Zelda: Skyward Sword Reviews

Many of the reviews for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword feature perfect scores for the game. However, it is two major outlets that score the game at about 75% and 85% (when factored into a system of 0-100%) that make this case interesting. The reason it is interesting is because I cannot ignore these reviews as they are sites I also trust. The lower of the two scores is the site I trust more than the other. The lower score of 75% is from GameSpot, where the original score was 7.5 out of 10. Is it just a fluke? I don’t think so. Does it mean that the game is really just a 75% type of game? Perhaps not. Likewise, 1UP gave the game a B+, which equals 85% on GameRankings.com.

Here’s the point I am trying to make with mentioning these two lower than 90% scores-these reviews cannot be ignored. If this Zelda game really is the best Zelda game, as many are claiming, it is odd to have a score as low as 75%. What I mean is that, if another website is making the claim that it is perfect with a perfect score such as 10/10, 100% or what have you, it make one wonder how another reviewer can rate the game significantly lower. This cannot be ignored-if I scored a 97% in a Japanese language class at my university, I would pass with an A. If I scored a 72% in that class (a 25% difference), I not only would receive a C-, but would fail the course.

What really matters is how each player who plays the game feels. If you feel it’s the best Zelda ever, then by all means share that opinion with others. However, when I say that I am not buying the game right now, it shouldn’t be seen as a bashing of the game or the series. I am just not convinced that if I am to spend $50-$60 on one video game this holiday season that this is the one to get. This comes after my disappointment of Twilight Princess. Overall, Twilight Princess is not a bad game. For a Zelda game, I felt that it was lacking, however.

I wrote a reply to a comment on 1UP’s review of the game. I want to copy it here to share:

“GameTrailers did the same thing by reviewing the game and scoring it a 9.1. I was shocked, almost out of my seat in surprise. I am not saying that Skyward Sword isn’t a 9.1-it may very well be deserving of that or more, but what I am saying is that based on how they were describing the game in GT’s review, it did not sound like a 9.1 until they showed the score. It sounded more like a 8.5 or so.

This brings into the question the importance of both reviews and scores. I was one who looked very closely at scores and not always the content of the review. Clearly, I need to be more vigilant to read a review’s content and possibly ignore the scores a little bit.¬†What I mean is that a 9.1 alone would be enough to merit a purchase of the game by me. The content of the review before the score would not have. And that’s what you have to ask yourself-does the review affect your purchase? Greater fans of Zelda than I undoubtedly own the game, and probably were going to buy it no matter how the reviews went. Nothing wrong with that. The question is now do I buy the game.

We’ll see, but with my disappointment of Twilight Princess and a few ‘bad apple’ reviews among the perfect scores that I can’t ignore, it’s not looking too good.”

That’s how I feel. And the contents of my comment also bring up the point that reviews are more than their scores. Again, GT gave the game a 9.1, but if I had stopped the video before I saw the score, I would have been convinced not to buy the game. Basically, the 9.1 score feels like a cop out to say that they don’t hate the game neither will they give the game a perfect score like other outlets are.

My final point is this-to say that the new Zelda game is better than Ocarina of Time is an extraordinary claim. There were so many elements that made Ocarina of Time an incredible game, and easily my favorite of the series. Does Skyward Sword really top OoT’s music, graphics, and play control as well as the gameplay and storyline? To top any of these aspects that OoT did so well would indeed be an accomplishment. Simply put, I don’t think I will be a believer until I get to play around with Skyward Sword for a bit. However, I just have to say that I am not a big enough Zelda fan to warrant an automatic purchase. If it was a console Star Fox game that was just released, I would own it without question. As evidenced by my reviews and scores for Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Assault, I’d like to think I am not biased. I gave those games 8.6 and 7.4 respectively, and that is hardly anywhere near perfect. All I am saying is that I hope that these slew of perfect scores are not simply coming from people who would love to give a Zelda game such a score, and may do so, dare I say, blindly. I would love to say, for example, that Pikmin 2 is a perfect game, but it simply is not. There are flaws and I recognize them. Are the flaws properly recognized in Skyward Sword? Perhaps not.

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