For some, it’s best game to ever appear on the Nintendo 64. For many, it’s best adventure game ever conceived. A breakthrough in video game design at the time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time garnered universal critical praise in 1998 for many reasons. The high-detailed visuals, which not only managed to fully immerse players into the magical world of Hyrule, but also pave the way for the three-dimensional era. The detail and thought brought to the gameplay, questing and puzzle mechanics and of course, the iconic soundtrack, which up until today reminisces of a simpler time where games didn’t bank on pretty graphics to convey its value.
Its hard to give further praise to a game that doesn’t need it anymore. A game that basically 95% of the core gaming population knows very well already. So while I’ll be detailing what this Nintendo EAD/Greezo 3DS remake brings to the table, just keep in mind that Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D hits stores this Sunday and deserves a spot on any 3DS owner collection. For fans, its a great way to rediscover an all-time classic. Never played it? Well, the time has come to correct that mistake.
Knowing that Ocarina of Time’s storyline can easily be found on the Internet (alongside the massive walkthroughs and numerous fan sites), this review won’t spend several lines and paragraphs describing what Link’s adventure is about. All you need to know is that our hero has been given the mission to stop Gannon - the leader of the Gerudo tribe - from conquering the kingdom of Hyrule. To help him achieve his quest, a fairy guide named Navi will accompany him. The story sees Link start off as a young boy, and growing into adulthood with powerful weaponry and increased skills by the end of the game. I’ll leave the rest for the first-timers reading this review to discover.
While the story is exactly the same as I remembered it thirteen years ago, several new things have been added to this remake. Leading the way are the visuals, which are sharper, prettier and more detailed compared to the 32 megabyte masterpiece. The 3D viewing, especially when exploring outdoor environments, is simply amazing. Although, once inside, I had to turn it off. Not because it wasn’t pretty mind you, but mainly to concentrate during the puzzle-solving moments and enjoy the combat. Note that the visual quality achieved here is crisp and immersive enough to make 3D almost unnecessary. However, when used once in a while, the 3D will level the experience up a tiny notch. The introduction of a permanent map and a touch-based inventory, as well as additional touch shortcuts for the Ocarina and extra equipment, is certainly the greatest feat. All the troubles and frustrations of the N64 era were suddenly forgiven. Yes, the inventory from back then left me scarred. No fooling. The optional third-person view for exploration and ranged attacks via the 3DS built-in gyroscope instead of the circle pad is also great. It won’t necessarily feel like the go-to strategy at first, but the level of accuracy will eventually grow on you to a point where the analog controls won’t seem as precise anymore. Other notable additions to this 3DS version include the GameCube’s Master Quest (w/ redesigned dungeons and tougher enemies all in reverse), the new Boss Challenge mode (time-based challenges) and the Super Guide hint videos.
Despite the happiness this remake has brought upon me, there’s a few things that deserves a little complaining from yours truly. Mind you, they aren’t huge. First, I was surprised to hear the same MIDI music and audio bites from the N64 version. Don’t get me wrong, it does touch the retro chord and carries its own very unique charm, but a reworked sound build would have been extremely welcomed. My second minor complaint: the fact that access to the aforementioned Master Quest game mode is given as a reward for completing the game once. The camera does go crazy once in a while and the helpful compass couldn’t find a place somewhere on the touch screen. Still, these complaints do not have a major impact on the whole experience when put beside the overall amazing work that has been achieved. At least, nothing serious enough to prevent a purchase, an option that should be considered by now.
Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess all have their charm and reasons why someone would prefer one over another. To me, Ocarina of Time was - and remains - the best Zelda 3D game ever and replaying Link’s greatest adventure on a 3DS after all these years brought back several amazing memories. There’s still a part of me who questions the reason why Nintendo didn’t release this remake on day one alongside the handheld. It would have incentified hardware sales considerably. Still, the game is releasing this weekend and every single 3DS owner around the world needs to own it.
Release date : 2011-06-19
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Nintendo
Gameplay : Adventure
Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?
Let’s face it: buying digital games is significantly more convenient than buying from a retail store. You don’t have to put pants on to go outside, nor do you even have to go outside. You don’t have to drive to the store, nor do you have to wait in line at said store. On top of that, the price is generally the exact same, if not more for the physical version.
Let’s face it: staying in just your underwear, FTW.
Despite the overwhelming advantages of buying digital, I still can’t fully commit to it. While I understand I am more in the minority with each day that goes by, I truly believe I have a legitimate case about buying physical copies of games.
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus - uh, I mean PlayStation VR - Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is currently far from completion, it’s also far from shotty.
Whether it’s a rainy day, a sickness, or some other reason not to go outside and enjoy the beautiful summer air, video games are the perfect way to spend your time - that is, if you can find a game to play. In terms of releases, summer generally isn’t the most fruitful of seasons, and this year is no different. So what games could/should you be sinking your teeth into during the dog days?