Going back in time has never felt more satisfying
I was born the same year as Ocarina of Time’s release, and honestly it has always been a special place in my heart. With my birthday being quite recent, I thought to revisit the classic Zelda game. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released on the 21st of November, 1998. So being the sentimental kind of person I am, I dusted off my old N64, blew on the cartridge a bit and dived into the world of Hyrule to relive my childhood once more.
Developed by Nintendo, Ocarina of Time was one of their more revolutionary games, introducing a world of storytelling into a 3D open world. It was one of, if not the first of its kind to be introduced into the gaming world, ushering the new generation of games to come. It later received a remake on the Nintendo 3Ds, improving the graphics, but honestly the N64 classic is where the real magic happens.
Ocarina of Time wasn’t just famed for its new ideas and game play. The story itself was deemed different and unique at the time. In Ocarina of Time, you play as Link, a Hyrulean child who was brought up as one of the Kokiri, destined to save the Princess Zelda and the Kingdom of Hyrule from an all-powerful evil. Through the journey, the player travels between the present and the future Hyrule with the power of the Ocarina of Time. In the present, the Kingdom of Hyrule is on the verge of destruction by Ganondorf, while in the future it has already happened and you must defeat the manifested evil that resides in the Kingdom.
Now that I’m older, I realized after my recent play through, that Ocarina of Time was an amazing concept, with the whole twist on the cliché hero who saves a princess from a villain. Especially since it was unique and delved into the story more than most games of the time (no pun intended). Because of this, I felt that it was immersive, and almost like I was Link himself exploring through dungeon after dungeon for the ultimate goal of saving the kingdom. Having played it multiple times and being more than familiar with the story, I can honestly say that I was still satisfied with the plot twists and heartfelt moments that are just so realistically human.
Ocarina of Time has a lock on mechanic, where at times the player can force the camera to face the target no matter where you were. This was a genius idea due to the fact that the camera angles were free roaming most of the time, and would have uncomfortable angles without the lock on. It can be abused to peek around corners, or speed yourself up (by constantly side jumping) or to just be a plain idiot (I may have back flipped off Death Mountain once or twice, but it was worthwhile).
When it came to battles, a lot of it revolved around timing. I loved the fact that each enemy had a unique way of being defeated. I was forced to think tactically, planning when to go in or I would die. It wasn’t to the level of the Dark Souls franchise, don’t get me wrong, but it was harder to fight and maneuver in comparison to other games.
Then we have your friendly, fairy counterpart, or otherwise known as the bane of my very existence. The fairy Navi, is always there when you don’t need her, and never there when you need her the most. The constant reminders became annoying very fast. Thankfully the franchise has gotten better over the years, but I still remember the amount of pain and hatred that came with the words ‘Hey Listen’.
Despite its lack of voice over’s, its sometimes weird sounding grunts, and Navi, Ocarina of Time had very well placed music. It wasn’t just the sound track for the different parts of Hyrule, but even the music you play with the Ocarina. Memorizing some of the later songs were a bit hard to remember for me, so I had to check through the menu screen very often just to find one song. It was honestly a bit annoying, but thankfully it didn’t stop me from playing the game . The problem I had was remembering which button to press, but overall the songs never get old.
Modern games completely outclass Ocarina of Time on the N64 in terms of animations, gameplay and story. There’s no doubt about that. The gaming industry has developed so much, that my childhood feels so old and distant whenever I go back to playing classic games such as Ocarina of Time. It’s sad that such a beautiful game has been lost to kids of this generation. Sure, Ocarina of Time has been remade to the Nintendo 3Ds, but it isn’t the same when I played it as a child.
It’s ironic that this game takes me back to when I was eight. I remembered failing so many times fighting Phantom Ganon, or attacking the cuccos only to get slaughtered by the immortal species of bird.
So, I can say from the bottom of my heart, that even though it is old and might not interest a lot of the younger gamers, I truly recommend this game to everyone and anyone as a must.
- THE GOOD
- THE BAD
Ocarina of Time is a true classic of the gaming community, with a moving story and it’s beautiful soundtracks. It is a must for all gamers, as it is fulfilling as a game and story. Despite Navi’s constant pestering and lack of anything else, I truly believe this game is still one of the greatest games of all time.