Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword review: We'll say it upfront: Skyward Sword is the best Zelda game ever made. It's a constantly surprising adventure that progresses at breakneck pace, guiding you through unexpected and original locations, presenting you with breathtaking, inspiring vistas and introducing you to charming, funny and memorable characters. It's an absolute masterpiece from start to finish and a contender for the crown of best game on Wii.
Naturally, you're the guy in the green tunic. Skyloft is your home, a floating island above the clouds. Skyloftians are linked from birth with a Loftwing, giant birds capable of carrying their riders skywards.
Skyloft's populace is oblivious to the wider world below the clouds, the proto-Hyrule into which Zelda is dumped and into which Link must travel to recover her. From here, Link's true destiny begins to unfold: he's the chosen hero of the goddess and, with the help of his Skyward Sword, he must achieve spiritual awakening in order to triumph over a procession of ever greater evils.
With Wii Motion Plus in hand, most enemies can only be attacked from certain directons. Bokoblins, for example, will use their swords to defend on either their left or right flanks, requiring you to strike from the opposite side.
Almost every enemy in Skyward Sword requires a degree of forethought, but such is the clear design and animation of enemies that it rapidly becomes a reflex action. As the game progresses, more proficient enemies will parry attacks. Swipe at the sabre-wielding, shield-carrying Lizalfos from the wrong angle and he'll punish you for it, leading to some tense and technical swordplay.
Motion Plus controls permeate every inch of the game, whether through the remarkably precise and useful aiming of your bow, the pilotable, item-grabbing flying beetle or the ability to roll a bomb between an enemy's legs.
Outside of the main quest, secondary characters shower you in odd jobs, fetch quests and rescue missions. An upgrade system, available in Skyloft's bustling bazaar, provides a constant and welcome distraction too, allowing you to improve most of your items, weapons and shields using treasure dropped by defeated foes.
Higher-level upgrades to some of the better items call for the use of rarer treasures - perfect cause for exploring every corner of every room. The ability to return to Skyloft from the surface at almost any time to carry out these side-quests amplifies the feeling of absolute freedom.
Skyward Sword still follows the basic structure of discovering an item, using that item in a dungeon and finally encountering a boss with a peculiar weakness to the item you just discovered. The variety of these dungeons has been ramped up though. Gone are your conventional, room-based temples, replaced by increasingly weird, fascinating and wonderful locations.
There's so much more going on in between dungeons, too, that the usual pace of Zelda games becomes blurred by the many mini-dungeons, hidden paths and mysterious caves. The game races from new location to new location, giving you cool new toys that use Wii Motion Plus in interesting ways.
Some old items make a reappearance, such as your slingshot and bow, though by the game's close your inventory will be largely made up of strange and funky new gadgets. There's about 35 hours to be spent on Skyward Sword's main thread alone, and at least double that if you plan on dipping into the game's plentiful side-quests, collecting all of the insects, upgrading all of the items, and finding the Goddess Cubes (those being difficult-to-reach crates that, when struck, unlock treasure chests back up in the sky).