Summer Gaming #1: Ocarina of Time

The first game I beat for the Summer Gaming Challenge was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.  Wow, fast wasn’t it?  Well, I was already playing the game before the challenge, but that can be a little secret, since the extra motivation certainly helped with beating it.

So, as I’m sure you’re wondering… what did I think?  How’s it stack up?  How in the hell did I not play Ocarina of Time before this?  That’s what blogs are for!  Read on to find out.

How is this game a classic?

It’s… well, it’s Ocarina of Time.  While I feel this explains enough, I’ll go further anyway, or else that comment will be all I’ll say the entire time.  Ocarina of Time, originally released for the Nintendo 64, is the first Zelda to go into the ‘3D’ realm; meaning, that instead of the top-down 2D view of Link to the Past and earlier Zeldas, it’s a fully 3D world.  In addition, the storytelling took a big step up; it felt like the series ‘grew up’, in terms of both dialogue and style.  Everything that Ocarina of Time offered came together in a fantastic package, easily winning the hearts of many fans, making it their favorite Zelda game of all time.

…At least, that’s what I heard, anyway.  But before what I think…

What does the remake change from the original?

Since I played the remake for the 3DS, there are a few things that have changed from the original N64 (and its various ports).  The easiest to spot is the graphical upgrade; the graphics are nicely remade and up to modern standards, while still running smoothly on the 3DS.  There are still a few issues that stem from some stiff animating, and these times stand out more due to the graphical upgrade, but for the most part the upgrade as a good step up.  Since this is a game for the 3DS, the game also has 3D capabilities, though to be honest, it seemed as though Nintendo didn’t quite have it down at this point.  It’s hard to explain, but walking around the forest to have those little balls of light come RIGHT AT YOU then suddenly disappear really can mess with your eyes… in a bad way.

Gameplay is also slightly improved.  ‘Z-Targeting’ (which name no longer applies, since there’s no more Z Button) is improved, and map and items are moved to the bottom screen for convenience.  It’s especially nice to not have to equip the ocarina to play it, and that there’s two extra ‘touch only’ slots to equip items with.

So, the changes aren’t really all that game-changing, and there’s no new content, unless you think adding Master Quest in counts.  So, without further ado…

What’s the verdict?

I thoroughly enjoyed playing Ocarina of Time, and I’m especially glad I played the remake, since it took me so long to actually play it.  It’s a great Zelda game, and that says a lot for a series with such consistently high standards.  Most of the dungeons were fun, and the bosses challenging; with only a couple of exceptions, I looked forward to whatever the game was going to throw at me.  There’s so much extra stuff you can do as well, and the side-quests and traditional trading circle as bound to keep players entertained for hours even after the main game is completed.  The story, though I already knew all of the plot twists, was engaging and kept me going; sure, it isn’t the most original plot you’ll see, but it is is still a good story regardless.  The fighting is still smooth, though that’s likely to be attributed to the remake as opposed to the game itself aging well.

In a sentence, it’s a great game, and likely in my top three favorite Zelda games… it may not be the best in my mind, but when standing against Link’s Awakening and Wind Waker, the poor game didn’t stand much of a chance anyway!

And… that’s Ocarina of Time for you.  A great start to the Summer Gaming Challenge, and a game everyone should try out, and deserves its ‘classic’ status… and that’s the essence of the challenge, so mission accomplished!  Check out what I beat (in between all the crazy FFV updates) next time!

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