Almost ten years ago now, I hit save and publish on my review of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I’d beaten the game, but I wasn’t done playing it. There was still Hero Mode to dig into, a few secrets to find, and other excuses to let this version of Hyrule leak into my world. When I find myself compelled to jump right back into a game, even after 40+ hours playing it and days perseverating on writing a review of it, I know it’s a winner.
A lot of the time, when I love a game that much, I’m just preaching to the choir. Resident Evil 4, Super Meat Boy, and Animal Crossing: City Folk immediately come to mind. They were adored by their respective fanbases right out of the gate. That’s not what happened with Skyward Sword. It definitely got some praise, but a week or so after it was out in stores, the prevailing narrative surrounding the game was negative, with Yahtzee’s teardown of its various flaws being the leading voice in that crowd.
Everything Yahtzee said about the game is technically true, but to me, it reads like a guy yelling about how the Star Wars prequels are bad movies because “characters lack internal logic” and the “direction and acting are not that good.” I mean, yeah, obviously! The same is true for many episodes of Twin Peaks or movies by John Waters, but you don’t see their fans complaining.
So how can it be that some people hate Skyward Sword so much while others, like me, adore it? Are we even playing the same game? Well yes, but the difference is, different things about it will hit you more or less hard, depending on your core motivations for playing games. Some want to exit their reality and enter a new one, like moviegoers in a giant surround sound theater, engrossed in the latest Popcorn Classic. Others, like me, are more excited to invite a game into our current lives, like hanging an unrealistic painting on our wall in hopes that it would really bring the room together. I enjoy both kinds of games, but the older I get, the more I prefer the latter, which is why I still love Skyward Sword so much.
Source: Destructoid Ten years later, I still love The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword