The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Review

As a remake of arguably the best video game of all-time, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the game’s opening cut-scene before, be it on the Nintendo 64 original, the GameCube port or even on YouTube. It’s for this reason then, that it’s not Navi the fairy ironically failing at navigating through Kokiri Forest hogging the limelight. It is, however, the enhanced visuals.

While not technically the best graphics the 3DS has seen in its short time on the market, Grezzo have done a great job of realising the original’s art-style and bringing it bang up-to-date. The vast, sprawling environment that is Hyrule Field looks twice as good as it ever did on the N64, and the close-up textures are no longer the murky, dull and blurry 64-bit graphics you’ll remember if you ever played the original.

If you were at all worried about how gyro and touch-screen controls would hold out against the good old  analog stick and C-buttons, then let us assure you that you needn’t be. The gyroscope works perfectly, moving the first-person viewpoint with your real-time movements flawlessly, and tapping the touch-screen to use an item is as intuitive as you’d expect.

The buttons are also as you’d expect – B uses Link’s sword, L replaces the revolutionary Z-targeting from the original, while A makes Link roll whilst walking and acts as the context-sensitive button which is used for pretty much anything and everything throughout the game.

The Circle Pad is extremely precise, making galloping across Hyrule Field or guiding Link through a treacherous dungeon control like a dream.

There’s not a great deal to be said about the sound, however. Bar a single track which plays through the credits, each tune you’ll hear whilst playing Ocarina of Time 3D is identical to its Nintendo 64 counterpart; yet while this is by no means bad (it’s still excellent to this day), the final orchestrated melody you’ll hear after defeating the final boss does make you wonder why Nintendo didn’t take the time to re-master the entire soundtrack.

As with the soundtrack, the gameplay also remains untouched: the dungeons are all identical, the storyline is as gripping as ever and the ocarina plays a huge part in solving some of the game’s puzzles.

Once again, you’ll be tasked with rescuing Princess Zelda from Ganondorf, the evil King of Thieves by traversing through a variety of themed landscapes, each with their own unique inhabitants, enemies and obstacles. You’ll find yourself using numerous items to conquer Ganondorf’s minions and travelling back and forth through time to alter the past and the future to give yourself the upper hand.

The ocarina in one instance is used to warp to the entrances of the game’s dungeons. This cuts out a lot of mindless running back-and-forth and allows the story to flow a lot more than if this feature was not included. Another extremely handy feature of the ocarina is that it allows Link to summon particular elements of the game that will help on his quest: from daytime, if you want to enter Hyrule Castle, to your trusty steed, Epona, in case you left her at the other side of Hyrule!

From the outside, it’s easy to say that it’s just a £29.99 remake of a game you can get for £7 on the Wii Virtual Console, but once you’ve played Ocarina of Time 3D, it’s hard to look back. The modern graphical makeover makes the game far more accessible to a modern audience, and the all-new Master Quest will give even those who completed the game thirteen years ago a run for their money with a mirrored game world, toughened enemies and the damage taken by Link doubled.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) Verdict

If you’ve never owned this game before, now is the perfect time to go out and get it – and we totally recommend that you do. If you have and you’re looking for a 3DS game to tide you over until the next major release, Ocarina of Time 3D is that 3DS game.

In a nutshell: the definitive version of the highest-rated game of all time. An essential purchase.


Originally published on

Martyn has been writing about video games for over a decade, and playing them for over twice as long.

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