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 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Review

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ToriJ
Lotus Crystal


Lotus Crystal

Posts : 1765
Join date : 2013-03-01
Age : 27
Location : Kansas City, KS


PostSubject: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Review   4th November 2013, 5:40 am

It's November here in our crazy, screwed up little world and while advertisers and stores are already gearing up for Christmas, the rest of us are getting ready to celebrate the day we fatten up a bunch of Native Americans before brutally slaughtering and raping their land. And in honor of that glorious day I bring to you, 'ThanksGaming' a time where we can take a look back fondly on the video games of our childhood whether you grew up in the 70's, 80's, 90's or the 00's. If it was a part of your childhood then it deserves recognition. Now, while it's not possible for me to properly represent every gaming generation that has come and gone, I will be doing my best to look at various titles that came out during the 90's, 80's and even the late 70's from Nintendo, PlayStation, Sega and Atari. To kick things off, a franchise that I'm sure many who are reading this right now are all too familiar with. I am of course talking about, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA!


Co-created by Japanese game designers, Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, The Legend of Zelda made its debut in Japan in 1986 and came out to North America one year later becoming an instant classic that spanned sequels, prequels, spin-offs and countless stand-alone titles going on three decades. It is revered as one of the best video game franchises of all time, even having its own cartoon show in the 80's. But we don't talk about that... EVER! In 1998 the fifth installment of the franchise and the first game for the Nintendo 64 and fifth generation of gaming history was released, this very same month. So take out your ocarina and get ready as we dive into The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Spoiler:
 

Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game I had the pleasure of playing, as well as the first N64 title I owned after purchasing the console. My first game would have been the original Legend of Zelda for NES if someone I won't name who had let me played his copy, but noooo! It was gold and I would have ruined it. You don't just game block a kid like that people have killed for less!

As is the norm with Zelda games you play as Link, who can be named anything the player can think of, this time around he's a young boy living in Kokiri Forest. He's also the only boy in the forest not to have his own fairy, but that all changes when the Great Deku Tree (fatherly guardian of the forest) assigns Navi to the young boy and then summons him to lift a curse that was put on him by an evil sorcerer by the name of Ganondork – I mean, Ganondorf. After being awarded with the green Spiritual Stone, Link is sent to Hyrule Castle to meet the 'Princess of Destiny' and begins his adventure to save Hyrule from the sorcerer that would see it all go caput. In order to guide you on your quest let's go over the controls.

Controls: A is your action button. This lets you talk to people, open doors, pick up objects to throw, roll across the ground and jump while holding down Z. B is for swinging your sword in order to fend off enemies, cut tall grass, break vases and the R button holds up your shield to block enemy attacks. The Z button is your targeting button. You can lock onto a NPC, enemy or object and continue to move around while during so. This also allows you to move with your shield up and jump to the left, right, dash forward or perform a back-flip whether you're targeting something specific or just holding down Z in general.

The left, down and right C buttons are for additional items that Link can equip during his travels such as sticks, Deku Nuts, slingshot, bombs, boomerang for weapons and items such as bottles that contain milk, fairies, and potions to replenish health and other related items. When the ever familiar, “Hey listen!” is heard the top C button will appear on the screen with Navi name over it signaling to press it to hear what Navi has to say. This also comes in handy when target locking enemies as Navi will give you a brief background on each one and how to defeat it. When Navi isn't trying to get your attention you press the up C button to look around the area in first-person view. By pressing start you bring up the sub-screen menus and can cycle through items, map, equipment and quest with L and Z. Using the control stick (which is also used for moving) to highlight an item to equip and then press A to equip it, or C if it's a C equip item. You can save the game at any time by pressing B and then A to confirm the save.

Even by today's standards the game still looks and sound great, maybe not as polished as today's generation of games are, but it certainly doesn't feel dated. Everything from the visuals, to the character design and straight down to the soundtrack does an excellent job of pulling you into this fantasy world you would expect from a fairytale book. If Zelda was a movie it would have been made by Walt Disney, it really does feel that magical. And I be the long lost brother of Princess Zelda if Kokiri Forest isn't based off Peter Pan and Neverland. They live in a forest, everyone wears green and is accompanied by a fairy, no one ages and adults are treated as hostile, but I digress. You can probably find references to several fairytales in Zelda, some more obvious than others, if you simply know where to look.

At the beginning of the game you're limited to the Kokiri Forest until you finish the first dungeon, then you're able to go to Hyrule Field which acts as a hub to all the main areas in the game including, but not limited to: Hyrule Castle, Kakariko Village, Lon Lon Ranch and Gerudo Valley. Since it's an action-adventure game there is plenty of exploring and discovery to be had in Hyrule so I'd advise not to rush through your main objective and take the time to look around each area. On top of the main objective there are several side-quests and other fun stuff you can do to pass the time. Such as killing Gold Skulltulas that leave behind a token which goes to lifting a curse of a rich family in Kakariko Village. And then there's the more well known Mask side-quest. There's this shop in Hyrule Castle that you go into to talk to the shop keeper and then you get to borrow these masks you're meant to sell to a specific person and after all the masks are sold there are three that you can get at any time. Dialog changes when you talk to people with the mask, even Princess Zelda if you feel like sneaking through the castle over and over again just to talk to her. You also have a Goron and Zora mask which you can wear and then talk to the actual Gorons and Zoras to see what they say. Basically, you just wear silly masks and sell them to people.
Spoiler:
 

You can get a horse, which I think qualifies as a side-quest because it isn't mandatory, but it sure beats walking. You can fish, you can play a bunch of different games depending on the city, fish and collect chickens. Speaking of chickens, do NOT attack the chickens. It may very well be the last thing you do. Okay, I'll tell you why. Attack a random chicken enough times the chicken will cry out and an army of angry chickens will descend from the heavens to try to kill you and they will not disappear unless you enter a house or leave the area you attacked the chicken in. It's probably the best lesson to treat animals well that your kids can ever learn.

All right, the real unique factor when it comes to the game is after you get to a certain point you can go switch between the future and the past by putting a sword in a stone in a temple. You can run around as Young Link, which is what you start out as, and then Adult Link who is required in order to face Ganondork and save Hyrule. Some times you'll be required to switch between the two timelines in order to bypass an obstacle in your way and there are things you can do that will pay off when you get to the future. Like planting a seed which grows out and you can ride on for faster travel in that area and get to higher up points that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to get to. There are also certain items you won't be able to use depending on which timeline you're in. Obviously, Adult Link isn't going to use a slingshot. The other adults would make fun of him. And Young Link isn't going to be able to carry the Master Sword or the Great Sword, he can barely fit the Hyrule Shield on his back because it's so big.

The ocarina is an object you receive early on in the game, hence the name 'Ocarina of Time'. There are a bunch of songs that you can learn on it that has different functions. There's Zelda 's Lullaby which is very good at opening doors. Epona's Song that can be used to summon the horse to you as an adult no matter where you are in the world, that is one fast horse let me tell you. Saria Song can make you some friends, prove where you come from and allow you to talk to Saria from far away which can help you in your quest. There's a song where you can make it storm that I really wish I had in real life. The weather man would tell everyone it's going to be all dry skies then I would come out with my ocarina and make it rain. You turn day into night, night into day, open ancient temples and learn songs that let you teleport to different temples that you need to complete in order to finish your quest. There's a lot of power in the ocarina and all the songs are beautiful and make you want to cry at times. I will not cry. I will not cry. I. Will. Not. Cry. *cries* Oh, Princess Zelda! Why did you have to leave us!? *balls*

Where was I? Right. Ocarina of Time offers us a day and night cycle where time passes by normally when you're in a place like Hyrule Field or Lake Hyrule, but stands still when you're in a town. And by normally I mean very, very, fast. First time you're out in Hyrule Filed headed for Hyrule Castle it's a challenge just to make it to the town before night hits and the draw bridge goes up. How people in Hyrule get anything done during the day is beyond me. There are two main enemies you'll face in Hyrule Field. The first one is a flower creature named Peahat that will only attack you if you get too close. At night skeletons called Stalchild will crawl out of the ground to kill you. You can avoid them by sticking to the dirt road, using the Bunnyhood to move faster or do as I do and jump into the water under the bridge at the gate of Hyrule Castle. They don't like water. The Peahat will be asleep by this time, but don't assume they'd be an easy target. Attack and little copies of themselves called Peahat Larvae will fly up and attack you.

Thanks to the day/night cycle, you can visit each individual town during the day or night and some places and people will only be available depending on the time of day you select to visit that town. Others will be relocated accordingly.

There are a wide range of enemies in the game and there's no way I'm going to be able to go through all of them like in Devil May Cry and F.E.A.R. 2, so I'll try to mention as many as I can. We have man-eating plants that are a lot like the ones we see in Mario that come in a small and a large, these skull spiders not to be confused with the Gold Skulltulas which also come in both a small and a large. Then there are these small, plant things with feet that pop up out of the ground and shoot Deku Nuts at you. A tag team of lizards who jumps platforms between lava and attack you with daggers, which I hate with a fiery passion that burns in every fiber of my being, and bubbles. I'm not kidding, bubbles attack you and they hurt like hell. And since I know I'd probably get some “Aww” if I don't mention them, in the future you'll meet these zombie-like creatures that look like skeletons with wooden heads and you hear screams when you're in their presence. For them I have one advice, don't get too close.

Btw the names of the enemies I just talked about are Deku Baba, Big Deku Baba, Skullwalltula, Big Skullwalltula, Big Skulltula, Deku Scrub, Business Scrub, Lizalfos, Shabom and ReDead. There are nearly seventy enemies overall, some of which are reoccurring enemies from earlier games and others being introduced for the first time that would go on to become reoccurring enemies.

Each dungeon will have a map and a compass that you find in a large treasure chest, as most important items you find in dungeons like a new weapon to help you on your quest. You don't have to get either the map or the compass, but they sure do help! Near the end of each individual dungeon you have a boss and some dungeons possess a miniboss leading up to the main boss. After the boss fight you get a heart container which add a new heart extending your health (you can also gain a new heart container by finding four pieces of one in towns and in Hyrule Field) and the object you went went in there to find that brings you further on your quest.

Further into the game you can find areas occupying a large fairy woman called the Great Fairy that comes out of a fountain and grants you new magical powers. The first one you visit will grant you MP that is located beneath your hearts and can be replenish with green potions you either find or buy. Other faries will also give you other magical artifacts to help in your quest, like starting fires or transporting to a saved part in a dungeon so you don't have to travel the long way, and replenish your health.

Back in your house in Kokiri you can look over your records which highlights how many Gold Skulltulas you killed, fish caught, marathon ran, horse race time and horseback archery. Basically it covers one side-quest and a couple of minigames you can play during the course of the game.

Cons: Hold on, before you charge up your light arrows at least hear me out. Some times when you're talking to people the cameras will go wompy on you. One time I approached a Goron to talk to him and the camera spun around to his rear and I was looking at Goron butt. A little distracting.

Another thing is when you're set to memorize the ocarina songs. They'll show you the song twice to memorize and then when it's your turn to do it they have each command to put in still on the screen, only faded. I get that they want you to learn the mandatory songs in order to advance the game, but did they really think we would forget what we just saw twice? Apart from that there isn't a lot about the game I would really see as flaws.

Conclusion: There's a reason why it's considered one of the best Zelda games and video games of all time and if you like anything to do with fantasy, fairytales, medieval and adventure, then grab your ocarina and let's play some songs!


Or a violin. That works too.

Overall Rating: 8/10

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Ayen's Reviews
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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Review

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