Bits Gaming Network: Nintendo Bits - Forgotten Bits (coming soon)
Join us! Join the team!
Show off your Nintendo passion and join us as an editor!
» read more
Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D 3DS review

An open letter to Ocarina of Time
Editor: Andreas
Review by:
Andreas
2011/08/09

Dear Ocarina of Time,

In all honesty, I’ve never really liked you. When you were released in 1998, you were not exactly the sequel I hoped for. Sure, you were groundbreaking with your fantastic story, great characters and innovative 3D engine. Still, I didn’t even buy you at the time, even though I did recognise your qualities. In 2003, you returned as a bonus included with The Wind Waker’s Limited Edition. That was the first time I owned you and to be honest, I did enjoy playing this enhanced, polished version of you. And now in 2011, you’re back and I could hardly recognise you. You’re looking slick, smooth and even more polished. But is that enough to finally win me over?

Many perceive you as the perfect game and those people are entitled to their opinion, even if it doesn’t match mine. You know what it is I don’t like about you? You try too hard to be rough and realistic, while your predecessors were cute, charming and refined. And that’s exactly how I like my Zelda games. Your rough textures and barren wastelands pale in comparison to A Link to the Past’s beautiful and colourful landscapes and that’s a shame. It makes your world less wondrous and immersive. In my opinion, “rough and realistic” wasn’t done right until Twilight Princess. However, looking past this trait, underneath I do see a vast adventure with enough quality to classify you as “timeless classic”. And from a nostalgic point of view, you certainly are.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D: The legendary adventure is back
The legendary adventure is back

And you really do look much better and polished this time around. Your texture work is a huge step forward and your vibrant colours add more life to the barren landscapes of Hyrule. You were rebuilt from the ground up and it shows as Hyrule Castle Town and some of the shops have been completely reworked to look stunning. Even more, the enhanced framerate makes you much more pleasant to the eyes. Additionally, there’s the 3D and it might be the best seen so far on the 3DS. It looks slick and is useful especially when firing the bow or slingshot. Still, it’s far from essential, so I mostly had it turned off. However, thirteen years since your original release, I can finally say you won’t look any better until they made an HD console remake of you.

“The story you tell needs no introduction as the journey protagonist Link takes is already legendary. Your time travell plot still holds strong and it’s great to meet the characters again that make your story so memorable.”

And, oh boy, that soundtrack is still as fantastic as ever. I had a tiny bit of hope for an orchestrated soundtrack, but a 3DS cartridge can’t fit all those tunes, I quickly realised. But maybe it doesn’t matter, since the midi renditions are already of the highest quality. Both music and sound effects are fairly identical to the N64 version, though your overall soundscape sounds better coming from the 3DS speakers.

The story you tell needs no introduction as the journey protagonist Link takes is already legendary. Your time travel plot still holds strong and it’s great to meet the characters again that make your story so memorable. And I can’t argue about the design of your dungeons as they are top notch and still hold up after all these years, especially the dreaded Water Temple, which I thoroughly enjoyed playing this time around.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D: And it’s looking better than ever
And it’s looking better than ever

Like I mentioned before, the use of 3D is great. The touchscreen works fine too, when it’s used to show information and maps. Item and equipment subscreens are easily accessible as well. Changing to the Iron Boots has never been so easy. And finally, using the gyroscope to aim the bow, slingshot or hookshot works like a charm. I can safely conclude you make good use of the system’s strong points.

Unfortunately, you’re still filled with annoyances. Let’s start with Navi. Her behaviour has not been addressed at all, which is a shame. She’s still annoying, whining and offering hints at the wrong time. When I’m in the desert, I don’t want to be told “Let’s go to the desert”. Stupid fairy. Then there’s the horse. When I approach a fence at a decent speed, I want it to jump over it and not do the opposite: stop, prance and walk backwards. Finally, it’s a shame there is such an abundance of rupees. My wallet is always full and new rupees I get just disappear. What a drag. This also makes the final reward for the epic Skulltula fetch quest totally anticlimactic.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D: The damn horse is back as well
The damn horse is back as well

Let’s face it, you are a remake and you don’t offer any new gameplay elements, making 40 to 50 bucks seem a little expensive, but there’s more to you than meets the eye. The developers were kind enough to add your challenging mirror version Master Quest and several new goodies into the mix. There are hint movies, in the form of “visions of the future”. Your bosses can be tricky to defeat, indeed. These hint movies give out strategies to defeat them and also supply hints on finding hidden items scattered around Hyrule. The additional boss challenge mode allows players to do a time trial of the various boss fights and compare completion times with friends.

Closing comments
In the end, I found it pleasing to rediscover your great story, charming characters and lengthy adventure. You’ve never looked better and smoother and Master Quest and extra modes are fantastic additions. Your look has been perfected, you sound just as great as ever and the adventure you offer is still timeless and offers a great experience. I’m just afraid that going back to an older version, like the N64 one, will result in shock and horror. Nevertheless, in the end fans will rejoice and non-fans will have a chance to rediscover what they might have missed the first or second time around.

Sincerely,

An almost-fan
Andreas -
4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)

More content
News: Ambassador Program GBA games revealed - Available before the end of the year!
Available before the end of the year!
News posted on December 14 2011 20:33 MET
News: Kirby and Kid Icarus added to 3D Classics line-up - Finally, some real classics are making the jump to 3D
Finally, some real classics are making the jump to 3D
News posted on October 24 2011 18:36 MEST
Review: Star Fox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS))
I guess we should be thankful for this great remake
Review posted on September 17 2011 0:00 MEST
Comment on this review
Game info
Box art: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D(Nintendo 3DS)
Title: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Players: 1
Genre: Action-adventure
Developed by:
Nintendo, Grezzo
Published by:
Nintendo
Released:
JP June 16, 2011
EU June 17, 2011
NA June 19, 2011
AUS June 30, 2011
Breakdown
The classic is back. Same fantastic story. Same memorable characters.
The visuals have received a well-needed update.
Implemented 3D as well as gyro controls and touchscreen controls are slick and useful.
The addition of Master Quest and other extra modes add value to an already lengthy experience.
At its core the gameplay and visuals are dated.
Some major annoyances have not been dealt with.
Verdict
4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)
4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)
Latest reviews
Review: Star Fox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS)
I guess we should be thankful for this great remake
4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)
[3DS] August 17 2011
Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS)
An open letter to Ocarina of Time
4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)4.25 out of 5 stars (GREAT)
[3DS] August 9 2011
Review: 3D Classics Excitebike (3DSWare)
Is the first game in the 3D Classics series anything to be excited about?
3.25 out of 5 stars (PASSABLE)3.25 out of 5 stars (PASSABLE)3.25 out of 5 stars (PASSABLE)3.25 out of 5 stars (PASSABLE)3.25 out of 5 stars (PASSABLE)
[3DSWare] June 19 2011
Review: Metroid: Other M (Wii)
The Metroid franchise is taken in a new direction, but is it the right one?
4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)
[Wii] May 29 2011
Review: Conduit 2 (Wii)
At last, the definitive Wii shooter has arrived. Or has it?
4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)4 out of 5 stars (GOOD)
[Wii] May 8 2011
Find us on Facebook
©2011-2017 - Nintendo Bits - All rights reserved. | About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Contribute | Privacy | Scoring Policy | Terms of Use | By your continued use of this site, you agree to be bound by the our Terms of Use and accept our Privacy Policy.
We are in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Nintendo.