New Zelda: Quiet release, big results

Nintendo quietly released “The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” on the first of October with only a fraction of the hype “Twilight Princess” received last year. The ironic thing is, this entry to “The Legend of Zelda” series is one of the best additions yet.

The story line is basically the same with a few tweaks here and there; you are Link, a young hero dressed in green and wielding a sword, and you have to rescue the damsel in distress from her captors. The game’s primary setting (like its predecessor “The Wind Waker”) is the ocean, with a number of islands scattered about.

There are six dungeons full of puzzles, seven if you count the Temple of the Ocean King which you have to repeatedly travel through. The six normal dungeons have excellent puzzles in them, and although they are not extremely challenging, they are extremely fun.

The Temple of the Ocean King can get annoying because, throughout the game, you must repeatedly travel through it to get just a bit further and obtain some sort of means to enter the next dungeon. It’s not as bad as you might think, however, because the rooms you have been in contain shortcuts requiring new weapons you have obtained.

Aside from the dungeons, there are plenty of side quests, memorable characters and interesting areas to explore. The graphics are some of the best you will find on the Nintendo DS, too. “The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass” is one of those games that is nearly impossible to put down, so make sure you aren’t supposed to take any important tests the day before you start playing.