The First Zelda Title On The Nintendo DS, That Uses The Stylus In So Many Imaginative Ways
Phantom Hourglass introduces a young Link into Hyrule, with his friend Tetra - as they sail together on the high seas of the ocean they come across an abandoned ghost ship, and as Tetra goes aboard the ship takes off, and those on-board effectively kidnap Tetra; perhaps ghosts or lost souls of the former inhabitants of the ship.
You wake up, found by a fairy you make it your mission to find your friend - finding a sword, shield and a captain to sail his ship, and you to the various islands around Hyrule to find Tetra. Phantom Hourglass is a mix of some RPG elements, and action adventure - as you collect Rupees to buy new equipment, weapons and items that you use on your travels, as well as collecting Rupees to buy upgrades for your boat.
There are some general dungeon crawling segments of the game, and open-space exploring as well - with fighting enemies, collecting Rupees and solving puzzles you come across.
Now first is the graphics of the game, which are quite alluring and attractive on the DS double screens, particularly cut scenes which show Link, and other characters features, and comical emotions very well. Exploring the islands, and open sea is very stunning, in cell-shade design it is quite a sight when you're into the game by a few hours already.
Game-play is also very smooth and ingenious with the use of the stylus, which is used almost 95% of the time with the game, and the last 5% is used on the title screen, and configuring the game. You use the stylus for practically every action in the game; from swinging your sword, picking up objects, and interacting with the environment - it acts like a mouse would with a PC.
Musically the game is quite somber in tone, and type as Phantom Hourglass is quite a nice, soft and bright game - even it's content is quite child friendly, as there is no dark themes really. The music is vibrant, happy and quite adventurous in tone in unison with the game-play.
Being only over an hour into the game, I can only vouch for the first segments of the sailing as being enjoyable for the moment, but perhaps in a few more hours it could become irritating and boring.
The story-line is quite simple, as it's just about finding Tetra and rescue her from the forces of the Ghost Ship she has gone missing on, as of yet it's not an amazing story, yet there is still time in later hours to pull me in.
- Strong graphics, that look quite beautiful even on the DS and it's restricted system, particularly in cut scenes and exploration of islands on your boat.
- Basic RPG elements that motivate you to collect Rupees for upgrades, weapons, equipment and items.
- Action and combat is smoothly carried out with the stylus, as well as other ingenious uses for it in the game, including movement.
- Exploration is encouraged, with the sharp graphics, and collectibles.
- Strong, vibrant musical score for quite a child friendly adventure game, with lack of dark theme and tone, which is a good change of theme for such a game.
- Exploration with your boat, docking on islands and travelling to complete your quests is fun.
- Lack of a good story, it's a simple rescue mission to find your friend who has been kidnapped by those aboard a Ghost Ship, though this is still the early stages of the game that I am currently at.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is as the first title on the DS system, quite a gem for fans of the franchise as well as those wanting to get into the series for the fist time - as it's not a story heavy game. Game-play is easy to get into, the stylus is used for almost every aspect of the game which is quite simple system to get used to. Well worth buying if you're a fan of the Zelda franchise, and for those who want to get into it now, or are just wanting a fun, enjoyable action adventure then Phantom Hourglass is right for you - and is currently quite cheap to buy, in most stores and online. So get a hold of it, before the price rockets upwards is my advice.