The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time review


This was surely one of the most anticipated video game titles of all time, and with good reason, since Zelda fans had been eagerly waiting for the next installment in the legendary series for a long time. And in late November, 1998, they were going to get their wish, in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, for the Nintendo 64. In my opinion, this was the best game for the N64, and remains one of the best Zelda games out there. In the opinions of many, this was the best thing to happen to Zelda since A Link to the Past came out for the SNES, way back in the early 90's. Here is why we believe this...

Gameplay -10/10- The gameplay is obviously one of the most important part of a game, and it is carried out flawlessly in Ocarina of Time. First of all, the most distinct feature of the game is the fact that it's 3-D. Having three dimensions may seem totally different from the overhead camera gameplay we're all used to from the old Zelda games, but it's all for the best. For instance, you now have a greater range of use for the bow and arrow, since now you can shoot targets on the ceiling or the floor, something you couldn't do in the previous games. There are some classic Zelda things that have not changed from the older games, such as traveling through immense dungeons. The good people at Nintendo made good use of the multi buttoned N64 controller, forcing you to use every button, with the exception of the control pad. Using the control stick can seem a bit awkward at first, but it doesn't take long for one to get used to it. You'll make good use of the C buttons in OoT, not only to use your items, but to operate the Ocarina of Time, which is vital to playing the game. Using the Ocarina, you are able to travel through time, from when Link is a kid, to the point where Link is an adult. As one may expect, many things have changed from when you were a kid, to when you become an adult. Also, OoT is one of the earliest games (maybe the first game) to use the Z-Targeting system. On other games, you may need to push a different button to do this, but the concept is still the same. When you push and hold Z, you will immediately lock on to the closest enemy. This unique targeting comes in handy very often, especially when you're facing enemies that are faster than you. Z-targeting also destroys the problem of the bad camera problem that many 3-D games seem to suffer from. When there isn't an enemy to lock on to, pushing Z will quickly position the camera directly behind you. A few new features that OoT introduces are things like horseback riding, something that simply could not be done in the old Zeldas. The ability to wear masks is a new feature as well, although OoT's sequel, Majora's Mask delves into that category a little more thoroughly. As I said before, the gameplay is simply flawless.

Challenge -8/10- For people who have played Zelda game for a long time, then this game shouldn't be that much of a challenge. Of course, that's not to say that there aren't any hard parts in this game. The dungeons you must go through as adult Link can be quite frustrating at times (especially the Water Temple), and many of the bosses are pretty difficult. There's no possible way Ocarina of Time could be as challenging as Zelda II, but it does have its hard parts.

Story -10/10- Man, Nintendo did a great job on this one. Never before have I seen such a good story on a video game. Ocarina of Time is supposed to take place before all of the other Zeldas, and is about the ''Imprisoning War'', which is mentioned in A Link to the Past. Now the way I'm going to tell the story isn't going to be nearly as good as it's told in the game, but hey, I'm just doing a summary. Anyway, a Gerudo man named Ganondorf was looking for the wish granting Triforce, an item that would give him what he desired most: global domination. It was because of this that a boy named Link was summoned. After gaining access to the evil repelling Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time, Link traveled through time, determined to bring a halt to Ganondorf's reign of evil. Like I said, it's much better if you actually play the game.

Graphics -10/10- The only N64 game with better graphics than these is Ocarina of Time's sequel, Majora's Mask. But nonetheless, these graphics are incredible, and are as realistic as you're going to get on the N64. Everything just has so much DETAIL. Everything from the fields of Hyrule to the Rupees is incredibly well drawn out. Hyrule castle looks far better than the castle in Super Mario 64, but probably the one thing that looks the best in OoT is the water. In previous games, the water was basically just a large blue substance that looked an awful lot like Jell-O. In this, is seems the only thing missing from the water is a reflection. It's that good. Seriously, you can even make out the ripples you make if you jump in. The characters look awesome as well. Nintendo did an incredible job with the character design. You can still make out the polygons on the people, but it's hardly noticeable.

Sound -10/10- The sound on this game is astounding, especially considering the fact that this is a cartridge based title. This is also the first Zelda game where you can hear Link! You don't hear him speak of course, but he does do a lot of yells and screams. The explosion sounds in this title are magnificent, as are just about all the sound effects in this game. The music is great too, but it misses something: The Zelda Overworld theme!

Playtime/Replayability -10/10- Legend of Zelda games rarely ever get boring, and I can only recall 2 parts in OoT that I found to be rather dull. Other than that, Ocarina of Time is a very fast paced game, and it's quite hard to put the controller down most of the time. Even after you beat the game, there's just so much stuff in it that it will take you a long time to finish it completely. Although OoT's been out for years now, I still find myself playing it quite a lot.

Rent or Buy? You know, it would be kind of dumb to rent this game instead of buying it, seeing as it's one of the best games for the N64. Even if you're not a Zelda fan, I'd recommend getting this. You'd be missing out if you didn't.

Ocarina of Time made such an impact on the gaming world that Nintendo decided to bring it to the Gamecube. It's not every game that gets to do that. Well there you go, my review on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

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