The last time I played this game was around 7 years ago when I wanted to have a quick game before I put my N64 away for a while (to stop it distracting me during my studies.)
So just before Christmas 2013, I decided to dig out the old N64 and play my favourite game from the beginning. Years after playing this game through and through, I am easily drawn back to explore the world I left behind so many years ago and the first thing I notice now as a writer and an avid gamer is how impressive the rediscovery and the sense of pure nostalgia brings me. In fact, it is almost unexplainable. This game, during my childhood and definitely during my adolescence, brought excitement and enjoyment on so many different levels, it allowed me to get lost in a make believe world and it allowed me to imagine a world different to ours but it is only now that I can truly appreciate the effort gone into creating such an astonishing piece of gaming history. Although, to be honest, I have similar feelings from many other games that the N64 brought us (Super Mario 64 and of course, Banjo and Kazooie) Shigeru Miyamoto and his fellow designers at Nintendo are some of the most innovative game designers we may have ever seen. Before the beauty of PlayStation 1, 2, 3 and now 4 and before the X-box, we had Nintendo and what a console we had.
I received the N64 on my ninth birthday in 1999 and remember ripping apart the wrapping paper and gasping at the brightly coloured box with pictures of Zelda and Mario etched on it in gaming stills. The first game I received with this console was Super Mario 64, and although this was a definite deep favourite of mine, it was only when I received The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time later on, was I thrown into a world of astonishing beauty.
…Zelda was the first game to break through the “polygon ceiling”…
Games today, such as Fall Out and Skyrim each have beautiful landscapes for you to get lost in, to find unique places, meet strange beings and enjoy the travelling entity the gaming offers, yet before this, before HD televisions and high-spec gaming sets that helped us appreciate the landscape behind Fall Out and Skyrim, we had The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which truly was a blueprint of games today.
I recently read a review site where people complained of “poor graphics” and “boring gameplay” but they are reviewing through eyes of today where they have the luxury of the PS4 and X-box One. What they struggle to realise is that this game was by far the blueprint of games similar to Zelda today, such as Fall Out and Skyrim. It makes me so insanely happy to know that this game is cited as “The Best Game of All Time” by many. Zelda was the first game to break through the “polygon ceiling” as franchises just couldn’t create 3D correctly or in a way that matched the expectations of Zelda, and because the makers of Zelda stood at such a vantage point where for example, firing an arrow through a lit torch so it sets on fire and ignites an extinguished torch at the other end of the room or picking up the Ocarina and making music so your horse would arrive by your side and then have the ability to ride the horse in such a realistic way that it felt like first person. No 3D game did that in 1998, which is why it was the pinnacle of the new revolution. The game is enormous even today, even to children who haven’t played the original. They still know what Zelda is and the story behind it thanks to the DS but the in-depth side-quests that can easily detract you from the story is what set up newest games today. It was the blueprint and this is why it is my favourite game of all time.
…we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Nintendo…
So as I played Zelda, I imagined a nine-year-old me playing this game for the first time and as if I was really Zelda and felt happy that children of today have the luxury of amazing graphics and brilliant gaming consoles but the reality is, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Nintendo and the gaming history they created and without Nintendo, I certainly wouldn’t enjoy gaming as much as I do today.