||[Friday 8th November 2013 at 11:02 pm]
Did you know that if you hit the giant gems in the walls of Thrill Digger, rupees come out?
Nope, neither did I until earlier today when I happened to sit on the chair by the Thrill Digger guy. See, Skyward Sword is full of stools and chairs in various places, and while they might appear to be just eye candy they actually come in quite handy. The first trick is that if you sit and wait a moment, you will regain all your health. That's incredibly useful in Hero Mode, where hearts are unobtainium.
The second trick is if you sit down next to someone, they'll talk to you. Sometimes it's just saying hello, sometimes it's total randomness (like the Thrill Digger guy explaining just why he's balancing on his tail), and every so often it's a useful little snippet like that rupee one, or a hint as to where something is hidden.
And then some are just placed to let you admire the view, like the bench right at the top of Skyloft behind all the houses. Sit there, and the camera pulls back to show you the whole of Skyloft.
I like games which have interesting things to discover, little rewards for pausing and looking around instead of hurrying through. Metroid Prime (especially the first of the trilogy) was excellent at this sort of thing - there was an incredible amount of things you could scan there beyond the creature details and log books. The extra scans were pretty much anything from the useful (one log tells you about the Metroid vulnerability to cold) to the amusing ("Metroids are not pets. Metroids are not for target practice") to the we're-all-doomed (there's one with the Space Pirates fairly panicking once they realise you're merrily waltzing through their base) to the mundane (a log hidden away in a secret cave at the top of Phendrana's Edge merely reminds personnel to check their life support equipment). And that's just the Space Pirate ones - there's just as many about the Chozo and their ruins, and even odd tidbits about the environment around you (scanning the little red flowers reveals that they're prized as a delicacy). None of it is at all necessary for a game to be good, and yet it adds just that little bit extra that makes it much more enjoyable.