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Greatest game of all time!
It's not flawless, for sure. The graphics don't hold up well (they're still beautiful to me <3) and the action button can seem wonky, but Ocarina is definitely my favorite game still.
It's easy to point to the music, bosses, writing, or any of a million other things to say why it's so great, but one thing that I think is ignored far too often is the variety of the game's environmental sidequests and puzzles. I'm a sucker for action-adventure games because of their sidequests and worlds, but I feel like a lot of games in that genre don't have enough variety in their sidequests. The quests feel like they were created by someone using a level editor tool, placing enemies here and trinkets there. That can work very well, but OoT does it better.
In Ocarina of Time, every single part of the environment is crafted for a specific purpose. "Oh, there's a heart piece on top of the lakeside laboratory? How am I gonna get that?" "A graveyard? Is there even anything in here? Wait, what happens if I pull this grave...?" Even the dumb little things like the incredibly easy slingshot minigame in the Lost Woods add to the overall feeling of having endless possibilities to explore this world.
Whereas a lot of open-world games make you feel like you're going down a list of objectives to complete everything, Ocarina of Time encourages thinking and exploration. It just feels so organic. It's what makes Majora's Mask so great too. MM did it differently by having a ton of NPCs, a ton of text, and even a full-on quest log, and yet the game still feels organic because of the variety in the quests and the manner in which the player goes about discovering them.
So what do you guys love (or hate!?) most about Ocarina of Time? I didn't even mention the awesome dungeon design or the incredible minimalist story. So much to love about this game!
The minute I convince Zero to give me mod powers with attendant banning ability, I'm combing through this thread to see who was silly enough to do so
Seriously though, this game is magic. It's the game that turned me into a lifelong Nintendo gamer and ultimately led me to Negative World. Never before have I felt such a sense of awe and wonder when playing a game.
Meh, I liked this game better when it was called Twilight Princess.
Seriously, OOT never grabbed me quite as much as it did others. I think it's groundbreaking, has an amazing amount of content, and is paced very well, but it lacks a certain Nintendo quality for me. Specifically, it isn't very fun to control Link. He's slow and clunky. Twilight Princess might have been a bit too similar to Ocarina, but I really appreciated the control refinements and additional combat options. It felt like the game that Ocarina wanted to be.
OOT is easily one of the greatest of all time, and sometimes people forget just how amazing games are, or were for their time, and the impact they had. I nonchalantly list off games like Super Metroid, Super Mario 64, Zelda OOT, Half-Life, RE4, etc, as the best games of all time, but they become homogenized after some time. And it's tough to get back the same feeling of experiencing it for the first time.
But if you try REALLY hard to forget what you know, and buy into the experience once again, you can almost reach those same highs, or feel inklings of them once again. You need to play the game like you don't know it, play as if it's the first time, and then you can almost renew the experience.
I'm playing OOT once again on 3DS, and it's amazing. I know why it was a big deal, and playing through the Half-Life remake and Mario 64 on VC is the same feeling. Going back and attempting to rediscover something again can be an awesome experience.
Because I played it much later, it's hard for me to get the sense of wonder a lot of you guys get from OoT. But the quality is undeniable, anyway. I just don't consider it the definition of the perfect game, like some folks do.
It's pretty hideous, though. I do look forward to tackling the 3DS version one of these days, just to see if I'm being a big time graphics whore in my less enthusiastic opinion of the game.
@PogueSquadron If you have it on 3DS that's a good way to keep from losing it. Trish beat the whole thing on her own, but if I was watching her play the whole time I'd have probably gone mad near the beginning. She caught on really quickly though.
I have a kind of conflicted relationship with Ocarina of Time. I can look back on it now and understand why it was so groundbreaking, but at the time it was kind of disappointing to me. Specifically, the overworld. I had just played Link to the Past a few years earlier (was a bit LTTP on LTTP) and oh my god... it was like the most amazing game ever to me. I kind of waver between LTTP and Super Metroid when trying to decide a favorite game EVAR, so yeah... LTTP was one of those rare games that just blew me away. But one thing about the overworld in LTTP is to get from point A to point B there are often various routes that you can take, and sometimes you stumble upon interesting things going one route instead of the other. And when I first saw the screenshots of Ocarina of Time I got so excited, and imagined a huge, 3D LTTP type overworld. Well... it was huge, but it was also a hub and there wasn't really any substantial connections between the various spokes of the hub. It just wasn't what I wanted, and it left me a bit disappointed.
Oddly enough, I kind of just naturally assumed that many people felt the same way. And I wasn't on the Internet or anything back then so I had no one to set me straight. It wasn't until many years later... probably IGN? that I discovered that this game was generally considered one of, if not the, best games ever. I was honestly a bit surprised by this at the time.
But yeah, context. In the years since I have gained some context, and I see now that there just wasn't anything like this game when it came out. It wasn't quite what I wanted, but it was groundbreaking nonetheless. And it did do some things very right, like introduce z-targeting for player / enemy interactions, do some interesting things with day / time mechanics, and have some very cool 3D environmental puzzles in the dungeons.
Twilight Princess might have been a bit too similar to Ocarina, but I really appreciated the control refinements and additional combat options. It felt like the game that Ocarina wanted to be.
You and I are probably two of the few here who feel this way. Twilight Princess to me was like the fuller culmination of what Ocarina of Time was trying to be. It still had some weak points, but I think it did the Ocarina of Time thing much better on almost every level. And I think it had one of the best 3D overworlds yet (although it still came up short in some ways.)
Yep, the Fire Temple music and Mirror Shield design were changed due to Islamic connotations, and some of the blood was taken out. If you Google around you can read up on all the differences between the various versions of the game.
Twilight Princess is fantastic, but it's a little too big and empty for me, and it doesn't have OoT's variety in sidequests. It's true that Hyrule Field in OoT is pretty big and empty, but it's just small enough that it didn't feel overwhelming or boring to me.
@Secret_Tunnel I kind of feel like TP had way more variety in sidequests, but I'd probably need to see a side by side list to know for sure at this point.
BUT... I'm feeling dirty talking about TP so much in an OOT discussion thread.
Ocarina of Time definitely had an interesting feel to it. I feel like a lot of N64 games did, to be honest. It's like they had their own style? Now it sort of doesn't matter what platform you play on, all of them feel pretty much the same.