Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D review: The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D is a life-changing game, an experience that defines the medium it inhabits and if you have the chance to experience it afresh, it will even better.
This 3DS port repaints the Nintendo 64 original with a generosity and level of success that you could never have expected. Even for those intimately familiar with the original, the overhaul in what has become the handheld's first true must-have title, makes Hyrule feel entirely fresh to the touch. It's worth experiencing as if for the first time.
The textures are sharp and solid. Gone is the fuzziness of the original, in its place edges that you could cut a finger on, giving the world a solidity that has never before been there.
Piling On The Polygons
Link himself has piled on the polygons, and is now as smooth and defined as any contemporary video game character. Likewise, the colours that paint the world are shockingly vivid: rich, tasty greens underlining Sonic-blue skies which turn to pink and then black as the sun wheels to moon in the sky.
Then there's the addition of stereoscopic 3D. Ease the 3D depth slider upward and your 3DS screen becomes a real window into Hyrule. Fireflies hover in the near, middle and far distance while Navi circles you.
The 3D isn't particularly showy, but its been used in elegant, distinguished ways both in terms of the miniscule dust particles that hang in beams of sunlight indoors, and in the heft and majesty of the world's larger features, from the Deku tree to the mountain to the moon.
The update introduces more than just better textures and true 3D too. Shops are full of clutter while previously sparse villages hum with hustle and bustle.
The enduring feeling is that this is the final true realisation of what the original game's development team were aiming for, a game world in true full bloom, having been watered by time and technology.
Thanks to the 3DS system's dual screens, the slightly cluttered HUD of the original has been stripped right back and the most pertinent information is now displayed on the touchscreen.
Sling and hook
Motion controls have also been utilised for this remake. In addition to Link's regular sword combat - which has its own repertoire of moves and attacks - first-person views come into operation when brandishing the slingshot, or bow, or when using the hookshot.
Now, instead of needing to poke at the D-Pad to line up shots, you can move the 3DS itself to adjust your view into the world. This makes shooting much more enjoyable throughout, although purists will be pleased to hear that the functionality can be disabled in the game menu.
Likewise, a series of new hint systems such as tutorial videos hidden inside the new Sheikah Stones and special trail lines that intersect the infamously demanding Water Temple to show where Link can raise or lower the water make the game more palatable to true newcomers.
There are other major additions too. A retooled Master Quest provides a second journey after you've finished the main storyline, with a series of revamped dungeons and puzzles to bite into. Meanwhile, Boss Challenge mode allows you to tackle the game's nefarious boss characters as many times as you like, working to improve your time and technique.