Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – A Classic Goes 3D


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina or Time 3D

Mention The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to some people and prepare for a near religious dissertation about the greatest video game ever made.  Released in 1998 for the Nintendo 64, Ocarina of Time revolutionized action games and became the standard by which all other adventure games were judged.

Can Lightning Strike Twice?  Nintendo Brings Ocarina of Time Back, In 3D

Flash forward 13 years to June 2011, when Nintendo went for gold again by releasing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.  Can Nintendo recreate a classic in such a way that it is fun and engaging to a new generation, while at the same time not alienating the established fan base of the Legend of Zelda series?  In a word…Yes!

Sorry, We Were Stuck in a Time Warp for Four Months

Some astute readers may be wondering – why are we reviewing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D a full four months after it was released?  It turns out we were stuck in the land of Hyrule trying to make sure it did not fall into the hands of the evil Ganon.  As you may know, evil does not take vacations.

Seriously, we are reviewing Ocarina of Time now because we feel it will be a popular gift request from plenty of kids this holiday season.  Will Ocarina hold the kids’ interests for more than a few days?  Will fans of the Zelda series feel this update improves on a classic or takes away?  Let’s dive in and find out…

What is Legend of Zelda:  Ocarina of Time ?

Perhaps you had a life in 1998 and were not swept up in the whole Legend of Zelda series.  Let’s quickly fill you in on Zelda.   In the game you control a young elf named Link in the Kokiri Forest.  Your mission is to help Princess Zelda to save the world.  Along your mission you can explore multiple dungeons, battle enemies and of course time travel between the past, present and future, all in an attempt to prevent Hyrule from falling into the hands of the evil Ganon.


Maybe the above description does not sound like the makings for a classic video game, but in 1998 the combination of gameplay, graphics, character development and storyline made Ocarina of Time an instant hit with the millions of fans who played it.

What’s New in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D?

Just enough, but not too much…and we mean that in the most positive way!  When news of Ocarina of Time 3D came out there was fear that Nintendo would completely redesign the game and mess with the formula that made the original so popular.  This is definitely not the case.  Ocarina of Time keeps the same storyline, same characters and same Hyrule and just enhances the graphics and gameplay to take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS.

The most obvious difference with Ocarina of Time 3D is, wait for it…. the 3D!  Yes, it is well done and does add to the depth and feeling of the game.  Of course, your eyes can only take so much 3D, so we did have to turn it off after a while.  Thankfully, the enhancements go beyond just being in 3D.


Battling, navigating and managing your inventory have all been improved by making use of the Nintendo 3DS touch screen and gyroscope.  In particular, the aiming system with the gyroscope felt like a big improvement over the original Ocarina of Time controls.  All in all, the enhancements feel like welcome additions that improve gameplay as opposed to gimmicks to show off the power of the 3DS.

But Wait Don’t Order Yet, Tell Them What Else is New…

There are a few other new additions thrown in to keep things interesting.  There is a new Master Quest version of the game.  This is basically a harder version of Ocarina that requires more skill and will appeal to very experienced Zelda fans.  More challenges await in the Boss Gauntlet Mode where you can battle bosses in a timed event.

While the above additions are more for advanced players, they did add some elements for beginner players as well.  There are now Sheikah Stones that provides hints, tips and movies to help you out if you get stuck.  This is a great addition to draw younger fans into the Zelda series.

Conclusion:  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – The Perfect Remake

When it comes to reviewing video games for kids there are really two questions we try to answer – Is it Fun and Will Kids Play it For More Than a Few Days?  The answer here is YES and YES!  Nintendo did an amazing job staying true to the classic Ocarina of Time, while also giving it some necessary enhancements. The game is fun to play and deep enough to keep kids interested for weeks.

Hard core Ocarina fans may complain that there is not enough new about this game, but we see that as a positive.  Ocarina was a terrific game 13 years ago and with the new enhanced graphics and controls it is now a fantastic game today.

Final Verdict:
Recommend? Yes!
Best For What Age Range? 10 and up
Best For What Audience? Fans of Zelda and kids who like adventure, quest and battle games.
Requires Advanced Video Game Skills? No.
It takes a little practice to master the fighting skills, but the gyroscope and touchscreen do enhance the experience.

More Information:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D by Nintendo is Rated E (10+) Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes and retails for $39.95

Purchase The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D at Amazon.Com

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