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Zelda Week: Spirit Tracks

 

JP

JP

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Intro: (Please read the whole intro)

First I want to tell everyone that originally I was completely opposed to this game and the only reason I bought it was cause I got a really good deal on it. Like Windwaker I hated the art style with a passion, but then they decide to further insult the Zelda series with trains!?… are you freaking kidding me? but being the hardcore Zelda fan I am I had to give it a try. When I first started the game (they) right off the bat explained where the “spirit tracks” came from and it was a rather satisfying back story so it started to earn some cool points. Then however the game once again took a turn for the worse by having 100% touch screen control to the point of not using the buttons for anything. I still pushed on though determined to at least give the game a fair chance and  test out the combat mechanic. After a few hours invested into the game its mechanics finally grew on me and I began to enjoy the game very much.

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Perception 1: Controls

After a while of playing the game the touch screen controls got less annoying, however I do think you should be able to chose between using the touch screen or some sort of button mapping. One of the biggest things that annoys me about walking is that wherever the stylus is touching the touch screen sparkles so link spends the whole game going “Ohhhhh shiny!!!“. The combat mechanic however is very fluid and well done giving you the ability to double tap at the enemy to do a jump attack or swiping the stylus across the screen to do a regular slash. In fact the only real problem I had was with the insensitivity of said spin attack. A lot of times I would be surrounded by enemies and really need to do the spin attack, but the DS would recognize it as being a normal slash. So that problem caused me to lose some hearts throughout the game, but it’s not a deal breaker when the rest of the combat mechanic is so well done. A few of the items were also very well done. The boomerang for instance, once you equip the boomerang simply scribble a line anyway you want and the boomerang follows it flawlessly. The last items I’ll mention are the items: “Spirit Flute”  and the “Whirlwind” which incorporate the DS’s mic. You activate these items by blowing on your DS which is nice cause they really did a good job at incorporating all of the DS’s features… Except the damn Buttons.

Perception 2: Graphics… yeah right

This part here is just going to be a quick rant about how I feel about this art style… Are you freaking kidding me!? I mean seriously they had a good thing going with Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. You know you made a successful game when people are still talking about it 15 years later. When they made Windwaker I almost cried but then a few years later they rectified themselves by releasing Twilight Princess so I was like “okay they realized there mistake and now they’re going back to the way Zelda is supposed to be!”… nope cause shortly after Twilight Princess; Phantom Hour Glass would follow, then Spirit Tracks two years later all with the same shitty art style. I just pray that the next console release is at least in the middle somewhere like Skyward Sword.

Perception 3: Trains in Zelda… REALLY!?

When I first saw the trailer for this I was completely outraged. I mean honestly how do trains correlate to the Zelda series in any way? The story writers did a good job however explaining the origin of the “spirit tracks” which made the existence of trains a little less irritating. The trains also don’t even play that big of a roll mainly only serving as transportation in replacement of Epona. With all that aside however, the Mechanics for the train are actually very well done and a lot of fun (once you unlock the cannon). They also incorporated train customization (to an extent). throughout the game via pick up “treasures” which can be traded in for an alternative train car style, however there isn’t a huge selection to choose from but the option is nice to have.

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Perception 4: Bosses

The bosses in this game proved to be a lot of fun with a surprising amount of difficulty considering it’s a DS game. As per usual in the Zelda series each boss requires use of that dungeons item which proves to be a lot fun. An example being the first boss where you have to use the “Whirlwind” item. Now this next part could just be me but I did feel as though there was an abnormally long gap of game play between the bosses, and it wasn’t because of the length of the temples but rather the amount of stuff you had to do between each temple. The temples themselves actually proved to be quite short. But like I said this could just be me.

Perception 5: Overall

Overall if you’re a Zelda fan and can suck it up and get past the art style, trains, and the lack of button use you’ll come to enjoy this game as long as you give it a fair chance. I wouldn’t pay full retail for this game but if you find a good deal on it its defiantly worth picking up, because I know once I played it for a bit and got used to the controls as well as actually getting into the story I no longer regretted buying it!!!!
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