• Latest Nintendo Direct event led by Zelda: Skyward Sword HD remaster

    Coming July 16 to Nintendo Switch.

    It’s been a while since we’ve seen a particularly long Nintendo Direct video presentation, and Wednesday’s news-filled flurry of game announcements lived up to the company’s reputation for surprises and weirdness. And in a tip of its hat to The Legend of Zelda series’ 35th anniversary this year, Nintendo capped its first Direct of 2021 with the reveal of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, coming to Nintendo Switch on July 16.

    Skyward Sword was the only mainline Zelda game to launch with a serious reliance on Wii-like controls (Link’s Crossbow Training notwithstanding). The 2011 game required the Wii MotionPlus add-on, as its swordplay revolved around precisely angled swipes for the sake of certain enemies and puzzles, and this remaster will let players relive that experience by assigning motion controls to both left and right  Joy-Con controllers. Don’t worry, Switch Lite owners: This HD re-release doesn’t mandate Wii-like waggling. If you prefer, Link’s sword angles and item tosses can be assigned to the controller’s right analog stick instead.

    Whether this control update alone will redeem the game compared to other Zelda classics will probably be a matter of taste. Skyward Sword was notorious for clinging to classic series tenets in ways that bogged down its otherwise gorgeous and accessible gameplay (a criticism that somehow escaped Ars’s original review). Its successor, 2017’s Breath of the Wild, famously shattered the classic Zelda template—and for the better. But in general, even a lukewarm Zelda game is still a good video game, and like other remastered Zelda games before this one, it looks like we’re getting a handsome and tasteful touch-up of everything—and this does particular wonders for LoZ:SS’s unique "watercolor" aesthetic, which looked quite blurry on the original Wii.
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