The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass Review
You must once again become the boy in green, Link, whose task is to save Tetra, who turns out to be Princess Zelda. This time you will have to take on an evil spirit named Bellum, a spirit who has attacked the Ocean King, and who has gained his powers. You will be sent all over the world to rescue the spirits of Courage, Power, and Wisdom, to have a fighting chance of locating this evil being. This game is played on the Nintendo DS.
The graphics of this game are a little Wind-Waker-y, but with the graphical limitations that are presented with this portable platform it seems to fit. Most of the time you'll be locked in an almost top down view of the world, but there are those times where you actually get to control where the camera is, and that's when you're taking the boat from one island to the next, this is where you're going to find your first round of issues with the game. You're going to see some of your old favorites, for enemies, and you're also going to see a couple that could have been pulled from a Mario game (one in particular is the octopus that you'll encounter from time to time while taking a boat trip).
The music is what you're going to get from any Zelda game, its going to have you getting lost in the notes. The grunts of Link swinging his sword or getting hit will also be present in the game.
The controls are probably my biggest issue with the game. Yes, I get it, this is a first party title, and as such you need to makes sure everyone knows the "awesome" functionality that the touchscreen gives you, but please give us the option of utilizing something other than the touchscreen. It is beyond frustrating during the portions of the game where you need finesse and you can't get it because you are stuck dragging your stylus to move your character.
So you're Link, you have apparently just saved Tetra/Zelda from an evil bad dude, when a ghost ship appears and Tetra gets taken away. You get washed up on an island and are greeted by an old man and some kind of fairy. You learn that the only way that you can find the ship is be enlisting the help of the 3 great spirits (Courage, Power, and Wisdom), but something has happened to them, so you're going to have to rescue them. For the most part this game is very enjoyable. The boat rides got really old near the end when you just needed to go to another island for a second but had to cross 2 sections of map to get to it. There was the fun mini-games of salvaging and fishing (but fishing came way too late in my game, so I had no interest in doing it). You're going to be to use the boomerang, the grappling hook, the bow, bombs, shovel, and more to try to solve the rooms that you have to go through. Which reminds me the Temple of the Ocean King gets really really old when you have to do the same puzzles over and over again to advance deeper into the dungeon.
In the end this is a Zelda game, its well made, yes it has some issues, but there's not a perfect game out there. This is one you're going to want to pick up if you've got a DS, and haven't done so already. This game gets a 9.1 out of 10.