The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is regarded as one of the best games of all time, or simply the best game ever made. It is now 13 years old and although it may sometimes look dated, the mechanics presented first in this game have carried on as landmarks in most action/adventure games since. Its simple story, lovable characters, fun gameplay, sense of courage and heroism all add up to one of the largest adventures presented in the land of Hyrule. It is with my utmost confidence that I can say that Ocarina of Time 3D only improves on these facets of excellence.
It is easy to sit back and push this one to the side because Nintendo has re-released Ocarina of Time a couple times before, right? I can certainly see where you are coming from. People played it, a lot, on the Nintendo 64. People played it and the Master Quest on the Gamecube. More people played it on the buggy Collector's Edition, or on the Wii's Virtual Console. So really, why play it again on the 3DS?
The first thing that must be pointed out is the entire game has had a graphical overhaul. Every tree, every stone wall, every enemy, NPC, skulltulla... everything you can imagine. It all looks better. The framerate's been improved to 30 frames a second. It all just feels good.
Here are two images that compare the original Ocarina of Time to the 3DS version:
Ocarina of Time 3D is just that, a title for the Nintendo 3DS. The depth is simply incredible. It really allows you to feel like you are in Hyrule, as if you are the hero traversing across time to save a land corrupted by evil. If you run down a hallway you can see the end of it and truly sense that you are approaching it. I could sit here for hours trying to explain what the 3D looks and feels like, but it's something that must be experienced individually. It brings the world to life.
One of the coolest new features is how the game makes use of the 3DS' gyroscopic abilities. This means that the 3DS senses when you move the handheld which allows you in turn to look around in the game world. You simply L-target and move the 3DS in any direction you like. You move the system left and Link looks left. The same goes for using your bow, hookshot, boomerang, and slingshot. In the first-person perspective you no longer use a joystick to aim, but rather move the 3DS to target your enemy. It all feels natural.
This leads to my only problem with this release on the 3DS. The 3D can become bothersome if you are either lazy or you are in an area where the 3D simply does not help. If you go into a first-person perspective and try to aim with your hookshot, you need to move the handheld to find your target. But with such a limited window for viewing the 3D effect, moving the 3DS too much can cause the image to split or have a flickered-like reaction. This isn't an end of the world issue, but rather an annoyance. The reason I bring up being lazy is because all you have to do is either shift your eyes or move your head a certain way to see the 3D clearly. But after repeating this process many, many times it can be a bother. Honestly the easiest way to deal with this is to just turn the 3D off when you don't want it on. That's all I had to do to get through certain areas or fight certain enemies. At the same time the 3D effect heightened the visual experience altogether. If you were to ask me how much I had the 3D on or off during my experience with Ocarina of Time 3D, I would have to say 70% on and 30% off.
I must admit that the 3D did glitch on me once, and I was even able to record it:
When I was doing my duty to shake my booty and save Hyrule, I noticed a new feature that definitely was not in the original game. This feature is a seeing-eye stone that Link can use to access special hint videos. This feature was added for those who are new to Ocarina of Time, or for those who need help every now and again. I did check out some of the videos, but preferred the good ole' Prima's strategy guide for the original game whenever I got stuck.
Other new features include a boss challenge mode that allows you to visit the bosses you've defeated in the game and an updated Master Quest experience. Not only are the dungeons more difficult than before, but the game is also mirrored. Master Quest is unlocked only once you beat the original game. It's a solid way to guarantee replayability. And I have to mention the new menu system. It's completely awesome and allows you to access your gear on the fly. Items are conveniently located for your fingers to tap what you want. It is especially helpful for locations like the Water Temple. Remember putting on those boots only to take them off a second later, over and over again? Well now it's just the tap of a button. It's simple and cleverly designed.
Ocarina of Time 3D is scored with blissful amounts of nostalgia that we all remember when we were kids. We remember those great moments in gaining Epona, dealing with Princess Ruto, learning Sheik's true identity, and ultimately becoming the hero of time. We remember those catchy tunes and hum along with them, and we're proud to own our real ocarinas. Bolero of Fire is my personal favorite.
The magic poured into this game is incredible. If I had to define it, I would say this is one of NIntendo's finest masterpieces. Their games already have the ability to feel magical, but this one is at the top. As this title in the Legend of Zelda series allows you to become the hero of time, it has certainly aged well over time. Will another video game ever achieve what The Ocarina of Time has presented to us as one of the best video games ever made? Hey! Look! Listen! It could be around the corner.
Title: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Developer: Nintendo, Grezzo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Completion: According to the 3DS's stats application, I beat Ocarina of Time 3D in 24:50. I did skip out on a number of sidequests such as the Biggoron sword, two of the bottles, a number of heart pieces, and more. I played through the boss challenge mode, unlocking the additional gauntlet mode.