The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D
The Ocarina of Time has been with us since 1998 and it has been widely praised by every single critic in the business – it was even the first game to obtain Famitsu’s perfect score! Since the N64 days, the game has been re-released on each Nintendo home console with no real changes, except for the frame rate speed increase to 60hz with the GameCube version. Keen to show off what can be done with the 3DS in terms of three dimensional visuals and processing power, Nintendo have cleverly thought to remake one of the most acclaimed games in the world, which in turn would drive sales of the 3DS. The question that has to be asked is – should people pay for a fourth copy of a game most people have played to death?
The answer simply is yes. From the moment the cartridge enters the console and the Hylian Shield, Master Sword and one annoying Fairy pop up in 3D, a feeling of familiarity and warmth will fill the heart of the gamer who first played the title in ’98. For the newies to the game or even the series itself will later realise that the game isn’t just a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Which ever way people look at this game – it is something special.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time tells the tail of Link – a Forest Child – who is sent on a quest to save the land of Hyrule and rescue the Princess Zelda. To do so he must embark on the quest of a lifetime, overcoming huge dungeons, defeating powerful enemies and even travelling through time itself to stop the evil Gannondorf. This classic tale of good vs evil will have Link gaining powers and collecting weapons he never thought possible.
Grezzo, a small Japanese developer,was given the mammoth task of revamping the game and have done a superb job, and it really feels like it was made in the 21st century. Back in the day, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time pushed the limits of what the N64 could produce graphically. Today Ocarina of Time is once again pushing at the boundaries of what the Nintendo 3DS can produce, with changes to the basic visual theme, like the shops being fully stocked, each house looks unique and the epic backgrounds no longer have the “pasted on” look. The 3D has been dealt with perfectly, giving the game a great sense of depth perception that especially shines through when jumping between platforms, horse riding or playing the diving game in Zora’s Domain. There is an attention to detail that developers of the newest of games will miss. It is brilliant to see things like The Great Deku Tree, who’s new tash Tom Selleck would be proud of, or riding Epona through the expansive Hyrule Field for the first time.
Cleverly, Grezzo have preserved the original sounds such as the ever irritating “Hey! Listen!” from Navi. All of the music scores from the N64 have been lovingly recreated on the little handheld console. Walking into the Lost Woods will still bring a smile, and the Shadow temple is still as eerie as it was back in 1998. Even though the music is 13 years old it is still fresh and even better than some of today’s counterparts.
This is not just a facelift, a game made younger and more up-to-date by adding all new graphics Nintendo have also added the Master Quest, which is accessible only after the first game has been beaten. More enemies and changed dungeon layouts means that even the most verteran players face a challenge when playing Master Quest. This is coupled with the boss challenge mode, and as the name suggests lets Link revisit a defeated boss and beat them again, this time though it is a timed battle.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D does have a few niggles, however thankfully they are minor. The control system can have a few moments where Link can get caught between the camera readjusting and the circle pad. Also learning the songs on the Ocarina isn’t as memorable as it once was. This is down to the 3DS having a slightly different button layout to an N64 controller but one feels the notes could have been arranged in a better order.
Finally and possibly the most disappointing fall down for the game is that it now features more in depth hints than ever before. On the sub-quests an arrow is now placed on the world map telling Link where to head. Sheikah Stones provide visual hints of where to go to progress in the story, which goes to prove that video games are getting easier. The inclusion of this new feature, whilst helpful for new gamers, only goes to reinforce the mantra that games are getting easier. After all, it wasn’t needed in 1998. Surely without them it would stretch a £40 game further and make more of a challenge!
Ocarina of Time 3D is still a brilliant game which ever way it is looked at. For veterans of the game, it reignites the charm and passion it brought all those years ago. It will still test players to complete the game as fast as possible and challenge them to remember where every collectable is hidden. For new gamers, expect a challenging and epic game lasting a minimum of 50 hours game time. Factor in collecting all items, hearts and Skulltula tokens will take this to a mammoth 100 hours easily. With a few niggles such as the famous bug glitch being rectified, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time still pushes for gaming perfection just as it did in 1998. It maybe a remake but it is more enjoyable than some brand new titles on the market today.