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136 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zelda is back-and better.
Phantom Hourglass, for me, was a disappointment. I found it to be EXTREMELY repetitive because you had to go back to the same dungeon after every mission and solve the same puzzles over and over again.

Luckily, Spirit Tracks removes this problem, because every time you go back to the "Spirit Tower", you have to solve a different level(or floor) of the...
Published on December 7, 2009 by tmujir955

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun game, but it has its drawbacks.
I'm a long time fan of the Zelda series, I've played the installments on every console and handheld. While this game is fun, it has some series drawbacks. Graphics, music,and most of the gameplay, all fun. The really poor features are the train and that damn flute! The train rides are tedious and add little to the overall gamimg experience. I'd have prefered a free world...
Published on August 24, 2010 by Brian O'connor


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136 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zelda is back-and better., December 7, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
Phantom Hourglass, for me, was a disappointment. I found it to be EXTREMELY repetitive because you had to go back to the same dungeon after every mission and solve the same puzzles over and over again.

Luckily, Spirit Tracks removes this problem, because every time you go back to the "Spirit Tower", you have to solve a different level(or floor) of the tower.

There is no button control scheme, but the stylus controls work fine.

Graphics are REALLY nice. Your jaw will drop when you see some of the bosses.

Train rides are a bit monotonous, especially when you have to travel all over the place.

Puzzles are entertaining as always, and Spirit Tacks is "different" because you have a Phantom helper at some points in the game.

Overall, an enjoyable way to kill, say, 20-30 hours. Also, there are new weapons in this game; certainly an improvement. I am absolutely sure this game will sell like hotcakes for the holiday season.

Note: If your planning on this as a gift, your target audience should be 10+. Some puzzles are fairly challenging, make sure to take note of that.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Addition to the Series, December 10, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
I had my expectations set pretty low for this game, Link using a train didn't seem to appeal to me. Also, Phantom Hourglass was a disappointment to me so I was expecting a bit more disappointment.
When I put Spirit Tracks in my DS I was actually surprised on how good the game was. So I'll split everything up.

Movement:
The stylus movements are a bit more refined so it seems to read it easier than Phantom Hourglass, you don't find yourself stopping when you get too close to the edge of the screen. It's also a bit easier to roll, this can be a problem or can be an advantage for you.

Items: There are the usual items, the sword, the bow and arrow, boomerang, and bombs. Then new items are the Whip and Fan. The whip is very easy to use, the fan can be a pain at first since you have to blow into the microphone but it becomes second nature after awhile. Your new main item is the Spirit Flute, it's great for them to add in the DS Microphone but if your DS is old, it can be an issue picking up when your blowing into it or not, but other than that the new items are a great addition to the series.

Graphics:
Not much to say, they are the same as Phantom Hourglass, maybe a tad better.

Gameplay:
Now this is where this game shines over Phantom Hourglass, The train can be a bit tedious after awhile, but there are a very shortcuts to help along. A new feature is the control of a second character, this only comes into play in the Tower of Spirits, Zelda is able to take control a Phantom when you have 3 Tears of Light. This makes some puzzles very interesting and can be very entertaining when you see a large suit of armor cowering over a little mouse. Other than that Zelda takes the role of a helping character, such as Navi or Ceila. Your main source of transportation is the train of course.

Overall the game is very good, If you were disappointed in Phantom Hourglass then you wont be disappointed in Spirit Tracks. Even if you haven't played a Zelda game, this would be a great game to start.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our heroic Hyrulean is at it again, December 15, 2009
By 
Paul Kim (Newport, RI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
There may be some vague spoilers below, but nothing too revealing. I'll cover the new gimmicks first:

Link, the engineer - "Geez, the Zelda idea well is sure running dry, huh?" was my first thought upon seeing the trailers a few months before the release date. Turns out that I enjoy the train elements more than I expected. The designers give you plenty of stuff to do while traveling, and you encounter a growing cast of enemies as the game progresses. And when there's nothing else to do, it's always fun to try your stylus-equipped hand at creating slow and dramatic cinematic camera sweeps of our favorite green-clad hero on his way to save Hyrule. Towards the end of the game, the use of the train figures in more significantly, even including a sort of Pac-Man-on-steroids bit of gameplay. While being able to travel only where the titular Spirit Tracks lay on the overworld map makes traveling a bit more efficient, it does kind of take away from the free roaming exploration aspect of the series. While I imagine some people will hate the train, I think it's a nice change of pace (though I'm already itching to get Link's two feet back on the ground).

Zelda, the Phantom puppeteer - Again, this idea turned out to be better executed than I expected. While controlling Zelda is a little cumbersome at first, it ends up adding a nice gameplay element. Though nothing revolutionary, the Link-Zelda partnership allows the designers to add some creative puzzles and action sequences. There are a variety of different Phantoms this time around so that helps keep things fresh. The use of Zelda is generally confined to the Tower of Spirits, so you won't be dealing with this during the normal temples. All in all, I highly approve of how they worked this into the game.

The temples:

The temples (or dungeons, if you will) have always been to me the bread and butter of Zelda games. The temples in Spirit Tracks are good, if not incredibly challenging for the most part. They are also extremely linear, which is probably not surprising to most. Even when you're backtracking, it's all linear backtracking, if that makes any sense. The first few temples are quite easy and short, but from the fourth temple and on the puzzles get increasingly complex, and you'll likely spend an hour or more on each one the first time you play them. The later boss fights are also pretty epic, and a whole lot of fun.

Pros:

+ The graphics are great, and the various cutscenes are well done.
+ DS stylus controls are well-implemented with only occasional annoyances. I found myself using the left shoulder button to equip items, and doing that in conjunction with aiming or drawing paths with the stylus proved to be quick and efficient. One of the later items, new to the series, would be chore to use with the conventional D-pad and buttons, but the stylus makes its use fast, easy, and fun.
+ As we've come to expect from the Zelda franchise, the music here is excellent (and using headphones is recommended if at all possible). The songs played with the Spirit Flute, especially the duets with the various Lokomos, are all enjoyable. However, the real winner for me is the overworld train theme. It is simply fantastic, which is fortunate because you're going to hear a whole lot of it, and the slight alterations of it that occur in different situations (train speed, how much of the Spirit Tracks have been unlocked, etc.) are a nice touch. At certain moments in the Ocean Realm, there's even a reference to the sailing theme in The Wind Waker. Every time Link departs from a location, the theme starts up, the train starts steaming, and then music and train blast off together. You'll experience this dozens of times, and it never loses any excitement.

Cons:

- It takes about an hour to get into any action (and by action I mean not just fighting, but puzzles and exploration as well), and even that initial bit is far from gripping. You'll play for over two hours before reaching the first temple. Compare this to the beginning of A Link to the Past (whose opening is my favorite in the Zelda canon), where within minutes you're in the heart of the action. To be fair, this somewhat long orientation period is now quite typical for Zelda games so it's nothing out of the ordinary.
- DS gimmicks (blowing into the mic to play the Spirit Flute, having to yell at certain times) are sigh-inducing but tolerable.
- Princess Zelda is often pretty annoying, both in cut scenes as well as during actual gameplay. Though they are unplayable characters, the Princesses in OOT and TWW are much better. And if you hate the look of Toon Link, you'll definitely groan at Toon Zelda.
- Contains the tedious filler that has been customary for Zelda titles for quite some time. By that, I mean fetch quests and the like which are unchallenging but time consuming, simply acting as chores. And I don't mean side quests, either (of which Spirit Tracks has plenty). I mean mind-numbing stuff that you simply HAVE to do. Though this adds gameplay hours, it hurts replay value. Take out the padding and I'd probably start the game over again tomorrow even though I just beat it today. As it stands, I don't expect to replay it again for quite some time. Limiting side quests to a minimum, experienced Zelda fans should complete the game in 20-25 hours the first time through. However, I'd argue that at least 30% could be trimmed off, resulting in a better game with more replay value. And this is coming from someone who likes long games.

It may seem like I'm being overly critical on what is overall a fantastic game. I imagine it's simply because the Zelda franchise is the one that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart, and therefore I tend to being extremely critical of it, desiring and demanding nothing short of near-perfection. However, though I consider Spirit Tracks to be merely an excellent Zelda game, I always remind myself that when given a fairer comparison against all video games, it's nothing less than outstanding. I'm grateful for every new Zelda title that comes out, and this one is no exception. I'd easily recommend it to just about anyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Phantom Hourglass, December 14, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
First of all, let me say that I am playing on a Triforce DS Lite I got in the holiday bundle 2007, and let me tell you that it is epic to play Zelda on a Triforce DS. That being said, Spirit Tracks fixes one of the major problems I had with the first one, which is the tower you must visit after each temple. The first featured a timed game, stealth, and recurrence all in one. I simply cannot stand timed games, it makes me feel hurried. The only way I was able to tolerate Majora's Mask and the 3 day limit was that I could either slow down time, or reset it after I was done with a temple. The Spirit Tower in Spirit Tracks is very challenging, yet it isn't timed. Not only that, but you don't have to visit floors already visited.

Another thing vastly improved from Phantom Hourglass is the transportation. Instead of a boring ship, there's now a train. It adds some skill since there are other trains on the track as well. Although, it is a bit weird that Link is an engineer, but I digress.

The music is simply fantastic. I loved the Ocarina in OOT and MM, and was disappointed that PH didn't have an instrument. Well my friends, the Spirit Flute functions just like the Ocarina! Even after you play, it goes to a cut-scene of Link playing with the harmony, just like MM! At first, I thought using the DS microphone would be insanely stupid and gimmicky. But after using it, I am singing a different tune (pun not intended.) The on-board mic is incredibly accurate, and it doesn't look as weird in public as I thought it would.

You will not be disappointed with this game. I mean come on, it's a Zelda game, which means instant purchase for us Zelda nerds. It's no OOT, but then again, what game is? Maybe if Nintendo put more effort into awesome games instead of the shovelware of lately, then we would see another OOT; Wii Zelda not withstanding, but I digress again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirit Tracks, March 31, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
WARNING: This review may contain some plot spoilers.

Another fantastic game in the Zelda series. This game improves upon the new idea of continuing the cel-shaded graphics series of Wind Waker on the Nintendo DS seen first in Phantom Hourglass.

The movements on the stylus have greatly been improved so that you have even more control of the game including movements, using items, and etc. General graphics seems to have noticeably improved since Phantom Hourglass with the overall game having a better look and the sound is also greatly improved.

Aside from general improvements in the game mechanics, the plot has been taken into a never-before-seen level! Many Zelda fans have always been perplexed why if Zelda is so important in terms of the plot, she does not play a bigger role than always being damsel-in-distress. Well, this issue has been addressed in this game as your companion is no longer some annoying chirping fairy but the one and only Princess herself! Throughout the game, I have found myself excitedly playing trying to find out what is going to happen next in the plot, as one reading a fascinating novel would. Besides an all-new companion in your travels, the game has branched out to far newer ideas that have not been seen in previous games such as the use of trains and tracks to move around in the game.

The challenges (including battles, bossfights etc.) and maneuvering around the dungeons and outside has greatly increased in terms of difficulty and challenge. Throughout the dungeons and also outside in the fields are many challenges ranging in difficulty from childsplay to full-blown puzzles that could take a lot of thought. From more challenging battles to more challenging puzzles, I found that this game took a lot more time than Phantom Hourglass and thus, I could enjoy it not only more but for a longer period of time!

Although the train method has received much negative feedback complaining of tedious traveling, I've found that proper use of Warp Gates (think of them as the slate equivalent from Phantom Hourglass) will greatly reduce travel time so that you can still enjoy the train without it being repetitive. One part I did find quite annoying was the rabbit minigame. However, as the name suggests, it is a minigame and is by no means required to finish or even to fully enjoy the game.

Finally, the ending battle was one of the best I have seen in the Zelda games. They say that what you remember most is the beginning and the end of something: well as I'm writing this review, the memory of the excitement from the final fight is fresh in my head. The final fights are not only dynamic and requires a variety of strategies, many of which could only be done on a DS system, but many parts require careful timing, strategy, and skill.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars doesn't disappoint, February 8, 2010
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
I bought this game for myself as I'm a big fan of the previous Zelda games, however, my son, who's six, also loves to play this. He's just learning to read so it's hard for him to understand what to do sometimes, but he surprises me with how much he can figure out on his own. I am a bit disappointed with the constant repetition of going back to the same dungeons over and over but it's still a highly entertaining game. I strongly recommend the strategy guide. Some of the puzzles are nearly impossible to figure out without the guide. My son will look at the pictures when he's stuck and it helps him tremendously. Ideally this game is best suited for 8 and up I think, but with some help, the younger ones can play too. Overall the game is great and if you're a fan of the older Zelda games, you shouldn't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best DS game of 2009, January 31, 2010
A Kid's Review
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
This zelda game is very fun compared to Phontom Hourglass. I played and beat both and I think Spirit tracks is overall better because I hated going back to the Ocean Temple in Phantom Hourglass. You also get some cool new items to get through some of the temples. I think the best ds game of 2009.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I though it would be!, December 9, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
-Nostalgic Section- (you may skip to main review if you want)

I've been playing Zelda games since the SNES Link to the Past, which was also my first game ever. Zelda sure has evolved over the years! Even with the exciting changes, it still retains what made it a hit in the beginning, with its dungeon and over-world exploring, along with several weapons, secrets, etc.

When I first saw Windwaker for GC, I actually wasn't interested (well, I didn't have a GC for one, but I saw toon Link steering a boat and thought, "what have they done??") Years later I got a GC and a friend let me borrow the game, and I was hooked from beginning to end! I loved toon Link and the humor of the dialogue, he's just too cute NOT to like! Plus, it still retained what made the other games great.

-Main Review-

(Even though I haven't beaten the game, I don't think you have to beat something to be able to review it. I'm reviewing it's enjoyability.)

I posted all that above because when I saw pictures of toon Link conducting a train, I face-palmed and thought, "what are they THINKING?" Well, I should have learned my lesson from earlier and believed in Nintendo...this game is amazing! I even woke up this morning and played for a few minutes before heading downstairs. I would be playing it right now if I didn't have errands. I really thought the train idea would bomb, but bought it because when I saw the trailer, the game still looked fun and I did enjoy Phantom Hourglass. They've added several elements to the train idea to make it fun. Obstacles include animals on the tracks or coming at you, possessed trains to avoid, and there are signs on the sides every now-and-then that I think mean something but I haven't gotten far enough to figure out what to do yet. Another great element, Zelda is your companion throughout the game! You don't see her once or twice like the other games, she actually helps you! And she's cute and funny too. Oh, and your new instrument this time around is really cool too.

All in all, it's a new Zelda, but still awesome as always. This series never disappoints!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fun game, but it has its drawbacks., August 24, 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
I'm a long time fan of the Zelda series, I've played the installments on every console and handheld. While this game is fun, it has some series drawbacks. Graphics, music,and most of the gameplay, all fun. The really poor features are the train and that damn flute! The train rides are tedious and add little to the overall gamimg experience. I'd have prefered a free world approach rather then being tethered to that stupid train. The flute, that damn flute! It's hard to follow the rythm of some of the challenges and is just a pain in the rear, several times I quit playing in frustration. I have to admit the game was kind of disappointing. I'm glad I didn't pay full price for the game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as hourglass, November 29, 2012
This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Video Game)
For the sequel it fell short and dissapointed me a bit but nonetheless it was still very good 4.59 stars
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The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks by Nintendo (Nintendo DS)
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