Zero Punctuation: Zelda Phantom Hourglass

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I know what it is, and I've eaten it, and I like it, but I was more like...
WTF?

Original intellectual property out of Nintendo and their second parties in the past five years? We'll exclude Pikmin. Battalion Wars and Wario Ware are more like spinoffs, as well as Excite Truck and this strange post-apocalyptic Advance Wars. A comprehensive search of Wikipedia reveals the following titles developed by Nintendo or Nintendo-owned studios based on original IP in the past five years: Nintendogs, Brain Age, the Wii Play sort of series, and earlier than that, you've got Odama, Geist, Rhythm Tengoku, Drill Dozer, and the Custom Robo series. Granted, most of those weren't great. They're mainly developed by the second parties, and make up a fairly small portion of Nintendo's publications. But there they are.

Sorry, Yahtzee, but for the first time I disagree with you. This Zelda may have the a similar story (not the same story, a story with some of the same plot devices), with a few problems in the gameplay, but it's a new game with respect to the gameplay. The boomerang is used differently, and so is the grappling hook. I'm no Zelda fan, but I actually played this game and thought it was excellent.

liquidmetal:
Do any of you realize how amazingly good Nutella is?

It is good. But I have found a similar chocolate & nuts paste, made by Alter Eco, and it's even better!
Now we only buy that one.

Bongo Bill:
Original intellectual property out of Nintendo and their second parties in the past five years? We'll exclude Pikmin. Battalion Wars and Wario Ware are more like spinoffs, as well as Excite Truck and this strange post-apocalyptic Advance Wars. A comprehensive search of Wikipedia reveals the following titles developed by Nintendo or Nintendo-owned studios based on original IP in the past five years: Nintendogs, Brain Age, the Wii Play sort of series, and earlier than that, you've got Odama, Geist, Rhythm Tengoku, Drill Dozer, and the Custom Robo series. Granted, most of those weren't great. They're mainly developed by the second parties, and make up a fairly small portion of Nintendo's publications. But there they are.

The fact that you had to go through wikipedia may say a lot about the value of these "new" franchises though, and precisely reveals that those which worked very well and were truly original didn't really contain any new milkable character.

I think people are expected Nintendo to create a new Mario, Link or Samus, but we don't see any coming.

Oh my god .. no offense to religious types .. Shortly before watching this video I told a friend this was the best game i'd ever played.

Now I feel like I need to take another look at it, but I refuse to let this and everyone else's opionion on the forum to spoil a game that I am loving. O.k. It may not be the most origional in terms of storyline but did that stop super mario world from being an amazing game when it was released .. no .. games should be about gameplay and gameplay only Armadillo Run proves this point with ease.

Now I havnt played many zelda games but I have played a hell of a lot of computer games. Well it depends what you call a lot of zelda games .. it started with zelda on the gameboy, then the snes version of I think the same game, then the n64 version followed by a pc emulated version of majoras mask and finally dabbled in zelda on the wii, all of these previous games where a bit of a let down with the exception of the n64 version but that was simply because it was new and exciting at the time.

So anyway I bought Phantom hourglass a few days ago and right from the word go it was a delight. From the way in which you find your sword to making the first decisions in the shop of what to buy and the subtle suggestion of what was to come. Drawing on the map is just brilliant, this was always a major problem with zelda running around not knowing where to go now I find myself wanting to explore the whole map because I know that if I find something that maybe I wasnt supposed to find yet at least I can mark it on my map and check it out later. Now we come to the first real dungeon and the hourglass which I admit is not exactly inspirational although smashing pots to cloak urself from the baddies added a needed twist to the forced stealth section.

Now for you to say it took you 6 goes to work out the switches just says n000b to me ... how lame are you for a guy who is supposed to have played all these games and know about them. U can casually bumble through it and yeah you may have to go out and come back but if u didnt have to you'd only complain about how easy it all was. Around about this time was when you get the boomerang, now o.k. the boomerang has been done but never like this and why 'o' why did the wii version not have some of these innovations (i dont think) there's nothing more satisfying than drawing a massive swirly line around the map to both destroy all the flowers and collect there rewards without even moving.

So after this you get on the boat, I never had a gamecube so this comes as a refreshing change to me. The most boring bits of zelda are runnign around the dungeons and the idea of discovering hidden islands and treasures appeals to me as well as upgrading ur ship which although slightly pointless is fun to play with. Look basically what i'm trying to say is that if you havnt played the gamecube or wii versions of zelda then this game will seem highly innovative. It uses the DS hardware better than any other DS game I can think of. You may find me back on here to agree with all of you after i've been on my ship for 5 hours but somehow I dont think so I love this game and i'm not going to let you influence me. After buying psychonauts on your recommendation and having played it for a total of 4 hours before getting bored with the amalgamation of all other platform games i have to stop listening to you, what are the animations of the luggage all about. keep it up though most of what you say is spot on but I really feel you shouldn't review a zelda game if your bored of them before you even play it and dont have the skills required by the 7+ rating.

Thanks for reading
Wiplash

The only thing I am going to say about the Zelda franchise, is that by the end of every Zelda Game, Link is pretty much bad-ass, with magic spells and/or items, and many nice misc. items..

but WFT, He's DEAD ON in saying that Link starts out as a puss for the first part of every new Zelda Game.. he can't seem to carry over anything he earned, nor can Princess Zelda stop getting herself into binds (some Zelda Games notwithstanding on this one).

I had the same comments when "Seasons" and "Ages" were released for the GBC. I wondered, why is he such a puss, he ended the last game kicking ass... well I'm repeating myself now, so I'll stop.

I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I don't really care. I'm part of the group of people who will be forever happy to have Nintento endlessly create more Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games. There, I said it. They aren't new IP, but so what? They're really fun and I'd be pretty pissed if they messed with any of them.

If you wanted Nintendo to make a game that was like one of those games (ran off of the same engine perhaps) but was otherwise completely different, I'd be all for that. But I really don't think that they should change the way that they do those three titles. I've come to expect and look forward to new iterations of these series (also Mario Kart).

To Wiplash and Xenxander,

There's no way that they could start a Zelda game with Link having all of his previous stuff without completely changing the way that a Zelda game is played. Gathering hearts and weapons is what one does. If you dislike that mechanic then I highly recommend that you stay away from the Metroid series lest your respective heads explode. Unless you secretly like having that happen, in which case you should definitely play them all. -That wasn't a flame, just a statement.

There's no way that they could start a Zelda game with Link having all of his previous stuff without completely changing the way that a Zelda game is played.

Heaven forbid they make a new game...

The Zeldas are games where you start with nothing from your precedent experience.

True, anytime I think of this problem, the games that immediately run through my mind are Nintendo games:

Zelda and Metroid. But the fact that you could say the exact same thing about Devil May Cry for example, or pretty much any sequel where the hero starts with zero equipment in comparison to what he'll end with in the end of the same game, or what he gathered in the former installment of the same franchise (Rockman?).

For years, I've been wondering if it could even be made that a sequel reads your memory card and a serial to see if you bought the former game, and then check out to see the items you found.

But that would be pointless. Sometimes - strike that. Most of the times, the storylines are totally dependant on the equipment you carry.

Possibly very rarely, devs seem to think to explain the "reset" with some bits of backstory.

If anything, there should be less sequels, or more franchises where the hero is not the same from one game to another.

Jakebently:

There's no way that they could start a Zelda game with Link having all of his previous stuff without completely changing the way that a Zelda game is played.

Heaven forbid they make a new game...

Did you read the rest of my post or just that chunk? I said that I'd be perfectly happy for them to make a different "Zelda" type game. I just don't think that they should change the Zelda series or stop making it.

Arbre:
Possibly very rarely, devs seem to think to explain the "reset" with some bits of backstory.

If anything, there should be less sequels, or more franchises where the hero is not the same from one game to another.

I just remembered something when I was reading your post. Zelda and Link are different people in each game. In fact, the stories don't take place in the chronological order in which the games were released. Given that, it makes sense that one doesn't start with all of the items from the 'previous' game.

The sad thing is, in the end, he came really close to describing Okami.

You're a wolf in ancient/fuedal japan and you have art related powers.

liquidmetal:

Arbre:
Possibly very rarely, devs seem to think to explain the "reset" with some bits of backstory.

If anything, there should be less sequels, or more franchises where the hero is not the same from one game to another.

I just remembered something when I was reading your post. Zelda and Link are different people in each game. In fact, the stories don't take place in the chronological order in which the games were released. Given that, it makes sense that one doesn't start with all of the items from the 'previous' game.

You mean... the universe is reset, or it's parallel dimensions or something?

I remember the beginning of Minish Cap (a great opus), which talked about the hero that blah blah with the triforce blah blah. Well, it quite messed up my head because from a chronological order, it didn't make sense.

That said, I think certain chapters are meant to be sequels or prequels to others.

Besides, it's the The Legend of Zelda, not legends. ;)

It was as if millions of Zelda fan-boys cried out with anger and were suddenly... No, wait, I can still hear them. Bother.

Arbre:
You mean... the universe is reset, or it's parallel dimensions or something?

I remember the beginning of Minish Cap (a great opus), which talked about the hero that blah blah with the triforce blah blah. Well, it quite messed up my head because from a chronological order, it didn't make sense.

That said, I think certain chapters are meant to be sequels or prequels to others.

Besides, it's the The Legend of Zelda, not legends. ;)

No, it's the same universe. I think that they are supposed to be descendants. They are sequels/prequels inasmuch as they can be placed in chronological order. I'll see if I can find a website with the lore on it. I don't have time right now, maybe tomorrow.

TheLostSkeleton:
Is that the point, then? Just stop making Zelda games entirely, and try something new? While on one side that might be interesting, the market wouldn't ever handle that and Nintendo would never allow it. That's kind of like Square-Enix saying they're going to stop making Final Fantasy, when the simple reality is they could slap "Final Fantasy" in before any console RPG they damn well please and they're instantly millions of dollars richer regardless of quality or content.

Um, no, it's the polar opposite of the FF series, and you yourself just pointed that out. A Zelda title isn't called a "proper" Zelda title unless it's exactly like every other game in the series, whereas Square, as you yourself said, can tack on the FF title to any RPG they please and the fans will accept it. The two franchises have the exact OPPOSITE problem (if the FF end can even be called a problem, it's one of the things I like about it is that it's so versatile).

Anyway, here again, when Nintendo DOES try something different, the fanboys are unhappy, and so are the mainstream critics. Majora's Mask wasn't anywhere near as popular as the other titles, despite being not only a refreshing change of pace from the series' formula, but also one of the cleverest, most original and most intriguing video games I have ever played. It was and is my favorite video game of all time.

BTW, Nintendo isn't the only company that gets away with this. Look at Halo.

nice
i do have a simple solution to the whole "Shouting into the mic" thing, what i do in these situations is just take the stylus and tap the mic on the DS, same effect with less embarassment

Okami that's the name of the game that has a fricken dog paint in ancient japan love the reviews

I agree that I am feeling the same way about the Zelda series right now.

I am also glad to see that you've singled out Nintendo for their franchise milking. After all, it's not like any other company have made game series' that have grown repetitive; now I'm just extending this sentence because there are so *many* examples off the top of my head (I even had a few more, like Doom). As Yahtzee would say, 'Quod erat demonstrandum'.

The entire videogame industry is become stagnant and stale - my point is, this is not confined to Nintendo, and whilst they certainly have been 'doing it' longer, and definitely are one of the main culprits behind franchise recycling, plenty of other companies also do this - Yahtzee acknowledges this in his first video which mentioned how similar Resident Evil 5 looked in gameplay terms and synopsis to Resident Evil 4, Yahtzee also notes in his review of the Orange Box how the set pieces in Half Life 2 are becoming familiar (Similar scenarios, that damned see-saw based puzzle). Granted, Zelda takes it further than that and I'll admit the premise of Zelda games follow a formula.

All this said, I'm starting to find many games (particularily FPSes in general) are beginning to feel very generic and all like each other. I think most developers, not just Nintendo, need to try something original. And this is gonna sound like the cliche' of all cliche's, but the Wii is probably the most 'original' console, given the other two are more powerful versions of their predcessors (with more pretty versions of previous iterations of games) - it's just the fact there's hardly any compelling software which is the problem...

That aside, Yahtzee did make some good points about Zelda, Phantom Hourglass. And, like practically everyone else has said, nice Okami reference near the end.

Fair judgement on Nintendo, it would be nice to see them develop some new fresh series but the fanbase doesn't really support it. The same can be said for any developer that hits it big with any game series. HL1 is given as an example where the fans wouldnt let them just remake the same thing again but look at HL2. Ep 1 and 2 are essentially the same stuff done again (which Yahtzee appropriately points out in their respective review) and the same can also be said about the Halo series, the Metal Gear Series and the Final Fantasy series (don't get angry fanboys). Fans don't really want the company to try something new and fresh because they're too daft to handle new and fresh. Majora's Mask was fantastically different from other games in the Zelda series and it was an astonishingly good game, but it didn't get as much support from the fans as OoT did because the fans are more interested in just replaying OoT 10 times a year.

It's difficult to get a new series in with the fans as many have tried. How many of you can name the game which Captain Olimar is from (without googling :P), he is an example of where Nintendo tried to create a totally new and fresh game, which turned out to be a lot of fun too, but it wasn't really accepted by the fans because it wasn't zelda/metroid/mario/etc.
All that being said I love the Zelda series, the games are fantastic. Be sure to play Okami by the way it is a brilliant example of games as art.

To clarify for zelda "noobs" reading all of this, Link is not neccessarily the same guy in each game. Hell he isn't neccessarily supposed to be called Link anyway (Ahem... Fagballs) There are certain games where he is the same guy for example OoT->Majora and WW->Minish but for the rest he is like the spirit of an ancient hero reborn. Not really sure if Zelda is supposed to be the same chick each time, maybe it's a popular name in the Hyrulian royal family.

Even though Nintendo probably SHOULD stop making Zelda games, they won't. They make a shit-ton of money and even though they are the same basic game, they're still different enough that they will continue to make said money. When they tried something different with Zelda (i.e. Majora's Mask) it didn't sell and the fanboys had an everloving fit, foaming at the mouth with anger of the differences between it and the other Zelda games. Nintendo was smart enough to let Donkey Kong pretty much die out (with the exception of his appearance in Super Smash Brothers) because it wasn't doing well enough anymore. Maybe, if people stop buying the games, Nintendo will stop making them. But, since that won't happen, it's pretty much futile. It's like asking Square to stop making Final Fantasy (as much as I enjoy the series, I haven't liked it much since X came out...). It makes them money. So, it's not going to end. No company is going to stop making games that make them money. Do you REALLY think Half-Life is going to end if it keeps making money? We're going to see Half-Life 12 the Citrus Bazooka soon enough...
The point is, when companies make games that are different, the fans flip the fuck out on them. They don't want plot and story telling anymore. They want Halo and Zelda and they're perfectly fine with them the way they are...

For the few people still reading this: Okami is coming to Wii and I think it is worth picking up if they manage to not fuck the interface up. All the time I wondered why anyone would make a game about painting with a brush on a console with joysticks instead of pointing controls?!?

Sadly, the "review" is right. This to me is by far the worst Zelda game. I've played about 5 others in this one stank. :)

At all those guys taking this vlog too serious: zero punctuation is just for fun. He is always exaggerating - I won't tell you why that makes people like us laugh. Read up on Nietzsche about that. But I think if there is honestly the word fun mentioned as in the Galaxy "review" this means only one thing: go buy the game. :)

Hahaha. I liked Phantom Hourglass a lot but everything mentioned in the review is so true. Great review by the way.

lol fagballs

omg! the game idea yahtzee had in the end is Okami!

i disagree with your idea of changing the zelda system. That's what makes Zelda great. Zelda games aren't universally praised due to innovation or newness. The best thing they can do is add more levels, story and items. They've basically made a perfect gaming formula. IF they change it to much, they will make it worse.

I'm a huge Zelda fan, I have 15 Zelda games
http://club.ign.com/b/list/custom?&owner=NeoTechni&mode=edit&&lid=100018

The repetition is getting annoying. I stopped playing Twilight Princess after like 3 hours cause it was just more of the same. I still got Phantom Hourglass but I'm annoyed as hell with it. After 15 games Nintendo should be able to get it right. I also gave up playing Pokemon Diamond cause I own 18 Pokemon games. It was just too boring being more of the same.

The whole no voice acting yet (in TP) is retarded, why hasn't Nintendo evolved with the rest of the industry? Oh that's right, they're too cheap. The text killed what should have been some emotional moments in the game. I'm known for crying to videogames/anime/movies/etc and the person I was with at the time expected me to cry at a certain scene involving a dying Zora, she turns to me, and I say "The text killed it". One of my other friends said it was like I was stabbed by a robber, and me saying I didn't bleed cause of his poor performance

As for PH, I found the controls horrendous. Like using hand writing recognition on an Apple Newton as a game controller. It was always randomly triggering the sword slash, not doing it when I needed it, not pulling off somersaults when I needed it, falling off edges. It was only like 60% accurate. That and you couldn't walk and use an item (say a boomerang) at the same time anymore. Then there is all the features that returned from Wind Waker that Miyamoto apologized for. Honestly, there is no excuse for that. And once I learned you have to redo the first dungeon over and over again, I like Yahtzee simply gave up this game. Repeating the dungeon is used as a punishment. When you fail to beat it within the time limit, you are forced to redo it. If/when you die, and you will often thanks to the invulnerable baddies, you're also forced to redo it. Repetition in Nintendo games is a punishment for failure. And they purposely leave the punishment in as a form of progress? Does the person who came up with this like lying on a bed of nails at night or something?

Phantom Hourglass was one of the worst games I ever played. I've only given up one other game so soon into it and that was Shenmue 2 due to extreme boredom and quicktime events.

I found the drawing on the map retarded. Just show the icons and stuff like every Zelda game before it. It was annoying and pointless.

And for pete's sakes people, Animal Crossing is not new. It started on the N64. It's had 3 games already. And I didn't get the DS one cause it's pretty much the exact same as the Gamecube one. It already randomized the world and everything you get to begin with, so how can another randomization feel any more like a different game than just starting a new game on the Cube one?

I would just like to point out something that was completely skated over - The Salvage Arm was needlessly awkward to control. Otherwise, I completely agree with everything that was said. The time limit unbeatable enemies, and the following forced stealth (until you make the sword that can kill the phantoms, but that's at the end of the damn game, literally before going up against the final boss, so it doesn't count.) of the temple of the ocean king was horrible, as well as having to use the microphone. I get most use of my DS when I'm on the bus to High school, so I'm not about to start yelling at the thing (lucky that you only needed to blow into the mic, or I would never have beaten the game).

Regarding the end quote:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Sometimes I like to name Link "I Say," because it makes all the other characters talk like Foghorn Leghorn

I started a new game on Ocarina of Time, and tried naming Link "I say," to see if that worked.

I thought the other characters wound up sounding more like Bertie Wooster. :-D

I agree in many parts about the same game coming out for every console Nintendo ever made, however I do feel that the reason why they do this may be: 1. They may think that all generations should be able to play this series hence the same game different cover. 2. They may have images of grandeur about their story telling ability.

I just want to say, that game you mentioned at the very end? "Playing a dog, taking place in Feudal Japan, and attacking with a paintbrush."

You definitely just described Okami for the PS2 (and more recently, the Wii).

Just saying.

well im just saying this to all the dumbshits out there who think that the idea that yahtzee was totaly origional...ITS NOT, AND NOW SINCE YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD/PLAYED OKAMI YOU NEED TO HAVE A RAM HIT YOU IN THE BALLS THEN PUSH YOU OFF A 500ft CLIFF TO JAGGED ROCKS & PIRANHAS!

if nintendo did something different with their games I would buy it instantly, how about link going into the future (actual future not when he turns into an adult in orcarina of time) maybe guns or advanced tech for his items... hold on let me copy that for nintendo.

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