Yesterday morning I met up with a few of the fine folks at Nintendo, including the original English text writer for Ocarina of Time when it was being developed back in the 90s (he also worked on ALTTP), to check out the newest build of the upcoming 3DS version of the classic. I won’t be covering overarching impressions like I did last time, just sticking to what was new. Check out my previous impressions for more.
So what was new this time around?
Well for one, I got some time with the Master Quest. For those of you who don’t know, it is basically a harder version of the regular game, with some remixed elements and puzzles to hinder your progress, on top of enemies being generally more difficult. I began it back on the Gamecube, but never got through the first 3 jewels. Hard games aren’t my cup of tea. If you played Master Quest before, you will still have a reason to check this out, because in addition to the above, this time the game is mirrored (yes, right-handed Link), but enemies also do DOUBLE damage. Add all of that up, and the show-offs out there have to prove themselves all over again to claim that “master” title. This mode becomes available after you finish the normal quest.
I also got to check out the revised Water Temple, which was never my favorite, but never really bothered me like it did for so many others. Now, paths and directions seem much clearer, thanks to some fluorescent wall decorations you can see in at least one of the new screens. I didn’t get a chance to play the whole dungeon, but it seemed each level has its own color of glow, which definitely helps keep track of things.
As for the new Boss Challenge mode, I did give it a whirl. It is activated only from inside your bedroom in the Kokiri village. In fact, you can have a chat with your bed to “relive past battles”, which brings up a screen similar to one among the new set, where you can take on bosses you’ve already faced to that point, along with any items you’d need to win. Maybe not the most convenient location to access this feature, but it’s there. Also, I can’t remember from playing before, but taking a nap in your own bed replenishes your stats.
And perhaps the most mysterious addition to Ocarina 3D is the so-called “super guide” feature, which is simply called Visions. You can access these by finding Shiekah Stones, which look like beefier gossip stones. Before, you might only get the current time, but now, you have the option to crawl inside to get hints of the future, which are actually very neat. Instead of the game taking control like NSMBW, or showing a video like SMG2, it’s like a drug-induced tap into the psychic mind of the cosmos; showing you a few quick, scattered glimpses of scenes or locations that have to do with a particular goal. So it doesn’t really spoil anything, and in fact, some of the views are from different points of view, making it interesting for those who want to have some slightly varied experiences of big events. Also, the Visions are NOT available in Master Quest…you’re on your own with that.
Overall, I had a great time checking things out, and again feel that this is more than a simple up-res, but not a full remake that could possibly tarnish the nostalgia of the original. Be sure to check out the new media and get your hands on it ASAP! —cort