The Video Game Deathmatch Best Games of 2011 is ending soon and it’s up to the two last people in the universe to duke it out to help you decide which game has earned the most respect, the most love, and the most adoration between The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Without further ado, grab some popcorn, and some of Jake’s wife’s delicious baked goods, and let the Nerdfight begin.
After you read both Leah and Jake's arguments, be sure to cast your vote in the Video Game Deathmatch!
Leah: Jake, it’s plain and simple. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the whole reason that the Wii exists in the first place. Nintendo didn’t make the Wii to make games, they made this game so that the Wii had a purpose. Here’s what I think happened. When the Wii was originally conceptualized, the hardworking people at Nintendo thought, “Aside from making people flail around in their living rooms, if there’s one good game we can make on this system, it would be Zelda,” and that’s what happened. They wanted to make a game with a good story, amazing motion control, beautiful music, and and that’s what they did. How can Assassin’s Creed: Revelations stand up to the game that defined an entire console?
Jake: True. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations doesn’t feel terribly necessary and has some unfortunate design elements (cough…tower defense…cough), but at least a whole lot of people haven’t been waiting five years for it to finally deliver on expectations that far exceeded what was actually possible at the time it was first revealed. Also, it’s a bit unfair to compare Zelda to AC in terms of “defining a console” considering Nintendo made both the game and the hardware and Ubisoft is simply a publisher. If we were talking about Halo, it would be a different story.
It is impressive that Skyward Sword came about as close to meeting expectations as fans could have hoped, but then again, it’s Zelda. Really, how high are those expectations at this point? As long as Link looks like Link, the swordplay is decent, and there are decently crafted dungeons and puzzles, fans will eat it up and ask for seconds. I also think most Wii owners have come to terms with the shortcomings of the console, so anything that is even remotely passable is considered a triumph. Not to say that Zelda is merely passable, but when the bar is set so low, it makes it hard to have an honest response to something that may not be as triumphant as it would seem otherwise.
Leah: I don’t think that people just loved Skyward Sword because Link looked perfect and the swordplay was spot on. It had a deep story, weaving in elements from all of the other past Zelda games in order to create a great an origin tale that Zelda fans will remember forever. What did Assassin’s Creed: Revelations do that was so mind-blowing? If you say that people only like Zelda because the swordplay is good, then isn’t it fair to say that people only like AC because you can run on buildings and it has fancy death animations? You’re still just pressing one button over and over to kill people, whereas in Zelda you get all sorts of neat weapons to use and you get to go through tons of intricately designed temples, plus there are alot of fun characters to interact with. I just don’t feel like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations did anything so, well, revolutionary, to bring the series to the next level like Skyward Sword did.
Jake: I’m glad you brought up the idea of variety because that is something that has always been a staple of AC games and is something that has helped make it one of the most popular franchises of this generation and of all time. Revelations continues this tradition and is a spectacular example of what a truly open-world experience should be, offering you a plethora of weaponry and gadgets to use to deal endlessly varied death from all angles and countless ways to approach every scenario, all spread out over a meticulously researched and executed cityscape packed to the brim with activities (even if some weren’t entirely necessary), missions, and personalities. Throw in some of the most heart-pounding action sequences of any game this year, improved combat and navigational mechanics, and a mesmerizing setting (not to mention a truly unique multiplayer experience), and you have one of the most complete packages of the year. Skyward Sword feels like a solid game that is about three years too late.
Leah: I mean, I can agree that Skyward Sword definitely isn’t perfect, but you can’t deny that it’s a complete Zelda package, and that’s all that fans of the series could have hoped for. Like I said previously, it offers an engaging story, plenty of action-packed sequences that leave you on the edge of your seat, and a certain charm that only Zelda games can offer.
In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations you’re just playing through a version of history as the memory of someone else, but in Skyward Sword, you actually become the hero. You’re controlling the master sword (almost 1:1), directing all of the items, you’re making decisions, you’re solving these complex puzzles, and it really gives you a huge surge of accomplishment when you finally conquer all of these things. I’m not saying AC:R’s story or gameplay is bad, because it isn’t, but I just don’t feel as heroic when I’m playing as any of the Assassin’s Creed characters, I just feel like a badass. Whereas in Zelda I’m saving the world (and a hot princess) and personally I feel like that’s what makes it a better game.
Jake: True, assuming the identity of the memory of a great warrior isn’t as much of a hero fulfillment as playing as Link. Then again if stabbing a guard in eye with an arm blade then shooting them with a hidden gun then in one swift motion spinning around some fool with a slash to the chest then turning around, thrusting over your shoulder, and skewering him through the throat with your sword doesn’t make you feel like a badass, I don’t really know what to tell you.
Ultimately though, I think we can agree that you can’t go wrong sinking dozens upon dozens of hours into either of these titles. Skyward Sword tugs on the heartstrings of Nintendo lovers (and rightfully so) and Revelations gives AC fans a chance to keep their assassin fantasy running for another year.
Leah: I think that this is the most non-hostile Nerdfight I’ve ever had, and I agree with everything you had to say about Assassin’s Creed. At the end of my eight-hour long Zelda adventures, it’s super fun to mindlessly kill people in Revelations. Now that we’re finally at the end of Video Game Deathmatch, it really just comes down to what kind of gamer you are, and what you’re in the mood for at the time. Both of these games deserve to be in the finals, and may the best Hero of Time win.
And there you have it. Now that you've heard what we have to say, go vote in the Video Game Deathmatch Best Games of 2011 finals. You'll find out who wins during X-Play's special "Best Of 2011 Awards" episode on December 14 at 6:30 PM EST/PST, so be sure to tune in!