The first point to be clear on regarding this game is that it isn’t a new Zelda title, but a 3DS remake of the Nintendo 64 adventure Ocarina of Time. At heart, it remains essentially the same game, with protagonist Link in a quest to stop a deadly evil descending over the land of Hyrule. While players of the late nineties N64 classic will find it all very familiar, the 3DS version does include the master quest, a much tougher version of the campaign with super-hard monsters and inverted dungeon layouts.
Of course, that’s not the only change. The most obvious enhancement is the three-dimensional graphics of the 3DS, which give Hyrule a fresh and vibrant appearance. The visuals are clean and crisp, the 3D effect impressive, and touches of extra detail have been liberally splashed all over the place.
What isn’t so great on the visual front is that when the 3D slider is pushed up to higher levels – which admittedly we tend not to use – this seems to make textures look a little grainy, particularly in distant (far removed from the third-person camera) scenes. The camera angles themselves can also be a tad awkward sometimes, particularly with the new gyroscopic control introduced on the 3DS.
The gyroscopic control lets the player move the actual console itself to look around a room or aim their slingshot at foes – a very neat idea. While this mechanic is fun and immersive when it works, it can also be rather finicky, and in certain sections of the game we found ourselves fumbling around, failing to get the viewpoint to focus where we wanted. Moving the handheld about also disrupts the 3D effect somewhat, which isn’t ideal.
Power of touch
Nintendo’s other big introduction for the 3DS remake is the use of the touchscreen to display the inventory and maps. This means you can instantly equip or use items without fiddling about in sub-menus – and that’s definitely a great boon. These extra touches (no pun intended) make a classic adventure even more enjoyable, and Ocarina of Time is most definitely still a classic, even after all this time.
- New 3D visuals are impressive; touchscreen inventory is a big plus.
- Gyroscopic aiming controls don't mix well with the new 3D graphics.
While it remains essentially the same game as the original 1998 version, the redrawn 3D graphics are smartly implemented, by and large, and the touchscreen inventory makes gameplay that much smoother. Whether veterans of the original will feel it's worth shelling out for something that's pretty much the same game at heart is a rather subjective matter. For those who haven't played the Ocarina before, though, this is definitely a winner.