Info: Free to read for everyone -> there shouldn’t be any story or gameplay relevant spoilers!
I am about 8 hours into the game and just beat the first dungeon.
As in every Zelda game the start off is very modest. In the first 1-2 hours you get to know the world and the basic controls. So the beginning is a bit text-heavy and not very demanding. However, the introduction to the game and to the relationship between the hero and various characters is very lovely. Once you know the basics you literarily jump right into the adventure.
Nintendo sure knows how to squeeze out their console!
The art style of the game is somewhere between Wind Waker (Cel Shading / Comic) and Twilight Princess (more realistic graphics) and fits the game very well. The whole world is very colorful and harmonic designed and rich in detail. The whole game just looks like a huge painting.
Of course there are a lot of the series known sound effects and scores in a slightly different version in Skyward Sword but there are also a lot of new tunes in the game. The music always suits the situation in the game and supports the happenings.
Zelda was never about extensive storytelling and elaborate cutscenes. This seems to have changed a bit with this new installment of the franchise. There are more and well done cutscenes in the game revealing the story or emphasizing a specific situation.
The home of the hero is called Skyloft and is a series of some smaller and bigger floating islands in the sky where you meet a lot of interesting people / shops / locations. You are free to travel in the skys by flying with big bird like creatures called Loftwings. Skyloft is used as hub to the surface world. The surface beneath the clouds is split up into theme based areas offering various challenges and dungeons and temples to conquer. Beside the story plot there are a lot of side mission which are very well integrated in the world of Skyloft and fun and rewarding to solve.
Nintendo did a very good job in implementing the motion controls into the game. All motion-commands (fighting, aiming, …) are based on the MotionPlus, so you can play the game even in a short distance to the sensobar. You only have to calibrate the Wii-Mote when starting up the game and eventually adjust the center position of the cursor while playing, but this is no big deal. Wielding the sword is not perfect but works great and feels nice. The swordfights are sometimes a bit unprecise and the enemies so far are very reserved. Using all the other gadgets and tools I have collected so far is very intuitive and I had no big trouble by now.
I haven’t collected that many items yet but there are for sure some never seen before or other well known in a new context and with new possibilities adding more depth to the game.
The hero itself has changed as well and is now capable of some new moves. You can now actively sprinting and sprinting towards walls for example results in an attempt to jump up and climb the wall, which opens new dimensions to the else auto jump restricted gameplay. But you have to be careful, there is this lemon shaped stamina meter now, which gets used up when sprinting, climbing, carrying heavy stuff etc. which adds a whole new strategic component to your immediate actions.
I haven’t seen a lot yet but what I have seen is promising! The game mechanics are great and the graphics and sound are just amazing. Now it is all on the missions and the plot of the game!
If you have any question considering your decision to buy Skyward Sword or else -> don’t hesitate asking me!