When I first started playing Spirit Tracks, I posted a quick review after playing for 30 minutes. I was very disappointed at the time, but I wanted to play all the way through the game before I judged it fully. After all, how can 30 minutes represent a whole game? Well, 30 minutes did represent the whole game. This is by far the worst Zelda game ever made. I didn't play the Laserdisc games back in the day, but I doubt that those could be worst. This Zelda game is not any of the Zelda games that I have known in the past. It has the Zelda name, and a couple of the components, but this by no means in my book is a Zelda game. Here are my reasons: 1- Trains, Phantoms and way to much filler: The train idea as a whole is flawed. I never for a second thought that it was fun. First off, the train is only there to give you a linear game. Since when have Zelda games been linear (check speed walkthroughs if you don't know what I mean). This game is, open the tracks, beat the dungeons, go to the spirit tower for next area, rinse and repeat. It is a way to force you to go where the game wants you to go. Also, the train idea is just a way to take a 10 hour game and turn it into a 40 hour game. It takes forever to go from town to town in this game. Many times, you have to be in the town for moments before you have to move on. For a portable game, I shouldn't have to wait 3 minutes to get to the next town. If this wasn't bad enough, they introduce the "evil trains" that kill you in one hit. There is no purpose to these trains besides to vere you off course, and have to take a longer path to the same town again. If you do get hit, then you start at the begining and add another 5 minutes to your game play just to get to some town. My favorites include the Coco mini game where you need to bring 10 cocos to a person in town. Your Train only holds five, so you have to do 2 3 minute trips at the least. God forbid you get hit by an enemy (who is off screen most of the time) then you have to do 3 trips. If that is not bad enough, they take the same concept and add it in for the phantoms. In the initial dungeons, the game felt very Zelda like. As you progress in the game, the designers decided to slow the game down even further. Let's have walking phantoms that you can't walk around. You have to wait till they walk their straight path. So yet again, you have to wait for the damn Phantoms to walk for a minute or so, so you can bomb an area or get the stupid tears. Also, do I really need to talk about Zelda in the Phantom Costumes. Do me a favor and remember back to how many times you heard her say, "Hey wait for me, don't leave without me". That says it all right there. This is an adventure game, and a portable one at that. Doing bs filler to add game time is rediculous. It's so evident that this was done in this game, it is rediculous. 2- The enemies Zelda never had the best enemies in a game, but the enemies in this game are rediculous. Not only is there no real variety to these enemies, they are also retarded. Let's quickly review: - A guy on a boar who throws cannon balls at you. Really? No, I mean Really? - Snowman that throw their heads at you. Wow, really? - Land Sharks. How creative. - Pirates on the water: Ok, that one is exceptable - Pirates on land: WTF? I mean, come on. First off, there are a very limited number of over world enemies, and most are retarded. The only decent and exciting parts occure when your in the tunnel transporting the black ore to Linebeck. The big monster is awesome. 3- The game is a rush job, horrible controls. Yes you heard me, its a rush job. This is the worst controlling Zelda I have EVER played. I MEAN EVER. No, it's not because I don't like the stylus control. I am fine with the stylus control. It's because the game designers never tested most of the features. Here is what I mean. STYLUS CONTROLS: For every day task the stylus controls are fine. For everything else in the game, they are sub par. Lets list a couple of areas: - Any 2.5D element is poorly controlled. The whip race is a perfect example of this. I tap in one area, but the game is not recognizing where I tap in the 2.5D world. It usually happened on turns and such. - The block puzzles controls are horrible. You have to know to put your stylus on the bottom most corner of the block to push it in the direction you want. If it is in the middle, it may push it a different direction. - When on top of the Zelda Phantom, a lot of the times Link jumps into the Lava, instead of where I tapped. Very annoying. MICROPHONE CONTROLS: These are absolutely horrible. The fact is that the Mic picks up outside noise, so unless you are in a room with no noise, forget about beating the duel perfomances to open the new tracks. I had to literally shut my game off 3 times in the middle of my commute and wait till I got home because the Microphone was picking sounds from around me. Also, what is the point to hault the gameplay because you didn't exactly do it the way the game wanted you to do it. More filler in my opinion. This obviously also effected the wind tool you recieve in the game. It would go off unintended all the time. These are just a few examples of how rushed this game was to get out. I would expect this from a third party company, but not Nintendo. Very sub par in my opinion. THE PUZZLES: What happened to good Zelda puzzles? These puzzles are frustrating and lazy. The earlier puzzles in the game are definately Zelda esque, and people may complain that there is little innovation. I would argue that the new items provide innovation and kept with the Zelda formula. The problem comes later in the game when the designers think that a good puzzle element is complete darkness. Complete darkness is fine in certain small areas. Doing complete darkness in the Spirit temple on the last area is annoying and retarded. It's just filler again. I need to walk around in the dark back and forth until I find the key I need to open the lock. Great. Fantastic. REALLY RETARDED DESIGN! I mean, this to me is laziness. It doesn't make for a good puzzle, it makes for an annoying waste of time. They could have made this so much better then this, yet again, horrible. TRAIN UPGRADES: Train Upgrades are completely useless. Why the hell did I have to bust my butt to get the regal rings, golden coins, palace dishes, dragon scales to build a golden train? All the golden train does is give you more hearts. I never died with my standard train while going around. Why do I need the 8 hearts? You know what would have been nice, if the train went 3x as fast with the Golden Train. If the Golden Cannon can kill the "evil trains". If you can hold 4x as much cargo with the golden cargo car. Nope. Just more hearts, and a dumb new whistle sound. AWESOME! I hate this game. TIMED EVENTS: I can't stand the timed events in this game. A perfect example is the 2nd letter you get from the train guy. It only happens when you reenter the spirit tower and climb to the top. Well, why? What is the reason? Can I only get the stupid sword beam technique right before I beat the game? Why does this game make me wait all the way till the end of the game to get the two swordman scrolls? This makes no sense. It's not pacing, its dumb. There is no reason to do all the stuff you do to be able to use the swordman scrolls in 1 area only. Horrible. I have no problem with areas that are locked until you obtain a certain item. A good example is the Whip race or the stamps that you get once you get the boomerang. But running around wondering how you get the next set of tracks, to only find out it is a timed event in the game is dumb. It is more filler that has you going from town to town to see if there is something you missed, to only realize, no I didn't miss something, I am forced to play the next dungeon before this happens. I hate that, especially in a game like this. THE LAST LEVELS AND ENDING: Am I the only one who was asking himself what the hell was going on once I got to the Dark Realm? I was like, wait is this a Zelda game? What the hell am I playing here. Also, as I was beating the game, I kept saying, this is in no way a Zelda game. Name it something else. For some reason, I felt very Japanese Anime to me. If this wasn't for kids, I could see a rape monster coming out and Link having to protect Zelda from him. The whole Dark Realm, Train Boss, Last Boss thing didn't seem right to me at all. It's like they took everything I liked about Zelda games and killed them. I also highly appreciated the fact the developers were giving me a good old middle finger by having an area where my train went super fast in the dark realm. Awesome! You make the train go at a snails pace in the whole game and make me beg for it to go faster, and at the end, you say, ohh yeah, here is your train at light speed. WTF?????!?????? CONCLUSION: To conclude, this may be only my opinion. The thing that drives me crazy is that this game got so many good reviews. Why? Is it just because it is Zelda on the package? Does noone else see these faults in the game? I mean the dungeons in the game are really good, so that gives it 5 points for me right there. The new items you get is 1 more points because of the way they are used in the dungeon. That makes 6 points. Besides that, the game has nothing else. The Spirit tower is annoying to say the least. Even though Phantom Hourglass made you come back all the time, you had new items to blow up new shortcuts for you. The Spirit tower just has annoying puzzles, and is rarely fun to play through. The overworld is horrible and boring. The controls are rushed and the graphic engine is the same graphic engine from Phantom Hourglass. If I was to recreate or hack this game, I would have it where you can go dungeon to dungeon, then build an end boss minus the dumb spirit tower. The game would last about 10 hours or so, and not have you waste your time waiting on the train to get to the next area. Maybe it is my fault for trying to get 100% in this game. Maybe I would have enjoyed it if I just went straight through the game and ignored the side quests and stuff. But I never found a Zelda game more painful with the side quests then this game. Absolutely painful. So in total Zelda gets a 6 Max. Where the hell are these 8+ coming from. If you are going to post, at least make an arguement about why this is a good Zelda game, and no, "because I like it" does not count.