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The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Released on 19 October 2007

Rating: 7+ (PEGI)

4.0 out of 5 (103 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The epic story of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker continues as Link finds himself lost and alone in unknown seas in a new adventure. Featuring intuitive touch-screen controls and innovative puzzles, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass offers new challenges for fans of the series and an easy-to-grasp introduction for gamers new to The Legend of Zelda. But time grows short, and only the Phantom Hourglass can buy Link the minutes he'll need to survive.

Many months have passed since the events of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Link, Tetra and Tetra's band of pirates have set sail in search of new lands. They come across a patch of ocean covered in a dense fog, in which they discover an abandoned ship. Tetra falls into danger when she explores the ship alone, and Link falls into the ocean when he attempts to rescue her. When he washes up unconscious on the shores of a mysterious island, he is awakened by the sound of a fairy's voice. With the aid of this fairy, he sets off to find Tetra - and his way back to the seas he once knew.
  • The stylus makes controlling Link easier than ever. Tap on the screen to make Link move, or sweep the stylus around him to swing the sword. Players can even draw a path for his boomerang and send it flying into hard-to-reach targets.
  • Players can stash the map on the top screen for quick reference or drop it to the touch screen to make notes, study enemies, or chart a path for their boat to follow while they man the cannons.
  • Compete with a friend over a local wireless connection - guide Link through special dungeons to capture the Triforce, or command the forces that oppose him.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (103 reviews)

 WOW.. Truly impressive!

| | See all EclipseDj's reviews (9)

This game is a master piece on DS, Nintendo really know how to push to get the best from their games. They could have just ported Zelda Ocarina of Time, like they did with Mario 64 DS, but they've created a new adventure for us to enjoy built specifically for DS! Graphically it's almost on par with the Gamecube's Wind Waker, a very impressive feat indeed.

It's a joy to play and control, the cut scenes are great, as is the control system, and sound, two screen boss battles... ALL Amazing! Plus they also threw in an online mini game for good measure. If you love Zelda, you'll enjoy this and if your new to Zelda games this is as good a place to start as any.

It's an adventure not to be missed!

 Breathtaking

| | See all Chrissy0jay's reviews (40)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 10 Games Reviewer

There have been many incredible titles for Nintendo's handheld, exacerbating it's success to make it an unstoppable force in the market. There haven't really been many games that have made that WOW factor yet though have there? Sure, castlevania was awesome, but didn't use the DS very well, new super mario brothers was a brilliant game, but again fell down on DS useage, and the fact that we'd all seen it before, and FF3 was a superb remake, but again, didn't really do anything new with the DS hardware except extrapolate the game into 3 dimensions! Our good friend link is here to change all that, in a direct sequel to his adventure, "The wind waker".

Your first impression upon booting up the game will be that Nintendo have pulled some sort of cruel trick and that the visuals won't be this good for the rest of the game...but they consistenly delight. The worlds are a sort of 30 degree inclined viewpoint with 3-D environments (a la 'Contact.tm'), and are lavishly detailed and varied. You'll visit creepy dungeons with nasty choking purple mists and all manner of foul creatures stalking you, fiery mountains that spew molten rocks everywhere, huge overcast labrynthine graveyards, and of course, the incredibly vast and gorgeously animated ocean. All the characters in the game drip with personality too, thanks to incredible detail and a hugely expressive range of animations...link especially, whose face when he gets pushed around by Linebeck (your new friend!) will reduce you to laughter every time. The animation and text is beautifully done, and isn't just engaging, but also hilarious (Again, see Linebeck!)

Something that many WW players did not like was the sailing. Good news: It's here again, but better. You can now sail the whole width of the world in under 3 or 4 minutes, and the islands are more densely packed into the world map meaning you now go between them quicker. While doing so, you have to adjust your route (To avoid rocks, bombs, enemy ambushes etc), fight off sharks, octopi, and even cannon firing pirate ships, leap obstacles, salvage treasure from the depths of the sea, and duel angry sailors. The ocean seems much more exciting and less sporadic than that found in the WW.

The main meat of the game is usual zelda affair, for those of you who don't know, you travel into dungeons, gaining fantastic new equipment to help you beat the boss, travel to the new dungeon, rinse repeat. What makes the difference here then? Well, several things;

The stylus control system is used to fantastic effect. Whether you scribble notes on your map (to note heart piece locations, bombable walls etc), slash at enemies, or draw paths for your boomerang, it controls intuitively and beautifully, and rejuvenates the series completely! Also put to good use are the microphone, dual screens, and even "other" little features.

The only thing that may put hardcore zelda fans off is the phantom dungeon. The main meat of the game's "dungeoning" takes place in this huge 40+ level dungeon, which you complete about 5 floors of a time, before returning to the surface to get more sand for your hourglass (Your descent through this cursed place is timed...stay too long, you die, simply as). You have to redo all the floors next time you come back, but the new equipment is your saving grace, which opens up unseen shortcuts you missed on your last descent. All in all, it's really not a problem!

Summarising, I would have to say this is the best game on the DS, with stunning visuals, oodles of character, and the most intuitive and engaging controls ever. Not only is it the best DS game yet, it should hold it's head high as one of the best Zelda games ever made. You owe it to yourself to play this game.

 Best DS game thus far!

| | See all Umbraahk's reviews (47)

Top 100 Games Reviewer

This game is brilliant. I can't believe they fit so much to do on one little DS card.

The visuals for this game are excellent, as far as hand-helds go. The graphics supass that of the Nintendo 64 by far.

Searching for sunken treasure, fishing, sailing vast oceans, fighting pirates, exploring ancient ruins, sneaking past heavily-armed enemies, customising your ship, swinging over bottomless pits and charting buried rupees with your stylus on your touch-screen map.

This is just a few of the features in this game. The little cut-scenes are enjoyable and the whole game flows really nicely. You feel as if you're part of this epic journey.

It's weird, I've never felt so emersed in a game before, especially that of a handheld.
I was a newb to the Zelda games but I -really- enjoyed this.

I highly recommend! You will love it!

 One Of Link's Best Adventures Ever...

| | See all tennishead39's reviews (33)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 10 Games Reviewer

Okay, I'm not going to beat the bush around until I am blue in the face, instead I am just going to get the formalities out of the way right now in the opening paragraph!!! I am doing this because when it comes down to it, there is no denying the facts- Phantom Hourglass is outstanding! It is properly the best Zelda game in many a moon! Yes Really!!!

When Link To The Past came out fifteen years ago, it completely rewrote the Zelda book by adding a superb in-depth plot and elements that we surely take for granted nowadays. Effectively then what we have here is the next evolutionary step in the Legend Of Zelda Series; something that becomes apparent not just through the gorgeous and unique control scheme that has been used here, but also the way that the game makes use of the controls that it was blessed with to subtly alter the logic of adventure. Yes it is still the same familiar style of game play that we have all grown to adore over the years but, equally it is different enough that I really couldn't breeze through without really butting my brain into gear, you'll be racking your brain at some of the levels, asking yourself "what do I do next???"

However that is not to say that Phantom Hourglass is really difficult, it is just different. The biggest thing that you'll have to overcome is the control system however I guarantee that after a while you'll be an expert after a few tries! Using the stylus to move Link, make him attack enemies, use items like the boomerang or bombs and interact with the environment becomes a second nature after a few minuets of practice! A question you may ask is "Should there have been a D-Pad alternative???" My answer is NO! Not only would it not work in the same way with the traditional control, but most of the clever changes that make this game unique and such a joy to play, would be lost! Again it is an evolution of what you have come to expect from Zelda games over the decades, however it is not a complete overhaul requiring you to relearn everything from scratch, but rather a collection of subtle tweaks that enhance the game without being discouraging.

Having to remember places that you are having trouble passing due to a lock of equipment is a fact of Zelda life (and, indeed, most of Nintendo's games). Now, you can scribble notes to yourself so you don't forget any vital information (really there is much more to remember). Using items now requires much more thought and effort, such as using the Grappling Hook as a slingshot to throw Link over gaps or finding a path to guide your boomerang! Even solving puzzles is much more cerebral because you've got the option of writing your information down.

Of coarse there are the impressive visuals. The screenshots here don't do it justice, because you need to see it running - and, as a result, watch the way Link responds to skimming over a tightrope, skidding on ice or just simply speaking to someone- to appreciate hoe much the Ds is doing & how much time & effort went into it. The art style of Windwaker was genius, but to do this on a little Ds is something Nintendo should be very proud of!

So up to now all I have done is praise it & you are properly asking yourself "Where are all the flaws???" It would be bizarre to say there are none, I myself would have liked it to be a bit longer, however that is just me being critical! Overall it is everything you could have wanted in a Zelda game, & more & it is certainly the Hylian Hero's best adventure in a long time!

Pros:
+ Innovative control scheme.
+ Gorgeous & hugely impressive visuals.
+ Highly playable.
+ Loads to see & do.

Cons:
- I wish it was just a bit longer.

Overall: 9/10
Graphics: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10

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Rating7+ (PEGI)