I have to accommodate two types of people with this review: the type who has played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time dozens of times and is wondering whether they should buy it again, and the type who has never played it and is wondering what the fuss is about. I’ll try my best to cater to both.
Ocarina of Time, like most of the Zelda series, is a fairly open-world fantasy action/adventure. Battles, puzzles, bosses, some sort of wind instrument, and most importantly exploration and experimentation are the order of day. The series is beloved for its tight and polished design, so that you are very rarely left with no clue what to do. As Ocarina of Time was sort of an origin story it is the absolute perfect game for newcomers to the series. It was the game that introduced me to Legend of Zelda, after previous shunning it as “too cartoony” or “every one looks the same” like I’m sure a lot of people reading this have. But when I finally went to try it I was hooked immediately – and now I’m hooked playing it again. Let me explain why…
It’s dangerous to go alone, take this
Stepping out into Hyrule Field back in the N64 days was an utter revelation. Just having this whole 3D world spreading out in front of you that you could explore at will; was a big ‘wow’ moment (this was before the Elder Scrolls series got popular or good-looking). Now Ocarina of Time 3D brings that feeling back once again. Know any other 3D free-roaming RPGs on handhelds? Thought not.
While you do have a great deal of freedom where to go (and many, many side-quests and secrets to find) Nintendo always manages to push the player in the right direction. There are moments that can be a little mysterious – how should you know you need to talk to Malon three times to get the song to call your horse? – but at no point are you left completely mystified about your objective. That’s great considering there is no actual objective screen, although new to this 3DS version are ‘Sheikah Stones’ which clearly give you hints on where to go.
Your exploration of Hyrule will lead you into a few monsters but you are mostly free to wander or ride around (although less so when the sun goes down…). There are mountains to climb, deserts to traverse, masks to sell and even the ability to get some fishing done while you are at it. The majority of the challenge comes in form of the various dungeons though, which are some of the best designed in gaming history.
Go find the 8 units Link to save her!
The Dungeons are packed with monsters and have some superb bosses, but for the most part they are exercises in puzzling. Nothing Professor Layton level, but you do still get that warm sense of superior smugness when you solve a particularly niggling puzzle. And if you can’t your fairy companion Navi is there to help (and then you get to find out why people have been making comics of her being killed for over a decade). However, Nintendo did such a brilliant job of pointing the player in the right direction that I doubt you will stay stuck for long.
One of the greatest games ever made updated to look like a modern game with many improvements.
Audio hasn’t received any improvement, story always was a bit simplistic.