Content of the article: "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would have been one of my favorite games of all time if I played it when it came out"
I finally got the chance to play Ocarina of Time over the last month. For the longest time, Ocarina is one of those mythical games that have loomed large in my periphery. I was aware back then how Zelda was considered the perfect game. I still remember it being the only game to score 40/40 from famitsu and every video game list I have read ranks it as the greatest game of all time. Even though I have owned an SNES and N64, I wasn’t really interested in the Zelda games, especially during the N64 era when I focused more on my Playstation games. I finally bought my first ever Zelda game when I got my DS, playing Phantom Hourglass. And while I enjoyed the game, I considered it a self-contained experience and wasn’t really motivated to seek out other Zelda games.
Well, afters years of putting it off, I finally decided to satiate my curiosity about the game and got Ocarina of Time 3D for my 3DS. And I’m really glad I did. This is a fantastic game that truly deserves all the accolades. I can definitely see how it was considered the perfect game it did when it came out. If I had played this game when it came out, I would have considered it one of my favorite games of all time. The only reason I don’t consider it now, is that some aspects, mostly with the game and camera controls are clunky by modern standards. Targeting enemies especially feel a bit outdated. I know Z-Targetting was groundbreaking at the time it was implemented but modern controls have definitely improved it way more.
Why did I love the game? One of my favorite things about video games with regards to gameplay are exploration and discovery and the secrets hidden within these and Ocarina has these in spades. When I first started playing, I was just going through the motions of trying to finish the game quick so I used the shiekah stones liberally (I assumed these were added to the 3DS version as a QOL) whenever I get stuck (finding entrance to Dodongo Cavern (which turned out to be easy if I bothered to look around) and Getting inside Jabu-Jabu (which apparently was one of the most obtuse things in the game)).
But as I played more and finding myself enjoying the game, I allowed myself time to fully explore and dwell upon the puzzles of the game, trying to solve them myself. That’s one other thing that would have worked better if I had played this as a kid. I would have more time to fully explore the secrets in the game. As a working adult, I only have 1-2 hours each night of playing so there’s a debate on whether I want to spend it roaming around trying to figure out a puzzle or just look up the solution so I can proceed. I was very proud of myself that I figured out all the dungeon puzzles by myself without looking up the shiekah stones or using a guide (especially the water temple, which I knew going in was infamously notorious for being hard. My solution was to actually draw my own map and put in notes for the key locations).
Even after I finished the game and I looked up what I missed, I was astonished by how much I missed. There were still 11 (of 36) heart pieces I didn’t discover, and I missed 26 (of the 100) gold skulltulas. I never figured out the purpose of the pocket cuckoo (for getting the Biggoron sword) and I couldn’t find the guy wanting the Bunny Hood (which was the most obtuse things in the game. I spent days and hours talking to everyone in the game, never realizing there is a guy running around in Hyrule field even though there are no other NPCs in Hyrule field and I never ever saw him when I was running around). There are some other secrets in the game that were too obtuse for me (like how would i know playing the Song of Storms would open a hole or that putting bugs in soils would produce a gold skulltula?) and I’m not sure if I like those or not. I like secrets to not be obvious but to be fair still.
I do love how much secrets are filled in the game and how densely packed they are in the game world. There are secrets in every area in the game with no wasted space. I much prefer a tighter overworked filled with secrets like what Ocarina has over a huge empty sandbox game like many modern open world games.
All the other aspects of the game I love as well. The 3DS remaster graphics still works and the music as expected is legendary. The characters, even with almost no voiced dialogue are utterly charming and feel instantly classic. The only downside if any is that combat, as mentioned, is clunky by modern standard but still passable. Boss fights, especially the last Ganon fights are epic though, which I love.
I easily rate this game a 10/10. I enjoyed it so much that I’m planning on getting both Majora’s Mask and Link Between Worlds. I also got Spirit Tracks in my queue. I don’t have the later Nintendo consoles but Twilight Princess looks good to me as well. I am undecided about Breath of the Wild as Ive read that it’s more of an empty huge open world with little to do which is the opposite of what I loved about Ocarina of Time.
Final rating: 10/10 Played from 8/30/20 – 9/29/20
- Do you ever feel a greater sense of immersion with older/simpler games than current generation titles?
- Which games do you think is a form of art?
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild (OR) Super Smash Bros Ultimate
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