Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Retro Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

So now, I will do the first of what will hopefully be many reviews, some retro, some current.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was released in 1998, a glorious year in gaming history. (Metal Gear Solid and Half-Life came out the same year) It was the fifth game in the already grand series of games. All Zelda games previous had been 2-D, and this was the jump to the third dimension. So, how did it go?

FANTASTICALLY. Ocarina of Time boldly took adventure gaming into 3-D. It took the average gamer several hours to complete, having 8 main dungeons (one of which you actually had to go through twice) and the final dungeon to battle through. In 1998, that was a biiiig adventure game. Not only that, but the graphics were nearly the finest that the N64 in 1998 had to offer. The storyline was an epic one, involving a king of thieves, civilizations in crisis, a traitor to the evil king who aids you, and of course, Princess Zelda, in danger as usual.

Where OoT really knocked it out of the park was its gameplay. It heralded amazing features that are now standards of the industry. Lock-on strafing, automatic jumping, and context senstive buttons are amoung its achievements.

OoT was released to huge critical acclaim. Despite being released on November 21, only 39 days before the end of the year, it STILL became the best-selling game of the year, selling 2.5 million copies before 1999. Two websites, GameRankings.com and Metacritic.com, which both compile separate reviews for games to give them an overall rating, give OoT shining reviews. On both, OoT is the top reviewed game of all time, having a 97.6% on GameRankings, and a 99 out of 100 on Metacritic. Nearly every gaming publication around in 1998 gave the game a perfect score. Oddly enough, one of the few (maybe only) publications that was around at the time to give the game an imperfect score was none other than Nintendo Power. It gave the game a 9.5 out of 10.

Personally, this is probably my all-time favorite game. I've played it all the way through at least 7 times that I can think of. It just doesn't get old. To quote Tony Mott, editor-in-chief of Edge Magazine, "Ocarina of Time's position at the top slot in Edge's 100 Best Video Games shows that great game design does not age." Amen to that. This game will forever have a special place in my heart, and currently stands as the pinnacle of gaming. So here's to Ocarina of Time!

5 out of 5


CptnMayhem said...

Amen, bro! I remember actually getting around to playing it the first time back in 2003. I had undergone my emergency appendectomy a couple of weeks before and my friend Dee brought me the game to play through (he knew I had never played it).

Needless to say, it made the recovery process MUCH easier. Such a great game.

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