The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Zelda games have traditionally aged very well, but if there’s one
that could use a tune-up, it’s Ocarina of Time. The gameplay holds up 13
years later, but as one of the first 3D console titles, the visuals
look rough. With Ocarina of Time 3D, one of the greatest games of all
time looks and plays better than ever. This is the perfect way to
introduce it to a new generation of gamers.
Ocarina of Time 3D is a
faithful recreation of the classic, and its slight tweaks are all
welcome. My favorite is the implementation of gyroscope controls for
aiming. It may sound like a gimmick, but aiming your bow, hookshot, or
slingshot by moving the 3DS feels more natural than any aiming mechanics
of the Wii remote or Move Controller. It’s extremely responsive, and
offers quicker and more accurate aiming than the circle pad. Once you’ve
played the shooting gallery or Phantom Ganon fight this way, you won’t
want to go back to the traditional method.
Another great change to
the classic formula is the improved inventory interface. Having all of
your items accessible on the touchscreen means players can spend more
time playing and less time organizing their stuff. The original only
offered three C buttons for items, but the 3DS has four customizable
item slots, and another button is permanently dedicated to your ocarina.
Switching shields, tunics, or swords is only a couple taps away, and
you can also view the overworld and dungeon maps on the bottom screen.
While it’s nice to see the map blown up in this manner, the live area
map that shows your location is relegated to a tiny overlay on the top
screen’s HUD. I would have preferred to see this on the large map in the
bottom screen, but it isn’t a huge inconvenience.
inventory mechanics are especially helpful in the dreaded Water Temple.
Originally, the iron boots were in the gear section of your menu,
meaning players had to constantly pause the game whenever they needed to
equip or unequip them. This time around, players can assign a specific
button to the iron boots just like any other item in the game. In
addition, new colored lines make the location and function of the water
level switches more evident. If you need the water level at a specific
point, it’s far easier with this minor tweak than it was when nothing
was marked. The temple is still a beast, but it’s less infuriating than
it was in 1998.
Longtime Nintendo fans have been frustrated by the
company’s recent insistence on including super guides, and a version of
this concept appears in Ocarina 3D in the form of Sheikah stones. These
stones appear in the Temple of Time and near your home in Kokiri
Forest, and Link can crawl into them “to receive a vision of the
future.” These short video clips blatantly show you the solution to a
puzzle or section of a dungeon. I can’t imagine being so stuck in a
dungeon that I’d rather hike back to Kokiri Forest than stick around
until I figured out the solution, but it might be helpful to gamers
unfamiliar with the series.
One place you won’t find the Sheikah
stones is in the Master Quest. Unlocked after beating the original game,
this re-done version was originally released as a pre-order incentive
for Wind Waker. Dungeons maintain the same room layout, but puzzles are
completely different and it’s much more difficult. In a new twist on
Master Quest, the 3DS version also mirrors the entire map, which shakes
up the experience further. The Master Quest adds to the replay value
considerably, and Nintendo also includes a gauntlet-style boss challenge
mode that unlocks after conquering the Master Quest.
Time 3D is my new favorite way to play one of my top 10 games of all
time. Its updated visuals look great in 3D, the touchscreen streamlines
inventory issues, and aiming with the gyroscope feels like much more
than a gimmick. Whether you’re a newcomer to the series or a Zelda
veteran, this game needs to be in your 3DS collection.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.