David Klein On July 22, 2011 at 11:50 am

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of TimeThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time took the world by storm when it first came out in November of 1998. Highly praised and still considered one of the best games of all time the game left a legacy for other games to try to live up to. Now as part of the 25th anniversary of Zelda celebration Ocarina of Time is being rereleased (this is the 4th release of the game if you’ve been counting) this time on Nintendo’s latest handheld the 3DS. The game hasn’t changed a whole lot from the original but this version does add more than any other before especially in the visual department. Now is Ocarina of Time worth owning yet another time or should you just dust out your Nintendo 64.

It’s been nearly 13 years since the N64 game came out and you have to wonder if the gameplay feels dated. I’ve played plenty Atari 2600 games that just feel passé to me from a time when gaming wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is now. Fortunately for the most part Ocarina of Time aged really well. The only thing the N64 was really missing from modern games was a second analog for camera control, something the 3DS doesn’t have anyway. If you take that away, even if you look at a newer Zelda game like Twilight Princess not a whole has changed, in fact in a lot of ways Twilight Princess feels like Ocarina in a more expansive world. In case you’re not sure what a Zelda game is like I’ll gloss over it fairly quickly. You play a blond elf named Link, you’ve got a sword a shield, and you attack with the sword and defend with the shield. You through tons of dungeons throughout the game and collect items like bombs and bows while beating the boss for the dungeon. You must defeat the evil villain who is nearly always Ganon and save princess Zelda and the land of Hyrule from complete destruction. That’s just about every Zelda game in a nutshell. The only difference with this one is you’re given an Ocarina to transport to places on the map and use songs to open doors or cause the environment to change. This was also the first Zelda with horse Epona. The only real other differences Twilight Princess had was Link could attack at the same time as walking and the addition of the motion controls in the Wii edition of Twilight Princess. The same motion controls are now in this remake as well and work really well as long as you’re not on a bus. The remake makes use of the accelerator for aiming with your bow, slingshot, boomerang and anything that you’d normally use an analog stick for. It works most of the time but when you need to move a lot or you’re somewhere it makes no sense to use it then sticking with the analog numb works well enough. Though a word of warning don’t use the motion controls with 3D on, it’ll give you a headache taking you out of the 3D sweet spot every time.

Taking that aside the game plays exactly like the original with the only other main difference is the controller you’re using. The 3DS is setup a lot differently than your run of the mill N64 controller was. Instead of 6 face buttons and 2 triggers (well 3 if you’re counting L and Z but you can only really use 2 at a time). Instead on the 3DS you’ve got 4 face buttons and 2 triggers, which leaves 2 missing buttons. So instead of having the C buttons to place some items and use up C as a camera you’ve got some of it delegated to the touch screen that works pretty beautifully. You have 2 buttons to place your heavily used items and multiple touchscreen spots for the rest. What makes this work even better is the fact it’s a lot less work for when you need to switch to an often used item in specific dungeon like the Lens of Truth or the Iron Boots which was kind of a big hassle how you had to pause every time you wanted to switch in or out of them in the original game. The only complaints I can make about the new setup is the 3DS’ analog nub get a little slippery during particularly intense boss battles and the L button which is used for targeting enemies is a little on the small side.

Now that we know the game controls well, I’ll talk a little about the actual experience. Ocarina of Time was known for expansive world, it’s tons of side quests and collectables and while it might not seen as massive against the likes of Elder Scrolls or Fallout 3 but there is still a ton of content to be had. You can spend dozens of hours after the main quest looking for all the heart pieces or the Gold Skulltulas and that’s not to say the main quest is short. The game lets play as kid and older Link which both have their own special items that only one version can use. As young Link you’ve got 3 dungeons while older link has 5 as well as the final boss dungeon which will take you over 10 hours to complete. The game is as fun to play now as it was 13 years ago and shows very little age. The bosses range from easy to somewhat tough depending on how many heart pieces you go out of your way to complete and you can even choose not to upgrade your health/heart meter after each boss battle to give yourself a handicap. If you’re looking for a challenge there’s also the Master Quest after the game that was included in the Gamecube version of Ocarina. What it is are remodeled versions of the dungeons, which in this version of it is a mirrored version of the original Master Quest which makes a little disorientating even if you’ve played the Master Quest before. The basic dungeon’s puzzles can be hard at times, especially the Water Temple and this brings it up a notch.

The one thing about Ocarina that didn’t stand up well to time was its graphics. Plugging an N64 into your TV shows off its low resolution textures that just look blocky in the modern age. Fortunately Nintendo has taken the liberty to completely overhaul them and bring it up to snuff for the 3DS. The game looks closer to the graphical style of Twilight Princess while not straining too far from the original look. Everything is beautiful and it brings new life to Link and everything around him. As for the 3D, I could personally take it or leave it. When it comes to heights or just about anything where depth comes into play I found it adds to the experience though most of the time I found it was a headache keeping it in the 3D sweet spot and I’d rather just save the battery life and eyestrain. As for the sound, there hasn’t been much changed, that said the tunes remain catchy and mostly upbeat. The Ocarina tunes you’ll be playing in the game will get stuck in your head. The only thing I could wish for was less Navi screaming or Link grunting as he uses his sword.

Ocarina of Time manages to stay relevant in this day and age. It’s just as good as it was 13 years ago and this is probably the best edition of it yet. The only problem is if you played Ocarina of Time to death there isn’t really anything new to be found here that you haven’t played already. It’s a great game but maybe you should check how many times you own it already before you get this version.


Ocarina of Time looks far more stunning that it ever has before.


It’s a full 3D Zelda adventure in your pocket that improves upon the original game’s controls.


The catchy Ocarina that let’s you travel through time manages to delight.


Ocarina of Time is a classic, if you want something to play on your 3DS and you haven’t played this before then it’s a no brainer. There’s far more in the game than I could possibly mention in a review.

Click here to buy The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time online for the 3DS from EBGames.com

Buy The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time new or used for a great price from EBGames.comicon

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