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Platform

Nintendo DS

 

Genre

Action / Adventure

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2007

 

 

- Touch screen controls are very good

- Fun adventure

- Puzzles

- Graphics

 

 

- Some may find the game a little too easy

 

 

Review: The Legend of Zelda - The Wind Waker (GC)

Review: The Legend of Zelda - Link to the Past (GBA)

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The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

Phantom-Hourglass.jpg (23775 bytes)          Phantom-Hourglass-2.jpg (137130 bytes)

 

After Zelda made it's splash on the Nintendo Wii late last year, it showed gamers interesting new ways by which they could play such a game utilizing an unconventional control scheme. With that, it got players wondering how Phantom Hourglass would play when it came out, and after several months of waiting, the whole thing turned out great. Making heavy use of the DS touch screen, the game provides an interesting, and intuitive way to guide Link on his adventures, while the game still provides its usual mix of puzzle solving, dungeon exploring, and adventure.

 

Things start off right where The Wind Waker ended, with Link, Tetra, and their pirate chums sailing the seas. Then out of nowhere comes a huge, mysterious ship that abducts Tetra, and Link tries to chase after her, only to fall into the water, and get washed ashore on a small island. When he comes to, he no longer has his abilities from Wind Waker, and players must start fresh. Before long, Link comes upon the inhabitants of the island, and learns that Tetra was taken by a ghost ship that has been causing trouble in the area for some time now, and with that he sets off to try and rescue her.

 

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Right out of the gates, one can see that the controls in Phantom Hourglass are very simple and intuitive. The vast majority of the action in the game is done through the touch screen. Drag the pointer around the screen to make Link run. Poke an anemy for Link to lunge at him, or slash across the screen for a more general slashing attack. If you want to do a big attack, spin the pen in a

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circle on the screen. These controls get even more fun as link slowly acquires nifty new items in the game's various dungeons. Control here is all about simple movements that just about anybody can get into. If anything, the simplicity of the controls is more likely to irk the hardcore set who crave complicated button combos and the like, as this sort of thing isn't really present in Phantom Hourglass.

 

Phantom-Hourglass-3.jpg (133074 bytes)          Phantom-Hourglass-4.jpg (143033 bytes)

 

The whole process of questing is typical Zelda fair of exploring overworlds and dungeons, though there is a lot of sailing involved since the game is the successor to Wind Waker. In any case, players will get their fix of exploration, and navigating dungeons here. The puzzle solving, and action in the dungeons is a lot of fun as players figure out how to get from one point to the next. Players will also get a kick out of the boss fights, as they require a some thought in how to defeat them.

Seeing as Phantom Hourglass is a follow-up to Wind Waker, the visuals are of the same ilk as the Gamecube game, with a cartoon-like motif. It's quite impressive how well this style transitioned to the DS from the Gamecube. A little bit of detail is lost, but overall the visual feel of Wind Waker is still present here.

 

Phantom Hourglass won't disappoint fans. It has all of the core elements that has made the Zelda series so popular, while also breathing new life into it by introducing intuitive touch screen controls. About the only thing some may have a problem with in this game is that it's a tad bit easy. Other than that, though, it's one heck of a game.

 

- Jeff Nash

(November 17, 2007)

 

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