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  1. #1
    Angry Dutchman Ghost's Avatar
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    Got Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

    Hello all,

    I don't really know to which subject to respond on the moment and I don't have anything of major interest on the moment to tell.
    So instead I am opening a topic about this.

    Last Wednesday I got a couple of new games; Half Life 2 The Orange Box, Darwinia and Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass.
    As I was really looking forwards to Half Life 2 Episode 2 I waited with unwrapping Zelda until I had finished Episode 2.

    On Thursday I have started to play the game and I am enjoying it so far.
    As some of you might know, The Phantom Hourglass is a somewhat direct sequel to the Gamecube game "The Wind Waker", it takes place on the mostly ocean covered world of that game.
    As I liked that element from the game I was quickly at home in this game.

    The gameplay of course is completely different from that game, as previews mentioned the game is almost completely played with the Stylus pen, creating something that feels like playing a PC game with a mouse.

    So far Nintendo has made some very clever gameplay elements with it such as running and fighting, the only control I don't like is to make a roll which can be rather difficult because that control doesn't respond well.

    The game has the same 'cell shaded' (that is what its called, isn't it?) graphics as in Wind Waker, and while they look nice they can give a somewhat childish appearance I'm afraid.

    The game also includes most of the classic Zelda elements, and while fans will enjoy this I do wonder if it isn't time to start to make some changes in these or add something radical new to the game other than the latest plot device.
    While the gameplay and graphics improve, the content of Zelda remains the same and I am starting to feel its getting a little stale.

    I am not very far in the game yet due to other matters but as I progress I will tell more.
    Earth is like a 24 hour, Seven days a week Stupidity contest which has been running for centuries.
    And every time they are ready to pronounce a winner, a new contender appears on the scene.


    * * * *

    He has seen half the universe who has not seen the house of pain (Ralph Waldo)

  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I have quite similar feelings towards Zelda TPH as you.

    The cel-shaded style is lovely, I think it is brilliant and really does suit this particular version of the Zelda 'world'. I think I'm going against the general trend here, but I rather enjoy the sailing, it feels a lot more like exploring than wandering around the massive Hyrule field in Twilight Princess. Using Twilight Princess as an example, when I was playing it I only wanted to get to where the next objective was as quick as possible without taking a detour (and being annoyed when I was forced to) - whereas with Hourglass (and Wind waker where we were allowed to) I really wanted to go and check out the other islands before advancing the story.

    Tellingly, I got quite far into Twilight Princess and just *stopped* playing. It's not that I wasn't enjoying it, it's just that I didn't fell much impulse to play it - it didn't grab me, maybe it felt too familiar. I thought maybe I had just gotten bored with it.

    I expected to be bored with Houroglass, but so far it has captivated me. Will I get to around 70% of the game and then just stop (like Princess), or will I beat it?

    The stylus control is a bit iffy, running and fighting isn't as fluid and the rolling is rubbish. Writing on the maps, and drawing the path of the boomerang are great, though. So far, so good.

  3. #3
    Retro Addict Administrator
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    I've always been a big fan of the Zelda games ever since the SNES and Gameboy games, and it is probably the one title on each Nintendo system that has finally persuaded me to buy one in the end.

    When I do finally purchase a Wii and DS it will be due to me needing to eventually play the newest Zelda titles. Oh and Mario of course.

    I've not played Twilight Princess beyond a few minutes on a friend's Wii but did enjoy it. Although I also have to say that the more realistic style gave it a very different feel compared to Wind Waker and given the choice I would pick the later of these as the cell shaded graphics and environments just gave it a more fun and enjoyable feel. So having given Hourglass a similar style is in my view great.

    Also I agree regarding the sailing. In any game where you have to traverse large areas of land to reach a goal eventually starts to get boring and you just wish you would reach your destination. With Wind Waker I never felt this and enjoyed sailing around discovering small islands, some with some great little dungeons to explore too. And you never felt like you had to get it over with and reach your next objective. Just sailing around in the sea was enjoyable.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    Totally, the sea felt a bit fresher and more enjoyable, although some of the islands could have done with being a bit bigger in Wind Waker.

    The hyrule field/hub has been done in Ocarina, Majora (Termina it was called, but it was kind of an alternate dimension) and Twilight Princess. It's been done now, and is getting a bit old I feel, plus it doesn't feel all that big, like sailing across an ocean to a new (is)land. I think the environment in Majora's Mask was the best realised, different areas actually felt different. In Twilight Princess they didn't. The game area was actually much bigger, but it seemed very samey and there didn't seem to be any point to stray off the path and explore.... so it felt smaller.

    By no means am I saying Twilight Princess is a bad game, just that apart from some neat use of the wii controller it really didn't bring all that much new to the table.

  5. #5
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    I downloaded the video of the Zelda Retrospective which was aired through a blog on Gametrailers.com, you can get it from UG.

  6. #6
    Angry Dutchman Ghost's Avatar
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    Hello Harrison and J T,

    Its nice to hear that there are also other people who enjoyed the sea segment of Wind Waker.
    Quite a number of the Zelda fan community found the sea segment repetitive and taking away from the Zelda experience, but these were also the people who wanted a more realistic Zelda game graphics.

    I do foresee a possible day that Zelda will be as graphically intensive as a Lord of the Rings movie, but I can't really say that I would like it so much.

    Like Harrison I liked the graphics and the atmosphere which gave more of a feeling of adventure and like you two I loved to explore the ocean for every little island and secret that could be found.
    It was only a bit annoying that I am so terrible at those minigames which I don't really like.

    Yeah, I too would have preferred if the island were a little bigger, and I myself would have liked to see more places around with people to interact with.

    I don't know how to place it but I simply like the ocean more than the Hyrule field which seems so small in some ways.

    Personally I wouldn't mind another sequel to The Phantom Hourglass, so much more ocean to explore.
    Earth is like a 24 hour, Seven days a week Stupidity contest which has been running for centuries.
    And every time they are ready to pronounce a winner, a new contender appears on the scene.


    * * * *

    He has seen half the universe who has not seen the house of pain (Ralph Waldo)

  7. #7
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I've been playing quite a lot of Phantom Hourglass and I love it. I'm very tempted to go as far as saying it is the best Zelda yet. Perfect in bite sized chunks but suitable for a longer session too. It's also quite tight and focussed without too many distracting sidequests or featureless expanses of empty land. The stylus control is surprisingly nifty (and there are a number of very neat touches, like drawing the path for the boomerang or bombchu to follow) but it did take a bit of getting used to. Writing on the map is a very good feature. Could it be that the Zelda series is more suited to handheld gaming? I got around 20 hours into twilight princess but put it down and never got back into it, yet hourglass has me hooked. Maybe princess was too big and so I drifted off, maybe I just was a bit bored because it wasn't Ocarina (which I adore, it was the right game at the perfect time for me).

    It is rather easy though. I've blazed through it very quickly and never really got stuck, everything is quite obvious.

    Very very very good game, charming and funny, clever and fun but quite easy. Great for handheld!

  8. #8
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    I've been trying to pick up a cheap copy of e-bay for ages as at the moment i'm reliving the past by playing OOT and Wind Waker on my GC.
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  9. #9
    Angry Dutchman Ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buleste View Post
    I've been trying to pick up a cheap copy of e-bay for ages as at the moment i'm reliving the past by playing OOT and Wind Waker on my GC.
    I am afraid this will be one of those titles that will remain expensive for a while, both in the stores and on Ebay.
    Its a rather wanted game.


    Since I got Metroid Prime 3 Corruption I haven't played this game, I so much wanted to play the latest Metroid.
    But I finished it for the second time a couple of days ago so now its back to catching up with the other games, hope I haven't grown out of the gameplay to much
    Earth is like a 24 hour, Seven days a week Stupidity contest which has been running for centuries.
    And every time they are ready to pronounce a winner, a new contender appears on the scene.


    * * * *

    He has seen half the universe who has not seen the house of pain (Ralph Waldo)

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