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Has Your Opinion Changed With SSHD?

Azure Sage

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Many of us here played SS all the way back at the original Wii release, but that was quite a while ago. Now that we've got a fresher perspective with the HD release, did your opinion change with this new definitive version?

My thoughts... haven't really changed all that much, honestly. I loved SS back then, I love it now. It's still one of my favorite Zelda games. If anything, playing it again in HD reinforced its place on my list of favorites. It's a great and enjoyable experience, and pretty unique as far as Zelda games go with the control scheme that's a lot of fun to play.

What about you guys? Did anything change for you with SSHD?
 

twilitfalchion

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My opinion on SS has definitely changed a fair bit over time. Back when I first played it (upon release), I was fully hyped for it as I didn't have a good point of reference for what Zelda games are typically like. Even if I never finished it, I still thought well of it as a game, because I didn't notice the glaring issues it has.

Coming back to the Wii version when I was much older, those issues made themselves very apparent, and prevented me from having any kind of motivation to want to tackle it again.

Now, with SSHD, the biggest issues keeping me from continuing with the game are mostly addressed. Those being the frustrating motion controls, Fi's overwhelming presence, and the amount of downtime/interruption of the game's pace in the early game.

Surprisingly, my thoughts on SSHD through the early game were more positive than I had expected. I was appreciating how Fi wasn't there at every turn to explain to me something I already knew or had the intelligence to understand on my own, the events of the game were moving along at a better pace thanks to faster dialogue and skippable cutscenes, and I was able to not get frustrated about the controls because button controls were an option (though I have played a decent amount of the time with motion; they're still just as irritating if not worse because the gyro drifts so much).

But getting into more of the mid and late game has reinforced that, while SS has some good aspects to its design, there are still negative ones that couldn't be fixed without significantly changing the game's design. First and foremost, the lack of a proper overworld and the decision to make the world that's there a system of hallways and restricted areas leaves the player feeling cramped when their only other option is to fly through a mostly barren sky, complete dungeons, or maybe just walk around small locations like Skyloft or the Lumpy Pumpkin. It feels like you never get a real break from dungeon crawling when the "overworld" is designed like a dungeon itself. Past games had things like the Great Sea or Hyrule Field to bop around in as a break from dungeon crawling, but SS doesn't have anything like that. And considering you have to return to the same places over and over again, it only makes things worse. I personally don't care for that approach at all. It kills the sense of adventure for me.

Speaking of dungeons, I can't say most of them have impressed me, with either the dungeon itself or the bosses. Ancient Cistern is probably the best of the bunch so far. It's solid, though I'm not too keen on Koloktos as a boss. Bosses in particular are fairly disappointing as well. None of them are particularly fun to fight for me, though I like the concept of Ghirahim being a duel between swordsmen (though Scervo is a better execution of the concept if you ask me, despite being a miniboss). The Imprisoned is awful. There's a reason that fight is generally considered bad, and I'd wholeheartedly agree. Other than the Silent Realms, the Imprisoned fights (2 and 3 specifically) are one of the few times I've raged at the game.

As far as the game's pace is concerned, it's never very good, IMO. But the mid-to-late quests like the Scrapper escort in Eldin or the Tadtones segment just feel like padding to extend the game's play time. They're not mechanically bad I wouldn't say, but it causes the game to drag for me. I'm at the point now where I'm just actively wanting the game to end, even if I have enjoyed my time with SS overall.

Combat (one of the things I was most interested to see how SSHD would handle) is not bad, but it's still no replacement for a simple Y or B button press to swing your sword. I get that Nintendo was pretty stuck with how they could fix it given how SS is built around the motion controls, but I don't enjoy fighting with either control scheme. Ever since I got the bow, I generally just pick off enemies (when possible) to avoid having to deal with sword swinging. I'm glad it gives more people the chance to play the game, but I still can't get into it. It works, but it doesn't work well enough for me personally.

I've pretty much been exclusively negative in my thoughts on SS so far, but I do have praise for the game. I think the presentation is lovely, and the music suits each scene well. Attempting to tell more of a story is nice, though it's fairly uninteresting to me. The visual style itself (character designs aside) is very pleasant. I've always thought that, and SSHD has only enhanced those visuals. Certain locations are also quite unique in their designs, such as the Lanayru Sand Sea and Eldin in general. While I don't care for the restrictive nature of the regions in the game, I don't deny that some of them have some rather good choices for their layout. I think item use is also one of SS's strong suits (sometimes). The bow and clawshots in particular are always very fun and satisfying to use. Likewise, the introduction of new mechanics like stamina was ambitious, even if the execution was lackluster, IMO.

This has become much longer than I meant it to, but I kinda needed to explain my thoughts, I suppose.

On the whole, I think SSHD is the best/definitive version of the game, and that SS is a solid enough game itself. But playing SSHD has me considering it to be the weakest 3D Zelda I've played. It's worth experiencing in full once, but I feel no desire to return to it again.
 

MapelSerup

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Since I was actually able to get through the game this time, I have to say this blows every other story out of the water. The gameplay is alright, but the music and atmosphere make everything so epic (literally an epic, it checks all the boxes to be considered one). Now that the pacing is sped up by gameplay and dialogue improvements it's made even better. It's able to utilize themes and story beats that are impossible to do in more open-ended games like BOTW; and while I much prefer the gameplay of the open world, I can really appreciate a linear but engrossing story, especially now that it's been streamlined to make it that much more immersive.
 

Mamono101

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SSHD hasn’t really change much of what I think of the game. I still think it’s pretty mediocre and still sits comfortably in my list of least favourite titles (along with BotW).

My positives are that I very much appreciated toning down Fi (though there still could have been some more tweaks IMO). I’ve always liked the dungeons in this game, particularly Lanayru Mining Facility, Sandship, and Ancient Cistern, and you can actually see the prototype for what became the BotW shrine puzzles contained within them.

In saying that, I disliked the exact same things about the game I didn’t like my first 5 times around. In particular almost everything that happens in the overworld. Everything still feels like a glorified fetch quest to me in terms of what the game asks you to do. I especially despise the Song of the Hero “quest”. This truly feels like padding that could have been delivered differently. Why couldn’t it have come from Hylia as a reward for sitting through a really long cutscene that’s extreme on exposition delivery? And contrary to what most people think, I feel like the Spirit Realm areas are also just game padding. To me, they feel like a tacked on way to simply not get a major item within a dungeon. I felt like in TP the equivalent Twilight Realm belonged as they were naturally integrated into the narrative of the towns needing to be unshrouded from the twilight that had taken hold of the provinces. Also, the “side quests”? Almost all of them are go here, find x, call Scrapper (who I really don’t like as a character), return to Skyloft, done. None of them are interesting in anyway to me.

And just as an aside, because I need to vent, Fun Fun Island is still the worst and most frustrating mini game in the franchise. (This includes the Swamp Shooting Gallery in MM.) It always takes me the longest to complete since landing in the x50 multiplier is inconsistent even though the skydiving component to that mini game consistently gets me through each ring. I’ve never understood how that game is easily farmed for rupees when I consistently net a 0 or negative rupee return because of where I always land.
 
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Never finished the Wii version. First time in history I had never finished a Zelda game. I had a huge amount of problems with it. Particularly the last 3-4 hours being a torturous slog. Not just controls. In fact, the controls were the least of my issues. I had more issues with controls this time around than before. But I was willing to give the HD version another chance.

I'll do a mini review.

Having beaten the HD version I can appreciate certain aspects of the game(mostly technical)but all in all, its still a medicore Zelda game. Good game in general. But Still one of the worst if not the worst 3D Zelda. I have to replay TP again to see which one is the worst.

Here are my positive and negatives for this version and SS in general

Positives

- Great Music
- Some great dungeon designs.
- Some cool mini games
- 60FPS is a game changer for Zelda. Nintendo better not put out TP and Wind Waker in 30FPS. BOTW2 Obviously cannot run 60 on the switch but no older port should be running at 30fPS. Zelda at 60FPS is fantastic. This is the smoothest Zelda game to date. The changes to the camera and frame rate make the wii version obsolete. I actually went back to play the wii version and switched it off after a few minutes. Looked ugly as hell. Switch version even in still is clean and crisp.


Negatives

- Controls while functional just aren't intuitive or fun. I'll never ever replay SS for many reasons but this is one of them.

- Overworld is incoherent and lacks any real sense of place or atmosphere. Skyloft is a great mini town, but that's it. Theres not much to do outside Skyloft and areas are small blocks of land with either some mini games or one random Bar. Takes way too long to traverse around places and no warp ability is just annoying especially for exploration. Comparing this to OoT's hyrule field or Termina or the Wind wAker Sea its pitiful in its design.

- Relating to the overworld. Flying just sucks. ITs not fast enough and there isn't enough to do with it. It gets boring REAL fast half way through the game. Also the animations are slow and the delay in getting to places is frustrating.

- The Trials collecting tears. Literally copy and pasting an awful idea from Twilight Princess(which they changed in the HD port) and putting 4 of them in the game 2 of which are just boring and not fun. MAke them optional to get better gear or something. Don't force these things. And this goes back to my argument about this port being lazy. So how is it in TP you change the pacing of the Tear collecting but in SS you leave it as it is? I know why. You couldn't be bothered to make significant gameplay changes to the game. Just tried to make the game playable on a controller and ignored other fundamental design issues with the game. You addressed issues of every Zelda remaster you've done be it OoT/MM or Wind Waker or TP. But nothing for SS except controls? There no pacing improvements for a game that has some fo the worst pacing for a zelda game? And talking about pacing...


- Pacing in the last 1/4 of the game is truly horrendous. Makes Wind Wakers Triforce hunt look like a 2 minute slope ride. IT actually starts with the awful last fire dungeon to the imprisoned fights to really drawn out Dragon song hunting with some really long sections and even the skykeep dungeon which in theory sounds interesting but the execution is just poor and takes way longer than it should. The last section was just ardious. It makes replaying SS impossible for me. Normally every Zelda game has its moments of bad to things you dislike but I still enjoy replaying the whole game if I have a fond memory of them. But SS I will never replay. more than half the game I found to be bland, long winded and boring.

There are great moments in this game but its few and far between. I know I sound like I'm ranting but I've NEVER EVER had this many issues with Zelda game. Zelda is my fav series. But Skyward Sword has fundamental design issues that I'm so GLAD they threw it in the bin and made BOTW.

I actually did Review this game back in 2011 and said almost the same things but wasn't as negative because BTOW didn't exist or WW and TP HD. ironically I barely had a bad thing to say about the controls except "sometimes they don't work as well as they should".

Nintendo had another chance with his game. And it just seemed like the pandemic made them just throw a product out for the sake of putting it out with minimal effort. I appreciate the changes to the frame rate but that's sort of a given considering its Wii game. Of course, the game would run and look better if you're using better hardware. The controls while they work I felt they could have made other better options.

So All in all..as a standard game to play in 2021...i'd give it a 7. Good game. As a 3D Zelda ranking...5/10 and the worst.

Since I was actually able to get through the game this time, I have to say this blows every other story out of the water. The gameplay is alright, but the music and atmosphere make everything so epic (literally an epic, it checks all the boxes to be considered one). Now that the pacing is sped up by gameplay and dialogue improvements it's made even better. It's able to utilize themes and story beats that are impossible to do in more open-ended games like BOTW; and while I much prefer the gameplay of the open world, I can really appreciate a linear but engrossing story, especially now that it's been streamlined to make it that much more immersive.
While I agree its easier to do a more focused story in a linear game...The game is linear to a fault. Too linear probably the most linear zelda game ever. I appreciate some of the design. But BOTW2 can't come soon enough.

SSHD hasn’t really change much of what I think of the game. I still think it’s pretty mediocre and still sits comfortably in my list of least favourite titles (along with BotW).

My positives are that I very much appreciated toning down Fi (though there still could have been some more tweaks IMO). I’ve always liked the dungeons in this game, particularly Lanayru Mining Facility, Sandship, and Ancient Cistern, and you can actually see the prototype for what became the BotW shrine puzzles contained within them.

In saying that, I disliked the exact same things about the game I didn’t like my first 5 times around. In particular almost everything that happens in the overworld. Everything still feels like a glorified fetch quest to me in terms of what the game asks you to do. I especially despise the Song of the Hero “quest”. This truly feels like padding that could have been delivered differently. Why couldn’t it have come from Hylia as a reward for sitting through a really long cutscene that’s extreme on exposition delivery? And contrary to what most people think, I feel like the Spirit Realm areas are also just game padding. To me, they feel like a tacked on way to simply not get a major item within a dungeon. I felt like in TP the equivalent Twilight Realm belonged as they were naturally integrated into the narrative of the towns needing to be unshrouded from the twilight that had taken hold of the provinces. Also, the “side quests”? Almost all of them are go here, find x, call Scrapper (who I really don’t like as a character), return to Skyloft, done. None of them are interesting in anyway to me.

And just as an aside, because I need to vent, Fun Fun Island is still the worst and most frustrating mini game in the franchise. (This includes the Swamp Shooting Gallery in MM.) It always takes me the longest to complete since landing in the x50 multiplier is inconsistent even though the skydiving component to that mini game consistently gets me through each ring. I’ve never understood how that game is easily farmed for rupees when I consistently net a 0 or negative rupee return because of where I always land.
Your opinion on the Silent Realms isn't the minority. Its the Majority. Most people think those areas are bad padding. This game has more padding than an entire team of NHL players. I think they ran out of ideas in this game and tried to make every section 3 hours longer than it should be.

And about that flying mini game. I got that heart piece after about 10 tries and NEVER EVER touched that game again. Screw doing that to farm rupees. I never did any farming in this game. It just wasnt' fun to roam that world.
 
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Vanessa28

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Hmmm, I really hate the wii version of SS. Mainly because of the bloody motion controls. I didn't really struggled with it but I hated it so much it took all the fun out of the game. Now that we have a better version when it comes to controls I can say I really enjoy it a lot so far. Because of my huge dislike I never paid attention to quests, music and details. A lot of things I don't even remember at all although I knew exactly what to do!
The things changed I like the most:
- Controls. Both button and motion are a big plus imo. Especially motion makes this game a lot of fun.
- Fi being chained. A huge plus because I really disliked how she interrupted all the damn time!
- No longer getting the same info about treasures. Nothing as annoying than continuously getting the same info when getting a rupee, feather, monster horn or whatever treasure over and over again. When we catch something for the first time, okay, but when you quit the game and play it again and catch a rules or treasure you already caught there's no need to give me the exact same info as if it's the first time. Thank God they fixed that!!
- Being able to skip more cutscenes.

Things they could've changed:
- Not being able to skip those annoying scenes in the silent realms. When you catch a tear the guardians aren't chasing you for 90 sec. So everytime when the time is up, you hit the water or being spot by the patrolling guardians there's an annoying scene with the guardians waking up and coming after you. There's no need to have that scene happen every time! It already starts when you first leave the circle till you catch the first tear. I can understand it happening at the start but every damn time AFTER that?! Still had fun with the realms though ;)
- Imprisoned fight. Yep, once you know what to do it's so damn easy to defeat him. Especially with these controls it's even more easy. But if they can tone down tears collecting in TP they could've tone down the Imprisoned battle. But Groose needs moments to stand out so they're forgiven :D

Overal thoughts:
Am I surprised? Yes and in a good way. I enjoy the game a huge lot more and spend a lot of time exploring and discovering and even hunting things for upgrades. I like talking to the NPC's and try to do as much sidequests as I can. I still love Skipper the most out of all characters. Scrapper can go to the thrash. I don't care for him at all. Ancient Cistern and Sandship are my fav dungeons. Koloktos and Scervo are my fav boss and miniboss. The bokoblins are as cute as ever with their cute funny noises. Especially when they fall. The music is relaxing and cool. Even though it's not my fav game I certainly enjoy playing it. So yeah, I definitely like this game better now. A huge lot better
 

misskitten

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I had a very love/hate relationship with it back in the wii days and quit before the halfway mark of the game. I will still say there are things in it I am definitely not fond of, like the Silent Realms (oh man, they stress me out and I hate it, the Eldin one especially). But this time around I actually pushed through and got through them and I'm really happy I did, because there were so many great things still waiting for me. I especially loved the Song of Hero questline and how different each of the dragon tasks ended up being.

It didn't grow to become my favourite or anything. As it stand it's probably my number #7, I grew very fond of the game overall, found it had a lot more great stuff in it than I originally thought. And though I will never grow to love the Silent Realms, I at least now know I can push through them and there will be worthwhile stuff on the other side.
 

Mellow Ezlo

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I adored Skyward Sword when I first played it back in 2011 when I was a young, naive 10th grader. It quickly became my favourite Zelda game and I had a blast playing it.

What a silly memer I was back then!

Don't get me wrong, Skyward Sword isn't a terrible game by any means (no Zelda game falls under that category) but each time I played it I found myself getting bored, which very rarely happens with Zelda games. I could go into details as to why, but I don't feel like it because I'm in bed on my phone. It is possibly the most heavily flawed of the 3D games, as there are blatant flaws in almost every category, but my biggest gripe with it is just that once you get past the novelty of the motion controls, there is very little to enjoy or make the game stand out. The story is fairly generic (and contradicts established lore), segmenting the overworld was a terrible design choice, the music is rather unremarkable for the most part (a shame for the first orchestrated soundtrack), the character designs are horrendous, the boss fights are bland and only fun when you're experiencing the motion controls for the first time (which actually applies to pretty much all the combat in the game... once the novelty wears off, it's mediocre). I could go on.

That's not to say there's nothing to like about the game. I think the landscapes are beautiful, Skyloft is a cool hub even if the sky is extremely underwhelming, the finale is incredibly cinematic and epic, the mini games are fun, the side quests are charming, the cutscenes and in fact the game as a whole are far more cinematic than most prior Zelda games. But all of these things are relatively minor, and while I did have a good time playing the Switch "remake" (it's a glorified port), throughout my playthrough I just kept getting reminded of the glaring weaknesses the game has. I hoped it would make me like the game more, but it just reinforced my relative distaste for it.

Also the button controls were a mistake, they're incredibly unintuitive and more awkward than anything, but they're optional and I appreciate how much easier it is to calibrate the joycons than the wiimotes even though drift is a thing and really really annoying.
 

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