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Review: 'The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D' improves a classic

The 3D ability looks great, but it doesn't really add much to a game that stands at the pinnacle of video game history.
The 3D ability looks great, but it doesn't really add much to a game that stands at the pinnacle of video game history.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The characters now pop out of the screen with the new glasses-free 3D technology
  • The new control system using the touch pad and motion controls offer a more natural feel
  • Those who played the original will marvel at how well the game has aged
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(CNN) -- "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D" (Nintendo) is a delightful trip down memory lane that brings back memories of the original Nintendo 64 version with a new shine.

Nintendo remastered its 1998 classic for its handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS. Link, Navi and all the other characters now pop out of the screen with the new glasses-free 3D technology.

The original "Ocarina of Time" was praised as one of the best video games ever on Game Rankings and Metacritic, two websites that use gamer input to come up with their scores. With Nintendo's move toward rereleasing its famous, classic titles in 3D, "Ocarina of Time" was pretty much a no-brainer.

The land of Hyrule does seem crisper and brighter than I remember. The maps feel more expansive, even though my mind knows they are the same as in the 1998 version.

All the combat action is the same as in the previous version. Controls are a bit different to account for the touchscreen on the 3DS, and motion control lets Link look around more easily than before.

The movements and button manipulation feel intuitive. I'm not sure if that's because my memory is helping me or the on-screen hints keep pushing me forward.

The touch screen also acts as an inventory screen so you can easily see what in your pack and what items are assigned to which button. Nintendo made good use of the dual screens, with action on top and inventory on the bottom.

If you knew how to solve all the puzzles in the N64 version, you'll breeze through them on the 3DS version. However, if this is all new to you, a new hint system will guide you through some of the tougher tests.

If there were parts you couldn't stand in the original (I love you, Navi, but if you shout "Hey, listen!" one more time...), those are included as well.

The music plays an integral part of the game, and using headphones on the 3DS, it sounds clear and majestic. The themes and musical sound effects are as timeless as anything associated with Mario.

After completing the main story, there is Master Quest: a second quest with revamped puzzled and redesigned dungeons to challenge players.

In reality, it is everything I remembered and more from playing the original "Ocarina of Time."

Ultimately, the major difference between the two versions is the glasses-free 3D ability of the 3DS. Sadly, I ended up playing most of the game with that ability turned off.

The 3D ability is nice and looks great (for as long as I can stand it). But it doesn't really add much to a game that stands at the pinnacle of video game history.

Nintendo took its time and really made this game beautiful, even in 2D. The gameplay is great, and the new control system, using the touch pad and motion controls, offers a more natural feel to the game.

Add in the portability of the 3DS, and you can visit Hyrule whenever and wherever you want it.

This would be a great game for any gamer of any age.

If you remember playing the original, you'll love the journey back in time and marvel at how well the game has aged. If you have a new gamer close by, this is an awesome way to show him or her a classic game that has new controls to make it easy for them to enjoy.

"The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D" is an exclusive title for the Nintendo 3DS handheld console. It is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) due to animated blood, fantasy violence and suggestive themes. It is now available in Japan, Europe and North America and will be available in Australia on June 30.

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