Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Review

The Temporal Whisle - A Spatial Anomaly or Mammoth Myth?

By: Jade Falcon

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 8
   Music/Sound 7
   Originality 4
   Plot 2
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 9
   Visuals 10
   Difficulty Easy
   Time to Complete

25-40 hrs.


Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

   A whole five years passed since the last Legend of Zelda game had been released, and six years since one was released on a color system. Many fanatics felt that the wait was too long. OoT became the most-advertised game by Nintendo (besides Pokemon) and the most anticipated. Did Nintendo deliver? In some aspects, yes, and in others, by far not.

   I love OoT's battle system. The thing you will notice the most is the addition of the "Z-Targeting." When you press Z, Link automatically faces and locks on to the nearest enemy/character, and as long as you stayed near it, you continued to face it. This made the 3-D battles much less frustrating. Of course, there were enemies which you couldn't target, but that was more of an annoyance than a burden. Battles are also better since you had three buttons for items and your trusty sword, and using them is a breeze

   OoT has a good interface as well. The menus are easy to navigate, and it is easy to equip items and whatnot to the C buttons. You can also quickly switch among the screens using the Z and R buttons, which contain maps, basic equipment, etc. The main screen shows you plenty of information to get by on, such as magic and life. It also placed a map in the bottom right corner so you could see where you are going. Overall, it was quite good.

Bats are plain annoying.
Wh-wh-wh-at? I didn't know that bat was there!  

   The music in this game is excellent... for MIDI. There are several memorable tunes (like the Lost Woods and the Hyrule Field music, though many people don't like it), but most of them go in the "who cares" heap. Most of the dungeons have more ambient sound than real music. Sure, MIDI is good, and sounds awesome if it's done well, but CD music is better. The sound effects are good also, with Link's grunts, the sword swings, and ugly enemies. They should have made more, especially for Link, however, because most people don't make just five or six noises their whole life. :D

   Blah blah blah, swing a sword, magic potion, magic skills, blah blah blah. There wasn't much added to OoT except for Epona (which was annoying, especially those Poes... grr) and the different types of arrows, which one I never used. Also, I wish Nintendo would keep in at least a few people besides Link and Zelda in each of their successive LoZ games. I enjoyed one addition, though, and that was the little mini-games like the archery ranges and (my favorite) the Bombchu game. Overall, there wasn't much new stuff for OoT.

   Doesn't it seem like that most games like OoT don't have a plot, or a severely overused one? The basic point of the game is virtually unchanged since the original on the NES, but the events in the middle are different. Link comes from a village of non-growing kids. Come on, how could the others not notice him? Also, the game doesn't seem to take place in the near past/future of the other games, since there are no real references to the other games in it. None of the people are in any other LoZ game, except for the Zoras. It just doesn't make sense.

I don't like Epona.
Good horsey.  

   The translation of the game is tight. If only all games could be translated to make sense, like OoT, I'd love it. There are no references to anything Japanese (thank goodness) and Americans can safely say the people's names without botching them up. Everyone in America loves sword-and-shield heroes, and that's probably one reason why the Legend of Zelda series is very popular in America.

   OoT is a fun game to play over and over again, despite its length. Since you really don't have to do the dungeons as an adult in a certain order (except for the Forest Temple), you can go through trying it in different orders. I've done it several ways, and it's quite interesting how you can go through a dungeon not using an item you depended on the first time through. :D On the contrary, you can also find items earlier in the game and see how easier some places are to get through. Kicking Ganon's butt is just fun anyway. :D

There is one qualm I have about the graphics: They're quite plain-looking. They also look quite pixellized and grainy when you zoom in on something. The textures are quite boring also. The polygons are awesome, however. There is almost no pop-up. The setting on the overworld areas proceeds from night to day and back within about five minutes, and is very well-done. The polygons are good, but the textures need work.

Though your first time through will seem quite difficult, it's really an easy game compared to others on the market. A few battles are hard, and so are some puzzles, but the game is not overly hard. Some bosses were harder than Ganon himself.

The Medallion of Light
Quite polygonial and plain, no?  
I even defeated Ganon at the end without using a single Light Arrow! (I still have to work on him with the iron boots though) It will generally take around 30 hours on average to complete it, even the first time.

Nintendo used more hype on this game than others, and it lived up to it for once. OoT belongs in every N64 player's library. If you have never played it, you've been living underground for the past two years. Go out and spend $40 on it. It's definitely a good use of your money, and is a good reason to pick up that N64 from inside the door, being a doorstop for a long time.

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