5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Great Adventure,
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS) (Video Game)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass stands the model upon which all future DS RPGs should be. It has replaced Final Fantasy III as my new favorite DS RPG and it was no contest.
The graphics are second-to-none for the system. I thought FFIII and Chocobo Tales were good, but this takes what the system can do to another level. It's colorful, bright, cute, and stylish. For a game on such a small screen, the detail is wonderful.
And while some may pass off the stylus-only gameplay as gimmicky, I felt that the tight integration gave me a feeling of being more involved with the game, as opposed to simple button-mashing. The ability to control Link's speed with your stylus is a very clever take, and I actually prefer it to the usual "Hold down B to run." I also like being able to plot the path of my boomerang with the stylus. A very nice touch that adds to the fun of the game.
I enjoy the puzzles and the "time limit" set by the Phantom Hourglass is a great way to keep players on their toes in dungeons. The puzzles, while not overly difficult, offer enough challenge to be fun and not frustrating. And if you can find the hints to solve the puzzles (which are usually scattered somewhere), almost no thought is needed at all.
The story is engaging (this is a sequel, tho' you don't need to have played "The Wind Waker" to understand what's going on) and the characters likable. I also found the music and sound effects to be pleasant and very good for a game that already packs so much into such a small cartridge.
There's so much to LoZ:PH, that I haven't even had a chance to try the multiplayer mode, though it seems to be a watered-down version of Four Swords. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Four Swords is universally considered the pinnacle of multiplayer Zelda, so if it's anything like that, PH is definitely headed in the right direction in that department.
This is a great game for players of any level. Hardcore gamers will appreciate the innovative gameplay and great graphics, and casual gamers will like the challenge and interesting story. Kids will like the bright, colorful graphics and slick fighting/boomerang moves, while adults will like the story and puzzle-solving. This is what a DS RPG should be. Heck, this is what ANY game should aspire to be!