by Chris Capel
previewed on NDS
Time for a remake
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is considered by some to be the finest game of all time. They are wrong of course, it’s actually The Wind Waker, but that doesn’t make the coming remake of Ocarina any less exciting. Starting this June, Zelda fans can enjoy the game with flashy new graphics and in glasses-free 3D on Nintendo’s latest handheld, the 3DS.
Many were disappointed that Ocarina 3D was not available as a launch title for the 3DS and it would undeniable have had a positive effect on the sales of the innovative device. The fact that a port of a N64 game merits such attention speaks volumes about the quality of the game and the desire of its players to see it improved. Even the sharper GameCube release looks incredibly ugly today and I am sure everyone is eager to see it reworked to look as if it was released yesterday.
It’s Zelda, what more do you need?
So what does Ocarina do so well to deserve the accolades? If you have played the game you already know the answer to that question. If, on the other hand, you have ignored the Zelda series up until now, I will gladly educate you. Zelda didn’t appeal to me right away either. Mario I could get, but Zelda? It looked like a cartoony kid’s game, so why would I be interested in a game for ten-year-olds? When I finally got to play the game – mainly to see what all the fuss was about - I was instantly hooked. It turned out to be anything but a kid’s game. Instead, it was a grand adventure to save the world from the evil Ganondorf!
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time refrains from using complicated levelling up mechanics and does away with boring turn-based battles found in so many other RPGs. There is combat, of course, but it is simple and elegant and less frequent than you would expect. No, Ocarina is mostly about exploration, discovering new places and secrets, a wonderful storyline that is full of twists, and some of the most enchanting characters ever created for a game. All those combined make Ocarina of Time - and the Legend of Zelda series as a whole – such addictive and compelling experiences.
Ocarina of Time is considered by many to be the pinnacle of the series because of its simplicity. You, your Fairy guide Navi, and your horse Epona are set against the evil Ganondorf and his army of monsters. The plot will throw you the occasional twist but nothing that interferes with your primary activity: exploring the world of Hyrule. The formula followed by the game still stands as the best in the series, with the possible exception of giving more depth to Link, the game’s main character. In terms of level design and a straight good vs. evil battle, however, Ocarina still has not been improved upon.