Author Topic: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks  (Read 5199 times)

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Offline azeke

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2019, 11:27:20 PM »
I liked Phantom Hourglass better because the power-ups and later bosses with dual-screen and touch control gimmicks were extremely ingenious, but Spirit Track has better story and is overall more streamlined. Very neat final boss too.
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Offline adadad

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2019, 12:44:48 AM »
Im now up to the fire temple. I kind of think the game goes for longer than it should. Im ready for it to be over, but I looked at a guide and there is still a lot left to go

Agreed. I'm still enjoying the game overall (just finished the marine temple) but it's a bit of a drag outside the dungeons especially.

One part that really annoyed me was meeting the bridgemaker in the snow world. "If you need any bridges fixed, let me know!". Alarm bells are going off in my head and sure enough, five minutes later and one lengthy train ride away there's a bridge in need of fixing. Trek back over and let the guy know that he is required. Then you have to escort him back, carefully to keep him sweet since he's some kind of train connisseur! Ugh. The escort part isn't so bad actually, at least it's something different. Those two boring back and forth journeys in the middle completely kill the pace though, it's painfully inelegant and makes the game feel padded. No one in Hyrule ever heard of a phone?

On the matter of the train (and its overuse) there are things I like about it, most notably the sound design. The main overworld theme is great, as is the little intro every time you set off on a journey. Also I like how the music ramps up and down dynamically depending on what speed you're travelling at. Best of all the way the train sound effects sync up with the music timing when you're at top speed is genuinely compelling. These things don't fully redeem the train for me but they certainly help, just the same way the amazing music in Wind Waker made sailing tolerable.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2019, 12:10:26 PM »
So my son has just started playing A Link Between Worlds on 3DS, and it brought up an interesting comparison. In that game, the economy is used to rent/buy special weapons and having enough money on hand can be important for your progression in the game.

What do people think about the economy as built into Spirit Tracks?


For me, I'm not a fan. There are a bunch of high-priced items really don't help very much, and it all feels thrown into the game without much thought as pointless time-sinks. Shopping at Beedle's balloon is a waste of time/money. Buying an extra heart container is prohibitively expensive compared to the value you gain from a single heart in this relatively easy game. And although you can buy rare treasures at some places on the board, the entire "train upgrade" system seemed utterly pointless. Seriously: why bother?  The one exception I'll make are the potions that are used in place of Fairies in this game - having one or two in your inventory over the course of the game doesn't hurt...

I wish instead they had allowed us to hire a stand-in engineer who would safely transport us to a different location that we've already visited as a type of "fast travel" to speed up the many pick-up-and-deliver missions. Even assuming you wouldn't be able to use this shortcut if you had passengers or cargo, it would make the mid- to late-game portions more enjoyable and give players a reasonable way to build out the world without spending a LOT of hours just shuttling around on their train. You'd also want to still explore all the track at least once to get bunnies - and presumably wouldn't want to spend all your money travelling if there are still a few appropriate priced "carrots" out there to purchase.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 12:16:43 PM by ejamer »
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Offline adadad

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2019, 12:56:07 PM »
What do people think about the economy as built into Spirit Tracks?

I have straight-up ignored it, and so far I am perfectly content with that. I might have taken more of an interest had the game's economy/sidequests been available early on. But I assume I'm around two thirds through the game and the shop for train parts only just opened. That's very late and the rewards seem frivolous (and costly!), so unless I'm forced to I won't. Incidentally, getting hold of Beedle seems to be a real hassle.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2019, 01:38:30 PM »
What are some ways you folks would improve the train / overworld?

What do people think about the economy as built into Spirit Tracks?
Unless I'm missing something, I wasn't sure how to get the high-priced stuff without grinding for rupees. On one hand I do like how the rupees have real value and you're not just swimming in money like some games... but the stuff you can buy isn't very useful. The treasures are just used to sell for more money or to trade for train parts that are purely cosmetic and offer no functionality (Well, except an extra heart. Whee). It felt like buying stuff was basically a sort of achievement system.

Offline doug

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2019, 01:06:53 PM »
This game is okay… but it’s just not that exciting. My interest in playing games comes and goes, and right now it’s low and Spirit Tracks isn’t helping.

I’m not a fan of the use of the word engineer to mean train operator. At least in the UK, it’s a problem for the engineering profession that people misunderstand what engineering is, which can discourage students from choosing to study engineering.

I like how the touch screen enables some nuance in sword swings, although there isn’t any use of this made that I’ve seen so far (just finished the snow temple). It’s kind of a feels like a precursor the Skyward Sword’s nuanced sword control, and there Nintendo really went all-in using that in the game.

The train also feel like a precursor to Skyward Sword in having discrete little areas that you travel between in a bland environment with minimal interactivity. In both games I think it might be more enjoyable if you just picked where you wanted to go on a map and arrived there instantly. Basically embrace the game being a series of levels. On the other hand that would mean losing tooting the horn, which is something that brings me joy. Brrooo Brroooooo.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2019, 02:24:27 PM »
So I really liked the Dragon train, but swapping out a traditional train whistle for a gong (which sounds pretty terrible if you hold down the button) is the one big failing.


How to improve the overworld?  I like most of what they did and wouldn't change much... the problem is just that too much time is spent repeating tedious trips. If I wasn't asked to spend so much time in the overworld, that might help me to appreciate it more.

I guess having more random events occur that give you different mini-challenges to overcome (like when pirates attacked and boarded your train) could be fun, or at least including some hills for visual variety. Additionally, it would have been nice if train upgrades were more than just a skin swap. Why not give each engine a unique power, or the ability to traverse different areas/challenges?
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Offline Morningshark

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Re: RetroActive 44: The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2019, 05:41:46 PM »
I am probably in the minority here. Spirit Tracks was my first Zelda game that I played through and completed. I played it when I was about 12-13 years old. I'll have a soft spot for it, because of that. It certainly has its issues though. I recall having thought that everything was really hard for me to figure out, particularly the dungeons, and what I was supposed to be doing to unlock things in-between dungeons. I remember "grinding for rabbits" so I could at least feel like I had completed some sort of task when I played. Going back now, the dungeons are much more manageable, but the in-between dungeon experience is still cumbersome.
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