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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

June 29, 2011

Ocarina of Time holds the title of highest rated game of all time. It defined the fantasy Action RPG genre and is always looked upon with the rosy glasses of nostalgia. In 2011, 13 years after the original game was released, Ocarina got a remake for the 3DS. With a face lift and a bit of nip and tuck, does the game still hold up in today’s overly critical market and does it hold the same awe that it used to?

Ocarina’s story was the first 3D epic to ever be seen in video games. Link, the boy without a fairy is suddenly called upon to go on a journey to save the world. On his journey he meets the wonderful Princess Zelda who tasks him with gathering the three spirit stones so that they may enter the Temple of Time and retrieve the Master Sword. However, the evil Ganondorf forces Zelda to flee and the only way to save Hyrule is for Link to travel through time to gather the Six Sages so that they may seal Ganondorf away for all time. It’s your classic journey to save the world but because the game has such excellent pacing and scripting, it’s cliché nature never offends modern gamers more ‘sophisticated’ want of plots. The ending was a bit of a kick in the teeth back then and it still is now, even though it does make perfect sense in the situation.

Gameplay wise, Ocarina holds up surprisingly well. The ability to target an opponent and then strafe around them makes for some decent tactical manoeuvres and the puzzles in the game are all complex enough to keep you at them for a while but simple enough that you won’t get stuck for hours on end. The added gyroscope controls for the Slingshot, Bow and Hookshot all work really well and are smoother than the standard controls. There is also the thrill of riding Epona through Hyrule Field which still feels amazing today. Also, the addition of the touch screen menu makes the game flow so much better than the N64 original and makes the dreaded Water Temple fun. I will, however, criticise some of the game’s more antiquated features. The save feature only saves your progress and not your location. If you were heading to the Fire Temple and saved, then you would return at the Temple of Time. It can get a little frustrating at times, but it doesn’t affect the game too much. Then there is also sword gameplay. While it is perfectly fine and is exactly the same as it was in the original, it still feels a little stilted in comparison to the later Zelda games’ swordplay.

Graphically, Ocarina is gorgeous. The visual face lift has done the poorly aging game wonders and adds far more colour to the world than it ever used to have. The world feels larger, sharper and more vibrant than it used to and it really shows off the graphical prowess of the 3DS. Examples of the comparisons can be seen here: Screenshots and Video.

The music of Ocarina is one of the game’s most memorable elements and this stays perfectly intact. With this being my first Zelda game, hearing all of the classic tunes in the game just stirred something inside me. Zelda’s Lullaby, Saria’s Song, Epona’s Song, Gerudo Valley and the Great Fairy Fountain all sounded amazing. But the song that took the cake for the best song in the game was the Staff Roll. Hearing the fully orchestral music blaring out of my 3DS’s tiny speakers was just a phenomenal experience and I am gutted that the game couldn’t have had a fully orchestrated soundtrack like Skyward Sword will have. It really does feel like Nintendo and Grezzo missed a trick with this as an orchestrated soundtrack would have made the game even better than the original by an even greater mile.

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is an amazing game. It is phenomenal how well the game stands up in today’s market and has shifted many 3DSs to fans old and new. While some features feel a little antiquated, Grezzo have done a fantastic job at preserving what people loved about the original and fixing what they disliked while still staying true to the experience of the original. It really is a fantastic thing that they have accomplished and they should be proud of being a part of the second coming of the legacy of the Ocarina of Time.

Rating: 9/10

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom Hall permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:03 pm

    Surprised it’s only your first Zelda game! Also, what makes you say that it’s the highest-rated game of all time?

    • June 29, 2011 3:58 pm

      I’m surprised too. XD Anyway, Ocarina of Time has a rating of 99/100 on Metacritic, the highest of any game ever. Ergo, it is the highest rated game of all time. No game has scored that highly since or before.

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