Obviously, the launch of Breath of the Wild for the Switch has everyone in a frenzy, so I wanted to take this RetroNight to discuss one of the most popular and beloved games ever made. Tonight, we will discuss The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This classic launched for the Nintendo 64 way back in 1998, and while it’s seen numerous re-releases since its debut, it still stands as a retro title and a dear classic.
While I vastly prefer some of the newer titles like Wind Waker and the most recent installment in the series, I think its undeniable that Ocarina of Time is one of the most influential games of the action adventure genre. It strayed away from the non-linear nature of the original titles in the series, but at its core remained very much a Zelda game. It lacked the excessively guided nature of the more recent games like Skyward Sword.
Ocarina allowed players to experience an incredibly rich narrative (for the time) in a way that was heavily supported by masterfully crafted environments and detailed creative enemies.
One thing I particularly loved most about Ocarina was the way it really ties together its hierarchy. Everything you do form the time you turn on the game feels important, but the scale of the quest is ever expansive, and the mechanics reflect that. No matter how skilled of an adventurer you become, you’ll never get a leg up on the general quest.
The overall tone of the game is something to behold as well. This is a narrative that is juggling two narrative climates in a manner of speaking. As Link switches between kid and adult, you find yourself moving between a vibrant world viewed through innocent eyes and a post-apocalyptic wasteland controlled by one of the most vicious and detestable villains in gaming.
This game, like the others in RetroNight is super accessible, so if you’ve yet to experience it in full, the opportunity to do so is greater than it ever has been. Whether you’re playing the remastered version on the Nintendo 3DS or the port available on the virtual consoles for Wii and Wii U, it has never been easier to play Ocarina.
Greatest game of all time? Depends on what you mean by great, it was obviously among the most influential. But whether or not you view this game as the peak of what design can truly be, there’s no doubt that it is an incredible experience for gamers of all ages.