Have you never played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Or are you a fan of the 1998 original? Read my 3DS review and you, too, will be convinced this 3D remake is a must-play!
Ocarina of Time 3D is the definitive version of this Nintendo 64 masterpiece, which was originally released to the masses during a crazy holiday season way back in 1998.
Over a decade later, 13 years to be exact, Ocarina of Time is still well-regarded as one of the greatest games ever made (THE “Greatest Game Ever Made” according to many) and is often hailed, and cited, as Nintendo’s crowning moment and the 64-bit/32-bit eras highest mark.
Ocarina of Time is also widely considered to be one of the key games that put polygonal 3D videogames on the map and perfected the mechanics, controls, scope and action that hindered polygonal 3D games before Ocarina of Time hit. One of the main mechanics that Ocarina birthed was the ability to lock onto targets (called “Z-Targeting” in the N64 version, it used the underside Z-Trigger button of the N64 controller to lock onto enemies; changed to L-Targeting in all future versions, including this 3DS one).
Yes you read that right. Believe it or not, “targeting” was something lacking in these sorts of games before Ocarina of Time came along and made it a normal feature.
Other new ideas Ocarina birthed were context sensitive button presses (or the A “Action” Button), in this case a single button that you used to open doors, open treasure chests, talk to folks, and more, depending on the situation, and the idea of automatic action. In this case, Link would automatically leap over small gaps and automatically climb up certain small ledges by simply moving him in that direction. No button presses needed. These types of mechanics are common place now, but weren’t regular features in games until Ocarina hit the scene and made them standard.
Of course, since the release of Ocarina of Time many, many things have changed. So how does a game from 1998 with a stereoscopic, glasses-free 3D coat of paint stack up here in 2011?
Also Available On: Wii Virtual Console (original N64 version download), GameCube (The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition collection and the Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Master Quest set), Nintendo 64 (original release). Note that the 3DS version is an improved version. The 3DS version is not available anywhere else.
Released: USA June 19, 2011 – EU June 17, 2011 – AUS June 30, 2011 – JP June 16, 2011
Players: Single-Player Only
Genre: Third-Person Action Adventure
Save: Three Save Files Available. To save your game, press the Start Button and tap “Save” on the Touchscreen. You’ll start again at one of two checkpoints (Link’s House in Kokori Forest as a Child, or the Temple of Time as an Adult). If you save inside a dungeon you’ll start there next time. You can also close the system to go into sleep mode and resume by opening the 3DS. Or press the Home menu button to suspend the game (does not save it however).
Online Support? No
Controllers: Played using the Circle Pad to move and the buttons. Also uses the Touchscreen to activate items and navigate menus.
Developer: Nintendo, Grezzo
Country of Origin: Japan
Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10+ due to: “Animated Blood”, “Fantasy Violence” and “Suggestive Themes”. (Animated Blood & Suggestive Themes? Uhhh no. This is a bum rating, Zelda is as tame as can be, and the ‘blood’ during the final battle is not red… It’s green! >_< )
As I stated above, if you haven't played Ocarina of Time yet, stop reading and go buy the game. The game is phenomenal, and even though it is outdated by today's standards, it holds up as well as A Link to the Past or Super Mario 64, and possibly even better. The game is the pinnacle of Nintendo engineering of the "old yet modern" days, and the game laid the framework for how Nintendo is STILL making most of their games.
In fact, many of the elements of The Legend of Zelda that started in Ocarina of Time still persist in some form for the modern Zelda games. From the weapons Link uses and how they are used (first-person aiming for the Fairy Slingshot and Bow and Arrow, for example) to how dungeons are designed and puzzles are solved, to the races introduced here and how they look (Deku scrub plants, Zora fish and the rock-like Goron) to the titular Ocarina itself and how you play and collect Songs as you progress through this large adventure.
And then you have the eye-popping 3D effects; obviously there is a "3D" in the title of this new 3DS Ocarina of Time for a reason, so the graphics are really a highpoint and one of the main reasons people want to dive back in to this classic.
The first time you turn this 3DS version on, whether you've seen the Epona-riding intro or not, you'd be hard-pressed not to be wowed. The colors pop, and are deeper and more vibrant than ever before, the Moon in the background looks stunning in its detail and sheen, and details in the game have been turned up a notch, along with certain aspects that literally pop out of the screen. Turn the depth slider off and then on again and you can really see the difference, and how the added depth really makes things feel and look more real than ever before.
Beyond the intro, I was surprised to see how many scenes from Ocarina of Time actually take advantage of the stereoscopic 3D effects that the 3DS system can now pump out. You wouldn’t think there would be many uses for it in a game from 1998 from the underpowered N64 hardware, but you’d be wrong. From the overlapping layers of land-bridge in front of Zora Domain’s Waterfall (the overlapping looks AMAZING now), to the flowers placed in front of Hyrule Castle’s courtyard, to the downward view from the tops of the Great Deku Tree dungeon to how Link raises items above his head after collecting them (after which they pop into your face); there are plenty of moments in Ocarina of Time where the game seems like it was built with stereoscopic 3D in mind. Which is quite the feat! In fact, if you didn’t know any better you’d probably think the game was a modern title! And all of this leads to a mightily impressive looking game, particularly with the bold colors and tons of added details that Nintendo has put in to make the game more appealing and fleshed out.
Generally most of the game looks absolutely the same as before, just prettier. And some added details, like more “bushes” throughout Hyrule Field, don’t really amount to much change. But the interiors throughout the game have been given a huge graphical facelift. In fact, some areas have been modified altogether (but never in a way that changes the original layout or gameplay in any way whatsoever).
A good example is the interiors of Lon Lon Ranch, particularly Talon and Malon’s rooms. Malon’s room in particular has been completely modified from the original version. The original version featured bland looking features including a bed in the corner and tables/dressers you could climb on. Well the version in Ocarina of Time 3D has been turned into a true little girl’s room. Posters hang on the wall, the nondescript tables and dressers now look like REAL dressers, and everything has a girly look to it. All of the spaces have now been filled with individual background items. And throughout the adventure you will find these kinds of details (including a few hidden Easter Eggs in the form of posters showing gameplay from the upcoming Zelda: Skyward Sword for Wii! Can you find them?), from the Witch’s Shop to the Fishing Pond to the stores and mini-games at Hyrule Castle Town; all of the interiors have been completely changed and jam-packed with new details. Everything just looks “filled in” and it goes a long way towards making Ocarina of Time 3D look as modern as it has ever looked.
You can really see the difference in these two screenshots. The left is the drab and empty looking Nintendo 64 version, the right is the 3DS version. See the added detail? Laps, new boxes, signs and posters, and objects that look like they are in the foreground, giving more depth to the scene. This is a great example of what you’ll see throughout the game.
As far as the adventure itself is concerned, Ocarina of Time contains some of the most unique elements, bosses, dungeons, characters, designs and mythos that Nintendo has ever come up with. The game plays like you’d imagine if you’ve played any action adventure or modern Zelda title.
You start the game out in a small village made up of green-tunic-wearing, forever-kiddified “Kokori”, who are watched over by the towering “Great Deku Tree”, the God of the Forest. Who tells you of impending evil caused by a great and mighty sorcerer. This is where you pick up the “Fairy Ocarina” as well as Link’s Sword and Shield, and then head off into Hyrule Field, a large green and mostly empty field that acts as a hub, with entrances in each corner direction and side taking you to the various topography of Hyrule. This includes Lon Lon Ranch, where horses are bred and raced, located in the middle of Hyrule Field; Zora’s River, where the source of the water flows through the overworld and the fish-like Zora race live-beyond the waterfall; Hyrule Castle, where Princess Zelda resides with her assistant Impa, along with the Hyrulean King and an active marketplace (where the majority of the mini-games are found); Lake Hylia, where the river empties into a vast source of water (here you’ll find the Fishing Pond mini-game), you’ll also find the mythical Temple of Time here; Gerudo Valley where the all-girl band of thieves reside and the desert awaits, and the towering Death Mountain; a mighty volcano where the race of Goron, rock-eating beasts, reside. At the base of Death Mountain you’ll find the sleepy Kokoriko Village, where the mysterious Sheikah, guardians of the Royal Family, originally lived. Beyond the village is the mysterious Graveyard.
From living Kokori Forest, you’ll meet Princess Zelda, who sends you on a new quest to collect three “Spiritual Stones”, that are used to awaken a mystical blade. Your encounter with Princess Zelda will also teach you the origins of Hyrule, along with some of the most majestic scenes Nintendo has ever created that actually show the goddesses literally forming the world and creating The Triforce, a mystical artifact that protects the world from ultimate evil and divides it from the mysterious Sacred Realm.
You will eventually need to ascend a great volcano, introduce yourself to the rock-eating race of Gorons and the Zora, people of the water, battle your way through the insides of a giant whale, speak to a talking “Wandering Scarecrow” and a wise owl who imparts wisdom to our young adventurer; navigate your way through the maze-like “Lost Woods”, and eventually travel through time and into the future, where you will see Link in his teenage form. From there, you will be tasked with traversing six dungeons, each one more perilous and deviously designed than the last. And each dungeon offers elemental-based puzzles of various degree, with the latter two being extremely interesting; playing on light and shadow. Through the course of all this, you will meet a mysterious male figure (see what I did there?) known as Sheik, a ninja-like character who gives you sage-like wisdom and imparts new songs to be played on your Ocarina, each of which will allow you to traverse the large world at light speed.
In between visiting each location, speaking with its inhabitants, and gaining access to new areas, you will enter various “dungeons” as described above. A classic Zelda staple, it is here that you will do the majority of the true gameplay in Ocarina of Time, and earn the game’s key weapons that open up more of the world and progress the storyline. At the end of each dungeon you will fight a boss, and earn a full Heart Container. The bosses in Ocarina of Time are some of the greatest ever conceived; each of which contains a unique trait that you will generally need to beat back by using the item you earned in the dungeon. All of the bosses are highly original and definitely one of the game’s high points (despite the fact that some are too easily beaten).
You’ll also be hunting for various collectables (Gold Skulltulas, golden spiders you want to kill and collect the coins they leave behind the lift the Spider’s Curse and earn rewards and Heart Pieces, collect four to create a new Heart of energy) and participating in various mini-games, which range from shooting gallery’s to bowling to races of various kinds (be warned, that Wandering Running Man race cannot be beaten! He’ll always win by one second, with your greatest times posted at the clipboard in Link’s house).
As you beat back the sands of time in the future, you will meet several characters from the past who play important roles in the balance of the new world; offering character development of sorts that adds a lot to the game and gives it the feeling of a grand adventure.
By the end of the game, you will likely look fondly back on many of the games awesome moments; which are sealed in a very neat way with a new epilogue-style ending sequence exclusive to Ocarina of Time 3D, which adds an all-new orchestral version of the famous Legend of Zelda theme! Old hats who were around when Ocarina of Time first hit the shelves for the Nintendo 64 way back in 1998, may recall that one of the biggest complaints about the game was its lack of “Zelda-sounding” music, a complain I echoed in my Zelda: Ocarina of Time N64 review.
While the new tunes in Ocarina of Time were fantastic, people felt that the opening theme did not sound enough like the Zelda music of the past, and Ocarina of Time entirely lacked a new take on the classic Zelda theme song… that “mistake” has now been remedied with Ocarina of Time 3D!
Here is how the classic Zelda theme sounded in Nintendo’s 16-bit masterpiece, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Compare that with the Hyrule Field theme from Ocarina of Time, and in some ways you can see why fans were originally bummed. Even though Hyrule Field has become a “classic” now in 2011.
Music plays a huge part in Ocarina of Time, and many of the Ocarina tunes (no less than 12 that you’ll learn throughout the adventure) have become fan-favorite songs and part of the Zelda lexicon. They are now considered classics. To that end, savvy fans realized that the theme song being played in the upcoming Wii-exclusive The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, was none other than a reversed version of Zelda’s Lullaby, the main tune from Ocarina of Time and the first song that you learn on your Ocarina; it’s power is used throughout the game to open new paths and prove your connection to that of the Hyrule Royal Family (via Princess Zelda).
These Ocarina songs are not only amazing tunes that sound great in their own right, but they give Link a myriad of new abilities that truly add a ton to his repertoire of abilities. These songs do everything from allow you to teleport, to allowing you to speak to animals or call your horse Epona (whom you earn later on in the game, allowing you to traverse Hyrule Field at a quicker pace and leap large gaps. Try playing Epona’s Song in front of a cow for a surprise!), to giving you tips on where to go or what to do and more.
And it’s not just the Ocarina songs that are fantastic, the music in general in Ocarina of Time is really great, from the Arabian influenced sound of the Spirit Temple to the haunting chant-less drum beat of the Fire Temple to the unique doofus-y sound of Goron City. The music in Ocarina of Time was great and still great even in 2011.
You can see exactly how these songs have entered the consciousness of fans by listening to this absolutely badass version of “The Song of Storms”, a latter-song that you learn in Ocarina of Time which fills and empties wells and reveals hidden holes in the ground (grotto’s).
While Ocarina of Time on 3DS is essentially the same game as before, there have been additions. One of the new additions is a “tip” system where you can crawl into all-new Shiekah Stones found outside Link’s house and inside the Temple of Time. From here you can view various hint movies that show you exactly what you must do to proceed in the game and solve some of the tougher puzzles. This hint system is all-new, but follows a trend that Nintendo started with the Wii’s Super Mario Galaxy, that contained a hint system.
But one of the key changes from the original N64 game comes in the area of controls and user-interface. The original Ocarina of Time featured a Menu System that you activated by pressing the Start Button. This brought up the Items screen, which featured all of the Items and Weapons in the game such as the four Empty Bottles (along the bottom), Bombs, your Boomerang, Deku Seeds (ammo for your Slingshot), Deku Nuts (Stuns enemies when thrown), etc. Which you could set to the three C-Buttons on the N64 controller (C Left, C Down, or C Right. C Up was used to look in first-person or change your view when inside a building) and then press one of those buttons to use the item (A Button was context-sensitive and B was your Sword, while Z targeted, R used your shield and L turned the map on and off). You then had access to three other Sub-Menus which you could cycle through with the D-Pad or L and R Buttons. From the Items Screen came the Equipment Screen, which allowed you to Equip your different Swords, Tunics, Boots and Shields and then Quest Status Subscreen.
The Quest subscreen showed you how many Pieces of Heart you needed to make another Heart Container, how many Ocarina Songs you had found and how to play them, how many Gold Skulltulus you’ve squashed, which key items you carried (such as Spiritual Stones or Medallions) and which automatic items you had (such as the Scale that lets you dive deeper or the Wallets which allow you to carry more money). The last Subscreen was the Map Subscreen, which allowed you to see a fog-of-war map of Hyrule which filled in as you traversed to new locations or became a map of a dungeon if you were inside a dungeon. While in a dungeon, the Boss Key, Dungeon Map or Dungeon Compass would appear on the Map Screen if you had found them in the current dungeon, and revealed whether or not you found all the Gold Skulltulas hidden in the dungeon, at which point a Gold Skulltula icon appeared next to the title of the dungeon at the top. They also appeared next to the area name on the Hyrule Map to reveal when you had found all the hidden Golden Skulltulas in the main areas of Hyrule (Death Mountain, Hyrule Field, Lake Hylia, etc).
You could also press the B Button on any of the Subscreens in the N64 version to save your game. While this system of four subscreens (which acted like four different sides of a cube) worked fine back in the day, it doesn’t exactly pass muster nowadays. If the N64 Ocarina’s subscreen system sounds convoluted, that’s because it is. So Nintendo wisely has streamlined it for the 3DS version.
Here is a quick look at how the Map Subscreen looked in the N64 version. The GameCube versions were even worse, as the loading in the subscreens took extra long; making it even more annoying to switch between all four subscreens, and to bring up the Menu in the first place.
The controls in the 3DS version go like this: B Button (Sword), A Button (Action Icon/Context-Sensitive), X and Y Buttons (Set Item), L Button (Targeting), R Button (Shield), Circle Pad (Move Link, Navigate Menus), D-Pad (Hold Down to turn mini-map on/off). Then you have the bottom Touchscreen.
And the touchscreen is huge in making the 3DS version the definitive version of Ocarina of Time. Now all of your items and certain Equippables (mainly Boots, more on that in a moment) are laid out before you at all times on the bottom touchscreen. No more having to interrupt the action to see or access them!
Additionally, setting items to the C Buttons has been completely scrapped, and replaced with a new system where you can set items to either the X and Y Buttons (where you can use them by physically pressing the X Button or Y Button on the 3DS), or two other slots known as “I” and “II”, contained no the touchsreen. These have you tapping the I and II slot icons on the rightside of the Touchscreen Item Screen to use the items you’ve mapped to those Slots. Altogether you’ve gained one new slot from the N64 version (now four instead of three), with your Sword always mapped to the 3DS’ B Button and the A-Button remaining the context-sensitive “Action Button” (used to open doors and chests, talk, Dive, etc. depending on the situation).
One of the key reasons Nintendo went with this new Item Menu was to make it much easier to take new Boots on or off. One of the key complaints from the original game was that the Water Temple was an extremely complicated affair. In the Water Temple, you are required to raise and lower the water level to complete the dungeon, with new areas becoming accessible with the water raised or lowered to one of the three levels (low, medium or high). What made this temple tedious however was due to an Equippable Item called the Iron Boots. These boots allowed you to sink to the bottom of the water. While it sounds simple (put them on to sink, take them off to float), in practice this meant having to press start, navigate to the Equipment Screen, highlight the Iron Boots with the Control Stick and press the A Button to take them on or off, then press Start again to resume play (all with more delay if you were playing a GameCube version).
Since you raise and lower the water about 20 times as you attempt to complete the dungeon, and as you are constantly using the Iron Boots to sink to the bottom level, then taking them off to rise to the top of the water, mix and repeat; You ended up with a mechanic that was fundamentally flawed and took a lot of the enjoyment out of solving the puzzles of the awesome Water Temple, and instead highlighted a constant and stuttering break in the action.
Here is a video of the Water Temple from the N64 version, highlighting the tedious nature of the Iron Boots. Note that spoilers may be contained within. Watch at your own risk.
One of the main reasons Nintendo wanted to remake Ocarina of Time on 3DS was to fix this glaring annoyance and streamline the Item system so that the focus was solely on trying to solve the dungeons puzzles. Enter the new Touchscreen-based Item Menu! Boots, including the Iron Boots, have been removed from the Equipment Screen completely in this new Ocarina of Time 3D version and now appear as a normal item that you can set to any of the four slots (X, Y, I, II). You then simply press that button or tap the slot to have Link put the Iron Boots on or take them off. PROBLEM SOLVED! And this ease-of-use applies to all of the Items and Weapons in the game using this new touch-based system. Streamline get!
Additionally, all of the top screen, which shows the gameplay, has been removed of icons and user-interface text, with the exception of the context-sensitive A Button icon, which shows “Open” when near a door or chest, “Talk” when near a person, etc. and now appears in the bottom right of the upper-screen. All of the UI now appears on the bottom screen! This is awesome because it gives you a full view of the action without obstructing it with icons. Even your Hearts (energy) and Magic Bar have been moved to the upper part of the bottom screen.
You can now Save or access Options by simply pressing the Start Button to bring up the new Save Menu, from which point you can tap Save (and then Continue or Quit) or tap Options. The Options menu allows you to modify targeting to “Switch” or “Hold”. The former lets you target by pressing the button, while the latter makes you hold it to keep targeting; Change the camera control so that first-person viewing is inverted or normal (inverted means you press Up to look down, press Down to look Up) and let you turn Motion Control on or off (using the gyro in the 3DS to look or aim from First-Person).
Additionally, the Items Menu has tabs on the bottom in Green (Gear), Red (Map) and Blue (Items) that allow you to switch to the Hyrule/Dungeon Map or Gear Submenus. If you do so, the middle where the Items were displayed will change to display either your Gear (A combination of the Quest Status and Equipment Subscreens from before, now all conveniently in one spot) or the Map subscreen (shows the Map of Hyrule or Dungeon Maps). This system is much more efficient than before.
This video shows you exactly how the new User-Interface in Ocarina of Time 3D works (from the Japanese version).
Another major change from before comes in the form of your Ocarina. Your Ocarina is now permanently located at the bottom left of the Touchscreen, which you tap to pull the Ocarina out (in the N64 version you had to set it like it was any other Item). To play a song, you now can use the Touchscreen or Buttons. The buttons are mapped to the same places on the screen that you can tap to also play the same note. This system works fine, but took this retro gamer a while to get used to and I never quite got the hang of it. The button combinations also seem harder to remember than before, it was easier simply using the four C Buttons on the N64 pad.
Once you have the Ocarina pulled out, you will see a music button in the bottom right, tap that to see a list of all the songs you have earned and which notes you need to press to play them. In an annoying oversight, you cannot press the A Button or tap a song and hear how to play it, something you could do in the N64 version. From this screen you can tap the Ocarina again at the bottom to go back to playing a song (whereas if you press a button it cancels the whole thing and goes back to gameplay. Something I also found annoying). All in all, this system works. It’s just a bit different for fans of the original.
One last change is Navi. The fairy who allows you to see enemy weaknesses when targeting an enemy or boss can now be spoken to by tapping the “Navi” icon in the upper-left of the bottom touchscreen. When not targeting an enemy, you can tap this icon to change to first-person viewpoint to look around, or to change to an overhead perspective in certain shops or buildings.
An additional feature of the 3DS version is the ability to use the system’s motion controls to look around. If you go into first-person mode to look at your surroundings, or first-person aiming for you slingshot/Bow and Arrow, etc., you can look around by literally moving the system. While this works okay for certain parts of the game (namely shooting Skulltulas off walls for example), it is horrible for the Horseback Archery Range at the Gerudo Fortress. Thankfully this feature can be turned off in the Options Menu.
All in all, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time makes a perfect title for the Nintendo 3DS. It is a grand-adventure, and with the stereoscopic 3D effects and bolder colors and graphics, it is a showpiece for what the new glasses-free stereoscopic 3D effects can do on the system. The revamped controls are the icing on the cake.
When you add in the fact that Master’s Quest becomes unlockable once you beat the game (a much, much harder version of Ocarina of Time with reversed locations and all-new/much tougher puzzles, originally released for the GameCube as a pre-order bonus with The Wind Waker) as well as another secret mode, then you have almost no reason not to pick The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D up if you own a 3DS.
So how do I rate Ocarina of Time 3D for 2011? If you haven’t ever played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time then stop reading this and go buy Ocarina of Time 3D NOW! I DEMAND YE!
Ahem, let’s move on to the final scores…
FUN FACTOR: 10
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D holds up phenomenally even in this day and age. Believe it or not, the game seems to have gotten harder, as I could not find everything (namely Heart Pieces and a couple Gold Skulltula) without using a guide! And I’ve beaten it many times! I guess the memory is failing me in my old age (ahaha). So not only is the game tough but there is tons to do, and the dungeon designs and boss battles are some of the best in the series. Overall, even if you’ve played the game before, playing it again will remind you of its greatness and how solid Nintendo was during the N64 era. Even with graphics that didn’t match up to the competition during those days, the level design, weapon design, boss designs, etc. were second to none, and the overall storyline and adventure still holds up extremely well today. Except now with the 3D coat of paint, it nearly does match or even best the competition! Add in Master Quest and the new mode and you’ve got yourself a ton of game that you simply must purchase and add to your new 3DS collection. Ocarina of Time 3D is a port done right.
Ocarina of Time never looked so good! The stereoscopic 3D effects don’t always pop, most of the time they simply add hardly noticeable “depth” to the game, but when they pop they REALLY pop (see: Holding an item over Link’s head!). The added detail given to interiors is quite simply awesome, and some whole areas have changed in look. Now everything has been filled out so nothing is “barren” anymore, and everything looks prettier. Overall, it’s a very nice looking sight, and the eye-candy of the opening will fill you with awe the first time you see it. Sadly though, one of my chief complaints is that the stereoscopic 3D effect wears down the more you play it. What do I mean by that? I mean that halfway or even less through your adventure, you’ll be so used to it that you won’t even realize its there. By the end the game I was unimpressed. There’s a scene where a building is collapsing, and I expected to see a ton of eye-popping 3D making the scene look much better than ever before. I was disappointed. In that way it’s much like 3D movies, eh. When was the last time you paid to see a movie in 3D? Exactly. BUT, I can’t fault the game for that, thus my 9.5 score. Had this game been not been a retooled N64 game, it would’ve scored a ten easily. Despite my complaints with the 3D effect, it does make the game look even better. And that’s something to celebrate.
Music & Sound: 9.0
Ocarina of Time features an amazing soundtrack. All of the Ocarina songs are excellent tunes in their own right, and the music for all of the dungeons and towns is beyond-fitting. While the music itself gets high praise, good luck hearing it with the small-ass 3DS speakers. This is something that infuriated me. The sound is so tiny that many details are simply lost, and even with headphones the system does not go loud enough for my tastes. While the music still sounds great with headphones (or speakers plugged in, be sure to crank them ALL the way up to even hear anything), one way it detracts from the experience is by making it seem much less epic than if you were to play it on a TV with full sound and a bigger screen. While once again I can’t fault the game for a hardware problem, it was a major annoyance for me and something that, IMHO, hurts the epicness off the game. But there’s nothing you can do about it, eh.
And now for an amazing hour long video that allows you to listen to every single song and music piece from the entirety of Zelda: Ocarina of Time! (N64 version)
Ocarina of Time 3D will feel like an old game in the way it plays. While these ideas were breakthroughs back in the day, they are old hat by now. And those who grew up on the combat of Zelda: The Wind Waker or later Zelda games, will feel unimpressed with the simple and in some ways clunky combat of Ocarina of Time. However the new controls and particularly the new touchscreen menu and Item usage go a long way towards refreshing this games interface for the modern age.
Replay Value: 10
Ocarina of Time is full of collectables that completists will love finding. In addition to 100 Gold Skulltulas to find scattered about the huge world of Hyrule (check how many you have on the Gear Menu, and you can tell if you’ve found all of them in an area if a Gold Skulltula appears on the Map Screen next to the name of the place), you also have 36 Heart Pieces to find. Both of these collectables are deviously hidden, and finding all of them will task even the best players. In addition, there is an extra new mode to unlock and beating the game for the first time will unlock the Master Quest, a MUCH harder and infinitely more devious version of the game! This version features insanely weird changes (floating Cow Head Switches in Jabu Jabu’s Belly anyone?) and a mirrored world where everything has been “reversed” and turned around, adding a layer of confusion onto the much more difficult puzzles. Having both the core game and Master Quest on one cart makes this title one heck of a value with enough gameplay to keep you going for about 30 hours or so! Replay Value Get!
Complaints Of A Fanboy:
I have a few niggling complaints that don’t really detract from the game but still irk me. One of them is a carry over from the original N64 game, and that comes in the way of Rupee collection. Rupees are the currency of Ocarina of Time (and all Zelda games). My problem stems from the fact that Rupees, except in the early portion of the game, are way too easy to find and you will often times find yourself with as many Rupees as you can carry. This is made worse by the fact that you will often open a treasure chest and be rewarded with, you guessed it, Rupees. What makes this a crime is that these Rupees completely go to waste if you already are at your max amount (so if you don’t know what’s in that Treasure Chest ahead of time, then you just wasted it). But by far the worse complaint comes from the fact that Rupees are almost useless, as there is very little of worth that you can buy or will find yourself needing to buy with them.
The most important item that you will spend Rupees on are Magic Beans, which you plant in the soft soil you find scattered about Hyrule to sprout a flying lilypad when you are older (tip: catch a bug and drop it into the soft soil to earn a Gold Skulltula from each one!). But you will likely finish buying all of these when you are a child, and after that there really isn’t much else to spend Rupees on…
Adding insult to injury, is the fact that your BIG PAYOFF for collecting all 100 Gold Skulltulas is…. RUPEES! You heard it right. You’ll be rewarded with a 200 “Big Rupee” that you can keep on collecting for infinite money. Problem is… at this point in the game there is absolutely NO REASON to need rupees (and you’ll have long been maxed out at 500 anyway). There is nothing to buy with them except potions, but adept players won’t need potions and you can find fairy’s for free everywhere that you can catch in a bottle and they revive you fully if you die with them in your inventory, making Potions obsolete. This is a HUGE waste IMHO and is an aspect of the game that pissed me off even way back in 1998.
You know what else makes me a bit upset? Why are there hardly ANY extras in Ocarina of Time 3D? How about a Bestiary that gives you detailed information and artwork of all the enemies and bosses in the game? What about having unlockable making-of videos that gave us a look into how Ocarina of Time was developed? What about videos or images of all the Ocarina of Time fanart/cosplay that is art there? What about an unlockable music box that allows you to listen to all of the game’s tunes at your leisure? What about a Movie Gallery that lets you watch any of the game’s cinemas or string them together for one big Zelda movie? How about biographies on all of the game’s characters and a history of Hyrule? Nada. Zilch. Nothing like this is included and it bums me out….
One easy thing Nintendo could’ve done to extend replay value is make all of the above unlockable by using all these wasted Rupees. Imagine if you need to collect say 3000 Rupees to unlock the Bestiary. And 5000 to unlock the Movie Gallery. Why Nintendo doesn’t include something like this is beyond me. It would’ve infinitely added more replay value to the game while also satisfying those who feel ripped off that they had to re-buy Ocarina of Time, while also not taking anything away from the original core game.
Another part of the game that makes me upset is one of the final items you find, the Silver Gauntlets. These FINALLY allow you to lift the Gray Boulders that you have seen mysteriously spread about Hyrule throughout the adventure. Man there must be something amazing hidden beneath that Gray Boulder in Hyrule Field right! RIGHT?! HELL NO! You know what is under that Gray Boulder you’ve been pondering about since the beginning of the game? You know the one smack dab in the middle of Hyrule Field. NOTHING. I will say it again. ABSOLUTELY F*CKING NOTHING. You know what’s underneath two other Gray Boulders? One of them is a Deku Shop with Business Scrubs who sell you Deku Nuts, Red Potion, etc. (just like you’d find BEFORE YOU TURNED INTO AN ADULT), underneath another is a bunch of Rupees beneath some water. In fact it’s better I tell you now so you don’t throw your 3DS against a wall when you finally pick up that Gray Boulder. For all of Nintendo’s great design decisions in Ocarina of Time, they really failed at the endgame, and aspects like these really show Ocarina of Time’s age. This type of thing would be unacceptable in this day and age. To be fair, there ARE one or two Gold Skulltulas that you can’t get until you can lift those Gray Boulders. So, you know. There’s that. They help you earn that moolah you so badly need! Grr…