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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