In a novel Video “Quality of Life” released today, Nintendo has revealed that some of the most notoriously annoying design choices are found in the original version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword have been fixed in the next Switch Sword Skyward HD.
Originally released in 2011 on the Wii, Skyward sword has a reputation among fans for often wasting time and annoying players with tutorial messages hours and hours in the game.
For example, after finding any item for the first time, the game would explain what that item was. This is useful, but only once. However, every time you launch the game or reload a save it will display these tutorial messages again, even after you have collected that article a dozen or more times before. It was frustrating! Fortunately, this annoying choice of design has been changed into Sword Skyward HD. Once you find an article, you won’t be told what it is ever again. Great!
This is just one of the many changes to help improve the game and solve the things that players have complained for the last decade. Other important quality-of-life improvements include the ability to skip cutting scenes, move fast through dialogue, and reduce the frequency of the legendary annoying spirit that Fi comes up with to “help”.
The latter is a big deal, as many players have he shared his frustrations about how Fi, your magic sword, screams at you about things. Some even considered Fi to be even more annoying than the famous talky Navi da Ocarina of Time. (Being compared to Navi is a good indicator that people don’t like you very much.) Now, instead of yelling at a chest or a puzzle, Fi will flash in blue and you may decide to listen or just ignore the glorified dragonfly.
Another nice improvement shown in the trailer was the improved framerate, which makes the game look more fluid and more responsive. You can also use motion controls, as in the original Wii, or new controls that use standard buttons and analog sticks. This is a super important change, and not just because you no longer have to use finicky motion controls: It helps with accessibility, allowing people to play Skyward sword even if they cannot physically use motion controls.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is out for Switch on July 16th. Alongside these new quality of life changes, the game will support new Amiibo figures, including the one unlocking the ability to use fast journeys. Linking this huge QoL upgrade to a $ 25 piece of plastic sounds like a very annoying new design choice that, hopefully, the ultra 8K port of the next decade will see on the repair.