After three days, including time spent at home, on the bus, and in the Mall of Arabia, I finally finished the final dungeon and sequence in Spirit Tracks. I’ve got to say, Spirit Tracks is awesome. I was excited for the game, yet still it exceeded those expectations. The dungeons were great, the final (tool) item is creative and fun, it was longer than I expected (but redeeming itself by making each step better than the last). It’s not just good compared to Phantom Hourglass. It’s not even just a good portable Zelda. This is a great Zelda game in the context of Zelda games, at least in the modern (post-OOT) scope of the series.
It’s all in the characterization of characters. The main cast is emotive, sympathetic, and believable. There’s some typical wackiness, but it’s never embarrassingly over the top. It’s just good fun, and it goes on for a good long time.
All that, and I’ve only purchased one train upgrade. I understand that there’s a good quantity of sidequest content to search down. I’ll probably take a break for a bit (it took me longer to get through this than it should have) but I can see tracking down the treasures and beefing up the train, just ’cause.
Next up: Chrono Cross. I very quickly judged the game as stupid years ago, but I anticipate being wrong about it. While I wait for a friend to bring it from the states for me, though, I might try out Away: Shuffle Dungeon for a bit.