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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Zelda handheld game to date
This is my first review, so here goes:

There's few times when I finish a game and verbally say `wow'. Spirit Tracks is one of those games and I can honestly say it's the most fun I've had playing a Zelda game (or a DS game, for that matter). The game's presentation is pretty impressive and you'll find few games on the DS with as high production values...
Published on 2 Feb 2010 by M. Lloyd

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, exciting - but flawed
I loved Phantom Hourglass, in fact its one of my favourite games.
However, Spirit Tracks just isn't as good.

One of the main problems is the characters, in PH they had character arcs which were funny and exciting and just lovable characters.
In this game, there OK, but just not as intriguing as PH.

The first time on the tracks I was really...
Published on 23 Jan 2010 by F. Wight


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best Zelda handheld game to date, 2 Feb 2010
By 
M. Lloyd (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
This is my first review, so here goes:

There's few times when I finish a game and verbally say `wow'. Spirit Tracks is one of those games and I can honestly say it's the most fun I've had playing a Zelda game (or a DS game, for that matter). The game's presentation is pretty impressive and you'll find few games on the DS with as high production values.

The control scheme is incredibly intuitive and it'll take mere minutes to understand the basic mechanics. If you've played Phantom Hourglass you'll feel right at home here. Link is entirely controlled via the stylus, while either shoulder button will activate your secondary weapon. Don't worry if you're left handed; Nintendo has you covered here.

There are less main dungeons here than there are in previous games - 5 in fact. There's still a returnable dungeon like there is in Phantom Hourglass, but you're not required to visit previous floors, there's no time limit and utilizing the phantoms is actually part of the mechanics instead of avoiding them completely. However, having less dungeons isn't a problem at all because for what Spirit Tracks lacks in quantity it more than makes up in quality and passion. Spirit Tracks is a game that feels as if a lot of love and thought just went into. Often you might be left after solving a puzzle and end up thinking `How on earth did they think of that?' The boss fights are all impressive and utilize both the DS' screens and each one is more impressive than the last. The final boss fight sequence instantly became one of my favourite boss fights ever.

There's also hours worth of side quests to do, which will give you access to extra sections of tracks, allow you do customize your train, upgrade your shield and sword and even change Link's clothes. If you just want the collect treasure then you're also free to do that - which is where the mini-games come in. Spirit Tracks has five mini-games, all of which are completely different from each other and incredibly fun. Each one act as a means to gain useful items, treasure or just to pass the time.

The characters carry the same charm as they did in Phantom Hourglass and each town has its own unique qualities. There's no Linebeck like there was in Phantom Hourglass this time around though (who has arguably the best character in that game), but you do have Zelda tagging along with you instead. Spirit Tracks actually manages to make Zelda more than just a plot device and actually makes her into a fairly charming, likeable and entertaining character. She's also an integral part of the gameplay too.

The music - especially the overworld music (which you'll be hearing a lot) is incredibly well done. There's even the added touch of the train sounds actually syncing up with the music. If I had a top list of game themes, Spirit Track's overworld theme would pretty high on the list. It's incredibly catchy, gets you in the mood and you'll probably be whistling or humming along to it as you play. There's a few other songs in the game that stand out as well, such as the Goron Shooting Range theme.

Graphically, you're not really going to get any better on the DS. Spirit Track is a pretty gorgeous game considering it's on the DS and the only games that springs to mind with comparable graphics would be its predecessor and Avalon Code. This is a perfect example of why a stylised art and graphical direction are much better than trying to look realistic.

There are a few minor problems though, but they might only be a problem to the completionist. When you start a game, certain items from the treasure pool will become rare and incredibly hard for you to come by - probably to promote the trade system. This is a problem when collecting train parts since they all require a certain amount of treasure to purchase. There are workarounds to counter this, but they're still fairly time consuming. The rabbit catching fetch-quest can also a bit long and tedious, but not something to worry about unless you really want to go for a 100% save game or want your sword to shoot beams. There are also sections of slowdown while on the tracks when certain enemies appear in certain areas, though this isn't much of a problem.

So overall, I personally find this game to be the best handheld Zelda game available. While Link's Awakening and the Oracle games were amazing for their time, Spirit Tracks just brings everything to an entirely new level while still managing to introduce some new themes without falling on its face.

It's not your conventional Zelda game, and it's all the better because of it.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuffing marvellous!, 2 Jan 2010
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
Phantom Hourglass was a good Zelda game and it looked very different from any other Zelda game which came before it - Spirit Tracks continues that look and improves on it.

Spirit Tracks makes fantastic use of cell-shading and 3D graphics, you can skip past the explanatory animated scenes which link various parts of the game but you won't want to, they really help to marry together the story and the actual gameplay.

In Phantom Hourglass you got to sail a boat and fire a canon - here you get to drive a train and toot the whistle, it doesn't sound as exciting but it feels like a much more efficient way to get around the map and again it gets the full 3D treatment (you do eventually get to fire a canon though!). You expect puzzles and interesting characters in a Zelda game and this doesn't disappoint. The world you find yourself exploring looks terrific and colourful, the movement is always smooth and where in the past certain aspects could feel repetitive - here it always feels fresh and you don't find yourself groaning at having to go back again to the tower. It's not just the visuals which impress, a lot of effort has gone into making sure that the audio effects in the game go along well with what you're seeing on screen. Whether it's an intake of breath, an echoed shriek, or dramatic music - you'll be wanting to play with the volume up!

The genius behind Spirit Tracks really comes down to the fact that Nintendo have taken all the best aspects of Phantom Hourglass and incorporated them into a package which should by rights feel like a re-hash of the first game (many of the same features are carried across to this game, and although the train is better than the boat - it's not too dissimilar), but infact manages to feel very new. The controls are again all stylus based (you can't use the buttons to control Link) which I expected to find frustrating but it's pretty slick and feels natural. There are some gimmicky moments which involve blowing into the microphone - but thankfully those are kept to a minimum (I always feel that novelty moments like that in such games are done for the sake of it) and the game does spend a lot of time explaining things - but that's only fair on those who are new to the Zelda franchise.

In a nutshell: This doesn't just look the business - it's a genuinely fun adventure involving Link and Zelda which will provide you with many hours of gameplay. In years to come this will be considered to be a classic game in the Zelda back-catalogue - and rightly so.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, exciting - but flawed, 23 Jan 2010
By 
F. Wight "F.W" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
I loved Phantom Hourglass, in fact its one of my favourite games.
However, Spirit Tracks just isn't as good.

One of the main problems is the characters, in PH they had character arcs which were funny and exciting and just lovable characters.
In this game, there OK, but just not as intriguing as PH.

The first time on the tracks I was really worried, as it was slow and boring, but towards the middle of the game the tracks get better and more enemies appear as well as missions which are quite griping.

Once you get past the often excruciatingly slow opening, the game opens up to be more fun and enjoyable.
The bosses are hard, fun and enjoyable, as are most of the dungeons.

Another problem is that the game feels a lot shorter than the previous, a main reason for this is probably that it skips the often boring and repetitive form of spirit tower for the newer broken up one (you can access each section from a staircase rather than having to go through one to get to two etc.)

There can also be moments of slow-down where three enemies on the tracks attack you and fire cannons, until you take one of them out the frame-rate suffers hugely and it becomes an annoyance that a challenge.

A positive thing is that the controls have been sharpened up and the mic is actually enjoyable and easy to use as a pheriable.

It is still a very good game, it just isn't as enjoyable as it could have been and feel slightly like it reused the PH formula too much and didn't throw enough in to make it feel fresh.
Although it does have more replay value as a lot of side missions exist - sadly they mainly consist of delivering people or products from village to village on the tracks.

Sadly I think if I were to play either Spirit of Phantom I'd pick up Phantom again as it was a lot longer, and enjoyable.

But you should still buy this game as although it could have been better, it is still very good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DS Zelda, great game, 30 April 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
This game is great for anyone who likes problem solving as well as action role play. Am near the end now and I've played it almost every day since I bought it in the middle of March. Sometimes it can be really annoying if you can't work through a section but when you get there its all the more worthwhile.
In all a highly addictive game and I recommend it to other women.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally under rated by the gaming press, 13 April 2010
By 
i wrote this "i did" (Bucks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
If Metacritic has thought us anything, it's that gaming journalists have a herding instinct. The last Zelda DS game was almost universally praised for it's brilliant controls and all of it's Zelda-on-the-go goodness. Then the wind changed. Now it's the done thing among critics to complain about back tracking and repetition across the Zelda series so this has dominated the reviews, opinion pieces and feature articles that I've read in the last year that discuss this game. Very odd, because Metroid-vania games are all about back tracking and most FPS games or God of War clones seem to be constructed out of kits in an ikea warehouse. And yet critics ignore this and hand out 5 star reviews to the most pedestrian trash. But I digress....

My point: this little gem of a game has the miss fortune of being released at the height of a Zelda back lash in the press. So forget what the journalists are saying and just play the thing; it's brilliant!
The development team have clearly learned from most of the short comings in the previous Zelda DS title (Phantom Hour Glass): the story is more engaging, riding the train works better then the boat system, a lot of the back tracking is optional and the treasure hunting is less onerous. There are some flaws: the vehicle up grades are as pointless as before and yet again you get access to the last dungeon when you've only seen 2/3 of the game world (meaning you suddenly have to go on a lot of side quests if you want to see everything - many of the quests are closed to you until the penultimate dungeon has been completed, so you really can't do them until the very end). Once the final boss is within my grasp I just want to beat it, but I know that it'll be a long time before I come back to the game once I've completed the story, so I find myself jumping through hoops in trading quest after trading quest which I would have enjoyed much more had they accrued earlier in the game. Also, the battle mini/multi player game is back and is as uninspiring as last time. Note to Nintendo: Zelda didn't need this for 20+ years, so what changed?

So why still give it 5 stars? Because whilst not perfect, it really is a wonderful game and a must for DS owners. The puzzles are ingenious and the characters are full of charm. The pacing of the first 2/3's is spot on. The control is so intuitive that I have stopped noticing it, and the music is brilliant. It may not be as good as Ocarina of Time, but then what is? As it stands, this game is a special one and has reminded me of why I liked gaming in the first place: it's fun, it makes you think and it can capture your imagination.

In short, if you are even slightly interested in this game then you really ought to get it. It's got that Zelda magic that has made the series one of the crown jewels of video games. If you have never played a Zelda game or an adventure game before then you are in for a treat you won't forget in a hurry.
In fact, I am jealous of kids who get to play this as one of their first gaming experiences. They will have many happy memories, were all I have are dark recollections of 'Way of the Exploding Fist' and 'The Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles game'. Urk.
There, I think that'll do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zelda's next great adventure, 2 Mar 2010
By 
Lindsey Lawrence "Gamegirlatheart" (Neath, south wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
When i bought Phantom hourglass, i had never played a Zelda game before- i only bought it because it looked good. I fell in love with it and to date is the only ds game that when i finished it, i played it again straight away. So when this was announced, i pre-ordered it without hesitation. I will admit, i am reviewing this after my second playthrough as i didn't complete it the first time round. I won't go into the story as there's plenty of other reviews that have done that already.

There are many things i liked about this game- Zelda being a playable character was excellent, and felt that the phatom/link playing was clever. The puzzles are great (especially the block ones near the end of the game) and the characters and story are brilliant too (nice that it's a little darker this time), with a few familiar faces popping up. The train is a nice touch, the different stations are different and each have their own area to explore with many surprises. The cutscenes looks good, and i liked how the endind changed depending on what answer you give for the last question zelda asks. The boss fights are challenging and many times i turned the air blue! The controlls feel a little better, with a double tap replacing a small circle to perform a tumble toss. The new weapons are fun to use and make for some good puzzles too. The mini games are good fun and can earn you a lot of treasure which is very useful.

There are a few things though which i didn't like about this game- i didn't get the same "wow" factor as i did when playing phantom hourglass, but that would be the same had i played the games the other way round. The train, although i like it, is way too slow! It takes forever to get to your destination and has considerable slowdown should more than two enemies attack you, which takes the enjoyment out of the game. I feel that these journey's were added to pad the game out as repeating the dungeons is now out. I feel that it's more difficult to get rupees and treasure, which means revisiting temples and dungeons just to top up, which isn't great if you're saving up for certain train parts. Another major complaint are the side quests- without the spirit tracks guide i wouldn't have known they existed. For example, you get a vase from the wise one at Papuchia Village, so where do you take it? Did you guess to visit steem in the snow realm? Or when you buy more cucoos in castle town you take them to rael in the sand realm? There is no reason to revisit them and the game gives no indication that they need something, which means that you will miss out on some treasure which is needed to get the golden train parts. Although multiplayer is available, it is only local wifi, so for those who don't know anyone else with this game (like me) will miss out.

Overall, this is one of the best games available on the ds and it's one of the best i've played. It deserves the gold award from nintendo and shows that the zelda saga is going from strength to strength. It may seem that there are a lot of negatives, but the positives hugely outway them. I'd strongly recommend getting the spirit tracks guide as it shows many things which would otherwise be missed (i got the collector's edition with the map and love it, which i've also reviewed). An excellent buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Zelda game., 31 Dec 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
First off I love the Zelda games they are one of my favourite games so I may not be as critical as other people but I can tell you how this ranks compared to the Zelda games I have played in the past.

Ocarina of time (N64)
Links awakening DX (Gameboy colour)
Wind waker (Cube)
Twilight princess (wii)
Phantom hourglass (DS)

Unfortunately I missed Majoras mask which I really regret but may try to play in the future.
I am not going to give away any spoilers so I can not go in to as much detail as I would like, the real fun in the Zelda games is discovering things out for yourself.
A common statement that often comes up when reviewing any Zelda game is its like the other games and you know what to expect. Well this can really be said of any sequel after all the GTA games are all alike apart from the size of the game and minor mechanics that are put in place and some of us always want more. You also don't need to have played any other Zelda game as they are all separate storeys that only have minor links (no pun intended) to other games
The thing that really makes a Zelda game is the gimmicks and equipment and of course the land you have to explore, and in all these cases there are some excellent things to see and do in Spirit. I loved Phantom on the DS and the good news is that Spirit is better in almost every way and its harder which was one of the draw backs in Phantom. This really is a brilliant Zelda Game and one of the best you will play even being on the DS. There is some really clever use of the DS and games like this are the reason despite other hand held's being technically superior that the DS still out shines them.
This is one of the best Zelda games I have played and if you want to unlock everything it will last you a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Second Best DS i've had ever had, 20 Jun 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda:Phantom Hourglass it tells a story of a new Hyrule a new link and a new zelda it is set nearly 100 years after Phantom Hourglass and see's Link and Zelda go on a Brand New Journey as they Travel Across 4 Lands Forest Snow Fire and Ocean learning Songs to restore the spirit tracks along the way and going to the Tower of Spirits 5 times and unlocking the way sand realm and collecting items along the way also this game is a race against time to get back Zelda's Body before the demon king uses it to take over and destory the hyrule. Second Best DS Zelda Game Learning the Songs to restore the tracks is mostly hard Tradding scenarios are also included
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absorbing, 20 May 2013
By 
Mrs. D. Roach "Di," (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
you need to be careful with this game as hours can pass by without you knowing as it is very absorbing. hard to put down and great graphics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ledgend of ZeldaSpiritr tracks review, 26 Nov 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
This is a good game but the only problem was they put stickers on the case. When I peeled off the stickers the whole protective plastic holding the paper label in place also came off with the sticker. All in all the game is good though
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