‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD’ Launches with Amiibo Feature That Has Fans Concerned

Back in February, the folks at Nintendo dropped an official trailer for the highly anticipated release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for the Nintendo Switch. The high-definition remaster of the 2011 classic, originally released on the Nintendo Wii, was announced during February’s Nintendo Direct stream, to the thunderous applause of countless Zelda fans. What followed were several announcements, including Skyward Sword themed Joy-Cons (with preorders currently sold-out practically everywhere) available the same day as the game’s July 2021 release.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Joy-Cons. Credit: Nintendo

With sharpened motion controls, beefed up frame rates and the inclusion of button-only controls that allow you to play in either Handheld Mode or on the Nintendo Switch Lite, Skyward Sword HD is on every Nintendo fan’s wishlist for the summer. It comes as a surprise then the response gamers had online with the recent announcement of an amiibo slated to drop the same day as the game and Joy-Cons.

As with the original Skyward Sword on the Wii, players were able to traverse the map above the clouds only from specific locations within the game. The recent announcement showcased a $25 amiibo for the HD version on Switch that will make it possible for players to travel through the air wherever they’re located. Initially presented as a sort of “quality of life upgrade” to the original version, the Zelda and Loftwing amiibo figure “will quickly travel to the sky from anywhere on the surface world — even within the depths of dungeons,” according to Nintendo.

This amiibo features two characters on a single base and can be used to travel between the surface and the sky in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD: Nintendo

The response online was swift and pointed, with some saying it exposes “the worst thing about Nintendo”– this in particular coming on the heels of the company’s strange decision to make Super Mario 3D All-Stars a timed-release game. The collection featured some of the franchise’s most requested titles for the Switch, with high-definition ports of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy only available from September 2020 to March 2021 in both physical and digital copies.

Since the onset of the pandemic and well into 2021, scalpers have devastated and overrun the demand for products like 3D All-Stars, and many fear the same will follow Skyward Sword’s Joy-Cons and amiibo upon their release. The latter, however, has received more criticism for pitting a key feature of the game behind a product that needs to be purchased, with many wondering why the ability to travel at will wasn’t included in the game to begin with.

Interestingly enough, when Skyward Sword originally released in 2011, it also had a special edition that was bundled with a gold Wii Remote Plus, emblazoned with “Triforce Symbol Accessories.” That bundle, however, didn’t compromise the features of the game and consign them to products needing to be purchased. Only time will tell after Skyward Sword’s HD release in July if the amiibo was really worth it or not.