The beginning of Nintendo's press conference did not begin quietly, with Miyamoto himself demoing the new Legend of Zelda game, to great applause. Dubbed The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, it looks to do what many fans argued that Twilight Princess should've: give the player a connection to Link through the Wiimote.
Slipping through the crowd and lines into Nintendo's booth, I was able to get a hands-on experience with the new title, and for the most part, was impressed with what I saw. First and most obvious is the connection between how you hold the Wiimote and how Link holds his sword. Hold it to the side, and Link will do the same; hold the Wiimote high, and as Link does so his sword charges energy, ready for a ranged strike. Likewise, swinging the sword horizontally gives you a good lateral strike, while swinging it up and down will have Link bring the blade down on his enemy's heads.
This new method of control extends far beyond the sword in our hero's hands, however. Using items (incidentally, switching items is done completely in real-time, forcing you to dodge any nearby enemies as you plan what you plan to bring out) is as integrated to the controller as the sword. Bombs, for example, can be thrown overhand or rolled along the floor, depending on how you swing the Wiimote. The bow requires you to draw back your nunchuk attachment to fire, and the beetle which is a tentative name has you control a flying beetle by tilting the Wiimote back and forth to control its flight. There is another new item, the whip, which allows you to stun enemies and grab items from afar.
Running through the gorgeous world presented before me (the man at the booth called it "Demo Land", chuckling), I got the chance to see what kind of tactics enemies will use now that you've got this new control scheme. Various carnivorous plants dotted the landscape with maws that forced you to make either a horizontal or vertical strike to defeat them. Little goblins with blades also impeded the way, using their weapons to block against certain directions, forcing you to think about where you're attacking from. The Stalfos you fight later blocks multiple directions at once, making it quite a force to contend with.
It's clear that Nintendo wants to try something new with the series to makes it the perfect match with the Wii and MotionPlus. Though we'll have to wait over a year for this attempt to be seen in its entirety, this looks like it could be another title that's a must-buy for the Wii.