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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Role Playing
Developer: Nintendo Official Site:
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date:
19th June 2011
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review
Review By @ 02:28pm 06/07/11
Every hardcore gamer has their benchmark title, and for me it has always been The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There are numerous reasons most of you would probably understand for me holding such a torch for this game, but ultimately it actually sparked my transition from working in the suited up corporate world (of which there’s nothing wrong if that’s your chosen path), to videogame journalist.

Emotionally-attached nostalgia aside though, Ocarina of Time is rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all time. The reasons for this are vast, but I would argue it’s simply based on pacing and poise, in that you were never rushed through a single component of Link’s Nintendo 64 adventure, and the gameplay variety that sprung forth from every hidden nook and cranny in the (for its time) lush, open and varied game-world of Hyrule kept the entire experience constantly new and fresh. Within the game Link grew from a boy to a young adult, and you - as the player - felt that growth and maturity, every step of the way.

There have been many re-releases of Ocarina of Time, most notably on the GameCube in Zelda bundles, but those games were largely unchanged from the original. What brings us here today is the first significant update to the game since its original release in 1998, with its handheld debut on Nintendo’s new 3DS console. The obvious inclusion is, of course, stereoscopic 3D, but a lot of work has also gone into new, updated (and more detailed) textures, more life in the game-world in the way of plant-life, particles and lighting, along with a total revamp of character models, animations and more.

You could argue that it didn’t need to change, but I challenge anyone to play this and not see that, while minor, they add to the experience immeasurably. The game runs at a proper 30-fps (the original didn’t), and looks silky smooth on the 3DS screen at its smaller resolution (tricking the eye into seeing a HDish OoT). The 3D itself really is the cream of the crop here though, and it’s the most immersed I’ve felt in a 3D world while playing videogames. I really feel for that 10% of people in the world who can’t actually experience it in full, or for anyone who happens to not be able to stand it for any extended period of time.

On that note, Nintendo have been very careful to maintain their parental-like concern over user-health, with the always annoying Navi popping up every 30-minutes or so to ask if you feel you should take a rest from playing. Also, annoyingly on the Navi front, she’s back as your guiding fairy hand with no way to turn her off. There’s nothing more frustrating than hearing her “HEY!” only to have her tell you to do exactly what it is you’re currently doing. Nintendo would have been better off realising many of us have played the death out of this game, and that an option to silence her would be a welcome one indeed.

But honestly, beyond that gripe (and the silly inclusion of Tutorial Stones, which you can ignore), the game is still as brilliant as ever. And any discerning player who’s never dabbled in this Hyrule before, will clearly see where so many other games pulled, or borrowed, their core mechanics from. However, unlike other games, many of which are current, Ocarina of Time is a veritable Swiss-army knife when it comes to mechanics; shifting in and out of so many styles of gameplay (which the game itself invented a lot of), it’s hard to pinpoint precisely what it is, even by today’s over-saturated genre-labelling standards.

If you’re unfamiliar with what’s in store for you, the Legend of Zelda series is the ultimate coming of age story, and Ocarina of Time the ideology’s plateau. Essentially you take on the green garb of a young boy named Link, who exists within a hidden forest full of other foresty-type kids. The only difference here is, unlike the other children, or “Kokiri”, Link is without a guiding fairy - a situation he is oft made fun of for.

However, like any good story of this nature we, as the player, come into the game upon a fairy finally selecting Link (ala us), so that his epic tale of saving the world can begin; shunning those who belittled him for being different, without so much as a direct rebuttal - it's all in your actions. Classic and empowering.

What follows is among the first truly open-world games where player choice and progression, for the first time ever, felt all-powerful. Sure there’s a guiding line of what major missions you need to do next, and plenty of areas or items locked out to the player early on, but all of this was done in an effort to spark a desire to push on so as to gain the ability to move beyond that clearly bomb-destroyable wall, or over that crevice with the broken bridge. The fact you could find these impediments in your own time was the point - you knew they existed, and therefore wanted to grow with the main character to unlock what clear goodies lay beyond.

It’s as I mentioned at the beginning, Ocarina of Time’s poise and pacing were utterly perfect, and that hasn’t changed at all for this iteration, despite the passage of time since release being some 12+ years (it’s not quite 13) - a testament to the timelessness of the game. If you want adventure, discovery, action, puzzle-solving, exploration and an uplifting and classic tale told in the interactive form, this time delivered in glorious stereoscopic 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is exactly what you’re looking for. More than 10 years on, it’s still worth the price of admission.
What we liked
  • The same game, revisited in glorious 3D with subtle, yet welcome graphical additions
  • An epic journey the 3DS has been waiting for
  • Still a benchmark for game-design
  • Stunning score
What we didn't like
  • Navi
We gave it:
Latest Comments
Posted 04:07pm 06/7/11
what does it take to get a 10?

zelda is probably one of the very few 10/10 games in my book
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:10pm 06/7/11
Yeah, it is in my book - but I don't believe, on the whole, in a perfect score when reviewing a game, movie or anything really. I've had the debate over and over in my tenure as a games journalist with many of my peers, and it's a scenario that polarises us all. I just think you always need that room for more; that extra 0.2% to assume something will come along and top it
Posted 04:14pm 06/7/11
I actually did not think the original OOT was as great as everyone makes it out to be, but I can definitely say that the new 3DS version is a massive improvement on the N64 version. This version is very close to a game worthy of a 10.
I admit, Navi is more than a little annoying - like FU Beyotch, who are you to tell me I need to take a break? :P Next after 4 hours straight of playing you'll be telling me I'm addicted or something!

Personally, one of the very few titles that tops this new version of Zelda: OOT is Zelda: LttP.
Posted 04:21pm 06/7/11
It all depends on what you define a 10 game. In my opinion, 10/10 doesn't represent a perfect game, it represents a Must Play game.

Also, Navi is awesome. Helped me so many times, also what the hell would you do without her Z targeting for you?
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:23pm 06/7/11
greazy, I don't think get rid of her, you definitely need her, contextually, for Z-Targeting, but you should be able to tone down her "help"
Posted 04:29pm 06/7/11
Her help could certainly be more useful. Like for example, if Sheik tells you something earlier on about, say, a stone, and you target it, it could remind you of those details. I remember from the original game you can play something in front of the stones to get hints, I just can't for the life of me remember what.
Posted 04:29pm 06/7/11
I did get this the other week, I've played it a little bit but I'm concerned that all it is is a rehash a new engine/graphics/sounds etc. It's not that there's anything wrong with that but I'm slightly disappointed that (presumably) there's no new content aside from the master quest (which is old) and re-fighting a boss.

Then again, maybe I'm just nitpicking. It's an awesome game no question, and one of the few which I love I just figured they would add something new or unique into it. I suppose if I wanted something new I'd wait for the next one in the series.

Or Majoras Mask on the 3ds.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:45pm 06/7/11
Also, just on the review score topic, I'm a fan of the mystique of a perfect score from a gaming outlet - if you hand them out left and right (of which many sites do, including a few Aussie ones we know), I feel you water down your scoring policy.

Since we started reviewing on AusGamers, we've handed out one 10/10 and that was for The Orange Box, which as Dan pointed out in his review, was based more around the value for money in the purchase - the games within he scored accordingly and none were 10/10.

Also, for anyone counting, this is the first time I've issued a 9.8 to any game on AusGamers

last edited by Steve Farrelly at 16:45:20 06/Jul/11
Posted 04:38pm 06/7/11
No doubt they'll do Majoras Mask next. The 3DS seems plenty powerful for them to release Twilight Princess on it, I hope they do that too.

Note by the way that Zelda 3DS is going for $49 at most places now, much more reasonable than $65 we were paying for launch 3DS titles. For a handheld game, I personally feel that $60-70 is too much. I think LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is $79 RRP, crazy!
Posted 04:46pm 06/7/11

Posted 04:48pm 06/7/11
I'm a little ashamed to admit I never finished it. Got around 20% in. I couldn't stand RPGs or adventure games when I was a kid. Tried again on Gamecube to no avail.

Now I'm thanking my younger self - Steve, imagine playing it through for the first time with this outstanding presentation. It has been mind blowing. Nothing this epic has been presented on a hand held in 3D before (not actual 3D, but with polygons, etc.).
Steve Farrelly
Posted 04:53pm 06/7/11
I envy you Shwa
Posted 05:04pm 06/7/11
im slowly trying to play through twilight princess atm but am finding the wii to be pretty unbearable =( and the story not to be anywhere near as captivating as OOC or MM, I'm considering whether i should get wind waker, even though i cant stand cell shading, but ive heard the story is pretty decent

if they bring majoras mask to 3DS i will buy one fo sho

last edited by Sc00bs at 17:04:03 06/Jul/11
Posted 05:09pm 06/7/11
im slowly trying to play through twilight princess atm but am finding the wii to be pretty unbearable =( and the story not to be anywhere near as captivating as OOC or MM, I'm considering whether i should get wind waker, even though i cant stand cell shading, but ive heard the story is pretty decent

Wind Waker is awesome, and the visual style has helped it age much more gracefully. It still looks really good, especially if you play it on an emulator at high resolution.
Posted 05:10pm 06/7/11
even though i cant stand cell shading
That's a shame, Wind Waker is a great example of cel-shading done right.
Posted 05:12pm 06/7/11
Wind Waker is awesome, and the visual style has helped it age much more gracefully. It still looks really good, especially if you play it on an emulator at high resolution.

terribly underrated imo. I had nothing but love for WW.
Posted 05:50pm 06/7/11
No doubt they'll do Majoras Mask next

Yeah since both MM and OoT are considered the best 2 zelda games made. I for one hope they do a 3D remake of Link to the Past but fat chance at that. If they could do a Wind Waker for 3DS that would be awesome as well because that was indeed a underrated gem of a game.

Posted 05:51pm 06/7/11
I want this and a 3DS so bad it hurts. Played it to death on the 64. Free wristy to anyone who gives me a 3DS and a copy to own! :D
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