Monday, June 20, 2011

On My Mind: Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake's little details

Over the weekend Nintendo released the the Zelda Ocarina of Time on the 3DS. As mentioned before, I've been pretty disappointed with the trend of ports and remakes in recent years, but I feel that this game may be the proper exception to the rule:

1) The original N64 game is now is now approaching 14 years old. To put that into perspective, Duke Nukem was in production for that entire time! Kids born then might have never experienced such a game, so it make sense to bring it back. More specifically, consider how dated the game looks back then:

Never mind the 3D effects, the fact that the 3DS is a more powerful hardware finally gives the game a proper tribute that stands up to today's visual expectations. Transparency textures, depth of field effect, distance fog, high polygon count and texture detail give this game some life before it's forgotten by time.

2) The 3D feels right. Unlike most of the launch 3DS titles, the 3D effects actually do feel like they enhance the experience. One of the often mentioned issues with "3D games" (games where characters moves in a 3D space) is that players would typically have issues judging with the depth of characters and enemies in the world. Games making the jump to 3D often created other design solutions to avoid such issues (and in Zelda, the Z-Targetting lock-on and Auto-jump). The 3D effect here makes judging attack distance more manageable, and makes the game feel "right".

3) The most important thing about this remake is the incredible attention to detail that's been applied. With the increase in texture detail, Grezzo, the developer of this iteration has been able to fill in details that makes sense within the world. Issues such as item swapping that were in the original game have been smoothed out, and camera control feels so natural that it feels the game was designed for the system from the start.

Do I mind more remakes if they paid as much attention to detail? Probably, for now.

Bonus: Another note for how much attention they paid to this project, see this original N64 commercial:
and compare this to the new 3DS commercial:

It's an awesome shot-by-shot commercial remake.

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