The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Review

Nintendo’s evergreen hero doesn’t veer too far off track in this spectral sequel.

By Rupert Higham, December 12, 2009


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Critics of Nintendo’s love affair with their new casual audience are quick to claim they’ve been abandoned by Iwata and company, yet here we are only two years after Phantom Hourglass with another fully-fledged Zelda outing. Much like the speedy two year turn-around between Ocarina and Majora, Spirit Tracks reuses many of the assets of its prequel, which given the popularity of chibi Link’s handheld debut, is no bad thing.


The story picks up a few decades on from Phantom Hourglass with the latest princess in Zelda’s bloodline (who has uncharacteristically managed not to get herself kidnapped) gets embroiled in a political situation involving a suspicious chancellor, a banished Demon King named Malladus and the disappearance of the titular Spirit Tracks – a protective network of train tracks that guard the kingdom from evil. 


zelda-spirit-tracks-forest-420

Ghost trains and spooky forests go together like Link and rupees. Watch out for skulltulas.

Though it is responsible for gigabytes worth of online squabbling, the Zelda series storyline has never strayed far beyond generic good versus evil template, but that’s not to say it doesn’t tell a fantastic yarn in its own special way. While not a series renowned for its cinematics, Spirit Tracks’ cut scenes are wonderfully engaging, with toon Link’s hyper-exaggerated face capable of expressing a range of endearing emotions that carry the story. 


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11 Responses to “The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks Review”

  1. Someone says:

    You guys screwed up.

    “At six dungeons deep and lacking the huge volume of side quests enjoyed by its predecessors, Spirit Tracks isn’t among the biggest Zelda games”

    It has way more sidequests than Phantom Hourglass and Twilight Princess. How can you give out a review if you don’t know what you’re talking about? I’m disappointed.

  2. Rupert Higham says:

    Seriously? Okay, this took me around half an hour so it’s not exactly comprehensive. Please feel free to add any to the Spirit Tracks section if you think I’ve missed anything out, which was not intentional. Please excuse the ugly formating, but this is copied from MS Word.

    Spirit Tracks:

    • 50 x rabbits
    • 20 x force gems
    • 13 heart pieces
    • 20 x stamp station
    • Treasure x 8
    • 40 parts for train
    • Minigames – Take ‘em all out, sword, training, rope race, goron target, pirate hideout arrow

    Phantom Hourglass:

    • 11 x sand of hours
    • 60 x gems (power, wisdom, courage)
    • 31 x treasure maps
    • 13 x heart piece
    • 6 x golden frogs
    • fishing quest
    • Trade Quest (6 parts)
    • treasure x 8
    • 40 parts for ship
    • 2 costumes
    • minigames – cannon game, shooting gallery, harrow island digging, sword training, maze island

    Twilight Princess:

    • bottles x 4
    • howling stones x 6
    • 45 x heart piece
    • 24 x golden bugs
    • Fishing quest
    • Cave of Ordeals (50 floors)
    • 3 x costume (not just superficial either)
    • 3 x bomb bag
    • 60 x poe souls
    • 20 x cat chatting
    • Minigames: Yeti snowboarding, rollgoal, Plumm’s river trip, Iza’s river rapids, goat herding, archery training, moblin jousting, goron sumo, star game

    Am I missing something here?

  3. josiah says:

    dont forget the sword skills on ph and st

  4. josiah says:

    oh and i dont know if you care but there are also three different type of quiver on tp but those are just upgrade wich ther are on ph and st to

  5. Rupert Higham says:

    Yeah, thanks josiah. The sword skills are present in all three games (TP gives you the rolling back attack, shield push, etc) and all three games feature quiver and bomb bag quantity upgrades.

  6. some person says:

    i found most zelda games to be far to easy they should realy make a incredibly hard zelda game but they were still all a fun afew days of my life

    • someperson says:

      yeah but twilight princess is long but ds or dsi games are very short but i dont know why.

  7. yoshirider82 says:

    i had to do walkthrough on tp

  8. some person says:

    that is vary sad

  9. someperson says:

    I got the legend of zelda spirit tracks for christmas as well as mario bros bowsers inside story. And two things came to my surprise that 1 link started in a train uniform and you dont get your legendary tunic from the old hero of Hyrule, witch we never figured out what happened to, you got a ordonary soldier uniform? and 2 you have zelda always at your side except for the brief running to the ceramonie to become a full engineer and when that wierd loking guy with the two hats captured her and knocked out your captain. Other then that it is a great game but the castles are sooooooooooooooooooo short and soooooooooooooooooooo easy.

  10. Brush says:

    Speaking of Bowsers Inside Story – have they reviewed that here, tis a great game.

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