122 of 133 people found the following review helpful
A stellar refinement of one of video gaming's highest pinnacles,
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This review is from: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Video Game)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is truly a special game. It is one of those rare treats in an artistic medium for which the universal praise and superlatives are entirely true no matter what angle you look at it from. Very few would argue against Ocarina of Time's greatness, or its lasting impact on the industry as a whole, and the fact remains that even after all these years since its release, it still reigns supreme as the world record holder for highest rated game in history. To attempt to remake such a classic masterpiece is a very daunting task indeed, but developer Grezzo, under Nintendo's watchful eye, did just that. The question is, is the remake worthy of the original's name? In short, yes, yes it is. This, to me, is the shining example of what remakes should be, but allow me to go into greater detail to explain why I think this.
Full Disclosure: The Legend of Zelda series is my favorite franchise in video games (a hobby I consider my favorite pastime). It is no stretch to say that Ocarina could very well be the greatest video game ever made thus far in the relatively young entertainment medium. The incredibly epic story of good versus evil, the compelling characters, the masterful gameplay, the beautiful art design, the iconic music, the sheer variety and amount of excellent content, the majesty and mystery of exploring the massive (at the time of its release, anyway) world of Hyrule, Ocarina had it all, and honestly, it still does. You could play this today in its original format and despite its age, you'd still get a masterpiece (as evident by its popularity on the Wii Virtual Console). I make no apologies for my belief in these statements, and I stand by them. Obviously, when considering how to rate a remake, you first have to consider the backbone of the package by analyzing the original works being remade. Ocarina 3D has one of the best games ever to work with, so no problems here. Second, you have to consider what work went into the game to qualify it as a "remake" AND if it benefits the original work enough to warrant a remake treatment. How does Ocarina of Time 3D fare in that regard?
Back in 1998, Ocarina of Time was groundbreaking in many ways as a 3D adventure game, but one of the most striking examples of this were in its visuals. If you play the original today, you'll obviously notice Ocarina has aged pretty horribly, despite the timeless art design, gameplay, music, story, etc. Graphically, Ocarina needed a facelift, and this 3DS remake does just that masterfully. From character models/animations to structures to textures, literally everything was remade from the ground up visually. Grezzo's goal in remaking the visuals was to finally channel the exact art design that was originally conceived, seen through the original official concept/promotional art for the game. That been said, rather than being the detailed, adult graphic novel style of Twilight Princess, OoT3D is more like a vibrant, colorful stylized comic book/anime. Is that bad? By no means! It's more a matter of taste. Personally, I think this game is absolutely gorgeous! The 3DS is essentially a portable Gamecube in terms of graphical capabilities, so imagine that kind of power channeling the original epic concept and promotional art for Ocarina and you have a pretty good idea what you're looking at here. If you don't think the difference between the original and this is much, I dare you to say so after looking at videos and screenshots of them side-by-side. Yes, in terms of visuals, Grezzo nailed it with this remake! To play Ocarina with the visuals it was always intended to have before but couldn't because of hardware limitations is reason enough alone to warrant a purchase, but that's not all Ocarina 3D has going for it visually.
Another visual treatment that this remake got was one that only the 3DS could offer: 3-D (duh). In all honesty, this is one of the better examples of stereoscopic 3-D on the 3DS. I actually found myself playing the game with the 3-D slider all the way up most of the time, and viewed it as an essential aspect to the experience, something I did not expect going into it. That 3-D effect really lent this feeling of organic life to the game, and helped Hyrule truly feel like a living, breathing world. As gimmicky as that all may sound, it's very true in this game's case. Nintendo did a great job making this a showpiece for the 3DS' three-dimensional capabilities. The only problem I ever encountered in this area was image ghosting in places where there was very high contrast, but that's more of a criticism of the 3DS' screen system and not this game.
Koji Kondo's work as the main composer in Ocarina of Time is unrivaled in terms of iconic, brilliant music in a game. To this day, Ocarina's music is required listening for any fan of Nintendo, Zelda, video games, you name it. That been said, they did not rock the boat when handling the soundtrack for this game. The music was remastered, but plays pretty much unaltered in any way from the original (per Kondo's request). It's fun to take in the sound/music design in this game, as the original was pretty groundbreaking in this way. For example, the Hyrule field theme would change in pace and instrumentation depending on circumstances, which is something we take for granted today, but back then it was amazing. It is still impressive today. Grezzo's treatment of the audio was extremely respectful, upgrading and refining without altering, and as a massive fan of Zelda, that is exactly what I wanted.
The controls are as intuitive and satisfying as ever, and in some areas may actually be better than the good ol' N64 "pitchfork" set-up, which always worked so well. The lower touchscreen on the 3DS is utilized to great effect, making looking at the map, changing equipment and gear, changing the view to first-person, talking to Navi, using two of four item slots, and playing the Ocarina, all smoother and more accessible. Otherwise, the action buttons are masterfully mapped on the 3DS' button layout, no complaints there. I DID find my hand cramping after extended play due to the button placement for z-targeting and shield usage, but that's more criticism of the slick, compact 3DS itself. This 3DS hand grip helped *immensely* in that way (and if you have a 3DS XL, then I highly recommend this grip). You also have the option to use the 3DS' gyroscopic capabilities to aim things like your bow that feels really good to use, but that often means losing the 3-D effect, so there is a trade-off there.
To summarize, this remake is, in my opinion, the best version of one of the best video games ever made. It makes substantial upgrades to the original in its visuals, 3-D implementation, audio remastering, controls, as well as the inclusion of the Master Quest (a game that plays the same as the original, except that it is mirrored and the temples/dungeons are very different and much harder, as a challenge to Ocarina veterans). The fact that this new portable version of one of the most revered games ever channels the spirit of the original so perfectly while still feeling brand new again is pretty amazing. In my opinion, that is everything a remake should be, and is exponentially better than the hideously lazy cash grab opportunities that comprise most remake/rerelease/port efforts, but in all honesty, this isn't really a "remake." No, it's more of a respectful refinement. You can tell that the developers were constantly cognizant of the massive shoes of the original, and so refined all that had aged and respectfully left untouched all that makes this game so timeless, and timeless it most certainly is. It is just as good now as it was all those years ago, and is a game that would be worth buying the 3DS for alone. Yes, Ocarina of Time is indeed one of the greatest games ever made, but here's what you maybe didn't expect: Ocarina of Time 3D actually refines and revitalizes this timeless masterpiece. Buy it, save the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule once again, and become the destined Hero of Time.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 8, 2013 4:24:01 AM PDT
Auburn Niewiadomski says:
Great review, I really like your writing style. Very informative.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2013 7:58:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2013 7:59:41 AM PDT
Hi Auburn. Thanks so much for the kind words! Seeing how OoT has such a legendary status, I worked really hard to do its remake justice with my review. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D
Posted on Feb 1, 2014 5:16:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2014 5:16:39 PM PST
Impressive review for an impressive game.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2014 4:03:55 AM PST
Thanks a lot Jon. I really appreciate that!
Posted on Feb 3, 2014 9:43:29 AM PST
Mike The Guy says:
If you don't write reviews professionally you should. I mean it, very very well done.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2014 1:32:07 PM PST
I wish. That'd be awesome. Thanks Mike. That means a lot.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2014 1:59:23 PM PST
Mike The Guy says:
Well I would say just do it. Start a blog for free and just do it for fun if nothing else. I'll subscribe!
Posted on Jul 1, 2015 9:36:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2015 9:37:09 AM PDT
Hello again, Relytia. I hate to bother you but I need to ask a question, and I don't know who else to turn to, as the other person I asked has yet to respond, and I can't be sure if that person ever will. So, here's my question:
I've been looking at the Ocarina of Time 3D Prima Official Game Guide (sorry, I don't know how to include links, but I'd be grateful if someone could instruct me on how to do it) and I wanted to ask a question about it, but I can't find the "ask a question" forums for that item, like most items seem to have. Do you know if there is a way I could ask a question about it? Is there even a forum for it at all?
Posted on Jul 2, 2015 1:53:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2015 4:19:03 PM PDT
Well, I found the forums, finally. I hope someone will respond to my question. It looks like you left one, too, several years ago, but no one ever responded. :(
Thanks anyway. I hope somehow you've found the answer to your question there. Have a nice day, and thank you so much for the conversation a while ago on the Akira Himekawa Zelda Manga Box Set. I love to celebrate my favorite series -- Zelda, of course ;) -- and talk about it with other fans, too.
Hope you're doing fine. Happy reviewing!
Posted on Jul 2, 2015 4:30:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 2, 2015 4:47:52 PM PDT
Found the information for you about the poster in the guide, and to answer your question, the poster is 24 x 36. So, so sorry no one answered until now.
Edit: the forums have disappeared again fron the guide's page on Amazon! What's going on?