Sunday, March 14, 2010


As happened with the previous DS Zelda game, I’ve enjoyed Spirit Tracks and again I had the feeling I should have payed more for the game. I finished the game, but (again) I missed some of the optional challenges (Train parts, Rabbits and Life Hearts, mainly).

The best: The truth is Zelda has not that many mechanics nor they are too complex. In fact designers use a limited amount of simple but effective features to make you feel the game is deep and complex, when in fact it’s not that huge. The key is to scale them wisely to always provide the feeling that you’re experiencing something new, and forcing the player to re-play certain features (Train driving, mainly) to increase the total playtime.

The so-so: For Phantom Hourglass I was forced to check an internet walkthrough a minimum of 20 times. In Spirit Tracks I only had to do it 6-7 times. Still too much, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I’d say that the difference between both games is not because the challenges are easier, but for the self-referenceness of the game: Once you know how the puzzles work in a Zelda, they’re pretty much the same in the rest of the saga.

The worst: Graphics. Particularly during cutscenes where the camera gets so close to the characters. I suspect they’re not using higher quality models in those situations, and they look really shitty. I know, the DS is not a PS3, but still...