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    Is Phantom Hourglass Really that Bad of a Game?
    • Big, convoluted dungeons a good Zelda game does not make. Even Aonuma himself said this recently. It isn't only because the dungeons have been less than vexing throughout the series but also because Zelda at its core, dating back to the beginning, is about exploration and all the things there is to do on the way. The fun was meant to be the journey to the dungeon rather than the dungeon itself. PH captures this idea the first four Zelda games laid foundation for. So sure, the dungeons are less intricate than they were in the console games. Cool story bro. They weren't all that intricate in early Zelda titles either. This is why I don't understand why we're saying pH is less of a Zelda game. If anything it's more of a Zelda game than most of the console titles.
    • The problem with Phantom Hourglass isn't the size or complexity of the dungeons. It's that the game cribbed the structure from Ocarina of Time without delivering the same kind of content. It's like copying Bioshock Infinite's structures, except without having good cutscenes and story.

      Phantom Hourglass was just average in so many regards. The soundtrack was forgettable, the DS didn't have the specs for strong visuals and so many elements of the game were already seen before in The Wind Waker.

      Temple of the Ocean King had enough content for 2 good original dungeons, but it was structured in such a poor way. It had the elements of a good game, the combat, touch controls, DS puzzles, etc. but it didn't present them in a compelling way.
    • I admit, I have nostalgia for Phantom Hourglass because I played it when I was getting good at video games. I've rarely been surprised by a Zelda game because I went into all of them spoiled (most of the time, it was my fault, and the most recent one I've played is A Link Between Worlds), but since I didn't read as much about Phantom Hourglass as the likes of Ocarina of Time or Spirit Tracks, I was more surprised by learning about the warping system and all of the boat sidequests after I finished the game.

      Anyhow, Phantom Hourglass gives me feelings of "I get what they were going for". Nintendo were trying to make a story about three people who don't get along having to work together for the greater good, discovering uncharted territories along the way. I don't have a problem with the controls, because the game was designed around them... the problem is, the game felt so focused on using the DS' gimmicks that it came to the detriment to everything else. The music is incredibly generic until right at the end of the game, making me question why it couldn't have been that good all along, while the colour palette consists of blue, green, beige, grey, and purple. I'm not going to criticise the graphics, since the DS could only do so much, but there's a difference between graphics and aesthetics.
    • Yes, Phantom Hourglass is not only the worst Zelda game Nintendo has ever put out, it's one of the worst Nintendo games ever along with Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Metroid: Other M, Star Fox Command, and Urban Champion. This game felt like a chore to playthrough, the story was pointless filler, the graphics are sub-par, the music is atrocious, and the controls are awful.
    • You know, I always felt slightly annoyed by both NGamer and Official Nintendo Magazine calling Phantom Hourglass the Best DS Game 2k7, especially since in one issue of NGamer (after they renamed it to Nintendo Gamer), it was the only game to get more than one sentence in the entire lists-of-best-games-by-console section, as far as I remember. Did the critics and fans even play the same game?
    • Here's some controversy - it had some of the best puzzle integration of any Zelda game. There's the standard "light torches lol" puzzles yeah, but the Goron village, Mutoh's ruin thing, the whole ghost ship, and of course Temple of the Ocean king was one big exercise in completing puzzles quickly. Both the DS games contain some of the best puzzles the series has seen.

      I'll always hold that complaints of returning there are vastly overblown - you have to complete the same rooms literally 3 times at most. Over the course of a day, that's not all that much. Speaking of, it's a terribly short game. I replayed it during my pre-BotW marathon and it took like 3 days of leisurely playing, weird. I can't think of any other that was shorter.
    • I personally did not enjoy Phantom Hourglass as I have previous Zelda games. I suppose the very beginning of PH is what ruined the rest of the game for me. It is nice to know that Tetra and Link traveled together after Wind Waker, but as PH starts, Tetra is back to her rude self, as if she learned nothing from WW. Tetra berates Link, and even seems to doubt that Link saved her and all of Hyrule in WW. I saw no gratitude from her. She's so independent and rude and fierce that she keeps getting kidnapped? And still acts as if she's Queen of the Ocean (which she might actually be, but that's not the point.) For me, Tetra really dampened the enjoyment of the entire game, despite how small a part she played in PH. I never cared for the controls either, using the stylus for everything. Some incidents were difficult because of the stylus, where I doubt these situations would have been hard using buttons. In either case, the story itself wasn't bad. It all just felt very mediocre, as if the creators just recycled characters on to a similar map and thought of the most basic storyline they could muster over a cup of coffee.

      This is just my opinion, though. I know some people really liked PH and while I do not understand their love for it, I respect their opinion regardless because different opinions is what makes us individuals. I do not wish to offend anyone either. I just have strong opinions, since I've been playing Zelda for nearly twenty years, give or take a couple.
    • Blue Moblin wrote:

      Phantom Hourglass (or Wind Waker 2) is a great game. Better than Spirit Tracks only because the flute is a pain in the ass.

      Anyone that's crying about it should just.. stop crying.
      While I prefer Spirit Tracks to Phantom Hourglass, the flute in ST was a real pain. I damaged the mic on my DSI and almost completely broke the mike on my 3DS playing it. But the mic on my 3DS was already damaged some when I got it.

      And all the time I see people whining about the touch screen controls. To everyone out there whining about the controls being "unresponsive" and "as far from smooth as possible," I call bullshit. Both of my DS's touch screens are really fucked up. When I got my DSI, everyone wanted me to let them play it, and me being the doormat I am, let them. And then everyone would use their fingers on the touch screen, press the stylus down on the touch screen to hard, and repeated hit the touch screen with the stylus whenever they lost a game. All things that ruin DS touch screens. And then when I got my 3DS, it had some factory defects. The mic didn't work well and the whole left side of the touch screen does not calibrate correctly and the mic is shit. And the shitty warranty I got with it from the place I bough it from didn't cover any of it. But PH and ST still play smoothly on both. And when I ask theses idiots who have trouble with the controls if they calibrate the touch screen, which something that you need to do periodically to prevent permanent damage to the touch screen from lack of proper maintenance, they reply with "you can calibrate the touch screen?"

      And PH wasn't as bad of a game as people say it is. It has some of the most creative puzzles and it has a lot of innovation. There a was even a puzzle were the solution was to close the freakin' DS! Now you can't tell me that wasn't creative! It may have music that isn't all that great, but there's worse out there. And if it wasn't for Phantom Hourglass, we probably wouldn't have had Spirit Tracks, which one of the best Zelda games (or at least, in my opinion it is).
    • Any conversation about Zelda games tends to be a bit exaggerated, because they're all of a consistently good quality. I would put PH near the bottom of my ranking of Zelda games, but all that really means is that I would only rate it an 8/10.

      Partly I thought it was fairly derivative without much to add to the series, and partly I just didn't like the control system. They had a perfectly good D-pad available but disabled it to force the gimmick. It felt more like "look at what our DS system does" than an inspired choice.