The greatest videogame of all time gets a stunning stereoscopic makeover. No glasses required.
If your life depended on correctly identifying the greatest videogame of all time, which one would you choose? Casual fans might blurt out the name of a contender like Super Mario Bros., Tetris or Grand Theft Auto, but they’d be just plain wrong. Serious gamers know that the only acceptable choice is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Nintendo’s legendary gaming franchise (named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, by the way) reached its pinnacle with this iteration for the N64, and Ocarina is a hallmark of the ‘90s easily as memorable as Blossom and pogs.
To celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary this year, Nintendo has spent ages re-mastering this classic action-adventure game for their futuristic handheld console, the double-screened 3DS.
But while the world waits for Zelda 3DS to hit shelves on June 19, a select group of local media types were invited to Nintendo’s preview session yesterday afternoon in Yorkville, and while a musician in full Hyrule style played that unforgettable theme song on an ocarina, the rest of the room sat predictably silent.
After brief commentary from Nintendo’s marketing gurus, the assembled gaming writers reintroduced themselves to Link and dove headlong into the game’s most famous locales, from Water Temple all the way to Inside Jabu-Jabu’s Belly.
The most complete roundup of all the new bells and whistles can be found over at Zelda Universe, but the most important aspect of the game to me is the way the landscapes and gameplay remain almost completely untouched from that first golden version.
Save for the Master Quest mode, a mirrored version of the game where Link appears right-handed (sacrilege!), and available only once you’ve beaten the game completely, everything about Ocarina has been preserved, yet at the same time updated for the modern gaming audience, for whom anything that’s not in 3D or physically exhausting or brutal and terrifying is, like, sooo retro.
For anyone who hit their prime tween gaming years in 1998 (like me), a few hours spent with Zelda 3DS feels a bit like catching up with an old friend. An old friend who’s just received a stunning stereoscopic makeover. No glasses required.