Iggy’s World: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D
Back in 1998 if you’re a fan of video games, the primary conversation centered around two games. Those two being Final Fantasy VII and Ocarina of Time. For me the spinner landed on OOT due to my Dad leaning towards Nintendo products in the 90’s. So now it’s sixteen years since it’s initial release and in 2011 Nintendo remastered what many consider to be one of the greatest games of all time (balls in your court Square Enix). So with that being said, let’s take a look at an all time classic and see if it stands the test of time.
While A Link To The Past was the first Zelda game I ever beat, Ocarina of Time was the first one I beat. As a young lad I was unaware of the similarities between ALTTP and OOT. Knowing that going forward with this review of Ocarina of Time, how of a copy and paste job the story for Ocarina of Time is. The only real difference are the specific names of items Link needs to obtain, and superficial fluff that only serves to extend the games length. Another interesting note is that the story after Link pulls the Master sword the main plot takes a back seat.
Which isn’t a terrible thing, and it allows the player to explore Hyrule without worry (unlike another game…) but when you look at from a story perspective the narrative falls apart after a crucial moment. It doesn’t really pick up again until after Link accomplishes his task of reviving the seven sages and eventually ventures into Ganon’s Tower. Given that this was the first ever 3D Legend of Zelda title, I can understand why Nintendo would want to play it safe but that doesn’t detract from it’s copy and past method of telling a story.
Speaking of making the transition to 3D, it goes without saying that many a franchise died from the leap to the third dimension, and while you can’t replicate everything from a 2D experience into a 3D world the team behind Ocarina of Time did a damn great job of making it feel similar to previous titles in the series. The glorious sense of exploration and the feeling of adventure remained a staple as you are free to explore a good chunk of Hyrule before needing a specific weapon or item. Yes Navi does push you along to a predetermined destination, but nothing forces the player along a linear path. However in moving to a 3D plane combat became a priority.
Since attacking in a 3D plane is different in a 2D plane, Nintendo created the Z targeting system. Which allows you to lock onto targets, making fighting in 3D much easier. To gamers born after 1998 you may not realize how revolutionary this was, as it still affects many 3D action games to this day. Thankfully Nintendo managed to find a balance between action segments and puzzle/dungeon segments. Unlike future installments of this beloved series.
Along with the emphasis in combat came the new feature of Link being able to ride a horse and it really only serves as a faster form of transportation for Link, and once you obtain the warping ability Epona only remains useful in one side quest.
The other half of a Zelda game is the many dungeons one will encounter, and each dungeon provides their own unique flavor and puzzles that challenges the player. The designers did a great job of having the dungeons leading the player down the correct path without Navi explaining every single bit along the way. This could be my years of experience but the difficulty never increases once you get past the tutorial dungeons. Similarly neither do the bosses, but then again this is one area of the game I can’t really decipher objectively.
Since this a review on the remastered version of Ocarina of Time I applaud how amazing team Grezzo made this game looked. The early days of 3D have not aged, so from a visual standpoint this is the definitive version of Ocarina of Time, with textures actually having texture, and more emphasis on details that the N64 just wasn’t capable of. Plus the frame rate has been boosted to thirty frames per second, making animations more fluid and combat sections even more enjoyable. Another bonus to the 3Ds version is the use of the second screen which allows Link to carry more items/weapons than the N64 version.
Ocarina of Time suffers from what I call Assassin Creed syndrome. A game that when it came out was extremely well done despite some minor flaws. However their sequels improved upon many complaints (well…..not all of them….) but unlike Assassin’s Creed you can still enjoy Ocarina of Time. Just like Final Fantasy VII this is one game you should play at least once. No I don’t believe it’s one of the greatest games of all time but it should be remembered for setting the foundation for games outside of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time earns a 7/10