E3 06: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - hands on

Once we arrived back on land, a few villagers offered traditional advice ("Boy, that cave sure is creepy...") and the quest was steered towards finding a way to get past a sealed door. By exploring the island, we found several markers that, when looked at on the map, bared a striking resemblance to the door's magic seal. Thanks to the touch screen, you can annotate your map at any time, jotting down quick notes - in this case, numbering these markers to help unlock the door elsewhere on the island. Obvious stuff, but a different kind of Zelda puzzle, for sure.

Once past the sealed door, we were greeted by a familiar Zelda labyrinth. The only thing that stood apart from previous dungeons in the series was the new controllable boomerang. Just like with the sea chart, trace a path you want it to take and it'll fly accordingly. In this case, we had to guide it to two different switches, separated from Link by a massive, bottomless chasm.

It all leads up to a battle with a floating octopus monster... perhaps a new type of Octorok? In this case, Link remains on the touch screen but can send things flying into the second, upper screen to damage the boss. The faster pace of this battle made learning the nuances of the touch screen all the more difficult, but chances are in the final game, by the time you get here, you'll be well-versed on the control scheme.

The Legend of Zelda has always been one of the most respected, consistently amazing series in video game history. From our hands-on time with Phantom Hourglass, we say it'll proudly carry the Hyrule flag - but will it be totally overshadowed by the more conventional Twilight Princess? Either way, we all get two brand-new Zelda games to salivate over for an entire summer.

Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.