Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Reviewed by Kyle Bell, Posted on 2011-07-15


Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 19, 2011 Available On: 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is regarded as one of the best video games of all time. This Nintendo 64 classic has been ported more than once, but never have they re-created the entire game with improved graphics. Thirteen years after its debut, Ocarina of Time for the 3DS looks absolutely beautiful and plays just as well, if not better, than the original.

You play as Link, a young boy who grows up in a small village known as Kokiri Forest. Hes a boy without a fairy, a sword or a shield, yet is expected to save the world. He soon finds himself battling monsters, exploring dungeons, and fighting the forces of Ganondorf, the King of Evil. Eventually you meet Princess Zelda as a child, whose father is the king of Hyrule. Shortly after this meeting Ganondorf takes control of Hyrule and it plunges into darkness.

If you have played Ocarina of Time before, do not expect the 3DS version to be much different. This game is a straight-up cosmetic remake with everything matching down to the position of townsfolk in Castle Town. Depending on where you come from, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly someone that has never played Ocarina of Time before would not mind. Purists that prefer to see things left intact also will be pleased, but if you have played Ocarina of Time a million times, playing through again with a bit of a facelift might not be worth $40.

One of my biggest complaints about the game on the Nintendo 64 was the fact that the controls were clunky, at best, and the camera was wonky. Ocarina of Time 3D does a surprisingly good job in both respects. Controlling Link with the analog stick is mostly a smooth experience, although I encountered annoying parts when riding his horse Epona. There are also instances where you will jump from a platform to a ledge and for some reason he does not grab.

The biggest differences are of course the upgraded visuals. Honestly as great as it looks, I would have expected even more polish, but it is on par with a lot of PS2-era games. If you were directly compare it to something like Twilight Princess, a GameCube game, then unfortunately Ocarina of Time does not stand out, but the jagged edges certainly do. Complaints aside, this is a big upgrade and fans are sure to be happy, even if they could have pushed the hardware a little more.

The best part of any Zelda game is of course not its technical aspects, but the gameplay itself. Ocarina of Time is an example of splendid level design. Everything in this game is there for a reason. Each character, enemy, chest, fence, gap, and ledge has a purpose. A lot of it you cannot access the moment you see it. Sometimes you will need to backtrack, other times you will end up at the location you need by simply following the path in a dungeon. Whatever the case, you will have to think outside the box to advance in this game.

As far as combat goes, I wish there was more of it, because it is a real treat. The basic idea here is to lock on to an enemy, avoid his attacks and use the correct weapon to inflict damage. Some enemies are invulnerable to arrows, bombs, swords, and any other variety of weapons that you have. Most of them have a weakness, especially the bosses. Thankfully, managing your inventory is pretty easy with the touch-screen.

With Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the Nintendo 3DS finally gets a game that makes the system worth owning. It is a relatively long game, easily lasting over ten hours with all of the side-quests, although it is not very difficult. It also includes Master Quest, which is basically the same game except everything is reversed and you take more damage. Diehard fans of the series and newcomers alike are bound to be blown away by the upgraded graphics and the gameplay that is just as good today as it was in 1997. I certainly would not call it the best game ever, but the commitment to sound level design makes it a cut above the rest. Ocarina of Time set the standard for what an action-adventure game should be. Now it does the same for a new generation of gamers.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 9.1 out of 10
Written by Kyle Bell Write a User Review

Reviewed by Kyle Bell