The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
You'll find yourself scribbling on the DS' touchscreen with the stylus, playing a flute by blowing into the mic, and attacking enemies by smacking them on the touch screen
- Makes good use of the DS' capabilities, offers a deep experience with plenty to do
- Game drags in the early going, doesn't innovate much beyond Phantom Hourglass
The Hero of Hyrule strikes back with all new puzzles to solve and dungeons to explore with the highly anticipated continuation of Nintendo's timeless franchise, but does his latest adventure meet the high expectations set from 2007's Phantom Hourglass?
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
The Legend of Zelda franchise has been a gaming staple for decades, starting with Link's glorious debut on the NES, and though the culture of gaming has undergone dramatic changes over the years, it has managed to remain relevant by staying true to its core values of epic storytelling, interesting characters and vibrant worlds. But the true secret of Nintendo's success has been in its ability to fully leverage the power of its consoles in order to move the franchise forward: A Link to the Past used the SNES's 16-bit capabilities to create a large vibrant world full of colourful sprites while The Ocarina of Time brought Zelda into the 3D realm using the N64's more powerful hardware. More recently, Twilight Princess, originally a Gamecube title, used the motion controls to good effect and helped prove that they could work for things more complex than virtual bowling.
Spirit Tracks, the latest portable Zelda title, continues the tradition of taking full advantage of its respective platform: You'll find yourself scribbling on the DS' touchscreen with the stylus, playing a flute by blowing into the mic, and attacking enemies by smacking them on the touch screen. The game also offers up a deep experience, and while the sense of overall challenge is minimal, there are a number of engaging and fun tasks such as rabbit collection and train improvements waiting to be unearthed. Traveling around the world in the locomotive is also a unique and novel solution to the problem of long-distance movement, and it's particularly well handled, a good thing considering it's the major distinguishing "feature" that helps separate Spirit Tracks from the other titles.
It's a quirky, eccentric, yet utterly enjoyable game but it also suffers from a few issues that keep it from reaching the high bar set by other Zelda titles. For one, the initial pacing is rather poor. The first two hours are dedicated to introducing the world's backstory -- the game's world is inhabited by people who have been fending off a demon using railroad tracks -- and this requires a ton of reading, a problem which is exacerbated by the DS' relatively small screens. To add to those early pacing problems, players are handcuffed by the limited set of actions at their disposal, specifically during the train-driving portions. While this is all in line with the genre convention of gradually rewarding progress, Spirit Tracks would have benefited from a much more compelling intro to counteract the slow narrative.
When the game does start to pickup, it plays very similarly to The Phantom Hourglass and while this isn't necessarily a problem -- Phantom Hourglass was a great title, after all -- it would have been nice to see more innovation applied to the overall gameplay; aside from the unique modes of transportation, there really isn't much to differentiate the two. I also noticed a very kid-friendly vibe to the title -- an idea that solidified when I dispatched a smilely flower monster with a leaf pinwhee -- and while it fits the overall spirit of the game (excuse the pun), it might also alienate older gamers who may have grown up with Zelda but whose tastes have matured past the cute and the cuddly.
And yet, while it isn't perfect, Spirit Tracks does enough things right that you won't regret persevering through the initial sluggishness. Once the game picks up momentum and speed, it packs a locomotive sized punch, one that doesn't reinvent the wheel but still manages to do the storied franchise proud.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- TPProject CoordinatorACT
- FTNetwork Architect - up to $800 per dayOther
- CCChange Analyst-TransformationNSW
- FTSenior .NET Developer - Back EndOther
- TPBusiness Consultant - Dynamics CRMWA
- FTJunior Manual Tester - Accounting & FinanceOther
- CCBusiness Systems Analyst (Expression of Interest)QLD
- TPSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- FTPronto Systems / Reporting AnalystVIC
- FTDrupal DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Project Coordinator | Gold CoastQLD
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- TPDigital SupportVIC
- FTSystems Admin ( Linux)Other
- FTSenior Test Analyst - SiebelACT
- FTInfrastructure Designer - Citrix/AWSOther
- CCSQL Server Database AdministratiorNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - Public Sector Health ProgramQLD
- FTUI/UX DesignerOther
- FTBusiness Project ManagerOther
- FTData Centre / Hosting Lead - $800 per dayOther
- CCBusiness Analyst - Application DevelopmentWA
- TPProject OfficerACT