Review by imagine606
"A Whole New Take For Me"
The first time I played through this game I thought it was a fun game, but nothing that blew me away. I was glad that I played it while borrowing it from somebody else, because at the time it was $40 and after finishing it I really did not see myself playing it again. There was the dreaded Temple of the Ocean King which really seems to be the main reason for people not liking the game, and I just didn't really see much in it, I thought it was a solid game, but nothing special.
Fast forward about 4 years. I noticed that the game was available for pretty cheap now. On top of that, with the upcoming release of Skyward Sword I've been trying to go through as many Zelda games as possible over the last couple of months. As I mentioned before, I didn't actually own this game until my recent order of it. This is a game in the Zelda series, and to be honest, I put so much into this series, and I'm a bit of a completionist.
Anyway, I got started on the game and realized that early on, this game is a lot more fun than I remember. It's got a nice little intro, it doesn't cause you to mess around too much before getting into the story, and the first dungeon is actually a very good dungeon despite being a little bit too easy. I decided to keep going right away instead of putting it down for a while and getting back to it later. The second time in the Temple of the Ocean King really wasn't too bad. It was pretty quick and not overly difficult, and the time wasn't really factoring in too much.
I continued on, and was quickly finding it hard to put down. The story to the game as it went along was much better than I remembered, mini games that I remember being impossibly hard before were still challenging, but not all that difficult, the shooting range being one of the main ones that I remembered being overly frustrating from before. Going to the Temple of the Ocean King was still slightly frustrating for me, but as a whole it wasn't as horrible of a task as I remember it being. Some of that may have to do with me remembering enough of it for it to be easier, but at the same time it was quicker than I remembered it being.
By the end I was very happy I played through the game again. The time was never a major factor to me even in the end with the Temple of the Ocean King, the only difference it made to me was that it caused me to spend a little more time in safe areas rather than running about in the areas where the time does drain. The dungeons were a lot of fun, and the story was much better than I had remembered it being. As a whole, this was actually a solid game.
Now, remember, like I said before, there was still a bit of frustration with the Temple of the Ocean King, it was still a chore to have to deal with. I still just didn't really even like the idea of being timed, but it just didn't bother me as much. On top of that, I'm still just not a big fan of the whole sailing thing, especially with Phantom Hourglass because of how you can't jump out of the boat. There is just too much of a disconnect between myself (or should I say, Link) and the overworld with how that is done.
The controls for this game have been another area of high criticism, but to me they are not very difficult to use. Just simply touch the screen with the stylus in the direction you want to move, tap the screen for a targeted attack, and swipe it to swing the sword. Tap objects like jars and barrels that you would like to interact with, and items like the boomerang, grappling hook, and others are even easier to use with the ability to either do the target attack or draw their path. I guess to some there's something difficult to it, and I can understand, as I've found some games to be more difficult to control than others in the past, but to me the controls are pretty simple and easy.
I'm glad I gave this game another shot. It's replayability has gone up very much to me. The game is one that I now can see myself playing sometime later on, probably not very soon, but I don't see myself waiting another 4 years to play this again. It's not a long game, but it's a fun game with a nice story to it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/04/11
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (US, 10/01/07)
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