I’ve tried really hard to like Skyward Sword although I’m not really sure why. It could be my love of Nintendo or of the rest of the Zelda series but it’s probably more to do with the Edge score of 10. I’ve read Edge’s review a few times now, trying to work out what it is I’ve missed but I can’t find any justification for the fabled ten. It would be unfair to say Skyward Sword is a bad game, it isn’t but it is hugely flawed. There are moments of excellent and genius design throughout the game, I’d like to give you an example but genuinely can’t remember. That’s the problem for every fantastic piece of the game it’s surrounded by literally hours of tedium, bad level design and weak stories and characters. It has taken me 50 hours to get to the final (and I really hope it is final – this game could have ended at so many earlier points just as well) and most of that time was uninspiring and dull gameplay. I often found myself questioning why I was still playing. It’s Zelda, though, it has to be good doesn’t it? Surely a the most fantastic dungeon is going to be just around the corner and restore my faith and make it feel like the trudge was all worthwhile. In fact the dungeons are usually fantastic but the joyous experience of playing through them is seriously diluted by everything else you have to do to get there. Whenever I did complete a section or obtained a MacGuffin I felt like an old person who had just walked into a room but then couldn’t remember why. What did I need this thing for and where do I go now?
There is a fantastic game in Skyward Sword, unfortunately it can only be around 20 hours long and is buried in 50 hours of play.