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!!!!
I am a huge Zelda fan but the fact that they used the mic to play the musical instrument is a good Idea but horribly implemented. Try going to one of the sanctuaries and playing the flute via mic on a loud bus or busy street, OR EVEN WINDY DAY.....IMPOSSIBLE. The most frustrating game development I have come across on the Nintendo DS. Unless you plan on playing this game in you air tight, quiet basement. Just wait for the next installment of the Zelda franchise.