US : October 1, 2007
Japan : June 23, 2007
Europe : October 19, 2007
Australia : October 11, 2007
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Nintendo EAD
Director : Daiki Iwamoto
Producer : Shigeru Miyamoto
Genre : Action, Adventure
Platform : Nintendo DS
Game Type : 64 Megabit Cartridge
Mode : Single Player, Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer
ESRB : E (Everyone)
Metacritic : 90%
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to 2003's The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and is the first Zelda title on Nintendo's DS console.
Phantom Hourglass returns to the bright, cartoon-style of graphics used in The Wind Waker, and picks up some time after Link sailed off with Tetra and her band of pirates. We join them as they enter a part of the ocean said to be protected by a great spirit known as the Ocean King. The same waters are rumoured to be haunted by the Ghost Ship, a ship which Link and Tetra soon encounter. Tetra, who is not swayed by the terrible stories that follow the Ghost Ship, leaps aboard it to investigate. Yet no sooner is she aboard, the ship begins to sail away. Link attempts to leap across to the Ghost Ship to help Tetra, but he falls into the ocean, losing consciousness. Tetra is carried away on the Ghost Ship, and Link floats away in the ocean.
Link awakens on an unfamiliar island, with no sign of the pirates, without his sword, and no idea where he actually is. With the help of two companions who join him shortly afterwards, Link must journey across these strange seas in search of Tetra and the Ghost Ship. Along the way, he will meet lots of new people, encounter some dangerous enemies, and collect some helpful items.
Phantom Hourglass is unique for a DS adventure game, as it is almost entirely controlled by the stylus. Gamers simply draw lines for Link to follow, tap or slash at enemies to attack them, and tap icons to access menus and equip items. The learning curve is incredibly fast, as the control system is extremely intuitive. The game takes advantage of all of the DS's features. The dungeons still feel like Zelda dungeons, however they are a little different from the old map-item-compass formula, and with the addition of certain enemies that cannot easily be killed, stealth becomes an important part of the game. The sailing element from Wind Waker remains, and exploring the many islands is an important part of the game. In The Wind Waker the sailing was criticised for being boring, and in Phantom Hourglass it has been vastly improved.
Taking advantage of the DS's Wi-Fi capabilities, Phantom Hourglass also includes a 2-player battle mode, where players take turns controlling either Link or three Phantoms and compete to see who can get the most force gems.