Nintendo E3 2010 Press Conference: The Zelda Flop

Some of the major draws of E3 are the press conferences from the three big-name game companies: Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. After Microsoft’s relatively lackluster show, Nintendo hit the stage, and they announced the revamping of some classic titles, as well as new titles and of course, the Nintendo 3DS. Sadly though, what was supposed to be Nintendo’s tour de force, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, turned out to be a very disappointing demonstration.

Zelda fans have known nothing about the latest title since the revelation of a piece of artwork well over year ago. After introducing Skyward Sword with a new trailer, Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage and played a bit of the game. As noted earlier though, controls got sticky, especially with the archery section of the demonstration. This was chalked-up to interference, but it definitely weakened the presentation of the game.

In Skyward Sword‘s defense, the art style is a welcome addition to the drab browns of Twilight Princess. The cel-shaded graphical style of this game fits the series like a glove. Let’s be honest here: this graphical style is more faithful to Zelda’s manga-styled art than any other game in the series. Unfortunately, looks didn’t save the demo.

Miyamoto mentioned in interviews leading up to E3 that wanted to make Zelda easier to access and play, and he gave the impression that Skyward Sword is something of a re-vamp of the Legend of Zelda franchise. What was presented, however, was more or less exactly what we got with Twilight Princess (even the animations look the same), but with different controls. Sure, you can control the direction of your attacks more precisely, and you perform certain actions differently thanks to the Wii MotionPlus, but the game plays the same. Hopefully, Skyward Sword introduces some novel gameplay additions, or challenges that extensively utilize the new MotionPlus inputs.

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