This game was disgustingly disappointing in every way. Which is even more true when you think that this could have been an excellent sequel to Wind Waker.
The controls are janky. You need to use the touch screen/stylus to move, use your boat, shoot with your cannons and it doesn't help that certain movements (attack movements particularly) are not responsive making it even more horrendous. People may complain about the fucking wiimote that is used by Zelda Skyward Sword, but they have clearly never played Phantom Hourglass (Or spirit Track).
What I loved about Wind Waker which is not present on this game was the fact the ocean was calm which encourages exploration, but in Phantom Hourglass, you can't do jack shit without being bothered by enemies, I just want to stay on an island to gather money in those circumstances no kidding.
But the worst must be the puzzles, in the main temple which has a health draining curse, there are puzzles everywhere and the temple even forces you to be quick (this is some strong timer wanking) and everytime you advance a little, you need to backtrack, HOW FRUSTRATING! This temple alone has the worst single puzzle in the ENTIRE franchise, at some point you will reach a room that you cannot leave with some sort of map and then you need to take your DS go to that thing and close it to complete the puzzle, not only it is NOT natural (it is a fourth wall breaking), but it is also said NOWHERE in the game that you should do that, not even a hint (maybe the fairy gave a hint, but it was so unhelpful) which forced me to watch a walkthrough and I swear that it NEVER happened to me before.
It is the worst dungeon/temple in any Zelda game ever, even the water temple from OOT is better than that.
Aesthetically, the game is good and the ost is as great as ever, but the gameplay sucks to the core.
This is also because of this game that I never bought Spirit Tracks.