Review by Emenpee
"The Benchmark for Video Games, Still to this Day"
Look, I know there has been a lot of reviews for this game. But I find this game to be so amazing, so incredible, and to be honest, it was, and still is, a major part of my life. It was the second game I was ever passionate in, the first being Super Mario 64. I look back whenever I played this game with fondness, and I occainsinally play it to this day. Whenever I pop it in, it is every bit as impressive to me as it was all those years ago. There isn't a better testament of quality than that.
Alright, I'll say it: the beginning starts out very slow and boring. But honestly, what more would you expect? The game needs time to build up its characters, to set up the plot, and to introduce you the incredible world you are about to explore in. And it was built perfectly; it makes you appreaciate the latter half of the game that much more. You start out as a nameless boy, who just woke up from a nightmare, while you are summoned by the Great Deku Tree, the guardian spirit of the forest that you currently live in. The respected guardian gives you the tasks of going inside him and ridding him of a curse; then he sets you off on one of the greatests quests in history.
I don't want to say much more about the plot, because spoiling a story so beautiful and well written should be classified as a sin, or at least a faux-pas. Every time I replay through this game, the incredible story still gives me chills, and it still makes my heart bounce with joy. It is so perfect, it is hard to describe.
Most people would argue that the meat and potatoes of any game is its gameplay, but I would dissagree. It's the story and atmosphere that really does it for me in Ocarina of Time. That's not to say, however, that the gameplay is bad: far from it. It helps immerse you with flawless controls, and the way the game is laid out makes you think about what to do. The combat is intense and incredible fun; and every monster has a certain strategy required to kill, which makes it rewarding when you find out what it is.
You go through more or less about eight dungeons through the entire game, all of them incredibly designed. They all seem to take some sort of inspiration from the real world and placed here; so it makes it all the more interesting actually getting through them. They are laid out so the puzzles will make you think. The best part is, the whole dungeon in itself is a puzzle, meaning you usually have to somewhat "build" the dungeon back to what it is supposed to be.
The dungeons are great, but it's hard not to be distracted by all of the sidequests and people that splatter the land of Hyrule. Everybody has a special personality, and are incredibly memorable. I would have no problem recalling each and every person in the entire game, even on my first play through. I'm sure many people feel the same way. There is a lot of stuff to find; health to last longer in battles, and spiders you can hunt down for rewards. Others include ammo bags for your equipment and masks that you can put on and see peoples' reactions. All of these are put out very smartly; the ones that are easy to find are hard to aquire, while the ones that are devilishly hard to find won't take to much effort to capture. In the end, this makes having a full, complete file incredibly rewarding. I have played through this game about ten times, and I only once completed everything. And it was only a few months ago I did this.
Whenever I play Ocarina of Time, I am amazed at how incredible they managed to make the graphics appear for its time. Hell, I am still incredibly impressed by them today, which shows how good it was back then. Of course, since the game is so huge, there are some parts with framerate chokes, but these happen so rarely that you hardly even notice. Also, the game doesn't necessarily have as good resolution as it could, but I guess that's only because I have been spolied by the beautiful games of the next generation. The game still looks fantastic by any means.
If a game has a great soundtrack, I consider is one of the highest points of the game. That is the case here. Every track in the game is incredible; they all fit perfectly with the atmosphere. Some of them are light and catchy, while others are incredibly dark and broading. The Fire Temple has ancient chants that make you feel like you are not alone, while the Spirit Temple has a haunting remedy of ancient Egyptian music. I am in awe and amazement of how incredible the soundtrack is, I can't even explain it.
This game will never get old. It is timeless, and I truly mean that. I have played through this game many times, and I am just as excited and warm as the first time I played it. I will continue to play this game throughout my whole life; it is truly that important to me.
I know what you are thinking. "It is just a video game, why are you so obsessive?" I don't find it to be obsessive at all. With a game this incredible, with a game do jay-droppingly amazing, it deserves nothing less. This game helps me when I feel bad; it helps get me through hard times, because it sets me in a world all in its own, and it helps bring me into my very own world. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a game, sure, but it is also so much more than that: it is the experience of a life time.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/19/07
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (US, 11/23/98)
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