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Phantom Hourglass Review

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the always-dig-that-crazy-hat dept.

Nintendo 89

Of all the titles in the Legend of Zelda series, some of the most-respected have been for handheld consoles. Link's Awakening, the Oracle duo, and Minish Cap all manage to combine on-the-road gaming with a certain purity of Zelda-ness. Link's most recent adventure on the small screen, Phantom Hourglass, generally continues this tradition and introduces a number of new elements to the property. Unique controls, a true sequel, and cel-shaded graphics all make Hourglass stand out from 'traditional' Zelda games, and together the whole hangs together fairly well. Read on for my impressions of this pint-sized return to Hyrule.

  • Title:Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • Developer/Publisher: Nintendo
  • System: DS
  • Genre: Top-Down Adventure Game
  • Score: 3/5: This game will appeal to genre fans. Not the strongest entry in the series, but worth your time.
Phantom Hourglass is a first for Nintendo in a few ways. Story-wise, it's the first time a Zelda game has directly referenced elements from a previous title. In this case, Hourglass is a direct sequel to 2003's Wind Waker. The first moments of Hourglass recap the end of the GameCube game, and sets the scene for the game's overall conflict. As befitting a handheld game, the story (at first) is a bit less epic than in games like Link to the Past. A ghost ship of some kind is haunting the waves, and snags Tetra/Zelda from the deck of her own vessel. Link hooks up with a scoundrel named Linebeck, who owns a paddleboat capable of crossing the seas. Together with the amnesiac fairy Ciela, the three adventurers explore the Temple of the Ocean King looking for clues as to where Tetra has gone. It's a brisk story, without a lot of deep characterization or extremely memorable moments, but it serves the gameplay quite well. Some Zelda games feel like a constant 'one more thing' struggle, as you finish X to get to Y but then find you you have to complete A to get to B before you can return to Y. Hourglass's fairly linear tale doesn't allow for many cul-de-sacs like that, and works just fine for a handheld title. My biggest complaint about the story is that the ending is fairly weak, especially compared to the finale of Wind Waker. I didn't feel as though I was satisfactorily paid off for my investment, and that's always frustrating. Gameplay-wise, the finale was great; I just wish they'd ended on a different story note.

On that gameplay front, Phantom Hourglass offers up more new elements than in any other recent Zelda title. Twilight Princess had Link swinging his sword with the Wiimote, but fundamentally the game played like pretty much every game since Ocarina. Phantom Hourglass makes full use of the DS's touch elements and microphone to produce a completely new play experience. Moving Link, attacking, throwing the boomerang, all are done with the stylus, and these elements were all polished to varying levels of success. Simple movement is effortless, and is an easy mental switchover from the D-pad. There are some moves done with the stylus that take some getting used to (like a circle at the edge of the screen for a tuck-and-roll), and those I found to be sometimes a bit clumsier. Actual combat is as easy as poking your enemy with the stylus, and those simple attacks also feel very 'right'. Some more advanced combat moves will require practice to get regularly, and some never quite felt spot-on to me. The best element of the touch controls is the 'drawing' gameplay, used for items like the boomerang and in navigating Linebeck's ship. The boomerang control feels like this is something that should have been in Zelda games from the very beginning, and it never got old using that simple 'low-level' item.

Beyond the controls, a lot of the gameplay additions were hit or miss. The phantom hourglass itself adds a time-based puzzle to the Temple of the Ocean King maps, requiring you to complete a series of puzzles in a specific amount of time. Given the handheld nature of the game I felt that worked really well. In fact, the handheld basis of the game was well respected throughout. Puzzles never required more than a minute or two of mulling to figure out, you can save whenever you want, and in most cases an entire island only required about 15-20 minutes of your time to complete. Sailing, on the other hand, was just as tedious as it was in Wind Waker. The designers took some deliberate steps to make the experience less onerous than in Hourglass's predecessor, but it still felt like far too much time was spent wandering the ocean or fighting off pirate attacks. Boss battles on the whole were fairly strong, often using DS touch elements in interesting ways. A few, like the requisite fight with Dodongo, felt like they made things different just for the sake of being different. The Gleeok battle, on the other hand, was a great use of the DS's charms to turn old hat into new fun.

Visually Phantom Hourglass holds up the standard of Wind Waker very well, which is highly impressive given that the latter is a GameCube title. I've always personally liked the cel-shaded style used in these games, but folks who found the style's use in the original game offputting won't find any comfort here. In fact, Hourglass goes a step further with the 'semi-cartoony' elements, giving Link some goofy expressions and over-the-top takes over the course of the game. If you go in expecting cartoon instead of Twilight Princess, none of these gags should be too annoying. Probably the only 'classic' element of the game is its auditory presentation. Sound FX are taken right out of Wind Waker, and the musical compositions are surprisingly sophisticated for a handheld game. I particularly liked the composition of the Zelda theme used for the title screen, a stirring combination with Wind Waker music elements set against an ocean scene.

It's strange saying that a Zelda title is 'merely competent', since I've over-the-top enjoyed most of the other entries in the venerable series. Link to the Past is still one of my favorite games, and so in some ways I feel like every new attempt to rescue the princess is held up to that gold standard. Here, sailing around islands that were once the mountaintops of Hyrule, I feel like the gameplay too was a bit flooded. Nintendo tried to cram a lot of new elements into one experience, and ended up with some that were spot-on, and some that weren't. I'm not even sure if the weaker components could have used more time; in this game, some things just felt out of place. Overall, though, it's hard to fault them for trying something so deliberately new. Phantom Hourglass is a fun handheld title, with a focus on quickly-resolving puzzle and action elements perfect for its format. It's well worth a look for anyone who has yet to tire of another try at the Triforce.

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SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245229)

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phantom goatse review [goatse.ch]

My short review (4, Informative)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245275)

I recently finished the game and wrote my review on Sunday, giving it an 8 out of 10. I felt like that the new stylus driven gameplay aspects were great and really added to the series, but the game focused way too much on repetitiveness. You literally run through the same dungeon something like 5 or 6 times throughout the course of the game, and the dungeon is just kind of obnoxious. Plus the whole "phantom hourglass" only matters in that one particular dungeon, basically negating what could have been a cool concept or object nearly completely.

I didn't think the sailing was as bad in this game as in Wind Waker (which I still enjoyed in that game too). You would draw on a map point A to point B, and your ship would go there for you. The only annoying part was having to fight enemies on the way with your cannon (very basic bad guys - cannon fodder if you excuse me) on the way, sometimes it's just nice to sit back and check out the scenery as you sail. There were also six warp points that allowed you to get to point B very quickly, basically eliminating any long and tedious journeys.

I also thought the exploration was fun, and appreciated "uncharted islands" and such, really kind of felt like I was setting out on the new ground. There was an island shaped like a Nintendo DS though, and that breaking of the fourth wall was really out of place.

Anyways, my review is here [blogspot.com] if you're interested, just a little side site I run to more or less keep track of what games I beat.

Re:My short review (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245361)

I played the game for a bit, but I could never get into the touchscreen controls. Maybe I'm too used to "old school" Zelda, but it felt off to me when I was using a stylus. I can see how some folks would fall in love with the game, mind you, but it didn't resonate with me, for whatever reason. Maybe it gets better further in?

Re:My short review (4, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245431)

Well, early on it feels awkward, that's for sure. But once you start picking up the standard Zelda weapons, I liked it more. At the beginning all you have is a sword and fighting enemies is as easy as tapping them with your stylus, but once you get the boomerang or the bombchus, fighting baddies and solving puzzles is more fun. For the boomerang you draw it's path on the screen, not a very realistic boomerang but more fun than just throwing it straight and then it comes back to you. Bombchus are like walking bombs and you draw their path on the map and they follow it. Those are probably the most stylus unique weapons, otherwise you have the bow and arrow which you just aim with the stylus or a hammer which feels like it was just tacked in at the end.

If you didn't like it at first, I'd play until you get the boomerang. It gets better after that but if you still don't like the gameplay by then, you probably won't enjoy this game much. It was an experiment by Nintendo and I personally think they did a good job with it. Not for everyone though.

Re:My short review (1)

zenrandom (708587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245697)

I agree, sailing is a bit of a chore, it gets to be less slow when you can ride the cyclones. I really, at this point (haven't quite completed the game yet) am really tired of the phantom hourglass temple of the ocean king parts. Seriously, I get tired of going through the motions time after time just to get a new level. Seriously, how many times do I need to go through those first six floors? Great they give me a portal after a while for the first 6, but then I have to redo the next set of floors repeatedly. Talk about tedious... However all in all, I really like the game...

Re:My short review (3, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245839)

If you pay attention, you will note that each time you visit the temple, you have a new tools at your disposal, and that new tool will let you open up new secrets in most levels of the temple. You can optimize your time by using these carefully. By the end of the game, if you learn all the tricks, you can traverse the whole temple in about 30 seconds of elapsed time. You also get extras like more treasure maps and ship parts for your troubles. I agree it seemed repetitive at first, but they really made pretty clever dungeon levels with layers of puzzles in them.

Re:My short review (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246253)

I agree.

This Zelda game has been one of the more enjoyable Zelda's I've played in a while. It's style brought back a lot of "classic" Zelda feelings. It's not worth a perfect score, but I feel it was much better than "Twilight Princess" and hands-down worth buying* (if you liked the Wind-Waker).

The main reason? The DS Stylus. They new ways of doing things, with your weapons, really added a lot of flavor to the puzzles you could solve. There was a lot of use of the stylus that was just great stuff. Drawing lines to 'guide' a moving platform. Navigating your boat (fun for monster battles, something that could be drawn out more... pun intended). Holding the stylus down to aim your bow and releasing to shoot. Drawing your boomerangs path or the Bombchus. It really added a lot of 'new' to a pretty old franchise that has been getting stale for me because of the lack of different game play or puzzles.

Now, I would have preferred not having to run through all the same floors of the 'main' dungeon after defeating every new dungeon and getting a new toy, but I that's only a small annoyance. Also, I found the amount of "talking" to be unnecessary. Every time I wanted to get back on the ship, the Captain had to spout off on some dialog. Just get me back on the ship and screw the Vista-esque "Get on the ship? Yes or No?" Likewise, some travel could get old and long and could have been improved with some more warp-points.

If you hated the Wind-Waker, then you'd probably want to stay away from this game. Otherwise, this definitely is a "buy it" game recommendation.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:My short review (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246279)

gah, I forgot to mention, another great thing is always having a map at the ready and being able to use it to write notes or even needing it to solve puzzles or find treasure (mark the location of each item 'x' and draw lines connecting them to find where you should dig).

Re:My short review (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251223)

As far as I'm concerned it's more fun to play than ANY of the other Zelda games. The controls are fast and smooth, even with a scratched up screen protector, and the puzzles are really smart. I don't know if it's a better game than all the other Zeldas, but I'd put it above any of the 3D entries and well ahead of Minish Cap, possibly the worst Zelda this side of 1995.

Re:My short review (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251655)

Minish Cap wasn't bad in terms of gameplay, the story just reads like bad fanfiction.

Re:My short review (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251915)

There were some mis-steps with the gameplay that really bothered me. I've never cared about the story in a Zelda game, not even Twilight Princess where they tried to actually give it one. It's about the dungeon-based puzzles and the combat, and Minish Cap just screwed up the formula a little too much for me. Which was a big let down for me as I've otherwise loved every handheld incarnation of the series. I'd have to go back to it to point out what I didn't like about it as I can't remember the specifics right now.

The puzzles in Phantom Hourglass were fantastic though and really made me enjoy the series in a way that I haven't since the release of Ocarina of Time, and in some ways the first time I played A Link to the Past. I hope that it foreshadows some really drastic and entertaining changes for the designed-for-Wii game that is sure to come late in the console's life cycle.

Re:My short review (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246307)

You literally run through the same dungeon something like 5 or 6 times throughout the course of the game, and the dungeon is just kind of obnoxious.

Actually, I quite liked that.

Yes, you're going through the same dungeon over and over again. But each time you do it you've got more equipment while going through the repeated parts to reach the new bit. Once you get kit like bombchus and the hookshot and the shovel, you can cut out huge slices of that dungeon - if you notice where to use them, that is. It's hugely satisfying, bypassing a level you remember as obnoxiously tough and annoying by just hopping over a little gap with the bungee hookshot ;-) The last time you do it you can actually kill the phantoms - exterminate them from a stage and you get bonus loot.

Re:My short review (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21247285)

If you played Link's Awakening, you would realize that kind of breaking the fourth wall is right at home.

Re:My short review (1)

Agilus (471376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21247807)

I've heard the repetitive complaint a few places. Without it, however, the main purpose of the map annotation goes away.

I suppose they could have scrapped the map annotation, but I thought it was a clever usage. Using your own notes to improve your speed in the dungeon is an interesting and new challenge for the series.

Re:My short review (1)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253561)

I loved the map annotation, but I found it very difficult to mark much useful information on such a small screen without obscuring the map with all my "ink." I just can't legibly write/draw small enough with a stylus to do much more than put down dots whereever there is "something interesting."

I just started my second play through, and I'm trying to keep better notes in the temple of the Ocean King about where the shortcuts are for later trips, so I've taken to drawing little bombs where there are bombable walls, and little shovels where there are air jets to dig up, and little grappling hooks wherever I see a spot that I could get to if I had that item -- but with a handful of pixels to work with, drawing free hand, those three marks all kinda look the same.

So I like the feature, but I wish they had made it possible to zoom in and out when drawing on the map, or given me a way to turn it over and write notes on the back of it or something.

Overall, I loved this game. It's the first Zelda game I've played since Link to the Past.

Touch screen issues (2, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245325)

This is the first game in which I have experienced some serious calibration issues with my DS touch screen. (The proper "click on red squares" calibration is totally shot on my DS...) The item select, the map drawing, etc. It is driving me friggin nuts!

I admit the control scheme is (when working properly) quite well-conceived and makes me happy. The boomerang and bow+arrow especially are fun, as is the boat cannon.

The game is great, although whoever came up with the idea of repeating that one Temple over and over (even with some shortcuts thrown in) is a total prick.

Re:Touch screen issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21246585)

I think that using a screen protector greatly helps to avoid screen calibration issues. My DS lite doesn't have any problem after ~16 months of heavy use, while the calibration of my old Palm's screen got really bad after only a year or so of use (without an screen protector), I think that the sensor layer of the screen was slightly displaced and rotated (w/r the display layer), making the Palm OS' calibration program useless (which only compensates translations, not rotations, of the sensor layer, AFAIK).

Just my 0.2 cents.

Re:Touch screen issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21249271)

Regarding the repetition in the Temple of the Ocean King: I hated this too at first, but have managed to discover non-warp shortcuts that get me through pretty fast.

SPOILER

For example, on one level there's a pair of torches in front of a ledge with a doorway. You can set a rope across them with the grappling hook and slingshot onto the ledge. Going through that door gets you past a whole bunch of crap.

not the first sequel (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245363)

"Phantom Hourglass is a first for Nintendo in a few ways. Story-wise, it's the first time a Zelda game has directly referenced elements from a previous title.

Actually, it's not the first sequel. The second Zelda game was the first sequel:

"The Adventure of Link is a direct sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda" Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:not the first sequel (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245429)

Hush. Nothing before LTTP counts, doncha know?

TAoL really gets more flack than it deserves... I love that game...

Re:not the first sequel (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245521)

Wow. That's the first time I've ever been modded flamebait for waxing nostalgic about The Adventure of Link... some mod must REALLY hate that game.

Re:not the first sequel (1)

EntropyXP (956792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245817)

If I EVER got mod points (or for that matter, knew how to use them) I'd mod you up!

Re:not the first sequel (3, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246541)

TAoL really gets more flack than it deserves... I love that game...

I think it gets less now than it used to. It used to be more of an odd one out - the side-scrolling action instead of the other games' top-down model was certainly weird. It didn't feel at all the same as the other games, and so it got a fair amount of abuse. I loved it myself - I'd played it first, and only got the others rather later, so I didn't see it as so strange - but I can understand the criticism.

That was the case while Zelda II was compared with Zelda I, LttP and Awakening. All top-down adventures clearly related to each other, leaving Zelda II out in the cold.

Then Nintendo decided to change the rules a bit. I remember feeling a certain trepidation when I heard what was being done. 3D? How'll that work? The whole thing was pretty much a complete rethink, making the difference between Zelda II and the other three seem rather less significant.

And then the game came out, and... well, there's Civilization II and Super Mario Bros. III, and maybe Half-Life, and that's all that stands comparison.

Now Zelda II isn't so much seen as an oddball, a black sheep of the family. It's a precursor to Ocarina, ahead of its time. Fighting side on? You do it in Ocarina, when you're not viewing it from behind instead. Using magic spells? Well, that's what the ocarina's for. And better yet, Ocarina explicitly endorsed the awesomeness of Zelda II: Rauru. Ruto. Saria. Mido. Nabooru. Darunia.

Now, I'm looking forward to the second (or the first exclusively) Wii Zelda. I hope to find out at last just who Kasuto was :-)

Re:not the first sequel (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251681)

I think it gets flak because it's just a bad game. The level design is often repetitive, the fights annoying and the way you have to start from Zelda's temple every time you run out of lives is really annoying. There have been better implementations of similar gameplay. Playing AoL is like playing the original Metroid, just no fun.

Re:not the first sequel (2, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245471)

After Wind Waker came out, I always considered Link's Awakening to be like a psuedo sequel to it. Wind Waker ends with you sailing the high seas and Link's Awakening begins in the middle of a storm on the high seas.

But then again, I like to draw connections to things that shouldn't really connect. Like how I consider The Big Bounce to be a sequel to Shawshank Redemption (hey, it stars Morgan Freeman on a resort island, he obviously let Andy Dufresne build up the resort, then he killed him and took over - this happened all between the end of Shawshank and the beginning of The Big Bounce).

Re:not the first sequel (1)

Gneekman (1039136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251713)

And what about Majora's Mask? Unless I'm mistaken, it was a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time.

Direct sequels... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245379)

Actually, there were several Zelda games that were either direct sequels or directly referenced earlier entries in the series. Link's Awakening is almost certainly a direct sequel to A Link to the Past, Majora's Mask IS a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, and talks about it quite a bit, and Wind Waker makes a lot of semi-obscure references to Ocarina of Time...

-Moses

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245797)

While there are references to Ocarina of Time in Wind Walker, I felt they make it pretty clear that you are not "the Link" from Ocarina of Time.

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

Alistar (900738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246461)

The original hyrule was buried far underwater, it was either the church or the castle you visit at some point.

It seemed like many generations had passed.

I always assumed you were simply of the bloodline, not "the" link from Ocarina of Time.

I think the story even hints at, if not directly says, something to that effect.

Re:Direct sequels... (3, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251799)

The story says only one descended from the knights of Hyrule can defeat Ganon. Hey, I wish I could get one of these "only X can defeat me" deals, I'd pick a mentally retarded wheelchair-bound Indonesian suffering from pneumonia and being a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte as my only enemy.

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21259895)

Sounds like it could be a decent comedic story. Pity I not even good enough for Nanowrimo.

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246309)

Can you explain the connection (at first I typed link) between A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening? It's something I've never really seen, personally (and like I said as a reply to another post, Link's Awakening seems like more of a sequel to Wind Waker).

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248981)

The Link's Awakening manual states in pretty much direct terms that after "fulfilling the prophesy" and destroying Ganon, there were still threats to be had. So, Link set out to gain wisdom and such, but ended up shipwrecked on the way home. It isn't completely slam-dunk that it has to follow LttP, though, as it's somewhat vague. It could fit in after just about any game in the series. Some even say it could have happened in between the major continents of Hyrule during Zelda II, but that doesn't really work. Only the original Legend of Zelda, oddly, really directly seems to imply that Ganon is truly destroyed, what with the ashes and talk about resurrection in Zelda II. I guess it's just thought that either those two games are chronologically the last, or eventually the bad guys did end up getting Ganon back. WW has you jamming the Master Sword into the guy's head, but he's survived worse...

Unfortunately, Legend of Zelda's timeline is a hideous mess that is terribly impractical to try to fit together. There are a few games that logically have to be some time after/before another, but there are plenty that could also fit just about anywhere. There are even at least two whole alternate timelines caused by OoT that have to be reconciled somehow in various games.

Re:Direct sequels... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246409)

Wind Waker makes a lot of semi-obscure references to Ocarina of Time...

Such as the bloody great statue of the Hero of Time, and the stained glass windows of the Seven Sages.

And Ocarina itself reverse-referenced Zelda II, retconning the village names into people. And Twilight Princess also gave the occasional nod to Ocarina - take a good look at the photographs at the fishing pond.

Whacked touchpads (1)

tyrantking31 (1115607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245395)

To increase the level of difficulty, try playing this game on a DS with a whacked out touchpad. Also, I wish that sword swinging were still button driven as I found the stylus driven attacks to be monotonous. Also, it could have used some L-targeting.

3/5? Seems a little low (1, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245497)

Every other ratings site has been giving the game 9+/10. I'm not an expert, but everyone I've showed it to ran out and bought it, so I'd say that at least a 4/5 would be justified.

Re:3/5? Seems a little low (1)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245887)

I would have given it a 4 or 5 out of 5, if not for the fact that the puzzles were REALLY easy!
Link's Awakening and Minish Cap were much much better games.

On Sea Travel (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245643)

Now, I have never played Windwaker or Phantom Hourglass, but I have heard similar complaints about Suikoden IV. Now, I wonder if it would benefit those games to adopt the sailing system of the early Ultima series. Maybe the sea traveling section could feature a giant world map, where you could sail around, and pirates would occasionally attack you with a cannon, which weakens the structural integrity of the ship. They could also feature a ship-to-ship battle if the two ships pulled along side each other. Then, the sea section could become a thrilling battle, and also a thrilling chase. It would still suck up player's time, but it sounds like it could be very fun.

Re:On Sea Travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245705)

That pretty much sums up the sailing system in Phantom Hourglass.

Re:On Sea Travel (1)

Professor Mindblow (1142939) | more than 6 years ago | (#21249093)

Reminds me of the sailing mechanism of "Taipan!" Anyone? Anyone?

Re:On Sea Travel (1)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21250285)

Well, you're actually describing a lot of Phantom Hourglass sailing. Believe it or not, there's pirates you can run into, you can either sink them or outrun them, and they can board you if you get caught and then you need to fight them off of your ship. Also, the ship does have HP as well and takes damage, and one of the "side" quests is to collect ship parts to put them in certain combinations to improve the durability of of your ship.

I actually managed to get all the gold ship pieces by playing & trading online in forums, and to trade you're forced to play the multiplayer mode... which I actually enjoyed when I wasn't playing random dickheads that dropped offline when they were losing.

Deep Thoughs by a Lazy Coward (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245665)

Just wondering, when did game reviews start popping up on slashdot?

Anyway, I recently beat the game so I'll add my 2 cents.

Its a very good game. The first time I put it in my DS I could not put it down and managed to kill 6 hours in a single sitting. The graphics were very good, the characters are nice and developed, and its got a great story to it.

There are of course some drawbacks. First, an option to use classic controls would have helped at some point, as its somewhat hard to control link in close quarters combat using just the stylus. It also would have helped if the L an R buttons could have controlled different items, like how in almost all zeldas since ocarina you cna have multiple gadgets equipped on different buttons somehow.

Second, the audio wasnt as detailed and thoughtful as in past zelda games. The same short tune plays in each dungeon, and its not even a really suspenseful tune. I finally got around to playing Twilight Princess a few weeks ago, and every dungeon in that game had a different, deeply immersive tune that added to the feeling of the game. Heck, even the first portable zelda: links awakening had unique tunes for the dungeons.

Third, and this has been mentioned before, you have to repeat the same dungeon like 6 times in the game, and only after the 3rd or 4th time through does a portal open up to take you back to that point the next time you enter. It wouldn't have been nearly as repetitive if each time through you unlocked one of these portals.

Now, this game did offer a lot of positives. Being able to draw routes for your weapons was absolutely brilliant. This is the only zelda game in which I actually enjoyed bombchus and regularly used them. Being able to tell your boomerang exactly where to go was great as well, and helped in many places. Being able to draw notes on the map was a great addition as well, and I hope they add that feature to the next Zelda on the Wii. Sailing was also much less of a chore in this game than wind waker, and the warp methods were actually useful, even tho I didnt manage to get all of them before I beat the game.

Humerously, when I started the game I actually had the same feelings as a recent VG Cats comic and literally said out loud "Oh no, not navi!" But the fairy in this game isnt that bad, and actually ads a decent amount to the game in the later stages, especially if you pay attention to one of the side quests.

Anyway, I think its an extremely well put together game, and a must-have for any zelda fan or DS owner. There were some shortcomings, but the freshness more than makes up for it. This anonymous coward gives it a solid 8.7 out of 10.

Re:Deep Thoughs by a Lazy Coward (1)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246289)

It also would have helped if the L an R buttons could have controlled different items, like how in almost all zeldas since ocarina you cna have multiple gadgets equipped on different buttons somehow.

Would have defeated the purpose. You'll note that the D-pad and Buttons are mirror controls, to accomodate left handed and right handed people at the same time; having someone holding the DS with their left trying to click the right shoulder button (or vice versa) would be too onerous.

Worthless weasel wording in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21245687)

Of all the titles in the Legend of Zelda series, some of the most-respected have been for handheld consoles.


"Of all the..." needs a singular example to justify its use, not a wishy-washy "some of" as the subject. Why not just say "Some of the most-respected titles in the Legend of Zelda series have been for handheld consoles"? Pomposity overload?

My Review (3, Informative)

zzottt (629458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245725)

If you like any of the old Zelda games and you want to play Zelda in a new and fun way on the DS then this game is for you!

I think its the best DS game I have played so far. The game play is highly addictive and the story works great if you have been following the game for the last few installments then you will be right at home.

5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing Review (1)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245813)

It's as though the reviewer only played 25% of the way through. He does not go into any of the online elements, which include playing the hourglass battle games online vs random competitors or via friend codes, he doesn't go into the item-trading aspects, nor is discussed the ship customization collect-a-thon. I'm very disappointed that none of the online aspects were referenced in this review.

Re:Disappointing Review (1)

Ost316 (1035874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246091)

I agree. This game is far better than the skeptics' review that is here a month late. Online mode and it's unlocking of items in the games is certainly a big point missed. Trading can be fun and the different value of goods in each cartridge is rather innovative. Sailing is no where near as tedious as Wind Waker if you're adept enough to get the Cyclone Stone early on. Plus, you don't have to control the ship once you've drawn the path. A much smoother experience. I found very few elements of the game didn't work. I was finally wanting to use bombchus. My only complaint was finding the Gems; it would have been nice to be able to track those you found. All in all, I loved the game and was rarely frustrated. I blew through it quickly with little concern for the story, but it was fun and certainly shows that a touch pad Zelda game works.

Return to Hyrule? (5, Funny)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21245859)

Read on for my impressions of this pint-sized return to Hyrule.


Apparently you didn't pay much attention to the plot while reviewing, eh? ;)

Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad idea (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246075)

Not to mention they use the same puzzle with the microphone multiple times. Ok, I blow into the ds, I get it, it's interesting, but not something I'm willing to do in a public place(and since we are talking about a portable, it will often be used in those places). Doing it once, ok, but requiring me to blow into the microphone multiple times to solve what is basically the same puzzle(lighting some lamps, blowing off dust on my map) is just dumb. And don't even get me started about having to shout.....

The game also breaks the 4th wall multiple times. When you are first starting the game I can understand why you might need to do so, but the game just keeps on breaking it and breaking it. The worst being when you had to close the DS to solve a puzzle. It just really takes you out of the game.

I think Nintendo broke a cardinal rule of alternative inputs here: If you use them, don't disable the more "traditional" inputs unless you have a good reason to do so. Phantom hourglass has yet to produce a good reason for why you cannot use the d-pad or hit alternative keys instead of blowing into the ds etc... Still an alright game, but pales in comparison to how much fun Minish Cap was.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (4, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246363)

And don't even get me started about having to shout.....

Snap your fingers in front of the microphone. One of the NPCs even tells you about that trick ;-)

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (1)

Darktyco (621568) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246615)

Typically I'd be lying in bed at night while playing this game. My wife would have kicked me out of bed completely if I had started shouting at my DS while she was sleeping, so instead I would fake a cough with my mouth close to the mic. In my opinion a decently faked cough looks even less embarrassing than snapping your fingers, you just need to be careful not to spray your DS.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21246839)

Someone keeps deleting my save game and im running out of fingers to snap! I dont know if its worth it to begin snapping my toes =\

Another use for the stylus ... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 6 years ago | (#21250461)

Take the stylus, and tap it against the microphone. The guy congratulated me for how loud I shouted, and I didn't look like an idiot on the plane. (and it's not even very loud to you ... just to the microphone)

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252193)

The first time I played that part I was by myself in an elevator, so I just yelled. But that night my DS died before I got a chance to save. The next day I snapped my fingers about a thousand times, slapped a table and shouted (quietly) while sitting in a coffee shop. Finally I ended up blowing into it, which apparently was louder than when I had yelled the first time. I was very worried that my DS had broken and I wouldn't be able to progress in the game.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21247267)

Yeah, requiring a lot of this stuff is just stupid. It's more gimmicky "don't we have some way to use the XYZ?" than it is "hammer for nail, screwdriver for screw".

On the other hand, they did the gesture thing really well. It actually works. There are other problems (like it becoming painful to hold the DS after awhile... play this on a flat surface), but this particular aspect works. This is what they should have done with Zelda:TP on the Wii, instead of the craptacular control scheme they came up with. (Seriously, did anyone playtest that? Damn.) This isn't to say it's superior to having button inputs... I'd say if anything not... but it definitely works.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251961)

It might hurt but it doesn't hurt as badly as, say, Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland which uses dpad movement and stylus actions, that's a real pain.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21249857)

> The worst being when you had to close the DS to solve a puzzle. It just really takes you out of the game.

There are two kinds of people. Those who find that when they meet metafiction it takes them out of suspension of disbelief, and those who find that when they meet metafiction it sucks them in further. Given that metafiction has always been used as a means of achieving the latter I suspect you're in the minority in your feeling. Or to put it more simply, the fact that I had to close the device to solve a puzzle made me feel like I actually had an artifact from the game in my hand, drawing me into the story.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251357)

Seconded. I loved that puzzle.

Re:Requiring the use of the microphone was a bad i (1)

hokiemattdude (1118701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255053)

No shit! I was waiting on the local shop to rotate/balance the tires on my car while playing. I got up and went to the bathroom to blow into the mic as to not look *too* retarded :P

What about Battle Mode? (2, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246089)

I've become hooked on Battle Mode. I won't review it here, but will offer my experience with it. The game itself is a lot of fun. The biggest drawback, however is that users disconnect when they are losing. When a user disconnects, it seems that they suffer a slight point loss while the player who was winning gains nothing. It's a real shame. If it were not for that, the experience would be top notch. I've learned to throw the rankings out the window and just play the game. I simply chalk the disconnect up as a win for myself.



Another thing that is sometimes frustrating is lag. I've yet to be able to figure out if it's a flaw in the game or the result of cheating. But it seems that sometimes lag suspiciously begins to occur just when the Link player is in a tight situation. The Phantoms and Link both freeze up. The Phantom player cannot draw lines to guide the Phantoms. Link appears motionless, but when the lag ends, he has "teleported". I can't help but think that this lag is brought on intentionally by the Link player. Maybe they are sitting by their wireless router and unplugging it for a second. Who knows, it might just be an issue with the game.



In any case, if you can play with a non-cheater (friend codes, or luck of the draw) and there is no lag, you'll be in for a treat with this game. It's short enough to play "just one more" again and again. Buyer beware!

I just finished it yesterday... (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246125)

I think the touchscreen controls were great. They're highly intuitive and the boomerang and bombchu controls really add to the Zelda experience. It's the little touches that make it so great, like the fact that the boomerang actually lets you see beyond your usual range, and the bombchus let you look pretty far away. Drawing on the map makes a lot of sense, since many people will end up writing things down in previous zelda games. Making the note-taking an in-game element is an obvious continuation, and since it's encouraged, it lets the developers include puzzles that require higher amounts of "memorization" without being annoying. I definitely want to see thigs like these in the next Wii title.

The story was decent, though I expected to have some other "step" before fighting the final boss. Yesterday afternoon I managed to get the "master sword", and I didn't expect to have the game beat a few hours later. It was still very entertaining, though.

The graphics were awesome as far as DS graphics go. Remember, that's done with ~2048 triangles per frame. They're not as good as Wind Waker's, but they get really close. My only gripe is the nearest neighbor mapping (which you can't do anything about, that's just the way the DS works) and some textures (like the character's faces) that should have been twice the resolution. However, since the graphics are cel-shaded, these issues aren't as bad as they would be if the game were more realistic.

Overall, it's a pretty good game, and the controls really should set the standard for future DS and Wii Zelda titles. I can't wait for the next Wii Zelda :)

Where do you get these screenshots from? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246411)

OK, this is somewhat pointless, but I'm curious where they got the screenshots shown in this review from. Compare the boat screenshot shown first [slashdot.org] with the last screenshot shown [slashdot.org] . The first screenshot is from the final game. The last is apparently from some pre-release.

Notably, the health bars became hearts, the ship has only one speed ("Go") in the final versus two in the pre-release, and the cannon became always equipped versus selected in the pre-release shot. Plus, having played most of the way through the game, I don't remember any section of the game that looked anything like the last screenshot.

The middle screenshot [slashdot.org] also appears to be from a pre-release build. The phantom appears to be gold, and the map shows a gray phantom icon. I think the heart icons are also a little different from the final release. I also don't recognize that level of the Ocean King's Temple but I could just simply not remember it.

So where does Slashdot get these screenshots? They obviously aren't getting them during Zonk's play-through.

Re:Where do you get these screenshots from? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246879)

Yeah, that level isn't in the temple. You need special equipment to take proper screenshots of the DS, so these are probably lifted from other sources. Who probably lifted them from other sources, and so on, until you get to a proper reviewer with the special screen-shotting DS or to Nintendo themselves. The last and the middle screenshots, at least, are from a pre-release.

Spoiler in the screenshots. (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246453)

Thanks for the spoiler about the secret path in the screenshot...

Re:Spoiler in the screenshots. (1)

kingturkey (930819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21278661)

Chances are you'd only recognise it as a spoiler if you've played past that bit already... that is until you pointed it out.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21246519)

The game has some great points: control, graphics... but this is more a zelda for newbies than for hardcore zelda lovers. Of course japanese people should be very happy with islands. A link to the past & Link's awakening FTW!

The "Oracle duo?" (0, Offtopic)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246621)

Is this where you search countless configuration and error files looking for the source of your server crash?

PH mini-review (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 6 years ago | (#21246953)

I've pretty much completed the game now and I've had a fair amount of game-play out of it, probably more than the 15 hours that ign suggested you would get out of it. I loved the sailing elements which is FAR less annoying than wind waker, the oceans are just smaller and you learn how to warp to sufficiently specific places that there is never really any extended periods of annoyance with it. I liked the touch style play - I was unsure at first but I think it really won through, bombchus have become genuinely useful.

What I think I will really remember this game for in terms of the history of video games will be the ability to write on the maps (I'm not sure if this is actually the first time this has happened, but its the first time I've come across it). Being able to write on maps allows for more complexity in puzzles as well as interesting ideas of connecting lines which you draw to find items which are buried. I think this will have so much life in it as an idea.

All in all it is a really good game which so long as you don't play so much that your having really crazy dreams about it and get forced to take a break then it is a jolly good game

The Phantom Hourglass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21247949)

I thought they were talking about my wife's figure!

Phantom Hourglass (1)

ThomasTerranova (1010945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21249475)

This is a fun game, but it feels extremely linear. There aren't a whole lot of real sidequests, and it's kind of like do this, then this, then this without much freedom to do anything else. Heart pieces are mostly given as rewards and not hidden. Searching the sea for treasure is simply a matter of finding maps and then playing a skill crane game. which is cool until you realize that it's the same every single time and all you ever get are either random ship parts (that you probably already have) or some rupees or maybe a gem. the whole ship part collecting system is kind of lame. it's a great idea, except that the parts are given out randomly. only one set will probably be valuable for you, and you probably won't find most of those pieces unless you get them from someone else via wireless. the differences between ships are trivial, which is kind of a let down. the dungeon that you have to do over and over is incredibly annoying. it adds a stressful element to the game which zelda had never had before (thankfully.) when you have to redo the same thing over and over (especially when it's because you ran out of time) it feels like the game is really wasting your time. you can spend time saving up rupees, but there's not really much to buy with them except an occasional random ship part or gem. and the gems are pretty cheap.

the online aspect is kind of pointless. so you can put some items in a box and when you fight a duel the other person gets them if they win. it's pretty gimped, if you ask me. why can't we just email our friends with items in the game? that kind of connectivity would have been fun. and the only other thing you can do is play the duel gamem which gets old very fast. one game, the same cat and mouse game i dreaded playing in the repeat dungeon - and that's all there is. i don't know how people can find this fun enough to play it over and over again. this really feels like an extremely shallow use of online capability.

something more intergral to the game would have been MUCH better. something involving the adventure, and maybe getting items that could help you. not just some ship parts that don't really matter unless you're a completist.

sailing is boring after the first few times. different routes, same scenery. same easy monsters pop up. same coinfish pop up. same barrier pops up. why bother, really? the first few treasures are fun to recover and the very limited number of hidden islands are great to find and explore. but that's not a major part of the game. there should have been much more of that. it's like they made a zelda game, but took out oall of the side-questng elements and subplots. and in their place is this ship part collection game where the parts are pretty meaningless and just aesthetically different. and where none has any inherent importance, since the set that is valuable is randomly chosen for each game pack.

i LOVE zelda and as a result i have enjoyed this game somewhat, but it is a real let down. it just feels empty, linear, repetetive, and lacking in magic and real surprise. which are the main things that made zelda fun for me in the past.

i imported freshly-picked tingle's rosy rupeeland for the DS from europe, and i like it MUCH more than phantom hourglass. it's like they took all the sidequests from zelda and made them into a game for tingle! if you are one of the few people who feel the same way i do about phantom hourglass, try tingle!

Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253087)

I have to say, if you like Zelda, but haven't played Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, run (don't walk) to your nearest import store and get it now. I have no idea why this game did not get better reviews (they were good, but nowhere near what it deserves). I wouldn't say that it's definitely better than Phantom Hourglass, but... it just might be. They're both great games, in my opinion, and both are absolute must-have titles.

Re:Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland (1)

ThomasTerranova (1010945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21255565)

I was playing Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland last night. I thought I kind of knew what there was to the game and how many areas there were going to be to explore, when BAM - it opened up and was even bigger than i thought.

This game just gets to be more and more fun. The classic zelda audio cues and tunes are so fun, too.

This is one of my favorite DS games EVER. i was a little hesitant about importing it, but i have no regrets. With 3-day shippng, it came to around $60, and i think it's worth every penny.

the best place to get the eurpo version (english/french,italian/german) of tingle is at http://www.ncsxshop.com./ [www.ncsxshop.com] that's where i got mine and they were great. had my game in 5 days (3 days + weekend) in perfect condition, authentic, sealed). here's the direct link to the euro version of tingle there:

http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/NTR-P-ACHP.html [ncsxshop.com]

don't waffle about it any lobger like i did. just order it. it's GREAT!

Side note Wind Waker question... (1)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21249771)

Wind Waker routinely takes a beating in reviews and discussions for all the time 'wasted' sailing around the world. Did anyone else out there besides me find that part of the game actually fun and that it contributed greatly to the feeling of immersion and non-linearity? Why or why not?

How did Hourglass change / improve on this, if indeed it did - assuming you think the sailing bit needed 'improving'.

Just curious.

SR

Re:Side note Wind Waker question... (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21250521)

Did anyone else out there besides me find that part of the game actually fun and that it contributed greatly to the feeling of immersion and non-linearity?

I loved the sailing in Wind Waker, for exactly the reasons you say. To be honest when I first started reading people's complaints about it all I could think was "How are any of the negative things you people are saying about it not true of the endless walking present in virtually any other RPG?"

Re:Side note Wind Waker question... (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251301)

Did anyone else out there besides me find that part of the game actually fun and that it contributed greatly to the feeling of immersion and non-linearity

Hell, I loved that part of the game. Sometimes I would just go on sailing and see what I found and forget about the rest of the game for a while. You always found something nice. Like the islands shaped like a paw print. It gave the feeling of a world a lot bigger than it actually was. I liked going to the islands and talk to the inhabitants just to see what they were up to and I could easily imagine a backstory for them.

I read some reviews that didn't like the "cartoonish" graphics. I found them kind of charming and stylish.

Re:Side note Wind Waker question... (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252019)

### Did anyone else out there besides me find that part of the game actually fun and that it contributed greatly to the feeling of immersion and non-linearity?

I would say it could/should have contributed to the immersion, but sadly didn't much at all. The problem with sailing in Wind Waker was that it was pointless, there was nothing to see on the water, nothing to do. Go into your boat, bring the wind into the correct direction, wait five minutes doing nothing and you reach your next island. Sailing sucked, because the underlaying gameplay sucked. WaveRace on the N64 showed how awesome water mechanics can be, WindWaker however had nothing of that, it didn't have proper waves, not even a proper water texture, half the time the water is flat blue with not even the slightest shading. WindWakers sailing sucked because it took way to long with *nothing* for the player to do. It added some non-linearity to the game, but given how boring sailing was, it wasn't exactly encouraging to explore the oceans.

failzRorYs!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21250175)

pKroject returns continues to lose 800 mhz machine

Great game, but not portable enough. (1)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 6 years ago | (#21250291)

(I haven't beaten it yet, but I'm reasonably close)
While it is a good game (as the above review explains), it felt too much like a console zelda and not a portable zelda.
Specifically, the temple of the ocean king. Each time you enter it, it takes a good 20-40 minutes to get back out, and you can't save inside it. Well, you can, but you'll restart at the top when you load that save.

I mainly play my DS while waiting for class to start, or waiting to meet someone, or a few (20) minutes before I go to bed. So I rarely want to spend 40 minutes fighting through a dungeon, and the temple of the ocean king really screws up that gameplay style. Most of my other DS games understand that they are on a portable, and are organized around that fact.
You can pick up Puzzle Quest and play two battles in 5 minutes. You can play a few tracks against the computer or one track against real people in Mario Kart. Picross, you can play a single puzzle. But Phantom Hourglass has mostly short gameplay, but dungeons (which aren't that long, and shortcuts essentially work like intermediate saves) and the temple just take too long. I know several times I'd have five to ten minutes to kill, open up my DS with phantom hourglass in it, realize I was at the temple, and just shut it off.
If the temple had let you save more often, or you didn't have to slog through 6 levels half the time you went there, this game would have worked much better as a portable game.

Re:Great game, but not portable enough. (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21250901)

I have the same time with M&L:Partners in time. 90% of my DS play is on my 15-minute bus ride twice a day, and several times I've had to turn that game off without saving it because I couldn't get to a save point in time. Portable games really should not have finite save points.

Re:Great game, but not portable enough. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252305)

"And you can't save inside it. Well, you can, but you'll restart at the top when you load that save."

Close the DS.

integrating eveything as an input. (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251313)

What I am enjoying most about phantom hourglass is how they really make you use all of the features of the DS.
I thought that blowing on the microphone to blow dust off your map was really cool. blowing out torches to unlock things was cool the 1st time, but it did get old.
closing the DS to emboss a pattern onto your map did take me out of the game, but i thought it was a really unique idea, I have never seen anything like that before in a video game, and I really enjoyed how creative this game is with the puzzles and controls.

The boomerang is just awesome. taking notes on your maps? brilliant!

sword control is great, but why is rolling so damned hard?

My only complaint is how linear this game was. The temple of the ocean king, although it was repeditive, i was releived when the yellow portal appeared and i could jump back to where i was....that was a life saver, and being able to replay and resave to improve your time does add to the replay value of the game.

I am really enjoying this game, quite a bit more than i am enjoying tingles rosy coloured rupee land, (which was brought up by another poster) Tingles rupee land assumes that negotiating prices and constant system restarts when you get it wrong are fun. its not.

How To: Do the Zelda Roll (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21253125)

sword control is great, but why is rolling so damned hard?

The explanation of how to do it seems a bit broken. Rolling works 100% of the time for me:

  1. Move the stylus to the edge of the screen
  2. Quickly move it back about 2 millimetres
  3. Without interruption, quickly move it back to the edge of the screen

Tingles rupee land assumes that negotiating prices and constant system restarts when you get it wrong are fun

You do realize, though, that by restarting the game after a failed negotiation, you're only cheating yourself out of the fun of the game, don't you?

Re:How To: Do the Zelda Roll (1)

ThomasTerranova (1010945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21256745)

i noticed the same thing in phantom hourglass. instead of thinking in terms of doing circles on the edge of the screen (as they tell you to do in the instructions) i just think of it as doing two small, quick taps against any edge of the screen. LKM described it more accurately, though. i guess Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland - like any game - isn't for everyone. but in my own experience, i haven't had any trouble with negotiation and i almost never reset the game. whenever someone asks for a certain amount, i just give it to them rather than trying to haggle and taking a risk. it's not that i'm lazy - it's just that the asking prices always seem fair. and when i offer an amount for something, i just think in terms of being fair rather than in terms of trying to be a miser. and i almost never have a problem. after a while you just get a sense of the right amount to try for different things. it's not just random. there's a consistency to it. and there are also clues at the bottom of the screen when you have the misfortune of making a bid that's too low. a note at the bottom will say "50 more" or "500 more", letting you know that you should beef up your bid by that amount. so theoretically, the most you could EVER have to pay for an item would be twice it's value. and that would only be if you were extremely unlucky. i do sometimes have to make a second attempt, but i haven't had a hard time earning rupees in the game. i've found that i always seem to have exactly the amount that i need. i make a point of going back through all the world's on a quick run-through with a bodyguard in between major dungeons or when i nearly run out of rupees. that way i get to add one more bodyguard to my database and i end up earning a couple thousand rupees and also filling my coffers with diverse ingredients. then i go back to town, do some cooking, sell the results, feed the tower, and hit the next part of the game. occasionally there's been a new item that came up for sale suddenly and i didn't have enough money. so i just spent a play session doing the above an extra time, which meant some extra money went to the tower as well as towards buying the new item. and as a result, after i win a major battle and get a bunch of rupees, the prize money is almost always the exact amount i need to raise the tower. if you don't like earning rupees intermittently and you prefer to be constantly moving the main storyline along as quickly as possible, i could see where you might get irritated by the negotiating and feel stressed about conserving every last rupee. but if you are someone who likes RPG's and you look at the game from that angle (with earning rupees and ingredients being analogous to building up levels and buying new equipment) then the game flows perfectly. :-)

Re:How To: Do the Zelda Roll (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21261239)

Your roll technique works much better than the one printed in the book. i have had some sucess moving the stylus back and forth quickly along the edge, but tapping works quite well.

i did sound overly harsh in my review of tingles rupeeland, i do enjoy the game quite a bit, the characters are hilarious (especially the bridge builder who leaves far too little to the imagination) but there are just some things that bug me......eg. bodyguards i hire from the second contanent disapear when i go home to save/cook/sell. when I return to continue where i left off, my bodyguard is gone. it has been my experience that i have to at least tripple the asking price. for soup recipies from the cook, it might say "700 more", i give him 2000, and it still says i havent given enough. I enjoy dealing with the bridge builder, he at least holds on to the money you have given him. with other characters, it is a total loss.

it is a fun story line, and if i had a NDS emulator where i could save/load anywhere, I'm sure it would be great fun, but i get frustrated by contantly not having enough rupees to get what i need. (is there a good NDS emulator for Ubuntu?)

Re:How To: Do the Zelda Roll (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#21264437)

bodyguards i hire from the second contanent disapear when i go home to save/cook/sell.

For me, he waits on the continent I leave him, unless I hire another bodyguard on another continent.

Re:integrating eveything as an input. (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21258695)

### but i thought it was a really unique idea,

Not really, all the puzzles you mentioned were already present in Another Code/Trace Memory around two years ago. While I enjoyed them back then when the DS was new, they got old very quickly, which really wasn't surprising since they are very gimmicky in nature and far to focused on the DS instead of the games story/world.

### taking notes on your maps? brilliant!

More like 'bloody obvious'. Now its nice to finally see it in a game, but it was one of the first thing that sprang to many peoples minds the second they saw the DS, in fact I considered it one of the prime reason to go dual screen in the first place, its kind of sad of few DS games actually allow stuff like that in the end.

Re:integrating eveything as an input. (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21262269)

I can see how using the features of the DS can come off as gimmicky, no, it doesn't enhance the story, yes, it breaks down the 4th wall.

but it is neat!

writing notes on your map is bloody obvious, but no one has done it before, so you have to give credit to zelda. When you think about it, evolution is also 'bloody obvious' but it took people a long time to get around to understanding it.)

I must agree with the 2 screens things, many games just don't make good use of them. Zelda is probably the best example i can think of for integrating 2 screens, including a touch screen. tingles rupee land also has a great interface, merging traditional controls with the touch screen. but games like sonic rush just sort of treat the dual screen as one big verticle widescreen....nothing overly interesting there.

I really enjoy the port of 'Doom' for the DS, where the automap is presented on the lower screen, and the 1st person view is on the top screen. it is far superior to the PC version of having the automap superimposed on the game screen.
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