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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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Reviewed by Chris Pinson Ever since the Nintendo 64 was released in 1996, the world has anticipated a new Zelda game by Nintendo which would cause their collective jaw to hit the floor. Well, finally we have our 64-bit Zelda game! The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the most anticipated game of 1998 easily, even with competition from the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7, and Resident Evil 2. The game obviously has a lot to live up to, so on with the review!

Graphics 10 out of 10

Zelda's graphics are simply awesome! The view is flawless from ANY camera angle, with no visible clunkyness or video choppiness. The figures and the landscape are made from polygons, but it isn't apparent, because no matter how close you are to something, it is still smooth, with no Virtual Fighter syndrome. The backgrounds for the game are stunning! You can see Death Mountain from the other side of Hyrule, giving the player a feeling of really being inside the game. It is obvious that a LOT of work was given to detail in all graphics of this game, from the heat waves in Death Mountain Crater to the wall paintings in Goron City. Any fan of the series will be very happy seeing old enemies such as Gohma, Like-Likes, and Dodongos just as one would expect them to look like in 3-D. Zelda has the most spectacular visuals ever seen on any game console. No exaggeration.

Music and Sound 9 out of 10

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time features classic Zelda music redone to be even BETTER. The tunes like Saria's Song, the Overworld music, and the Kakariko village music will stick in your head for weeks and you may find yourself humming them unconsciously! However, the minor enemy battle music gets annoying after awhile. As for sound effects, the enemy roars are truly frightening with the volume up. You will see what I mean when you feel a tremor and notice that your Rumble Pak isn't even plugged in! Attention was also given greatly to detail in sound, from the flapping of the Keese's wings to the different sound a breakable wall makes from an unbreakable wall. The only downfall is that Link's yells get old after awhile, except when he falls a great distance and lands rather painfully, making you want to cringe. Zelda's music and sounds are exceptional, but I think that Nintendo could have had better battle music (not boss battle music).

Game Challenge 10 out of 10

This is not a game that you can beat on a five day rental. It takes WEEKS to fully master every aspect of this game. Zelda follows the great tradition of easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master. You wont have as much difficulty fighting the enemies as you will solving the dungeon puzzles, finding all 100 Gold Skulltulas, getting all the pieces of heart, etc. The hardest part of the game is navigating the dungeons, which are huge, and requiring multiple trips through. Yet, despite this, the game never gets dull.

Game Play-Fun 11 out of 10

I cannot stress how much fun this game is to play. For starters, there is a wide variety of things to do in the game. Navigating dungeons, solving puzzles, shooting bats with a bow and arrow, sword fighting with big skeletons, casting spells, riding a horse, horseback archery(!), bombing, time travel, collecting items, playing songs on an ocarina, etc. There is just something very fun about shooting a ghost in the darkness of night with a bow while riding a horse. There is a lot of diversity. The sword fighting is very realistic - block enemy strike with shield, counterstrike with sword, roll out of the way of second strike, stab to the back... - merely fighting the enemies is really fun. It is really hard to put into words how much fun this game is!

Rumble Pak 9.5 out of 10

This game utilizes the Rumble Pak very uniquely. Aside from the standard shock of being hit, having something hit the ground very hard, etc, there is a special item called the Stone of Agony which, when found, causes the Rumble Pak to rumble when you are near an item.


I found very little frustration in this game, yet there are still a few things that detract from the fun. One of them is item changing. The process of going to the menu screen, rotating around it, selecting an item, and assigning it to an arrow button gets old very quickly. Also, sometimes (not very often), an enemy hits you at the same time you kill them, even though they didn't appear to touch you, which is a bit annoying. Finally, the last thing I found frustrating was that you had to memorize ocarina songs to do things in the game, and if you don't remember them, you have to look them up on your quest log. Still, there was very little that took away from the fun of Zelda.

Replayability 10 out of 10

First of all, you wont even have to replay Zelda for awhile, as it is a very large game. But when you do finish it, you will want to play it again very soon, even if only to fight enemies (a VERY satisfying thing).

Game Value 10 out of 10

Buying this game, you get not only more quantity, but more quality, as indicated above. Not only is this game worth the price tag, but much more.

Overall 10 out of 10

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has it all. Graphics, sound, playability, storyline, funfactor, control - all excellent. All that and you get a spiffy gold cartridge too, if you were lucky!

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