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Are you going to buy an Xbox One X This Holiday Season?

Yes
No
Maybe
Hope to Receive it as a Gift


Game Profile
 Written by Chris Reiter  on September 01, 2006

First Impressions: Link's battle with mental illness soon begins. You touch everything he can't (or won't), because of his chronic OCD. It's okay Link, really.


For Nintendoites with a penchant for more Link, this fall may be Wii this, that, them, and those. Luckily, it's not everything. Nintendo hasn't forgotten about its DS, the dual-screened wonder that's been sweeping the globe up into a touch screen frenzy. Not only does Nintendo have the next epic chapter in Zelda lore coming to GameCube and Wii, they're lining up double duty soon afterward for DS owners with the first installment, The Legend Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, to be featured on the handheld early next year.

It's been awhile since last players set sail away from Link and company in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. With Ganondorf defeated and Tetra's identity revealed, it's in this sequel that Link, Tetra, and her sailing mates will journey the seas in hopes to find new land. All they will find is disaster, though. Link gets separated and washed ashore on uncharted territory. Waking up to a fairy's voice (in this case, the highly bothersome Navi's), it's time for an all new adventure for Link to begin anew.

Given the nature of Nintendo's DS platform, what better way to design a Zelda title specifically for the system than to make every little thing touch-based? That's exactly what Nintendo's goal is in Phantom Hourglass. There'll be dungeons to explore, characters to interact with, enemies to finish, but it all comes together first and only with the press of your stylus. Guiding Link across the screen will be easy by using Navi as your pointer. If Link stands to one side of the screen, moving the Navi pointer to the other side is what'll get the motor in his boat rowing. Knocking off fiends couldn't be easier said than done than by just tapping them when they show up. To toss items, you'll just need to poke them with your stylus and point again to wherever you want them to be thrown. Link will do all the hard work for you.

More moves come in line from how you'll be able to utilize a new spinning technique by rotating the stylus pen around Link's body to how the boomerang will be vaulted only along the steady line you've drawn. Being careful not to draw the line leading into the wall is the idea. Some of the more interesting nuances of Phantom Hourglass is in one area, the way players can now jot down notes onto the game's map screen so to not forget puzzle clues. Another new gameplay tweak fixes the sailing portion of the game for everyone who detested sailing the seas through The Wind Waker. Now all you'll have to do is draw your dotted course across the map, and the boat will automatically drag itself wherever the line is drawn. The best part in all this? You'll be able to fend off enemy ships amongst other things probably using your ship's dual sided canon fire.

Prepare for open heart surgery. After their heartbreaking news that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess wouldn't go with the incredible cel-shaded structure from the earlier console quest, Nintendo is reinstating that familiar sprinkle of toony life on its DS iteration. Embodying a split between 3D and 2D modeling, the game will take you on Link's story in an isometric view all the while depicting characters in "Celda style" 3D materializations. The doe-eyed, bright green Link will live on once more: making puffy purple smoke out of his enemies to cruising the vastness of the blue seas raining cannonball destruction as he goes.

Final Thoughts
It's with great pleasure that Nintendo's prepping more than just the regular course of console-based Zelda for the near future. Even better, they're returning to the arguably best universe in all of Zelda gaming, the one with cel-shading. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, whether you know it or not, has a lot going for it even though it may not look it. It's the first and only Zelda to be all touch-based. This one ought to be something special.


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