Alright, here we go.
So I recently played Breath of the Wild for the first time since it came out. It was really fun, I enjoyed the exploration, and completing the shrines to get stronger, and the cooking, and finally going to Hyrule Castle and defeating Ganon. But...it felt like it was missing something. Breath of the Wild, at least for me, feels like it lost some of the 'magic' that made Zelda so great. Breath of the Wild just feels so...bland. All the shrines look the same, all the dungeons have the same look aside from some elemental flair (same for their bosses), it has comparatively little story, and that story feels very disconnected from what you're actually doing since most of it is in the form of cutscene "memories" of 100 years ago, and Calamity Ganon, instead of the Gerudo King Ganondorf, or the pig beast Ganon, is just a big angry pile of black goo. Here's a good article on the subject (Archive.org because the site is full of tracking crap)
And so I decided to go back, and replay (or some cases for the first time) all the mainline 3D Zelda games. I was kind of due anyway. I've played Wind Waker and Skyword Sword many times, but Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, while I've played a significant portion of both, I've never finished them. I previously had Ocarina of Time 3D on my 3DS, but when I got to the Water Temple, I was like
Oh right...the Water Temple... saved and quit, and left the game to gather dust. Well, I beat it now, and while the Water Temple was still annoying, definitely not game-endingly so. As for Twilight Princess...well I don't remember why exactly I stopped, it was a long time ago. I think I just got bored of it, and never booted it up again. And Majora's Mask, I've never played further than the opening (and that was a long time ago), although after having played Ocarina of Time 3D I'm quite excited to play it for the first time. It will hardly be a blind playthrough though, I'm pretty famillar with the game through Let's Play's and the like.
I'm going to assume you're decently famillar with Ocarina of Time, and Zelda in general. if you somehow aren't, I recommend reading this Zelda Wiki artlce on OoT, or better yet, watch a let's play of it, (I recommend this blind let's play by Eclapricious), or even betterer, play the game yourself Citra 3DS Emulator Guide
With that out the way...
Right away, that title screen...the music that plays...I find that music almost nostalgic, which is odd because I didn't exactly grow up with this game. I find that sort of applies to a lot of this game. I grew up with bits and pieces of it, playing parts of it (mainly the opening lol), watching let's plays and other videos about it, and playing other Zelda games, so I find it very familiar, and yet...not quite.
I'm not really sure where to go with this, it's not exactly a review, I already finished the game so it's not like a let's play, I kind of said it was a "retrospective" but...well I guess I can just go over the different parts of the game.
I think the intro is really good, I think it does a good job of "hooking" you on the game. Another great thing about it is that, for someone like me, if you've played the game before you can get past it in just a few minutes, but if you're new it gives you plenty of space to figure out the controls and look around. I like Kokiri Forest, it feels pretty open, I like the music and just the whole vibe. Inside The Deku Tree is a good first dungeon, although of course it was a very easy, which makes sense since it was literally meant to be the introduction to 3D Zelda dungeons in general. Hyrule field is pretty empty, aside from a few secrets it's mainly just a hub to get from different areas of the game. The music is pretty good "adventurous" music as you cross Hyrule. I'm sure it was very impressive in 1998 to see such a big open area in a video game, but now it just feels a bit empty.
Something I figured out a long time ago when playing it before is if you go to the Castle Town gate and walk up the chain, then jump off, you get a Red Rupee. You can do this on both sides to get an easy 40 rupees.
I think I waited too long after playing...I didn't write anything down WHILE I played, and now I don't remember it vivadly enough to talk about it in depth, just like, yeah, I liked this, this was cool, etc. I guess I should talk about what stood out to me the most...
Shiek is a really cool idea, although unfortunately, sort of like Darth Vader being Luke's father, it's kind of an unavoidable spoiler if you're familar with Nintendo already (Thanks Smash Bros Brawl). I'm also disappointed that, despite appearing to be a competent warrior, Zelda/Shiek ends up doing practically nothing in the Final Battle, she's just trapped in a magic crystal for most of it, she stuns Ganon for 2 seconds at the end, and like, opens some doors with her magic or something lol. The Shiek theme is great though, and kind of hints that it's someone you already know? Atleast that's how I feel.
That scene with King Zora is hilarious. You know the one.
The Forest Temple is really good, I like the layout and how you have to go to each of corners to kill the Poes before decending towards the boss room. The music gives it a sort of mysterious and ominous vibe. The Phantom Ganon fight was pretty good, I like how afterwards Ganondorf is just like "that ghost, what a loser, he's banished to interdimensional space now" lol
The Water Temple was annoying even with the updates, I missed a key once and didn't have the compass, so I had to do a LOT of backtracking for nothing trying to find where the heck that key was. Dark Link is a cool idea but I don't think it's a very good fight in OoT since it's difficult to even figure out how to hit him. Also the dungeon Boss was a really annoying fight, since it's very hard to hookshot the ball thing so you can freakin attack it. I didn't feel like it was hard because I was bad, it felt like it was the game that was overly difficult. I was really glad to get the longshot though, I kept getting annoying at how short the reach was on the base hookshot lol. Basically, the Water Temple was annoying, but not unbearable.
The Fire Temple is pretty good, it's kind of maze-like. I kept falling from that thin bridge and having to go back up :l that was kinda frustrating. Also I spent way to much time trying to get to a chest you need the Scarecrow's Song for, which I didn't have lol. The boss was fine. I don't think any of the bosses in OoT were really exceptional, I think they were limited by the processing power of the N64, so they couldn't make any sort of complicated AI, and also that this was one of the first 3D games they made, so they didn't have anything to go off of. Given the circumstances, I think they did pretty well (aside from Morpha).
The Shadow Temple was fine, at the point where there's a climbable wall back to the beginning blocked by a, well, block (next to the Ship of the Dead) I only slightly moved the block, and climbed up the wall, and saw "oh it's here" climbed back down, and the block had reloaded, and was back in it's spawn position >.< I had walk back the long way lol.
The Gerudo fortress is pretty cool, I like stealth sections, although like the Hyrule Castle guards, the Gerudo are apparently half-blind and deaf lol. The Spirit Temple is really good, I think it's a really cool idea how it's split between young Link and adult Link. The witch twins Koume and Kotake are hilarious. And their theme is probably one of my favorite in the game.
Ganon's Castle. I really liked how each room was representative of each of the previous Temples. The music that plays is super ominous and creepy. The organ as you accend the staircase is awesome, and I like how when you get to the top, it's revealed that it was actual in-game music played by Ganondorf himself the whole time. The fight with Ganondorf is pretty good. It it uh, took me awhile to realize you're supposed to hit him with the Light Arrows while he's stunned from the energy tennis. The escape sequence is alright, although you had to stay within 2 feet of Zelda or she would stand and "wait" for you, which was annoying. The beast Ganon fight was pretty epic, although it was pretty easy since I just kept rolling between his legs every time he turned around lol
Ocarina of Time is one of the most highly praised games of all time. Many people consider it to be the best game of all time. I...well, it's definitely a very good game, I'd consider it one of my favorites, but "Best game of all time"? Nah. It's just too flawed, too "held back" by the technical limitations of the time and the developers inexperience with 3D. The 3DS remake is definitely an improvement, but some things, like the bosses, dungeon design, world emptiness (I dunno if that's the right word), etc, just can't be fixed without a full reimagining. Why I think it's so universally liked...well I think nostalgia plays a part, but I can hardly blame the people considering Skyward Sword is one of my favorite games of all time lol. Another thing is that, at least compared to the other Zelda games, it's not quite as...gimmicky? Like, Wind Waker had it's cartoony artstyle and huge (and somewhat empty) sea, Twilight Princess was all dark (figuratively and literally) and was all "realistic", also you turn into a wolf for a significant portion of the game lol. Skyward Sword had it's motion controls and super linearity, Breath of the Wild had it's "freedom above all else" and ditching of series conventions. Ocarina of Time though, for the most part, is just "a Zelda game". Sure it has the time traveling, but that doesn't have a huge impact on the way you play, it's more of a puzzle device than a different gameplay style. Despite never having had played it all the way through before, it felt like I had played it many times before (probably due in part to having played half of it before lol). Overall, I really liked the game, and will probably play it again at some point. I'm glad to finally be able to say I finished this iconic game.
If you uh, couldn't tell, I don't think this post turned out very well...
I'm not really sure where to go with this, it's not exactly a review, I already finished the game so it's not like a let's play, I kind of said it was a "retrospective" but...
I think I waited too long after playing...I didn't write anything down WHILE I played, and now I don't remember it vivadly enough to talk about it in depth, just like, yeah, I liked this, this was cool, etc
So, for Majora's Mask (Which BTW I've been itching to play since I finished OoT but I knew I had to finish this post first or I never would finish it) this is gonna take a much different format. I'm going to try writing while I play, sort of like a text-based let's play, maybe with some screenshots. I'm hoping this will solve the two big problems of this post, one, I waited too long after having played the game to talk about it and it wasn't fresh in my memory, and two, I felt like I couldn't write anything else on this site because I needed to finish this post.
Next Up - Majora's Mask
Return to Homepage