Kristopher
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I have only ever played the first two Zelda games for the NES. But I constantly see this one make it to almost everyone's "Best Games Ever Made" list. Why? What makes this game so special, as opposed to the half dozen other Zelda games? Is it nostalgia? Is it gameplay? graphics? Puzzles? What makes this one "THE" one?
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Luke Stirling
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Ocarina of Time, much as I like it, is not my favourite Zelda game of all time, so I can't say what makes it singular above all others. I could point to the observation that is exists as a happy medium between the laregly exploratory games that its predecessors were, and the story focused style of design that the latter games were.

And I also think that the pioneering nature of its design does have a lot to do with it. I wouldn't consider that purely nostalgia driven form of affection though. Citizen Kane is utterly unlike any film that came before it. And although many of its previously unique qualities have been replicated in later films, I still think it stands apart as an outstanding film in its own right, not least because it did so many things for the first time.
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paralipsis wrote:
And I also think that the pioneering nature of its design does have a lot to do with it. I wouldn't consider that purely nostalgia driven form of affection though.
I agree with that. Early attempts at bringing 8/16-bit gaming into 3D struggled with a lot of mostly technical issues, but Ocarina did nearly everything right on the first try. For anyone gaming in that era, it was pretty amazing.
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I remember all the hype surrounding the release of that game.
It was the game that, should finally make the N64 worthwhile.
It was one of the few games that actually lived up to all the hype and even exceeded my unrealistic high expectations.
It´s one of those games that you remember your live long playing through, even if you never touch it again after one playthrough.
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I would say that is one of the best games ever made for several reason. But before I give you a list of reasons I will say, as for any game out there I think people have got to RPG to like RPG just like people have got to enjoy action to play game with action. I will admit I like adventure, but for myself and others to love the adventure style games like Zelda we have to sit down for what seems like countless hours and devote ourselves to this wonderful story. For me it worth the time and every Zelda game I play always keeps me engaged with what's going on. The game does start off slow which I can see people being turned off by that compare to what games they are making these days which put you in the action from the pretty much from the start. But I think what brings Zelda fans to loving the game so much is mostly the puzzling aspect to it, along with everything else like, adventuring the lands in the game, and adventuring the dungeons with items you gain throughout the game by exploring or discovering them and or making them and even gaining several items by helping others in the game itself. The game plays very streamline and anybody that knows how to read can play it. The game make you feel like you are this link character while other character in other RPG fail to give that feeling don't always do a great job at doing. These are just a few reasons why this game is on most people top ten games ever made.
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Lots of things keep OoT popular:
- people that grew up playing it are the ones that are making those lists
- it took an already popular franchise and added the novelty of 3D to it
- it's a pretty decent game
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Kristopher
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TheWulffman wrote:
Lots of things keep OoT popular:
- people that grew up playing it are the ones that are making those lists
- it took an already popular franchise and added the novelty of 3D to it
- it's a pretty decent game

Ah, I hadn't realized it was 3D. I'm still thinking side-scroller like Zelda 2.
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Lhowser wrote:
TheWulffman wrote:
Lots of things keep OoT popular:
- people that grew up playing it are the ones that are making those lists
- it took an already popular franchise and added the novelty of 3D to it
- it's a pretty decent game

Ah, I hadn't realized it was 3D. I'm still thinking side-scroller like Zelda 2.
Zelda II is the only side-scroller in the series. Some games afterwards had tiny side-scrolling sections in dungeons. Otherwise all of them are either top-down or 3D.
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I played my Zelda games in reverse order, starting with Twilight Princess, then Skyward Sword, and only THEN going back to Ocarina of Time (and then Wind Waker, and now Majora's Mask).

Despite its age, I still enjoyed OOT very much. The construction of the story, the writing, the characters, the dungeons are all very good. The themes of ostracism, alienation, loss, growing up, are quite moving. As well as the time-travel mechanic, the use of a musical instrument was also very well done. I'm not sure if this was an original concept for this game though. I still prefer Twilight Princess (even that's starting to look old) but I appreciate OOT.

Regarding the N64 3D graphics engine, my understanding is that this was originally developed for Super Mario 64, and subsequently used in a number of other games, including OOT.

Edit: It reminds me of Metroid Prime as a game that successfully translated its franchise from 2D into 3D.
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Ocarina of Time was an amazing achievement.

What other game did I sit in the same map section just to watch the sunrise and sunset?

Answer: none.

That is not the whole of the game certainly, but it should give you some idea about how much care and love was put into the making of it.
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Most of the previous comments hit it really- at the time we had never seen anything this good on a gaming console, and it was already a well established and much loved franchise too which gave it some extra clout! Added nostalgia very much holds it in its place nowadays.

I personally prefer The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to Ocarina of Time. It improved substantially on the earlier games, was bigger and better as a sequel in a series should be, and still plays exceptionally well today. Although it started the more linear gameplay format that the following Zelda games would continue it still had that feeling of exploration and adventure too.

One of the downsides of Ocarina is that it become the standard mould for Zelda games, and most console Zelda titles released since have stuck to pretty much the exact same formula over and over. Still good, but I feel the series could do with a bit of a shake up- the problem is people would complain that it was too different. Damned if they do, damned it they don't!

I'd personally like to see Nintendo make a lovely big open world Zelda game with no hand holding or guiding by the game whatsoever- you could go where you wanted and try whatever you want, and you'd have to learn through trial and error what you could and couldn't do. It would be a great experience as I really enjoy the Zelda universe! I can dream, but Nintendo have proved themselves to be far to afraid of losing fans and will always play the safety option. ninja
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Kristopher
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well, i actually just started playing it on my laptop (thought Project 64 emulator.) i played the original and Zelda 2, but skipped over Link to the Past just for reasons of wanting to get to Ocarina of Time. yes, i can see how, after playing these top-down perspective or scrolling type platformers, suddenly being exposed to a 3D universe would be earth-shaking!

I'm frankly having a hard time playing it. I'm using an Xbox 360 controller, which i've done my best to remap the keys, but i'm sure 1) having a N64 controller would actually be best, and 2) NOT being used to the new games where you can control the camera would probably make it easier to play. I had a dickens of a time fighting even the 1st boss in the tree dungeon. I cant imagine having to fight my way through the infamous water level with wonky controls, but hopefully I will get used to it by the time i get there!

 
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Mr Boris wrote:

I'd personally like to see Nintendo make a lovely big open world Zelda game with no hand holding or guiding by the game whatsoever- you could go where you wanted and try whatever you want, and you'd have to learn through trial and error what you could and couldn't do.
This game already exists; it's called "The Legend of Zelda", and its available on the NES and Famicom.

As for why the game is so revered -- probably because it was the first game to really get 3D 3rd-person controls right.
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Lhowser wrote:
well, i actually just started playing it on my laptop (thought Project 64 emulator.) i played the original and Zelda 2, but skipped over Link to the Past just for reasons of wanting to get to Ocarina of Time. yes, i can see how, after playing these top-down perspective or scrolling type platformers, suddenly being exposed to a 3D universe would be earth-shaking!

I'm frankly having a hard time playing it. I'm using an Xbox 360 controller, which i've done my best to remap the keys, but i'm sure 1) having a N64 controller would actually be best, and 2) NOT being used to the new games where you can control the camera would probably make it easier to play. I had a dickens of a time fighting even the 1st boss in the tree dungeon. I cant imagine having to fight my way through the infamous water level with wonky controls, but hopefully I will get used to it by the time i get there!


I could see playing the Ocarina might be awkward with a 360 controller. What did you map it to?

As for the camera, you just get used to using the left trigger to centre the camera all the time. They did provide greater camera control in Wind Waker IIRC.

Yes OOT is dated, but I just marveled in what they'd achieved story- and game-wise with such a basic engine.

The water dungeon isn't that bad, it's just a little convoluted.

Apart from playing the Ocarina (using a Wii Pro Controller) I had trouble occasionally with autojump and with target lock.
 
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i mapped the L thumb stick to the movement - that was obvious.

the Z trigger I mapped to the L trigger - simulating how you would control with the n64 Z trigger. And I haven't figured out the constant centering of the camera yet. i guess that will come in time.

the A & B buttons are the A & X (revered green and blue, but that feels natural.)

The R button for the Shield is the R bumper. Again feels natural. and S is the start button.

The problem are these 4 "C" buttons, which look like they could correspond with the D-pad on the 360 (usually used for switching weapons or something.) however, the C buttons would be pressed by your right hand thumb, whereas the d-pad would be controlled by your left hand thumb. and having never played the game, i didn't know if this would be a problem. i didn't know if i would be required to try and move (using the left thumb stick ) whilst trying to use the C-buttons with the right thumb. if i remapped it for the d-pad i would be trying to do two things at once with the same thumb, capiche?

I figured out that it is NOT useful to use the D-pad. So I remapped the R thumb stick as the C buttons. However, it's very easy to accidentally, say, throw a Deku nut when your trying to use the sling shot. So I haven't figured out a better way to map them. Probably part of the problem of playing the game that Im having.



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I haven't tried it with a 360 controller, but I'd actually consider mapping A and B to the bumpers, Z and R to the triggers, and the C buttons to the face buttons. Seems like it would solve your immediate problem, at least, though I don't know if having A and B on the bumpers would create a new one...
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If it's possible in your emulation software, try using R analog for the C buttons.

EDIT: I'm dumb; looks like you've already done this. That's the setup I'd use.
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Cynical wrote:
If it's possible in your emulation software, try using R analog for the C buttons.

EDIT: I'm dumb; looks like you've already done this. That's the setup I'd use.

This is essential what happens when you play on the Wii virtual console like I did with a Classic Controller (although the right stick on that one is not analog). It does cause a few problems playing OOT when you don't push the right stick in the exact direction you wanted, which is obviously not an issue with the N64 contoller which has 4 yellow buttons instead. But I did't find it TOO egregious, and happily finished the game with only the occasional invective.
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VolcanoLotus wrote:
I haven't tried it with a 360 controller, but I'd actually consider mapping A and B to the bumpers, Z and R to the triggers, and the C buttons to the face buttons. Seems like it would solve your immediate problem, at least, though I don't know if having A and B on the bumpers would create a new one...

I would think this would drive me up the wall as it doesn't feel "natural" to hit the bumpers all the time for selection, etc. when you're so used to hitting the ABXY buttons for things.
 
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Cynical wrote:
This game already exists; it's called "The Legend of Zelda", and its available on the NES and Famicom.

As for why the game is so revered -- probably because it was the first game to really get 3D 3rd-person controls right.

I obviously meant a new game along those lines in a 3D environment.

Also what was the first 3D 3rd person game to get the controls right? I very much doubt it was Ocarina of Time- there must have been a ton of 3D 3rd person games by the time Ocarina came out. ninja
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Lhowser wrote:
I have only ever played the first two Zelda games for the NES. But I constantly see this one make it to almost everyone's "Best Games Ever Made" list. Why? What makes this game so special, as opposed to the half dozen other Zelda games? Is it nostalgia? Is it gameplay? graphics? Puzzles? What makes this one "THE" one?

Nothing really, it's as craptacular as the rest of 'em.
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wytefang wrote:
Lhowser wrote:
I have only ever played the first two Zelda games for the NES. But I constantly see this one make it to almost everyone's "Best Games Ever Made" list. Why? What makes this game so special, as opposed to the half dozen other Zelda games? Is it nostalgia? Is it gameplay? graphics? Puzzles? What makes this one "THE" one?

Nothing really, it's as craptacular as the rest of 'em.
I don't know which Zelda I played on the Wii (Windwaker or OoT) but it started in kind of a village and I had to do all this annoying stuff like catching chicken and fish and so on. It was so boring and annoying that even when I managed to leave the village (which took ages because this stupid character wasn't able to do the most basic things) I lost all interest and stopped playing. Perhaps if I never had known any other consoles (or games)... or were blind or something like that.
 
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Harlekin wrote:
wytefang wrote:
Lhowser wrote:
I have only ever played the first two Zelda games for the NES. But I constantly see this one make it to almost everyone's "Best Games Ever Made" list. Why? What makes this game so special, as opposed to the half dozen other Zelda games? Is it nostalgia? Is it gameplay? graphics? Puzzles? What makes this one "THE" one?

Nothing really, it's as craptacular as the rest of 'em.
I don't know which Zelda I played on the Wii (Windwaker or OoT) but it started in kind of a village and I had to do all this annoying stuff like catching chicken and fish and so on. It was so boring and annoying that even when I managed to leave the village (which took ages because this stupid character wasn't able to do the most basic things) I lost all interest and stopped playing. Perhaps if I never had known any other consoles (or games)... or were blind or something like that.

You should avoid Myst. You wander around an island, with nothing to interact with. Not even fish or chickens. Nothing. I lost all interest very quickly, but unfortunately kept playing due to people saying it was a "good game".

Now I know that people have no idea what they are talking about.
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Harlekin wrote:
I don't know which Zelda I played on the Wii (Windwaker or OoT) but it started in kind of a village and I had to do all this annoying stuff like catching chicken and fish and so on. It was so boring and annoying

Was it Twilight Princess by any chance? I quite like my Zelda games, but I had a similar experience as you with that one.
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bishmanrock wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
I don't know which Zelda I played on the Wii (Windwaker or OoT) but it started in kind of a village and I had to do all this annoying stuff like catching chicken and fish and so on. It was so boring and annoying

Was it Twilight Princess by any chance? I quite like my Zelda games, but I had a similar experience as you with that one.
With the huge amount of games nowadays and while being in a life situation where I can buy all the games I want (and don't need) I find it very very hard to continue games with a tiring start. Or to continue games that need a huge reinvested to understand it again if you haven't played it for a while (like Monster Hunter Tri).

EDIT: If I would have been a child still I would most likely have liked it.
 
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