• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

Opinion Clickbait Cringe Skyward Sword HD > Breath of the Wild. For me. So far... Help me love both.

Tschumi

Gold Member
Jul 4, 2020
6,277
6,745
815
I've recently had a chance to play two Zelda games which I've barely played at all before. My total playtime in either Skyward Sword or BOTW to date was about 5 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively, before this latest attempt at either title.

...and I just wanna write a little post on a feeling I've got on these two games that I've wanted to really mull over for a while now...

I've now given each of them a fair few hours and, while I accept that my call is subjective and that BOTW clearly has more to show than I would have experienced so far, I'm still moved to say that I am hugely preferring the Skyward Sword (SSHD) brand of Zelda at this time. I am really not writing this to piss off BOTW fans, more on that later.

the legend of zelda GIF
nintendo zelda GIF by Digg

Zelda had a formula that worked its ass off for decades, and for me at least Nintendo threw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to immersion and progression, when they produced an open world for BOTW. Note that these are the two major things I'm focusing on here - combat is pretty janky in SSHD, and the camera movement being gated behind depressing the L1 trigger is a real bitch - that's because they're the core things that I really look forward to in a Zelda title, things that I struggle to glean from BOTW in the same way.

I love the characters in SSHD. Zelda has a really engaging personality, her relationship with Link is much more forward and flirty than I've come to expect - which matches her expressive character model nicely. Link (the OG link, I believe?) is a legit talent with legit agency going in to the story, and I prefer the more interesting/META advisor chick to the typical chittering fairy from OOT and TP, etc. The BOTW Link that I've got to know thus far is far more of a blank slate, and I just don't really dig that approach. Being constantly communicated with via the Goddess' little Switch tablet thing also kinda felt off to me, 4th wall'y, breaking Link's connection to his world somehow.

The parkour additions introduced in SSHD are a superb addition to the old Zelda formula. I understand that all of these things are present in BOTW too (obviously), but their context within the linear, more deliberately crafted maps of SSHD heightens their appeal. There are also novelty points to award.

getting ready the legend of zelda GIF
Animated GIF

And, finally, I just wanna say that I prefer having my hand held by the designers in this more linear experience. Zelda games always presented, to me, as stylised and cohesive gaming conceptions - not unlike the infinitely various Mario titles. Ever since TWW I've really appreciated the handcrafted and deliberate design of the stages. I'm not saying BOTW isn't a hand crafted world with countless wonders to discover, I just like the more personal scale of SSHD.

So, that's that, to me SSHD overcomes janky camera and swordplay to be a fantastic Zelda story - easily my favourite since TWW - whereas BOTW, so far, feels diffuse. I prefer the tighter scale.

Like I said before, I'm not writing this to say "come at me bro" to BOTW fans, I'd really rather you guys - if you want to - try to take my points into account and present your counter-points as to why BOTW is such a fantastic game for you. I own both and I'd prefer to love both, they cost a bit o' moneys after all.
 

kunonabi

Member
Dec 2, 2010
19,379
4,972
1,110
Skyward Sword is my favorite Zelda game and I can't stand Botw so can't help you there. SS is the OoT template refined and perfected as well it could be. BotW on the other hand is a whole new template, with some SS ideas inexplicably executed worse, and thus like OoT it's going to need a few iterations to reach that same level of refinement. Should be absolutely amazing if it happens though.
 
  • Strength
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX and Tschumi

brian0057

Member
Jun 18, 2018
2,430
4,784
585
I love Breath of the Wild.
And I actually love Skyward Sword. Hell, I got the 25th Anniversary Edition that came with the orchestral soundtrack included.

I think it depends on what you're looking for in the games.
I love Skyward Sword for the story, music and the characters. Also, the time manipulation level on the boat is probably my favorite Zelda level in the entire series.

But I'm of the school of thought that preaches "gameplay is king". In that sense, I adore Breath of the Wild for the unbridled freedom it gives you. Every time you ask the question "I wonder if this will work", more often than not, the answer is "Holy shit, it worked."

The best way I can explain it is using tabletop RPGs as a point of comparison. Skyward Sword is like a linear campaign (almost railroaded), with a DM that doesn't allow for much freedom and creativity, and the story and characters are set in stone. Breath of the Wild, on the other hand, is like a sandbox. You can do almost anything and the DM will allow it. The story, in this case, is not the one the game master has prepared for you. But the one that you make by just playing. That's what makes Breath of the Wild, at least in my eyes, one of the best Zelda games, and one of the best games ever made.

But, at the end of the day, it depends on what you like and what you want to play.
I honestly recommend either game, for different reasons.
I love both games but if I were to choose, I'd go with Breath of the Wild.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: Tschumi

STARSBarry

Gold Member
May 19, 2019
1,109
2,303
535
These are the only two Zelda titles (outside of the warrior spin off's) I have never finished haha.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
Aug 16, 2013
2,176
4,347
1,050
Phoenix AZ
FWIW I did not enjoy BotW the first time I tried it (hour-ish gameplay), but after coming back and sticking with it a bit longer it finally clicked for me. The gameplay flow was just so much better after I got into it. Love all the mainline Zelda games despite individual flaws. Maybe try BotW again later and give it a bit more time.

I distinctly remember when it started to click, I had noticed a bokoblin skull base was in dry yellow grass and the wind was blowing toward them. I used a flint to start a fire and the grass burned down to them and set some explosives off blowing up their base 😂😂😂. BotW flips the paradigm around, it isn't just about finding the next dungeon to get the next item as much as just BEING in post apocalyptic Hyrule.
 
  • Fire
Reactions: Tschumi
Mar 16, 2021
482
637
330
Like half of BotW is fucking around the over world, which I have to be in a certain mood for. If I am something like BotW, Skyrim, AssCreed, are comfy games to get lost in. If you’re the type of person that never likes that stuff than I see where you’re coming from. I put 100+ hours into BotW at launch and I’m not sure if I will again anytime soon.

I’d probably sooner replay OoT, WW, or TP because they’re more focused on the dungeons and don’t take forever. All good games though, just different.

If you can go with the flow and just do/explore everything in an ADHD fueled, but relaxed manner, then you’ll probably appreciate BotW more. If that makes any sense.
 
Last edited:
May 8, 2016
1,804
1,352
695
Skyward Sword is the first Zelda I beat so I'm automatically biased towards it. That being said, BoTW has certain elements from Skyward that make it feel like a successor to it. Haven't really dabbled in BoTW too much but I respect it from a distance
 

Fbh

Member
Dec 6, 2013
17,203
14,579
1,070
I just finished Skyward Sword a couple of weeks ago. Had fun with it though I was a bit underwhelmed by the dungeons and puzzles.
Overall I still had a more fun with Breath of the Wild, I just found the world more fun to explore and interact with. It gives you a higher degree of freedom and allows you to experiment a bit while Skyward Sword is a more rigid experience where all your skills and items have very specific uses for very specific instances.

I did however like the plot and characters of Skyward Sword better. I was never a fan of how the bulk of the plot in BotW takes place in the past.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tschumi

Robb

Member
Feb 12, 2021
483
580
330
I enjoyed Skyward Sword, it has some of the best dungeons and characters in the series imo.

But it’s my least favorite 3D Zelda. Imo it’s too long, the sky Isn’t fun to explore and the repeated bosses are very tiresome. Not to mention Fi was very annoying throughout (though they seem to have addressed that in the Switch version).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tschumi

Captain Toad

I advertise for PlayStation. For free.
Dec 1, 2020
5,047
14,064
660
I'm not as big on BotW as many, but wtf? No. No, man. Shit no man.
 

daveonezero

Member
Nov 19, 2018
1,782
1,488
455
BoTW.. put it on master mode
Be sneaky
Explore (korok seeds)
Upgrade weapons a bunch then a few stats in bows and last shield
Find good weapons use weak ones first. Save strong ones for strong enemies or things you can’t avoid.
hunt gather and cook
try not to use fast travel or horses unless you have a defined destination. Use POI as a base to branch out from

get in the world. That’s it.
 
  • Fire
Reactions: Tschumi

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
Jun 9, 2004
4,830
1,795
1,845
Canadia
BoTW.. put it on master mode
Be sneaky
Explore (korok seeds)
Upgrade weapons a bunch then a few stats in bows and last shield
Find good weapons use weak ones first. Save strong ones for strong enemies or things you can’t avoid.
hunt gather and cook
try not to use fast travel or horses unless you have a defined destination. Use POI as a base to branch out from

get in the world. That’s it.
So basically take the bad gameplay and make it worse.
 

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
12,462
22,237
1,480
Skyward Sword HD is ugly, clunky and archaic. I'm happy the formula evolved with BOTW.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Tschumi

Gifmaker

Member
Oct 24, 2017
367
1,345
610
Two entirely different games, with entirely different strengths and weaknesses respectively. I love them both. I'd say a game with the complex gameplay and scope of BOTW, and the dungeons and narrative of Skyward Sword could be the champion of them all. Maybe that's what we'll be getting with BOTW2.
 

Banjo64

Member
Dec 8, 2020
3,709
11,881
615
Got this game coming in the post for Switch, incredibly hyped to try it. Never played a 3D Zelda that wasn’t completely amazing (completed them all apart from SS).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tschumi

jigglet

Member
May 18, 2020
3,443
6,217
630
Skyward Sword's initial release was ok. The HD release fixed so much and is amazing. The art, the story, the characters, the dungeons.

People who say it was just the same game with non-motion controls should look up the youtube videos that go in depth into all the other changes. It's a fantastic port.

It has some bad things about it, but all things considered, it's one of my favorite Zelda games.
 
Nov 13, 2016
2,699
2,969
525
I view BotW as an experiment. They were testing to see if the standard structure of older Zelda games still made sense, or whether certain aspects had to be cut to improve the game. They also tried to reintroduce the sense of exploration and freedom of the original Zelda on NES. BotW was successful in many ways, less so in others. I hope they fuse the best parts of BotW together with the best parts of Skyward Sword, because SS took some great steps in story-telling IMO.