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7/19/2011

REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)


Ocarina of Time is considered as the best videogame ever created by most of the public who has grabbed a controller since the 90s, and with a lot of reasons. The game created the bases of most action-adventure games we’re all still enjoying even today and it was so innovative that it felt like it was ahead of its time. While I personally prefer Majora’s Mask over Ocarina, I must simply admit that the crown belongs to OoT because it started it all.

Almost thirteen years after the release of the Nintendo 64 version, a remake has come for the portable Nintendo 3DS with almost no gameplay changes; better graphics showing the power of the system and in full 3D and the result is excellent. The game still holds strongly after more than a decade.

Starting with the graphics, they are incredible. Everything looks excellent, from the characters, to the environments and even small objects that weren’t there in the N64 version like for example, some tools or food on the tables in the houses and stores.

Link’s movements look extremely fluid, even with the 3D on, the game runs at a solid 30 frames per second that when compared to the 15-20 of the original game, makes everything look much better. The enemies, NPCs and even insignificant things like the waves of water in Zora’s River were improved drastically.

The lightning effects were improved as well and the remade textures have great quality, some of them even looking just like the real thing, like for example the stone walls in Gerudo’s Fortress or the frozen Zora’s Domain. The visuals are so good that they can be compared to games appearing at the end of the PS2/Xbox generation.

The soundtrack is exactly the same we all heard in the original version but the quality is much better, most of the songs still sound as epic as they did back in late 1998. Especially Hyrule’s Field and the Triforce’s themes.

Most of the sound effects are great are were improved in quality as well though some of them feel dated but I suppose they were left there to keep the game exactly as it was when it first came out, as examples, I can mention some of the sounds the Stalfos and Lizalfos make when you fight them or the girly giggle Saria, Malon and Princess Zelda uses sometimes.

Gameplay-wise, the game is just like the original for the most part but there are some changes when accessing the items you equip that I didn’t find very good. In the N64 entry, you could equip three items to the C-left, C-up and C-right buttons, but now you can equip four at the same time and while that sounds better at first, two of those are accessible exclusively through the touch screen, which forces the player to stop using one of your hands to use the stylus.

That makes things especially annoying, especially in combat if you’re a player like me who travels around Hyrule with only three hearts of life and like to kill enemies with something other than the Kokiri and Master Sword.

The ocarina now has an exclusive spot on the touch-screen where you can play the songs with either the buttons or the icons on the lower screen. On it, you can also access the gear to change tunic and sword and the maps of the dungeons or town you’re visiting.

Besides all that, you still move, use your sword and interact with objects and NPC just like you did back in the N64 and it all works so well that if the game were coming out today for the first time it would still be catalogued as one of the best Action-Adventure games out there.

But one of the most amazing features in this remake is not the 3D or the remade graphics or being able to take our favorite Zelda game everywhere but the opportunity to play Master Quest, which is only available as a somewhat rare Gamecube exclusive offered by Nintendo as a bonus for pre-ordering Wind Waker back in 2003.

In the Nintendo 3DS version of Master Quest, we get not only the harder (or easier, in Water Temple’s case) and tweaked dungeons but a completely mirrored version of the game where right is left, and left is now right. This leaves us with a right-handed Link traveling around a Hyrule we never experienced before. Oh, and now the enemies do double damage, which makes things even more hardcore for players who like to challenge themselves.

All of those new features and changes leave us with a truly amazing remake of one of the most famous and praised videogames in the history of the industry. If you have or plan to buy a Nintendo 3DS, this is the first game you need to buy, even if you traveled around Hyrule and defeated Ganondorf dozens of times like most gamers did during the 90s and 2000s, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is definitely a masterpiece that no one should miss.


Pros:

-          -     Excellent remade graphics and 3D effects
-          -     The gameplay, narrative, boss battles and music are still great even 13 years later.
-          -     Master Quest and Boss Rush add dozens of extra hours of enjoyment and challenges

Cons:

-         -     Using the two items exclusively equipped to the touch-screen can be a little annoying
-         -     Most of the enemies and bosses in Normal Quests are not very challenging


Graphics and Visual Effects……….10
Music and Sound Effects…………..8
Gameplay…………………….…....9
Replay Value…………………...…10
SCORE TOTAL…………….……9.25/10

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