on June 19, 2011
In the field of motion pictures, a generally accepted norm for "greatest film ever made" seems to be Orson Welles' classic
"Citizen Kane." Because games are a relatively young medium compared to cinema, it was only until about 14 years ago that
a contender for "greatest game ever made" stepped forth. To this day, many consider it to be the birthing place of 3D conventions
that are still used quite frequently. That game is "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time", and on the 25'th anniversary of the
Zelda franchise, Nintendo has given it a facelift on it's newest handheld, the 3DS. Diehard fans of the original (raises hand)
and newcomers alike are about to astounded by the results.
For the virgins in the audience, "Ocarina of Time" follows Link, a young boy who lives in the Kokiri Forest, a place where children frolic about with fairy companions. But a peaceful game this is not, for the patriarch of the forest, The Great Deku Tree, summons the boy before him and reveals that he has a much bigger life ahead of him than previously expected. Before he passes on, the tree sends Link on a quest that will span vast distances, and transcend the very fabric of time itself. This quest will determine the future of Hyrule, for if the young warrior fails, the land which is home to thousands will be plunged into an eternity of nightmares by Ganondorf, known by many as the King of Evil.
With this plot, the stage is set for a journey of epic proportions. Back in the Nintendo 64 era, a game of this scope was unheard of, and revolutionized what we expected from interactive entertainment forever. But does it hold up by today's harsh standards? With what Nintendo has done, it not only holds up, but still exceeds a good 90% of what we see on the market in 2011. For a game made over a decade ago, that's no easy feat.
Of course, to do this, the developers had to perform cosmetic surgery on the whole experience. The first, most noticeable change is the fact that the graphics have been rebuilt entirely. Gone are the blocky sprites we saw so many years ago; every character, even the vast multitude of NPCs, are positively teeming with life, moving with fluid gestures we never thought capable from the game. That attention has also been given to the many locales the player will be visiting, with every town, dungeon and field popping off of the screen. These are the most impressive graphics out there on the 3DS right now, and without a doubt the most novel use of it's 3D capabilities. When plugged into a wall, playing with the 3D turned on is highly recommended, for it will provide an experience that simply must be seen to be appreciated.
But a simple graphical overhaul just wouldn't be enough for a game with admittedly antiquated mechanics, which is why "OoT 3D" makes brilliant use of the system's dual screens. The new gameplay eliminates having to shift through four different menus on one pause screen, allocating all item and equipment management to the bottom touch screen. The abilities to equip four items at once, to shuffle through equipment at a breakneck pace, and no longer having to equip the Ocarina are all welcome changes to the game. Also welcome is the gyroscope in the 3DS, meaning that you can now aim items such as the hookshot and bow with your own hands. This kind of interactivity beats even the Wii Remote aiming present in "Twilight Princess", and after engaging in it, you'll find it hard going back to the old method.
Some things shouldn't be touched when modifying the classics, though; just look at what Spielberg did to "E.T." One of the most beloved things about "OoT" is Koji Kondo's chill-inducing soundtrack, and diehards will pleased to know that it remains entirely intact in this remake. While it would've been nice to see some kind of orchestral rearrangement of the score, the nostalgia nerd in all of us will feel right at home with these tunes.
Extras, like the Master Quest and boss gauntlet, are really just icing on the cake. This is a killer version of a killer game, and perhaps now the strongest reason to own a 3DS. This writer cannot emphasize enough on how absolutely phenomenal this game is, and in the end, it's up to you to take the first step on your journey to save Hyrule, whether it's your first or five-hundreth.
Do you have what it takes?
Overall: A+ (Superb)
on June 20, 2011
I have played the original and every iteration after. This version is truely unique. It's not the stunning remastered graphics, because on the gamecube they changed textures and that did little to change much. It's not the easier to manage control scheme, because the game has spaned 3 consoles before this with 2 control schemes (c-stick ocarina was NOT fun). It's the feeling of the game that's really new. I've played before, hundreds of times, and this is game feels like the first.
You can tell that those who worked on this have played as much as any other player who's had it since the beginning. From the big changes (like switching from a boomerang puzzle to a bomb puzzle in the Gohma larva room), to the ever so slight (like moving the grated north wall of the first basement room over 1 foot, so you can't collect the skulltula token while jump slashing off the edge and thus have to regular jump)(or like how all the logs on the top floor are all the same length instead of being different). Some glitches are fixed (like the Humping Skulltula in the plateform room), and overall the game plays exactly like it used to.
I am extremely pleased with this game, and I couldn't have been happier that they took the time to actually look into every detail regardless of how small. The years of waiting where worth it.
The legend has been reborn, and that legend is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
on September 16, 2012
I am past 40 and I bought this one for my kids based on its glowing reviews. It had been a while since I actually played significantly, and although I enjoy a little gaming from time to time, I am not a hard-core gamer.
I find that everything the most positive reviews have stated in this page so far is true for me: I tried it on the 3Ds I bought for my kids on the flight back home and -wow-.
The 3Ds screen is pretty and all but even played with the 3D slider on "off" the game is absolutely great
- The graphics are simply stunning, even in 2D; all the more in 3D. The detail, the textures, the impressive design of the faces, the ambiances - nearly everything is beautiful.
- The music is great and it plays an important role in the game itself, as you learn a few tunes along the way and trigger events by playing them back (on the 3Ds buttons) at the right place and time. I caught myself humming or whistling some of these more often than I dare admit. My son too, on his saxophone.
- The world to explore is very broad and detailed, with lots of side quests and fun.
- The story is a little on the complicated and linear side but nothing dramatic and in the end who cares?
- The difficulty is reasonable, all with some ways to get hints from inside the game through some precognition stones, which saved my day a number of times when I got stuck.
- Very good balance of discovery, adventure, problem solving and fight. It's a game where it pays to be nice to people, and it's a game that forgives a lot of mistakes.
All in all, I was a little weary to hand that to my kids because of the influence of cartoon violence (as a life choice they do not have access to TV) but the mix of problem solving, discovery, learning to dare wander in the dark etc. makes it probably the greatest game I have seen so far, and this is not just because of the 3D or the technical perfection of the game.
I read a review stating this was the first game making it worth buying a 3DS. I don't know the other games that much but for this one I agree.
on November 21, 2013
Having played through the Ocarina of Time on the N64 many, many years ago...I was expecting to be disappointed by this rendition. Call it mild pessimism, or a lack of faith in remakes, but I did not expect to be blown away like this! This game still holds up in every way and it looks incredibly impressive (and current gen) on my 3DSXL. The gameplay is still top-notch, the storyline and pacing is perfectly balanced, and now I can nerd out to Bolero of Fire with headset on. I can't say enough good things about this game...so instead I'm ending my review to go play some more.
on June 20, 2011
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is arguably the greatest video game ever made. Even when running on the Nintendo 64's very limited hardware, it captured the imagination and the hearts of gamers everywhere. Now, this masterpiece has been given a facelift and very impressive 3D remastering for the Nintendo 3DS. Suffice it to say that this is the first game for the 3DS that is worth buying a console over.
The story, dungeons and game progression have remained unchanged for this release, so if you're a Zelda purist you'll be happy to know that everything in the original game is intact. The difference is in the graphics quality. It's clear that Nintendo went through some lengths to fulfill the original vision they had for the N64 version. The result is a game that looks brand new. I never played the original version, but playing through the 3DS version I honestly can't picture this ever being on the N64. The faces look MUCH improved, the textures are more realistic and the colors are vibrant and eye-popping. The 3D effect is jaw-dropping beautiful. If possible, this game needs to be played with the 3D slider all the way up. Particles gently float in and out of the screen, distance is really clearly discernable (especially running around Hyrule Field), and enemies freely pop in and out at you as well. This is now the best use of 3D on this new console. And since we now have a second screen to work with, the HUD has been completely removed from the main screen. Your life bar, equipped weapons and items and the map are all on the lower touchscreen, leaving the 3D screen free to only display the glorious 3D graphics. Switching items is as simply as touching them on the lower screen. There are also optional motion controls available for looking around in first-person view, where you move the 3DS around to look at things. If this is not your cup of tea, you can always revert to analog control from the settings menu.
This remake is simply marvelous. I knew Nintendo had spruced up the game, but I was very pleasantly surprised at just how vast an improvement it really is. While the game may still be a bit difficult for casual gamers (especially the mirrored Master Quest that unlocks upon finishing the main game), serious gamers who own a 3DS are doing themselves a disservice if they don't buy this game! The best video game ever made has officially gotten even better.
on May 21, 2015
It's extremely difficult to take one of the most revered games of all time, and make it better. But Nintendo did just that. Improved graphics, Link's expressions are a lot more animated and improved, the lighting and effects are better (which allowed for easier navigation of the Water Temple with wall lights, trust me, you'll see what I mean), and textures are improved. This is what remasters should all strive for. Taking something nearly perfect, and bringing it that much closer to perfection.
on June 27, 2014
One of the greatest legends in the world of gaming, Ocarina of Time is brought to life again with better graphics, a more intuitive interface, fewer bugs & glitches, and vibrant new textures. This isn't simply some graphical overhaul, the entire experience feels new and refreshed and is definitely worth $60. This and Super Mario 3D Land are the staple games for the 3DS.