Age rating: 7+ (PEGI)
What is it?
Another Zelda game.
Is it fun?
Is it worth the money? Â£22.99
So the mega franchise that is Zelda finally makes it to the DS. Therefore it must use the stylus, which to be honest, it does very well. Controlling Link is a breeze (after Zelda gets kidnapped, as usual) and so is using all the weapons that he collects along the way. Also the cell shaded graphics look pretty good too, with great use being made of the dual screens (especially during boss battles). But underneath these fine new clothes, beats the heart of every other Zelda game ever. Same moves, same puzzles, same temple based game structure and the same weapons. It’s all the same. Again.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed playing (most of) the Phantom Hourglass. It’s a game I’ve been wanting for ages (even bought a DS in preparation of it being released). But, there are some really annoying bits which keep recurring just to annoy you even more. Yes, I’m taking about you Mr Temple of the Ocean King. Whoever in Nintendo thought that making the player go through the same dungeon (temple) multiple times and against the clock, should be be forced to watch every Uwe Boll film. Forever. This single temple almost, and I say almost, ruined the entire game for me.
The are other problems too. The save system still sucks balls. It doesn’t quite save the game state, so you can’t resume part way though a temple. Instead you resume at set points throughout the map, sort of near where you last saved. But, isn’t meant to be a portable game? Play and save anywhere? Except you can’t, and because of this limitation I never once played through a temple whilst travelling. You can quite happily play the rest of the game, just not the temples. Also some of the puzzles (drawing ones mainly) are impossible to do unless you’re perfectly still.
Then you have the great little puzzles to solve and the fantastic boss battles. Drawing on the maps is a lovely addition and really helps the game as a whole, especially during each of the temples. Some of the cut sequences have some great comedy moments hidden inside them that just made me laugh. So there is lots of fun to be had from playing this game.
It has all the good and bad bits of almost every Zelda game before it. If you’ve played one of those you won’t come across too many surprises in this DS version.
The Legend of Zelda – The Phantom Hourglass is out now