What is there to say about OoT that hasn't already been said? Well for one thing, I've never really spoken about it so I guess it's time I fill that gap in my life.
First of all, I'm not a massive Zelda
fan. Now don't get me wrong, I've mostly enjoyed the games I've played and there's no denying the series' quality. I mean, there's a reason it's won a shit ton of awards. I don't think I'd actually buy a console just for Zelda though, and I don't fancy playing the non-3D games because I rarely enjoy those types of games anyway and I doubt they'd sway me. Anyway, point is I enjoy a few of the Zelda games. Now onto the review.ABOUT THE GAME
Developed by Nintendo and released in 1998, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
is a 3D action-adventure game that was developed for the Nintendo 64 system. The next entry in the Legend of Zelda series, OoT
was the first game in the franchise to be fully rendered in 3D. At the time this was a massive deal as fans were seeing the world of Hyrule in 3D for the first time, and what an amazing sight it must have been at the time. Like the games before it, Ocarina
featured the elflike Link as the protagonist, traversing the land of Hyrule to save Princess Zelda from the clutches of the evil Ganondorf. The game has since been re-released on multiple Nintendo systems, making it easy to pick up and play depending on what system you have.
A 3D action adventure game with an emphasis on equipping and using certain items to help you progress, Ocarina of Time's
controls are simple to pick up and master, easing you into the gameplay mechanics that will be required to progress through the game. The game has a healthy mix of combat, puzzle solving and exploring so it should keep you busy for quite a while. Combat usually involves hitting the B button to swing your sword, or using any of the items you can equip to the yellow buttons, with no complicated combos or timed button presses required. In addition to swinging your sword you can also perform evasive manoeuvres with a single click of the A button. It's simple but very effective. There's a reason Nintendo has kept the same combat system for the past 20 years!
The game features a wide variety of items at your disposal, each having their own use throughout the game. You have the standard fare bow and arrow and bombs, and more creative ones such as the hookshot, a sort of grappling hook that allows you to reach faraway places. My personal favorite is the unassuming Deku stick. I particularly enjoy the puzzles that involve you waving the stick through a lit fire and using it to burn obstacles away in time.Ocarina of Time
features a lock-on system known as Z-targeting which keeps the camera focused on the enemy on the screen, allowing you to move around the field circling it while never losing sight of it. If you have any ranged weapons such as arrows or bombs equipped you won't need to aim manually, as the Z-targeting will automatically cause projectiles to home in on the enemy. This targeting system may seem commonplace now but you have to remember that back in the day, this seemed huge. 3D monster combat suddenly had a lot more depth and you'd be backflipping all over the place, dancing circles around a Stalfos while waiting for it to attack.
Probably the most important and promoted aspect of the gameplay is the titular Ocarina of Time. A magical musical instrument, the Ocarina will perform different actions depending on what song is played, ranging from teleporting around the world to turning the time from night to day. At a certain point in the story you are able to begin using the Ocarina to travel between two different time periods, these being the time at which Link is a child, to the time where he is an adult. Utilizing these two times is vital in solving certain puzzles, as environments and characters change depending on the time you are at. The items you aquire through the journey differ depending on who you are playing as too, with certain items being limited to young Link, and vice versa.
None of the puzzles in the game are particularly difficult and are more time consuming and tedious that anything else. They usually require you to move from room to room, pressing switches and moving things around. If you want more of a challenge than what the game provides, there is also a remixed version of the adventure called the Master Quest
that features more difficult puzzles.
The land of Hyrule is vast, with varied environments and a large, diverse cast of characters to keep you entertained. Each location has its own unique quirk, which makes exploring and visiting them a fun little wander every once in a while. Later on in the game you acquire a horse, which makes traversing the land much less tedious. It isn't huge
but will still take some time to cover due to how many times you'll be running across it.
Traversing each dungeon to obtain the artifacts will take up most of your play time and they really vary in difficulty. The Water Temple is particularly infamous for its difficulty and length, though personally I found the Forest Temple much harder. Each has its own distinct theme too, with the Spirit Temple being located in a desert and having an Egyptian vibe, and the Shadow Temple being located in a graveyard that just reeks with the theme of death and dripping with dark atmosphere.
In addition to the main story the game features minigames such as fishing, a shooting gallery and timed treasure hunting games. Again, like the puzzles they aren't too difficult but can make for a nice little break from all the monster slaying and dungeon scouring.STORY
A missing princess. A demonic evil lord who seeks control. A courageous young hero who stands up to the challenge. A...talking tree with a moustache? Ocarina's
got most of the bases covered for an action adventure quasi-fantasy medieval environment. The main bulk of the story involved Link travelling to the different temples (dungeons) scattered around the land to find some sort of artifact he needs to collect. Collecting the first set unlocks the next part of the game, at which point you need to collect even more artifacts! Exciting stuff. The story isn't exactly going to inspire anyone to write a thesis dissecting it, but it gets the job done. The real detail is in the history of the world and the characters that inhabit it.
Being a mute protagonist, Link is a bit of an empty bucket so there isn't much to relate to. You have to rely on the other characters to move the story forward which was an intentional design choice because the developers wanted Link to be an avatar for the player.MUSIC
The game's soundtrack is phenomenal with many, many memorable tracks. The series has always been known for its great music (it even has a live concert to prove it) and Ocarina of Time
is no exception. My personal favorite track is Gerudo Valley. I used to sit there for hours while just listening to the music.PROS
-Even if you decide to play the original instead of the remakes, the game has aged quite well. Though some of the textures and graphics seem dated by today's standards the art direction is still good and everything is clear enough so you can tell what's going on. The gameplay is extremely functional too.
-A great soundtrack of songs that will get stuck in your head. Get used to the Hyrule field theme.
-The game has a decent length and will keep you playing for a good while. Even longer if you decide to complete it 100% and go after all the collectibles.CONS
-Link is a boring protagonist. I know it was the developer's intentions but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
-The game has become massively overhyped since its release and many hold it in such a high regard its impossible for them to even consider the idea the game isn't perfect. It IS a good game, but is it the best of all time? That's debatable. Be careful who you discuss it with.
-You might find Navi annoying. I didn't, but you might.
-If you end up getting impatient while running around, you will most likely resort to rolling everywhere. Prepare for hours of 'Hu!' 'Hya!' CONCLUSION
A fun, decent-sized action adventure game that has withstood the test of time and is a blast to play today. It might be placed on an impossibly lofty pedestal today but there is some truth to the reason it's considered the greatest game of all time. Personally I disagree and I think gaming still has yet to reach perfection but it's definitely up there with the greats. I don't really see any reason to not play it, it's very accessible and easy to pick up and play. Unless you hate Zelda or 3D action adventure games with a passion, I don't see any reason to avoid it.
In closing, it's a classic that hasn't aged like milk.