During this evening’s Nintendo Direct, Producer of The Legend of Zelda series, Eiji Aonuma, made numerous announcements. He began by shedding light on the upcoming Nintendo Switch title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. While he didn’t have any news regarding the game, he confirmed that development was going smoothly and that viewers would be updated later this year. More importantly, however, Aonuma announced an older title that would be revisited – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch tells the story of Hyrule’s origins. The player takes control of the series’ main protagonist, Link, as he travels through the skies, across land, and underwater. This title, developed and published by Nintendo, was originally released on the Wii in 2011. Skyward Sword required the use of the Wii Motion Plus accessory, as a major focal point of the game was precision swordplay. While the Wii Remote Plus controlled Link’s sword, his shield’s actions were assigned to the attached Nunchuk accessory.
Thus, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD recreates this control scheme via the Joy-Con. The right Joy-Con serves the Wii Remote Plus’ purpose, maneuvering and attacking with the sword. Meanwhile, the left Joy-Con triggers actions shield blocking and parrying. Both controllers can be used to perform other attacks, such as long-range strikes with the bow.
This isn’t to say that Skyward Sword HD for Switch isn’t without traditional controls. In this rerelease, players can enjoy the game with button-only controls. For example, instead of moving the sword with motion controls, the same action can be carried out with the right control stick. Whichever direction the right control stick is moved, Link’s sword will strike in said direction, whether vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
Aonuma also announced that in tandem with Skyward Sword HD, a new set of Joy-Con would release. These blue Joy-Con are themed after Link’s trademark items; the right possesses a Master Sword motif and the left features a Hylian Shield motif. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch is set for a July 16th release; it can now be preordered on the Nintendo eShop. The special edition Joy-Con will release on the same day in various retail outlets.
The Last Word on Gaming Viewpoint
While it’s unfortunate that no Breath of the Wild 2 news came out of this Nintendo Direct, it’s good to see the Zelda series wasn’t overlooked. The release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch can best be considered an appetizer of sorts. While fans await a brand-new Zelda title, they can revisit Skyloft and beyond in Skyward Sword. The Joy-Con ensure that the game’s trademark controls remained intact. However, the button-only control scheme is ideal for those looking for a more traditional gaming experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch isn’t the first instance of Nintendo giving Zelda titles the “HD” treatment. During the Wii U era, both Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were given similar remasterings, complete with quality of life changes that made both titles all the more worthwhile. While it remains to be seen whether Skyward Sword HD has other additions, outside of the aforementioned button-only control scheme, this will be a big Nintendo Switch title to look forward to.