The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (NDS) is the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) (review here). However, you do not need to have played Wind Waker to enjoy Phantom Hourglass.
The ESRB rating is E.
Many months have passed since the events in Wind Waker, and Link, Tetra, and the pirates have found the Ghost Ship. Curious to see if the rumors of treasure on the Ghost Ship are true, Tetra boards the ship. When she screams, Link rushes after her, only to be knocked unconsciousness.
When he awakens, he’s on a strange island and has been found by an amnesiac spirit named Celia. She offers to take you to Oshus, whom she calls “Grandfather”, a mysterious old fellow with much power and knowledge– and thus your quest to save Tetra begins.
As usual, you play Link, the young adventurer in green. As in Wind Waker, you travel by ship, but instead of the King of Red Lions, your seafaring companion is the grumpy treasure-hunter Captain Linebeck, who reluctantly offers to let you use his ship. Thankfully, less time is spent traveling and more is spent actually adventuring (probably due to the smaller map in the game), but sailing can still get a bit dull.
In Wind Waker, your second main quest was to defeat Ganon; in Phantom Hourglass, you need to defeat Bellum and release the Ocean King from his imprisonment.
The graphics have the same cell-shaded look (after all, it is a sequel), but since the game is played on the NDS instead of the GameCube, they are obviously smaller and less detailed in parts. Even though the graphics are still marvelous, I find that I prefer Wind Waker over Phantom Hourglass in this respect.
As I’ve come to expect from the Legend of Zelda games, the gameplay is detailed and overall superb (although it is simpler than, say, Twilight Princess or Ocarina of Time). My rating is a 4.5/5; the dull sailing hindered a full 5/5 rating. The sequel to Phantom Hourglass is The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
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