‘The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks’ Hands On First Impressions

The_Legend_of_Zelda_Spirit_Tracks_box_artI’ve recently fallen in love with The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, so I was excited at Nintendo’s Big Apple Comic Con booth to have the chance to try the sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, due out for the Nintendo DS later this year.

Animated in the same style as Phantom Hourglass and the Gamecube classic The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Spirit Tracks plays very much the same. Players control Link by dragging the stylus across the screen in the direction you want him to move. Attacking and other actions are also done using the stylus. While I had hoped they would have worked in the use of the directional pad to control Link in this game, it’s understandable that they’d want to keep the mechanics the same for returning players.

What is very different about Spirit Tracks is the ability to control a Phantom, one of the enemies in Phantom Hourglass. The Phantom can do a lot that Link cannot, such as walking through fire or across a pit of lava. Controlling the Phantom was as easy as tapping the Phantom, and then drawing a line in the path that you wanted him to go. This was a little frustrating when trying to get the Phantom to turn corners, because if the line was drawn too close to the wall he’d get stuck.

Even more frustrating was the fact that if the Phantom had to go ahead of Link to clear the way, Link wouldn’t just follow after him, you have to direct him over to the Phantom. It wasn’t difficult, mostly just time consuming. However, the addition of the Phantom added a lot to my experience and made Spirit Tracks feel like its own game, rather than just a straight sequel to Phantom Hourglass.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks will be available for Nintendo DS on December 7th.

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