Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D • Page 2

Once Epona time.

These aren't selling points, of course. Nobody's going to rush to the shop for Ocarina because they hear it won't give them a headache. Instead, Nintendo's hoping a few tweaks might win you around.

Tweaks like aiming. Switching between the normal camera and first-person mode locks you to the ground and allows you to look around by moving the 3DS itself. It's handy for scoping out secret areas in complex dungeons (if you're ever stuck in a 3D Zelda, the first thing you should always do is check out the ceiling) and it's also your means of sighting up arrows or other projectile weapons.

Chances are you're pretty skilled with the 3DS by this point, and it's not that hard to move the unit around in swift little arcs without breaking up the 3D effect. Even when you do, the gyro stuff is still a nice touch and a thoughtful addition.

Elsewhere, newcomers may be pleased - and old hands might be horrified - to see that an optional hint system has been implemented. A range of Sheikah Stones have now been scattered around Hyrule, and when Link crawls inside - they're like little rocky tents - he can access a range of tutorial videos and visual FAQs to get him past the challenges ahead.

The game dresses them up as visions of the future, and the whole thing could become a kind of sixth sense for weaker players. As a card-carrying weaker player across a wide range of activities, I can't help feeling that it would be handy to have this sort of thing in real life.

Elsewhere, there's a boss rush mode, apparently, and the chance to play through either the original Ocarina or the reconfigured Master Quest mode, which is meaner, tougher, and very possibly more badass. There's also the simple pleasure of tackling Link's most taxing adventure with a touch-based inventory and map on the bottom screen, allowing you easy access to weapon switching and progress monitoring. And, of course, there's the 3DS' analogue controller, which moves you through the game far better than you might expect.

Is that, along with some very pretty cover art, enough to tempt you into picking up a classic from the past instead of a brand new Zelda, designed from the start with the 3DS in mind? I'm still making my mind up: partly because of all those Ocarina cartridges and disks tucked away in the living room, and partly because I'm not sure how well a vast, intricate, time-travelling epic like this is suited to the open-and-shut world of handhelds.

But maybe it's not for us, anyway. Maybe it's for the next generation. The generation that has yet to explore the Water Temple or take Epona over the hedges at Lon-Lon Ranch, that has yet to find that cow, all alone, in that gloomy cave, or chase that giant Poe across Hyrule Field. It's their game now - or at least it has the chance to be. I can't wait to see what they make of it.

"I pretended my garden was a huge dungeon, and the stick I had with me wasn't a stick any more, but a sword."

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