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Gaming with Feels


^That. That is the game I just finished. The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword. I'm ashamed to admit it took me until late 2012 to start it, and just now to finish it. I won't bore you with the details of that, though. I'm even more ashamed to admit that it was my first-ever Zelda experience. I know, I've missed a lot. My initial plan was to write this blog about how picking Skyward Sword first was so bad, because the game was so good. Talking about how looking back my childhood sucked without Zelda, being talked into starting the series, what makes Skyward Sword a bad game to start with but a great game in general.....but I find myself going against that right now...As I stare at the title screen, knowing that my very first Zelda experience is over, I think I'll take a different perspective on this.

It has been a very long time since I've played a game like Skyward Sword....Well, that sentence is too general. What I mean by that is that my typical video game nowadays is much less substantial. Your fighting games, your sports games, your Mario Kart, your Smash bros, etc. It isn't a very diverse gaming lifestyle, and many would argue it isn't a real gaming lifestyle at all. I don't know, its worked for me for a while. Barring the occasional long game that was heavily recommended to me, video games were my quick, momentary fix. I didn't have time, or anywhere near the attention span for an engrossing story, challenging gameplay, a real long-term investment. It just wasn't what I looked for in games. It took my friends a lot of time to convince me to start this game and the series in general.

With my task set before me, I got my disk, hooked up my wii motion plus set, and got rolling. All in all, the game was fantastic. This was a game that truly solidified motion controls. I was impressed by how fluid all of the motions were, and how genuinely fun they were. I was mind-blown when I found out I could use the bow and arrow like a legitimate bow by holding the wii remote straight up and pulling the nun-chuck back. I had a blast with that! Some of the puzzles drove me up walls more than any other game had thrown at me in my entire life. It was refreshing to be genuinely challenged by a game. And the music. Good God the music. The orchestrated soundtrack was beautiful. But none of that was what truly put this game on another level for me.

I found myself talking to all of my friends as the game progressed about how great certain characters were. I fawned over how adorable Zelda was with Link. I was complaining that I just wanted them to be together again in the same room just to see them interact. And Ghirahim. Oh my Ghirahim. He is one of my favorite villains from a video game ever! He's so flamboyant, with that attitude of superiority mixed in. And yet, he has his sadistic, blinding rage beneath the fabulousness. Waiting for cutscenes with him was like watching paint dry. I was hooked into the story, felt Link's disappointment when he saw Zelda, only to have her snatched away before they could have any real time together. I felt Link's accomplishment when a trial was completed. I felt his awe upon entering the many different settings he entered, taking in each one and appreciating it for what it had to offer.

That's something a game hasn't made me experience in a while. I know it sounds stupid, but I haven't been really emotionally invested in a game since my childhood. When video games inspire emotional responses, it creates an extra level of depth that makes you keep coming back for more. I would play this game for hours, and would not be able to wait to pick it up the next day for more. This game literally made me a child again, giddy with anticipation to continue a video game. Again, it's silly, but it's something I'm now realizing I've sorely missed about video games. 

I found myself feeling all over the place. I felt pride in watching Groose's character development. I felt determined in boss battles, especially when I knew that Zelda was in my future when they ended. I felt genuinely at home whenever I walked through Skyloft and heard it's laid-back theme music. I felt unbridled excitement for any and all Ghirahim appearances. I felt heartbreak when Link and Zelda were separated. *SPOILER ALERT* NEXT FEW SENTENCES *SPOILER ALERT* I literally cried when Zelda froze herself in the cyrstal chamber waiting for Demise's destruction. The sleepyhead reference from the beginning of the game pushed me over the edge. All of these moments made the game so much more enjoyable for me. 

The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was a much needed reminder for me that video games can be so much more than a way to pass the time. Video games can take you to other worlds, and incorporate you into their events. They can create a real emotional connection to you, and give you a roller coaster ride that through highs and lows, you never want to get off of. I know that as proud as I am to have completed this game, I will genuinely miss the experience, and I might even return to play it again. Who knows? What I can definitely say is that I am grateful to have experienced Skyward Sword, and the immense enjoyment I've derived from it gives me all the more motivation to dive head-first into my next Zelda game.

The feelings video games can inspire make them transcend the realm of the conventional. This is something that I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten over the years. But the lesson has been re-taught, and I'm ready to not only face the rest of the Zelda universe, but an array of other games that I can only hope will provide me the same kind of experience. The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword will go down as an all-time favorite for me. Looking back on it, I will think of it fondly, which is something I haven't been able to say for a video game for quite too long.

So thanks again, as always, for being there to listen. I might not have the best things to say, but it's cool that there's always someone here to listen. I'm clearly in an over-emotional state, so I'm going to cut the sap now while I can. Really though, thank you for reading. And as always enjoy your reward (Well, I see it as a reward...Barring the advertising at the end. Sorry about that. Best quality video I could find.) for making it to the end. Good night.

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About ThisIsTheUltimateone of us since 6:42 PM on 04.24.2012

I'm just a guy...who likes video games...and wants to troll his friend who writes here. He wants to write for a big time site, and so it is my obligation to troll the shit out of him by making a blog of my own. And who doesn't love a troll?.....Don't answer that.