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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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Reviewed by Michael Alfera The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, AKA Zelda 64, was a video game that had been anticipated since the release of the Nintendo 64. There was much hype about the game, and because of that, players expected nothing short of perfection. Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the Zelda and Mario series, promised that this game would not in any way fall short of players' expectations. Boy, was that the truth.

Graphics 9.5 out of 10

We've all seen in past games for the N64 like Mario 64 and Bomberman 64 that problems can arise while playing in a 3-D world. Objects can get in the way of seeing the character, or polygons can get "torn". The programmers for this game prevented that by automatically changing the camera angles when a player goes somewhere particular, such as an alcove in the wall, or going up a ladder surrounded by walls. The actual graphics, though, are very cool... to say the least. Zelda 64's level of detail is breathtaking, from the several special sword movements to the looks on people's faces when certain things happen... which leads into the next aspect of graphics in Zelda 64: the cinematic sequences. These are the movies in Zelda 64, and without them, the game just wouldn't be as captivating as it is. From the facial expressions to the characters' movements to the special effects, Zelda 64 excels in all areas.

Music and Sound 10 out of 10

Why ten, you say? The reason is simple: no other game on the N64 has such great music. Period. What does "great" mean? Well for one, the music is very fitting, and it is the main thing that draws you into the game, and makes you feel like you're actually there. Another thing is, in some areas of the game, the music can give clues to directions you must go. The last thing is, the music is interactive: it changes to fit the action. For instance, when an enemy pops up, the music changes to a fast-paced chase-type thing. Or when it changes from day to night (more on the change later) the music goes from the Zelda theme to a wolf howl and crickets chirping. My personal favorite in the music department of Zelda is right near the end of the game as you are climbing the final stairs in a tower before you fight the last boss. He is up there, playing some scary organ music, and as you go higher, it gets louder... like I said, interactive.

Game Challenge 8 out of 10

There is a good challenge in the game, but it lies in solving puzzles, not beating bosses... because the bosses are super-easy, and it's super-easy to figure out how to beat them. But about the puzzles, many aren't THAT tough, and you feel really good when you solve them. But the ones that are really hard are what makes the game frustrating at times, when you've worked a half an hour just to figure out what to do next. But that's what the free players' guides at GameFAQs are for, right? Giving away small hints to help you through the game, not spoiling it and giving it all away.

Game Play-Fun 9.8 out of 10

Zelda 64 is simply the most fun video game I've ever played. From actually going through the game, meeting and talking to people, and trading things with people, to playing the several mini-games on the side, to watching the cinematic sequences, to simply riding your horse around Hyrule Field, Zelda 64 is just about as fun as a video game can get. The only thing that's not fun about it is, as I said before, not knowing what to do next in a dungeon and not being able to figure it out.

Rumble Pak 8.8 out of 10

The rumble pak not only makes the gaming experience better, but it gives clues in parts of the game. For instance, if you are standing near a secret hole or something, the pak will rumble slightly. As you get closer to the secret, it will rumble more and more. When it's rumbling a whole heck of a lot, you place a bomb down, and it will bomb a hole in the ground, leading you to a secret passage or something. The other neat thing the rumble pak does is enhance your experience while fishing in the special fishing pond. The pak shakes when a fish bites, and it rumbles and jolts as the fish fights. The bottom line: you wouldn't want to own Zelda 64 without a rumble pak.


As said before, the only frustrations in the game are figuring out what to do next in the dungeons and such. But don't get me wrong, many of these challenges are fun and only slightly difficult. But the others are the only frustrations in Zelda 64.

Replayability 9.2 out of 10

Of course, one of the most important things to look at before deciding to get a game is its replay value. In Zelda 64, it's fun to play through the whole game a second time and try to find things you've missed. But in terms of "what do I do after I've beaten the game" there's a TON Zelda 64 has to offer. There's a horseback archery game, a obstacle course when riding your horse, a bowling-type game, and the fishing pond (my favorite). Aside from the mini-games, it's fun to try and find all 100 gold spiders and their tokens scattered about the game. It's also cool to try and find all the heart containers, which extend your Hit Point meter. So, as you can see, Zelda 64 has tremendous replay value.

Game Value 8.9 out of 10

OK, let me start this little paragraph off by saying that we all know that Playstation games are cheaper than N64 games, because it costs more to make a cartridge than a CD. But compared to other N64 games, Zelda 64's price is about average. But... the game is so much more that a plain, simple average. As you can see from the replayability section, Zelda 64 has so much to offer, that it's easy to see that the game is worth its weight in gold!

Play Control 9.4 out of 10

It's revolutionary! When Super Mario 64 came out, Shigeru Miyamoto said he wished that there was a special camera angle feature that would make the camera angle swing around, when an enemy attacked from behind, for example. Well, the new Z-targeting system solves all of those problems. When an enemy comes up, if there is an arrow above it, you can press Z to target it. A cross-hair type thing will appear on the enemy, and then, no matter where you or the enemy moves, you will never lose sight of that enemy. While it's targeted, you can easily do some sword or body moves: side jump, backflip, forward roll, etc. Your weapons such as bombs, bow & arrow, hookshot, hammer, etc. can be assigned to the C down, left and right buttons. (You can also use these items when you're not Z-targeting.) Your sword is always B button, and the A is the action button: at the top of the screen is an A-button icon and it tells you what will happen at that particular moment if you press it. Some examples: If you're in front of a door, the icon will say open. On a ladder, it will say down, and that will let you jump down. If you're next to a person, it will say speak. If you're holding a bomb and are standing still, it will say drop, and if you're running while holding a bomb, it will say throw. There are several others. Another part of play control is playing your ocarina. It's simple though: all the C buttons and the A button each play a different note. Oh yeah: the R button will put out your shield (VERY useful).

Overall 9.8 out of 10

This review is designed to give you information on the Zelda 64 video game. But I don't recommend using just my word to decide whether or not to get it, because we all have our different tastes for video games. I recommend you rent the game before you buy it. That's always the best thing to do.

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