The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks is the follow up title to Phantom Hourglass that was released on the Nintendo DS. The game takes place supposedly 100 years after the events of Phantom Hourglass. Fans who played Wind Waker for the Nintendo Gamecube and Phantom Hourglass should have no worries about on what to expect in the Spirit Tracks.
Since Spirit Tracks is the third entry in the series that started with Wind Waker, what are the things that makes this game stand out? Let’s take a look on the HOTs and the NOTs of the game:
Presentation & Story
Spirit Tracks offers the same graphical design as Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. The game takes place in the Kingdom of Hyrule and Princess Zelda will be accompanying Link throughout his adventure; no more annoying fairies that followed Link in the previous Legend of Zelda games. In Spirit Tracks, the only means that binds the Evil God from awakening in the land of Hyrule has vanished and with that happening, the Evil God is soon to awaken. With conspiracies taking place in Hyrule Castle, Princess Zelda’s body was taken away and only her spirit is left behind with Link. Both Princess Zelda and Link will be traveling together throughout the game via train; no more ship traveling!
Fans who played Phantom Hourglass should notice some familiar characters; except they’re old. One of the characters that I found is Nico. In Phantom Hourglass, Nico is just a small pirate that accompanies Tetra and Link in the Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass but this time, he’s an old wise man that will train the new Link. There are references to the past two games as Princess Zelda in Spirit Tracks is the descendant of Tetra.
As always, this Legend of Zelda title does not offer any voice overs. Link still doesn’t talk, but you will be able to hear and see the character’s emotions. There are a couple of soundtrack remixes in the game, especially the Zelda theme that was used over and over again in previous titles. Since the train is the means of the transportation in this game, you will be seeing beautiful scenery of the land of Hyrule as you travel the train tracks and restore the land to its former glory.
Traveling via Train is better than Ship
Being a pirate in this game is out of the picture. This time, Link will be the engineer that will navigate the train. As you get your own train in the game, you will be given a map that you can use to draw your route. Once you pick your destination, you will be able to control the train. From accelerating to reversing the train, you will be using the stylus to control the gear or blow the train whistle to alert animals or monsters that will be blocking the train tracks. There will be upgrades that you can equip on your Train and you can use that to attack your enemies blocking your path.
Princess Zelda to the Rescue
In certain parts of the game, you will be able to work with Princess Zelda. Since she is now a spirit, she can take hold of an empty vessel in a dungeon, particularly the Phantom, and help Link as he fights his way through enemies. Get used with the idea of Princess Zelda following you and giving you advice as you find a way to get her body back and restore back the Spirit Tracks.
Lots of Mini Quest
One of the things that make The Legend of Zelda games fun and innovative are through all the mini games it has to offer. Navigating a train is indeed new, but what about catching a Rabbit while controlling your train? That sure is fun, but there are more quests that you can do in this game. When you get the instrument that allows you to play a tune,
you can use that to find sleeping statues and awaken it with the songs that you will collect throughout Link’s adventure. Treasure chest and items that you can sell for high values are the things you will be getting after completing some of these quest.
Exploring ever inch of land is highly recommended because there are secret items that you can get, such as a treasure that can be sold for a high price. Just don’t forget to stop on a designated stop sign when traveling.
Feels like Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass
I am a big fan of the Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. It is such a pleasure to play through the Spirit Tracks and manage to get the experience and fun that I’ve gotten when I played those two games. Nintendo managed to combine the features that Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass had. It is always nice to have the ability to play an instrument to open or unlock something, simply never gets old. If you miss the part in Phantom Hourglass where you are being chased by Phantom in a dungeon, you will be having those moments again in this title.
Same Feel of the dungeons
As with every other Zelda game that is out, there will be dungeons that Link explores. Spirit Tracks is no different since the dungeon’s layout is the same and nothing has changed. There will be puzzles in each dungeon that Link will have to solve in order to get a key, but don’t worry it’s not hard. As always, there will be mini boss battles and big boss battles in each dungeon. Defeating the bosses is no brainer; all you need to do is look for the pattern.
With the exception of traveling via Train, Spirit Tracks doesn’t offer any new features that will wow fans of the series. The good things that we love about the Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass are here, don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing, but fans that are looking for something new, will be disappointed with this game.
The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks is a title that every Zelda fan should get. There is nothing ground breaking that players should be surprised about however. Fans that played Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass shouldn’t have a hard time playing through it. Navigating the train is indeed a fresh way to travel through the land of Hyrule, but anything besides that will have the same feel as when you played the two games. Nevertheless, The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks is a must get DS game for this holiday.The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks Review,