Review by N60
"The Greatest Installment in the Zelda Series Yet"
*~The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time~*
The Zelda series has been through a lot since the first game was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System so many years before. That was, in my opinion, the worst game I've ever played, but the series has progressed since then and I'm glad to say I'm a diehard Zelda fan and always will be. Playing through all the other Zeldas did give me a great gaming experience, but I feel as though no experience with the series has ever been as great as playing this gem of a game crafted by Shigeru Miyamoto and his fellow coworkers over at Nintendo of Japan. Known often as the greatest game of all time, this installment in the series is definately the best. I don't think it deserves the number one spot but it certainly holds a place in my heart after playing through it the umpteenth time.
The story begins in the Kokiri Forest, home of the (you guessed it) Kokiris. The Great Deku Tree tells a fairy named Navi that she needs to aid the one without the fairy. This takes Navi to the house of Link who's been raised as a Kokiri since his mother died and left him in their care. Link has to go through the first dungeon and defeat the cursed monster inside the Deku Tree, only to get a kick in the face after the Deku Tree dies. The story kicks off there when the Deku Tree gives Link one last detail: to go to Princess Zelda. Link travels all over the land of Hyrule searching for medallions and stones to defeat the evil Ganondorf who has singlehandedly taken over Hyrule. He has to travel back and forth through time to accomplish this task. It would normally just be a gimmick to do so but the game designers took enough care to make sure that the two versions of Link in the game never got old to play as.
The gameplay has about a ten minute learning curve but it's not hard to get the hang of what you're supposed to do. You're entrusted with a sword and a shield at the beginning of the game and those are your primary weapons throughout the game although you'll get many, many more as the game progresses. None of the items ever feel gimmicky and all of them are fun to use, even if they're not really important after you beat the temple you got it from. The controls are basic: B for sword slash, hold B or spin the control stick then B for spin attack, and etc. The items are controlled with the C-Buttons, leaving three customizable at a time. You have your basic items you had from the first game: boomerang, bomb, arrows and some new ones: longshot, bombchus, and the Lens of Truth. Each has it's own use with the exception of the bow and the slingshot, with the bow essentially being a beefed up version of the slingshot for Adult Link. Travelling through time is done by pulling and putting the Master Sword out and in of the pedestal in the Temple of Time. The Ocarina is used throughout most of the game and you get loads of songs for it each with it's own respective use.
It's 2007 and the graphics are old age now, but for the time it was released Ocarina had stunning graphics, all on one cartridge. Beatifully detailed polygonal or not, the graphics were never eyesores and for the time were eyecandy. Every enemy looked different enough that you could tell which is which. None of the enemies ever got old even though some got tedious and they were all fun to play against. As said before, everything was detailed beautifully from the tunic that Link wears to the environment around him. Even the 2D graphics spread throughout the game weren't old and nothing killed your eyes when you played through it again and again.
The sound for the game is a key element seeing as though the entire game was based upon an instrument of sound, the Ocarina of Time. Each song is crafted beautifully and nothing sounds terrible. Every song fits the environment perfectly and has it's own jingle. It's all earcandy and it never gets old even though most temples have you listen to the same track over and over again. The only track I had a problem with was the cave track, which was too simplistic for my tastes. All the voice acting, all though only mildly there, is nice and doesn't get too repetitive but does get tedious after you've listened to Link's grunts and Navi's 'Hey! Look! Listen!' for the millionth time. The Ocarina doesn't sound entirely like a real Ocarina does, but it gets close enough. It's never old to play the tunes that you get throughout the game on your Ocarina.
Unfortunately after you've beaten the game there's not much to go back for. There's no new Hyrule to visit, no Triforce to collect, essentially you can beat the crud out of Ganondorf for as long as you want. There's not much replay value to the game. There's no multiplayer to take up your friend's needs. However, the first time you play it you may find yourself wanting to go back for more great gaming. It's not the best game ever but it's certainly one of the greatest games ever created since we heard the first beep-boop in the 1970s. I give Ocarina of Time a 9.6 for all the fun times it's give gamers over the years.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/26/07
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (US, 11/23/98)
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