Review by ethant87
"Time cannot hinder the Hero of Time nor impact the excellence of this game"
Even ten years after the release, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still revered by many as the greatest video game of all time. Monumental for it's time, this revolutionary game has done what many can not; it holds its place on top even among gaming systems that are two generations further developed. Every aspect of this game is astonishingly near flawless.
The storyline of this game is a very influential factor in its ability to surmount the test of time. As a child, you struggle to fit in and you seem to have no purpose. But it is soon revealed that you have a destiny far greater than that of anyone else. As you travel across the land of Hyrule to save the world, this epic story has you battling incredible foes and overcoming obstacles though impossible.
In your efforts to prevent power from falling into the hands of evil, you fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy as you give the King of Evil the tools he needs to rule the world. Seven years later, you awaken to discover that the situation is far worse than you could ever imagine. Able to traverse time through the Sacred Realm, you must vanquish the evil that has corrupted Hyrule and use the power of the sages to restore peace.
This plot is fantastic, but the experience is what truly makes this game amazing. The development and emotional encounters that your character experiences can really pull you into the game. Exploring the land and uncovering the mysteries of the power of the goddesses brings this game to life. 10/10
While not as realistic as today's graphics, this game's graphics more than suffice. Foes are constructed to appear evil and frightening, just as they should be, and battle sequences and attacks are exciting and well designed. The bosses are menacing and dark, giving then an ominous and powerful feeling. Perhaps another factor in the amazing effect that OoT has on its players is atmosphere of the temples. Each temple reflects its respective element to give it a unique feeling and style, and many are very symbolic in the roles they played in ancient Hyrule. 8/10
Sound is another aspect of this game that is implemented incredibly well to enhance the overall gameplay. The neutral music that plays in Hyrule Field, villages, etc. sounds fantastic. In many places, the sound adapts to the time of day drawing you further into the environment of the game. Specifically, the Temple of Time, the Kakariko Village Windmill, and the Lost Woods have excellent background music. The sound makes the atmosphere even more real. Inside temples, the music is very well suited to each one specifically. Since the ocarina is a main theme in this game, the melodies played on it are central to the story and accordingly sound excellent. The music played during battle sequences is exhilarating and appropriate for a fight. Sound effects are properly in place; there is a different sound for different surfaces you walk on, hit your sword on, etc. and the weapons sound decent when used. 9/10
Gameplay, the most important category for any video game, is where this game shines most. The controls are simple to understand and easy to use; you are able to keep all acquired items in your inventory and have special boots, a special tunic, a sword, a shield, and three items equipped simultaneously. Link has various attacks with his sword, and combining these with other items can create a powerful sequence of attacks. The enemies are quite smart, many fighting defensively. This forces you to observe their movements and strategically plan when to attack, dodge, and block. Additionally, the bosses of each dungeon have a unique fighting style with special attacks. Since these bosses have only a few vulnerabilities, you must discover on your own their weaknesses and exploit them to conquer the boss and free the temple of evil.
Atmosphere was mentioned in the above sections, but it is one of the most incredible parts of the game. With a combination of graphics, music, and unique style of playthrough, each temple and section of Hyrule has its own identity. This aspect is what pulls you into the game and makes the experience so entertaining. Every temple has its own enemies, its own puzzles, and its own item that you use to surmount the challenges that you confront.
Between dungeons you traverse Hyrule Field, explore villages and other locations, and converse with people all over the land. You can help people in exchange for items and take part in side quests. Through adventuring throughout the vast land, you make discoveries, uncover items, find secrets, and meet people all over the place (some of which play more of a role in the past/future than you think). The exploring that you do and the fact that you figure out the story and where you need to go next is yet another factor that makes this game compelling and makes you become Link. 10/10
In conclusion, this game is so incredible because it has the ability to come to life and draw you into it. With a fantastic story line, amazing gameplay, and great additional features, this game triumphs over nearly everything else old and new. Having no major flaws, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is worth pulling out your Nintendo 64 and playing through once again; not just for the nostalgia, but to experience the excellence and the benchmark that this game has set for the video gaming world, even ten years later.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/08
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (US, 11/23/98)
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