According to Nintendo Everything, the September issue of Official Nintendo Magazine contains yet another interview with Eiji Aonuma. In a quote from this interview, he once more cites gameplay as the main factor in determining the art style of Skyward Sword. While we do not yet have the magazine to confirm, Nintendo Everything quotes Aonuma as saying the following:
“One of the reasons we’ve chosen the art style we have with Skyward Sword is that it is a better vehicle to showcase the exaggerated characteristics of some of the characters. Not only of the enemy characters, but as a representation of the sword spirit itself. Because of the way we have put the game together you have to focus on how the enemy is carrying their weapon, and there are a couple of different ways you can go about that. One, you can be super-realistic, and the other, not so realistic. We thought that because we want to highlight the swordfighting combat, we have to exaggerate the features. We thought that the art style we chose was best-suited to do that. You have to match the art style to how the game plays, and we thought this worked best. We matched the artwork so that we can highlight the over-exaggeration in the gameplay.”
Aonuma provided the same explanation in a recent interview with Gamespot: that the increased accuracy of swordplay with the Wii MotionPlug resulted in enemies designed with exaggerated features to help players defeat them, and that these exaggerated features fit best within what is now the art style of Skyward Sword.
While the importance of gameplay vs. the importance of story is a hotly debated topic among Zelda fans, Aonuma’s quite strongly suggests that gameplay is at least determined before graphical style. However, it also suggests that equal thought is put into both. Even if gameplay is considered first, in the case of Skyward Sword, developers have worked to ensure that its graphics match its gameplay, and as we eagerly await this new title, we can only hope that this consideration results in a game that flows together smoothly.
Aonuma also states that the game’s art style not only showcases the game’s exaggerated enemy design, but is representative of the sword spirit herself. What does this imply about the final design of the yet-unnamed Skyward Sword spirit? And furthermore, what might it suggest about her personality and overall role in the plot of the game? As always, we want to know what you think, so let us know in the comments below!