I love videogame culture and feel it’s a medium with loads of potential. I mainly play Nintendo games as well as a lot of retro stuff. Im currently studying for an MSc.
As the 3ds seems to be about to go into retirement, maybe it’s time to look back on the legacy.
When screenshots for Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D were released after Nintendo’s E3 2010 press conference my hype levels were sky high. We were basically getting a GameCube Level remaster of one of my favourite games of all time that you could take on the go! The character models had been completely redone and gone were the sharp polygonal edges from the original.
Fast forward to June 2011 and the game released to widespread critical acclaim. The title boasted a higher frame rate as well as small touches like flowers in Hyrule field and other more detailed textures. But some Nintendo fans weren’t as happy me. Purists argued that the way in which some elements were made easier took away from the games original charm. For example, the colour coded path in the water temple. But are these fans just looking through nostalgia glasses when they say these things?
For me Ocarina of Time 3d is the game the way I imagined it growing up. The colours really ‘pop’ (even more so in Majora’s Mask 3d) and I actually find it difficult going back to the original after playing the 3ds version. Maybe that is precisely the problem? That the slightly dodgy controls, poor frame rate and sharp edges of the original make the remake too easy?
Generally, Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3d was better received than its highly anticipated sequel Majora’s Mask 3d. The latter still achieved its fair share of perfect scores but the changes made to it were extensive. This angered a lot of Zelda fanboys. The criticisms the game often draws are about the introduction of new save points as well as changing mechanics to do with Link’s Zora and Goron forms.
As someone who never finished Majora’s Mask as a kid in the N64 I think the 3ds changes make the game much more accessible and enjoyable. Even small changes like moving the ‘bank’ to the main area in clock town just make things so much more convenient. I have gone back and finished the original now. The 3ds version just seems so much more polished. This makes me think that those that criticise the new version are mainly saying these things out of nostalgia. The special edition bundle that the PAL region received is also so beautiful. It includes a lot of the new artwork released for the 3ds version.
Overall the 3ds versions of the N64 Zelda classics are the definitive ways to play these games. Grezzo has done an amazing job and you can see the love they’ve put into these ports/remakes. Let’s just hope the eventual HD versions are as good!