Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass DS

Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass DS
Mario may get all the attention, and the koopa trooper groupies, but Nintendo’s fortunes have relied just as heavily on the Zelda series’ young elfin hero Link. The series itself is named after the oft-kidnapped princess Zelda who probably should invest in some better personal security. This time a different distressed damsel, Tetra, has been absconded with but once again the island-hopping search involves equal parts sword-fighting, dungeon exploring, treasure-hording and puzzle solving. If you bother to follow these plots, and lord knows only fanboys can keep them straight, Hourglass takes place immediately after Wind Waker — it also emulates that Gamecube title’s cartoon-ish cell-shaded look, but a little blockier. And it has something to do with a ghost ship, pirates and an amnesiac fairy. The series’ DS debut is a mostly top-down throwback to Zeldas of yore, but makes great use of the handheld’s unique features. You now use the stylus and touchscreen to move as well as to swing your sword, throw a boomerang, pilot your sailing vessel, fire cannons or even write notes on your map. Meanwhile, candles can be extinguished by blowing on the handheld and monsters (or other subway riders) can be scared by yelling into the mic. More importantly, the game is astonishingly epic. It really is a marvel of modern engineering that so vivid and complex a game world, with its lord knows how many lines of code, can fit onto the DS’ itty-bitty cartridges. (Nintendo)