Game Rant's Riley Little reviews The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time originally launched on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, and is heralded by many as the best game ever made. Because of its extreme popularity amongst gamers everywhere, it wasn't a huge surprise when Nintendo announced that they would be remaking the game for their most recent handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is one of the main reasons that early adopters of Nintendo's handheld picked up the unit in the first place, and it has finally hit retailers.
The story in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is still exactly the same as when it was first told 13 years ago. The main character, Link, learns that he will fulfill an ancient prophecy, and embarks on an adventure to save Hyrule and Princess Zelda. There is absolutely no revised story arch that changes the game's original plot, and that's the best part about this remake: Nintendo has done so much to assure that the game feels new, while still maintaining everything that gamers loved about the original.
The gameplay in Ocarina of Time 3D has remained basically unchanged from its predecessor, and that's the smartest move Nintendo and developer Grezzo could have made. The game's graphics have seen a notable upgrade from the N64 classic, and the developers didn't just shine up the characters models and backgrounds. Ocarina of Time 3D looks completely new, and it easily brings an old setting back to life in a way that everyone who has played the original is sure to enjoy.
Upgraded visuals are great, but if those aren't good enough reason to purchase the game, then the 3D effects should be. If Nintendo ever wanted to use a game to demonstrate how gorgeous 3D can look on their handheld, then this is the game they should be using. Everything just seems to come alive in the land of Hyrule now that it's in 3D, and it adds a whole new level of immersion to the game that Zelda fans will love to death.
The game may have received a complete overhaul in terms of its substantially enhanced appearance, but it still plays and feels exactly like it did over ten years ago. Of course, the Nintendo 64 controller had a few more buttons than the 3DS does, specifically the the four C-buttons that were used to switch between various items in Link's inventory and chat with his guide, Navi. Some of these functions have been swapped to the 3DS's touch-screen, and while it works well most of the time, it can become a little annoying/awkward to jump between the two screens in the heat of battle.
Ocarina of Time 3D also makes use of the system's gyroscopic capabilities, allowing players to move the camera in-game by physically shifting the actual 3DS. This is used when Link is looking around an area in first-person, or even when he's aiming his slingshot or grapple hook. The problem is that the gyroscope feature messes up the game's stellar 3D effects. As a work around, there is an option to either turn off the 3D for a second, or to just use the circle pad instead of the gyroscope.
While most of the game remains extremely similar to the original, there are still a few new features that have been added to the 3DS instalment. The first becomes apparent within the first few seconds of starting the game, and it comes in the form of Sheikah Stones. These offer a "Help" option in the form of short videos that show players what they have to complete next in order to progress in the game. This is a great way to help guide Zelda virgins through the some of the game's tougher challenges, and will ensure that players avoid getting stuck and keep progressing through the story.
Master Quest mode is obviously the big feature that Nintendo has been hyping to Ocarina of Time veterans, and it's a great addition that adds some longitivtiy to the game. It's essentially a mirrored version of the original game, and I mean that in the most literal of senses. Each dungeon has been flipped around, so that one lava pit that use to be on the right is now on the left. The baddies also deliver twice the punch that they used to, which makes staying alive a lot harder.
On top of the Sheikah Stones and Master Quest, there's also a new Boss Gauntlet mode. This mode allows Link to (hey, what do you know) battle bosses. The mode is accessible from Link's treehouse, and bosses are unlocked as players defeat them in the game's main story. Defeating boss monsters in Boss Gauntlet will set a record time that players can then try to trample at a later date. The times that are set can't be posted online -- which is easily the biggest misstep in this mode -- but it's still a nice option to keep things feeling fresh.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is exactly what everyone wanted it to be, and those who went out and bought a 3DS just for this game surely won't be disappointed. It does so much to feel like the same game that a completely different generation of players experienced 13 years ago, but adds enough new things to make it feel completely fresh. This is the only must-have 3DS game on the market, and regardless of whether you've experienced the game before or not, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is easily the best game currently available on the Nintendo 3DS.