Video Game Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Details: Played on the 3DS. The main game takes about 25 hours to beat, and completing everything takes about 37 hours according to howlongtobeat.com. More information can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-legend-of-zelda-ocarina-of-time-3d-3ds/

Score: 5.5/10

Unlike many video gamer players, I did not play this game growing up. I played this game recently and I did so without the bias of nostalgia. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a game that is simply too old. Playing this game was a chore and was not fun enough for me to continue playing it.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a remake of the seminal game of the same name that was released decades ago for the Nintendo 64. A lot of people grew up with this game and so a lot of people look back on it fondly.

The game takes place in the land of Hyrule. You play Link, a young hero who must defeat a great evil in the land. This involves going to dungeons filled with puzzles and enemies that you must defeat. There’s some story going on, but it’s a thin story, at least as far as I’ve gotten. This is an old game, so I understand that story telling through video games wasn’t as good yet. I understand voice acting wasn’t as common yet (though Nintendo still often stinks with including voice acting in their games). However, if I were to compare the amount of story telling here compared to games like Final Fantasy VII which also came out at about the same time, then I have to say that the story telling in Ocarina of Time is lacking, especially for a game considered by many as a masterpiece.

As for my progress, I just beat Dodongo’s Cavern before I gave up. The biggest downside to gameplay is the lack of camera control. This is an issue that has plagued most 3D platformers for years before they realized that you needed to give the player a way to control the camera. Innovations to game controllers added an additional joystick which allowed players to move and control the camera at the same time. The Nintendo 64 only had one joystick, which made it difficult to establish a camera control scheme.

All this is to say that this version of the game, which is the most modern, most updated version of Ocarina of Time so far, still does not have any means with which to control the camera. You can face forward or lock onto to an enemy, but that’s it. Given that all modern 3D plaftormers have given players the means to control there camera, this one lack of innovation makes the game painful to play if not unplayable. What makes this even more egregious is that the 3DS remake for Majora’s Mask, the sequel to this game, does have camera control. For whatever reason, Nintendo simply decided not to implement it here.

Visually, the game looks like it was made over twenty years ago. That’s not a compliment. This is true even considering that some of the textures were redone for this version of the game. It just doesn’t look great and cannot be compared to more modern games. More importantly, the game looks so old that it actually makes it hard to play and enjoy this game.

The music is pretty good.

Overall, this game is too old and too painful to play. I’ve read lots of opinions on this game and how it holds up, but it just doesn’t. It only holds up to those biased and delusional enough or who’ve been severely blinded by their own nostalgia enough to think so. This game is old. It may have been revolutionary twenty years ago, but it’s simply a chore to play in the year 2020. If you aren’t blinded by nostalgia and want to play a fun Zelda game, go play Breath of the Wild. Don’t play this.

I will also say that I’m probably going to force myself to beat this game just because it’s one of those legendary games. I’ll add a short edit at the top at that point if my opinion changes.

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