Review by A.K.A

"Hyped up and ready to go...can it stand up to the test?"

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen to my review for the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. This game is one of the many in the series, and it started out long, long ago on the Gameboy with a game by Capcom that literally revolutionized RPGs. People from all over the world got addicted to the main character named Link, who through every adventure needs to go and save Zelda and the world from certain danger. The classic enemies and bosses from this game could make a list a mile long, and they make the game great. All in all, people fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series, and they couldn't wait to get their hands on more.

A couple years before this game's release, news came out about a new Legend of Zelda game making its way onto the new Nintendo 64 with much more stunning graphics and gameplay. The amount of hype this game received was unbelievable, and Capcom was really in a fix to make an outstanding game to live up to all of it. Well, a couple years later it is safe to say that it lived up the hype in many people's eyes, and it sold out like crazy! People adored the new 3D environment and how much this game has changed for the better.

I, for one, welcome the change because the newest series of the Legend of Zelda on the Gameboy Color is getting old, same graphics, same storyline, same gameplay, and new marketing strategy. The 3D environment of this game really changed it and it changed the entire way that Zelda went about things. There are however a few flaws, as all games do, and it really set this game back.

Gameplay - 8.5 out of 10
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This game has an unbelievable amount of stuff to do in it. Unlike previous Zelda games this game had so many side quests, sometimes I would almost lose track if it wasn't for the Pause menu in the game. It includes killing many hidden spiders, heart pieces as usual, saving a horse, collecting the souls of ghosts, a new trading sequence, a mini game with fishing, being a mask salesman, and learning songs on the ocarina. There are even probably more that I can't think of. The creator of this game also made sure to make the dungeons very lengthy and complex, especially when Link is an adult. This can get a little frustrating, as the challenge of the level can't compensate for the wandering that many people do to try and figure out the level. This game scores an A- in my book for the game itself.

This new game utilizes every single button on that Nintendo 64 controller, and each one of them is useful. Instead of the old A and B item system that all other Zelda games had, they allow you to equip four items at a time, which utilizes the C arrow buttons to decrease the amount of times you need to go back and forth in the Pause menu. They also utilize the Z button nicely as a targeting system, and they include the L and R buttons for smaller purposes. What I didn't like about this system is that there was only one button for an action, and you had to stand in the right place for each one, waiting to see it in that blue circle. It got a touch too annoying, and it was one of the faults in this game.

Another new part to the Zelda series is the Z-Targeting system. I thought this system was a well thought out way to handle aiming and made it a lot easier and a lot harder for players. It made it a lot easier because in a 3D environment there are so many ways that you can miss an enemy, so this auto-aiming system made it that much easier. I found it a little difficult to change from one target to the right target. It should automatically change to the closest one, but sometimes it didn't and that cost me some health. The Z-Targeting system was a very good idea, but they needed a way to sort out the cluttering if there were a lot of enemies around.

This game can be replayed many times, but as many RPGs go and all the Zelda games go, there aren't many variations to what you can do differently in each game, and this Zelda game is no exception. It can be replayed of course for the enjoyment and thrill of the levels and the enemies and the suspense, but it does get a little redundant.

Story - 8 out of 10
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I was actually very impressed with the story as it was something different enough to catch my attention. The story is that a man named Ganondorf is trying to take over the world (meh) and you have to stop him from doing so. His plan is to get a hold of the Triforce, and you must stop him from getting to the item that controls the ways of life. You must work together with several other magically inclined people to stop him. Now it is a little too obvious what was going to happen, but this is a first, that you do not have to save Zelda from anything. Sure, she tries to go and help you out at the end, but the entire plot of the game is not to save anyone, just to save the world. I though that it was a nice twist, but the story still lacked a whole lot of authenticity.

Graphics - 10 out of 10
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Oh man are the graphics ever so sweet. For a Nintendo 64 game and for the graphic standards at that time this really shines. It uses the full 64 bytes on that system to maximize your game. The characters are well done and Link shows the different changes you make to his weapons and his clothes. Something that impressed me a lot was the complexity and detail of the faces of the characters, they are very nice. The enemies are in a lot of detail and they have very fluid motions. The backgrounds are absolutely stunning and they really helps the gamer enjoy this game so much more. The part that impressed my the most was the water, with the different shades of blue for depth and the accuracy of the flowing currents and such was really well done. The graphics in this game are the only thing that was near perfect for its time.

Sound - 7 out of 10
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I personally didn't care too much for the sound. I thought that it got old very quickly about three-fourths of the way through the game trying to finish each side quest. The music is well done in the sense of the timing of the music in certain situations. There were many different musical selections for each place that you could go to, making it different but I thought it was all rather dull music that it wasn't very innovative to the genre.

Final Analysis
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PROS:
- Lots of Playing Time
- Outstanding Graphics
- Relatively Innovative Plot

CONS:
- Sometimes Jumbled Controls
- Unoriginal Soundtrack
- Extremely Long and Tedious Dungeons

Final Rating: 8 out of 10
Rent or Buy: Buy
Comments: As you can see, this game is a very good and innovative addition to the ever growing number of good game for the Nintendo 64. I would definitely buy this game as it would be a great addition to any collection of games, it simply is a classic. Even if you are not a big fan of RPGs, it is still definitely worth the very low price at this day and age, and was most likely worth the thirty or forty dollars it originally was priced. Thank you for reading my review for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/03, Updated 07/30/03


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