The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Features

Some retail maven somewhere must have calculated that you need a minimum of five weeks on store shelves before Christmas to make the most of the seasonal spending boom. Whatever the reason for the sudden deadline, this week's release schedule - following last week's clash of the titans - is an unseemly stampede of games of every stripe: big sequels, slick kids' games, remastered classics, motion control novelties, branded tie-ins, hardcore updates, indie hopefuls, not to mention new entries in two of the most storied video game series ever.

FeatureFeature: A Hero's Journey

Zelda: 25 years of music and magic with Nintendo's legendary fairytale.

London, October 2011. Thousands are crowded into the Hammersmith Apollo, one of the city's most famous theatrical venues, to hear a concert of music commemorating the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. It's an emotional night. Host Zelda Williams recalls how much the series she was named after meant to her growing up, and her voice audibly cracks at the memory. As Koji Kondo plays a delicate piano solo of Grandma's Theme from The Wind Waker, grown men can be seen dabbing their eyes. Kondo rises from his seat and the audience stands, too, applauding wildly, a number of them clad in the familiar green tunic, tights and pointed hat of their hero.

Maybe it's because the 25th anniversary concert is only a week away, but the first thing I notice is the music. The swooning classical score is augmented by real orchestration and the effect is as epic and stirring as it proved in Super Mario Galaxy.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Return of the swing.

The Legend of Zelda games may traditionally focus on the heroic adventures of mild-mannered elves and shy princesses, but the roar that met the E3 announcement of the latest instalment was anything but gentle.