The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time review

Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.

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.



GAMEPLAY

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.

Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 04:16:14 PM by Big Boss


 
Verbatim
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Wow, is this really our first Zelda review? I could've sworn someone did Twilight Princess a while ago...

Also, tip: Try using the [ center ] tag for images.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.
Wow, is this really our first Zelda review? I could've sworn someone did Twilight Princess a while ago...

Also, tip: Try using the [ center ] tag for images.

Where do I write center


Genghis Khan | Heroic Posting Rampage
 
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It was legendary for its time but ALTTP may had better gameplay still. Majora's Mask is way ahead as well in my opinion.
Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 03:55:58 PM by Karjala takaisin


 
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Where do I write center
Like so:

Code: [Select]
[center][img] link [/img][/center]
Always have (center) be the outermost tag, otherwise it'll create a mess.

Anyway, pretty decent review. I felt like you could've gone a little more in-depth--you never really brought up the child/adult Link thing, the items, the enemies, the characters, the dungeons, the atmosphere, etc. I mean yeah, like you said--there's not a whole lot about this particular game that hasn't been said a million times already, but I still feel like there are certain key things about the game that should be addressed regardless, if not for the sake of having a fuller review.

Sometimes it's nice to hear someone's thoughts on the finer details of the game, especially if you have something unique to bring to the table (but it's okay if you don't).

I know you have a Pokémon review lined up next, but do you think you'll be reviewing other Zelda titles?
Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 04:00:59 PM by Verbatim


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.
Where do I write center
Like so:

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[center][img] link [/img][/center]
Always have (center) be the outermost tag, otherwise it'll create a mess.

Anyway, pretty decent review. I felt like you could've gone a little more in-depth--you never really brought up the child/adult Link thing, the items, the enemies, the characters, the dungeons, the atmosphere, etc. I mean yeah, like you said--there's not a whole lot about this particular game that hasn't been said a million times already, but I still feel like there are certain key things about the game that should be addressed regardless, if not for the sake of having a fuller review.

Sometimes it's nice to hear someone's thoughts on the finer details of the game, especially if you have something unique to bring to the table (but it's okay if you don't).

I know you have a Pokémon review lined up next, but do you think you'll be reviewing other Zelda titles?

Yeah I think I'll go back and add some more detail then. I actually completely forgot about the child/adult thing, I WAS going to touch on that when I mentioned going into the second half of the game but I forgot about it.

I guess I didn't want to go into too much detail again because I fell into that trap when I wrote the Pokemon Gen 1 review. I guess I'll have to find a middle point between the two.


Yeah ima do Wind Waker too


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So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.
So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.

Wind Waker > Ocarina > Twilight Princess


Gatortag | Heroic Posting Rampage
 
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So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.

Wind Waker > Ocarina > Twilight Princess
You almost had it.  ;)

I tried so hard to get into the first two, but I couldn't. I just can't. That's colorless one that was on the gameboy or whatever is even worse. Don't like Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks. And haven't tried the others. But man is A Link To The Past Good. In Fact, I'd put it as the third best Zelda game. Maybe second.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.
So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.

Wind Waker > Ocarina > Twilight Princess
You almost had it.  ;)

I tried so hard to get into the first two, but I couldn't. I just can't. That's colorless one that was on the gameboy or whatever is even worse. Don't like Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks. And haven't tried the others. But man is A Link To The Past Good. In Fact, I'd put it as the third best Zelda game. Maybe second.

I'll probably get around to ALTT at some point but I'm not a fan of the top down view games, I actually got about halfway through Spirit Tracks


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So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.

Wind Waker > Ocarina > Twilight Princess
You almost had it.  ;)

I tried so hard to get into the first two, but I couldn't. I just can't. That's colorless one that was on the gameboy or whatever is even worse. Don't like Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks. And haven't tried the others. But man is A Link To The Past Good. In Fact, I'd put it as the third best Zelda game. Maybe second.

I'll probably get around to ALTT at some point but I'm not a fan of the top down view games, I actually got about halfway through Spirit Tracks
I like some games with a top down view, not all. Like The original Zeldas. Couldn't get into it. ALTT is great. You just might like it if you try it. But yeah, I wasn't trying to be a douche. But I really do consider OoT to be the best game of all time. It's the best reviewed game of all time too. After all these years. If that means anything to you.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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I should have left my phone at home 'cause this is a disaster.
So... In conclusion, it's the best game of all time? Yeah I agree. Fuck MM. Also, before anyone say it, TP is good, but not as good as OoT. Or Wind Waker. Or A Link to the Past. Just saying.

Wind Waker > Ocarina > Twilight Princess
You almost had it.  ;)

I tried so hard to get into the first two, but I couldn't. I just can't. That's colorless one that was on the gameboy or whatever is even worse. Don't like Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks. And haven't tried the others. But man is A Link To The Past Good. In Fact, I'd put it as the third best Zelda game. Maybe second.

I'll probably get around to ALTT at some point but I'm not a fan of the top down view games, I actually got about halfway through Spirit Tracks
I like some games with a top down view, not all. Like The original Zeldas. Couldn't get into it. ALTT is great. You just might like it if you try it. But yeah, I wasn't trying to be a douche. But I really do consider OoT to be the best game of all time. It's the best reviewed game of all time too. After all these years. If that means anything to you.

I do see your point, if multiple sources give something a perfect score than it's got to be some indictation to its quality, there's no denying OoT is a fantastic game. I just enjoy other games more heh.


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I liked it but the start being fucking impossible to navigate really soured my opinion of the game tbh

Wow, is this really our first Zelda review? I could've sworn someone did Twilight Princess a while ago...

Also, tip: Try using the [ center ] tag for images.
I think I was either going to and forgot to make a thread, made a thread and forgot to message you the link, or somebody did a playthrough and abandoned it like, 20 minutes in.


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I've been playing Zelda games for as long as I can remember, I even make it a yearly ritual to binge through OoT, WW, TP, and SS (I actually don't enjoy MM that much). OoT was the first Zelda game I played, and it was also the first game I had ever beaten on my own (other than easy games such as Pokemon Blue). After over a decade of experience with this game, my opinion on its quality has changed slightly over the years.

I don't think I can form an unbiased opinion on its graphics because I grew up with the game. I do agree with the statement that while it is naturally dated, the textures are clear, so any new player should be able to understand what's happening. Side note: I actually prefer to play OoT through the Virtual Console rather than the 3DS remaster. I prefer the classic textures and art style over OoT3D's rendition.

Movement and combat in any video game is like a fetish to me. If my character's movement is fluid and the game allows me to dodge attacks (with a little style, for good measure), I'll probably enjoy the game. For Zelda games, this is no different. I believe that many of the console Zelda games allow the player to move freely during combat. The problem with Ocarina of Time, however, is the waiting. If you've seen Egoraptor's 'Sequelitis' on OoT, you know exactly what I'm talking about. A good portion of the enemies and bosses in OoT require you to wait for a certain amount of time, then attack. To avoid this, many third-person games have implemented things like shield-bashing, parrying, countering, etc. Unfortunately, OoT was not ahead of the curve. While the combat is slow, I believe that the movement is actually quite fluid (once you develop a natural feeling for the game's physics).

The story is good enough for what it needs to be. Few Zelda games provide a compelling story, but OoT's is decent. The most interesting plot point is when OoT Link's origin is explained to him by the Great Deku Sprout. The idea of a mother delivering her newborn son to safety before dying in a civil war is pretty goddamn metal for Nintendo. Sure enough, the significance of this event is trumped by the fact that there are bigger things to worry about. I'm a sucker for personal stories, so I always was annoyed by the fact that Link never bothered to investigate his past further.

The dungeons and temples in OoT are very, very memorable for me. I always have fun running through them as fast as I can, simply because I know each one like the back of my hand (including the infamous Water Temple). However, Lord Jabu Jabu's belly is lame, the Forest Temple is boring, and the Shadow Temple should have been much longer.

The soundtrack was good I guess, I can listen to every song in my head if I wanted to. I have no real opinion on the music simply because there is too much nostalgia-factor for me. I guess that mean's it's catchy, which is a good thing.

Navi never annoyed me, even as a kid. People often exaggerate how much she interrupts you, but she's probably the least annoying companion Link has ever had. Fi in Skyward Sword was way worse.
Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 01:16:58 AM by Coconut Marty


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MM > ALTTP > OoT > TP > Wind Waker