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    jp's The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

    [March 11, 2013 05:53:02 PM]
    So, I guess I finished it. Not really, but close enough for me.

    I made it to the very end, the final battle, but upon realizing that it occurs over several "stages" and that you have to repeat several of those stages if you die in between...and that the stage I reached was quite difficulty for me (basically a big guy that shoots fireballs that you must deflect - you need to deflect something like 15 of them without making any mistakes)...well, I decided to call it quits. It also helped that I looked up the final fight online and realized that there was another stage involving the pan-pipes I'd have to clear. Since I'd had trouble with the "regular" challenges (ambient noise can be an issue when playing on the train)...

    I guess I'll never REALLY know what the actual ending is like, but I'm not that depressed about it to be honest. I mean, it's a Zelda game...right? Whatever happened in this game won't really matter in the grand scheme of any of the other Zelda games. There's not really any continuity between them so there's no real need to worry about "knowing" what happened. It's a bit of a shame now that I think about it, because it's resulted in (as far as my memories go) all of the Zelda games blending/merging into one. They're all the same. Although they're not. But I couldn't really say how they're different... I guess in this one the princess is with you all along?
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    [January 23, 2013 12:24:47 AM]
    Man, I've really hit a love/hate moment with this game. I'm greatly enjoying a lot of the dungeons and interactions but every now and then I am incredibly frustrated (and let down) by some (in my opinion) significant interface issues. There are times when I know what I want to do, I know how to do it, but I repeatedly fail due to problems with the game's interface. For example:

    1. There are some neat puzzles that involve using a "sand wand" (don't recall the real name) that lets you raise a block of sand. If you raise it beneath you, you rise up, and you can create bridges and that sort of thing. Obviously it's not an unlimited power, and the raised sand will collapse after a while - or sooner if you continue to raise more sand. The problem? Sometimes you have to be quite precise in the sand-raising, however the responsiveness (and precision) of the stylus is quite up to the task. More often than not, I have to "scribble madly" just to get the sand to rise up where I want it - and since it's on a timer, it becomes quite frustrating when you can't do what you want and have to rinse-repeat.

    2. In some of the dungeons you control Link AND a possessed suit of armor. You often need to alternate between them in order to get things done. This mostly works, except that at times simply tapping on the screen reverts control to Link which often result in Link doing something stupid (and unintended) like falling of a ledge or jumping into lava. This got to be REALLY annoying in some parts.

    3. The possessed armor's path finding (you can order it to join you) is at times so terrible that it commits suicide (jumping into sand which causes it to sink) or gets stuck on corners. VERY annoying.

    4. In some areas (thankfully few) the camera pulls back to allow you more space to do some things. Unfortunately it happens that "critical" parts are really close to the game's interface (top left) resulting in a comedy of errors as you try not to click on the interface but rather the ground right next to it.

    I guess I'm ranting...
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    [January 4, 2013 12:40:07 PM]
    Oh no!

    I just had a terribly out-of-character experience with this game.

    So, I'm tasked with recovering a ring in order to pay off a carpenter who is fixing the bridge connecting to the "ocean" area of the map. The ring is hidden somewhere in a dungeon, so I make my way over. In the area I spot a funny looking statue with a circular hole in the middle. I had seem some of these in other areas of the game. When you walk up to them you hear a tune and some little colored lights come out. Oh, that's nice. I wonder what these are for, I wondered. I had briefly pondered this same question a few times earlier - in those other places I had seen those statues. And then, I had an idea! What if those colored lights correspond to the notes from the pan's flute? Ooh, I wonder what will happen?

    Wouldn't you know, it worked! I played the tune, the game reacted - I got nice message (you've learned the song of light!). Wow! Isn't that cool. I felt incredible, I had figured this thing out by myself!

    So, I then head over to a crystal-shaped rock, play the tune and woah! It lights up...and allows me to continue to the next area. Neat!

    The next areas feature two more crystal-shaped rocks that lit up, their beams crossed, and from there I had to reach a spot where the treasure was located. Done. Well, not quite. Problem is, there was nothing there. Argh. Really? I was sure I was in the correct location - and then it dawned on me.

    I must have missed something. Somewhere along the way I must have missed picking up the shovel/spade. Some store in some town? Beedle's flying store? What a drag.

    This seems incredibly out of character for a Zelda game - my understanding being that, by design, whenever you really need something in order to progress, the game will make sure you've picked it up earlier. In other words, the "main" story quest won't have any needless backtracking that isn't otherwise clearly communicated. (in this case, I was assuming I needed a shovel/spade).

    So, I spent a significant amount of time visiting villages (and their stores) to no avail. Desperate (and frustrated), I turned to GameFaqs. It wasn't a spade/shovel I needed, rather it was the "Song of Discovery", what? Fortunately, it was easy to get to it (thanks Gamefaqs), but I'm quite unsettled by's sort of knocked the game down a few notches. I feel a bit uneasy - I can no longer assume that if I need it I will procure it... Sigh.
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    [December 27, 2012 02:53:43 PM]
    A-ha! Once again I've fallen prey to a handheld Zelda game. The portable ones seem to be so much better than the main console ones (for some odd reason). Or at least they seem that way to me. I'm not sure what it is, perhaps they're simply more accessible?

    I've already cleared to "major"(?) sections - the forest and snow areas, so I think I've got a pretty good handle on this one. Once again, I'm surprised by how familiar yet fresh the Zelda games always feel. The sounds, characters, and so on are all familiar. But, they're different or at least feel that way. So, driving the train around is a lot like piloting the boat (Phantom Hourglass), but surprisingly fun. For some reason I get a real kick from blowing the whistle and driving along. I'm going to blame the audio for that. It makes something otherwise mundane feel exciting. Actually, now that I think about it a bit more, it isn't so much that it makes driving the train seem exciting. Rather, I'm the one who feels awesome when I drive the train. I'm all like "Yeah, I'm going on an adventure!".

    Not so exciting? Well, there's some rhythm-and-action sections where you have to play some pan's pipes. This doesn't work at all on the train - because the input comes from blowing into the microphone and the background train noise is interpreted as continuous blowing. Pretty annoying actually, and I wish there was some alternate input method I could select just for these sections.
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    jp's The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 10 December, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Monday 11 March, 2013

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Great if you like Zelda games.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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