It has been over twelve years since the classic and critically acclaimed Ocarina of Time wowed the the video game industry and as this year marks twenty five years of The Legend of Zelda series, Nintendo has decided to remake the game for the 3DS with improved graphics and some new features that use the new hardware.
This remake has paid off, as it brought back many old memories that the original game helped to create and makes it its own product with the new features. While some people might be a bit skeptical of this release due to the original being available on the Wii’s Virtual Console service and part of special edition packages on previous titles, it manages to use enough of the 3D effects and the interactivity of the 3DS to be worth the purchase and believe me when I say that this is one of the best games I have played this year!
The premise follows a child named Link as he is chosen by the Great Deku Tree to save Hyrule from the clutches of the evil Ganondorf. He then sets forth to meet with Princess Zelda, who explains about the powerful and ancient relic known as the Triforce and that they must prevent Ganondorf from finding it.
What follows is an engaging and vast adventure with many goals to complete using the power of the Master Sword to travel back and forward in time to protect the peaceful land of Hyrule. This use of time traveling is a great asset to the way that you interact with the characters in the different locations, since you must complete some objectives by either playing as a young Link or an older Link. Each of these two different aged Links have their own strengths and weaknesses, with the older protagonist being stronger and has the ability to use many powerful skills, while the younger Link can crawl through small spaces.
While the shift of the two different Links serve as one of the main gameplay elements, the game has many other features that makes it still stand out compared to the other games that have been released during the last few years.
You can obtain many new skills, weapons and magic that are discoverable throughout the many sections of the land and the experience makes it worthwhile to spend the extra hours on the already expansive thirty plus hours. From obtaining a slingshot to powerful magic that you can use against enemies, the game keeps featuring a new experience every time you play the game and makes you want to return to certain areas to get the most out of everyone’s play-through.
Using the Ocarina of Time itself to activate and access new areas is a nice diversion from the action packed fighting sections, from turning the tables against your opponents to simply receiving some decent items from the characters that you encounter. Its a shame that Nintendo decided not to use the microphone in the handheld to play the notes in the same way you play instruments in Spirit Tracks, but at least you can play some of the finest songs in video game history. Epona, the horse you get sometime in the game, is the other great change towards the gameplay, as you can ride her to travel throughout the main piece of land to make things easier and faster to get to your next area toexplore.
But while many people might already know about this amount of variety within the gameplay, the remake does take some of the features on the 3DS. This mainly includes the option to move console around to fire at different enemies within the dungeon with your slingshot and arrows and this is a nice little bonus, as it makes the game a pinch more interactive.
Graphically, the remake does take full advantage of the capabilities on the console and while the same designs were used to update the game, it is still a beautiful game to look at. Some details such as the fences and grass have remained the same from the Nintendo 64 version, but it doesn’t ruin the experience too much and is just a small notable thing.
Sound design has been pretty much left the same and while some sound effects and noises have been changed a little bit, it only helps to bring you awareness of how much the game was unique at a time before HD gaming. Of course, the music is also left in its own way and sounds absolutely gorgeous on the console’s sound system.
The 3D effects are also one of the best on the system, as it makes particles fall in-front of your face and have enemies feel like they are coming at your face and this amount of detail and quality reminded me of the flying scenes from How to Train Your Dragon when seen in 3D. But the effects can be kinda blurry when you are moving the console around and while it really comes out when you are playing the console still, moving the console with it on is something that will take a bit of time getting used to.
The game so far is the best on the 3DS, offering a tougher installment of the series compared to the games released on the DS and taking great advantage of the 3D.
While I was a bit disappointed that Nintendo did not take full advantage of the interactivity of the console as much as Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, the game is still a solid purchase for those who have or thinking about buying the 3DS.