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The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time review for Nintendo Wii
 
The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Nintendo Wii box art
Gamermall.com rating:
9.5
It's a masterpiece. An epic adventure – one of the greatest video games of all time. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the most important and most popular games Nintendo's ever produced, and the company knows it. Since its initial release in November 1998, Ocarina of Time has been revisited and ported more than once. It's been made available in both grey and golden N64 cartridges, on a GameCube disc compilation with three other Zelda titles, and on another Cube release accompanying its remixed version, Master Quest. There have been a lot of ways to play Ocarina of Time over the years. Now, there's another.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been praised so widely and so often because it's a game that combined so many established "Nintendo" elements into one cohesive adventure, while at the same time innovating with all-new ideas that advanced 3D video games on an industry-wide scale. At its core, it's a traditional Zelda game – and as such, it follows the structure laid down by previous installments in that series, particularly A Link to the Past. You play as Link, a humble, green-garbed young man who's torn away from his peaceful existence in the Kokiri Forest and thrust into a journey much larger than he. You quest as a child, traveling across the land of Hyrule in search of three powerful artifacts. Then, all three collected, you can open the way to claiming the Master Sword – and that's when the adventure truly begins.

Ocarina of Time is built on a foundation of time travel, as taking in hand the blade of evil's bane sends your young Link seven years into the future, while replacing it in its pedestal sends you back into the past. Your quest spans both time periods in the Hyrulian kingdom, as you continue to find new dungeons to challenge, new items to wield and new characters to interact with on your way to the ultimate showdown with Ganon, the corrupt and powerful madman who's taken over the throne and who holds Princess Zelda captive.

That structure is just one thing "Nintendo" about this title. Another is its look. Nintendo revolutionized 3D worlds in video games with Super Mario 64, creating a free-roaming, go-anywhere experience with a controllable camera system. Ocarina of Time expanded on those innovations, offering an even larger world and more impressive control for interacting with it. A chief addition was Z-Targeting, a gameplay mechanic that allows you to lock on to an enemy in combat and focus on fighting it, rather than fighting with the camera trying to keep it in view.

Played on the Wii through the Virtual Console, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is just as impressive and timeless a design as ever. As a download, it makes some sacrifices in content beyond what its physical media releases have offered. But, at the same time, it offers new positives to counterbalance those negatives.

One of the excised elements is rumble support. Nintendo 64 games played on the Virtual Console won't shake the controller, which hasn't been an issue so far – previously released titles Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 never had rumble to begin with anyway. Here, though, it means the Stone of Agony will no longer rock and roll. The Stone is one of the many collectible items in Ocarina of Time, and in previous versions of the game it served as a physical feedback hint system to let you know you were getting close to a secret. As the item isn't a requirement for any part of the game and was kind of gimmicky even in 1998, its newfound impotence isn't that big of an issue.

A new positive is the power of choice, as the VC OoT supports both the GameCube and Classic Controller. Either option works well, so it's just a matter of personal preference. If you've played either of the Cube disc re-releases of the game, you may already be comfortable with your favorite wireless Wavebird, but the Classic Controller doesn't disappoint once you get used to its feel in controlling the Hero of Time.

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