Nostalgia's a bitch. On the plus side, it can send your entire nervous system back in time. Just hearing the opening notes to the Zelda: Ocarina of Time intro movie was enough to give me flashbacks to my first play-through.
Unwrapping the game at Christmas and sliding it into my Nintendo 64 was a pivotal moment in my gaming career. It introduced me to epic adventures, ones that can only be experienced with our beloved medium.
It can also corrupt, blinding each sense. For example, how many times have you heard people describe Goldeneye as the greatest first person shooter of all time? Have you gone back to it recently? It's in no way a bad videogame, it's just that we have moved on, leaving its classic-ness behind. Sometimes it's best not to look back.
The announcement of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
was met with a conflicted response. Everyone knew that this was a fantastic game but many just wanted Nintendo to move on and tell new stories, and that is understandable considering the amount of iterations we've seen over the years. Ocarina of Time
is the game Nintendo can't leave behind.
Kokiri Forest is (as you probably know) where your story begins. As Link awakens from his slumber, so do your memories of this unforgettable adventure. He wakes to Navi's calling and stumbles down his ladder to meet his old mate Saria.
The camera drops behind Links shoulder as she begins to talk to you but it's hard to take note of what she is saying. Staring around the familiar world renewed is far more interesting. It looks stunning. Not only have the 3D effects been added but everything has had a face lift.
Nintendo seems hell bent on making the game look how you remember it, as opposed to how it actually looked. It's easy to forget that Zelda: Ocarina of Time
is a 13 year old game and, unfortunately, time hasn't done well for the old favourite. It's not that the original looks bad, it's just clearly dated.
Amazingly Nintendo's touch of magic has made the 3DS version look as though it was designed just yesterday, while still staying faithful to its original concepts. Every enemy, every tree, every item has been rebuilt instead of just retextured, and even minor changes make the larger scope of the game look better overall.
Kokiri Forest is a vibrant if rather empty town, but it's the perfect way to introduce the new look and feeling reflected by it. It's colourful and cheerful. It's big enough to make you want to go and explore, but small enough to make you feel that each step counts towards something.
It lays down the benchmark that the rest of the game has to hit, and thankfully it does. In every way.
What's interesting, though, is what the new hardware can offer the old game. The most noticeable improvement is not the 3D effect itself as suspected, but the second screen. During the opening moments of the game it remains black, hinting that this could be a lost opportunity. Soon enough it lights up though, offering you a host of new options at the touch of a screen.
Predominately, the bottom screen is used as a map. Not a useful one, more of an overview as the local map is still on the bottom corner of the main screen. It does however let you quickly access your Gear, Items and Ocarina as well as letting you address Navi in a more convenient way.