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Skyward Sword Release Date for the Nintendo Switch: All we know so far

Skyward Sword, Legend of Zelda, Nintendo Switch

Fans expected a Breath of the Wild 2 update during the Nintendo Direct, but Nintendo made it clear that they have nothing to show until later this year. Instead, they had a different surprise for Legend of Zelda fans. They announced an HD remaster of the 2011 Wii title Skyward Sword for the Nintendo Switch.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword became the last mainline Zelda game to be released on consoles before Breath of the Wild. Yet, the two games couldn’t be any more different. Skyward Sword, albeit gaining the reputation of being the “black sheep” of the franchise, is still pretty much a classic Zelda game. Old fans coming from Breath of the Wild who haven’t played any other Zelda game might get culture-shocked with the differences. Still, there are a lot of ideas and mechanics found in Breath of the Wild that can trace their roots back to Skyward Sword. It is therefore the best game to introduce to new fans of the game coming off Breath of the Wild. It’s the perfect game to get new fans to try out the classic Zelda games.

With that in mind, here’s everything we know so far from the upcoming Nintendo Switch release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD RELEASE DATE: JULY 16, 2021

The Nintendo Direct revealed the release date for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Remaster. In celebration of the series’ 35th anniversary this year, they are releasing an HD remaster of the game for the Nintendo Switch. The game will launch on July 16, 2021.

Aside from getting a new Zelda game for the Nintendo Switch, fans will also have the opportunity to own a pair of awesome-looking controllers.

The game will be released at the same time as a pair of Skyward Sword-themed Joy-Cons. The left Joy-Con features the Hylian Shield, while the right Joy-Con features the Master Sword. No price yet on these Joy-Cons, but based on previous special edition Joy-Cons, this should launch at around $80-$90 on retail.

CONTROVERSIAL NEW FEATURE LOCKED BEHIND A PAYWALL

Those who will be replaying Skyward Sword will most likely be the ones who’ll most appreciate the new fast-travel mechanics. Originally, players will have to look for Bird Statues throughout the game, between which players can fast travel to and from. With Skyward Sword HD, players can just swipe the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo that comes out on the same day as the game. Once swiped, the screen will display the game’s overworld screen, from which players can fast-travel wherever they are. However, it seems like this feature is only available for those who will be getting the $25 figurine. Whether or not this was intentional, many fans didn’t appreciate the way this very convenient feature has been locked behind a paywall.

STORY AND GAMEPLAY

Being a remaster, you won’t be seeing much difference in story and gameplay in this new release. The Skyward Sword explores the origins of The Legend of Zelda lore. Expect a lot of exposition in this game. It also explains the cyclical nature of the series. Why do we keep having different versions of Link and Zelda? Why does Ganondorf keep on coming back? Expect to find answers to these questions in the game.

As for the gameplay, Skyward Sword is more like the Zelda games of old and a little less like Breath of the Wild. While Breath of the Wild is an open-world sandbox experience, classic Zelda games aren’t as open. Exploration is still core to the gameplay, but don’t expect the same freedom you experienced in Breath of the Wild.

REVAMPED CONTROLS WITH JOY-CONS AND PRO CONTROLLERS

Skyward Sword gained infamy during its first run on the Wii because of its unconventional controls. The game forced players to use motion control using the Wii remote and the Nunchuk. It was a frustrating affair that was exacerbated by the Wii’s awkward motion detection. Because of this, many players didn’t bother finishing the game.

That’s a shame since Skyward Sword is an amazing game. We’re sure that Nintendo realized this, which is why they reworked the controls for its Nintendo Switch release.

Motion controls fans will still be able to experience swinging swords and raising shields with Joy-Cons. Thanks to the improved hardware, motion controls are vastly improved. This should make motion controls actually fun for a change.

More importantly, motion controls are no longer a necessity. Instead, you can now play the game entirely with a gamepad. We just lament on the wasted opportunity, though. We understand that they’re releasing a pair of Joy-Cons to promote Skyward Sword‘s motion controls. But can we also have a themed pro controller, too? Please, Nintendo. Make it happen!