Hello! This is going to be a post about Ocarina of Time 3D, but first, an introduction.
I've lurked the site regularly for a little while now and tend to stick with the front page, commenting on news posts. I'll be going to PAX for the first time this August, so I've decided I want to try and start getting a little more involved with the community side of Dtoid in case I meet up with some of you folks. So I whipped up a cblog banner and here I am! If you're looking for another INTERNET PAL or GAMING FRIEND then take a peek up top and over to the right. I've got a twitter where I occasionally stalk several of the Dtoid staff (HELLO MAX HOW ARE YOU) a personal website where I also blog or post stupid shit, and several ronery game profiles.
So yeah, Ocarina of Time 3D.
I've had the game for three days now, and I've decided it's one of the best games to come out in several years. Hands-down.
I'm blown away by all of the "you have to see to believe" details that simply have not and/or cannot be conveyed in reviews or screenshots online. The graphics really are stunning. It's hard to believe it's originally a Nintendo 64 game. Character models are much smoother, more detailed, and they all seemingly have brand new animations and poses. Even the smallest things like how Link moves his body when he's midair in a jump have been redone and look exquisite, even if it's just because they're fresh. The interiors of houses and shops have been upgraded with new textures, clutter, and furniture. You get a much bigger sense that these are actually buildings that people work and live in. The walls and cliffsides of Kakariko Village are plastered with posters which seem to advertise the construction being done by the carpenters. The grottoes that are scattered around Hyrule (the holes in the ground which lead to little tiny caves) are now surrounded by broken soil, so they look more natural (albeit still perfectly circlular). And of course there's the all around higher-res textures and optional 3D effect, which looks brilliant in a number of places. It's truly one of the best-looking ports I've ever seen - and I hesitate to call it a port. It literally feels as though they remade the game from the ground up, at least visually.
Then, there's the redesigned subscreen and inventory system. There's only three subscreens now: Gear, Map, and Items. Map and Items are pretty self explanatory. "Gear" is a combination of the old Equipment subscreen and the Quest Item subscreen. Your progress (quest collectables) are conveniently displayed right along side your tunics, shields, and swords. Ocarina songs have been moved, but I'll get to that in a second. As far as items go, you can now select up to FOUR instead of the old three. Two of these go on the X and Y buttons, while the others sit on little touchscreen buttons in the top- and bottom-right corners of the 3DS's touch screen. These are only slightly inconvenient to reach for at times (and I'm not terribly picky about fingerprints) but I find them good places to store less-frequently used items like bottles or quest/trading items.
But probably the coolest, most clever change of all is that the Ocarina now gets its own dedicated slot. The bottom-left corner of the touchscreen is where your Ocarina will always reside in addition to your four customizable item slots. When I realized this I just sat there for a second marveling in how obvious a design decision like that had to have been. It's genius. Even better, the songs you've learned are accessible while you're playing. When Link takes out the Ocarina to play, the bottom screen changes to a picture of the Ocarina (with buttons on the holes if you feel like playing with the stylus) and there's a button in the corner that lets you pull up your songs. No pausing necessary! This is especially useful because you have to relearn all of the Ocarina songs.
With the Gamecube and Virtual Console ports of OoT, everything was still represented using the N64's UI. So even while the buttons on your controller were different, it was still relatively easy to remember the correlation. With OoT3D, everything is redone. While the songs certainly sound the same, they're actually performed with all-new button combinations. Can you guess what song Y-L-R Y-L-R is? I bet you can't (well maybe you can, you've got a 1/6 chance)
Another thing that has surprised me is how actually fun the motion control can be. Whenever you enter first-person mode, either just for the camera or to use a weapon like the Slingshot or Boomerang, you have the option of aiming by moving your 3DS around, sort of like you're playing an AR game. As you've probably guessed or read, this doesn't work so well with the 3D setting turned on, unless you keep the screen perfectly in line with your face (or rather the other way around) as you move, but I find this to be a pretty trivial issue. While laying out on my couch going through a dungeon, I ended up looking up at my apartment's ceiling just to shoot down a Skullwalltula that was way up high. When I realized what I was doing, I just grinned. It was so. cool.
All of these improvements I've mentioned are improvements on what's already one of the best games ever made, certainly one of my top 5 favorites.
I've only just got the hookshot, which means I'm about to enter the Forest Temple. I'm sure I'll be finished with the game by the end of the week, at which point I'll be giving the Master Quest a go, which I'm really looking forward to. I've already seen so many things that have just left me smiling or amazed (sometimes both). Maybe I'm just enjoying Ocarina of Time for the 17th time, who knows. But man, is it fun. For all I know, there will be more things that I discover about this remake as I get further into the game that I could include in this post. For now, I'm off to the Sacred Forest Meadow.
P.S. The instruction manual that comes with the game only includes instructions on how to start a new game, or load/save/end an existing one. I think that's awesome.