Release Date: November 1998
Genre: Action-adventure game
Platforms: Nintendo 64, Wii, GameCube, iQue Player, 3DS
Creators: Eiji Aonuma, Yoshiaki Koizumi, Shigeru Miyamoto
I am currently re-playing this game, not only for nostalgic reasons but simply because why the hell not? It is such a great game, there’s no reason for you not to play it over and over again.
This game was released year 1998, I was practically 9 years old and was still playing the Super Mario Brothers on my good old classic Nintendo FamiCom. I never had any chance to play OoT that year, not even 2-3 years after it was released as my parents didn’t had enough money to buy me an N64 console. We were piss poor that time and you could imagine my frustrations everytime I hear stories at school on how awesome the gameplay (of OoT) was.
It was year 2003, that I eventually came up with enough savings (mainly bits and pieces of my lunch money for 5 years + birthdays & christmas money I got from my grandparents) and was finally able to buy the game and started playing it.
Admittedly, this is the first Zelda game I’ve finished on my own without any help running down the public library and jotting down game cheats and walk-throughs. I’m pretty sure someone out there had the same dilemma. I did played Link’s Adventure (using one of my friend’s Game Boy Color which I borrowed for a week, again we were poor and couldn’t afford shit) but never really finished the game itself.
I could say, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is probably THE greatest video game of all time (sorry Tetris!) . It definitely was the first game to successfully introduce the transition from 2D to 3D gameplay to which most of the games that we play now were based on. The entire video game industry wouldn’t look anything like it does now without the innovations ushered in by OoT. It is the core soul of inspiration for every action/adventure video games that came after it, and undoubtedly influenced most if not every other genre in some way, shape or form.
The game is definitely difficult on its own, drives you crazy sometimes with all it’s complicated puzzles that gets you stuck in a temple quest / level for hours and hours and… more hours! (no kidding). It leaves you bundle of mixed emotions inside whether it’s extreme frustration (most of the time), or a flush of victory when you’ve finally completed a level (temple quest).
I couldn’t say it’s for everyone either. It’s definitely not for gamers that gets bored easily or those who give up right away all because they are bad at figuring puzzles out and really subtle hints on where to go. I’m not saying I’m one of those geeks who are exceedingly smart – they can apparently read a gameplay’s obstacle at the back of their heads. But I sure am one of those nerds who ain’t afraid to try and try til you get it right (or till your eyeballs pop out). I’ve always loved complex puzzle games, so with that said, Yes, playing OoT requires a lot of patience. It took me forever to finish this game, literally… but all the while it was definitely worth my time!
Below I’ll be noting some of the PROS and CONS of the game to even out some points on debates made on why OoT is considered one, or if not THE Best Video Game of all time and why it is worth playing again.
- To start, the story line is just utterly unique and mind blowing. The time travel theme was really interesting. Growing up as a 90’s kid , the time travel concept has always amazed me. Back in the days I was so naively astounded with movies and TV shows with a hint of the time travel concept like Donnie Darko, Star Trek, Dragon Ball Z (Future Trunks Chapter), etc.
- The Music is incredible, it not only gives you the nostalgic feels, the tunes are also pretty catchy. I can guarantee you’ll be humming Princess Zelda’s lullaby for quite sometime while playing the game. Their sound effects were great too e.g. skulltula scratches and sfx of the torch burning or bat wings flapping were profound.
- Game Developers really made it a point to give a definite characterization of the game. As the story goes you’ll find out back stories about Hyrule, The Sacred Realm and Link’s past, connecting it somehow to the previous Zelda games or to concepts of the new ones that came after OoT.
- The graphics are really good, taking into account that this was released on year 1998 were 3D was not commonly introduced in Nintendo games.
- You get so involved & invested in the story line which is probably the only motivation you have to finishing the game – to know what happens next.
- Epona’s first appearance in the Zelda franchise, and how awesome it is to see Link riding his steed around Hyrule field.
- The introduction of the Z-targeting. The Z-targeting of Ocarina of Time actually shaped thousands of RPG games with the locked targeting feature we all take for granted in today’s modern gaming era.
- This game is timeless. It’s NEVER out dated. You can pick it up and play it whenever.
- It’s extremely long! I kid you not, this is NOT one of those games you can easily finish in 3-4 hours (without a cheat or following a walk through).
- It’s awfully difficult. OoT is not your typical video game for younger kids (of age 5 – 8, maybe) unless they’re determined enough not to let their frustrations of this game drown them.
- When you die on a temple quest, you wind up going back to start, mainly the temple’s entrance. This isn’t really a big deal for me, but it is for some. So just have the save button handy.
- That blasted Shooting Gallery mini game (adult Link timeline). This is by far the most annoying mini game of all. It took me two whole hours to beat it! I suck at it big time.
- Inside Jabu Jabu’s Belly is a whole lot of frustration. I have no clue how long it took me to beat this boss level, but I sure know it ain’t easy! Those electric jelly fishies are a pain.
- You’ll get stuck on a level at some point. Deal with it. As mentioned on point #2, it’s extremely difficult and mind boggling sometimes. So when you’re mostly about to give up, know that a little google search walk through won’t hurt anyone.
- It’s not perfect. If it’s your first time playing OoT, take into consideration that this was released back in 1998, so expect that the graphics aren’t too overwhelmingly good compared to the games now with PS4 and XBOX.
In my opinion, the only reason some gamers hate OoT is of how complex and how difficult it is to beat, especially for someone who has never played Zelda games before (or for someone who has never finished one). Not to mention the repetition you go through every time Link dies, is one hindrance to the gameplay. Still, it is by far one of the best video games of all time, generally speaking. Although I wouldn’t say it is my favorite of all the Zelda game franchise as Majora’s Mask totally wins my vote of it all for the fact that it’s even more complex, difficult and gets you more involved into a different side story of young Link’s adventures and adversaries after Ocarina of Time.
It’s not Overrated
I don’t think it’s overrated too. Yes, it is popular but just because it is, doesn’t mean you have to focus on the negative and call it “overrated”. It is famous because it deserves to be, it’s no doubt a great game, you’d be tripping if you say otherwise. One reason why it garnered a whole lot of die hard fans up until today is the fact that it was the first Zelda franchise, or better yet the first video game (IMO) to create an awesome story line, plot twist, good pacing, fantastic music, great dungeons, likable characters (hell I even liked how annoying Navi and Princess Ruto were), and there’s always something to do in each setting, like there are multiple things you can do in one specific location.