Review by paleselan

"The Ocarina is Still Playing After 13 Years"

It's true, I had never beaten a Zelda game before Ocarina of Time 3D. Everyone said that it was one of the best games of all time, so I went in with high expectations. I didn't know if my expectations would be met, since there was no nostalgia factor. I am pleasantly surprised to say that the game still holds up, after 13 years. The visuals, gameplay, puzzles, music, and characters weave together a game that is hard not to applaud.

The game places the player in the shoes of Link, a boy living with the Kokiri. Every Kokiri gets a fairy, except Link. One day a huge talking tree provides Link with an annoying fairy named Navi and tells him to save the world. A villain named Ganon tries to steal Princess Zelda and she disappears. Link starts off on a typical Nintendo adventure to save the world. What starts out as a simple and stereotypical plot turns into a complexly woven story with a few surprises throughout its duration. The game contains a plethora of different characters that never fail to amuse with their humor and looks.

Link completes multiple dungeons throughout the course of the game. Each dungeon features multiple floors and puzzling designs. Doing something in a dungeon affects another part of it and lots of thinking is required in order to get to the boss. Every dungeon is unique and new items are introduced throughout each one to keep the game feeling new.

Enemies are all different and each takes a different strategy to take down. Some take a quick and timely thrust of the sword, while others require being patient and waiting for them to drop their guard. Every boss battle stands out and players may find themselves wanting to replay big fights due to their cleverness.

The signature element in Ocarina of Time is, of course, the ocarina. Link gets an ocarina as a gift. The musical instrument gives Link different powers based on what he plays. Different tunes allow the player to warp, change the environment, and solve puzzles. The game implements the mechanic very well, and although the ocarina is played on often, it never feels overused.

Lots of side-quests are included in the game and add tons of content to Link's already 30+ hour adventure. People are constantly in need of help for mundane tasks that are actually fun. It's true, collecting chickens is entertaining. Side-quests reward players with important items that will help them with their journey.

In addition to the side- quests there are tons of things to collect. 100 gold skulltulas are littered throughout Hyrule and there are 32 hidden pieces of heart to find. Bottles, beans, and so much more is there waiting to be found.

The visuals don't look like they're from a 13 year old game. Nintendo did a great job updating the visuals so that they don't look bad. In comparisons I made with the original game (through videos), I found that most things look up to par with today's handheld games. There are ugly textures here and there, but they are minimal and don't distract. The 3D is some of the best I have seen on the system. The first cut scene was enthralling, and the rest of the game continually gives the player a sense of wonder. There is gyroscope functionality, but it is minimal, so double images aren't seen very often.

The music holds up as well. There are different styles of music in the game ranging from classical, to Latin, to jazz. There is so much variety that the music can pretty much point to what you are doing, and where you are. It's been a while since I have stopped playing just to listen to the music. Additionally, since the ocarina plays such a large role in the game, the player has an influence over the music. That kind of interactivity is quite nice in a game like this.

There are a couple of new modes included with this rerelease. There is a boss battle mode where a player can replay bosses again and again for a better time. There are no online leaderboards, sadly, even though it should be present in this day and age. It could have been cool to compare times with others online. There is also a Master Quest mode. This version takes the original version, flips it, and makes it harder. Everything in the world is mirrored, including the dungeons. This format will make it challenging for even veterans of Ocarina of Time to get around. This mode is also harder, since Link takes double damage from all enemy attacks.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was great. It never seized to amaze with such a great mix of music, gameplay, visuals, and story. Too bad that the game sometimes left you stranded and didn't tell you what to do next, and it had a few ugly visuals. Those minimal flaws prevent Ocarina from becoming perfect. There are so many great things about the game, though, that make it a must play for everyone. Ocarina of Time is great for first-timers of the Zelda franchise and veterans alike, and is worth every cent of its $40 price tag.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/26/11

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (US, 06/19/11)

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