If you’ve been following me on Twitter for the last couple of weeks, you’ve heard me bash and then praise and then bash Spirit Tracks. I apologize to my followers for my whining.
I really do have a love/hate relationship with the game. Within the first ten minutes or so, it became readily apparent that this game is a Phantom Hourglass remake. I was instantly put out by it. And no, I’m not talking about the gameplay mechanics. I fully expected those to be the same with a few new weapons and a few old ones, just like any other Zelda game. However, I did not expect the game to have the exact same format as the previous game. Not only that, but thanks to the strategy guide, I also learned that the final boss fight has the exact same format: 3-parts, one including a possessed ally. It was a huge let down.
But as I played, I got over it a little. Certain aspects to playing with Zelda inhabiting a Phantom suit of armor are charming and quite cute. Even the new elements with the train are a little fun and cute.
Fast forward to last night. I’m more than halfway through the game, and I’m sick of playing the more challenging Phantom Hourglass remake. I’m sick of the restrictions of the train. I feel so beat down with all the little side quests, and well, with the repetitiveness of the game.
If I hadn’t played Phantom Hourglass, I know I would feel differently. I know I would love it to pieces and I would play it for hours at a time like I did Phantom Hourglass. But as much as I liked Phantom Hourglass, I have had no inclination to play that game ever again, and the same goes for a game with a different appearance. I’m very disappointed in both Nintendo and the Zelda team for shoving this game out the door. I know it’s gotten high review ratings, despite the fact that all reviews acknowledge that it’s just like Phantom Hourglass, so team Zelda could just create another Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks remake next year and fans will eat it up just the same. But I suppose this isn’t a new complaint, since I heard several of the same complaints about Twilight Princess being a remake of Ocarina of Time.
In a strange twist of fate, I’ve been asked to review another DS game and a XBLA game, so Spirit Tracks will be getting some shelf time while I work on those. This is probably what the two of us need in order to get back on the love side of the relationship. I already hate the most recent Kingdom Hearts game, and I don’t want to hate a Zelda game too.
Stephen, don’t think I have a love/hate relationship with the guide. My feelings toward the guide are completely separate from the game.