Time withers all things, stripping away sepia-toned veneer.
While credit must of course be given for flawlessly reinventing the Zelda formula for three-dimensional gameplay (and in the process changing the series as we know it), as a title viewed on its own merits, Ocarina of Time
hasn't exactly aged all that gracefully. When stripped of its dialogue and backstory, the story that remains is really just basic NES level fluff just to motivate you to do something
. The characters are rather one-dimensional, making it hard to really care about 'em.
Surprisingly, the graphics are one of the things that have indeed aged well. Indeed, this can be said for Nintendo 64 games as a whole when compared to the PSX's library (of which, rather ironically, another undeserved "best game ever," namely Final Fantasy VII
, is one of the all-time worst offenders). The textures are varied and colourful, the character models have still held up well... even the object sprites that are sometimes used look pretty good. The pre-rendered backgrounds for most in-door houses (as well as that still-epic-and-bustling Hyrule marketplace) are pretty much the only sticking point here.
The music is, of course, utterly legendary and I will utter nary a single word of criticism about it. That end credits music WILL choke up even the most jaded gamer with its The World Is Just Awesome
montage. Mr. Kondo, you're the f'in man. That synthesized voice evokes more emotion than the last decade's new music combined.
Indeed, apart from its pioneering gameplay aspects, Ocarina of Time
as a whole is rendered almost entirely inconsequential by Majora's Mask
, which in my estimation does Ocarina
one better in 'most any category. Oh, and don't think, like, "Aah, this must be one of those newfag gamers that have no respect for old school games"... I first played it within two years of its release. And while I have returned to its charms time and time again, I have watched those charms grow ever more faint and fading while other aging games have only grown brighter and brighter. In the end, it's good, but not great. I can't really imagine why, with subsequent titles improving upon every aspect of the game, people still view this as game's be-all-end-all. But like the dude in Kakariko Village says, "oh well."