[yikes. another long hiatus. guess why … more to come shortly.]
well, i finished the legend of zelda: ocarina of time a while back, as i continue to work my way through the games that seem to get universal acclaim. ocarina comes with some high praise indeed, as it has been in the top 2 in 4 of IGN’s readers and editors’ top 100 greatest games of all time lists for the past 5 years, and only this year slipping to 4th place.
contrarian that i am (and not too wary of getting bombarded by hate mail), i have to say that ocarina is def. not near the top position of my list of favorite games of all time, or even ranking as my fav. zelda game. part of my opinion must surely be due to the changing times and the contemporary perspective, which coming almost a decade after it was released is significant. (but to counter that argument, i certainly didn’t feel that way about link’s awakening, which i played last year and loved.)
my main complaint about ocarina, and one that i also had when i played wind waker, is that there’s too much emphasis on tedious sidequests that involve collecting hundreds of useless objects. i think one of my least favorite things about RPG’s are boring fetch quests. admittedly, every RPG essentially boils down to a series of fetch quests, but in my opinion the good ones disguise the fact well. my other least favorite thing about RPG’s and games in general is when you get stuck and have no idea where you’re supposed to go next due to the game design. i’m fine with getting stuck in a dungeon room and not being able to progress without solving a puzzle, but when you have a whole world to consider it just becomes practically impossible, esp. when the solution turns out to be arbitrary or illogical or both. another part of the problem no doubt is that when i was a kid i would have had time to explore every nook and cranny of the game, but nowadays i prefer games that don’t require you to study every inch to uncover the major secrets. also, it seems like more and more people, myself included, are getting zelda fatigue in that the games reuse so many of the same elements. nintendo has alluded to some big changes for the series in the future, which if they pull through should be fascinating to see what they come up with.
but all of this whining is def. not to say that i didn’t like the game: in fact i’d place it among the top games i’ve played all year. on the plus side, i def. enjoyed the characters, which featured a whole slew of new races, a first for the zelda series. the ocarina mechanic was fun (and much better integrated than in wind waker), as was getting to ride a horse for the first time. i also enjoyed the dungeons (what does it say about me that i liked the water temple the best?), although they got a bit same-y after a while. out of curiosity i started majora’s mask immediately after i finished ocarina, and already i’m much more intrigued by it than i ever was with ocarina, so much so that i find myself wanting to continue it despite having just finished a zelda game. stay tuned.
– totally amazing and interactive guide at zelda.com including PDF maps of all the dungeons for both quests. zelda.com also includes a succinct text-only walkthrough.
– text dump at neoseeker.com
– some nice stuff at zs.ffshrine.org, including sheet music, official art, instruction manuals in various languages, and official wallpapers
– a very interesting analytical look at the game design of ocarina by an employee at zoonami, with a detailed look at the deku tree and the water temple.
– a couple of official wallpapers
– hyrule times: zelda help: a series on IGN where they answered common questions when the game first came out. it’s interesting to see people getting stuck in the same places. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5