The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)

The new Zelda is released on the DS only and according to many a gamer’s opinion (Edge, Eurogamer forums), wipes the floor with the previous instalment, the Twilight Princess. I haven’t played Twilight Princess so I wouldn’t know, but Phantom Hourglass certainly seems like worth the wait.

It is the first DS game since Animal Crossing: Wild World and Advance Wars: Dual Strike that I’ve played for more than an hour at a time, actually looking forward to playing more. In all respects it feels like a proper game, not merely a hand-held version of Zelda.

I have a DS Phat and often suffer from aching hands when playing on it. The new Zelda has not done that to me, despite being all-stylus controlled. They have really nailed the stylus controls. Being left-handed doesn’t matter and there’s just the right amount of auto-aim. Until now I’ve always felt that the touch screen is nice but rarely better than a D-pad – not so here. Nintendo is really using their machine’s features to the max, showing the way for thirdparty developers.

And it looks gorgeus. They have wisely returned to the deliciously cel-shaded look of the Wind Waker on the Gamecube, adding tons of charm while at it, writing it all wittily and even managing to pump out great music from the tiny speakers. Certainly a game I hope to finish. Although I expect several trips down to GameFAQs to clear the dungeon puzzles.






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