The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time
Reviewed by Stryker
When I purchased this game a while back, I was psyched. I had reserved
it a while back to get the golden cartridge, and I expected a game that
would trump Link To The Past in every regard. And do not get me wrong,
this is a good game, but not a great game. A step down from Link To The
Past in many regards.
The graphics are very good in this game. The color schemes are well done.
The enemies are bright or dark, whichever fits. Of course, the game graphics
for figures get choppy when the polygons rub the wrong way. Also, certain
things, like trees, are very ugly and polygonal. The tree in Kakariko Village
is not only ugly, but does not exist. Try shooting a hookshot through it. The
game has sacrificed challenge and vastness for graphics. Although the
sacrifices haven't run as deep as in MarioKart, they are disappointing. Still.
The graphics on certain spots. like the demo of the Triforce and Navi's flight
to you in the beginning, are amazing for the time. And the ending is beautiful.
But look at the characters in the faerie shrines. They have the same "Xenia
Onatopp/Madonna in Blonde Ambition" effect on their bodies.
Music and sounds
Disappointly, the game came out just too early for Expansion Pak purposes.
That means no sound from the characters. You'll get a few "hi-ya" calls from
Link, a few "ha ha has" from enemies, a neigh from your horse. No speech of
sentences, though. The music is nearly perfect. The one black eye is Navi's
"Hey!" It is shrill, sounding off every once in a while to tell you what to do
in extremely broad, game ruining "hints." However, the rest of the game is
well done, with lush Ocarina orchestration and cow mooing.
This isn't a total disappointment. Still, it really is frustrating for a Link
To The Past addict. That game was hard. This game doesn't get remotely
difficult until the third dungeon level, hours into the game play. The first
dungeon, the Deku Tree, is about as challenging as blinking. Compare to Link
To The Past, where the first dungeons were frustrating, and the last dungeons
were downright insane. The final challenges in this were easily passed by yours
truly, and the final battle of the game has a loophole. Ganon knocks your sword
away, so you need to hit him with light arrows until you can get the sword. But
if you have Goron's Sword, you can slice him up anyway. The dungeons for the
Dark World are a bit harder, but I was able to race through the Water and Sand
Temples on the first shot, and the second shot for the Fire and Graveyard Temples.
The final dungeon is interesting, but only includes simple puzzles. Now add
to this your guardian faerie, Navi. I'll tell you what that expletive deleted
faerie guards, she guards enjoyment and she guards it well. She gives
extremely broad hints without being asked, calling out "Hey!" to blow the
challenge and surprise of the game. That is the single worst feature of
any game I have ever played. Ever.
About nil. Sure, you can wander around getting Golden Skulltula tokens, but
after a while it gets rather frustrating. Sure, you can wander around for
Heart Pieces, but that is finite. Don't even tell me the Fishing Pond is replay
value. After you've beaten an area once, try to snooze through the long,
arduous, and unskippable demos again. I couldn't do it. In Link To The Past,
people would try again and again to only lose 000 lives. In this, I did that
first shot, no difficulty, no loopholes. I never bested 11 in Link To The Past.
The world is smaller, or at least seems smaller to me. The wandering aspect
isn't as cool. This is hands down the worst aspect of this game.
The controls are a bright spot, with revolutionary Z Targeting and other
options. The one problem here is that there is no way to stop a game
without dying or resetting the system.
Game play Fun
Not much. No multi player options, as ever. The challenge is stripped by
these stupid "guides" that completely ruin the games, and Navi's little
helping hand to the 7-year olds with runny noses that too many of
Nintendo's games aim themselves towards. The true fun is still beating
a dungeon, which is satisfying regardless. I wish they had installed a
Tomb Raider-style training course so they could be more challenging
in the game itself.
4. Smaller world
6. The fact that, after you supposedly free the Zoras from the monsters
in Lake Hylia, you return and their domain is still covered in sheets of ice.
7. The Masks in the Mask Shop that have no practical use (Goron, Zora,
Desert Thief). They could have used those valuable bytes to add more
space to the worlds.
8. The lack of replay value.
9. The long, boring, needless demos that you can't skip through.
10. Those creeping monsters that freeze the screen when they awaken.
Overall: 82 of 100
A good game, not a great game. Could have used another three months in
the shop working out the glitches and adding more space and features.
A step down from Link To The Past.