Ocarina of Acclaim
Chances are you'll have heard of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Originally released on the N64 in 1998, it's been cropping up regularly at the top of Best Game of All Time lists ever since and with very good reason. Now it's been beautifully remade in full 3D, with updated controls as well as a new graphical lick of paint. Whether you've got fond memories from last time or you're new to the world of Hyrule, Ocarina of Time is easily the best game currently out on the 3DS. Not only is it one of the best games ever made, it's a better version of one of the best games ever made.
Ocarina of Time stars Link, the evergreen hero of the Zelda series, on a quest to save the world that spans seven years, nine huge, puzzle-filled dungeons and a massive open world that you can wander around at will. It's an epic undertaking, offering tens of hours of gameplay to sink your teeth into.
One of the rather old-fashioned things about Ocarina of Time is its reluctance to tell you what to do. Instead of always pointing you in the right direction, it often leaves you time to explore, which is a great thing but it does mean that you'll sometimes be unsure of where to go next.
Under Hyrulian Skies
There's a neat way around this in the form of Sheikah Stones, giant one-eyed stones that offer you 'visions of the future' that heavily hint at solutions to trickier puzzles or how to get to the location you need to visit next. They're entirely optional though, so if you don't want to have anything spoiled for you then you can still work everything out for yourself. That said, they can cut out the odd half-hour of aimless searching, or help you overcome some of the roadblock puzzles that you'll encounter in the fiendish dungeons.
The key then is to enjoy the journey and lose yourself in the world, rather than worry about where your next objective is. Hyrule is a rich place that's full of secrets, bonus items, strange characters and things to collect and discover. Riding your horse, Epona, around Hyrule Field is a beautiful experience in itself - especially when you have no set destination in mind.
The game's updated graphics do much to immerse you in its beautiful world. The 3D really jumps out at you, though it's useful to be able to turn it off to concentrate better on what you're doing in the depths of the dungeons. Combat is a particular highlight the game's lock-on system, which was pioneering thirteen years ago, still holds up brilliantly. Circling a foe with sword drawn in 3D is really tense and engaging. Outside, meanwhile, motes of glittery dust float through the air and picturesque vistas stretch off into the far distance.
Still has the Touch
Touchscreen controls do a lot for the game too, making it easier to view maps and switch between items and equipment. You can also aim things like the bow and arrow by tilting the 3DS around, which is both great fun and surprisingly accurate (although it does rather interfere with the 3D effect).
One thing that Ocarina of Time could really do with is an auto-save feature instead you have to save manually each time in the pause menu. It doesn't affect the game at all, but it does mean that if you switch the DS off by mistake, or run out of power before saving, then you'll end up very annoyed with yourself. Other than that though, there's really nothing to complain about.
This still holds up as one of the very best things that Nintendo - or any other developer for that matter - has ever made.
- The pinnacle of gaming remade in stunning 3D.
- The new hint system makes the game accessible to all players.
- No auto-save feature.
- Gyroscopic functions interfere with the 3D effect.