The killer app. Every console has to have at least one killer app, one game that is so universally well received that people rush out and spend big chunks of cash buying the console just so that they can play the game. These games are the reason to buy a given console. Of course, over time more and more of these killer apps will arrive on a platform, tempting those who were maybe not fans of the genre of previous must have games. The Gameboy had Pokemon, the Xboxs have had their Halo games. Even the Wii has Wii Sports as a reason for buying the console.
It makes sense to launch a new console with at least one killer app, if only to convince people to invest in a brand new platform. When the 3DS was released, I think Nintendo were hoping that the new, impressive features of the handheld would be enough, as there was no real must have title at launch. Sure, there were some good games, such as Street Fighter and Shadow Wars, but nothing that I would class as a killer app. Until now that is…
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is an iconic game that is regarded by many as one of the best games ever made. The game was originally released way back in 1998 for the Nintendo 64. Taking a game such as this, a game loved and remembered by so many, and re-releasing it with updated graphics and new features is a bold step. The game would have to be pretty much perfect to avoid the scorn of gamers around the world.
Playing Ocarina of Time 3D is an exercise in nostalgia, if only because it invokes memories of past gaming. The most incredible thing to behold about the game is how, even now 13 years later, the game is still absolutely incredible in both it’s technological achievements and the way it looks. As soon as you begin the game and are treated to familiar sequences, it is easy to see the improvements that have been made to the way that the game looks. New textures leave the game world looking lush and modern. That is not to say that there are not better looking games coming to the 3DS, but the balance between bringing the game to a modern platform and maintaining the games’ iconic look has been struck just right.
However, the real magic comes when pushing the 3D slider up, resulting in Hyrule taking on an incredible sense of life. There are plenty of effects that make use of the 3D right up close to the screen, but the feeling of depth that is portrayed is simply amazing, giving players a real sense of being part of this living and breathing world. If ever there was a game that deserved to be played with the 3D turned on, this is it.
But the revamped visuals and 3D effect are not the only things to be added to this game. It is possible to use the gyroscope function within the first-person view and for aiming purposes. This works by moving the 3Ds in the real world, with the movement translated into the game. It all works very well, and is certainly entertaining, but should only be seen as a gimmick within the game and traditional controls are certainly preferable, especially for the aiming. Which is quite handy as the new controls are another highlight of this remake. The excellent circle pad makes moving and aiming easy, whilst the use of the touchscreen for equipment and such make the game so much simpler to play.
Not that this is a simple game. This fantasy action adventure will be a taxing affair for those who have never played it before, clocking as easy 20 hours of gameplay just to make it to the end. The game has a particularly unforgiving save system which will put you back to the beginning of an area once you return, which can be heartbreaking for players with only small windows of gaming time. However, realising that the game can be difficult, the developers have introduced “Sheikah Stones”. These stones can help keep the new player on track by offering a recap of the next objective and such. Whilst this doesn’t compensate for the save system and general difficulty of the game, it will help prevent the player from getting lost and wandering aimlessly, something which is easily done.
For those who are not new to the game, aside from the obvious appeal of playing through again on the 3DS handheld, there are some extra goodies for you to enjoy. Challenge mode allows the player to square up against any boss they have already fought again. Once the player has got far enough in the game, they can access the Gauntlet level, where they will have to fight all of the bosses, one after the other. However, most interestingly, once the player has finished the game they can access the Master Quest mode in which the difficulty is ramped up and the whole world is mirrored, adding to the challenge.
Joining Link once more for this epic adventure is no chore and still offers all of the appeal of the original, if not more. It would have been nice to see the game made more “portable friendly” with a more forgiving save system. But part of the games’ appeal is the sheer sense of “epicness” and the save system almost adds to that, making the game very difficult to put down. Other than that, there really is nothing negative to say about this game. It is a masterpiece and a very good reason to rush out and buy a 3DS. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is the first 3DS Killer App.