The 3DS is one powerful handheld,
no quite Vita powerful and yet its power lies somewhere between the Wii and
Xbox 360/PS3 capabilities. Star Fox 64 3D has bump mapping in some levels, and
the remake of the great and legendary Ocarina of Time subject of this review is
further proof of this.
There were two ways to go with this
remake, one was for Nintendo to overhaul the entire game world with top notch
graphics that would have made game look and perhaps feel different to the
original source material. Or cautiously improve graphics just enough to bring
it up to date with Wii Zelda iterations (Though Ocarina of Time 3DS has sharper
and smoother animation). Nintendo went with the second safer choice, after all
Ocarina of Time is still considered the greatest game of all time and why would
you mess with something that was perfect to begin with.
To start off Ocarina 3D looks world
better than the original, no rough edges, smooth characters that look exactly
like the Original’s artwork intended the characters to look. The animation is
flawless, I will say that the game looks and runs faster than either of the two
Wii Zelda’s which is impressive because the entire horsepower of the 3DS was
not put into effect here.
The Textures have all been
reworked, there are strands of grass and flowers here and there in green areas.
The previously pre rendered sections of the game (castle town) are now fully
realized in 3-D. Quite simply put it is hard to go back and play the original
after playing through the superior 3DS version.
The 3-D effect is the big selling
point in most 3DS games and yet here while it looks spectacular at times it
doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay per say, yet unlike Tales of Abyss,
Ocarina does look good in 3-D and that is perhaps a direct effect of Nintendo
reworking the game engine from the
ground up unlike Namco’s straight PS2 port.
That being said having played Star
Fox 3D and Resident Evil Revelations, Ocarina of Time 3D could have looked
much, MUCH better and hopefully if Majora’s Mask is ever ported we will see a
drastic improvement in visual quality.
The game plays just like the
original (See the original review for detail explanation) save for a minor
tweak that proved to be huge especially in the dreaded Water
Item and equipment selection is now handled through the touch screen which
means you no longer have to pause the game to enter lengthy menus to equip and
un-equip items like the iron boots or the hook shot.
Aiming with the gyro scope is useless
when you have the 3-D effect on because it blurred the image as I tried to
angle the device to shoot an arrow or a deku seed. Other than those two added features to the
game, Ocarina plays the same as it always did, still it never reaches the level
of precision that the N64 controller afforded us control wise.
The controls are a problem not just
here but in the GC ports as well just like Mario 64, Miyamoto designed these
games to play with the N64 controller. Still controlling Link thought the Hylean
fields is still mostly a breeze.
The Dungeon design more than a
decade later still thumps most new action RPG’s not named Zelda. Seasoned Zelda
players (who have beat Twilight princess to death) will find the game on the
easy side of things, however once Master Quest opens up after beating the
original game things should get a little more interesting for most.
On bonus note the developers let
most of the glitches in just for fun. Though I could never pull the castle
glitch not sure if I am just not good enough with the 3DS stick or the glitch
was just plain removed.
Now finally I can listen to the
game in my earphones, and it all sounds good including the environmental
story hasn’t aged particularly well, unless it’s played by the 12-13 year old
that has never played a Zelda game before or even a J-RPG during the last
decade, most players will no longer be as charmed as they were back in 1998 by
the simplistic save the princess story while saving the world. Since 1998 Zelda made some story telling
strides with the dark Twilight Princess and even the new Skyward Sword, but it
has never unfortunately been a beacon of literary innovation hopefully that
will change in future iterations.
Ocarina of Time 3D is a wonderful
opportunity for new gamers to play what is arguably critically the greatest
game of all time, seasoned vets will find that it is an indispensable addition
to their collection and a great way to relive the good ol’ golden days,
definitely a must buy.
Gameplay: 10.0- Ocarina still got it where it counts. The game
still plays beautifully even on a mini-sized console.
Graphics: 9.0- The game looks worlds ahead of the original but
worlds below Resident Evil Revelations and Star Fox 64 3D.
Sound: 9.0- The midi melodies sound their age but clearer, the
environmental sounds are still top notch especially for a handheld game.
Story: 6.0- The story hasn’t aged well, Final Fantasy IX this
Replay Value: 10.0- The main quest is solidly long, especially in
the era of the quick mobile game. Master Quest, and the Skullkutas, Hearts
collect a ton can take this game to the 100 hour mark.
Overall: 9.0- The greatest game of all time gets a very good remake
for Nintendo’s latest successful handheld console.