Everybody already knows whether they like Ocarina of Time or not, so writing a whole review would just be a waste of time.
Instead of telling you about the atmosphere, the story, dungeon design or any of that I will focus exclusively on how the 3DS handles teh game.
What I liked:
- Everything controls well, the Circlepad works beautifully as a substitute for the analogue stick and everything is mapped in a way that makes sense (except for one thing, but I’ll get to that) and thus delivers a fluid gameplay experience.
- The fact that the two different boots you get are now usable Items and can be taken off and on in an instant like the Iron Boots in Wind Waker is such an improvement over every other version of this game you wouldn’t believe it. That change alone makes the rather annoying water temple enjoyable.
- I didn’t really care, but I guess on the topic of the Water Temple I have to point this out: They added “color codes” to doors and added signs to the places where you can change the water levels to show what place changes it to what and to make it easier to see where to go. I honestly never had any problems with the water temple (beside the Iron Boots issue), so I don’t think this was necessary, but it’s a nice little change that doesn’t affect the thoughtfully crafted dungeon design but makes it easier to understand.
- New easter eggs. I don’t want to spoil it, but remember how you could see Mario and some others when you looked out a specific window? There’s new things to discover. Little touches like that make paying attention to detail worthwhile even if you had previously played Ocarina of Time a billion times before.
- You can now look up the songs you want/need to play on the subscreen without having to open up the inventory or having to memorize them. It’s just a handy feature to have, especially since they changed the button layout of the ocarina controls.
- The motion controls work superbly. When I first saw that you could aim and look around by physically moving the 3DS around I thought it would just be a gimmicky thing that I wouldn’t end up using, but it’s so fast, smooth and responsive that I did all my aiming exclusively with motion controls. You don’t even need all that much space for it, unless you feel like looking all the way around you instead of just exiting the aim-mode, turning around and going back to aiming.
- The graphics are obviously better and while I have already seen better on the 3DS they do look nice and make the experience feel fresh. The Great Fairies still look creepy as fuck though.
What I didn’t like:
- They changed the button layout of the ocarina controls. You now play the ocarina with the face buttons a,x,y and the shoulder buttons L and R and if you look at the button layout x would be up, y would be down and a would be right. I do understand why they wouldn’t use the b button, as it is the traditional “cancel” button, but here’s the thing: “up” isn’t what used to be “up” and neither are “left” or “right”. I’m sure yout at least remember Zelda’s Lullaby: left, up, right, left up, right. Guess what it is now! It’s up, right, left, up, right, left. Wasn’t that Epona’s Song in the past? Why would they change the button layout around like that? It’s really confusing for somebody who still knows a lot of these songs by heart. Certainly a thing to get used to.
- You can not access the inventory without using the touchscreen. Start and Select both bring you to the Save/Quit menu, so you have to touch the screen in order to equip items, change armor and so on. Why? Couldn’t either Start or Select have been used for that as well as having the touch option? I personally hate touching the screen with my fingers, so I always had to uncomfortably use my fingernails to open up the menu I needed to get to.
What I was cool with:
- They changed nothing at all on the sound-front. I’m absolutely fine with this. I adore the music in this game and all the sound effects are timelessly good and even the voice samples (what few there are) don’t feel old or bad. Sure, an orchestrated soundtrack would have been nice, but I really can’t complain about the sound of this game.
- They removed glitches. No duh! I do think it’s kind of a shame that crouch stabbing doesn’t do as much damage as the last attack I did before it anymore, but of course they’d remove glitches. Have you watched a speedrun of OOT recently? There was a lot to fix and while I personally didn’t go out and try whether all of the glitches are gone I can only assume that a large portion of the brokenness is gone.
So there you have it. I enjoyed my time with OOT 3D and I think everybody else would as well.