#??: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
This game stands out in two ways. It’s not only a continuation in the same spirit of Wind Waker, adopting the same style and humor evident in that game, but also the only fully stylus controlled game in the franchise. You can control Link using the stylus to perform all kinds of tasks, like some kind of PC Mouse Light, and that adds a lot of fun and new elements into the game.
Linebeck to the right is my favorite character in the game, he’s awesome!
While not exactly looking crystal sharp when comparing to modern day graphics, the small sprites and 3D elements of the game look good when compared to other Nintendo DS titles. The design is colorful and bright most of the time, though the mood and lighting changes at times to demarcate the seriousness of boss battles and such. The evil Pirate Ship looks awesome, by the way!
Sounds & Music: 10/10
As in most Legend of Zelda games (bar the Philips CDI abominations) the music and sound effects are very good. You get that Zelda feel when playing the game, and since one expects greatness one will not be surprised when that’s what one finds in this franchise (bar the CDI abominations, of course, but mentioning them might be a bit redundant right?).
The game has a moderate difficulty I’d say, while I only died against the later bosses, and a fewtimes in the Phantom Hourglass segments of the temple (which I didn’t dig, by the way, as time-limited story parts always stress me out) where you not only did race against time but also had to evade those guard knights. Time limits and covert missions combined makes for a stressed and irritated MartianOddity!
The stylus controls took some time to get used to, and a few mistakes were punishing enough to make me groan a few times, but all in all it worked fairly well, but not perfectly in all settings, mind you. All in all the gameplay was very enjoyable indeed.
Replay value: 6/10
I’m a little bit torn about the replay value of this game. While a lot of fun I can’t see why you’d replay the game immediately as most items and unlockables aren’t that hard to acquire, unless you want to get all the treasure lying at the bottom of the sea and all those coveted ship parts who’ll make your vessel one that’ll fit amongst the greatest of water-borne carriages, like Titanic. For those who couldn’t care less there’s little value, well, other than trying to best one’s clear times in the temple- but I can’t fathom who’d want to do that!
The game was initially based on the Four Swords game and later took it’s own course.
Images from: Zelda.wikia.com