Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 10+
Posted: April 28th, 2004
By: Webmaster-Josh
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the best games ever! Instantly a classic, the newly ported version for GCN
changes a couple things. How does this game fare?
Sound

After being used to the simplistic sounds of A Link to the Past, we knew there would be lots of improvements made. This
is probably Koji Kondo's best musical work. The Lost Woods is catchy, Kokiri Forest beautiful, and the Water Temple
enchanting. The orchestral-like songs definitely suit the new Zelda feel, and sound like nothing you've ever heard. Hyrule
Field has interactive music. The song could go on forever because it changes depending on what you're doing. If you're
just standing still, you'll hear nice peaceful music, but once you start moving you'll hear the music build up to keep with
your running pace.
Sound effects are also genuine. You'll hear a lot used constantly, but they sound new for N64, and work well. There are
plenty of places where Link travels, so there's plenty of walking sounds. What's a bit disappointing is that for some reason
the sound quality doesn't sound as good as it could have been, but for N64 times, this is great! And it's not so much the
sound effects that concerns me. They are great, but since Link plays music as a main goal throughout the game, you'd
expect Ocarina tunes to be the best.
The Ocarina of Time allows you to play 12 different tunes that actually do something, but players can actually play it like a
piano. It has plenty of notes that allow for plenty of tunes you already know. It may take some time to learn the notes,
but that's not the point. The songs made by the Ocarina may be short, but are all perfect for each Temple that they warp
to. Then there's the other songs that consist of three notes repeated, like Zelda's Lullaby. These aren't as good as the
older Link (temple) songs, but if you like these, wait until you grow up seven years later! Overall, this is one of the best
sounding games ever made!
Control

The control is a bit different from the N64. Z is now L, which makes sense because L on the GCN controller feels like Z on
the N64 controller. R uses your shield, and every other button acts the same. The C Stick may be a bit awkward, so you
can also use Z, Y and X. I prefer using Z, Y and X for items because that's the controls for Wind Waker anyway. I use the
C Stick for the Ocarina, so they're both convenient. To make sure that you don't forget what color the A, and B buttons
are, the A and B icons are now Green and Red, instead of Blue and Green.
Loading the game is very fast, but that's because the game mostly loads at the startup. Since this is a direct port, the
game has to do a major load at the beginning. There are also very minor pauses that the game makes when loading, so
you may also hear pauses in music. This isn't something in the original game, but it shouldn't bother too many people.
The control scheme works very well. It's original, and definitely brings life to the series. There are three quick button
commands, as well as your sword, and shield. One thing that gets annoying is how you have to move boxes. You have to be
up against it to grab it, but if you push forward too long, A is no longer grab. A becomes Climb, and this gets confusing for
beginners. Also, L acts as camera control, which can get annoying because you may want to see around you. A C Stick
analog camera would have been nice, but again this is N64.
Since this is an N64 game, I can understand why these were done the way they were. I'm glad Wind Waker changes these
aspects; and I didn't expect them to change this game just to make the control scheme better. You'll learn to get over it.
Other than those flaws, this game control very well, and responsively. This just barely had to miss the 9.0 grade, but snags
an 8.5 because it's not much worse than that! And those used to the N64 controls, don't worry-this is just as good.
Graphics

As if these graphics weren't good enough, Nintendo added a higher
resolution. Believe me it looks much better than the N64 version.
Not only that, but Progressive Scan is available, also improving the
look a little. I still would have been okay with the lower resolution,
because everything still looks dazzling!
One thing this generation will notice is the somewhat blocky
figures. Even the empty bottles have a pointy end! This is simply a
property of N64 games, and I didn't take off the score for this. I
honestly couldn't find anything else wrong. The graphics just look
great, and the major perk of owning this version is just to see the
updated resolution! Even for GCN, these look decent. This is one of
the best looking games ever, well for N64 standards anyway. If I
was grading by today's standards, This would get a lower 8, but I'm
grading based on back then, so 9.7 seems okay. It's just dazzling
overall, even if we are at a different stage of graphics development!
Replay

This is probably one of the longest Zelda adventures. Wind Waker sports many side tasks, but doesn't focus too much on
the dungeons. Ocarina of Time dungeons are a bit smaller, but are just as challenging the first time through as Wind
Waker. There are even more dungeons. There are 4 as a kid, and 8 as an adult. Some are smaller than others, but there
are only a few of those smaller dungeons. Don't forget that there's Master Quest, so you'd think that the replay value is
doubled. No, because actually the only difference is harder dungeons. Since dungeons are half the game, only half of
Master Quest is new.
That's still saying something because most item and Gold Skulltula locations are completely different. Even outside
dungeons, there are different things to see. Master Quest is for those who just want to see much harder versions of
dungeons. They really aren't too difficult, as you still lose health just as fast and enemies are still just as strong. So this is
by no means an "Expert" game. Just the dungeon puzzles are difficult. Basically, things are just laid out differently, or
some objects just taken out altogether. You'll be stumped by some, but that just keeps the fun coming back.
In the end, if you want to find all of the items and everything in the game, it feels easier to just look for them in the
original Ocarina of Time. After you do that, you may feel motivated to try to find everything on Master Quest, but most
won't want to because it is harder, making it a little less fun. Still, it's challenging, and I'm not sure that if Master Quest
wasn't here that I would have bought this disc, anyway. So to end this section, there's a lot of replay, and this is definitely
worth buying just for the Master Quest version. You'll even find yourself playing the original game a lot, too!
Design

What a game! This truly is one of the best designed games ever! This parallels the awesomeness of Super Mario 64, and
definitely is what fans have been waiting for. Like Metroid Prime, the transition from 2D to 3D was flawless! And the
transition from N64 to GCN was also flawless, with some minor, but great upgrades. The storyline is intriguing; the
characters all seem to come to life, not through realistic graphics, but by the plot. The characters all have emotions, and
you may even feel sympathetic for them.
Choosing your name also gives a more personal feel to this. For girls, though... well you'll have to make a up a boy name
that sounds good to you. Since your name is used a lot, you definitely feel more compelled to listen to the characters. This
is not only a journey to save the world, but also discover a couple things about yourself. And it's not just the storyline, but
different events that happen that show off different personalities.
The dungeons are very unique. The puzzles all seem to make sense, even after several minutes of scratching your head
wondering what this switch does. Basically, if there's a cracked wall, you bomb it; if it's a switch, you shoot it... You'll
learn how to get everything done, and hopefully you'll use techniques to remember what to look for. Of course, Shigeru
Miyamoto is one step ahead, always throwing out something you haven't thought of!
The Ocarina adds an aspect of when and where. Not just when and where you should play it, but also what song you should
play. There are six songs merely for warping, but the other six may activate certain things. Sometimes you can just play it
for fun. The Ocarina adds an element of control, because it may change things. It also gives this Zelda game a magical
touch of fantasy we know and love.
The battle system is superb too; each enemy requires special timing to expose and strike weak spots. The bosses are also
ingenious. Once you figure it out, can you still accomplish defeating them? They aren't hard, but still challenging. Some
are even kind of fun. The battle system is also much more 3D and definitely more intense and thrilling. This battle system
is something gamers have never seen. L Targeting works well, and this game started the trend of this type of battling,
that others have tried to copy. You'll be more than impressed this game when you play it.
Scores
Sound

9.3
Control

8.5
Graphics

9.7
Replay

9.9
Design

10.0
9.5
Final Words

I truly think this is one of the best games ever. I still think this is also the best in the series. This is timeless, and will
remain as one of the best video games ever. Games like Wind Waker prove that we can move forward, yet we still look
back to see past games, like this one. Nintendo games can only get better from here! Don't go another day without owning
this! It doesn't even have to be the GCN version, even the N64 version is great. You'll probably appreciate having better
graphics and a harder game to compliment than the original.