Link starts off as an engineer, thus conveniently excusing why he travels via train, and soon becomes the protector of Zelda’s ghost, who acts as your guide for most of the game, much like Midna in Twilight Princess. The game follows the typical ‘Zelda’ recipe with a bunch of different areas to explore and several tricky temples to puzzle your way through. Each temple rewards you with a new item/weapon which you use to further your progress in the game. As with any Zelda game the bosses are always fun and make great use of the array of different items you receive during your quest.
The graphics are pretty slick for a DS title. The story is fun and easy to follow, and the characters are surprisingly well developed. I found myself laughing out loud a few times at the witty quips that popped up in the dialogue sections, which is very pleasing as usually DS titles are more of a quick fix of fun rather than fully developed plotlines and personalities. The game design really utilises the DS’s unique capabilities to make the game original. The items are more suited to the DS than in Phantom Hourglass and if you ever get bored of the main quest there’s a bunch of side quests for you to explore.
The train driving does get a bit repetitive and the game doesn’t ever deviate from the typical Zelda game design: Go to a temple, get a new item, go to the next temple, get a new item etc. Aside from these design flaws, there were a couple of moments where the game lagged when there were a lot of enemies on the screen, but not enough to deteriorate the gameplay significantly.
This is one of the most in depth DS games I have played, with a full, interesting storyline, imaginative worlds and interesting characters. The game mechanics make it unique, utilising the DS’s mic and touch screen capabilities to create fun and immersive gameplay. It’s also a refreshing spin on the Legend of Zelda series, bringing in a host of new characters and some enjoyable co-op mechanics with the Princess herself!
So if you enjoy games on the go or you’re simply a Zelda fan-boy, get it! It’s a great game to have on a train…obviously.