Skyward Sword was the Wii’s swan song and many people praised the game for its unique, developed control scheme. Fans and critics alike criticized the game’s slow start though, which was caused by numerous tutorials that players had to go through at the beginning of the game. This was very different than what was found in the latest installment of the Zelda series, A Link Between Worlds, which put players into the center of the action from the get-go.
In an interview with Kotaku, series producer Eiji Aonuma promised to cut back on tutorials for the upcoming Zelda Wii U, acknowledging that overwhelming players with information at the beginning of the game doesn’t help them understand how to play if they don’t know what to do with the knowledge that they gain.
So in Skyward Sword, a few years ago, I think that a lot of people loved that game—I enjoyed that game quite a bit—but one of the biggest criticisms or complaints was that it took a very long time to actually jump into the gameplay because there were a lot of tutorials and a lot of introduction and cut-scenes in the beginning. Then Link Between Worlds came along and you just jumped in right away. So I wonder, when planning for future games, are you going to go more towards that Link Between Worlds approach or Skyward Sword, or something in between? How do you feel about intros and tutorials these days?
Yes. When we created Skyward Sword, I really felt the need to make sure that everyone playing the game understood it. But I also understand now, in hindsight, that when you go out and buy a game, you buy the game because you want to play it, and you don’t want to have any obstacles in the way. And I guess it was received as a bit of an obstacle. In a game, it’s when you get stuck, when you want that help. And I kinda frontloaded all that in Skyward Sword, and it doesn’t really help to get that information when you don’t know what to do with it. So that was a real learning experience for me. So I’m going to be careful not to do that.”
It’s good to see that Aonuma is taking one of Skyword Sword‘s weakest points and is addressing it in Zelda Wii U. Hopefully the upcoming game will present information to players in a more organic, hands-on way that has been missing in the Zelda franchise for quite some time.