Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Reader Review

Though the plot is nothing new, great gameplay and fun make an excellent game.

By Richard Jordan

Review Breakdown
   Time to Complete30-40 hours 

   It's very rare now or days for a game to live up a deal of hype surrounding it. Metal Gear Solid, although hyped to a degree, was not to the extent that Zelda: tOoT was. As a result, even though I loved Zelda games, I was worried to a degree (Hell, a few summers filled with Godzilla and Batman & Robin in the theaters is to blame). I am glad, however, to state that the latest installment did live up to the hype.

   Unlike some people, I wasn't expecting a Final Fantasy style plot from the game...Afterall, It's not Miyamoto's strong point. And it's a good mind set to have, as Zelda: tOoT doesn't change the formula too much. To the plot's credit, however, it does make some good efforts to throw some mystery and a couple twists into the works, although no where as grand as many RPGs out there. But hey, this is a Zelda game. And as in all Zelda games, the plot is overshadowed by the excellent gameplay and fun factor.

   The first thing you notice when you start playing is that the controls, although a little unfamiliar at first, begin to become second nature. The camera is pure genius considering other 3D games. The auto-jump is a nice touch as well, as it helps Zelda not fall into the dreaded "time the jump perfectly or fall to your death" syndrome that plagues many games out there.

   Zelda: tOoT has also got to be one the funnest games I've also had the pleasure of experiencing. By the time you become an adult, a whole world of mini-games will have opened up. You can do everything from bowling to shooting targets on horseback. And the game also adds the nice touch of adding 100 scattered gold skulltulas throughout the game. Every 10 you kill reaps you a prize, ranging from items such as a bigger wallet to the stone of agony, a nifty rumble-pack only item. The game seldom experiences a point of dullness....even traversing across the overland map gains new life when galloping full speed on your trusty steed.

   The game also keeps you engaged with a good level of challenge. Many bosses are rather easy, but some take require a real level of patience and observation (Your first fight with Bongo-Bongo I'm sure will be a "pleasant" one). Dungeons take a very long time to figure out and complete. This coupled with the fact that there are quite a few of them (5 medallion temples, 3 stone dungeons, and a few "mini" dungeons) help add tremendously to the time it will take to you to beat the game. I also loved the fact that it can become quite easy to get stuck in the game. It's a feeling and experience I haven't had in a very long time. It's a game that forces you to pay attention and think things through. More games should take notice of this.

   Finally, on the aesthetic part, Zelda: tOoT also scores big time. The dungeon tunes and the Gerudo Valley BGM are really great...they fit the game nicely. Graphics wise Zelda also blows just about everything away. Fighting Ganon at the end alone deserves a graphical award of some just kicks so much ass I can't describe it in words (Well, I also don't want to spoil either ). The game is virtually chock full of excellent graphical touches and masterpieces. It's probably as close to living FMV as you can come on the N64 console.

   Overall, the game was well worth the wait. The game does take quite a time to beat. The 40 hour figure spewed off by Nintendo was fairly close....I estimate that the game took about 30 hours for me to beat. Even after Ganon's demise you'll still come back for more, as the replay value in the game is also very high (Records to beat, spiders to find, containers to obtain....). It's an overall excellent game that will keep you occupied for many hours. Many of us bought an N64 with Zelda in mind. I'm sure many more will purchase one just for this game.

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