The first 90 minutes of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

We walk you through the opening act of Nintendo's latest legend

Above: Hey, there it is

Everything else is similar to Hourglass. General layout, sound effects and annotatable maps all return, making any trip through the dungeons a bit easier than the menu surfing required on the console versions. Before long, we were at the boss, a giant flying beetle named Stagnox.

Above: Obviously armored in the front, but his butt is oh so soft

Stagnox flies around trying to swipe at you, and after you’ve stabbed him a few times he’ll take to the air and drop worms down onto the battlefield. We won’t spoil the tactic used to take him down, but remember you have a windmill that can pick up and toss items…

The summary

Spirit Tracks’ initial announcement left us puzzled. Most people disliked the sailing in both Wind Waker and Hourglass, so why replace that, which was open and free, with trains that have to stay on a locked course? Sadly, we can’t exactly answer that yet, as the train sections weren’t available to play. The rest, however, is classic Zelda. And thanks to a few much-needed gameplay tweaks and a snappy set of characters with fun dialog, Tracks will undoubtedly be another strong addition to the franchise.

Assuming the train parts are no more obnoxious than sailing, at least. Look for our full review this December.

Nov 6, 2009

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