Goomba Stomp’s Hall of Fame is reserved for only those Nintendo titles that can be called absolute classics. Chosen by the crew of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast, these bite-sized capsule reviews reflect what we’ve discussed on the podcast over the past six months. Look for more entries every 25 episodes we record.
Call me the king of hyperbole, but it is my opinion that The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time, is without a doubt, one of the greatest games ever made – a game in which even the tiniest speck can have value and an experience of amazing emotional power. The game is cosmic in scope and mystic in tone; something to experience, think, and talk about for years to come. Ocarina of Time pushed the boundaries of the medium of video games in many ways, but none more important than that of storytelling. You begin the game as a child of the forest. As a young boy, Link is tricked by Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo Thieves to gain access to the Sacred Realm, where he places his evil hands on the Triforce, and transforms the beautiful Hyrulean landscape into a barren wasteland. Link is determined to make things right, so with the help of Rauru, he travels through time gathering the powers of the Seven Sages. By the time you’ve completed the adventure, you’ll be a fisherman, a messenger, a traveling mask salesman, a warrior, a hero – and an adult, having traveled countless miles encountering epic bosses, glorious set-pieces – and solving imaginative puzzles. But what really makes Link’s first 3D outing stand out, is how it affords players time to invest in the quiet moments. Ocarina of Time forces you to think before you act, and to reflect on the choices you’ve made. And yes, players are given choices which will determine your direction moving forward. Time plays an important role throughout the game. As you proceed, time passes, and a quiet day can quickly turn into a dangerous night. Time travel also comes into play, allowing you to jump seven years into the future and back again. From start to finish, it entertains, enthralls and awes. Ocarina of Time reminds us of the power of the medium of video games – and why we love Nintendo so very much. (Ricky D)