The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

by Kevin Hainline on

Over the weekend, Nintendo released the long-awaited 3D remake of Ocarina of Time, what is considered by many (not me!) as the best entry in the Legend of Zelda series. I wasn’t able to get my copy until today due to a shipping error (that prevented me from getting my hands on the soundtrack! NICE JOB), but now I have it! And I’ve been playing it! And it’s great! On the other side of the jump I will take this general statement and attempt to defend it! COME JOIN ME. (Also there is a video showing a neat Mario-themed easter egg within the game.)

Ocarina of Time is regarded quite highly among the video game playing public. I recently played through a few hours of the N64 original, and I have to say, this updated edition looks really good. The N64 era had its charms, to be sure, but I am someone who grimaces whenever I see an old screenshot. “Whaaa?” I think. “I thought that was great looking? Those muddy textures?” I mean, look at this:

castle comparison

That shop looks way, way less like a front for a secret gay sex dungeon now! In the 3DS remake, the colors pop, the animations have been tweaked, and the 3D is immersive. It’s like a director’s cut, but not in the George-Lucas-CGI-Slobbering-All-Over-Your-Childhood Way. More like the Ridley-Scott-Removing-Harrison-Ford’s-Apathetic-Voiceover Way. Nintendo, freed from the ten-polygons-a-screen of the N64, really shined this gem until it shines.

The controls have been mapped to the portable system, so the L button stands in for the Z trigger, the B button is your sword, and A is that oh-so-helpful context sensitive button. X, Y, and two touchscreen areas stand in for the items, and it’s all quite serviceable. The pause menu has now been mapped to the bottom screen, which makes item management much smoother (here’s looking at you…WiiU). Looking around and the weapons that require visual targeting have also been mapped to gyroscopic controls which I actually find to be smooth and responsive. I made an attempt at one of the targeting ranges in Hyrule Castle Town with my slingshot, and I was only limited by my memory of where the rupees emerged. There are people online who have complained (if you have complaints, or want to hear more, have you tried our message board?) that the gyroscopic controls ruin the 3D experience, since you have to put your head in an exact correct position, but this is such an exceptionally minor issue, and I don’t understand why people are having such a hard time with it. You can play the game with the 3D slider turned off, if you want, Mr. (or Mrs.) Nothing Is Ever Good Enough To Meet My High Standards. Bah. I guess I’m just good at holding things? I don’t know.

a damn horse

Anyway, after a few hours of the game, I mostly just want to keep playing. Maybe you are wondering if there is anything else included in this sweet package. Well, once you beat the game, you can start up a mirrored version of the Master Quest. Master Quest was originally a Nintendo 64DD version of the original Ocarina of Time, where each dungeon was remixed, such that your path through changed. Also, there’s a Boss Rush mode, similar to what is found in the Castlevania games, where you compete to see how fast you can beat the myriad dungeon bosses. You are entitled to want more than that, but you’re not going to get it! You can go stand over in the corner with the people who are whining that the cartridge isn’t gold.

I mostly recommend this for people who haven’t played Ocarina of Time yet (they exist!), as well as people like me, who played it once back when it came out, maybe played portions of it since then, but haven’t really had the time to dig in and replay it. Now is your chance!

As a bonus, here’s a video I took in Zelda’s courtyard. Easter eggs ahoy!