Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D Review

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The Legend Reborn


One of the seminal titles of the ‘90s gets a 3D spruce-up as the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time makes its way onto Nintendo’s latest handheld revolution, the 3DS. However anyone expecting anything radically different beneath the eye-popping facelift, motion-based controls and the subtle superficial upgrades will find the same endearing adventure awaiting them from thirteen years ago.

If you’ve never set foot in the kingdom of Hyrule before, then this particular adventure is the most visually delicious dip into the franchise yet. The graphical overhaul feels justified: characters look more detailed, environments given a dash of extra colour and the 3D effects have the ability to enchant in the thick of the action. Yet what surprises most is how fresh the mix of tightly-structured puzzles, colourful denizens and memorable locations feels after the swathe of imitators that followed since its release in 1998.

The story follows the green-clad hero Link as he sets about stopping the evil Ganondorf from destroying the land of Hyrule with the power of the mystical Triforce. But where the game really comes alive is in the world of Hyrule itself. A landscape diminutive by today’s standards, the lush setting skipping from lava-filled volcanoes to the thickening copse of the forest is still awe-inspiring – it’s hard to top watching that first sunrise, as the lens flare pours through the screen. It’s rare even today to find a land holding so much promise in every corner and crafted in such a charming way.

Between each temple you’ll explore, through each creature you encounter and after every quest is completed, it’s the unequalled appeal of Hyrule that’ll have you returning again and again. Whether it’s listening to the stories of the various townsfolk, trying your hand at the various mini-games, or riding your trusty horse Epona across the open plains, there’s barely a moment wasted. A few added extras only refine a game that some might say is truly legendary.