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The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

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GF Rating
8.3

3923 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
7

Good

Good game, bad save

posted by Janelle (MADISON, AL) Mar 17, 2009

Member since Feb 2009

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I really enjoyed the game play of this game. The story line was easy to follow, and the challenges difficult and interesting enough to keep my attention for long periods of time. The main problem I had with this game was the save system. When I was finished and saved, the game never saved from where I was. One day, I saved and went to play a while later, and the game had saved me at a point two hours earlier then when I quit!! The save system was very frustrating, so I gave up the game. I do not have time to sit and play a game through its entirety, and I hate saving and reloading not knowing where the game would respond me and what tasks I would have to re-do.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Must-buy!

posted by Strongbad1 (ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL) Oct 5, 2007

Member since Aug 2006

25 out of 35 gamers (71%) found this review helpful

This game is fantastic! The controls are fun, there is lots of things to do, lots of places to explore and a lot of options for ship customization. You can go fishing, you can hunt for treasure (in more ways than one!), or you can just follow the story!
This game uses every single feature the DS has to offer from voice, to even folding the ds itself!
It also has a very fun online game that you will most likely try out more than once (If not, 100+ times). The sound is superb (by DS's standards) and the graphics do impress (also,by the DS's standards)! I haven't even finished the game yet, but I already know that I like this game more than any of the games I currently own.

Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 9.8
replay ability:10

Overall: 10

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GF Rating
7

Good

Pretty good

posted by MetalMario (PITTSFIELD, NH) Oct 27, 2010

Member since Apr 2010

3 out of 4 gamers (75%) found this review helpful

I had avoided this game for some time because, like many other people, I was skeptical about the alleged awesomeness of the all-touch controls. Well, I'm the first to admit when I'm wrong. If you're still holding out because of similar anxiety, let me assure you that the all-touch controls of "Phantom Hourglass" work smoothly and intuitively, and it takes hardly any time at all to get used to it. The ability to make notes on your maps is a welcome and useful feature, and being able to set a course for your ship by simply drawing a line on your sea chart makes sailing much less tedious than it was in "The Wind Waker". Compared to other Zelda games, "Phantom Hourglass" is a little bit anemic when it comes to content and variety, but the excellent controls will ensure that you'll have a blast playing through what's there. The game looks great and sounds great too. The only major complaint I have concerns the infamous Temple of the Ocean King. You have to return to this dungeon many times throughout the course of the adventure, and, every single time, you're forced to trek through the same floors, collect the same items, and solve the same puzzles, all with a bothersome time limit. It's tedious, it's annoying, and Nintendo really ought to have known better. Still, that isn't reason enough to avoid this game. If you haven't yet played "Phantom Hourglass", I suggest you do so.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

A great game

posted by pezboy92 (SOUTH AMBOY, NJ) Oct 12, 2007

Member since Sep 2007

12 out of 18 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass truly revamps the DS library. It is one of the best looking games on the DS. If you were ske[tical about the stylus only control, do not be. The control is fun and innovative. If you did not play Windwaker, you might be a tad lost, but nothing to worry about. To hardcore Zelda fans, you might be a little upset. The game is just simply too easy. This game is missing all of the great and brain bothering puzzles and dungeons. The bosses in this game do not match up to the rest of the franchises. Phantom Hourglass is a must buy. It is a truly great game, but it is only a good Zelda game.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Hey...I've been here before...

posted by javemport (MISSOULA, MT) Nov 8, 2007

Member since Nov 2007

18 out of 31 gamers (58%) found this review helpful

To begin, I will list what I DO like about this game.

1. The presentation is wonderful.

2. The graphics impress.

3. Great sound design.

4. The controls work better than you'd think.

Now the things I dislike.

1. Its Zelda...AGAIN...The formula really needs to change. I am already deathly sick of just saving the princess over and over and over again. Not only that but treading through the typical dungeons looking for the necessary parts of a "key" I need to progress. Really, it has been too long. Zelda needs a revamp...its fun, but tiring. To me, its beginning to feel like a chore.

2. Whyyy....Darn you Temple of the Ocean King!! Retrekking through this tedious dungeon every couple hours made me want to quit. It is an unnecessary hindrance that really slows down the flow of the usually fast paced Zelda experience.

3. The darn cutscenes...I really just want to play, and we know Zelda is lazy with its story(although it shouldn't be). I feel obligated to watch these scenes, but I feel ripped off when they are over. They are very pretty, I won't lie, but they are very elementary. It just feels like unnecessary fluff for a story that doesn't need it. Just let me play. I get it, save the princess...la de dum, just let me use the darn sword.

As a result, this is the first Zelda game I really haven't liked. Whether due to the tedious timed sequences, the overblown importance of the story, or the feeling that I had done this all before, I just couldn't help but be disappointed.

Don't worry, that doesn't go to say its a horrible game. At its core, its Zelda, and its fun...but for the weathered Zelda fan, you may have seen better times. On the other hand, to anyone new to the series without a Wii, it wouldn't kill you to start here.

I don't know, I guess I was just expecting more from Zelda on a platform with little else that caters to the hardcore.
This has opened my eyes to the blatant repetitiveness of Nintendo's titles. Let's just hope they redeem themselves.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

Zelda at its Best

posted by bieseroner (LOS ANGELES, CA) Oct 2, 2007

Member since Mar 2003

5 out of 10 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

This game is very good... it looks like Windwaker from the Gamecube but with a twist. You dont use the control pad to move Link around. You use the stylus and drag it on the screen to control him. You can make notes on the map to point out something to do in the future or to remember where you have been. This games is very good...after you rent it make sure you keep it...

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GF Rating
3

Bad

Zelda for toddlers

posted by dskerman (MADISON, WI) Dec 2, 2007

Member since Sep 2005

9 out of 22 gamers (41%) found this review helpful

After reading reviews for this game on line I was pretty excited about receiving Phantom Hourglass in the mail.

However that excitement turned to disappointment relatively quickly.

The new control scheme, which uses the stylus for almost all interactions works very well. However, this newfound ease of control quickly serves to illuminate how trivial the combat becomes when one isn't forced to struggle against the controls.

This lack of difficulty also extends into the games dungeons. The solution to every puzzle is spelled out for the player to an absurd degree. I didn't go in expecting a mensa quiz, but I sure thought it would be aimed at players who have graduated kindergarten.

If that wasn't enough to steer you away from this game, there's one more thing which wound up being a deal breaker for me. After each of the dungeons you must return to a main dungeon in order to progress. Each time you return the skills you have gained allow you to reach lower levels of the dungeon. However, each time you return you must play through all of the levels you have already completed in order to get to the new areas. While the game does provide some minor shortcuts once you attain certain items, it still seems incredibly punishing and slow. In fact it basically just serves to extend the length of an otherwise short game.

In summary, I cannot recommend this game to anyone who values their free time. It really doesn't add anything of value to the zelda formula, and many areas of the game are needlessly tiring and repetitive.

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GF Rating
7

Good

better than nothing

posted by ultralog (EASTSOUND, WA) Oct 27, 2007

Member since Aug 2006

2 out of 5 gamers (40%) found this review helpful

I only rented this because my son loved windwaker so much on the game cube. I ended up playing most of this one, cause you had to keep going to this stupid temple and getting through it on a time limit, and that just got plain old. Otherwise, it was just like windwaker, and I thought the controls worked well, especially the boomerang. Anyway, Quinn is into that diamond and pearl now, so I'm not even gonna bother beating it. Not a bad game, though, if you like Zelda and have more patience than I do.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Touch Screen Madness ruins yet another game

posted by HotWax (IDAHO FALLS, ID) Nov 16, 2007

Member since Oct 2004

4 out of 13 gamers (31%) found this review helpful

Like most Zelda games, Phantom Hourglass features a rich world filled with brilliant story-telling and good character development. The cast of characters this time around are charming (even Linebeck after awhile) and memorable, and there's no question that, as far as storyline goes, this game earns its place among its peers as another great classic... Or it would, if it weren't for those darned touch screen controls!

Having to control literally EVERYTHING Link does by touching the screen might sound like an interesting novelty at first. Trust me, before long you'll be cursing Nintendo for allowing this terrible control scheme to muck up an otherwise great game. The basic controls are simple -- touch where you want Link to go, tap an enemy to have Link perform a leap attack, touch villagers to interact with them, and so on. The trouble comes when you start picking up more exotic abilities. For example, you must slash clumsily across the screen in the general direction of your enemies in order to do a sword-swipe, you draw a large circle to do a spin attack, and you must (supposedly) make small circles "at the edge of the screen" to cause Link to roll. The last move in particular is one that'll have you gritting your teeth in anger -- the only times I ever managed to do it were on accident. It's not all bad, of course. Items like the boomerang and bombchu that allow you to draw a path on the screen work great. On the other hand, items such as the bow and arrow or the hookshot are often harder to control than they should be.

This title could be a hundred times better if Nintendo threw out 95% of the touch controls and used the touch screen only for the cool features -- drawing on the map, plotting a course, etc. As it is I can only in good conscience rate this game as "Fair". Sorry, Nintendo, but after nearly 3 years since the launch of the DS, you should have known better than to ruin yet another potentially great title by making it touch-screen only.

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

The Legend is Back!!!!

posted by ravensnake (WEST HARTFORD, CT) Oct 2, 2007

Member since Oct 2004

2 out of 8 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

People rejoice zelda is here to bring a powerful light to ur ds honestly wat r u doing renting this game? Buy it now wait the controls? u say they might not work? well eat those words the controls are perfect u hold ur stylus on the screen to move if u lift the stylus and swipe it ull swipe ur sword its all straight forward u will get it immediately once u finish the tutorial! and u ask why does it say wi-fi connection on the top? well this zelda brings a whole new experience like no other zelda out there multiplayer! yes u read me right one player plays as link to obtain power gems the more the more points but the other player plays as 3 knights the only down side is that the 3 knights work on a designated paths to get link. now u ask why did it get a 9? well the online for starters the controls hardly feel appropriate and the controls strictly work with only the story and for hardcore fans may feel left behind since as all zeldas are easy now. Bottom line buy this game the only renters here are gamers who never played or heard zelda and those who hate casual games but i highly recomend this game its epic 'nuff said!

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

zelda:Failure of the name

posted by stallion53 (ROCHESTER, NH) Feb 6, 2010

Member since Feb 2010

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

I think that this is the one of the worst games in the history of mankind.The plot was horrible.You could practicaly see everything that came next.The ending was OK,but aside from that I saw no amusment and fun like what the Zelda games are known for.The I thought that having to redo every single floor with at the most 20 minutes to do it.The bosses were terribly easy.....too easy.I wonder what went wrong in the making of it.That is all I have to say so take my word for it.DON'T BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Beautiful Game, Terrible Controls

posted by BigScary (REDMOND, WA) Oct 19, 2009

Member since Oct 2009

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

Personally, I think using the stylus for the basic actions (attack, move) was a very bad idea. I'm constantly twisting my hand and tilting my head because my hand or part of the stylus is covering-up the screen. I wish the game had kept the standard controls (control pad, buttons) for basic moves and reserved the stylus for cool new stuff like drawing on the map and tracing a path for the boomerang.

Despite being a HUGE Zelda fan since the very first game came out on the NES, I just couldn't get past the control scheme to finish this one.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

The same!

posted by BULLY123 (PRATTVILLE, AL) Apr 23, 2009

Top Reviewer

Member since Jul 2008

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

This game is just a little part two to Wind Waker! WHO WOULD WANT THIS?!?!?!!? Now I played the original one. I really hoped that the stupid story of Wind Waker would END! Sadly it came back for another attack! I don't like the story in Wind Waker! And COME ON!!!!! There is NOOOOO way that Tetra is really Zelda! I DON'T BELIVE THAT AND I NEVER WILL!!!!! Why can't Tetra [Fake Zelda!] save herself?! I think Link shoulden't be wasted like this! Do not rent!

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Indeed Phantom. I wish the hourglass ran out =/

posted by danomano89 (BERLIN, NJ) Dec 24, 2008

Member since Dec 2008

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

I must admit I had high expectations for this game, but when I popped it in and started to play, it honestly just felt like an top view re-hash of the GBC oracle games. Only reccomended for the hardcore RPG or Zelda fans.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

One big guide dangit

posted by galdon (ORANGE, TX) Dec 17, 2008

Member since Mar 2007

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

You know the point where you go from innovative, to showing off, to being a jerk? That is what we have here.

Controls: frustrating.

from the moment you get your sword onward, you will do epic battle, against your own stylus. You will frequently end up doing the wrong action, all because you tap the screen too hard or soft

switching items, is also on the touch screen, in real time. as well, certain items lock while others do not, or unlock under certain conditions. making getting out of the way harder than it should be.

Challenge: bipolar

Flip a coin, if heads you will be expected to be a hardcore gamer. No detail will escape your eye, you will be able to create unusual and complex devices from your limited stores of items, and easily overcome any challenge. The game will also tell you to perform actions, referring to YOU you not link you. expecting you to know to yell at, blow on, or close your DS to continue.

If tails, you will be expected to be a 4 year old with no gaming experience. You will not be able to understand concepts so simple as jotting notes down and be told repeatedly to do so, you will also be expected not to look around for yourself or be able to combine anything together, and therefor cut scenes or nearby signs will tell you specifically what to do.

You flip a coin every time you enter a new room or screen.

Entertainment: Addicting

Like most other Zelda games, the game it's self is addicting, regardless of the wallbangers, and frustrations, it will be difficult to put down for long. Play with a guide on hand for the tricky parts, otherwise you will be bald very soon.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

I just don't like it

posted by HippyVock (SEATTLE, WA) Mar 29, 2008

Member since May 2006

1 out of 4 gamers (25%) found this review helpful

I know there are tons of reviews for this game, but I wanted to throw my two cents in. It probably is a good, but I wouldn't know because all I could see was my hand in the way of the screen moving the stylus around and when the game imposed a time limit in an area I was forced to repeat inanely over and over I quit. I enjoyed the Wind Waker's boating and controls, but none of these were present in this Zelda iteration and unless my hand suddenly shrinks to half its size, I can't imagine trying to play the whole game only seeing half the screen. This game belongs on the Wii so I can see it and pilot my ship with style rather than on a predeterimed "jump-rope" course -if you don't know what I mean think "a boat hopping up and down over obstacles in the water." Dumb.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Dissapointing

posted by Poorgamers (TUCSON, AZ) Apr 21, 2009

Member since Nov 2008

1 out of 5 gamers (20%) found this review helpful

So sorry to say it but this game has the WORST game controls. Response to commands are almost always responded to as a freaking sword swing, instead of the intended action. Rolling might as well have been left out of the game. Other then the extremly horrable control style this game is preety good.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

ZELDA

posted by rfjhgj (SUMMIT, NJ) Feb 10, 2009

Member since Sep 2008

2 out of 11 gamers (18%) found this review helpful

it sucks

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

this is true

posted by Fredstick (ARLINGTON, VA) Apr 12, 2009

Member since Dec 2008

1 out of 6 gamers (17%) found this review helpful

this game is horrible

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GF Rating
9

Excellent

good but short

posted by sheryl20 (OAKLAND, CA) Oct 2, 2007

Member since Apr 2007

1 out of 12 gamers (8%) found this review helpful

straight forward!!!
Pros
Gorgeous graphics and sound; classic Zelda game play with out all the fetch quests; spot-on style; beautiful 3D on the DS; fun multiplayer.
Cons
Stylus control imprecision,Touch pad control is sometimes tedious; no other control choices; short.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Debut Zelda title on DS, better with age 10/10

posted by thegamerkirbies (BATH, ME) Jul 12, 2014

Member since May 2013

The stylus controls were very awkward and unwanted the first time i played this game, its especially bad since the normal buttons do absolutely nothing outside of windows/menus.

Once you get past the learning curve, especially coming back to it for a second play through years later its really not that bad. The game play is really solid once you get it down and the story is amazing, link and others show more character than even in windwaker. Excellent collectathon aspects, good puzzles + action sections.

the main temple is a little aggravating/dreadful when you don't know what you are doing, but after you gain your full arsenal and figure your way around, traversing through the dungeon for the last few times is a breeze and fun demolishing obstacles that were more annoying the first time around.

Definitely should play again if you were unsure the first time

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Another classic zelda handheld game must rent

posted by Kev_215 (HARLEYSVILLE, PA) Sep 23, 2013

Member since Feb 2013

This game was fun i feel like it was a game showing off what the DS can do back when it came out. Fun fights, interesting puzzles, decent mini games, lots of treasures and ship parts to collect, pretty easy the only semi challenging part is drawing a fast hour glass on the screen but thats not until way later in the game def rent this game if you are a fan of the series.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

awsome game

posted by gunznbutta (MECHANICSBURG, PA) Jan 29, 2013

Member since Aug 2012

honestly i love zelda games n this one is one of the best its the first game i played were u use the stylus the whole game n its different thats y i like it so much it a cool change for a lil while from a 360 controler n puzzles are fun too!! game is defitatly must play or jus buy

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GF Rating
7

Good

fun game

posted by mcgowanlynette (ABERDEEN, SD) Jun 13, 2012

Member since Nov 2011

ill start with the controlls:
the controlls for this game uses the touch screen to its greatest ability. everything you do is with the touch screen; it's not bad thing, because they also got VERY creative with it. if you love using the touch screen you'll LOVE this game.

the gameplay is so-so, because there it's either really frustrating (e.i all the way through the ocean king's temple.) or really easy (almost every dungeon.).

the story is great! in the beginning tetra (wind waker zelda, who likes being called tetra) gets caught by this ship that literally steals people's life away, and through the whole game you're trying to get her back. the thing is, it's really not that simple, and the twists and turns of the game's story kept me going.

the graphics are cel shadded, so if you don't like those kind of graphics then i guess it's your problem. anyways, the graphics are pretty good for a DS game, besides the underrated art style.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Multiplayer Mode

posted by Stragger (STOUTSVILLE, OH) Dec 4, 2011

Member since Nov 2011

The multiplayer mode is very fun you fing gem stones and get them to your base you can also steal others stones in their base. You have to get them by being the knight which can walk through wind you get close to the by drawing a path with your styles. A VERY FUN GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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