MTV's Totilo finds that while the new control scheme of the game is largely great, other parts of Phantom Hourglass are too stripped-down or simplified; for example, finding bombable walls, once an exercise in tapping walls or just bombing everything, now you are often led right to the spot via a pattern on the floor. In addition, what hasn't been messed with, he thinks, may need to be. As a longtime Zelda fan, Totilo thinks that the series may be getting stale.
Croal, on the other hand, is a Zelda neophyte, starting with the DS game, as Nintendo imagines many others to be doing. He loves the controls-- so much so, in fact, that he all but states that the fun of controlling Link is the only thing keeping him hanging on. He finds that there's too much wandering and backtracking in Phantom Hourglass, and probably in Zelda in general, and not enough forward motion.
It doesn't sound like either journalist will be donning a Link suit to review the game. Did the same issues weigh on your decision to buy or pass on the game, or was it as easy as "new Zelda, must buy"?
[Image part of a wallpaper found here, via GameSetWatch]