GBU review for Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
Hi, this is my first time posting to MCC, so introductions are in order. I’m Jessica, a.k.a. Baby Girl (lol) and NOT, by definition, a “gamer.” But I do like playing from time to time, and offer my reviews from a casual player’s perspective. So, without further ado…
I love the DS because most of the games aren’t a huge commitment, and usually aren’t too hard. Phantom Hourglass is my favorite DS game so far, combining fun interactive aspects, a cute storyline, and acceptable level of challenge.
Good: It’s Zelda! This game has all the familiar sound bites and graphics from previous editions (think along the lines of Wind Waker), and is immediately engaging. The casual gamer can pick it up with no prior knowledge of Zelda games, or games in general, and figure out the general gameplay. The boards are short enough that they don’t exasperate the player, but offer enough content on each level.
Without a doubt, Phantom Hourglass utilizes the interactive and innovative capabilities of the DS to the full extent. Most of the gameplay uses the stylus for action – whether moving Link or engaging in battle, or plotting a course for the boat to travel the different maps. There are loads of fun things to do, like drawing notes on the screen, controlling Link’s boomerang, using traveling bombs, and at one point players even have to blow into the mic to mimic blowing out a torch. Creative!
Traveling between maps is also fun, as Link sets sail on a boat. Mini challenges include fishing for a rare fish, discovering hidden treasure on the ocean floor, and battling a secondary character who has a grudge against Link’s shipmate. This helps break the game up a little and is just as enjoyable as the main plot.
Bad: Well apparently there are online components to the game, where you can battle another player in an arena. To be honest, I didn’t even try this so I can’t comment on it. It just seems unnecessary.
Ugly: The dungeons get pretty darn repetitive. In fact, there’s only one dungeon that players go back to several times during the storyline, progressing a bit further each time. The idea is that throughout the game, Link discovers more “time” for his Phantom Hourglass, which allows more time to complete new levels in the dungeon. But timed games always add extra pressure and there were plenty of times when I couldn’t finish the level before time ran out. Part of the challenge? Yes. But also incredibly frustrating? Hell yes.
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