Zelda, Zelda, and even more Zelda. We have been BLESSED with 2 Zelda games in under a year. After the long awaited Twilight Princess, we get the sequel to the successful game, Wind Waker, on the Gamecube. Will the DS version live up to the name or will it be a total disappointment?
Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
Probably the best I've seen using both the touch screen and mic. The game rarely uses any of the directional pads or the any of the buttons. It's all based on the touch screen. To walk, simply move your stylus in the direction you wish Link to go. To swing your sword, create a slashing motion with your stylus. The touch screen will also be used to roll, swing your boomerang, throw bombs, shooting arrows, and much more.
A useful feature was added in this version of Zelda, the ability to draw on the maps. You may take notes on where to go, or where to find different treasure chests.
In some scenarios, you'll be caught blowing into a tiny hole, the mic. Either you're trying to blow out a fire or yell to catch someone's attention, you will have to use the mic.
I wonder what would happen if I blew all of these up?
Dungeons inside the game are fun to go through and can also be quite easy. The puzzles can stump ya, but most of them will be very easy to go through. Like any other game, at the end of a dungeon, you'll encounter a boss battle. The boss battles are very well thought up and can actually be quite fun. After each boss battle, you will obtain 2 minutes in your hourglass (which I will explain later) and a heart container.
What's the hourglass used for? The hourglass is used for the Ocean King's Temple. You will have to visit this dungeon throughout your journey numerous times, each time going further and further into the dungeon. The bad news is, when you visit the dungeon, you will have to start at the beginning EACH TIME! It's probably the only part of the game that frustrates me. Further in the game though, you will be able to teleport to other regions of the temple (gladly). Anyways, the hourglass is your time meter, it's the amount of time you will get to navigate through the dungeon and complete a certain area. When the timer is out, the temple will start sucking your life away until it reaches zero. Although it may seem you're being rushed, it'll be over before you know it.
Another part of the gameplay I'd like to mention is the ship. Like in Wind Waker, you will have to navigate through the sea with your ship to go to different areas of the world. The trips seem to be a lot shorter on Phantom Hourglass compared to Wind Waker. You'll encounter different monsters and some NPC's along the way. Also, the ship is customizable with different chimneys, cannons, decks, anchors, and more. These parts can be found around the world, even undersea.
Like Mario, the story isn't...new. Princess Zelda (a.k.a Tetra) is captured, and you must go rescue her. Even though the story does have it's twist and turns, none of it will get your attention. If you're looking for a touching and heartwarming story, don't even try to notice it.
One of the boss battles that you'll encounter.
Sound is what you expect from a Zelda game. The same sound effects you find in previous Zelda games and the same music. Even though the music is the same, it doesn't mean it's awesome!
Top-notch, especially for the DS. Even though you don't find any great-looking cutscenes, the graphics are best on the DS. As many of you know, the game is cel-shaded. Yes, many of you hate it, but I think it's a good twist for the Zelda series. If you've played Wind Waker, expect to the same thing.
It's good to be in the open sea!
The game will keep a regular gamer to about 15-30 hours, depending on what speed you go at. The online is weak, but it's there if you're ever bored. The only downside is, once you finish the game, there isn't much left to do except play it over again.
A Random Thought:
WTF Link, you CAN'T swim!!?!?! I'm guessing this youngster didn't learn how to until in his later years.
Rent or Buy? Buy
Comments on the review are welcomed.