Go away 2010. You were rubbish. It’s now all about 2011, and the games we can’t wait to play. That’s why throughout the first couple of weeks of January I’m going to be going through some of the games I’m most looking forward to in the coming year. Today we’re looking back, and forward, to Ocarina of Time.
Ocarina of Time Zelda fans – like me – will happily waste hours discussing the greatest Zelda games and the order of their greatness. Zelda purists may prefer the original; hipsters will choose the underrated and underplayed Majora’s Mask. Despite the irritating Tri-Force fetch quest plenty still love the seemingly timeless charm of Wind Waker – personally I’ve always had a special spot in my black heart for A Link to the Past.
But I’d wager that the majority of Zelda would choose the legendary Ocarina of Time.
Ocarine of Time is the best game ever made in the same way that Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album ever made. It’s a landmark, the kind of game you salute and pay homage to – if not necessarily play. In that sense it’s more than a game, it’s a legitimate piece of history.
Upon its release, genuinely – universally – Ocarina of Time was the greatest game ever made. It was polished, epic in its scope yet simple and heartbreaking. Critics who criticise Zelda for its traditional structure may as well take the piss out of Shakespeare for using iambic pentameter or writing sonnets – it has that structural integrity for a reason. It’s a trope that, in being endlessly retold, gains significance. It’s what you do within that framework that matters.
But, despite this, the major reason I’m so excited about replaying Ocarina of Time is the fact that the original has dated so poorly. Whereas Wind Waker will sit alongside games like Yoshi’s Island as a pristine example of timeless art design, in its original form Ocarina of Time looks and feels a little clunky. In short – it needs a remake.
It may be an old game – I may have already played through it a number of times – but still, I can’t help but anticipate playing through it one more time in a new context, from a new perspective. I keep thinking about the moments I want to re-experience – the final battle, getting the Ocarina for the first time, blasting over the hedge into Hyrule Field with Epona.
Ocarina of Time is the definition of classic, and you must play/replay this game.