Universal acclaim - based on 57 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 314 Ratings

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  • Summary: [Metacritic's 2007 DS Game of the Year] 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 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. [Nintendo] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. Nintendo again shows that it's the master of its own hardware with another sublime entry in the Zelda lineage. If you own a DS then this is an utterly essential purchase - it really is that simple.
  2. The best and most complete portable adventure ever. Even if you’re not a fan of the series, you should feel compelled to play it and recognize it as a masterpiece. [Nov 2007]
  3. It may not live up to the lofty standards recently displayed in "Twilight Princess", but this adventure is worthy of Zelda canon, and still has enough great stuff going for it to be considered one of the year's best adventures. [Oct 2007, p.126]
  4. Phantom Hourglass wraps the standard Zelda formula in an innovative and fun control scheme that gives new life to several of the series' age-old concepts.
  5. Phantom Hourglass launches from into the DS’s feature list like the past is over and out, moving from one new technology-application marriage to another. [Sept 2007, p.106]
  6. The quickie dungeons and throttled exploration are outright disappointing, but when held up against the rest of the DS library, it’s an impressive game. But it’s just a good Zelda.
  7. 60
    But Zelda: Phantom Hourglass goes the opposite extreme, and turns sailing into a boring and utterly joyless exercise in line drawing. Basically, instead of controlling the ship directly, you'll merely draw your route on the touchscreen and watch your ship travel to that destination.

See all 57 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 98
  2. Negative: 11 out of 98
  1. Proggy
    Oct 2, 2007
    Don´t bother to read de cheap reviews of new gamers (Jc, Jared, Markus / maybe PSP fans ), it´s fun, great and with innovations for the franchise. Buy it and enjoy it. The Best Handheld game to date and of course for the DS...Good Job Nintendo !!! Expand
  2. ChristopherP.
    Jan 5, 2008
    I really loved this game... Link comes back once again in a brand new adventure which mixes mechanics of old with a revolutionary new combat system, and entertaining new characters! Easily accessible, it could very much be your first game in the series and you'd love it just as much. Expand
  3. Crazyqazqaz
    Oct 27, 2008
    Zelda games are famous for having incredibly long story lines, mind boggling puzzles, scores of mini-quests and the notorious Water Temples that consume hours of your life and have even been made into a slang (if a bit underused) term for something incredibly difficult. This, though, is a breath of fresh air. The game is lovingly crafted using bright, welcoming colours and a story line that manages to be genuinely funny while being brilliantly unpredicable. The control scheme is fabulous, I really can't see what people have been complaining about. It isn't overly difficult but not a total breeze either. It will stump you at times, but that is nothing that a little creative thought and a small amount of thinking outside the box won't solve. A brilliant little game, can't praise it enough! Expand
  4. MattyM.
    Oct 4, 2007
    This game truly shows off the potential of the DS as a platform, and does the Zelda series the justice it deserves at the same time. The touch-screen is used in so many clever ways that it makes you realize just how much the DS has to offer developers and consumers, and how much room there is left for innovation. If you have a DS, you pretty much need this game. Expand
  5. RT
    Jan 8, 2008
    Fun and innovative, this is one of the best games I've ever played on my DS. Link is cute as a button, but also a multi-talented warrior due to the numerous tools he is given, most of which you will recognize from the earlier games. The game designers thought deeply about every detail of the game from the use of the stylus, to the character actions (Link tapping the earth down with his foot after filling a hole is perfect!), to just thinking of something new. I agree with others that the Temple of the Ocean King is a real thorn in the side, and one of the weakest parts of the game. I don't mind returning there over and over again. I do mind spending time WAITING. If this were a console game, it wouldn't be so bad, but with a portable game, you want small segments you can complete "in between." That is, on the train to work, on your lunch break, etc. Perhaps the shortcuts they offered could have been more aggressive, allowing you to pass through an entire floor you had previously passed through by opening a new passageway with a recently acquired tool, or a special token from someone you helped since the last time you'd been there. This trouble aside, the rest of the play can be addictive. The Battle Mode is fun without requiring too much explanation for someone who has never played before. I recommend this game wholeheartedly, even with some of the drawbacks. It will become a favorite! Expand
  6. LionelE.
    Oct 16, 2007
    Phantom Hourglass has some very strong aspects. It makes full use of the DS controls in innovative ways (especially the bosses), it manages to create startlingly good graphics with little system power, and it packs a decent amount of game onto a small cartridge. However, it's also quite easy, lacks the typical Zelda side-quest depth and the stylus controls can be a pain for simple things like moving or changing items. It also makes the bewildering decision of having users fight through the same dungeon many, many times in the game, slowing it down quite a bit. It's fun and gimmicky, but not as deep as many people suggest. Expand
  7. JaredC.
    Oct 2, 2007
    Zelda when she is a baby, and weak, and pethetic, this game is just like that. It misses out on the main story and cliches the slackness of undarkening material. it just doesn't work with all the others. Expand

See all 98 User Reviews

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