Yes. Oh, yeah. I went there. I'm doubting the undeniably "best game of all time."
I actually don't think it's the best game of all time. Great game, yes. Greatest game ever, no. I enjoyed Spirit Tracks far more, and I've played a few non Zelda titles that match up to, if not surpass OoT.
But on a less snarky note, I've heard so many people say that Ocarina of Time was the "best game of all time in the history of everything ever." It has such a positive reputation. Almost every "greatest video games" list places it at the top. Frankly, I'm really tired of hearing about how great it is all the time, as if it's reputation is not up for debate. I've played the game (over a decade after it was released, and shortly after playing Majora's Mask), and I honestly don't see what's so great about it.
I semi agree. I agree that it's held too high, but I don't agree that it isn't great. But everybody is entitled to their own opinion.
I will grant that Ocarina of Time was a great game in a lot of ways. The biggest reason, though, is that it was revolutionary. It was the first 3D Zelda. It had pivotal characters (i.e., ones with actual names) other than Link. We got new races. We got new controls, like Z-targeting) We got backstory. We got great music. And we got twists. Previous games (well, A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening) had had elements of that, but Ocarina of Time was where those features got to shine.
You know, I agree with this quite a bit. It's a great game and I quite enjoy it, but the reason it's held so high is because of how revolutionary it was. Revolutionary doesn't necessarily mean good. People need to take OoT off the darn Golden Goddess Pedestal and actually give the other titles a chance to compliment, or out shine the greatness that is OoT.
On the other hand, it had some major flaws. It was the first 3D game. It was crude in a lot of ways. I've never tried it, but I've heard that the game only checks for the last two medallions, meaning it's possible to completely skip parts of dungeons. The characters looked blocky and fell into the Uncanny Valley at times. And, of course, there was the infuriating equipment interface that led to much frustration in the Water and Shadow temples where you had to constantly go back and forth in the menu to take your boots on and off. The shift to 3D also lost the room-to-room structure the previous games had. The puzzles are still challenging, but the puzzles are altogether different and require a different sort of thinking and strategy. It comes down to preference, I suppose, and if you like the 2D puzzles, the 3D ones might not be as fun.
Actually, I never thought it to be that crude. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the last two medallion glitch, since I've never tried it, but your graphical arguement doesn't make much sense if you ask me.
It was an N64 game and for the time the graphics were amazing. Heck, I even like them a lot.
I agree that the equipment thing was a bit of a hassle if you ask me, but I found that the benefits (the diversity known as gear) to out weigh the disadvantages.
And does it really matter whether or not puzzles are 3-D or 2-D, so long as you think they're a good challenge?
Of course, there weren't all that many technical flaws, so let's move on to other aspects of the game. We got to play as an older version of Link! Wow! Cool! And there's time travel! Well, kinda. Basically, you play the first part of the game as Young Link before switching to Adult Link. Once you're an adult, the rest of the game requires you to stay and adult. You can get through the rest of the game, reverting to child form only twice: for the well level and for part of the Spirit Temple. Both almost feel shoehorned in. If you want my opinion, Oracle of Ages used the exact same time system, and used it much better. And while Sheik being Zelda--oops, spoilers. But that's my point. It doesn't matter anymore. Sure, it was a great twist back then, but it's no secret anymore. Other games have twists that are just as good, but are still new enough that they're still actually twists. Also, there was almost no use for the Ocarina of Time. Considering that you could do magical things with your Fairy Ocarina, all the titular ocarina did was let you open a door and, um, make blocks disappear. Yes, that's right. The Song of Time gives you the power to open doors and make blocks.
I agree, the timetravel was done much better in OoA. But OoT was being rushed and the fans can blame themselves for that. If Nintendo had a bit more time, they would've been able to make OoT even better than it already is.
And the Shiek=Zelda thing actually is a secret to those who've never gotten to experience it or been with the series. *cough* me *cough* *cough*
And the Ocarina thing, I agree 100% with you on that. But again this ties into the whole thing of Nintendo being rushed by us the fans who were dying for this game and basically, the only thing the Zelda Community achieved by doing this, is making what really could've been the best game of all time a bit worse... not that it's bad. It's still great, but due to Nintendo getting rushed, Ocarina of Time didn't quite turn out as well as it could/should've.
Now that I've talked about the game's twists and unique feature, let's move on to characters. Yes, you actually get attached to characters. Of course, Zelda, the princess we're supposed to care about most, is one of the least developed characters, appearing in two or three scenes as a child, then disappearing until the very end of the game. It's much easier to like the other characters, who are much more developed. Still, all the characters can be completely described in a single sentence. Need proof? Saria: nature-loving Kokiri who was Link's only friend back home. Impa: Zelda's devoted nursemaid. Ruto: alternates between hating Link and crushing on him. Zelda: the princess you have to save because Ganondorf is after her. Ganondorf: evil and greedy. I could go on, but I won't. Oh, and another thing. Why is it that almost every single woman in this game has a thing for Link?
Well, most non main characters aren't developed. I agree with you there. Although actually, I think they developed Zelda surprisingly well what with her only making a handfull of appearances in the game. After all, she goes from being a naive young princess in the past to a capable and competent ruler in the future.
And not every woman has a thing for Link... only Nabooru, Saria, Zelda, Ruto, Malon, and... okay fine I was wrong there. But think about it. Link is a gallant young man/boy who can wield a sword and is a hero to alot of them.
In Malon's case, he helped her father to get the ranch back from Ingo's reign of terror. He saved Nabooru and she knows that he is the Hero of Time who is destined to save the world. In Saria's case, they've been friends forever. How does a romantic relationship not form out of that? I could go on, but I won't.
On to the story. Did anyone else notice that it all felt a bit familiar? Let's see...three MacGuffins, the ability to travel between a healthy world and one in ruins, traversing temples in order to unlock the powers of seven people in order to beat a man who turns out to be Ganon...wait a minute, I'm playing A Link to the Past in 3D, aren't I? Sure, the sages have names, while the maidens don't really, but the parallels are uncanny. The plot is as shallow as the characters who drive it, and is even a blatant ripoff of a previous game. There is nothing particularly deep about it, nothing that makes you think. Especially compared to the titles before and after it (Link's Awakening and Majora's Mask), the story is sub-par.
Well, actually I find the story kinda interesting and on my first playthrough, I always wondered why Shiek steped away from Link after teaching him a song. You would not believe how shocked I was when I found out Shiek was actually Zelda.
And actually, while the stories may be similar, they are actually two different stories. OoT was once thought to be ALttP's BS, but now it is not so. And also, did you start off as a Kokiri in ALtttP? No. Did you get Spiritual Stones from Kokiri, Gorons, and Zora in ALttP? No. Did Ganon get sealed away in the Evil Realm at the end of ALttP? No. Did Ganondorf have the complete Triforce in OoT? No.
My point is, that just because they're similar stories doesn't mean one is a blatant rip off of the other.
One more quick point: while the music was amazing, much of it first appeared in A Link to the Past. It's just more famous because the N64 sound capabilities made it sound better. And yes, Ocarina still has many strengths, but that brings me to my next point.
Ocarina of Time was revolutionary. I won't deny that. However, that does not mean it will always remain that way. Let's say that a filmmaker comes up with a great movie. The movie is a groundbreaking success. People love it, and it sets the standard for movies from then on. Still, it's this filmmaker's first film. Does everyone get everything right the first try? No. The movie will naturally have flaws. Of course, as the filmmaker grows, he'll be able improve his abilities. He'll gain more experience and maturity. Just because his first film is groundbreaking and revolutionary, it doesn't mean that he'll never make anything better. Sure, some of his later work might not measure up (M. Night Shyamalin is often said to have declined with every film), but chances are he'll be able to pull off another masterpiece. Hey, guess what. I was actually talking about Zelda there in that overly long metaphor. Sure, it's not a movie or anything, but the same thing applies. Just because Ocarina of Time was revolutionary, it doesn't mean that it'll always stay the best in the series.
I actually agree with this 100%. People need to take OoT off that darn Golden Goddess pedestal of theirs and actually give a chance for other titles to shine in their fullest, not caring whether or not it surpasses OoT. And really, if they think their favorite game of all time were to get surpassed wouldn't they like it? Because it's even better?
Some examples of how Ocarina has been improved on. Majora's Mask took the game engine, centered it more around time (like Ocarina should have been in the first place), allowed Link to change into many forms to traverse the world, added new songs, and improved the graphics and gameplay a bit. On top of that, it put it in a new, mysterious world, based the game around the characters (and gave them humongous depth), and put in hugely deep themes and messages.
Oracle of Ages took the time system Ocarina botched so badly and made it work how it was supposed to. (Ages and Seasons also took the game engine of Link's Awakening and made it work better, but that's neither here nor there.)
The Wind Waker again added depth, created new, amazing songs based off of old classics, gave the few sages you met more depth, and gave Ganondorf a motive. Personally, I find Wind Waker one of the strongest games in the series, though it definitely had flaws of its own.
Twilight Princess was a bit weaker, but it had better graphics. Other strong points are stronger characters and the best, most realistic temples in the series (I can imagine the temples being actual buildings, as opposed to just elaborate labyrinths there for no reason).
I actually agree with a lot of this. The only thing I don't agree with, however, is the graphics. The N64 Expansion Pak or whatever it was wasn't available at the time/the game was too far into development for it to be adequetely designed for.
Anyway, as you can see, Zelda has been developing past Ocarina of Time. Yes, Ocarina of Time was revolutionary and changed gaming. That doesn't meant that gaming can't change anymore. Seriously, Ocarina was a fairly weak game in a lot of ways, and just doesn't hold up to modern standards. At its time it was the pinnacle of gaming, yes, but other games have, quite frankly, aged much better.
Agreed. Other games have aged better, but I find it to be an incredible game still. I also agree that for it's time OoT was the pinnacle of gaming but it can get better.
I'm not saying Ocarina of Time is bad. It is a very good game. I'm honestly just really, really tired of it always being heralded as the best game of all time. I think that other games have taken its concept and improved on it. This is a bit of a personal gripe I'm going into now, but I'd just like to ask you to think a bit about it, not letting the bias of the hype affect your opinion of the game. I'm not telling you to be jaded and critical like I am, but it's really easy just to assume something is good because someone says so. Please, try not to just accept the opinions of others at face values.
Amen dude, amen. Let this be a lesson to us all: just because a game is considered the best yet doesn't mean that no game will ever be better. We must be open to improvement, and accept it. After all, wouldn't you like an installment to a famously terrific series that's better than the one that is considered the best of it's era? I know I would.