The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass DSi and DS Lite
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The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass Product Details
Released on 19-Oct-2007
The epic story of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker continues as Link finds himself lost and alone in unknown seas in a new adventure. Featuring intuitive touch-screen controls and innovative puzzles, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass offers new challenges for fans of the series and an easy-to-grasp introduction for gamers new to The Legend of Zelda. But time grows short, and only the Phantom Hourglass can buy Link the minutes he’ll need to survive.
Many months have passed since the events of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Link, Tetra and Tetra’s band of pirates have set sail in search of new lands. They come across a patch of ocean covered in a dense fog, in which they discover an abandoned ship. Tetra falls into danger when she explores the ship alone, and Link falls into the ocean when he attempts to rescue her. When he washes up unconscious on the shores of a mysterious island, he is awakened by the sound of a fairy’s voice. With the aid of this fairy, he sets off to find Tetra – and his way back to the seas he once knew.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is controlled almost entirely by the stylus. Using the touch screen, players direct Link’s movements and attacks: A sweeping motion triggers Link’s spin attack and tapping characters makes Link speak with them. The stylus controls offer a more intuitive means of playing the game and open up new possibilities for puzzle solving.
The game action takes place primarily on the touch screen, with a map on the top screen. However, the player can inspect the map on the touch screen and make notes using the stylus. The notes on these maps are saved for review on the top screen during game play. Players use the map to chart courses for their ships, too. Using the stylus to draw a path through the islands, players set their ships’ courses. Then, as the ships automatically follow the paths drawn, players can control their ships’ cannons to target oncoming enemies.
In dungeons, players can use the touch screen to draw paths for boomerangs, sending them flying around corners or into otherwise unreachable areas.
The stylus-driven game play is the most compelling new feature of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Players use the stylus to control Link, chart courses for their ships, mark notes on maps and solve puzzles in both the overworld and dungeons. A two-player wireless battle mode pits one player, as Link, against another player who controls the enemies pursuing him. Link must collect enough Force Gems before the enemies close in.
- The stylus makes controlling Link easier than ever. Tap on the screen to make Link move, or sweep the stylus around him to swing the sword. Players can even draw a path for his boomerang and send it flying into hard-to-reach targets.
- Players can stash the map on the top screen for quick reference or drop it to the touch screen to make notes, study enemies, or chart a path for their boat to follow while they man the cannons.
- Compete with a friend over a local wireless connection: Guide Link through special dungeons to capture the Triforce, or command the forces that oppose him.
One for the phans...
Celda, they called it. It was the GameCube's most controversial game and Zelda's most dramatic change in direction since the ill-advised side-scrolling second NES outing, but the cartoony Wind Waker nonetheless had its followers. And despite Twilight Princess's return to a grittier, mainstream aesthetic, Nintendo clearly hasn't forgotten its older, more stylised success. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on DS is very much the next chapter in Link's epic seafaring story.
Like its GameCube big brother, Phantom Hourglass will present Link's adventures in full cel-shaded (that is, black-outlined) 3D, giving Phantom Hourglass the feel of a moving comic book. However, Phantom Hourglass will play somewhat differently to its colourful forebear by giving gamers a top-down perspective more akin to traditional Zelda outings than the third-person cam of home console versions.
It's a trade-off that's looking entirely worth it. Not only is Phantom Hourglass looking stunning for a handheld title, but the control system is built entirely around the birds-eye viewpoint. Making ingenious use of the DS' idiosyncratic features, you'll guide Link almost entirely with the stylus and touch screen; pointing to move, tapping objects and people to interact, and swishing and stroking to attack with sword or other weapons. To put it in context, Phantom Hourglass' touch-screen controls make Wii Twilight Princess' masterful motion mimicking feel utterly redundant.
Phantom Hourglass also promises to completely reinvent the videogame map system. Never have we seen a map screen like this, where you'll swiftly transfer the map to the touch screen and sit there jotting down all sorts of notes on it with your stylus – treasure locations, unsolved puzzles, you name it – for future reference, just like a real-life professional elf-cum-explorer (such as Link is, of course) would do.
Phantom Hourglass promises possibly the perfect blend between longevity and pick-up-and-play portable fun.
And it's not only that which Nintendo have used inventively; Phantom Hourglass will boast tons off neat little DS-specific touches; transferring things between screens by closing the DS, spreading the play to the top screen on occasion; solving puzzles by blowing on the mic... and these are just the tip of Phantom Hourglass's genuine Nintendo genius.
All of which will come in handy for Phantom Hourglass's diverse, sprawling adventure. Like in Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass sees you once again trying to track down a kidnapped Tetra by exploring a mixture of a water-strewn overworld, devious dungeons and, on occasion (though far less so than on home systems) a small town here and there for the odd fetch-and-carry sidequest. It is supposedly shorter than the Zeldas on the bigger systems, but Phantom Hourglass promises possibly the perfect blend between longevity and pick-up-and-play portable fun.
The DS's defining release?
A big factor in Phantom Hourglass's longevity is going to be multiplayer, which we can see hordes of Zelda-loving DS owners absolutely loving this winter and beyond. Described at its most basic as two-player Pac-Man, one player controls a treasure-hungry Link while the other guides guards trying to trap the green-clad scamp – and the best bit is you can play it locally – via both ad hoc and download play, so you won't necessarily need two Phantom Hourglass carts – and, crucially, online.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, then, could well be the DS's defining release and one of the year's uppermost top titles. Indeed, Wind Waker may remain the Zelda series' most hotly debated release, but if Phantom Hourglass ends up delivering as promised then this second Celda will deserve nothing but universal acclaim.
Preview by: Mark Scott
Preview Published: 28.09.07
Following the recent celebrations of Super Mario's 25th Anniversary, another Nintendo series has reached a similar milestone. With the original Legend of Zelda going on sale in Japan on 21st February 1986, the franchise is officially 25 today.
Sales of Zelda games topped 60 million last year, and while it hasn't been quite as commercially successful as the Mario and Pokon titles, the series remains one of Nintendo's biggest hits.
Though Nintendo hasn't announced plans for a compilation similar to this year's Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, it does have two Zelda games planned for release this year. First with us should be The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a remake of the N64 classic for Nintendo's newest portable. Ocarina of Time remains the most critically-acclaimed game of all time, and the new version benefits from reworked puzzles and controls as well as revamped visuals to make the most of the 3D effect.
Later this year, we'll also see The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for the Wii, which utilises the Wii MotionPlus add-on for 1:1 sword controls as well as introducing a new Impressionistic art style. Most excitingly, creator Eiji Aonuma has promised a number of major changes to the Zelda formula. Tinkering with tradition has historically brought about some of the franchise's most memorable moments - from the inventive 3-day structure of Majora's Mask to the initially divisive cel-shaded visuals of Wind Waker - so we're happy to learn that we're in for a fresh take on this much-loved series.
We'll bring you release date news for both games as soon as we get it.
Mario may have had a brand new game announced at GDC, but Zelda wasn't left out of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech. In fact, there was plenty of news to go around.
First up, Iwata revealed that the 3DS remake of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be hitting shelves in June. That's soon! Fantastic stuff.
Secondly, he showed a new trailer for the new Wii adventure The Skyward Sword, which is expected by the end of the year. Making use of the Wii's Motionplus peripheral for added precision, the new trailer showed lots of combat, but also puzzle sections where Link has to manipulate 3D objects to open doors, and a tight-rope walking set-piece where the player must keep the remote level to stop Link from falling. The game looks incredible, too.
Finally, Iwata teased "something" related to Zelda to mark the series' 25th anniversary, which is this year. He wouldn't say what the plan is, but admitted that Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto is working on a treat for Zelda fans everywhere. What could it be?
In the latest Iwata Asks, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto talks about why he's been so eager to update N64 games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 for the company's new 3DS handheld.
"One major reason is that at the time of their release, both games ran at the limit in terms of polygon counts and frame rates," Miyamoto said in the latest Iwata Asks (thanks to Andriasang for the translation and Eurogamer for the spot). The update has given his team the perfect opportunity to deliver the games as they were always intended to be - with the added bonus of 3D visuals.
Miyamoto went on to add that gamers who played the games first at school would now be in their mid-twenties, and that "the time was right for a remake."
We personally can't wait to get the chance to charge across Hyrule Field again when Ocarina of Time hits the 3DS in June. Star Fox 3DS is due out later this year, while the console itself hits shelves on 25th March - that's really, really soon!
Nintendo is one of the most secretive developers around: the Japanese videogame legend makes some of the best games in the business, but it rarely lets us in on how it works. Now, though, Nintendo spilled the beans on how the famous targeting system for Zelda: Ocarina of Time came about.
These days, plenty of action games allow you to pull a trigger to lock onto an enemy, but Zelda N64 outing was the first to come up with the idea and it was inspired, according to the game general director, Toru Osawa, by a trip to a theme park.
Speaking to Nintendo head honcho on the latest Iwata Asks, Osawa remembers: "We thought if we went [to the theme park], we might get some ideas. We got our boss's approval, and Koizumi-san, Ikeda-san and I went. It sure was a hot summer! We ducked into a playhouse to cool off. They were doing a ninja show. A number of ninja were surrounding the main samurai and one lashed out with a kusarigama (sickle-and-chain). The lead samurai caught it with his left arm, the chain stretched tight, and the ninja moved in a circle around him."
The fact that each ninja attacked one at a time, giving the samurai the chance to defeat them, was all the inspiration the Nintendo team needed to revolutionise 3D gaming controls. It an amazing story and if you want to see how it turned out, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is out right now for the 3DS.
The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hour… (28/09/2007)
One for the phans...
Celda, they called it. It was the GameCube's most controversial game and Zelda's most dramatic ch…
With the original Legend of Zelda going on sale in Japan on 21st February 1986, the franchise is officially 25 today.…
Mario may have had a brand new game announced at GDC, but Zelda wasn't left out of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's keynote speech. In fact, there was plenty of news to go around.…
In the latest Iwata Asks, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto talks about why he's been so eager to update N64 games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 for the company's new 3DS handhel…
Nintendo is one of the most secretive developers around: the Japanese videogame legend makes some of the best games in the business, but it rarely lets us in on how it works. Now, though, Nintendo spi…
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