The Last Person on the Planet to Play Ocarina of Time

April 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

Like Goldeneye, Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time is widely regarded as one of the greatest games ever made, but unlike the other three it doesn’t have one defining achievement which can be pointed at to prove its worth. Goldeneye was the first fps to work on consoles, MGS the start of gaming’s cinematic storytelling and GTA the first open world game. This is not, however, a bad thing. Simply put, everything OoT does is worthy of note, an achievement not easily condensed down into one sentence.

Going back to play it for the first time then, is not like playing GTA or MGS for the first time ten years after their release. These games have introduced concepts which for better or for worse can be taken and applied to different games, different genres. How many times have you seen the ‘GTA Clone’ tag floating around a game after it’s created an open world for itself? With every game that takes inspiration from these trailblazing titles the impact of the first is diluted, the mechanics they introduce becoming more commonplace. The end result is that going back to play Doom for example for the first time today has nowhere near the impact it once had.

As previously stated, The Ocarina of Time doesn’t have this problem, but that’s not to say the experince hasn’t changed since its release.

Going back to the game ten years later is liberating and aggravating in equal measure. Aggravation comes from a lack of signposts, a lack of the little instructions that we’ve become so used to in modern games. Liberation emerges from exactly the same faucet. It’s refreshing to not have to listen to instructions at every single point in the game, but then these same annoying interruptions are desired the instant your intuition fails you. It’s a tightrope that modern games tend to avoid altogether, but a part of me wants that satisfaction of working out just what the hell I’m supposed to be doing rather than have that information forced down my throat. Given the choice between speedy progression and additional satisfaction however, I’m ashamed to admit I’d probably take the easier option most days.

This week Jon finally finished Final Fantasy 7 after weeks of faffing about in the battle arena. It occurred to him that he was only doing it out of his completest desires and no longer because he actually needed Cloud’s ultimate limit break.


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