Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS

If you were living under a rock in 1998 or were too young/not born yet, then you unfortunately missed the first time Ocarina of Time was released.  Whether or not you realize it, Ocarina of Time revolutionized games much in the same way Super Mario 64 did two years prior.  In Ocarina of Time, we encounter Z targeting (the N64 version of locking onto targets you are fighting), we see rumble being used as feature to give clues, awesome new graphics and much more.  Ocarina of Time has been released on the Game Cube as part of a collectors disk, on the Wii’s Virtual Console and now – on the Nintendo 3DS.  Before stating anything else, let’s be certain one thing is clear: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS is -NOT- a straight port.  It is a vastly enhanced version of the game released in 1998 and of course now incorporates beautiful 3D.

If you have never played a Zelda game, this is a perfect one to start with.  As in most Zelda games, Ganon – “is up to no good, started making trouble in your neighborhood” of Hyrule.  Basically, Ganon wants to dominate Hyrule with the power of the Triforce.  As the name would imply, the Triforce is three part magical artifact left by the gods after they created the world.  Unfortunately, Ganon gets his hands on the Triforce of Power and seeks to enslave the other piece holders as well as the entire kingdom.  It’s up to Link to take the journey to defeat Ganon by wielding the Master Sword and the Ocarina of Time in this epic adventure of what was unseen proportions.

As mentioned, it is a vastly improved version of the original.  The graphics have been retouched, so they look much more beautiful and less polygon-y.  The 3D effect on the 3DS looks remarkable as well, and it’s easily the best looking game on the 3DS to date.  The system also allows players to use the motion ability to aim at targets. Potential players are probably going to want to turn this off… immediately.  The one issue with the 3DS and motion is the precise viewing angle you need to maintain to continue to see the 3D.  If you have to pick between 3D and looking silly using wonky motion controls, which one seems better?

The game play is also largely untouched, save for a few exceptions of a the new features made possible by the 3DS platform. The touch screen also enhances the experience immensely.  Players can switch between your inventory, maps and view their quest stats easily.   Additionally, the touch screen lets you map out four items, as opposed to the three on the other ports. Additionally, your Ocarina has its own spot on the touch screen, which sports the same low-bitrate soundbytes from the original; every awkward Link shout to the midi sound tracks is authentic.  This doesn’t really add, nor detract from the experience.

After the game is completed, you will be able to access the Master Quest.  It functions much like it did on the original Zelda for the NES, puzzles will be changed and dungeons will be moved around a bit to create a new experience; the difficulty level will also go up.  Adventurers will need to hack and slash, solve puzzles; walk the agonizing walk across Hyrule field a few times before obtaining Link’s trusty horse, Epona; catch chickens and much more to beat the game. This all ties in nicely to make for a game that is still one of the best experiences for a gamer of any skill or age. With enhanced graphics, portability, gameplay tweaks and tons of replay value, Zelda: Ocarina of Time holds its own and more.

5 out of 5


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Author: Ryan Kenward View all posts by
Ryan is the Founder of Vagary.TV - he currently works in a free lance capacity and as an advisor. He formerly hosted the Game Seers Podcast, was the first Editor-in-Chief and is generally, a badass.
  • MagnusR

    I am playing through this right now, still a mesmerizing game. I also appreciate the small touches on the 64 version, like the lava in Fire Temple casting light on the walls, Link’s improved animations, and the massively improved Hyrule Castle Town. What looked like a blurry sub-Resi-style background then in now a vibrant 3D beauty.

    Good review, agree on the score!

  • Never played the original despite ALL of my friends telling me it was the greatest thing since the invention of fire. Gotta get a 3Ds and this. Must… get… out.. from.. under… rock…