SlashGear Review - The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

I've been in need of a new game to carry around with my DS, and I think I may have found the perfect one to fill those voids of time where I'm away from home and bored out of my brain. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass hit stores this past week, so being a fan of the series, I grabbed a copy.

This game is actually a sequel to The Wind Waker which came out back in 2003. The game picks up after an unspecified time and is centered around the Ghost Ship which played a minor role in the previous game. Tetra (she decided to go back to her original name) is captured aboard the Ghost Ship and you must track it down and rescue her. For some reason it's not nearly as easy to board as it was in The Wind Waker.

For pretty much everything in the game, you use your stylus. The only other button you use is either your R or L button which readies your equipped item. Running, attacking, talking and anything else are all done with your trusty stylus. It's really cool, though if you play for extended periods your hand might start to cramp.

My favorite weapon has always been the boomerang. It's just so versatile; whether you want to stun an enemy, grab an item or hit a switch, the boomerang is your best friend. I didn't really think that there was any possible way to make something as simple as this weapon better, but they did. When you ready your boomerang you can actually draw the exact path that you want it to follow. You can draw amazingly complicated paths and it just zips right along. It's very cool.

The puzzle-solving in this game is great. I don't want to give anything away to those that haven't played it, but the game takes full advantage of the DS, including the mic. More often than not, it's good to make notes. You can actually pull up your map and scribble on it to remind yourself of certain things. The puzzles are neither to difficult or too easy, Zelda games always tend to walk that fine line very well, and this game is no exception.

If there were a downside to this game it would be that you get around mostly by sailing, and it is similar to the Wind Waker. Before you let out that groan, it's really not that bad. Most of your trips are fairly short, and you generally keep yourself entertained by shooting the canon at bad guys (or seagulls).

This is honestly one of the best games I've played in a while. I give The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 4.5 out of 5 gears.

[rating: 4.5/5]