Reviews of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD are live, and somewhat unsurprisingly, the consensus is that if you missed it before you shouldn’t miss it the second time around.
Nintendo has gone to great effort to implement quality-of-life improvements, in hope that it doesn’t divide opinions in the way it did in 2011. It was easily the most divisive all Zelda games, mixing up the winning formula too heavily for some.
That said, review scores aren’t quite as high as a typical Zelda adventure – the majority clock in at 8/10, as opposed to the usual onslaught of 9/10s and 10/10s.
“This is unquestionably a better version of Skyward Sword than the one released a decade ago but the flaws run too deep for it to ever be regarded as a classic. It may not be the best entry in the series but it’s also far from the worst and, as now can be seen more clearly, one of the most innovative,” said The Metro.
GameSpot opted for a 7/10. “The various quality-of-life tweaks that Nintendo has implemented here, welcome as they are, don’t fix Skyward Sword’s biggest issues, and it remains the most uneven 3D entry in the Zelda series,” they warned.
We’ve reviewed a trio of this week’s eShop releases ourselves, albeit on different formats.
The Xbox One version of the arcade shooter Curved Space garnered a 7/10 last week, praised for its polish and eagerness to please – almost every weapon feels delightfully overpowered – but scorned its bloated mechanics. Instead of doing one or two things exceptionally well, it tries to incorporate several ideas – most of which feel either half-baked or surplus.
Lauren cast her critical eye on Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective, a combination of Where’s Wally and Professor Layton, likewise based on a children’s book. While aimed at younger gamers, there’s just enough here for eagle-eyed adults to enjoy too. “The art and music go beautifully together, creating a vibrant and busy world,” we said before dishing out an 8/10.
FMV adventure Dark Nights with Poe and Munro had the review treatment a few months ago, again on Xbox One. It sees two local radio personalities in a spot of bother after a zealous stalker starts making threatening calls while on air. What then ensues is a three-hour multiple-choice mystery with a few supernatural elements. As long as you aren’t expecting big-budget production values, you’re in for a reasonably entertaining time.
But Why Tho? and Screen Rant came to the same conclusion when reviewing the science-based puzzle/platformer A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories, both claiming that it’s a mixed bag. The puzzles are great, other elements less so. “[…] is a pretty puzzle platformer with decent gameplay, but is let down by awkward controls and muddled design,” reads Screen Rant’s verdict.
Within the Blade is another to consider – it’s a 2D pixel art stealth platformer that looks similar to last year’s Wildfire. It went down reasonably well on PC.
The humble Wii U gets a look in this week too with SUPER Food Frenzy, a four-player party game that includes “some very useful cooking tips which you can use in real life.”
New Switch eShop releases
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD – £TBA
Depicting the earliest tale in The Legend of Zelda timeline, a young knight must journey between the endless sky and the mythical surface below in search of his childhood friend, Zelda. As their destiny unfolds, a wicked plan to resurrect an ancient evil force is set in motion, orchestrated by a mysterious demon lord…
Theofil – £1.79
Theofil is an action arcade game in which you’ll guide a hooded hero wearing an ancient robe. Your weapon is a magical wooden staff that brave Theofil uses to destroy his enemies. His abilities will help you fight against dangerous enemies.
Word Crush Hidden – £4.49
Word Crush Hidden is a fun word search puzzle game where you need to connect each letter to the words searched for.
Daily challenges, achievements and over 1399 levels bring you an enjoyable word search experience and if you are stuck the power ups help you to find the words.
Red Colony 2 – £6.29
The Blue Colony was a place of opportunity, a capitalist metropolis where hard work, determination and a keen eye for business could punch you a one-way ticket to the top of the illustrious Sky City. . . That was until the Virus hit. Now the elite are hunted by flesh-eating monster that were once their former workers.
You play as Nicole, a mother desperate to get her daughter out of the terrifying slum at the bottom of the bottom in the Blue Colony. Your task is not an easy one, the slum has been hit hardest by the outbreak and zombies are not the only thing stalking you from the shadows.
Only the strongest will survive, the Red Colony has already been massacred by the deadly zombie horde but there is still a chance in Sky City! Help Nicole rescue her daughter and face the dark secrets of her past as you sneak, fight and solve puzzles in this survival horror indie game.
Defend the Kingdom – £4.49
Defend the kingdom is a classic tower defense game where you build up towers and upgrade them to defend one end point from evil creatures approaching from one or more lanes. Different towers have different pro s and cons and it is always a trade off which tower suits the best for each situation. Explore three biomes and 35 levels each have three difficulties. Earn stars by completing each difficulty to upgrade your stats and earn gems to buy skills and power ups.
A fun tower defense game for every tower defense game fan.
Junkyard Builder – £4.49
In the beginning was the junkyard. Abandoned and despised by most people. But not you! Since you’re the owner, the business is booming! See that rusty car over there? Let’s do some makeover. Several corroded pipes? Let’s turn them into bales and sell. There’s junk everywhere I see. You know what that means. That’s how you make the profit!
Don’t forget to invest. Why should you do everything around here? Don’t waste time, get your money’s worth!
Guild of Darksteel – £13.49
Guild of Darksteel is a cinematic, side-scrolling adventure set in a lush, layered dark fantasy world.
Embark on a dark fantasy adventure and follow the Sellsword, an immortal, as he seeks a purpose in eternal life by joining the Guild of Darksteel.
Become one of their immortal mercenaries and investigate the mysterious tunnels underneath the cities of Ravenrock.
Risk System – £8.99
This complete cohesion between controls, gameplay and aesthetics means that when you play, you’ll feel like you’re a daredevil ace pilot from the most awesome mecha anime!
Risk System features multiple endings and character interactions based on player performance, mirroring the experience of the protagonist gaining mastery of their ship and using the systems of gameplay to tell a story.
Dark Nights with Poe and Munro – £9.99
“You’re listening to Radio August. Dark nights, with Poe and Munro…”
Adventure in the strange town of August with local radio hosts and secret lovers Poe and Munro, as they encounter six unique mysteries on and off the air. Direct the banter and the action as they fend off a nightmare stalker who just won’t let go, a vengeful ghost looking for everlasting closure, a demonic painting that grants wishes – and more – but can you keep Poe and Munro together, and alive…?
Wizodd – £4.49
Wizodd is a dungeon crawler roguelike game where you find various equipment and upgrades while encountering dangerous monsters and bosses to advance down to the lower floors.
This game is easy to play and simple to get the mechanics, all you do is find monsters and make them explode in different ways, and as you improve on Wizodd, you get to be stronger, dodge the various traps and clear levels more quickly.
Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey – £10.99
Macrotis is the story of a mother’s relentless search for her missing children, an emotional tale told through lush 2.5D platforming filled with thought-provoking puzzles. Climb, jump and gnaw your way through beautiful yet dangerous environments, avoid traps and use water physics to your advantage. As you progress, you’ll gain a variety of natural and supernatural abilities to overcome the obstacles in your path. Will you help Mother Bilby rescue her family?
Lambs on the road : The Beginning – £2.99
From the creators of Eternum EX, in collaboration with Gone Mad studio.
Lambs on the road is a survival horror story of a father looking for her daughter.
Help John to find her daughter, Mary, throught different dangers, lost in a post-apocalyptic world where the chaos reigns.
Try to escape from the starving and desperate people, hide, run, fight and overall, never look back.
Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective – £10.79
From the award-winning studio behind Homo Machina (2018) and Californium (2016), Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective is another one-of-a-kind revolutionary puzzle.
Fun, engaging, and beautiful, Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective lets you explore the visually stunning universe created by IC4DESIGN
Playing as detective Pierre, you must find your way and solve puzzles to retrieve the magical stone stolen by the nefarious Mr. X.
On your way to getting the Maze Stone back, you will meet adorable and hilarious characters, travelling literal works of art, and interact with a world that was previously only available on paper!
Squeakers II – £2.69
Squeakers is a multiplayer, cooperative game. It can provide fun up to four players. You can either decide to work altogether or choose to compete with each other. No matter the way, the goal is to build the tower as fast as you can to escape rising water. And oh! Don’t forget your cement mixer! It gives you bricks essential for your construction.
To make the gameplay trickier, the higher you get the more diversified bricks will get. Some of them simplify your work, another ones can ruin your well-cared for masterpiece.
Within the Blade – £9.99
Within the Blade is an epic game in stealth, platforming, and RPG genres, in which the player takes on the role of a Ninja. Explore the scenic world of feudal Japan, using your stealth to complete missions.
Collect various materials to craft weapons: shurikens, poisons, elixirs, grenades, mines. As well as the main weapon the Ninjato and Kusarigama to build your power.
In 1560 A.D – Japan’s last Shogunate has lost full control over the realm, causing a plunge into a massive civil war. All hope lies within the ninja clan “Black Lotus” to sabotage and defend against the forces of the villain and his demonic allies. The warlord must be assassinated.
Do you have the ninja skills to save medieval Japan from a reign terror?
Lost Grimoires 3: The Forgotten Well – £13.49
King Raphael returns victorious from the expedition against the army of the mysterious Elf Sylvanheir. While king’s subjects are preparing for his triumphant arrival, his sister – startled by his strange letters from during the war – suspects that Raphael has been cursed and that a real war is about to begin.
The war between the Kingdom of Phoenix and the possesed army of elves and their leader Sylvanheir is coming to an end. When the subjects await the arrival of their king, his sister – the alchemist – is full of bad feelings. Strange letters, sent by her broher in the last weeks of war expedition and horrible nightmares lead her to believe that something wrong is going on with the king. She suspects that it is somehow connected with the dwellers of the Tangled Forest, who conjured people of the kingdom of elves. Is the protagonist right about all this? What inglorious secrets are hidden beneath the legendary past? Will the Alchemist unravel the complicated plot, make up for the Kingdom’s sins from the past and save her brother?
A Tale of Synapse: The Chaos Theories – £13.49
A Tale Of Synapse: The Chaos Theories is a mix of platformer and puzzle game melting abstract art and sciences. Use the universe rules and all the elements that compose it to help Synapsians to be open-minded. Discover an incredible and colorful story with Sci and Néro, two heroes, who cooperate to evolve in this dreamlike world based on Math logic rules. The original soundtrack will immerse you in the universe of Héméide.
Are you able to enter this magical land? Play alone or co-op with your friend and develop your synapses to get more competencies, solve puzzles and fight enemies.
SpaceEx Commander – £4.49
After hundreds of years of waging wars with space invaders, the human fleet grew weaker. The devastating conflict took many lives. But your will to live is strong and your crew is loyal.
Startup your engines, repel conquerors and as you do, collect powerful crystals. Use them to enhance your ship and give it your best shot to level an uneven playing field. The enemy showed some of his forces, but true evil still lies behind front lines…
Induction – £6.19
Induction is an abstract puzzle game about time travel and paradoxes. As you master its logic, Induction will rewire how you think about cause and effect.
Across more than 50 meticulously designed puzzles, you must explore the counter-intuitive possibilities time travel permits. You will learn to choreograph your actions across multiple timelines, and to construct seemingly impossible solutions, such as paradoxical time loops, where the future depends on the past and the past depends on the future.
Each puzzle is crafted to reveal a unique aspect of the game’s elegant yet exacting internal logic, gently guiding you into realising the potential of your powers. Induction does not pander, but gives you the satisfaction of mastering an imaginary yet honest set of physical laws.
Accompanying Induction’s minimalist visuals is a rich and responsive ambient soundtrack by Melbourne-based electronic composer and radio broadcaster Tim Shiel.
3D Air Hockey – £4.99
Enjoy fast-paced action in this very close to reality Air Hockey Game. Easy to play, tough to master.
Curved Space – £14.99
Inspired by arcade classics, players will have to hunt for weapon power-ups and upgrades while dodging enemy fire, blasting interdimensional bugs, and wrangling some enormous boss monsters. Simple to learn as you fight your way through the branching story-driven campaign, but tough to master as you chase the glory of the leaderboards.
ASMR Journey – Jigsaw Puzzle – £3.59
The journey starts with a girl opening the door to her bookstore in the corner of living room. It was the little witch who sell magic books. At hand was his new volume, with a peculiar name. But what journey would that be? Maybe we all need to know.
Fates of Ort – £11.29
Magic is powerful, but it is not free. Every spell you cast requires a little bit of your life energy to spark it. Cast enough spells and you will extinguish your very soul. This means you need to be strategic when fighting, balancing the cost of magic with the risk of taking damage from your enemies.
New on Wii U eShop
SUPER Food Frenzy – £3.59
SUPER Food Frenzy is an action party game which you can play with up to four friends. Slide through the pan to avoid your opponents while trying to jump on them to kick them out.
Choose your piece of meat (or piece of vegetarian food) and show everyone that you are the best!
The game also includes some very useful cooking tips which you can use in real life.
Next week: AKIBA’S TRIP: Hellbound & Debriefed, US Navy Sea Conflict, Cotton Reboot, Cris Tales, FATAL TWELVE, MouseBot: Escape From CatLab, Bunny Bounce, Aery – Calm Mind, Nyakamon Adventures, Last Stop, Freddy Spaghetti 2, Hunter Shooting Camp, Sports Pinball Bundle, and Mind Maze.