Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

The legend is back, and I’m not just making a pun on the title of the game. For 13 years, Ocarina of Time has been praised as the greatest game of all time. A new generation of gamers might actually scoff at this because the closest they’ve gotten to being called the “Hero of Time” in a video game is having all the townsfolk nick name their character a chicken chaser in one of the Fable games. There aren’t a lot of games that try to compete with Zelda. Beyond Good & Evil gave Wind Waker a run for its money in 2003, and Okami outshined Twilight Princess with originality in 2006.

Overall, there isn’t a lot of games that play like Zelda. The Fable games play similar in some aspects, but drastically different in others. So a new group of young gamers have never played the 1998 masterpiece from Nintendo and I’m here to tell you that both veteran gamers and new comers will adore this 3D remake.

For you newbies, Ocarina of Time follows Link. Link is a young boy who is chosen to help Princess Zelda defeat the evil King of Evil (no, not Dr.Horrible) Ganondorf. The game is comprised of about 10 dungeons that vary in difficulty. Some require stealth, some require serious puzzle solving. Everything you’ve heard about the Water Temple and how difficult it is is true but the 3DS version of that notoriously hard dungeon is by far the easiest and stream lined.

You acquire new items like bow and arrows, a slingshot, and have a few magic spells at your disposal to defeat enemies. Pacing is very good as the game begins to rely heavily on new items shortly after you receive them. This serves as a good on the fly tutorial for the practicality of the new items while preparing you for their most important use and that is in the boss battle at the end of every dungeon.

Items are mapped to the touch screen.

It isn’t easy, but thankfully it doesn’t hold your hand. It is balanced pretty well on your first play through. If you get lost you can ask around town or wait for Navi to start bugging you if you should need direction. Enemies are generally predictable, but environments vary so even if you’ve beaten the same Stalfos a dozen times you will eventually battle him on a smaller platform that limits you from how wildly you can strafe and dodge.

Your first play through should take you between 25 and 30 hours, already earning the price of admission. If you’re down for a more difficult game you unlock the Master Quest version of Ocarina of Time 3D which has more difficult enemies and puzzles. This will net you another 20-30 hours.

Completion of the Master Quest will unlock Boss Attack mode where you can fight against bosses from the game back to back without the need to restart a dungeon. All in all, if you’re going to squeeze every penny out of this game you will likely gain up to 80 hours of gaming.

The Graphics have improved tremendously. While the character models haven’t been completely overhauled, they do look smoother and generally the environments are easier on the eyes than the N64 version. 3D enthusiasts will be happy to know that Ocarina of Time 3D uses the 3D to impress gamers with some awesome draw distances and the 3D helps with timing your attacks. Riding Epona over Hyrule field in 3D is a sight to see, and I can’t wait to see a 3D Zelda set in the cartoon world of Wind Waker.

Take a look at how much better Link looks on the 3DS than on the N64.

Is this the greatest game of all time? Only you can decide that but rest assured it will stay in the discussion for that lofty rank for the next decade. The core gameplay holds up perfectly, and the 3DS version improves it with touch screen item mapping. This is the definitive version of the classic, and every gamer owes it to themselves to play this game again, and people who haven’t given Ocarina of Time a play through ever should be federally obligated to do so in some way. If you’re looking to jump into the Legend of Zelda series, or if you simply want a long game with solid design and just plain fun mechanics than the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a steal at any price.

Gameplay 98%
Visuals 90%
Entertainment 95%
Intangibles 95%
Value 95%
Final Thoughts

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D just might be the best game on the Nintendo 3DS.

Overall Score 94%