E3 The Legend of Zelda 3DS Demo
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a remake of the hit 1997 Game of the Year and it is being demoed at E3 this year. As a longtime Zelda fan, I have to say that I was very nervous when I heard that they were re-releasing this game. Let me say, for veterans of the series, particularly old Ocarina fans, this game is an absolute treat. All fear can be put aside. The four minute demo allows players to test out either the Great Deku Tree or Water Temple quests. With such a short period of time to play, I had to choose just one of these old levels and my sentimentality lead me to play through the Great Deku Tree. The level design is very true to the original game. Enemies appear in the same places. Puzzles are solved in much the same manner. For older fans who memorized the layout of the original N64 version, you won't find a whole lot of challenge in this game. That problem, however, is solved with the inclusion of the alternate “Master Quest” mode, which allows players to experience a slightly different version of the game. Quite a few of the levels are flip-flopped, so nothing is where you'd remember it. Enemies are stronger. Link is weaker. It adds an extra challenge to a game that some of us have played over and over and over and over again.
The “Master Quest” feature isn't entirely new, however. For those of us who remember the days leading up to the release of “Wind Waker,” we recall a re-release of “Ocarina of Time” on the GameCube. This limited edition re-release also included this same version of “Master Quest.” This version of the game did not have a wide release. It was only available used or with pre-ordered copies of “Wind Waker.” It's probably a fair assumption that not everyone played it and it will be new for a major selection of the players. If you did play this version in the past, then there is nothing that is brand spanking new in this game. A few features have been added but the story is in no way altered and beating the quests is done the same way as before.
For people looking for a real reason to buy the game, since the content isn't original, I will say that it feels worth it to me. If sentimentality isn't enough, the upgraded graphics and redesigned control system are a vast improvement. The picture quality never mattered to me much and I'm the kind of person who is more than willing to play a game with dated graphics but the added sharpness and animation adds a realistic layer of depth that I enjoy. The controls, obviously, needed a complete overhaul. The HUD that appeared in the original release is now visible on the bottom screen of the 3DS, which adds a very cinematic feel. Your three usable items have been relegated to the X & Y buttons on the console, while the third must be accessed only through the touch screen. Z targeting and the shield are now on the 3DS's bumpers. While I didn't play in the Water Temple myself, I can say from observing others that changing Link's attire (sword, shield, tunic, and boots) has been streamlined so that you can do it without pausing. This allows the player to slid the Iron or Hover Boots on and off quickly without interrupting the flow of the story.
One new feature that I will greatly enjoy is the boss replay system. Once a boss has been defeated, the player can return to Link's tree house in the forest and choose to fight them again. This minigame comes with a timer system, which allows you to race to defeat old enemies. The developers commented that this was to add a bit of competitiveness to the game. Players can challenge their friends to see who can get the best time facing off against a particular boss.
For newcomers to “Ocarina of Time,” this game looks fantastic. It takes everything that was good about the original N64 edition, upgrades the visuals, streamlines the interface, and adds some cool new features. If you haven't gone through this story before, this game is a must buy. If you have played another version, it's a matter of whether or not you're sentimental. If you're happy with the N64 version just as it is and your N64 hasn't caught on fire yet, don't spend the money until the price comes down. Personally, if I owned a 3DS, I'd be there on launch day with bells on. The game is set to be released June 19th of this year. Check it out.