Early impressions on the Phantom Hourglass

By Spencer . July 9, 2007 . 4:44pm

linkpha1.jpg

Between playing Persona 3, Luminous Arc and E3 planning I haven’t spent too much time on the Phantom Hourglass. I started it over the weekend and the adventure begins when Link gets separated from Tetra. He awakens on an island, without a sword and a shield to defend himself with. The first thing you have to do is get used to the touch screen control. You point to where you want Link to run and you can tap on a pot to make Link pick it up. Once Link is holding a pot over his head you can tap on the screen where you want to throw it. While the system sounds unorthodox, the Legend of Zelda: the Phantom Hourglass feels natural and intuitive.

 

By entering a cave (how familiar!) Link can find a sword and slash red slimes by swiping the stylus. There are three basic attacks Link can do:

 

linkpha2.jpgA wide horizontal slash by drawing a curved line with the stylus.

A thrust attack by drawing a straight line from Link’s position to where you want to poke. The lunge doesn’t have as much width, but Link steps forward when he uses it.

A spinning slash by drawing a circle around Link. Similar to the Wind Waker, if you use the spin attack Link may become dizzy and freeze for a few seconds.

 

With a sword in hand Link is ready to take on the first cave and switch pulling puzzle. There are four switches and Link needs to pull them in order. Clues are written on four rock slabs, but you need to be able to read Japanese to figure out the correct order. If you put in the wrong order worms fall from the sky and attack Link. This isn’t the only puzzle that requires reading Japanese to solve and it looks like the Phantom Hourglass is not going to be an import friendly game.

 

Thus far it’s been enjoyable and the graphics are brilliant. I also like how the Phantom Hourglass is lighthearted and peppered with humor in contrast to the Twilight Princess. More impressions are coming once I get through a few dungeons.


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  • Alexander

    If the touch controls don’t bother me, I think I’m really going to enjoy this game.

    Also, I can’t wait until next month for Luminous Arc. :)

  • the_importer

    Hey Spencer, how do you handle equipped weapons besides the sword? I didn’t want to read anything on the game in order not to spoil the surprise, but I would like to know how weapon equipping works. Can you equip 3 or 4 weapons on different buttons like in the 3D Zelda games or are we back to 1 weapon at the time like in the 2D Zelda games?

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @the_importer – it’s one item only and the weapons are controlled with the stylus too. When you get the boomerang it ‘s in the top right hand corner and you poke it to switch weapons. If you want to switch the boomerang for something else you hit item on the bottom right corner and then select the item you want to use.

  • the_importer

    it’s one item only and the weapons are controlled with the stylus too. When you get the boomerang it ’s in the top right hand corner and you poke it to switch weapons. If you want to switch the boomerang for something else you hit item on the bottom right corner and then select the item you want to use.

    Without using menus, that’s pretty cool. Hope they release a DEMO at the DS stations like they did in Japan.

  • Aoshi00

    I really can’t wait to play this game, the graphics look very good too and I liked Winder Waker. I love the way you can draw the trajectory of the boomerang w/ the stylus. I think the stylus control would be responsive for the most part.

    If I’m not so busy w/ Folklore and Eternal Sonata (& the upcoming Persona 3), I would import it this instant.

  • the_importer

    I really can’t wait to play this game, the graphics look very good too and I liked Winder Waker. I love the way you can draw the trajectory of the boomerang w/ the stylus. I think the stylus control would be responsive for the most part.

    If I’m not so busy w/ Folklore and Eternal Sonata (& the upcoming Persona 3), I would import it this instant.

    How is Eternal Sonata anyway? I’m curious to know if this is a hardcore Japanese RPG or if it’s just an RPG for XBOX360 in the sense that it’s only purpose for existence is so that M$ can say “We have JRPGs on our system”.

  • Aoshi00

    If you like real time battles like Star Ocean 3 or Tales of Symphonia, you will like Eternal Sonata. Plus it’s got a very good story and cast of characters to boot, not to mention the unbelievable graphics and music, so in a sense, this is my first true next-gen RPG (I just didn’t get into Enchanted Arms..), since Folklore is more of an action RPG.

    Well, JRPGs do make or break a system, but this is w/o a doubt a good game. W/ Lost Odyssey and more games coming up, I really wish Jpn would give the 360 a chance, instead of concentrating on the adult games niche market, which is just a wrong direction..

  • the_importer

    If you like real time battles like Star Ocean 3 or Tales of Symphonia, you will like Eternal Sonata. Plus it’s got a very good story and cast of characters to boot, not to mention the unbelievable graphics and music, so in a sense, this is my first true next-gen RPG (I just didn’t get into Enchanted Arms..), since Folklore is more of an action RPG.

    Is it better than Blue Dragon?

    Well, JRPGs do make or break a system, but this is w/o a doubt a good game. W/ Lost Odyssey and more games coming up, I really wish Jpn would give the 360 a chance, instead of concentrating on the adult games niche market, which is just a wrong direction..

    Make or Brake a system, well I guess in Japan that may be the case. As for the Japanese consumers, they seem too like this kind of stuff >_> : http://gonintendo.com/?p=20982

  • Aoshi00

    Oh yeah, dang I forgot Blue Dragon, that’s my first next-gen RPG.. It’s hard to compare, Blue Dragon is as old school as you can get for a turn-based RPG, just get nostalgic about it (and make me dream about a 3D Chrono Trigger or sequel). To be honest, story-wise it’s more mature than Blue Dragon, but both games’ gameplay are addictive in their own way.

    Lol, I know “Doki Doki Majo Shinpan”, the “sold out” in the store is so funny. I guess this game is kind of cute and does satiate our little devils. Witch-hunting, not a bad idea..

  • the_importer

    Lol, I know “Doki Doki Majo Shinpan”, the “sold out” in the store is so funny. I guess this game is kind of cute and does satiate our little devils. Witch-hunting, not a bad idea..

    Ya, what an excuse, I’m betting there’s no witch at all :P

  • Lawrence

    I just picked up the game and I’m really enjoying it so far. The touch controls have felt very natural and intuitive. My only complaint is that if you guide link to the edge of a cliff he doesn’t hesitate to jump off, really, and I’ve accidentally made him jump into the water like 7 times so far! He can’t swim, so you lose half a heart every time you make him jump into the water. It’s been frustrating. Aside from that, though, I think the game’s brilliant so far.

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