The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks DS

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 233
Buy On

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Apr 10, 2013
    3
    I love The Legend Of Zelda but this game should never have been released. The train-travel sections are mind-numbingly boring and feel as if they're included just to pad the game out, while the dungeons are short and overly simple. For a good hand-held Zelda game, try Phantom Hourglass, or the 3D remake of Ocarina Of Time. Spirit Tracks is a complete embarrassment.
  2. Aug 13, 2012
    3
    I don't know how they did it, but they managed to screw up a Zelda game, and royally at that. I will admit many of the Zelda series can be rather samey, given how many of them are out there, but they are usually enjoyable none the less. This addition is not. It is terrible, and not worth your time or money.I don't know how they did it, but they managed to screw up a Zelda game, and royally at that. I will admit many of the Zelda series can be rather samey, given how many of them are out there, but they are usually enjoyable none the less. This addition is not. It is terrible, and not worth your time or money.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Where to begin? Basically, if you take everything you love about the Zelda series, and flush it down the toilet, and you will obtain the Spirit Tracks. Overworld exploration, a staple of the series, has been eliminated entirely, replaced with the Spirit Tracks and a train the runs on them. Essential you ride a train between several points on a map, each representing a location you can visit in the game. Riding the train essentially boils down to selecting the correct direction when you reach various intersections, and just waiting otherwise. Poor choices at intersections essentially amount to more waiting. Simply put, the trains do little more than waste time whenever you want to transition between maps, and are a horrible substitute for the overworld map found in most installments.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Next is the controls. Crippled is the only way to describe them. Rather than use the D-Pad for movement and the buttons for the sword and items, the stylus is used both to move link and to attack enemies. Both actions are carried out by clicking on the appropriate portion of the screen. Accidentally click just to the side of a monster, a you will walk face first into them rather than strike them with the sword. It only gets worse with items. One of the first you get fires tornadoes. You first have to select it with the stylus, then select the direction with the stylus, and then blow on the microphone to fire the thing. Its awkward as hell to operate, you can't move the character while doing so, and background vibrations, such as the motion of the car, can cause the thing to unintentionally fire. With a sensible control scheme, just about anyone would find much of this game a cake walk. Much of the difficult in playing this game arises from the terrible control scheme, not the puzzles or challenges. These controls wouldn't even be acceptable on a indie title written in somebodies garage, the fact that they made it into a Zelda game is inexcusable.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I found the dungeons and puzzles to be dull and uninspiring. The aesthetics are terrible. The dungeons all appear rather similar, and exploring them gets boring rather quickly. The puzzles simply are not interesting. The unique dungeon delving mechanic in Spirit Tracks involves an AI companion that you give pathing instruction to. The companion move rather slowly, so a lot of time will be spent just waiting for the AI to move around. The companion probably doesn't waist as much time as the bloody trains, but its still more unnecessary waiting.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The short of it is that you have a game with crippled controls, two mechanics that just waist the players time, and nothing to really see or do that justified putting up with these problems. You really are not missing anything by skipping this installment. Don't trust the positive reviews, too many people are willing to give any installment in this series a past. Their are far better uses for your entertainment budget.
    Expand
  3. MalcolmM
    Jan 17, 2010
    4
    I'm baffled as to why this game is getting such high scores. I didn't mind Phantom Hourglass, I would rate it as 6 out of ten. Spirit Tracks is Phantom Hourglass, only worse. Worse because there is nothing new, and the travel by train is mind numbingly boring. The dungeons are now tiny, and offer little challenge. Like most of Nintendo's offerings, Zelda is a shadow of its I'm baffled as to why this game is getting such high scores. I didn't mind Phantom Hourglass, I would rate it as 6 out of ten. Spirit Tracks is Phantom Hourglass, only worse. Worse because there is nothing new, and the travel by train is mind numbingly boring. The dungeons are now tiny, and offer little challenge. Like most of Nintendo's offerings, Zelda is a shadow of its former self. Expand
  4. Aug 30, 2012
    3
    I have no clue whatsoever why everyone seems to not hate this game, never mind actually LIKE it. It just about makes it to 'playable', but you will NOT enjoy playing it. The controls are annoying (Couldn't they have just made it possible to use the D-Pad?), paticularly when you have to blow on the microphone. It provides limited levels of entertainment for a few hours. Then it suffersI have no clue whatsoever why everyone seems to not hate this game, never mind actually LIKE it. It just about makes it to 'playable', but you will NOT enjoy playing it. The controls are annoying (Couldn't they have just made it possible to use the D-Pad?), paticularly when you have to blow on the microphone. It provides limited levels of entertainment for a few hours. Then it suffers from the same affliction to plague the whole Zelda series. Bottlenecks. You're in a dungeon. It's mildly enjoyable despite the fact you're fumbling a bit with the awkward control scheme. Then you come to a room full of random objects. It gives you no clue as to how to proceed. You know that due to the way the series works if you do some random sequence of things the door will open. That's it. It gives you no clue as to what this sequence of things might be. If you can figure it out by pure chance then you have some awkward combat. Repeat ad infnitum. I hate this game. Expand
  5. Jul 21, 2016
    1
    This game is the scum of the Zelda franchise. You can only get enjoyment out of this if you love torturing yourself, or if you don't know what a Zelda game is all about. This game is an instant turn off to the series if you have never played a Zelda game before. I recommend a good game before you tread into the evil that is Spirit Tracks So finally, without anymore banter, I will tell youThis game is the scum of the Zelda franchise. You can only get enjoyment out of this if you love torturing yourself, or if you don't know what a Zelda game is all about. This game is an instant turn off to the series if you have never played a Zelda game before. I recommend a good game before you tread into the evil that is Spirit Tracks So finally, without anymore banter, I will tell you what sucks about this game.
    -=-=Travel=-=-
    The travel in this game is the most boring aspect. The train is very limited, its not like roaming freely around a vast area, its more linear than anything I have ever seen.
    -=-=Controls=-=-
    This is more of a personal gripe. If you have ever played a normal Zelda game (other than the overrated n64 titles) you will know that the controls of a Zelda game feel real freaking good. The stylus controls just cant do it justice in anyway shape or form. Again just a personal gripe.
    -=-=Adds Nothing=-=-
    This game adds nothing new or good to the series. Its like a phantom hourglass ripoff... with trains(づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ This game seems like it could be a Chinese bootleg or something with the amount of unoriginality that is being spewed at your face while playing this. That is all of my ranting, I hope I could open the eyes of all these reviews that said it was good. Good day, and good night
    Expand
  6. Jul 22, 2016
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I should enjoy a Zelda game. I should have fun and be motivated to in fact go back and find all the secrets. But in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, I don't have those feelings. So let's talk about how bad this game really is. For one, the over-world. It's GARBAGE. There is nothing there, no secret treasures, no hidden caves, no enemy posts, just emptiness. And the scenery...well, there is none, unless you like looking at flat trees. The game-play isn't too bad, but still atrocious. Moving your stylus across a screen is STUPID! Sure, you get used to it, but it's still bad. This is especially bad in combat scenarios. Now, I love the combat in most Zelda games, but I just don't like it in the DS titles. Sliding the stylus and tapping on the enemy to attack? Why not use the B button, there's nothing assigned to that. Why not just use buttons? The story is really not appealing either. Right from the start, you have no idea what's going on. Why is an older Niko here? Why is this guy called Alfonzo here? I have an exam today? What? It's one of the worst Zelda openings I've ever seen. And then Zelda gets her body taken by some guys that we NEVER see until about 3/4 through the game. What kind of game makes me FORGET who the main villain is? They could've easily done a Twilight Princess and shown us Cole and Malladus much later in the game, having Bryne pose as the main villain for a while (in Twilight Princess, Zant is believed to be the main villain until we see Ganondorf much later in the game...or on the box art of the HD re-release). The dungeons were pretty easy to figure out, the bosses were cool and unique, and the items... Well, they weren't too bad. Some of them even made it to later games (Sand Wand in A Link Between Worlds; Whip in Skyward Sword), so that's a plus. Then there's the final parts of the game. The Dark Realm is awful, and then the final boss is TERRIBLE. Moving Zelda AND Link around at the same time is NOT FUN. It was much better in Wind Waker, where you only controlled Link, and Zelda moved on her own. Then after beating the boss, the Lokomos rise into the air and leave, because the game thinks that apparently I cared for those people who sat in train cars all their life, just waiting for me to come along to open the door to a temple. Can I also take a moment to say that the equivalent of the Master Sword in this game, since the sword is currently at the bottom of the ocean, is the Lokomo Sword. What kind of sword has RAILS etched into the blade!? And last and definitely least, the trains. The train is the WORST part about this game. It's SO slow, and because there's nothing in the world, about 90% of this game is spent doing nothing... This is by far one of the worst Zelda games out there. Tried to be original, but failed miserably. Expand

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#5 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
  1. Edge Magazine
    80
    Spirit Tracks' aging tricks continue to carry you cack into the narcotic realms of pure ritual, until you're deep in the caverns yet again, holding the magic yellow boomerang once more, and wondering what quirky brilliance it will bring with it this time. [Christmas 2009, p.92]
  2. Not a huge leap forward for the series but a wonderful game nonetheless. Enjoy. [Christmas 2009, p.91]
  3. A superb quest that doesn't rewrite the rules but delivers another engrossing Zelda adventure. If you own a DS, buy it.