Review by Ranma
"Well, what else could this game be but fantastic?"
Well, what else could this game be but fantastic? It's Zelda, and it's 3D!
Ooohh.. Zelda in 3D.. makes you shiver, doesn't it? But let's get to the
This is the best-looking Nintendo 64 game to date, hands down. There's no pop-up whatsoever when walking around the vast world, and all of the environments look beautiful. Even the weather effects - rain, snow, lightning, etc. are amazing. Nintendo has also done a superb job with their polygons in this game - Link, in particular. He really does look like a real person, as he is perfectly animated. Of course, all of the other people in the game - Zelda, Saria, townspeople, etc. - are all beautifully done, but Link is the one that really shines. Nintendo has really come a long way since Super Mario 64. (Remember the ugly pologons used for Mario?)
Unfortunately, where all of the other aspects of this game really rock, the game's music suffers. That's a crying shame, since the previous Zelda games (A Link to the Past, Link's Awakening) had great music. Be warned: the original Zelda theme is nowhere to be found in this game - rather, the theme is remixed, and rather badly, at that. Take heart, though: there ARE some tracks in this game that are good (Zora's Domain, Spirit Temple), but I expected a lot more from Nintendo. The sound effects, on the other hand, are great! Nintendo took cute little voice samples for Link (child and adult) and Navi the Fairy, as well as various other small samples. It actually doesn't get annoying hear Link yelp each time he swings his sword; I don't know why, it just doesn't. The difference in footsteps for different terrain is pretty cool, as is the rooster crowing as a sign of morning and the wolf howling as a sign of night. I still can't get over the sounds the pissed off chickens make..
The controls in Ocarina of Time are incredibly responsive, just as all of the controls in the previous Zelda games have been. The controls are hard to get used to though, and they're a bit tough to learn as well - EVERY button does something, from the A, B, and C Buttons to the Z, L, and R Buttons. One thing that's nice though is that the camera adjusts itself so well in this game that you never have to worry about configuring your camera, unless you want to see in the direction Link is facing in. The controls are as follows: A is the "Action" Button. Depending on what the Action Icon at the top of the screen says, this button is used to make Link climb, grab, push, pull, talk, etc. B is used to swing Link's sword. C Left, C Down, and C Right can all be programmed to specific items like the Hookshot, Bow & Arrow, and the Boomerang. C Up brings up a first-person view to look around the area, much like in Banjo-Kazooie or Mario 64. Now, we go on to the Z Button, the most complicated button in the game. I'm not going to explain it here, but Z activates "Z Targeting", which locks you on to your enemy and starts a killer battle mode. It's one of the coolest aspects of the game. Overall, the controls may be a little tough at first, but you'll get use to it.
I never thought that I'd give a Zelda story such a high score, but it's true: Ocarina of Time's story rocks. It's not the basic "kill the monster, save the princess" deal like I thought it would be - no, this story travels much deeper than that. This game, in fact, takes place before all of the other Zelda games, so this game deals with Link's first meeting with Zelda, and his first epic fight against Ganondorf, the King of Thieves. In this adventure, Link will travel in time - to adulthood and back. You start out with Young Link, who is but a small kid when he starts the adventure, but after certain events take place, you gain control of Adult Link, who is now a teenager and able to handle the legendary Master Sword. The only drawbacks to this is that Young Link can't use items that Adult Link can, and vice versa. Additionally, some areas can only be explored as one Link. It may get frustrating warping back and forth through time, but it is a small, small complaint about this game. Anyway.. along the way, Link will meet characters such as the mysterious Sheik, a surviver of the Sheikahs, and the outgoing Darunia, leader of the Goron Tribe, among others. Believe me - no matter how much you try not to be, you WILL be sucked into the story.
Fun Factor: 10/10
Well, what were you expecting? A five? Of COURSE this game's fun! It's a Zelda game! No.. seriously, you'll love exploring the massive landscapes, and the deep, deep dungeons that you have come to know and love through the other Zelda games. You'll no doubt miss a meal or two just trying to get that one Piece of Heart or just to beat that one Boss. Speaking of Bosses, the ones in this game are cool! Some of them are VERY innovative - for example, to defeat one Boss, you have to stun its hands with Arrows or the Hookshot, and THEN use the Lens of Truth against the invisible Boss, so that you can see it and then proceed to wail on it with your equipped sword. As you can see, it's Zelda in 3D. Just what you've always wanted.
Yes, if you add all my scores up and then average them, it rounds to 9, but this game does NOT by any means deserve a 9. If you have a Nintendo 64, then you know what to do immediately. If you don't, at least rent one from Blockbuster and try this game. It's definitely the best Zelda game to date and well worth a lot of your time. Hey Mr. Miyamoto, where's Zelda 64 2?! ^_^
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 01/13/01
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