost. The Zelda team responded to criticism with a reinvention of the Zelda series in 2017 with Zelda Breath of the Wild, which has sold an astronomical 22 million copies—and counting.
Now, Zelda fans both new and old will get a chance to reassess Skyward Sword’s place in the series. This remade version of the game has a lot of changes. For starters, you can play without motion controls, using the Nintendo Switch joysticks rather than swinging your arms in the air. There are also substantial changes to the flow of the game, such as a controllable camera and skippable tutorials.
With this HD remake, Nintendo has a rare chance to rewrite history. But what that narrative says is yet to be determined. Will people fall in love with this new and improved Skyward Sword? Or will this re-release be a reminder that the series got way better afterward?
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