What's up with the hate for Spirit Tracks?

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#1 Edited by turtlethetaffer (17117 posts) -

I've heard a lot of people say that ST is a terrible Zelda game and a bad game in general. I really don't get it. It took everything wrong with Phantom Hourglass and improved upon it. The game was loaded with side objectives, had a large world to explore, great visual design, dungeons that actually required some thought (the final stint in the Tower of Spirits was really tricky at points) and some awesome boss battles. Not only that, but controlling Zelda in the Phantoms is a great idea that should be brought back in some way. Also, people who bitch about the Tower of Spirits seem to forget the fact that there is no redundancy in that area. Any time you replay a part of the dungeon, it's because you choose to. Every time you returned, there was a new area to explore and take on. It made the awful Temple of the Ocean King concept and turned it into a great game mechanic.

I can understand people being turned off by the touch screen controls, and the train isn't the most "free" form of exploration, but dismissing the game as a whole because of that is just wrong. Why do so many people hate Spirit Tracks?

#2 Posted by tocool340 (20641 posts) -

I actually enjoyed Spirit Tracks. The only problem, and it was a major one, was the flute playing segments of the game. There was one point where I spent nearly a week trying to correctly play one of the songs. I believe it was a sand melody. There was a previous one that I also spent several hours trying to correctly play. No matter how spot on I performed in some of those flute segments, the game didn't seem to register it...

#3 Posted by darkmark91 (2896 posts) -

It just was not fun for me... I can't even remember a single boss fight, and I beat the game. :/

#4 Edited by KBFloYd (14522 posts) -

i agree TC...i love it...the flute segments are a cool gimmick.

marking stuff on your train map was cool.

#5 Posted by YoshiYogurt (5987 posts) -
@tocool340 said:

I actually enjoyed Spirit Tracks. The only problem, and it was a major one, was the flute playing segments of the game. There was one point where I spent nearly a week trying to correctly play one of the songs. I believe it was a sand melody. There was a previous one that I also spent several hours trying to correctly play. No matter how spot on I performed in some of those flute segments, the game didn't seem to register it...

It was a piece of cake when you the flute IRL. Funnest part of the game to me,

#6 Posted by BrunoBRS (73263 posts) -

i have no idea why people hate it. even worse, i have no idea why people think PH is better.

ST is a really solid zelda game, and a really enjoyable one. but people were too busy making "it's on rails, literally" jokes to appreciate that controlling the train was actually more fun than PH's boat, and that it only constitutes a small part of the gameplay.

#7 Edited by ANIMEguy10034 (4872 posts) -

Some people have different opinions and preferences, and others hate it for the sake of hating. Those who dislike something are more vocal about it, reason why you hear so much hate on Spirit Tracks or Phantom Hourglass. Both are great games and personally one of my favorite DS games. They have some annoyances (Temple of the Ocean King and playing the flute), but I still found myself replaying each once or twice.

#8 Posted by turtlethetaffer (17117 posts) -

@tocool340: @BrunoBRS:

tocool, I never had that issue. I've read that many others had problems with the flute, but I think the most I had to redo a flute segment was like three times. Never had an issue with it. Weird.

And Bruno, you pretty much read my mind. PH WOULD have been great without the Temple of the Ocean King and with more meaningful side quests and things to do. People who praise PH then bash ST are truly baffling. Plus the train was more involved than the boat, with all the environmental hazards and whatnot. People who don't like the train and completely demonize the game because of it are also baffling; I understand not liking it, but the train really was not as restrictive as I've heard people say. There were still plenty of places to go and things to do despite the fact that the train was somewhat constricting.

Plus, collecting pieces of the train was really fun, since every set was well designed. It also gave areas replayability since chests respawned with different treasures.

#9 Posted by tocool340 (20641 posts) -
@YoshiYogurt said:
@tocool340 said:

I actually enjoyed Spirit Tracks. The only problem, and it was a major one, was the flute playing segments of the game. There was one point where I spent nearly a week trying to correctly play one of the songs. I believe it was a sand melody. There was a previous one that I also spent several hours trying to correctly play. No matter how spot on I performed in some of those flute segments, the game didn't seem to register it...

It was a piece of cake when you the flute IRL. Funnest part of the game to me,

I actually like using the flute too, it just some of those duets didn't register what I blew for some reason. I mean, I'd perform the duets FLAWLESSLY, replicating EXACTLY how the locos were playing it but still was told I was doing it wrong. It would seem playing slightly off key was able to get me passed those duets....

#10 Posted by Minishdriveby (10302 posts) -

I had more fun with Phantom Hourglass than Spirit Tracks. I'd have to go back and replay them, but I wasn't extremely impressed by the on-rail segments and they should have just removed the Spirit Tower. Was it an improved Ocean King Temple? Sure, but it was still basically the ocean king temple which I didn't mind the first time around in PH, but I didn't want to do it again in Spirit Tracks.

I just felt Spirit Tracks was forgettable, and I don't really remember any of the bosses outside of the Golem and Train.

#11 Edited by Litchie (16578 posts) -

It was good. Not ultra-awesome, but I enjoyed it. I don't remember that much of it, though..

Btw, the flute was awesome, imo. Great way to use the mic.

#12 Posted by Pierst179 (10803 posts) -

Personally, I think the between-dungeons content and gameplay is very boring. The same applies for the train segments, as opposed to Wind Waker's sailing which I thought was awesome. Besides, I don't think the extra locations and side missions were very appealing.

With that being said, I love the dungeons and bosses on both PH and ST. The bosses are easily among the best in the series, and using the items via the touch screen makes the gameplay extremely fun and intuitive.

Still, I would easily rank both games at the bottom of a Top Zelda games list. I would only put them ahead of Zelda 2.

#13 Posted by Shmiity (5261 posts) -

You control Link with the stylus. This game automatically gets an F.

#14 Posted by turtlethetaffer (17117 posts) -

@Minishdriveby: How can you not mind the Temple of the Ocean King then mind Tower of Spirits? Ocean King was a practice in redundancy that actually made me not want to beat dungeons so I wouldn't have to go through the damn place again.

#15 Edited by turtlethetaffer (17117 posts) -

@Shmiity: Stylus controls were pretty solid all around, at least to me. I can see how people would prefer analogue control but to act like the touch screen controls are broken is just wrong.

#16 Edited by Minishdriveby (10302 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer: Not sure. OKT wasn't the greatest in terms of aesthetics to me, I didn't really mind the redundancy in sequences because it didn't take long. Sure I thought the temple was not the greatest aspect of Phantom Hourglass, even a negative, but I could handle it for one game, and I didn't really notice it because I was having a blast with the rest of the game.

I had a bigger problem with The ToS because of it's redundancy, not in terms of repeating sequences, but in terms of being the same thing from the last game. It tried to improve upon the OKT, but it was still the OKT which not only highlighted the OKT's faults but also highlighted the ToS' faults.

I guess it's a little bit of a complex and almost incoherent mindset, but what I'm trying to convey is the ToS only reinforced what I found to be the negative aspects of Phantom Hourglass, i.e. an aesthetically bland temple that had to be revisited in segments throughout the journey, compiled with an almost on-rails-esque exploration method which I wasn't fond of. I had no problem re-visiting floors when I came to the temple; I had a problem re-visiting the temple all together.

#17 Posted by Minishdriveby (10302 posts) -

Looking at a couple of faqs in the Zelda Wiki, I apparently mis-remembered the Golem as being in Spirit Tracks; he was in Phantom Hourglass, so that entire dungeon and boss was in PH.

Also looking at the two games, OKT only had 13 floors while ToS had 30.

#18 Posted by Kaze_no_Mirai (11569 posts) -

I forced myself to finish Phantom Hourglass couldn't do the same for Spirit Tracks. I still plan to go back to it eventually. I don't know why, I just couldn't get into either one.

#19 Edited by turtlethetaffer (17117 posts) -

@Minishdriveby: I see what you're saying. IDK I thought controlling the phantom was really awesome and gave the game some great puzzle sequences. I found the levels well designed and fun. But I can see your point about asthetics.

#20 Posted by juboner (506 posts) -

Link + train = no good

#21 Edited by CodingGenius (8118 posts) -

@Kaze_no_Mirai said:

I forced myself to finish Phantom Hourglass couldn't do the same for Spirit Tracks. I still plan to go back to it eventually. I don't know why, I just couldn't get into either one.

I'm with you. No idea why, but I traded them and won't be likely to rebuy any time soon. I'm loving the most recent iteration, so it isn't handheld Zelda!

#22 Posted by Aquat1cF1sh (10934 posts) -

I liked both the DS Zelda games. Spirit Tracks has a great soundtrack! And we actually get to be with Zelda for the entire game. I definitely like it more than both Oracle games, which seem to get more praise in the Zelda universe than both of the DS ones.

#23 Posted by Nintendo_Ownes7 (30917 posts) -

I liked it; I liked both DS Zelda titles Spirit Tracks a little more because Phantom Hourglass was more repetitive.

#24 Posted by Bigboi500 (30566 posts) -

I'm one of the few people who actually liked both PH and ST.

#25 Posted by Zassimick (7021 posts) -

I enjoyed both of them enough to play through each entirely and have a good time doing it. That being said, I do feel that the games were two of the weakest Zelda games I have played and I have no intention of ever replaying them again, unlike most Zelda titles.

#26 Posted by chimchargirl (107 posts) -

I dont hate it. I think that other zelda games are better. I think that spirit tracks is a good game but it is a bad zelda game.

I'm dont like have to get the train, in others zelda games i feel more free to explore.

#27 Posted by CrimsonBrute (23844 posts) -
@KBFloYd said:

i agree TC...i love it...the flute segments are a cool gimmick.

That's the keyword. I understand having it but using the mic to use it was unnecessary. Imagine someone playing the game in a public place and having to blow towards the ds to get it working. It needed an option in which you can choose to use a button or a mic.

#28 Posted by riou7 (10837 posts) -

It wasn't a bad game but it was a bad zelda game :p I had more fun with PH

#29 Edited by kbaily (13042 posts) -

For me I don't want to say "hate" because that's such a strong word. I hate Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. I hate Sonic 2006. I hate the insane amount of gray/brown FPSes that clutter the market.

I don't "Hate" Spirit Tracks, however it is my least favorite Zelda game. To be honest, I don't care for either DS Zelda and this is coming from someone who loves Wind Waker. Phantom Hourglass was ok except for one thing: The Temple of the Ocean King. How on Earth this was accepted by the designers and wasn't hated by testers is beyond me. Doing the same temple over and over again, having to complete the same puzzles, while timed, while big nasty guys pursue you. If it wasn't for that temple PH would've been great.

Spirit Tracks while it did correct PH's mistake of the same temple over and over again, for me it was just boring. Trains are boring. At least with boats you were free to explore and steer where you wanted. Trains limit you to a track and at least with WW's sailing you could stop, explore little islands, fight a giant squid, hunt for treasure. On the train you just rode along, occasionally shoot an enemy or catch a bunny. I remember round time of the third dungeon before I got to the area, I had to do this tedious fetch mission where I had to drive back to the mainland and find this carpenter and do something for him in order to bring him back to fix the bridge and it was sooooo boring. And the Spirit Flute is the worst instrument of the Zelda series unless you like having spit all over the DS and enjoy playing with at least one collapsed lung.

Maybe it's because I'm older, have less downtime and patience but this past year I downloaded and played all the GB Zeldas and I remember how quickly they moved along and even with Link Between Worlds, it's a shorter game but it doesn't feel like it's padded out for the sake of saying X amount of hours of gameplay. Not to mention the freedom to choose which dungeon you want and no annoying sidekick yapping down your throat stating the obvious.