Stick It To The Man!
What?...WHAT?!...You control everything with the stylus?! EVERYTHING? Well that's not gonna work is it? HA! I thought those very same thoughts before i grabbed this game. The fact that you controlled everything with the stick just wouldn't work for me in my head. So i grabbed myself a copy of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass because I was intruiged by this, and because I'm a big Zelda fan of course. But i wont let bias get in the way dont worry.
So what's the epic tale behind this beauty? Well the story takes place straight after Wind Waker. Incase you haven't played it, Link slays Ganondorf in the end...bet you wouldn't have guessed that. So in an afterwards celebration, Link, Tetra and the pirates all went to do more sailng...as if they hadn't done enough. However, in Phantom Hourglass, on one of their travels they encounter a ghost ship. This ship of lost souls sucked Tetra into it! Holy **** right?! Link desperately tries to save her, but alas he fails and ends up getting washed away instead!
As the seas wash Link onto dry shore, he befriends a fairy named Ciela. From there on he finds out he's been washed up onto a new village called Mercay Island, and from there all of Link's attempts is to save Tetra from that evil ghost ship. Of course, as you progress the plot thickens!
So the stick control? It's actually pretty nifty! You control all aspects of the game with it, from the movements of Link himself, to the weapons you kick ass with. It's very innovative indeed! It's extemely accurate control, when moving Link around, the farther the stylus is away from him, the faster he will run. When it comes to swinging your sword, you can either swipe a line in between your enemy and Link to manually slash. Or tap on the enemy you wish to hit, and depending on how far away you are he will jump attack, or normal attack. OR (my personal favourite) if you draw a big circle around Link, he will do that legendary spin attack.
The weapons are executed in the same innovative way! The boomerang being the best. To use the boomerang, you draw the path where you wish for it to go, take away the stylus, and the boomerang flies to your desired target. All the other weapons are pretty simple. To throw a bomb, tap the target. To fire an arrow, tap the target. It's simple and easy...and a lot of fun.
Also, sailing is back! You meet a so-called legendary sailor called Linebeck, and he let's you use his sailboat in order to explore the seas. Being out on sea is much more exciting than Wind Waker. To move, you draw a path on your map, and the ship just moves on its own. Whilst it moves, you can use your cannon to pulverise anything that gets in your way! Just tap the screen to fire. There's an enemy encounter every 10 - 20 seconds I'd say, it keeps you on your toes when sailing from one end to the other. But you can grab portals for shortcuts on the sea anyway, I wont reveal how you get them though :P. Also the salvage arm is back too! Except this time they have gone into more depth. When retrieveing treasure from the bottom of the sea, you have to control the arm from a side-on view, and dodge the mines by controlling it's pan and pace. Very cool add-in to the game, its a bit of a challange half the time as well.
The graphics are exactly like Wind Waker, obviously not as good on a handheld, but still gives off the magic it did on gamecube. It's very clear though, and you can tell the producers tried hard on the quality the whole way through.
The sound is similar to that of Wind Waker, in fact I'm sure they use some of the sounds again. But it's all great to listen to. The twinkles from Ciela, and the slash from your sword sound like fine music to your ears! And the music in the game are mostly remixes of the usual tunes. EG, the sailing tune from Wind Waker, and the Goron drums etc. However there are some fine new jingles in there as well, all of it will make you smile though.
One negative I will point out is the fact that there aren't too many tangents like an ordinary Zelda game. No more heart pieces! Just full heart containers to collect. And sure there are a few islands to explore, but not enough to perhaps take you away from the main plot for a while.
A fine adventure game! That's pretty much all you need to know. The control is the main aspect of this game, and it doesn't let down at all. You'll find yourself getting used to it very quickly. Along with the ability to make notes on your map, and to use everything with your stylus, I'd say this is probably the most interactive and innovative game I've ever played. Plus it's a Zelda game, that just fine-tunes it all! So if you feel the need to kick some evil ass, grab this game now - it's just a touch away.