Posted on May 23 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
The image to your left is straight from the floor of the Ocarina of Time 3D Press Event in Europe. The event featured a fully decked out room that appears to be a much grander venue to play Zelda than any other event we have seen to date. While we have a few more pictures for you of the epic “house of Zelda” inside, what’s more important are the impressions of what was, essentially, the final build. Keep in mind that they (being Cubed3) likely experienced the exact same version of the game that Mases from Zelda Dungeon got his hands on, so don’t expect to hear anything too shocking. Still, a fresh perspective is always welcomed right?
One of the scenes that the pickier fans have criticised is the first boss battle, the menacing, vicious Queen Gohma – a spider who’s a tad miffed that you’ve invaded her chambers so eloquently. In the Nintendo 64 original her lair was made deep in blue, with smoke and deep, endless shadows stretching toward the ceiling where she lay in wait to pounce. Some of this was due to technical limitations, where some details had to be substituted in order to keep the action smooth, but others injected a dollop of fear and the unknown into the mix. In the 3DS edition there’s far more detail, cracks, wear and tear, and some of that feeling has been sacrificed for a more visually impressive design. We squeezed into our dusty thinking caps and attempted to breeze through the later levels, particularly with Adult Link, for a glimpse of other more sinister sections to see just how it looks and feels. The frightening Shadow and ambient Forest temples in particular have a different feeling about them, still very much eerie with a touch of the unknown, but do lose some of the original atmosphere with the slightly brighter palette.
Despite the friendlier vibe, the amount of additional detail really shines through, especially when we had the option to go back and relive the source material (before ending up half-asleep on the magnificent bean bag chairs) between sessions of the 3DS version. Comparing the two side by side, there’s no question as to how much refinement has gone into every nook and cranny, in particular the existing pre-rendered areas like shop or house interiors, and the more scenic areas like Hyrule Field and Lake Hylia are spot on – new, fresh and inviting without treading too far from the source material. Non-playable characters have also received a slight overhaul; a touch more expressive and detailed, but again familiar and still very much loved.
With a revitalised, more vibrant world to relive the story of the Hero of Time in, one of the key questions to be answered: does the 3D work? We resisted the initial temptation of complimentary alcohol to see how Grezzo implemented the 3D technology and whether it contributes much to the already visually impressive Hyrule. The answer: yes it does, and very well indeed, particularly in the villages and the large open space of Hyrule Field itself, where Link can be seen as a true 3D character immersed within a grand feeling of space. The first time players stepped into this space back into 1998 there was a feeling that it was all real, an epic land that stretched as far as the eye could see (or as far as the Nintendo 64 could handle), but subsequent adventures haven’t quite had the same feeling as that first time. Ocarina of Time 3D’s Hyrule conjures up a heart-warming brew of pure nostalgia, but with autostereoscopic 3D turned on, it once again feels new and immersive.
It’s interesting how they compliment the 3D effect, though they do later go on to say it was a tad difficult finding the sweet spot. Once that sweet spot is found it definitely appears as though Hyrule is simply epic in full 3D. You can check out the full impression filled article here.
The real question: Has Nintendo been able to sell you on buying Ocarina of Time yet again?