The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Spotlight

VideoLegend of Zelda 25th Anniversary vid

Misty-eyed Miyamoto's Nintendo nostalgia.

Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma

Extensive video and text interview with the spirit of the Zelda series.

Key events

Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma

Extensive video and text interview with the spirit of the Zelda series.

If you're going to start working in games development, you might as well begin on one of the greatest games of all-time. That was the rather serendipitous position Eiji Aonuma found himself in, hired by Nintendo to work on the momentous first 3D instalment of the Zelda series.

And another thing: I hate the way the sun always gets in my eyes in winter. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against me; it did last night when I glided unaware through some dog mess. Got right in the tread. Will probably need a toothbrush to get that out - I hope my flatmate doesn't mind. Still, when you run yourself a hot bath and sink into a cosy bed you can almost forgive the biting cold and animals - escaping the winter is what makes it memorable.

New DS colours in US

But not in Europe.

Americaland Nintendo has confirmed that it will be launching two new special edition DS bundles on Friday in the States - but Nintendo Europe says there are "no plans" to release them here.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

If you've already slogged your way through Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, you might imagine that you've seen enough bombs, boomerangs, bows and hookshots to last a lifetime. Well, you haven't, so sit down and stop sulking.

Nintendo adventures, and Zelda games in particular, are always very precise tangles, designed to be navigated in a certain way. It's that precision more than anything that excites our gaming senses. When it all comes together, and the jingle plays, it's hard not to smile to yourself. If Phantom Hourglass is the cleverest yet, and I think it probably is, it's because it does so much to convince you it's gone beyond that, even though it's basically the same old idea.

It feels like you're adventuring. You're marking charts. You're picking up clues. When you realise how to startle a big-eared enemy, or you work out how to transfer a symbol from the top screen to the bottom, you didn't really do much to figure it out, but the illusion is impeccable, and drives you onward to the next.

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DS - 2007's Most Wanted

The best things yet to come in small packages.

It's hard to think back to a time when the all-consuming success of Nintendo's DS was in any doubt. But, as with so many new and different things, videogame consumers at first struggled to put their faith in what appeared to be an unfocused hotchpotch of whimsical design ideas.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

For those who can't wait...

Don't buy this game. Which is to say, don't buy the game called Zelda no Densetsu: Mugen no Sunadokei. The game we've struggled through in Japanese, with the aid of a dog-eared printout from GameFAQs, in order to bring you this import review.

In fact, it's quite playable. By Zelda standards, the first DS entry in the series is all action and no talk: a lean, fighting-fit, fast-paced, dungeon-crawling, puzzle-solving adventure that's relatively light on towns, side-quests and social duties. But the myth-making will go over your head, you'll have to cheat your way through the riddles, you won't get the jokes, and subtleties of story, mood and character will completely pass you by. And Phantom Hourglass is far, far, far too good to miss out on a single moment.

Since we're buried under brilliant DS software as diverse as Slitherlink, Ouendan, Animal Crossing and Phoenix Wright, odds are you weren't waiting for the DS's defining masterpiece. But here it is anyway. Here's the game, were it any other console, we'd have been dying to play for years; the one that happens when brilliant minds squeeze every last drop out of a piece of hardware, the one that makes the competition look like idiots within minutes of play.

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Zelda DS gets US date

As Metroid Wii slips a week.

Nintendo of America has said that The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass will be released exclusively for Nintendo DS on 1st October.

Smash Bros, Mario on for 07

Zelda DS, too. Phew.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy and DS title The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass are all still on track for release this year.

Zelda-themed DS for sale

Slice of proceeds to charity.

From the creative hands that bought us the Zelda-themed Wii, comes a new handheld creation paying homage to Link's legend.

Phantom Hourglass goes online

Playable over Nintendo Wi-Fi.

Nintendo's Eiji Aonuma has confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass will be playable over the Internet via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

GDC: Zelda DS multiplayer

First details, fantasy that.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass will have a Pac-Man inspired multiplayer mode when it launches for DS later this year.

Nintendo man talks new Zelda

Plus: more 3D Mario for DS?

It's not even out in Europe yet, and 2D DS title New Super Mario Bros. is already earning Nintendo a huge pot of gold coins - with half a million copies sold in the US so far.

Zelda: Phantom Hourglass trailer

Last night Nintendo unveiled a new DS Zelda title, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - and we've got a trailer of it for you to check out on Eurogamer TV.

As you can see, the game uses a Wind Waker-style cel-shaded graphical approach, but is shot top-down like old-school Zelda titles, occasionally changing perspective when it suits the gameplay.

There looks to be some neat touch-screen use - straight away Link's seen drawing a symbol to open a gate, and later he seems to mark numbers on a map when he finds the information on a stone in a dungeon.

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