Review by Megaman1981

"For my 25th review, I decided on Ocarina of Time, the best game ever created."

Let me start this review by saying that I absolutely love the Legend of Zelda series. It's funny; I wasn't a huge fan of the series until I got Ocarina of Time on my N64. That game changed my life. It was the first game that I ever played that made me say “wow”, and to this day is the only game ever to do that. Okay, maybe Majora's Mask and Wind Waker did a little bit, but I fell in love with 3D gaming because of Ocarina of Time. When I got my Gamecube, and packed my N64 away, Ocarina of Time was the only game that continued to call my name. So imagine my surprise when I found out that a special bonus disk was available to all those who preordered the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The disk of course was Ocarina of Time, but with one small difference. This version contained the original version of Ocarina of Time, but also contained the Japanese version called Master Quest. This game was much like the second quest from the original Zelda of the NES, and was supposed to be released for the failed Nintendo 64DD, an N64 add on. This game offered more challenging dungeons for Ocarina of Time veterans. The best part of all this, it's all free.

Gameplay is by far the most important aspect of any video game to me. That is what makes the Zelda series so popular to both me and gamers everywhere. The gameplay is always top notch. I don't ever remember a Zelda game that was difficult to play. Well, Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game to be made in 3D. The build up for this game was nothing short of astronomical. The game was in development for several years, and was delayed several times as well. All of this waiting was for good reason. First of all the camera was perfect. Mario 64 was great, but the camera was a little wacky at times. Let me say that the camera will never hinder your progress in this game. When in battle, simply tap the L button to lock on to your enemy. This will always let you see your enemy at all times. I guess that is pretty important in a 3D game.

What also makes the gameplay awesome is the way the controller is setup. The Zelda series has always been about Link having several weapons to help him on his quest. The trick to making a 3D game was how to use them. In the original N64 version, the C buttons were used for the sub weapons and camera. Now with the Gamecube version, either the C stick, or X, Y, and Z buttons can be used. This allows the gamer to pick which is more comfortable. Finally I think that Ocarina of Time is a pretty easy game. However, while the Master Quest does have the same exact overworld quests, the dungeons are pretty hard. Still, Zelda veterans can still manage. It just might be a little harder.

The Zelda series always have a great story in each game. Well, Ocarina of Time has the best of all of them. The creators of the game decided to tell the Zelda timeline from the very beginning. The game talks about how the three goddesses created the world and the Triforce. It starts out as Link is awakened by a fairy called Navi. Eventhough the other Kokiri children have always had fairies, Link never did. However on this specific day, the Deku Tree decided that Navi was to be Link's partner from now on. The Deku Tree had felt that Hyrule was about to be engulfed by a great evil. He decides that Link is the only person to put an end to all of this. Link is only a small child, but shows his true courage to recover three Spiritual Stones in order to stop Ganondorf from getting the Triforce. He befriends Zelda, who also gives him the Ocarina of Time, which is another key to open the Door of Time, which seals the Triforce. Ganondorf however, steals the Triforce after Link opens the Door of Time, and turns Hyrule into a vast wasteland. The second part of your quest is to save Hyrule seven years later as an adult. However, Link has one element that truly scares Ganondorf, the Master Sword. This magical sword was actually the seal that prevented evil from ever touching the Triforce. Once Link touched it, he became the Hero of Time. However, because Link was so young when he first pulled it from its pedestal, his spirit was sealed for seven years. During that time Ganondorf ruled Hyrule with an iron fist.

To save Hyrule, Link had to find a way to destroy Ganondorf. Ganondorf now possessed the Triforce, so the only way to get rid of him was to seal him in the Sacred Realm, where the Triforce had been. Now called the Evil Realm, Ganondorf would be sealed there forever. In order to get enough power to do so, Link had to rescue the five Sages from the five temples of Hyrule. All five Sages were people that Link met as a child. Once all of the Sages are rescued, then Link can face Ganondorf, defeat him, and banish him to the Evil Realm. Master Quest has the same story as well, so don't expect any surprises.

How about the graphics? First let me say that both games have the same graphics. Well, when this game came out in 1998, the world had never seen a game that looked this good ever before. While most games back then had blocky characters, Link looked brilliant. It actually looked like he was ripped straight out of a Gamecube game, and put in an N64 game. Also each environment is wonderful. From the plush and colorful Hyrule field, to the dark and dingy bowels of the Shadow Temple, each environment you visit will leave you speechless. That's impressive considering this game was made in 1998. Yes there are better looking games out there, but nothing wows me like Ocarina of Time. Oh yeah, when I said bowels before, let me just say that one of the dungeons actually takes place in the belly of a whale. Perhaps the one aspect of the graphics that people take from this game is the sky. To get right to the point, watch the sun set when you get the opportunity. It's so awesome. After you do, remember to run because monsters come out at night, and will attack Link. Finally, this game has gotten a slight makeover. Nothing major, just some of the fuzziness was taken out.

The music is also a big part in the Zelda series. Ocarina of Time actually reused some of the music from A Link to the Past. However, most of the music is totally new. I like this; new game, new music. Some of the tunes are very memorable, including the boss theme, and the Forest and Spirit Temple songs. Of course the classic Zelda theme is gone, but I like the new theme that plays in the Hyrule field. I also like the sounds and noises that Link makes, as well as all of the creatures in the game.

This game is busting with replay value for a number of reasons. First, Ocarina of Time is a very long game. Second, even after you do beat the game, there are numerous side quests for Link to do. Third, there are two games instead of one. Finally, these two games are a blast to play. You will play them more than once. I've beaten both Master Quest and Ocarina of Time several times each. That is some replay value. It's clear that this is the type of game that you can play over and over again. I just wish that I could get that feeling back that I had when I first played this game way back in 2000. Still, each trip threw the game is memorable.

In conclusion, I want to tell you why you should buy this game. Well, if you preordered it with Wind Waker, you could have gotten it for free. Today it sells for $50, but that still is a fair price for this game. This is the best game ever created. It's a game that I have beaten several times, when you add up both Master Quest and Ocarina of Time. I highly advise, no wait, I am telling you to find and play this game. As I stated before, I love playing this game. Sometimes I like to boot up this game just to putz around in Hyrule field, just to collect rupees or something. In fact, I'm always looking for an excuse to go back to Hyrule. I think that the Zelda series has clearly gotten better since 1998, and Ocarina of Time is a big reason why. I think that Link works better in 3D. I think that Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and the Wind Waker are probably in the top five video games ever created. I can't wait until the new Zelda comes out on the Gamecube in the fall. Whether on the N64 or Gamecube, this is a game that can't be missed. One final word, Master Quest isn't on the Zelda Collector's Edition, so this game is the only way to play it. So buy it, now!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/14/05, Updated 02/25/05

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