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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

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Reviewed by Nu64fan Five years after Nintendo's last Zelda release, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Mr. Miyamoto and his team have finally released the fifth Zelda title. The game proves well worth the wait.

Graphics 9 out of 10

Had it not been for recent games using the 4MB expansion, Zelda would get a perfect score in this category. The textures are beautiful and the pre-rendered scenes will blow you away. While the overworld areas of Zelda are slightly foggy (especially Kokiri Forest), the dungeon areas are amazing. In the Forest Temple in particular the textures are so vivid one would swear he/she were actually there. The only reason Zelda doesn't get a perfect in graphics is if one plays a high resolution title for a while and come back to Zelda he/she will immediately notice it is in low resolution.

Music and Sound 10 out of 10

Zelda's music could have been a movie score. While a few of the opening tracks in Kokiri Forest can be a bit annoying, the game really shines overall. Tracks for the Forest Temple, Water Temple, and Spirit Temple are among the best in the Zelda series. The "March of Hyrule" is by far the best in the game, however. It is quite versatile in that it will change instrumentation and primary melody line based on where you are and what you are doing. Best of all, the game has a surround option and works great on a Dolby Pro Logic setup.

Game Challenge 9 out of 10

Zelda's primary challenge mainly comes from puzzles. The puzzles in this game are flawless. As great as the puzzles are, Zelda didn't earn a perfect score because the enemies were a little too easy. This is because after you solve all the puzzles and beat the game, the game becomes easy to beat again. The enemies should have been a little tougher in order to provide more challenge on repeat runs.

Game Play-Fun 10 out of 10

Even the dullest parts of Zelda, such as the Hyrule Castle Garden, are 100% more fun than the average N64 game. As the system comes into it's third full year, one must face the fact a lot of N64 titles (I.E. Yoshi's Story) haven't lived up to expectations. Sometimes they (I.E. Mission: Impossible) were just plain awful. While there are certainly many quality titles on the N64 as well, Zelda really sells the system. If Zelda were the only game on the N64 it would still be worth buying. Besides the main quest, there so many little things for a person to do to suit their personal interest. They can compose on the Ocarina, horseback ride, or practice their sniping on the slingshot or bow & arrow. If one can't find something they enjoy in Zelda they probably have no interest and should go to their rooms and practice some math problems.

Rumble Pak 10 out of 10

Unlike most N64 games where the rumble pak is just a gimmick, Zelda truly delivers. Besides the standard vibrations when you fall, there is the incredibly Stone of Agony. This item, when found, beats like a heart when one is over a secret grotto, allowing one to find new secrets. Hands down best use of the rumble pak ever.

Replayability 8 out of 10

No game is perfectly replayable, but Zelda is defiantly worth more than one go around. Most people will keep coming back trying to find more items, more hearts, more spiders, more everything. Also, if you've beaten the game and don't have the Biggoron's Sword, play through again and get it. It makes the game into a totally different experience.

Game Value 10 out of 10

Zelda could easily be sold at upwards of $100, so a price tag of $60 is quite reasonable.

Story 10 out of 10

Probably the best story for any N64 game. Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie are great games, but their stories are terrible. Goldeneye & Shadows of the Empire have great stories, but they came from movies. Zelda not only has a terrific storyline, it has an N64 exclusive storyline. For some it may stir emotions. The characters are also well crafted. Malon is quite addictive. They only bad part is Princess Zelda's obvious idiocy.

Overall 10 out of 10

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, is absolutely the best game for the Nintendo 64. Looking at the release forecast for 1999, it would seem as if no game coming out this year will surpass it either (don't worry, there will still be some great games, just not better than Zelda). If you don't own Zelda, buy it. Right now.

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