BRR: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

After one of the most lackluster launches in videogame history, the 3DS struggled to create a software lineup that was worth a damn in 2011.  Since I need to fill these next few months somehow, listen to me talk about what I would consider to be the 4 biggest 3DS titles, or at least the 4 biggest ones that I care about.  And I don’t see a better place to start than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. As someone who didn’t grow up with this game, and only played a portion of it 3 years ago, let’s see if this classic holds up.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review
Release Date: 6/19/2011
Platform: 3DS
Price: $39.99

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D places you in the tunic of a lad named Link, a 10-year-old boy who is sent off on a quest to save the mystical land of Hyrule.  You are guided on this journey by a fairy named Navi, your guide and the operator of this game’s lock on system, for fighting enemies, which is only hindered by occasionally locking on to the wrong enemy.  And there is also the possible result of a soreness in one’s palm after locking on to a single target for five or so minutes.  It is rather annoying and shows an inherent flaw with the system’s design that could have been amended by the system having more curved edges, but the Circle Pad Pro proved that the 3DS shipped prematurely, so this seems minor in comparison.  Speaking of system’s design, the whole 3D aspect works well, depth is a lot easier to see and it is more enjoyable to play with it on, assuming that you don’t move your head from the 10 degree angle that the 3D effects.  The game also makes use of the system’s Gyroscopic controls, which works well for aiming, but completely ruins the 3D aspect.  

However, the game remains fully enjoyable without the 3D, the upped resolution of every object in the game really helps give the world life, but that is also helped by a wonderful soundtrack, ranging from catchy beats ambient tracks, or dramatic ballads, it’s all there.  This is also helped by all around good design in terms of levels, enemies, and unique environments overall.  Of the 11 main and side dungeons, all of them have a unique look, even dungeons located in the same area offer enough creativity in their design to remove any notion of repetition.  even though the formula of find map, compass, dungeon item, and boss key is present in most of them, it never feels samey.  And to argue with a semi-popular criticism, the dungeon items used on the boss do make sense, with the arguable exception of the Shadow Temple, but the hover boots were pretty pointless in the end.  Okay, a boomerang is used against a giant jellyfish, but at least you don’t need to spend 2 minutes on each boss to figure out how you should kill them.  Although the game is not always that self explanatory.  A good bit of the 20-25 hour campaign will be spent wandering around and wondering what you are suppose to do, where to go.  How would you even figure out that you can catch a fish in a bottle and a whale will eat it along with Link?  This can be rebutted due to the internet, but just because a lot of things in the game are common knowledge, that does not make them excusable.  I won’t hamper a game for not having a button guide, because you can figure out how they work by pressing them, but what 10-year-old had the patience to find even half of the Golden Skulltulas to get a bigger wallet and heart piece.

Throughout the game you will traverse this world in what was originally a large and expansive world, and still feels like it.  You explore the land from two points in time, as a youth who is launched into this new and foreign world, and as a young man who must save this now doomed kingdom from the cruel king of Hyrule’s desert, Ganondorf.  From there it is a collect the colored gems and sages to “save Yo Grrrl” plot, although the girl in question really never needs saving until then end due to a plot twist that is completely common knowledge to anyone who played Super Smash Brothers Melee.  the entire plot is simplistic once you think about it, but this was made in 1998, when storytelling in games was just coming into its own, and since the game was rebuilt multiple times, I can understand why the plot was kept simplistic, and we still got Majora’s Mask’s unnerving narrative and world from the leftovers, so I can forgive it.. 

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a well executed re-release of a classic, complete with new visuals and control schemes.  It remains great despite the 13 years since its release, with its solid overall design, it is only hindered by an overlooked aspect of the 3DS’ physical design and some general aspects that come with being a game that old.

An impressive product, won’t always astound due to a fair number of flaws, but is very enjoyable and worth a purchase.

//Fun fact, I actually wrote this piece back in December!  I originally planned to use this as a backup, but even when I missed a week, I was too stubborn to post it.  So yeah, OoT is a great game, and kinda tough to talk about, enjoy these last 3 BRRs, because then you will only get 2 posts a week.

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