After 12 days and nearly 64 hours of gameplay, I've finished it. As with most Zelda games, I was enthralled from start to finish, and I loved it. The five-year development time really shows as there's flat out more to do than in any previous Zelda game, although much of it is optional. Most remarkable is that this is the first Zelda game to absolutely nail it from a story perspective. The plot is well paced, and you genuinely care about the world and its characters. Twilight Princess attempted and failed to accomplish this with its front-loaded, uneven approach, but Nintendo has learned from it and Skyward Sword is proof. The gameplay is similarly well-paced as there are constantly new things to find and do outside of the main quest (another problem of Twilight Princess' since you could complete all of the sidequests well before the main quest which made the end of the game nothing but dungeon after dungeon).
The game design is largely ingenious with some lapses into downright laziness, but the stuff that's good is extremely good, and I found myself smiling at many of the very clever puzzles and level layouts. That said, I would be remiss not to call the game out for some collectathons, fetch quests, and the ever reviled Zelda Gear Solid: Tactical Link Inaction segment. There are also several segments inspired by the Phantom missions from the DS games. I didn't hate these as much as I expected to since they're smartly designed for iterative play and are rewarding to the player that enjoys the "recon, strategize, execute" cycle. Still, I question their presence in a Zelda game, and it pains me to think that time was spent on these that could have been spent on a couple extra proper dungeons.
On the game's much talked about smaller world size with greater density, I think this was a smart move, especially the density. The world feels so much more compelling when challenges lie in every screen instead of only after crossing an extensive barren landscape to get to the area with the challenge. As for the smaller world size, I think it works in this game, but I was kind of hoping for a little more in terms of unique areas to explore.
Aesthetically, the game is extremely pleasing with lovely art design, great localization, and the best music in a Zelda game since A Link to the Past. There's a weird graphical flaw with the engine that results in a static scanline-like effect on HD sets, but it doesn't harm the experience in any way.
Motion Controls add a layer of nuance to the gameplay not seen in any previous console Zelda, and concepts briefly touched on in Twilight Princess are fully fleshed out here. The motion controls worked more or less perfectly for me, but I found the shield bash to be unreliable if I tried to do it immediately following a flurry of sword swipes. While most items make very effective use of the motion controls, it should be noted that the implementation of the harp is particularly half-assed and Nintendo would have done well to choose an instrument that more closely maps to the controller. I don't know if the game would be more or less fun without the motion controls, but I do know that they in no way harmed my experience and occasionally made it feel more intimate and immediate.
While the last two Zelda releases were disappointing (Four Swords Anniversary Edition) and abysmal (Spirit Tracks), Skyward Sword proves that Nintendo can still turn out something magical and, in the end, Skyward Sword is a nothing less than a wonderful game and absolutely deserves your time.