I'm told that I have to write a review of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS) now, because I worked so hard on my video walkthrough for the original game.
...This is awkward.
I want to like this game, I really do. But if I had to choose between playing the original game and this remake, I'd pick the original every single time. No questions asked. The original is loads better than this paltry remake.
There, I said it. Please don't hate me, Zelda.
It's just...this game isn't a remake. It's a graphics update. That's all. But even worse, it's an update to the censored version of the game (different dialogue, music and graphics), instead of the original gold cartridge edition I know and love.
It'd be nice if the remake actually had some new material, to make it different from the original. That's the sign of a good remake, you know? Actually being different from the original in some way. They could have had an extra dungeon or more characters. Maybe a new plotline, even. Oh, and they could have used this great opportunity to put in some of the things that got cut out of the original game, due to time constraints, such as the Beam Attack that Nintendo Power promised us.
So that's my big problem with this game. It's a lazy remake. I was hoping for more.
To be fair, there are minor changes between this game and the original. Unfortunately, these all seem to work against the game's favor.
The controls for this game don't work so well, because the game is designed to be played on an N64 controller. That was kind of a problem with the Gamecube version of Ocarina of Time, too. It's not a game-killing problem, but it's still there.
With the 3DS Ocarina of Time, they decided to move everything to the bottom screen. And since the 3DS doesn't have enough buttons, half the buttons are touchscreen buttons. So it's one of those games where you need both hands to use the normal buttons, and a third hand to use the stylus on the touchscreen buttons.
It's not that bad, because you don't use the touchscreen that much. But still, it kinda bugs me that every time I want to use a new item, I have to pause the game, pull out the DS stylus and set the item I want to the "use item" button (X or Y), then put my stylus away and press the "use item" button. Let me do this manually, without a stylus!
Also, the "talk to Navi" button really shouldn't be on the touchscreen, because Navi wants to talk to Link all the time.
The other problem I have with the controls is Z-targeting. On the N64, you press Z, and the Z-targeting locks onto that enemy until you press Z again. But on the 3DS, you press L, and the L-targeting locks onto that enemy, until you let go of the L-button. This is a pain in boss battles, where you need to be locked on to the boss for minutes at a time.
The other, other problem I have with the controls is with the aiming system. When using the bow and arrow or other similar items, you can aim manually with the control stick, just like in the N64 version. Alternately, you can use the 3DS as a targeting device! Move the 3DS up, and the target goes up. Move it left or right, and the target moves accordingly. This is a pretty good idea, but it doesn't work if you have the 3D on. If you move the 3DS to the left, suddenly the 3D effect dies as you get a face full of motion blur. Owsers!
I'm guessing that the 3D motion blur is a mistake on my part, not the game's, though. This is the first 3D game I've played on the 3DS, and I'm still learning how it works. You have to be at a certain angle/distance from the 3DS for the 3D to work well, and the problem is I'm kind of fidgety when it comes to videogames. I end up having to readjust myself/the system every five minutes or so. I'm sure that eventually I'll get it down, but for now, it's kind of a bother that I need to stay relatively still while playing the game. I mean, handheld games are supposed to be played while you're moving, right?
2. Sheikah Stones
You know how Nintendo is putting the Super Guide feature in all its games now? The feature that basically shows you how to beat the game in case you're stuck? There's one of those in this game.
Yep, that's the new material they decided to add. You can see brief (five second) video clips, which show you how to solve the various puzzles in this game. You access these videos by talking to the Sheikah Stone located next to Link's house.
Isn't Navi supposed to be the in-game hint system? Do we really need another one?
[Edit: I have been informed that Navi has taken on the job of telling the player to take a break, if they've been playing for too long. Blech.]
OMG, the graphics are great. OMG. They cleaned up all the polygonal character models and everything.
My only complaint is that they left in the various N64 graphics glitches, so you will sometimes see walls disappear for no good reason. Really, Nintendo? You decided to leave that glitch in? Other than that, the new graphics are utterly brilliant.
4. Master Quest
Remember Master Quest, the version of the game included on the GCN version of the game? That's the bonus game which pretended to be the Ura Zelda project. It's really just a glorified ROM hack that swtiches things around in the dungeons, without adding anything new.
Master Quest is on this game. This time, it's reversed, to make it more difficult than before.
In conclusion, I am a grumpy old crumudgeon who hates new things. I mean, the 3D remake of Ocarina of Time is inferior to the original version. Harrumph. Although the new graphics are super-awesome, it's really the exact same as the N64, Gamecube and Wii releases. And all of those other releases are cheaper than this one...
If you already own a 3DS, there's no doubt that this will make a great addition to your tiny collection. (Fun fact: the "3" in 3DS refers to the number of games for the system that you will actually purchase.) Fans of the original will love the new graphics, and they can live with the fact that nothing has changed. People who haven't played the original will most likely love the time-travelling Zelda fun in this game.