When I watched Nintendo Direct, I was not prepared for the gasp that left my body when I saw Ocarina of Time come up on my screen with the possibility of Majora’s Mask coming onto it as well. I thankfully pay monthly for my Nintendo Online, so I was prepared to accept for the Expansion I would probably have to pay upwards of £40 on the spot to access it. If you know me, The Legend of Zelda has a special place in my heart, it was the first game I had that locked me in, I was able to discuss with class mates and helped me escape as a child.
Thankfully in the UK it was £34.99, a lot cheaper than I anticipated, which as a birthday treat for myself purchased on launch day. For me this must have been the 12th, minimum, playthrough of OOT, as I’m one of those fan girls who own a copy on every system. So as I was playing I had certain expectations of the port as I have played the N64, Wind Waker special edition version, and recently started a new save on the Collectors Edition so it was pretty fresh in my head up until the Water Temple boss fight for me. This will be more of a how I got on, not a review of the games story, with slight spoiler images. How did I find playing this version? Read on to find out.
Straight off the bat, I was irritated. Felt almost cheated. I get why they ported it at the aspect ratio that they did, but I didn’t expect just over a 1/3 of my screen to fit the game. I expected at least it to be full screen on the TV mode, but alas I was wrong. This did take away from my playing experience at the beginning because I felt as though I almost had to squint to focus, however I ploughed on through. This is the same for all games on the expansion, including the Master System / Genesis games.
I tried this on zoom mode also, and it was even worse, with the majority of the screen being missing from the top and bottom.
Another thing to note was the button mapping. Why on god’s earth didn’t they make the bottom left buttons usable and map them also to the C N64 buttons? Playing the Ocarina at times felt unbearable, one slight move would mean a wrong note was played, weapons switched. They could have mapped both the right joystick and the bottom left pad to have C buttons. It’s almost as if they purposely mapped the buttons awkwardly on the switch controller in order for people to purchase the N64 controller. Another thing to note the joystick takes a while to get used to, it’s sensitive, making things like archery and aiming quite difficult.
Amongst the negatives, there is a positive. I really enjoyed the fact it had a save state mode, which came in handy for just before mini boss and boss fights and more irritating things such as the moving wall in the spirit temple, timed challenges in Ganon’s Castle and a special shout out from me, the Dark Link Battle in the Water Temple.
Now for me, and many others, the Water Temple is the absolute deal breaker for that game, it’s irritating enough with the water levels having to be rearranged every other minute. However, I experienced the worst glitch I have ever experienced in a game in my life. When I should have landed a hit, Link would freeze and Dark Link would decide to do a little dance on my sword and hit me.
In a nutshell, the port was made sloppy, and key textures such as this mini boss fight as you’ve probably seen on the internet already, take away from the games authentic feel, as Nintendo like to keep saying is how the ports should feel while playing them. (If you haven’t played the original, not the DS remake, this texture should have been almost like a mirror so you could visibly see links reflection disappear and this room as a child made me breathless with how beautiful it looked.)
If you’ve never played the original OOT I feel like you would have gone into it with a fresh outlook, but for many of us who have played the original, it lacked the feel and authenticity. From bugs, to textures missing, it does feel like an unfinished version of the game.
Having the option to purchase the expansion I can see why they only gave us a one off payment option for it, I feel as though if it was a monthly add on expense, many people would have played their favourite game and called it a day. If they just spent a little extra time fine tuning things it would have been a hit, but I’ve paid for it and I am optimistic for any changes and improvements they bring into it. I’m excited to play other classics I haven’t played before such as Yoshi’s Story, Starfox, Sin and Punishment and Win Back, but they really do need to add more games and pretty quickly to keep the audience attention. Not to mention ensuring the games are as they originally were without texture and gameplay issues, and be clearer about what connection strength you need to play online.
If it wasn’t for the free Animal Crossing expansion pack, I probably would have held off, seen reviews, and then made a conscious decision, however for next year they need to bring something big to keep people paying for it.
As for Zelda, I’m pretty much done and dusted with it, but I am looking forward to seeing what will go wrong with the Majora’s Mask port.