The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

You played it on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998. And then again on the GameCube in the early 2000s. Now, flash forward to 2011 and Nintendo has re-released The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for the, well, 3DS, as if you couldn’t have guessed.

The original title was revered as one of the best games of all time, if not the best, and this remake takes all the original glory of the game, jacks up the resolution and textures, and then doubles the game play value with Master Quest and Boss Challenge mode. We all know how great the original game looked, but now everything has been given the new-generation handheld treatment and made to look fantastic. Just take a look (thanks to Nintendo3DSBlog):

You’ll also notice that the game has gone widescreen, as well – always a welcome addition.

Now, beyond the upgraded graphics, there aren’t many other upgrades Nintendo did. Which is fantastic. Because no other changes really needed to be made to, well, the best game ever. Nintendo did make some brilliant decisions, however. They added the Master Quest version of the game with upgraded puzzles and redesigned dungeons that you could only get in Japan or on the exclusive disc from preordering Wind Waker for the GameCube back in the day. Well, they also took Master Quest to another level, mirroring the entire game so that you’d lose your way just a bit easier. And it’s pretty smart, but damn is it confusing. It doesn’t get any more normal as the game progresses, either – you’ll be confused all the way through to the end as you open up new dungeons and locations. Also, if you’re new to Ocarina of Time (why are you?) you won’t be able to just jump right into Master Quest and get used to it as a brand new game – it only gets unlocked when you’ve played through the entire campaign at least once around.

The other addition is something called Boss Challenge Mode, in which players get to prove their Link-possessing awesomeness by playing through every boss in the game at once. It will work for every boss you have beaten in game to that point, but of course the most satisfaction you’ll get out of it is to play through the whole game and then play it up against the baddies, including Ganon.

Controls have been vastly improved thanks to the use of a touchscreen. Thank god, because those rotating menus made up the worst parts of the best game. The water temple was simple hell to get through, but swapping out those iron boots is just a single tap away now, which makes one of the most perfect games in the world even more… perfect.

To be honest, I don’t think the 3D adds much value to the game that we’ve been playing for years. I have a feeling the 3D functionality will only start coming into its own with new titles designed for the new handheld. With that said, it does offer a bit of interesting gameplay design and a new spin on an old classic.

This game would get the same score it received over a decade ago, even though so many years have passed. You know, assuming I actually gave out numbered scores. Nintendo has managed to keep a classic alive in a beautiful way that is now portable and more accessible to everyone, all while adding more features, and keeping that famous horse and Zora alive for yet another iteration of their fantastic franchise.