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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (210)

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Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5
Blaster Master Zero 4/5
Dragon Quest Heroes: Th... 4/5
Super Mario 3D Land 4.5/5

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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks   Nintendo DS / DSi 

Zelda and Trains Do Not Go Well Together    3.5/5 stars

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks provides good dungeons and puzzles but its use of a train as the mode of transportation causes the game to slow down and become tedious at times and combine that with the clumsy stylus as the only way to play, it makes this one of, if not the worst Zelda game out there.

Before I go too deep into my review, let me be clear about one thing. This is a Zelda game, it's good. Even the worst Zelda game is better than a lot of stuff out there. But, when you compare it to all the other Zelda games Nintendo has made this game is low on the list because of a couple things that I will get into later.

The story behind this particular Zelda game is familiar. Link, who in this game wants to become a train engineer, meets Zelda and an evil villain captures her and separates her spirit from her body. When this happens all the train tracks throughout the world disappear. Zelda follows Link as he tries to bring back the tracks and return Zelda to her body. So really it's the same story but different tune. Save Zelda and the world from evil.

This is the second Zelda game that was released for the Nintendo DS. Just like it's predecessor, Phantom Hourglass, this game uses Wind Waker style cartoon graphics and makes the player use the stylus to control Link throughout the game. The DS is pretty limited on graphic abilities so these Zelda games look all right but not great. The stylus makes fighting enemies and jumping pits mostly harder than it should be. You'll most likely fall off ledges you don't think you should or take unnecessary damage from enemies because you didn't swipe the style just right. It is a cool mechanic to be able to draw exactly where you want the boomerang to go and to be able to write notes on the map for referencing purposes but I wish they would have let you move Link around via the D-pad if so desired.

The main problem I have with this game is this whole train system. Early on in the game I was onboard. You make your way from a village to Hyrule Castle and eventually to the first dungeon in the forest realm. Speeding up, slowing down, avoiding enemies, blowing the whistle and defeating enemies with the cannon was fun. But, as the map grows and more and more tracks become available it starts to feel tedious and repetitive. When you're on the train there isn't a wide variety of enemies to take on. You'll encounter the same things over and over again and you start to wish you can just get to your destination already. There is a warp gate system but it's limited and not that useful overall.

What makes this worse is that the vast majority of side quests in this game require you to fetch things from one place to another. This might mean transporting wood from one place to another so something can be built. Or, someone wants to go from one town to another. And, if you transport a person you have to follow the rules of the track. Don't blow the whistle when the sign says and the passenger will get upset. Get hit by an enemy and the same thing happens. Do enough bad things and you have to start over. The most annoying side quest is hunting for rabbits that hide behind boulders or barrels throughout the whole world. The DS can't handle all these things appearing on screen until you get close so you find yourself twirling the camera almost constantly as you ride down a new track.

One other thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the use of the DS's microphone. You can play songs which require you to blow into the mic to make sound. Once again it's cool at first because it makes the game more interactive but I got tired of it. There is also an item that blows wind and you have to do the same thing. I thought it was unnecessary. This is a handheld on the go game, It'd be nice if I could just sit and play and be comfortable.

Fortunately, what saves this game from being just absolutely awful is the dungeons and puzzles. It's classic Zelda and it's done quite well. I had a blast going through dungeons and finding all the treasure chests. Even the bosses were fun using the items you got in the dungeon without being confusing or overly difficult. I wish there were more of them in this game.

This game isn't overly long. You can beat this game in 20-30 hours and still get all the heart containers and beat all the main side quests. This game would have been significantly shorter if the train was more efficient. I feel like at least half the time I was playing this game I was driving a train down the track.

I think the other DS Zelda game Phantom Hourglass was better and if you want to try out one of these stylus based Zelda games I'd suggest trying that one out before this one. Unless, of course, you just love trains then by all means go ahead and play this one.

This game, at times, was really fun. But, there were big stretches where it felt slow and tedious due to the train. Because of that, this game leans towards more towards average than great.

3.5/5

 

 


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