Hopefully by now you have or nearly finished the first playthrough of Skyward Sword and your about to start hero mode. Yesterday, an article over at Just Push Start was posted about Skyward Sword’s hero mode. In Phillip Price’s opinion, Hero mode is not worth attempting for reasons after the jump. I personally think that his reasons for not trying hero mode are a bit vague and doesn’t really put people off hero mode. Hero mode is definately worth having a stab at, there is absolutely no reason not to try. Jump inside to check out the reasons for yourself and my views.
1. Fi becomes extremely annoying and 99.99% useless
Gamers quickly noticed Fi’s inexplicable ability to state the obvious. We were even given the option to call upon Fi for quick recaps of our current objective (here one and only way to be useful), advice, or analysis of the area Link is currently in. Her “Advice” consists of going over tutorials, or explaining how to catch Deku Hornets regardless of the fact that you already have 86 of them in your collection. Throughout “Hero Mode”, you will constantly find yourself screaming at Fi to just “shut the front door and let me play my game!” There is absolutely no use for Fi whatsoever as you already know where everything is, not to mention the many occasions when she suggests dowsing for items after you have already collected half of what you were searching for.
Ok, I understand that you don’t want to listern to Fi because you know already what to do, but to have this as a reason to not bother with hero mode? Regardless of how useless Fi is, this is not a reason to not attempt hero mode because the whole point of hero mode is to complete it with disadvantages like double damage, no hearts etc.
2. Dialog barely changes
When you start Hero mode, several of the NPCs mention the fact that you are playing in Hero mode; many of them even allow you to skip certain tutorials because you “already know what you are doing.” This made me jump for joy as I thought I was just going to be able to enjoy the best part of this game: gameplay. Then, about thirty minutes in, I started to notice that no one was recognizing that I had done all this before. The game began thrusting tutorials upon me once more as items like the slingshot were explained to a point of redundancy. Hero Mode quickly became nothing more than New Game+ utilizing a different name as a tepid attempt at being different
It doesn’t hurt to have a reminder of how to do things or how to use items, even the NPCs say there’s no harm in reviewing the basics. Again, this is just nit-picking at irrelevant attributes.
3. Difficulty level remained the same
I like challenging video games; after honing my skills for almost two and a half decades it feels good knowing that there are few games out there that can give me a challenge. Hero mode, was supposed to be a more challenging mode than the first quest. At minimum, that should mean more (or at least tougher) enemies, improved enemy AI, and less drops. In “Hero mode”, enemy toughness has not increased Link merely takes double damage from everything; their intelligence has not increased whatsoever. For example, Deku-babas (plant monsters) still try to eat bombs that tossed at them and Lizafos will still taunt missed attacks allowing you to black flip slash them onto their backs. What was almost Hero mode’s single redeeming quality was the fact that hearts no longer appeared in the wild, not did heart plants grow any longer. This genuinely made it feel like a challenge as it forced gamers to rely on potions and sitting to regain health. That is, until I found the heart medal.
I think the double damage alone makes hero mode difficult. I have to think twice before attacking an enemy otherwise my hearts will disappear like that. Although improved AI would make things more difficult, it really isn’t needed if double damage is hard enough.
4. Heart medal makes Hero Mode pointless
The only challenge that Hero mode seemed to present was the fact that the only way Link could replenish health was by utilizing potions, or by sitting on random and rare stools found throughout the game. Enemies no longer dropped hearts, breaking pots and cutting grass stopped producing hearts, and heart plants became extinct. Then, about ten hours in, I activated a Goddess Cube in the southwest region of the Lanayru Desert and unlocked the heart medal that had the ability to reintroduce hearts back into the game. At that precise moment, Hero mode had died. Sure, I could have chosen not to carry the stupid thing around and make the hearts disappear again, but I cannot actively make a choice to make the game tougher. If I could do that, I would never have equipped my shield during the first quest; why did they even put this item in the game? The sole purpose of this medal is to undo what Hero Mode does.
Sorry, but this has to be the worst reason not to attempt hero mode. The Heart Medals are there for there for gamers who want a bit more challenge on their next playthrough, but aren’t up for going without replenishing hearts the old fasion way. I confess I rely on Heart Medals, but even with them in your pouch, hero mode is still challenging. And if you don’t want to use them, put them away in the Item Check.
5. Cannot skip any additional cutscenes
It was a breath of fresh air when gamers began to play Skyward Sword for the first time and noticed that, unlike previous Zelda titles, we were able to skip a large percentage of cutscenes. There were still quite a number of cutscenes that were not optional but these were few and far in between. Mostly these cutscenes contained valuable information as to what the next step in Link’s quest is. Being the fact that Hero mode would indicate this is the second time around for gamers, one would think that these informational cutscenes could then be skipped since we have already been through it all once before. This is not the case at all as there are no additional skip options, and gamers must wade through the shoveling of now pointless information.
It doesn’t really matter, it’s not as if your doing a speedrun or anything. Again, nit-picking at irrelevent attributes.
You may or may not agree with Phillp’s reasons for not attempting hero mode, but I think these are completely pointless reasons, and I highly recommend that you at least attempt hero mode, it is definately worth your time.
What are your thoughts on this article? Do you think Phillip Price’s reasons are pointless or do you think these are actual reasons to not attempt hero mode? Leave your thoughts and opinions below.
Source: Just Push Start