Wii Zelda pushed back to refine visual style

Infendo

Nintendo stated during their E3 press conference that they had wanted to finish The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in time for holiday release, but decided instead to aim for an early 2011 release date to ensure quality.  What will they be working on with those extra months? According to Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma, it’s the games visual style.

Speaking of the game at an E3 roundtable, Miyamoto stated, “I think the art style is very unique. I’m a big fan of impressionism in the art world, so we’ve drawn some inspiration from that. The sky and the mountain you can see in the E3 demo have a definite Cézanne feel to them,” eventually finishing with, “if we had just used the same graphics from Twilight Princess the game would already be done.”

Why the revision? The answer may be different than you think.

The full quote:

Miyamoto: It took just one step in the approval process and it got my okay. I think the art style is very unique. I’m a big fan of impressionism in the art world, so we’ve drawn some inspiration from that. The sky and the mountain you can see in the E3 demo have a definite Cézanne feel to them.

Because of the implementation of Wii MotionPlus sword controls, you have to pay close attention to the enemies, how they defend, what their weaknesses are. They’re blocking with their swords or in the case of this scorpion enemy you can see, the pincers are opening at different angles. You have to be able to identify what those angles are or what those weaknesses are. That’s something that’s best illustrated to the player through the use of exaggerated-looking enemies. Trying to do that with a realistic art style simply doesn’t work well, so one of the goals was to find an art style that would allow for this exaggerated creation of enemies and characters and things.

Aonuma: Of course, if I hadn’t been told we had to revise the art style we would have been done a heck of a lot sooner [laughs].

Miyamoto: Yeah, if we had just used the same graphics from Twilight Princess the game would already be done.

So there you have it – Nintendo revised the art style to better facilitate the games new Wii Motion Plus control scheme – in a world where the direction your attack comes from matters, your enemy maneuvers need to be clear.  So yes, we could be playing Skyward Sword this year, but the wait might be worth it – a visual experience tailored to a control experience.

Additionally, this means that the majority of Skyward Sword is already completed, and it suggests that most of the remaining months in development will be spent polishing the visuals and going over the fine details – which is a definite plus.  Although the demo looked and controlled great, there is always room for improvement.  When scrutinized closely, the demo showed on Nintendo’s big-screen at the press conference showed some jagged edges, and others feel the game looks a little flat.  Even though the game looks extremely promising beside these critiques, it’s comforting to know that it’s still being refined, and may look even better come release day.

How do you feel? Would you rather have seen Skyward Sword in the Twilight Princess style with an earlier release date, or wait for the new “gameplay complimentary” visual style? Let us know in the comment section!