The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is an adventure game developed by Nintendo and published for the Nintendo DS. It is the second Legend of Zelda game to be released on the DS and is the sequel to the 2002/2007 games: The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass.
Why It Rocks
- Travel through Hyrule by train.
- Zelda is a playable character for the first time in the series (not counting the infamous CD-i games).
- The game takes more advantage of the stylus and the microphone than its predecessor.
- Much more gameplay and quests.
- Many secrets and unlockables.
- It is the first game in the series with a real-time item selection, which is carried over in Skyward Sword
- The train can be fully customized.
- Rolling simply requires double-tapping the touch screen, instead of circling at an extreme with the stylus.
- The signature central dungeon, Tower of Spirits, no longer includes a curse that weakens Link and kills him when the time limit runs out. Due to this change, the time limit itself has also been omitted. This renders the "Safe Zones" only useful for hiding from enemies. In addition, the floors of the Tower only have to be explored once each, as there's a central staircase that allows direct access to newer areas. Princess Zelda, who replaces Ciela from Phantom Hourglass as Link's partner, serves a more helpful purpose through her ability to possess Phantoms that inhabit the tower.
- Obtainment of Train Cars is easier than the search of Ship Parts in Phantom Hourglass, whose locations are entirely random. In this game, they can be purchased with treasures, which are still random, but also present in a wider variety of forms and objects; thanks to this, search for the golden parts can be made more directly. Another aspect that simplifies the Train Car collection is that the Spirit Train itself will have up to four different cars only, as opposed to the S.S. Linebeck's eight ship pieces.
- Controls are much simpler than Phantom Hourglass.
- More clean and polished graphics.
- In regards to the audio, the game has a more diverse soundtrack than its predecessor, although the sound effects are similar.
- Up to fifty hours of gameplay.
- The Tower of Spirits, while better than the temple of the ocean king, is still tedious to come back to and explore.
- Like the last game, the stylus controls are subjective. Some people like it, others do not.
- Regarding WIR#12, the graphics do not look good by today's standards.
Spirit Tracks has received generally favorable reviews, which have mostly commented on how it managed to improve on its predecessor, Phantom Hourglass and calling it "far more diverse".
GameSpot praised the design of the dungeons, the participation of Princess Zelda in this adventure, and the diversity of sidequests. Metacritic gives the game a score of 87/100, based on 44 critic reviews.