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Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64). I now understand why it’s considered a masterpiece.

Content of the article: "Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64). I now understand why it’s considered a masterpiece."

It's been a year of playing one classic after another this year, and interestingly, OoT wasn't on my list until playing A Link to the Past and Wind Waker. After failing to obtain a 3DS and the remaster, I settled for the N64 version.

The one thing that surprised me the most was how well it holds up today. Indeed, games nowadays generally play and feel better in the players hands, but Nintendo pretty much nailed how 3D games should be played when they made the jump to such dimensions on the N64. It didn't take me long to get used to the controls and start the adventure. Whilst the story itself is simple, it works nicely and the characters have plenty of charm. The land of Hyrule, may seem empty and only worthwhile to explore to uncover secrets, the different hubs and dungeouns have plenty of content and stuff to do.

There are plenty of things I really enjoyed about the game, but the one thing that really stood out to me was how much of it felt like Dark Souls, especially in the dungeouns. Yes, I am aware that OoT has inspired many, many games, with the Souls series not being an exception, but I still was amazed on how much they borrowed. For example, the music and atmosphere are absorbing, the constant threats getting in your way, and the cryptic layout, and the intimidation at first but easy to take down bosses once you discover they weakness. It all adds up to one grand fairy tail adventure offering a nice variety of things to do.

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There are a couple of issues I may have had with the game. Some may say they are nippicks, but I think it's good to acknowledge them on a title such as this one. Firstly, sometimes the camera and the lock on doesn't work properly, and the controls, whilst perfectly functional, can seem a bit "off" at times, especially when aiming. Another complaint is very subjective, but at times, it's not entirely clear where you can find certain items or workout certain solutions in order to make progress through the game. I mostly could get through things on my own, and the game does on occasion provide clues, but sometimes something may have flew over my head and I missed a key piece of information.

So, why do I understand now, after playing it for the first time, this game is considered a masterpiece? Well, because it does everything very well, especially when it came out at the time when 3D games were just starting to define themselves as the next big step for video games. Sure, some games like Mario 64 preceded it alongside other games at the time, but credit wherecredit is due, I believe it is one of the few titles that made leaps forward for how games are made.

Now, did I fall in love with it? Has it made it to one of my all time favourite games of all time? No. There are plenty of games that improve upon mechanics and elements of OoT. And unlike the other "classics" I've played this year, finishing Ocarina didn't make me feel entirely satisfied or "wowed" after finishing it. The best way I can describe what I felt was a sceptical part of me shutting up for not believing this game could hold up or live up to it's age and legacy. And you know what? I consider that a very good thing.

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I did like the game very much, mostly, and I would like to play it again someday on the 3DS once I have a chance after time has gone by. For now, I will jump into it's sequel, Majora's Mask (N64 as well)

Have any of you had a similar experience with highly rated games? If so, feel free to let me know!


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