Since this is a Zelda game I would normally hold it to a higher standard, but since it was the successor to Phantom Hourglass my expectations going in were low. They did fix a few minor annoying things that were present in Phantom Hourglass but there was still a lot of artificial difficulty that frustrated me. It manifested itself mostly in the controls and handling of the game.
Deciding not to use buttons for any real function greatly hurt the game, and caused too many controls to be dependent on the stylus. You should never have the stylus being used for multiple things at the same time, like in this case attacking and moving, this results in your character sometimes performing the wrong action (or in my case jumping into a vat of lava with only half a heart remaining rather than striking the near by vases that had hearts). Another thing that introduced artificial difficulty was the usage of the mic (without any button substitutes) the makers assume you will be playing in a quiet environment without any background noise. Since I like to play my DS in public where there is ton of background noise this caused the games instrument and one of the weapons to be permanently active when I tried to use them, making them extra difficult to use.
Outside of the artificial difficulty that really hurt the game, it did not add anything of value to the Zelda franchise. Using a transportation thing like train (or boat) for almost half of the game is not what Zelda is about (Note that Windwaker's awesome and unique plot overcame this).
I only played for a couple hours and just could not get into this game.... clunky controls make it hard to play. I kept wanting to use the directional keys to move around, but was forgetting this game didn't allow that... stylus movement only!!! Very hard to control and not any fun. Got it yesterday, returned it today!!!!
This game is sadly sub-par zelda game at best. It takes all the best parts of WW and PA and turns it into a very tedious and boring game. The pure lazyness of nintendo shows when they make the buttons and the pad do the exact same thing which they could have I dunno used that for movement and combat instead of forcing everyone to play a game on a stylus.
Unlike PA riding the train is nothing but tedious, redundant, and just a gimmick. There is no fun exploration or enjoyment out of it.
The combat does not flow at all and at times can be so unresponsive that you have to wonder why nintendo thought using movement and fighting both with the stylus would somehow magically still work despite all the complaints in WW and PA.
You cannot upgrade anything and your selection of weapons is shameless at best. You also cannot upgrade your train which I think is because they just got tired of pretending this game is anything but a cash in of a popular series.
The spirit temple is very annoying and zelda is nothing but a wannabe navi but with no real personality.
This is a game that I would definitally recommend renting because being a zelda fan doesn't automatically mean you are going to love anything nintendo spits out at you.
Leading me to wrap up my review with thank god for gamefly because without this service I would have wasted 30 bucks on this game that people shamlessly praise. Which probably is a testament to nintendo's fan base