I bought a 3DS just because I’m a sucker for anything that says “Nintendo” on it. I bought Zelda because I’m a sucker for ‘most’ things that say Zelda on it. I heard that Zelda is coming out on the 3DS, and something in my brain clicked: my eyes rolled back, droll hung from my lips and I started clapping like an idiot chanting “Zelda! Zeldaaaaa!” So I bought it, played it and the illusion broke. I realized what they meant by “remake”. Think of a nice car from 1998. Imagine you had that car in 2012. It might look a little ugly to people today, so if you put a nice new coat of paint on it, would it appeal to people? Guess so!
With the exception of “Majora’s Mask” and “Spirit Tracks” (Zelda train game? More like Zelda ‘train wreck!’ ha. ha. ha. ha. *slow clap* kidding) I bought everything thus far. Wind Waker and Twilight Princess took it farther in terms of storytelling, controls, interactivity, cool gadgets, etc. My favorite part about the newer Zelda games are the other people in the world. In Wind Waker, you had some cute pirate Zeld- erm, pirate girl that totally isn’t Zelda (It’s old, I can spoil it.), a lovely little grandma and many other cute characters to interact with. New mechanics, etc
So naturally, when I heard “Zelda 64 remake!”, I assumed that they would fix up that midi music with some new composed stuff, add some of the new sword mechanics from newer Zelda games, maybe update the monsters’ AI a bit, make the graphics/textures a little better, etc. When I heard it was on the 3DS, I assumed more. Would it incorporate spot pass somehow? Maybe we’d get new bosses or dungeons downloaded to our 3DS every month? Would we use Streetpass somehow? Maybe they’d add the camera from Wind Waker and we’d share ‘pictographs’? Maybe they’d add collectible bugs and we’d share bugs? How about the Scarecrow song? Maybe we’d hear their Scarecrow song? Aaah! Something, anything. They decided against using any sort of sharing, because it’s a remake, not a reimagining. We should be grateful that Nintendo is making anything for us. We should eat any scraps they throw at us.
Actually, Nintendo handed it off to a bunch of unknowns called “GREZZO” to develop. They did a good job. It looks better, framerate is much improved, the character animations are more fluid, etc.
They changed the controls, but looking at the original N64 control and rethinking that… Thing must’ve been a challenge. Anything is an improvement.
Another new feature is that you can re-fight bosses in your treehouse, which is neat… For a bit. They let you play the Master Quest version too! It’s only after you beat the game though. Other than that, it’s a very, very faithful adaptation of the 1998 game. A very, very faithful adaptation. A very, very, very, very… Well, it’s basically the same thing you’ve played 12 and half years ago with pretty visuals. For story, it’s exactly the same. If you haven’t played this Zelda, it’s the same Zelda formula. If you haven’t played a Zelda, then god save you. I’d elaborate more, but it’s the exact same game as it was. I doubt they’d be able to change anything without fanboys having a conniption.
The gyroscopic aiming should appeal to anyone who bought a steering wheel attachment for Mario Kart Wii and enjoys using it. Basically, if you’re an adult- you wouldn’t deign to use something like that for more than 10 minutes, but if you’re a kid, you’d think it’s the most awesome thing ever! The camera feels a bit… Dated. I understand that there’s no second analog stick, so it limits what people can do with the camera controls, but having to whip the camera behind my head every time I want to move gets old.
This isn’t just a remake (wait, yes it is), it’s an easier remake. They added tutorials all over the place, giving Link ‘visions’ of what to do. My dad was too stupid to figure out the puzzles when he was 38, but I was a bright 10 year old kid who didn’t need training wheels. I’m not sure how stupid our kids are now- but if it was possible for us to figure it out back then… Why can’t we assume that this generation can figure it out too?
Since it’s 3D, I have to talk about the 3D. It hurts. I like seeing Great Faeries ‘pop’ out of the screen, but I had a problem with the 3D.. I don’t think there is a term for what I experienced, so I’ll call it “3D ghosting”, as in ‘when I turn the 3D up, it pops out- and yet I see a faint ghostlike image of the player I’m using alongside my character’. Maybe I should call it ‘aneurysm’ or ‘seizure’. Leave the 3D off. Its a nice effect, but it doesn’t add anything more than eye strain.
I’d say “you can’t sell a game on nostalgia alone”, but I’m a Phantasy Star player. There is an audience for this. It’s not me, it my children. If you’re an older player who played this when it came out in ’98, it’s not really made with you in mind, yet it is still as enjoyable as it ever was. They wanted to bring the experience to another generation. I applaud that because it’s a mighty fine game, and I feel that it’s difficult to get people to play older games that I’m in to. Look at Final Fantasy 7 which came out a year before Zelda 64. Could you show that to a kid who grew up on Xbox 360? Would you really think they would understand how that game appealed to you? What if they updated the graphics and put it on the Vita? That’s kinda what happened here. Now a great game can be relived on the go!
In conclusion, I’d say that $45 is a bit steep for anyone who’s played it a bunch of times already. If you know someone who loves Zelda, it’s a small price to pay to have them love you forever (meaning it’s a great, great gift) If you’ve never played it before- it’s a great price if you have a 3DS already. If you don’t have a 3DS, and you haven’t played this before- I’d recommend spending $20 on a Nintendo 64, and buying the original online for cheap. Or, buying a Gamecube for $35 and buying the re-release online for cheap. Or buy a Wii and buy the re-re-release for 1000 points via virtual console. You don’t have to pay $45 for a re-re-re-release if you own it already.