Whether or not you played Ocarina of Time when it was released on the Nintendo 64 all those many moons ago, you are guaranteed to love the freshly squeezed graphics and gameplay of the remastered version the Nintendo 3DS has to offer.
The developers have not had an easy task. How do you remaster a masterpiece? How do you make something perfect, even more so without losing anything from it’s original form? Well, they have managed it. Without taking anything away other than some outdated graphics they have truly kept the feel of the original game and kept a flawless game, well, flawless. Its hard to review this game without being completely biased, I admit. It’s quite easily my favourite game of all time and thankfully they’ve delivered. The developers have offered a perfectly remastered version of Ocarina of Time, a game that is timeless and grand on a scale that other games have a very hard time competing with.
You start out as Link, a Kokiri forrest-boy originally summoned by the great Deku tree to embark on an adventure of a life-time and what an epic adventure that turns out to be! Armed with an ocarina, a (very annoying, absolute pain in the bum) fairy and a sword, you are the perfect hero. Saving princesses, killing baddies, traveling through time, solving puzzles and exploring the beautiful land of Hyrule, there really is nothing bad to say about OoT. The game is nothing short of perfect.
A lot of the content in the game is optional, with rewards such as heart containers, bigger money pouches and the likes, which make the main questing somewhat easier and less stressful but not by any means mandatory.
The main story line is famously solid, nothing about it has been changed since it’s original release – and why would it be? In fact, there are no major changes at all, the game has been scrubbed and polished and sent back out to impress the masses.
So what has actually changed? Well, probably the most important change is the streamlined game play. I was really excited to see how the new menu and inventory worked. If, like me, you played the N64 version you will be well aware of the drudgery of having to pause every time you wanted to access your goodies, map and gear. This is no longer an issue, with the top screen being the main visual screen and bottom showing you everything you once had to pause for – it’s an OoT fans wet-dream in regards to fluid game play.
The bottom screen shows your gear, map and items tabs to make browsing them as easy as a tap. Your B button is for flailing your sword about and there are 4 other slots where you can put various items you want to use. X and Y slots are as standard and new ‘I’ and ‘II’ that are on the touch screen but are as easy to tap as the main buttons. There is a ‘view’ button for when you want first person view, which let’s you take hold of the gyroscope. The gyroscope is a brand-spanking new feature, it allows you dive into the game and physically move your 3DS around and thus moving your first-person view around. The gyroscope works really well whilst using your slingshot and various other gadgets you acquire along the way. It allows a more accurate shot than that of the old analog method of aiming; although, if you are a creature of habit you will be pleased to know you can still use it that way too!
The ocarina now has a slot of it’s own and doesn’t take up room anymore, a small change but a very welcome one none the less. The ocarina playing system has also improved, you can see how a song is played without having to pause in and out disrupting the game.
Sheikah stones are another usefull new thing for those who are less familiar with the game. They are much like the stones from the original that wobble around and tell you the time and other various gibber-gabber when you thwack them with your sword. Sheikah stones allow you to crawl inside and a ‘visions’ menu will pop up where you can get hints and tips in the form of mini-movies on how to defeat specific parts in the game or find hidden treasures.
Another change is the graphics. Obviously you will be well aware of the snazzy full 3D function which adds a whole new level of realism to the game, warping you into Hyrule you will soon forget you are actually sitting on your living room sofa and eating doritos, but the characters have been made to look truer to their original sketches too. They are however still the same loveable (and some not-so loveable) familiar characters we remember from years ago.
This is only available once you have completed the game and adds a fun extra bite and really is for the masters of Zelda. Everything in master quest mode is flipped around, so if you are working from memory then it does knock you back a little and seems disorienting at first, when walking out of the forrest your brain will tell you to go right to Hyrule castle but it will now be on the left. All the baddies deal x2 damage so rest assured this is challenging even for the ones who have played the game to death (yes, this means iron knuckles will give you a real run for your money taking off 12~ hearts).
Boss replay challenge is what it says on the tin, it’s a fun addicting addition to the game in which you can replay any boss you have previously beaten in a timed challenge. Once you have replayed all the bosses you then unlock Boss Rush/Gauntlet mode, this is where you have to fight every boss, one after another, using only the items and bottles you have on Link at the time (you do however get awarded deku nuts or other various goodies after each fight).
It doesn’t matter if you have played this game countless times or if you are thinking of picking it up for the first time, you won’t regret buying the new and improved version 13 years later. It’s still the amazing game it always was, just now with extra oomph. Hats off to the developers who really have pulled off this remaster beautifully and kept the original game just how it was and yet still have something to keep the loyal fans coming back for more.