A couple of weeks ago I made a news post about IGN mentioning we would have the option to choose between playing with our right or left hand at the beginning of Skyward Sword Story. I’m sorry to say this, but as it turns out they had their information wrong. Nintendo officially announced the choice to play left handed would not be in the game. This is a big let down for lefties after being unsure of the option for over a year and finally being told some great news just to get it stripped away a month from release, but I’m sure even without the option to choose this game is still going to be amazing!
Stephen Totilo of Kotaku was one of the lucky few that had some hands on experience with Skyward Sword and even discussed the game with some Nintendo Representatives. He discussed his experience with the game and its compatibility for left handed people and the reps never mentioned a left handed mode. Confused on whether or not it was going to be included in the game he sent an email to Nintendo public relations and linked them the IGN video. When Nintendo responded they officially confirmed a left hand mode was not an option. To read the full story from Stephen keep reading after the jump.
I had some trouble playing the game, which seemed tailored for righties, but I got used to it. Some readers, however, wondered if there was a lefty mode. Some even pointed to an IGN report that stated that there is one. I was surprised that none of the Nintendo reps who sat with me while I talked about the game’s compatibility for left-handed people had mentioned a lefty mode. None of them was a developer on the game, but they were knowledgeable folks nonetheless.
I e-mailed Nintendo public relations to be sure and even linked them the IGN video, which makes verbal mention of it but doesn’t show it, to make sure we were talking about the same thing. Now I’ve got an official response: Nintendo confirms there’s no left-handed mode in the game. Go figure.
This is no tragedy. What it means, I guess, is that Link will hold his sword in his right hand as he did in the Wii version of his previous Zelda console game. Prior to that, he’d been a lefty in all of his most famous games.
This lefty/righty thing is an issue because Skyward Sword requires players to use a Wii Remote with Motion Plus to swing hero Link’s sword with finesse, the kind of finesse a left-hander like me might not feel when wielding the Remote in one’s right hand. This wasn’t an issue with the previous Wii Zelda, Twilight Princess. That game tolerated cruder, less careful gestures and had a more limited and less interesting move-set as a result. A lefty like me could easily just put the Wii Remote in their left hand to play Skyward Sword, but that forces the Wii’s Nunchuk to go in the right hand, and makes you move the character with your right thumb on the Nunchuk’s thumbstick. That configuration had felt unnatural when I tried it. I didn’t like it, but some Kotaku readers said that they might want to play Skyward Sword with the Remote in their left hand… as long as the game would put Link’s sword in his left hand. That’s what this lefty mode would have been, but it’s not in there.
Without the lefty mode, Link will keep his sword in his right and the player will simply have to decide which hand to put the Remote in and which will wield the Nunchuk. I’m putting the Remote in my right.
My fellow left-handers, do not fret. I was okay. You will be, too.
Yes, I know this does suck, but it really is not the end of the world. He is left handed and had a great time with the game and I’m sure you will too. Everyone will still be able to enjoy Skyward Sword to its fullest potential and it will still be an amazing game. I know it is probably a huge let down to a lot of the left handed fans of the series, but just like with every other game we are going to have to use our left hand to move and the right hand to perform actions.
With the bad news out of the way we can continue our countdown to the release of Skyward Sword and hope it lives up to all the hype it is creating. How big of a let down was this for you or did you always plan on playing it right handed to begin with? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and remember to keep checking back for more Zelda updates.
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