The Legend of Zelda series has always been known as an RPG-lite. Gameplay revolves around dozens collectible gadgets required to conquer the obstacles Link faces throughout his adventures.
More RPG-heavy elements, such as branching story paths, unbelievably convoluted plot lines, and endlessly lootable gear were never necessary in the quest to save Zelda. In Skyward Sword though, a small addition to the typical Zelda gameplay might turn a few heads – upgradable gear.
It does not appear to be a very in-depth or complicated system, but having the ability to beef Link up could increase the longevity of the title, and should appeal to most any Legend of Zelda fan without scaring them off. Nintendo is known for revolutionary changes in terms of their hardware – and it has caused quite a bit of controversy recently – but they very rarely mess with the formulas of their most successful franchises. It remains to be seen just how extensive the upgrade system will be.
For now, here’s a great glimpse at both the collection of materials for upgrading, and the actual upgrade process itself:
Link will find trinkets all over that can be used in the Scrap Shop of Skyloft to increase the stats of his shield and weaponry. Both the slingshot and shield are available for a boost in this demo, hopefully signifying that most of Link’s equipment will be upgradable in Skyward Sword. A few rupees and spoils later, Link has a Banded Shield, reinforced with a metal lining.
It would appear durability may also factor into this adventure. Link’s other option at the Scrap Shop is to fix his shield. This might also just be hearkening back to past Zelda‘s where Link could lose his wooden shield to fire or Like Likes.
The upgrade system is not going to fundamentally change the Zelda experience, but fun and simple additions like this might push Skyward Sword ahead of some of its predecessors.
How do you feel about the new upgrade system for Link’s legendary gear? Let us know in the comments below.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword releases on November 20, 2011 for the Nintendo Wii.