Time for more Games You Should Have Played. We’re not playing around anymore (so to speak). It’s time to get all Zelda on your heinies as I’m bringing out my favorite game ever, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Once more, no excuses. Originally released on the N64, later ported to the GameCube in the Master Quest pack and then again in the Collections Edition with the first two Zelda games on the NES and Majora’s Mask. Currently it’s on the Virtual Console.
You’re not spending more than $15 on this game no matter how you slice it, and for a game that consistently tops lists of Best Video Games Ever, that’s a deal. Any time the game isn’t #1, it’s only because the list-maker doesn’t want to give the same answer everyone else gives. Doesn’t matter, Best Game lists only go as high as #2 anyway, because #1 is always taken by this game.
The Gold Standard
Personally I advise finding the original Gold Cartridge edition of the game since a few things get changed in later versions, such as the Fire Temple’s music and blood’s color going from red to green. Not huge, but I likes me some HARDCORE!
Really though, any version is going to deliver in every way possible and here’s why: Z Targeting.
There are two worlds. The world before Z Targeting, and the world after Z Targeting. I refuse to live in the former. Z Targeting refers to clicking the Z button of the N64 controller to lock onto an enemy or an item, allowing you to strafe around them. This is how a 3D space works in an adventure game. A lot of games seem to forget that this is the standard for how to play a game. Super Mario Bros decided that platformers go from left to right; Ocarina of Time decided that 3D adventure games need a targeting system that actually works.
Perfection is an Understatement
Storytelling and pacing in Ocarina are perfect. But no one makes you play through just the story. You can go do all sorts of side quests. That’s the beauty of the game. I can spend a day searching for Gold Skulltulas, planting beans, finding Heart Pieces, earning rupees, and I won’t even go NEAR the story.
Everything makes for a great experience. Link, the hero (you should know this), goes about his journey to save the land of Hyrule. At this point the concept wasn’t quite clichéd just yet.
Boss battles are fun and original, dungeon layouts are spectacular, and characters are vibrant and memorable, even if they’re just side characters. But for me it all comes down to the final fight with Ganondorf. The first time I played through the game I had no idea what would come next, and when I saw what I was up against I was beyond excitement.
New homework assignment for you now. Go play Ocarina of Time. It may be tricky for a few of you, mostly because before you can play a Zelda game you have to figure out how to get in the Zelda Mindset. Once you have that down, there isn’t a puzzle you can’t eventually solve. And if worse comes to worst there are always walkthroughs online.