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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Nintendo 64

Game Review (by Garoth Moulinoski):

If A Link to the Past was a refinement of the first Zelda, then Ocarina of Time was refinement of LttP. It was also the game that transitioned the franchise into the realm of 3D polygons and the one game everyone seems to remember when “Zelda” is uttered. It’s beautiful and worthy of being called a masterpiece, although this is also where story takes precedence over adventuring and so linearity begins to become more prominent.

The game controls very well. I don’t know what game actually came up with the “Z-Targeting” technique, but this is the one that popularized, and for good reason. The camera is rarely ever an issue and Link moves and acts as you’d expect him to. There are some limitations: you can’t move around while aiming, although if you use Z-Targeting, you can still strafe around. You can’t control Epona while also using your bow, so you might often find yourself being galloped towards a wall, while the Poe you’re hunting taunts you and your dumb beast (but then again, I can’t imagine anyone controlling a horse and aiming an arrow at the same time).

The sound in this game is superb. Many creatures in the world make different sounds. NPCs make funny little grunts or moans. Weapons sound realistic enough. And the soundtrack! The title promises that a musical instrument would be important to the game, and it makes good on that promise. Not only are the music pieces great and moody, but there’s even an item in-game that let’s you play music. People have actually used it to play different songs, such as the Kakariko Theme. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone played the Imperial March with it.

The graphics were, for its time, amazing. I remember as a kid, back in 1998, getting out of Kokiri Forest and having my eyes just pop out at how expansive Hyrule Field is. It was amazing. Nowadays, the graphics for this game are less impressive and the world actually feels very dead at times. There are barely any enemies in Hyrule Field and when there are, it’s at only the beginning of the game. It felt like there could have been more here.

While LttP had an expansive story, this game made it more prominent. Minor plot twists abound although the story can still be summarized as “Save the princess, save the world.” There is a much larger supporting cast than in LttP and they all receive a lot more characterization than in LttP.

I recommend this game to anyone that likes adventure games. It’s very fun to play and nice to look at. Play it with sound turned up high and you’ll have a treat for your ears as well.

Description:

All the text has been translated. The patch lacks only graphics hacking.

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