I think the game is going to be great. That does not mean there can't be things to consider that are worth worrying about...for me it is #3 (the low poly count trees look like **GARBAGE**) and #8 (it's hard to make magic happen, even for Nintendo).
Well, the reason the environmental graphics looked bad in the E3 demo (if I'm correct in assuming that's what you're referring to) was because Nintendo merely wanted it to be a sandbox demonstration of new game mechanics, namely controls (which had some unfortunate mishaps). While character models were designed and represented well, many of the environmental objects were not given much attention -- mostly because they didn't need it, as it was a gameplay demonstration first and foremost. Most of them were crudely constructed, temporary objects designed to spruce up a playground designed with the sole purpose of demonstrating some of Link's new abilities and items. Nintendo has confirmed in interviews that the demo at E3 is not an actual portion of Skyward Sword, and that it was merely a sandbox environment; that being said, there shouldn't be much concern over the lacklustre demo.
As to the original question of your thread, I am not too concerned with the controls. Rather, I think they will add a lot of depth and fun to the game. Conversely to how I think the poorly designed controls brought down and exacerbated the issues of Phantom Hourglass (my qualms with which are explained in this thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?10754-Why-Do-People-Dislike-Phantom-Hourglass/page4 ), I think the controls in Skyward Sword (if done properly) would have very positive outcomes on the game, as I've explained before, in this thread (which actually eludes to the Phantom Hourglass one):
DuckNoises said:Baysiderulez said:I think you bring up some very good points.
Although i think given time, and after dying several times I do think the synapses in your brain would start to function faster, as they could predict your opponents next move, and you'd prepare yourself for defense or offense depending on the situation. I wouldn't underestimate the power of your brain just yet, lass.
Although you bring up a very good point as well with 'difficulty.' I am an advocate for making the Zelda games harder, but at the same time I think I should clarify. Should a game be difficult to play because of the physical controls, or should a game be difficult to play because enemies are genuinely hard? I do not think the controls should be what makes the game hard. I think the game taxing your methods of thinking, Not knowing an enemies weak spot, puzzles, and other mind intensive apsects is what should make a Zelda game hard... Not ones ability to use the controller.
I agree wholeheartedly with this, and it's when a game tries to simulate difficulty with controls or gimmicks (that would otherwise be managed by game design) that really, really drives me mad. That's the reason why I resented Phantom Hourglass so much, but I'll not open that Pandora's Box again. Anyway, Athenian, I don't think you'll have much to fear. The brain can adapt very quickly to these kinds of scenarios, and I think that this was the exact intent of proper, responsive motion controls -- to simulate an immersing, realistic-feeling experience. If the controls become easily abused or are not synchronized with the game play and game design itself, then it will begin to feel forced and unnatural. This is probably what you find trouble with; you resent the design, so you almost subconsciously refuse to adapt. I think this is something that a lot of people could relate to.
However, I'm optimistic that this won't be the case with Skyward Sword, because I feel that the control scheme they have chosen requires the game design to be reflective of the play style. As such, I think combat will feel more natural, and therefore more rewarding. What excites me the most is that the combat system could be horribly abused given how much freedom you are allowed; the only way to prevent this abuse is by giving the enemies an adapting strategy, which requires you to adapt your strategy. I'm almost certain this is what they were going for with Skyward Sword, as Miyamoto attempted to demonstrate at E3.
Take the instance at E3 where Miyamoto was fighting a Bokoblin (or whatever the dickens they're called now; you know, the ugly things that seemingly replaced Moblins ) .It was a little hard to tell because of all the infrared pollution, but as Miyamoto moved himself around, the Bokoblin adjusted its stance and its weapon. If Miyamoto went in for a horizontal slash, the Bokoblin would position its sword vertically to block it. The only way Miyamoto was able to damage it was by alternating his method of attack; after hitting the Bokoblin, it adjusted its stance and sword according to Link's actions, and would continue to do so until it was killed. I feel this is an absolutely monumental progression for Zelda, the notion that enemies will learn. This will make each individual enemy possess AI, and it will feel much more like legitimate combat because there won't be as much repetition, because enemies will adjust themselves every time they recognize what you plan to do. This ultimately makes combat so much more rewarding, because few enemies will feel like they're inherently easy. Each battle will be its own battle of wits, and the execution is only half of the battle this time around. I feel that this will make combat much more engaging and immersing, simply because it involves more of the brain. If Nintendo can implement this correctly, I think the combat in Skyward Sword will be monumental.
However, the two I am most concerned with are #2 and #8 (assuming you mean magic as a nostalgic, wondrous quality, rather than the magic meter); these often go hand in hand. I feel these have been problems seen recently in the Zelda franchise, most notably Twilight Princess, which I am also highly critical of. The near absence of charm in Twilight Princess was one of its biggest flaws, and made it seem like it was being intentionally pretentious, which I truly resented. I am optimistic that they have learned from (what I consider to be) recent mistakes and re-introduce a sense of charm and originality, which I feel is what makes some of the best Zelda games held in high regard; it was very much the revolutionary aspects of OoT, in addition to an engaging (and what I felt as a truly "magical") storyline and in-game world, that earned it its high acclaim. The perfect balance between the familiar and the foreign is what makes a game great; the foreign being the undiscovered, mysterious sense of adventure and the tantalizing unknown, and the familiar being a comforting sense of nostalgia and immediate closeness to the game that draws you in, and makes you look at some of the foreign aspects in a better light. I think that SS's connection with OoT in terms of story will give it a good, nostalgic element, that may constitute a large amount of the familiarity. This kind of connection between games is something that makes a gamer light up, to see recognition (or perhaps in this case, foreshadowing) of their previous achievements and memories.
I am truly optimistic for SS, but mind you, I don't think it will be without it's flaws.