Legend of the Skyfish Review

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The comparisons between Skyfish and Zelda don’t stop at the titles ‘Legend of’ moniker. The game is a blatant love letter to Link’s adventures, especially the grass-roots titles of yonder, but while it encapsulates the whimsy of the Nintendo stalwart, it doesn’t come close to mirroring the narrative complexities and game-play quirks that it so desperately wants to.

And over three different worlds, each split into fifteen levels, Little Red’s adventures to rescue her brother from the titular Skyfish don’t amp up much drama either. The challenges rarely sway from the shtick it quickly establishes at the start of the adventure, with several off-brand Zelda bad guys thread through the veins of each level to stunt your progress.

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Each of the fifteen levels in each world are to-the-point – a series of puzzle mazes with simple challenges leading to an end of level totem that needs destroying to continue progress. Tasks involve some combination of Red dragging or pushing blocks to unlock gates, or taking out all enemies on the map to continue progress, all while avoiding spike floor traps and arrow-shooting turrets.

To help Red on her adventure, she has her fishing rod (Hookshot from Zelda, anyone?) which can be used to pull levers and items towards her, as well as grab and stun enemies. It also doubles as Red’s only weapon, which she can swing at enemies in combat scenarios. Using the rod itself is fine and, for the most part, accurate enough for what you need it to do, but the challenges it’s used for get old quickly.

Pull block – gate opens. Step on block, step on another block – gate opens. Use rod to cross river to step on block – gate opens. This rinse-repeat process makes up the DNA of Legend of Skyfish and it rarely changes throughout the entire game. Small things change, in the second world a timer challenge arrives, where you have to swing your rod to unlock a gate and make it over the gate’s entrance before it locks again, but really, it’s more of the same. The whole thing is so, well, tiring, and combat is so painfully dull too that it’s almost a chore. Budget Moblins and the like aren’t half as interesting to fight as their Zelda counterparts, but most disappointingly are the three boss battles, which, just like the rest of the combat, end up being a hammer the button to win scenario.

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But Skyfish makes a rod for its own back; it’s so damn generous with healing that it makes the game incredibly easy. Over the course of my play-through I died once, and never did I feel like I had to bother making use of the multitude of health spread across the map, mostly because you heal once every three or so screen changes.

Legend of the Skyfish is neither challenging or engaging and over its three or so hour campaign, summoning the spirit to see it through till the end is tough work. Its by no means a bad game and its aspirations are clear, but in a sea of much better games, it’s hard to find a place for Legend of Skyfish on the Adventure-Puzzle mantelpiece among such strong contemporaries.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Legend of the Skyfish Review
  • Gameplay - 5/10
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  • Graphics - 5/10
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  • Sound - 5/10
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  • Replay Value - 5/10
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Overall
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Summary

Legend of the Skyfish is neither challenging or engaging and over its three or so hour campaign, summoning the spirit to see it through till the end is tough work.

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