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Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D Review

The best game of all time makes a triumphant return

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  1. CyberGW Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:01

    Woah you've put it on the site ALREADY!?
    It's only been out a week!
    Anyway, great review and I totally agree with the score, 98% is the best thing to give it as if you give it 100%, then you can't give a game a better score which could happen one day!
    Well done Simon Parkin!

  2. onmsam Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:16

    there wasnt anything bad that could even bring it down to 99 but still good review, im happy with 98

  3. TeHDjHeRo Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:19

    Dear Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2,

    We sincerely apologise for the disturbance that has been caused by the latest review of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D in which the score of 98% has knocked your Super Mario Galaxy's off the top spot, but to be fair and truthful, you know that the Ocarina of Time was near perfect, and anything that can be done, or an improved remake, will surely knock you off the top. Which it has, and to be fair, it should've done. Glad you made the right decision Simon!

  4. ArmouredSwampert Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:23

    Wow. Biased much?

  5. Gameking53 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:23

    Good stuff. Can't wait to get this tomorrow :)

  6. daiches99 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:28

    I got it today and just finished the Forest Temple, there's no doubt that it's incredible and by far superior to to the other 3DS games. The graphics are incredible, the controls are beautiful and camera is incredible. The only flaw is...
    ...
    I conclude.

  7. saswatch Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:31

    tomorrow time to go to hell again just to see if it improved on original

  8. allanironmaiden Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 17:42

    the expected score.....infact exceeding my thoughts it would get the 97% but why argue over such a small margin lol cant wait to get my hands on it at long long last!!

  9. ThomasMatthew89 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 18:03

    Cannot wait for tomorrow!

    I love how the graphics are now so alike to the art work that accompanied the game when it first came out.

    Now I get to relive my most defining moment in gaming, in great 3D.


    "Link, look, you're all grown up"

  10. TheRedPlumber Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 18:09

    I'm getting this tomorrow or Saturday. I could've got it today, but Amazon mucked up the pre-order.

  11. zorkzedork Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 18:15

    I only have majora's mask in the zelda series so I'd like to buy this game once I save up. Or else I win one in that competition onm's doing... :?

  12. dannymate Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 18:24

    I got this game yesterday and i havn't been able to stop playin it and when i was at school i was thinkin about it alot and how i would get through the next cave

  13. chaz 1805 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 18:42

    Wow. Biased much?


    How did you come to that conclusion? I've already read 3 multiformat reviewers give this 10/10, so it's hardly biased.

  14. Kirby8 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 19:00

    Can't wait to play the remake. I was hoping it'd come early and come today as it was despatched Tue/Wed. At least it should come on launch! XD

  15. Ai64 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 19:28

    I dropped my jaw when I saw the verdict score! 98%? Higher than both super mario galaxy 1 & 2? Awsome! I can't wait to get the game tomorrow! :D

  16. DJ-Foy Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 19:37

    So wait? The Sheikah Stones no longer tell you the in-game time? I always thought the mask side quest making the stones more useful was a good reason to actually do the side quest! It sounds like they've just gotten rid of that.

  17. ARWING64 Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 20:25

    I hope that you are`nt bias and knock Starfox 64 3D down in score because it is a remake too!

  18. CraigEmberson Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 21:31

    I thought Simon Parkin was the guy who does the weather on Meridian Tonight? haha! I pre-ordered and usually get my stuff the day before but nothing today :( My cousin who works at game said its not supposed to arrive the day before but sometimes it does - they tell the mail company not to deliver them until a certain date usually but sometimes they ignore it to clear up clutter in the depot. Now I won't get the CD LOL Nevermind.

  19. CraigEmberson Thursday 16th Jun 2011 at 21:33

    So wait? The Sheikah Stones no longer tell you the in-game time? I always thought the mask side quest making the stones more useful was a good reason to actually do the side quest! It sounds like they've just gotten rid of that.

    You're mixing up the small Gossip Stones with the large stone with a green symbol that is now embedded into walls in some places, giving the option to get jumbled visions to hint at how to solve specific things - its for newcomers but you can't use them in the Master Quest mode.

  20. BLuFAlc0n Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 06:54

    ...ONM. 98% is UNACCEPTABLE for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It has to be 100%, no excuses!

  21. justfortonight27 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 09:27

    I just got it in the post today! I'm really annoyed because i preordered it with game, thinking i would get the limited edition box & poster... nope. Even though i preordered it i didn't recieve it, even though it said i would. Also when i tried to register for the soundtrack on the nintendo website i entered all my details for it and then it lead to a 404 error page and crashed the internet on my ipod, so i have no idea whether i am getting the soundtrack or not, and because i have already registered the game i can't get back to the page where you register for the soundtrack! :(

  22. Link Follower13 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 12:18

    Just got my copy in the post theres nothing like hearing the calm music of Kokiri Forest, gets me everytime i play.
    98% i could agree with that but a 99% would have been nice. :)

  23. Shaun2k5 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 12:59

    So Nintendo don't new content and its worthy of an almost perfect score? Well.

  24. Monika 2011 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 13:01

    Love the game it is amazing I give it 100 percent

  25. Joe_Crow Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 13:24

    100%? No. What would you give a game that comes out and is better?

    This review is perfect. 98% is an excellent score for the game. The magazine review is even better, with a fantastic intro. One of the best I've seen in video game journalism. Excellent work.

  26. Joe_Crow Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 13:36

    I just got it in the post today! I'm really annoyed because i preordered it with game, thinking i would get the limited edition box & poster... nope. Even though i preordered it i didn't recieve it, even though it said i would. Also when i tried to register for the soundtrack on the nintendo website i entered all my details for it and then it lead to a 404 error page and crashed the internet on my ipod, so i have no idea whether i am getting the soundtrack or not, and because i have already registered the game i can't get back to the page where you register for the soundtrack! :(

    Call Nintendo and ask. Also, send GAME an e-mail. If you ordered the special edition, you are entitled to it, no question. They should send swap it, or just send you the posters and stuff.

  27. DFawkes Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 13:44

    Fantastic, that review is actually better than the one in the mag, as it skips the mega spoilertastic preamble and just explains why you should buy it - I stopped reading the one in the mag the second I realised it was ruining bits that would be awesome to discover for myself as one of the series' few newcomer :)

  28. ChrisONM Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 14:09

    How did you come to that conclusion? I've already read 3 multiformat reviewers give this 10/10, so it's hardly biased.


    Don't forget, we're not allowed to like something if it's good :D

  29. Toadmaniac2 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 14:32

    To anyone else that pre-ordered with GAME, did your copy arrive through the royal mail today or yesterday? I live in Crewe, we have the worst postal service in the UK, but it was dispatched on the 14th, other stuff I ordered from Amazon 2 days ago arrived today, so i'm slightly put out that it's still not arrived...

  30. Sputnik97 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 14:34

    I'm so annoyed it was supposed to come today and it didn't I'm away for 2 weeks now so wont be able to play it for ages. :evil: dam you play.com

  31. Domey3 Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 15:32

    I'm sorry, but I honestly didn't like the original. For me, the levels were too large and confusing, and gave little indication of where I had to go or what I had to do next, which means that I was aimlessly wandering around and mostly traveling in circles around the areas for hours, which I honestly found boring. Also, I found that the dungeons and puzzles were also too gigantic, hard and confusing, and got in the way of any real action, such as boss fights. Is there something wrong with me? because I seem to be the only person on the planet who wasn't enjoying playing the game... :(

  32. Eragon Firesword Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 15:51

    I probably won't be getting this. Shock and horror, I know! It's just that, at the very heart of it, this game has already been made. Skyward Sword, however, is new. So, I shall be spending my measly skint student pittance on that. Don't get me wrong, I love this game, but I own it on two different formats, one of which contains the Master Quest mode that also features in this game. I also prefer this game's Link to simpering-smiley-farmer Link from TP.

  33. saswatch Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 16:18

    I'm sorry, but I honestly didn't like the original. For me, the levels were too large and confusing, and gave little indication of where I had to go or what I had to do next, which means that I was aimlessly wandering around and mostly traveling in circles around the areas for hours, which I honestly found boring. Also, I found that the dungeons and puzzles were also too gigantic, hard and confusing, and got in the way of any real action, such as boss fights. Is there something wrong with me? because I seem to be the only person on the planet who wasn't enjoying playing the game... :(

    i agree then that stupid navi would say hey listen every 5 seconds mario is much better

  34. SilverLightning Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 17:14

    I'm normally the first to cry bias at an ONM review but if Galaxy 1 and 2 get 97% then the best game of all time (remake or not) gets higher.

  35. Koopa man Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 17:50

    I still don't see why I should bother buying this game if I can still play the original.

  36. NEO.BAHAMUT Friday 17th Jun 2011 at 18:35

    It a rather amazing game!

    Although my Link has failed already.. He dunks his empty bottle under water, and fails to collect any! Is there something I'm doing wrong? Pleas PM me if you can help, anyone? Thankyou!

  37. Laughlyn Saturday 18th Jun 2011 at 12:22

    the only flaws i've found are that climbing on top of a moveable blaock can be iffy (it doesnt always give teh climb command) and using the gyroscope function to look around is too fiddly and u lose the 3d sweet spot very easily. should have just left it out and kept it just using the analogue slider, its a lot easier

  38. JamieRIOT Sunday 19th Jun 2011 at 07:19

    My favourite game is no longer a home console title, but a hand-held game! Truly, truly stunning in every way. I'm just about to tackle the Forest Temple. The best game ever.

  39. jaiv Monday 20th Jun 2011 at 12:36

    I have to agree with ONM on this. I just finished the game for the first time (The 3DS verison!!) and loved every second of it! The new credits are sick!!!

  40. chinny Monday 20th Jun 2011 at 14:34

    By the way if you register the game on the Nintendo website before the 30th of june you will get a free zelda sound track.

  41. C00LI098 Monday 20th Jun 2011 at 16:17

    I'll be honest, when I first read the review in this month's magazine, I started to roll my eyes. Surely a game couldn't be that good? Today, after finally getting Ocarina of Time 3D, I was proven wrong. This game is amazing. The story is beautiful, and every single character has a tale to tell, albeit some have small ones, it doesn't matter; each one causes the player to feel something and leaves an unforgettable mark. The graphics are just unbelievable! Those game-play stills can in no way represent the smooth and vivid occurrences on the 3DS' top screen. Then, throw in perfect 3D, and you can't help but keep playing. It's a delight to play. Even though I saw the "Game Over" screen quite a few more times than I would have liked to, I was motivated to keep playing; to see just one more segment of Ocarina's blissful tale. It feels mature, yet so silly and fairy tale-like. Without a doubt, it deserves this score of 98%.

  42. koumori Monday 20th Jun 2011 at 22:32

    I'm really enjoying this game so far. I've played lots of other Zelda games but I missed out on this one so it's great to finally get to experience it! Am only a little way in so far - about to go into Jabu-Jabu's belly I believe... Also, thanks for this -

    By the way if you register the game on the Nintendo website before the 30th of june you will get a free zelda sound track.

    I'd almost forgotten to register my copy and I get bonus stars for saying I was gonna get it in advance too yay!

  43. smitty618 Monday 20th Jun 2011 at 23:10

    I wish they added more to this game to warrant the purchase a little more. Perhaps like a new area or side quests or something. If they did this would be a 10/10 game for me, it's a 9.8/10 at the moment. I'm still going to buy it though, once I can afford a 3DS

  44. koumori Tuesday 21st Jun 2011 at 09:44

    Just to add to my previous post... I finally got round to buying & reading this month's ONM and I'm actually really glad I started playing the game before reading the review else the whole start of it would have been less interesting for me. I did enjoy reading the review and the style of writing was interesting, but if you really hadn't played the game before, like I hadn't, I feel it kinda ruined it a bit when you start playing... Ah well, can't please everyone :P

  45. Skulmuk Tuesday 21st Jun 2011 at 14:17

    Anyone else feel that this should have been made portable a long time ago...? Like, as a launch title for the original DS?

  46. yoshifan24 Tuesday 21st Jun 2011 at 14:20

    This game without a doubt has the best 3D Visuals I have seen in a 3DS game.Period.

  47. zeldario Wednesday 20th Jul 2011 at 09:50

    oh my god now that is not fair! Teasing the miajority without 3ds' with perfect games. I might just cry... need a 3ds nowwww... ;)

  48. Mr Trite Monday 1st Aug 2011 at 14:11

    It is a really good game, but 98% is too high for me, it should be more like 94%, I understand that lots of people like it and I have no problem with that, but I didn't bother finishing it, I guess it's not really my type of game.

  49. Lauren_ox Tuesday 16th Aug 2011 at 09:33

    Looks amazing, can't wait till I get it ;3!

  50. Samster296 Tuesday 16th Aug 2011 at 13:59

    The review at 98% is very good, but the 3ds version can never be better then the classic on the N64 :)

  51. shadow.x Monday 22nd Aug 2011 at 01:07

    With all the hype that went with this I was so pumped... I had to force myself to finish it, plus master quest. A real dissapointment. Majora's Mask sounded a lot better. I'd rather they revamped that one.

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