Almost 13 years ago, Nintendo released what is widely considered to be one of the best games ever, if not the best. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the perfect marriage of 3D action-adventure, puzzles, dungeons and an iconic franchise. About five years later, Nintendo released a remixed, more difficult Master Quest, bundled with the original as a preorder incentive for The Wind Waker on GameCube. Now, Nintendo has released what we consider the definitive edition on the 3DS.
Ocarina of Time 3D includes the three modes, the original version of the game, the Master Quest and a Boss Rush mode. The classic game should be familiar to anyone reading this, but just in case you’ve never played Ocarina of Time, here’s a quick rundown. You play as Link, an inhabitant of a small village in the kingdom of Hyrule. Together with your fairy friend, Navi, you will set off on an adventure that will prove to take you across Hyrule, through time, and to a date with destiny.
There are two control schemes to work with, motion or standard. If you ever want to use the 3D, then you’ll ignore the motion controls, as using them in conjunction will simply serve to make you ill. The standard controls work perfectly, and within moments I had adjusted to the 3DS control scheme. The lower screen is used to display your maps and items. The second screen, along with its touch controls, make for a far more intuitive, and faster, way of viewing your current position and inventory.
Graphically, Ocarina 3D is more than just a 3D implementation: it got an entire graphical overhaul. Everything is much sharper and vibrant than in previous versions, and being on a smaller screen definitely helps keep it looking great. And the sound is just as great as it was on the N64.
The only downside to the game is the same complaint that people have had ever since its first release: the lack of anything to do or see across the vast expanse of the Hyrule plains. You’ll spend a good deal of time traveling from area to area across the plains, and emptiness is almost enough to knock it down a notch. Almost.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is the best game currently available on the 3DS, remake or not. If you’ve never picked it up before, now is the perfect time. And if you’re one of the countless Ocarina fans, getting a graphically-overhauled portable version of it that feels and looks as good as it does must be a dream come true.
Pros: Improved graphics, controls work great
Cons: An empty Hyrule plains is more painful now than it used to be