The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

released on Jun 23, 2007

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is the first Zelda game for the Nintendo DS and a direct sequel to The Wind Waker. The art direction is the same cel-shaded style as the Wind Waker but is displayed from a classic top-down perspective. The gameplay is structured similarly to other games in the series and is divided into two major gameplay sections: sailing between islands and exploring the islands and their dungeons on foot. The touch screen is used to make Link move and attack instead of buttons, you can also make notes of secret treasures and items on the map simply by writing them down. The game received critical acclaim from reviewers, who agreed that the game was a worthy sequel to The Wind Waker.

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Fun characters.
really took advantage of the DS hardware.

special zelda game, i like agua

It's a weird title and I think it has a lot going for it, mostly the charm Linebeck has as a secondary character who's always interacting with you. The sailing is a bit worse than Wind Waker but not terribly offensive and the dungeons are overall fun. The biggest complaint people have is how many times you go into the Temple of the Ocean King but honestly every time you entered it you had a new tool that would skip most of if not all of the challenges previously gone through so it didn't really feel like doing the same thing over and over again. I think it's pretty fun!

Phantom Hourglass is a portable sequel to Wind Waker, but just about everything from that game that returns here is worse. Things that used to be simple, like digging up treasure are now made so over-complicated by Nintendo having to implement these awful touch screen controls.
The only neat part about any of the touch controls was being able to mark over your own map. The little bit of fun could be had in drawing lines from one side to the other to try to figure out exactly where treasure was, or marking your map with the names and symbols you needed for your quest, or writing down solutions for puzzles. But it just makes me wish that it could be in a much better game.
And that's because the game is such a boring slog. Boring quests, boring bosses, boring overworld, and an awful AWFUL control scheme. If the d-pad romhack did not exist I would not have had the patience to finally finish this game. The only thing I outright liked was the grappling hook. That thing had so much utility, they could have built a whole game around it, and they should have. Instead, all that utility gets relegated to pretty much one dungeon. Yippee...
Then there's the Temple of the Ocean King. Oh man. I was not prepared. This is one that I heard so many people talk about how bad it was, and I still was not prepared. Believe me, it's as bad as everyone makes it sound. It is so FUCKING repetitive having to go through the same puzzles all over again every time. And having it be timed added NO tension at all, just annoyance. Especially when having to stealth, or getting killed by phantoms and having time be deducted from your hourglass.
The characters in the story were extremely bland. Your fairy companion is sassy, but less so than Tatl, Linebeck is the typical cowardly companion, and the final boss is so boring, you barely hear about him before someone tells you, go fight him. Nobody makes any significant impact. I seriously doubt that I would be able to name any of the new characters from this game 1 month from now.
The only bright spot is that it can only get better from here.

Really solid Zelda game, I think this has the most fun Zelda items by far, just because of the way you control the boomerang, hook, bombchu, etc...
Really solid overall, but sailing was so slow it made me not want to explore the world at all.

This is a decent game overall (the colorful graphics are nice even though Link got uglier after Wind Waker) but playing with the stylus is kind of annoying and it doesn’t do anything to stand out, especially among the Zelda series.