Review by gamer4life018

"Even after more than a decade, OoT still plays Great!"

It all began way back in 1998. The first true 3D Zelda game hit the market to critical acclaim and was embraced by gamers from all walks of life. So after 11+ years, I decided to replay this classic and have come to terms to just how revolutionary it was back on the N64 and how well it still holds up today.

Gameplay - 10/10
Featuring a variety of enemies, the gameplay stays fresh even after accumulating hours of game time. It is constructed in a way to make the player utilize all of their equipment and weaponry rather than just spam or horde a small handful. Because of this, strategy is very important, knowing which enemies are immune to which weapons. Whether it be a sword, bow and arrow, or hammer, all of the weapons have a unique feel and are satisfying to use. But it isn't just a "hack and slash" type of adventure game. The puzzles mixed in can be quite challenging and knowing what to use for a current situation isn't always made clear at first. There may be times where the player is stuck at a dead end but it is greatly satisfying to crack the puzzle and trek on to face inevitable bosses that lurk across Hyrule. There are a ton of unlockable items spread throughout the world via sidequests, many of which are optional but fun to use nonetheless. The dungeons spread throughout the game world each offer a fundamentally different way to play through them. There are dungeons which involve fire, water, the desert, and others. This keeps gameplay fresh and gives the player a degree of flexibility as to how to control Link. An interesting aspect to Ocarina of Time is the ability to play as both a young boy Link and an older teenage Link. Each offer a different playing style and this is evident by the types of items that one can or cannot use. It is almost like two games in one. Overall, counting the sidequests along with the main quest, this game on average will take 30-35 hours to complete.

Sound - 10/10
The most outstanding aspect of this classic game has to be the musical scores. Each subset of Hyrule has its own musical theme, all of which are memorable and fun to listen to. From the main Hyrule Field theme to Gerudo Valley to the various Ocarina songs, each song has a unique feel. Koji Kondo, musical composer for the Legend of Zelda series, created a masterpiece with this collection. As for the sound effects, they are quite distinct, such as the drawing of your sword, the battle cries of enemies, and the frequent grunts of Link.

Controls - 8/10
The controls in this game are very well done. The ability to lock onto a singular opponent and maintain camera control was a sight to see in 1998. With newer games having full-fledged camera controls, it does take a little to get used to how things function. First off, the player can use three items at a time and assigns them to the C-buttons on the top right of the N64 controller. Pressing the corresponding C-button will have Link use that weapon. In rare instances, in the heat of battle, I found myself fumbling with the C-buttons. This was mostly due to just learning the controls at the start, but it can become second nature with practice. One thing I did find noticeable after replaying it after all these years, was just how touchy the control stick is to move Link. During times where the environment requires the player to be very careful (such as narrow walkways with bottomless pits), it can be quite frustrating to keep straight. Fortunately, these occurrences are few and far in-between. Control is a bit sensitive, but definitely not a distracting nuisance. The player will get used to compensating over time. Another minor gripe I have is how the camera works. Trying to move the camera angle to a certain spot can take a little bit of work as it centers itself in the same line-of-sight as Link does. Trying to look at a certain spot will take practice, but overall, does a good job giving the player a good view of the action.

Story - 9/10
Having the same general feel as previous installments, it is Link's ("The Hero of Time") job to rescue Princess Zelda and save Hyrule from his evil adversary Ganon. Your ultimate goal is to obtain the sacred power of the Triforce and restore peace. This is achieved by utilizing the power of time, advancing as a young Link and as a seven-year-older Link. It has a very similar feel to A Link to the Past, a fantastic game in its own right.

Overall - 9/10
A classic game that should not be missed, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time epitomizes true action/adventure gameplay with interesting puzzles mixed in along the way. Anyone who has access to a N64 or Gamecube should pick this up immediately. There is a reason as to why it is considered, even to this day, as one of the greatest games of all time.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/29/09

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (US, 11/23/98)

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