GDC 07: Legend of Zelda impressions
DRAW! That's probably the best way to describe the experience of playing Phantom Hourglass, the upcoming Wind Waker sequel. The demo at this year's GDC was multiplayer-only, and had you going against one other person in a Zelda version of Capture the Flag (the Flag being pieces of the Triforce, of course). There were two sides that you played as: either as Link, or as a villian trying to stop our beloved cel-shaded hero. As Link, you had to make your way through a maze, search for pieces of the Triforce, and bring them back to your "base." Easy enough, right? Well, there's one catch: the Triforce is crazy-heavy, and your movement will come down to a crawl, making you quite an easy target. A Nintendo representative explained a technique that makes the process slightly easier: pick up the Triforce piece, and then throw it afar. By tapping on the Triforce again, Link will automatically run forward, picking up the piece.
While it's usually fun to play as the Chosen Hero of Time, Phantom Hourglass' multiplayer mode was much more fun when playing the villain. In this mode, you have three controllable characters on an map. By drawing a line from the character, you'll be able to control where they move. If they run into Link, the boy loses, and the round ends. Drawing paths, attempting to corner off Link, feels incredibly empowering. It certainly brings a smile to have all three of your characters slowly trap Link into a corner, making him await certain doom.
It certainly was an amusing demo. However, controlling Link was simply not fun. Moving him through stylus control instead of using the face buttons seems clunky and imprecise. I'm hoping that the single player will incorporate more of the drawing elements from playing as an enemy, as they were very satisfying. Nintendo already has the graphics down: it looks beautiful. With just a little more work on the controls, Phantom Hourglass may become a truly excellent addition to the Zelda franchise.
Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)
3-08-2007 @ 6:40PM
Sounds promising. The comments section sometimes disappears on my browser. Will buy eventually.
3-08-2007 @ 11:12PM
Nathaniel N. said...
That would be Hero of the Wind...
Figured I'd point it out before someone else did.
3-08-2007 @ 11:33PM
I really hate how Nintendo is trying to incorporate Minigames/multiplayer into every DS game they have. Some feel really cheesy and tacked on like in Kirby:SS. Not all games need minigames/multiplayer.