Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

Summer and Sickness

So do you know what's awesome? The end of the semester and coming home for the summer. But do you know what's even more awesome? Getting sick the day after your last final and still being sick half a week later with a high fever of 100.5. If you haven't guessed yet I'm being sarcastic and yes, this just happened to me. With college coming to a close, and having to cram in a bunch of work I should have done earlier in the semester, there were many sleepless nights of writing and occasional studying. My two first blog posts and reviews were the results of some of that work over the last semester, and when I got back I was hoping to get everything set up and start playing a ton of games while just relaxing for a week or two. Instead, I'm here, writing this blog post, feeling so shitty I only just got my computer hooked up after being home for a while, laying around and watching the NBA playoffs all weekend. I guess through all that work my body refused to get sick until I could finally rest after all the work was done. I was so pissed when I started getting that tickle in the back of my throat, the sure sign of what those evil microscopic bastards known as bacteria were going to inflict on my body. Drinking as much c-boost as possible (If you haven't tried that shit, you should. It's really good, and really good for you], I was really hoping to prevent this from happening, but what do you know, I'm sick.

So, instead of playing any games and hanging out with old friends, I'm lying in bed feeling like death. In any case, once I get better I hope to ramp up my blog posts and start posting an entry every other day or so, so hopefully I get better soon. I am hoping to try to record some gameplay for the posts, so if anyone has any tips for simple video capturing that can't be easily found with a google search I welcome it below. I would love to be able to capture in a high resolution, but if that turns out to be too expensive for my poor college pockets, than I'll just have to make due with whatever I can get. I'm not going to say exactly what the posts will consist of, but I will say I am going to start teaching myself some computer programming this summer, and I'm going to be tracking and sharing my progress so others can follow along and maybe teach themselves as well. So if you've ever wanted to teach yourself some basic programming but never knew how, or never had the motivation on your own, hopefully I can help. I'm also going to play a shit ton of games, old and new. So hopefully I get better soon, and I hope you guys enjoy everything I'm going to be doing. Look for my first programming post soon after I get better, and I'm going to keep going with my Greatest Games segment that you can read below.

Greatest Games: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

Yes, in the second installment of Greatest Games I am going to talk about what is widely regarded as the best game of all time, and is almost always one of the first games mentioned when the topic of “favorite” or “best” games comes up, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Right up there tied for first with games like Super Mario Bros. 3 as my favorite games of all time, Ocarina of Time is one of those games I can say has had an enormous impact on my life and my love of games. I can definitely say that if it wasn’t for games like this, I wouldn’t have the love of video games that I currently do.

I didn’t get a N64 until I was about 7 or 8 years old which was around 1998, the year that Ocarina of Time was released, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that me and my friends found out about the amazing adventure that was The Legend of Zelda. My friend had just gotten the game and was telling everyone at school how amazing it was. Eventually, during one of our sleep overs in which we would duke it out for hours in Super Smash Bros. or Golden Eye, I popped in the game and started playing the beginning sequence. I was hooked immediately.

Never before had I played a game with a story that was as interesting as this one. At that time, the most story I ever experienced in a game was Mario trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser. I felt that I was starting on an epic quest unlike any I had experienced before. I now know that Ocarina of Time’s story isn’t the main reason why it is regarded as one of the greats, but I didn’t know that at the time. You see, my experiences with video games went straight from the NES, where I didn’t know story was really a big thing that existed in games, to the N64. Unfortunately I skipped over the SNES years, but I’m going to make up that horrid mistake soon. Anyway, I simply never felt the feeling of grandeur that I got inside the world of Ocarina of Time. I loved the game even before I beat the first temple while at my friends house. I can’t remember if my friend let me borrow the game, or if my parents bought it for me shortly after, but I can remember not being able to put it down when I got my hands on it. I felt a great sense of adventure when I first stepped out into that open world after beating the first temple. I was so excited and every step I took gave me a thrill I had never known before.

It took me hours and hours to beat the Young Link section of the game. I didn’t have the experience with puzzle games that I currently do, so it took me awhile to figure out how to beat the each of the three first dungeons. Nevertheless, each new puzzle to solve, each new boss I beat, and each new section of the story that was revealed to me made me love the game more and more. Now I can easily go beat the first section of the game within a few hours, but back then I was new to this type of game, and figuring out the clever puzzles was something that challenged me in a way that only kept me running back for more. I knew I needed to get three spiritual stones in the three temples, and once I did I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I knew the experience was going to end, I knew that the conclusion to this game I loved would come and I was heartbroken that there wasn’t anything else for me to play through. Then, suddenly, I pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal and was tasked with going through the next 5 temples. I was so excited to realize I had just barely scratched the surface of the game, and for the rest of the weeks it took me to beat the game, I doubt a day went buy in which my friends and I didn’t talk about how to get passed certain puzzles, or about how cool the game was.

In case anyone reading this actually hasn’t played it I won’t talk directly about the rest of the game, but I will say, GO PLAY THIS GAME NOW! Since the time I finally beat it over 10 years ago I have replayed it almost every year. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking, but I still feel that Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda game to date and holds up extremely well for an almost 15 year old game. I hated Wind Waker, thought Twilight Princess was really good but not as good as Ocarina of Time, and have yet to play Skyward Sword or any of the handheld games. I recognize how revolutionary the original NES game was, but going back to that after all these years is much harder, and unfortunately I just don’t have the appreciation for that game that maybe I should. Also, missing the SNES area caused me to miss A Link to the Past, but that awful tragedy will be fixed this summer. So make of my opinion what you will, but Ocarina of time is one of those games that helps define a large period of my life growing up.

Disregarding the impact Ocarina of Time had on my life, it is still an amazing game for the fact that it was the first game to take a 3D open world and introduce gameplay mechanics that never get old. The transition from sprites to a fully realized 3D world for The Legend of Zelda was flawless. To take puzzle designs and gameplay from the previous Zelda game, and not only translate them to the fairly unexplored realm of 3D worlds, but also make those systems so incredibly fun that they stand the test of time and pave the way for future games is a feat that even Nintendo could never have fully predicted. The storytelling, characters, gameplay mechanics, level design, side quests, music, and pretty much every other aspect of Ocarina of Time comes together brilliantly in a way that few other games have ever achieved.

Hopefully no one really needs me to tell them that Ocarina of Time was a great game. I did, however, want to give you my personal experience with what I consider one of my favorite games of all time, and I also really want to encourage anyone who still hasn’t played it, to make the leap and just go play it. Yes, the visuals have not aged very well considering the era it came from, but that is literally the only fault I can bring against the game even today. I can confidently say that even the lacking visuals from 15 years ago should in no way deter anyone from playing this legendary and awe inspiring experience. And if you happen to have a 3DS, you could go buy it right now and not even have to worry about the aging graphics. In any case, if you claim to love games, there is no reason that you shouldn’t still go and play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Also, if you missed it, go check out the first of the Greatest Games posts here, talking about the game that inspired me to start writing these, Journey.

#1 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

Summer and Sickness

So do you know what's awesome? The end of the semester and coming home for the summer. But do you know what's even more awesome? Getting sick the day after your last final and still being sick half a week later with a high fever of 100.5. If you haven't guessed yet I'm being sarcastic and yes, this just happened to me. With college coming to a close, and having to cram in a bunch of work I should have done earlier in the semester, there were many sleepless nights of writing and occasional studying. My two first blog posts and reviews were the results of some of that work over the last semester, and when I got back I was hoping to get everything set up and start playing a ton of games while just relaxing for a week or two. Instead, I'm here, writing this blog post, feeling so shitty I only just got my computer hooked up after being home for a while, laying around and watching the NBA playoffs all weekend. I guess through all that work my body refused to get sick until I could finally rest after all the work was done. I was so pissed when I started getting that tickle in the back of my throat, the sure sign of what those evil microscopic bastards known as bacteria were going to inflict on my body. Drinking as much c-boost as possible (If you haven't tried that shit, you should. It's really good, and really good for you], I was really hoping to prevent this from happening, but what do you know, I'm sick.

So, instead of playing any games and hanging out with old friends, I'm lying in bed feeling like death. In any case, once I get better I hope to ramp up my blog posts and start posting an entry every other day or so, so hopefully I get better soon. I am hoping to try to record some gameplay for the posts, so if anyone has any tips for simple video capturing that can't be easily found with a google search I welcome it below. I would love to be able to capture in a high resolution, but if that turns out to be too expensive for my poor college pockets, than I'll just have to make due with whatever I can get. I'm not going to say exactly what the posts will consist of, but I will say I am going to start teaching myself some computer programming this summer, and I'm going to be tracking and sharing my progress so others can follow along and maybe teach themselves as well. So if you've ever wanted to teach yourself some basic programming but never knew how, or never had the motivation on your own, hopefully I can help. I'm also going to play a shit ton of games, old and new. So hopefully I get better soon, and I hope you guys enjoy everything I'm going to be doing. Look for my first programming post soon after I get better, and I'm going to keep going with my Greatest Games segment that you can read below.

Greatest Games: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

Yes, in the second installment of Greatest Games I am going to talk about what is widely regarded as the best game of all time, and is almost always one of the first games mentioned when the topic of “favorite” or “best” games comes up, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Right up there tied for first with games like Super Mario Bros. 3 as my favorite games of all time, Ocarina of Time is one of those games I can say has had an enormous impact on my life and my love of games. I can definitely say that if it wasn’t for games like this, I wouldn’t have the love of video games that I currently do.

I didn’t get a N64 until I was about 7 or 8 years old which was around 1998, the year that Ocarina of Time was released, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later that me and my friends found out about the amazing adventure that was The Legend of Zelda. My friend had just gotten the game and was telling everyone at school how amazing it was. Eventually, during one of our sleep overs in which we would duke it out for hours in Super Smash Bros. or Golden Eye, I popped in the game and started playing the beginning sequence. I was hooked immediately.

Never before had I played a game with a story that was as interesting as this one. At that time, the most story I ever experienced in a game was Mario trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser. I felt that I was starting on an epic quest unlike any I had experienced before. I now know that Ocarina of Time’s story isn’t the main reason why it is regarded as one of the greats, but I didn’t know that at the time. You see, my experiences with video games went straight from the NES, where I didn’t know story was really a big thing that existed in games, to the N64. Unfortunately I skipped over the SNES years, but I’m going to make up that horrid mistake soon. Anyway, I simply never felt the feeling of grandeur that I got inside the world of Ocarina of Time. I loved the game even before I beat the first temple while at my friends house. I can’t remember if my friend let me borrow the game, or if my parents bought it for me shortly after, but I can remember not being able to put it down when I got my hands on it. I felt a great sense of adventure when I first stepped out into that open world after beating the first temple. I was so excited and every step I took gave me a thrill I had never known before.

It took me hours and hours to beat the Young Link section of the game. I didn’t have the experience with puzzle games that I currently do, so it took me awhile to figure out how to beat the each of the three first dungeons. Nevertheless, each new puzzle to solve, each new boss I beat, and each new section of the story that was revealed to me made me love the game more and more. Now I can easily go beat the first section of the game within a few hours, but back then I was new to this type of game, and figuring out the clever puzzles was something that challenged me in a way that only kept me running back for more. I knew I needed to get three spiritual stones in the three temples, and once I did I had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I knew the experience was going to end, I knew that the conclusion to this game I loved would come and I was heartbroken that there wasn’t anything else for me to play through. Then, suddenly, I pulled the Master Sword from its pedestal and was tasked with going through the next 5 temples. I was so excited to realize I had just barely scratched the surface of the game, and for the rest of the weeks it took me to beat the game, I doubt a day went buy in which my friends and I didn’t talk about how to get passed certain puzzles, or about how cool the game was.

In case anyone reading this actually hasn’t played it I won’t talk directly about the rest of the game, but I will say, GO PLAY THIS GAME NOW! Since the time I finally beat it over 10 years ago I have replayed it almost every year. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking, but I still feel that Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda game to date and holds up extremely well for an almost 15 year old game. I hated Wind Waker, thought Twilight Princess was really good but not as good as Ocarina of Time, and have yet to play Skyward Sword or any of the handheld games. I recognize how revolutionary the original NES game was, but going back to that after all these years is much harder, and unfortunately I just don’t have the appreciation for that game that maybe I should. Also, missing the SNES area caused me to miss A Link to the Past, but that awful tragedy will be fixed this summer. So make of my opinion what you will, but Ocarina of time is one of those games that helps define a large period of my life growing up.

Disregarding the impact Ocarina of Time had on my life, it is still an amazing game for the fact that it was the first game to take a 3D open world and introduce gameplay mechanics that never get old. The transition from sprites to a fully realized 3D world for The Legend of Zelda was flawless. To take puzzle designs and gameplay from the previous Zelda game, and not only translate them to the fairly unexplored realm of 3D worlds, but also make those systems so incredibly fun that they stand the test of time and pave the way for future games is a feat that even Nintendo could never have fully predicted. The storytelling, characters, gameplay mechanics, level design, side quests, music, and pretty much every other aspect of Ocarina of Time comes together brilliantly in a way that few other games have ever achieved.

Hopefully no one really needs me to tell them that Ocarina of Time was a great game. I did, however, want to give you my personal experience with what I consider one of my favorite games of all time, and I also really want to encourage anyone who still hasn’t played it, to make the leap and just go play it. Yes, the visuals have not aged very well considering the era it came from, but that is literally the only fault I can bring against the game even today. I can confidently say that even the lacking visuals from 15 years ago should in no way deter anyone from playing this legendary and awe inspiring experience. And if you happen to have a 3DS, you could go buy it right now and not even have to worry about the aging graphics. In any case, if you claim to love games, there is no reason that you shouldn’t still go and play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Also, if you missed it, go check out the first of the Greatest Games posts here, talking about the game that inspired me to start writing these, Journey.

#2 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

Congrats on reaching the Community Spotlight, although those are way harder to find now than they were before! Sucks that you're sick.

...

I desperately need you to convince me that Ocarina of Time is a great game. Having played it in the last year up through Gerudo Valley, I simply cannot agree that it holds up at all. Its dungeons are bland and simplistic in comparison to its predecessor A Link To The Past, its puzzles are either extremely easy or use one-off logic, its story simply does not compare to the RPGs of the previous generation, or its contemporaries StarCraft, Half-Life, or Metal Gear Solid, its combat is extremely simplistic (if serviceable,) and the open-world is nearly empty, and never even really impressed me when I played the game as a nine-year-old. I drastically prefer Majora's Mask, and I also prefer Wind Waker, although WW definitely has a couple of grievous flaws.

Basically, as a kid I felt that Ocarina of Time was the best game ever made because it was one of about fifteen half-decent games I'd played; most of the games I'd played were licensed throw-away titles or Mario and Sonic games. Now that I've played the games that were made before it and looked at it more critically, I don't understand how anybody can find it a revelation.

#3 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

Congrats on reaching the Community Spotlight, although those are way harder to find now than they were before! Sucks that you're sick.

...

I desperately need you to convince me that Ocarina of Time is a great game. Having played it in the last year up through Gerudo Valley, I simply cannot agree that it holds up at all. Its dungeons are bland and simplistic in comparison to its predecessor A Link To The Past, its puzzles are either extremely easy or use one-off logic, its story simply does not compare to the RPGs of the previous generation, or its contemporaries StarCraft, Half-Life, or Metal Gear Solid, its combat is extremely simplistic (if serviceable,) and the open-world is nearly empty, and never even really impressed me when I played the game as a nine-year-old. I drastically prefer Majora's Mask, and I also prefer Wind Waker, although WW definitely has a couple of grievous flaws.

Basically, as a kid I felt that Ocarina of Time was the best game ever made because it was one of about fifteen half-decent games I'd played; most of the games I'd played were licensed throw-away titles or Mario and Sonic games. Now that I've played the games that were made before it and looked at it more critically, I don't understand how anybody can find it a revelation.

Thanks, I actually didn't even realize I was until you commented :)

Also, in regards to the greatness of Ocarina of Time, I feel like going back to it is completely a personal thing for me. I can go back to it and love it simply because I loved it back then, but I can easily see why others would find it dull. In terms of it being an amazing game for the time though, I think you will find that it did things other games just didn't do, and it basically translated the experience from A Link to the Past perfectly. The puzzles are designed intelligently even though they aren't difficult, but I have never played a Zelda game where they puzzles were all that hard to figure out. The music was amazing working with the crap that they had. If you go back, most N64 games sound like complete garbage, but I think they were able to make music that doesn't sound all that great because of hardware limitations, but is still catchy and memorable nonetheless. I can still hum most of those songs to this day. The combination of the open world wasn't made to have a ton of random bull shit to waste time on, and I actually love that. I hate most open world games today because %90 of the stuff you can do feels like it has little to no significance. Every side quest that was in Ocarina of Time felt like it had a purpose by giving you items to help you within the game. Each side quest was unique enough to make you feel like you were doing something new, and even modern games don't do that. But most importantly I feel that the side quests helped flesh out the world more than many other games at the time. That game is also extremely long even if you know how to rush through it, and it has more than triple the content of something like Wind Waker.

Wind Waker was so insanely boring because half the game was exploring the water and trying to fill out the map. I honestly don't understand how people like Wind Waker when half the game is extremely tedious, and then the other half is composed of 2 or 3 dungeons that are insanely simply. I'm actually with you when it comes to Majora's Mask, and I would probably say I like Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask equally. That game introduced some crazy mechanics that people always seem to bitch about, but I really think the masks made the puzzles unique and fresh even late in the game, and the time limit gives the player more stress and a larger sense of consequence for their actions. At the same time though, Majora's Mask is simply Ocarina of Time with some other elements thrown on top of it because the developers didn't have to do all the work they did for it's predecessor.

Also when compared to its predecessors, I think it actually is one of the better ones. Metal Gear's story is kind of crazy, and some parts of it are fun to play, but I found that game extremely annoying and actually playing it is almost a chore. It honestly wasn't until Metal Gear Solid 4 that I felt the gameplay was actually kind of fun and it didn't completely get in the way of my enjoyment of the insane story. I would much rather to actually PLAY Ocarina of Time, and I find that it's gameplay can even be fun today. Its story isn't anything crazy, but it is enough to make the world feel meaningful. I've never really understood all the obsession over Half Life, so I could have a whole other conversation about that alone. And comparing something like StarCraft and Ocarina of Time is just kind of ridiculous because of how insanely different they are.

I completely understand if people don't think it's an easy game to go back to, but for the time I think there was really nothing like it. If nothing else it's influence on gaming is undeniable.

#4 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: Insanely influential, for sure. Discounting the importance of Ocarina of Time has never been my goal, but I think it's a disservice to games before and after Ocarina to call it one of the best games out there.

The puzzles are mostly rather easy, I agree; it's more the ones like "get the Kokiri sword behind a hole in the wall at the sword training camp because that's definitely not the one place you wouldn't explore until you already had a sword" or "use physics to crash through this web and then never use physics again even though this is the tutorial dungeon" that bother me, and the others just aren't that interesting. The music was definitely excellent. As for translating LTTP, the combat was far more challenging in LTTP and the rooms were often just unnecessarily large and empty.

I really just strongly disagree about your comments on the side quests in Ocarina; aside from the Gold Skulltula and Biggoron Sword sidequests, the only ones that really matter are the ones that give you Heart Pieces and bottles, while there are many that give you "larger capacity containers!" that are inessential, the Fire Arrows/Ice Arrows are inessential and I rarely used them, and then there are all the ones that just give you Rupees. Meanwhile, many games build most of their content on the sidequests; all of Skyrim's best content is in the sidequests, Batman's sidequests are extremely fleshed out, and, in the case of a predecessor, Chrono Trigger's sidequests are practically essential to complete that game.

You really never have to fill out the map in Wind Waker, and you eventually get a teleportation spell that lets you warp from important location to important location. While the sailing is definitely one of the game's downfalls, its highs are so excellent that it's sort of a wash for me. Dragon Roost Temple and The Temple of the Gods are excellent, excellent dungeons, and the "restoring Hyrule Castle" sequence is even better than the first time you pull the Master Sword from its stone in Ocarina.

I say Majora is the better game because its story exists and its dungeons are far more detailed and complex without being labyrinthine like the Forest Temple. Having played the first third of that game again recently, I stand by that claim.

Metal Gear Solid's story is crazy, but at least it has one. There really aren't story beats to Ocarina, it's more a set-up, a sequence of dungeons with some uneven characters standing outside them who have their own small, unfocused stories, and a giant final encounter. I'm not a huge Half-Life fan, but I credit them for creating a first-person shooter that has more characters than the foul-mouthed Duke Nukem 3D and creating a more cohesive narrative in that genre. And I'm only comparing StarCraft's story with Ocarina, and considering they came out in the same year, I think that's fair. Everything that happens in the Sarah Kerrigan arc is far more engaging than any story beats from Ocarina, right? And when you consider the existence of Final Fantasies 4-6, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, and even the more intense story of Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars...

I dunno. There's nothing quite like Ocarina in that it combines a whole lot of elements, and it's helped to redefine modern games. But as a video game? It just seems unfair to stuff that's come since that's combined all of those elements so much more effectively.

#5 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@DoctorWelch: Insanely influential, for sure. Discounting the importance of Ocarina of Time has never been my goal, but I think it's a disservice to games before and after Ocarina to call it one of the best games out there.

The puzzles are mostly rather easy, I agree; it's more the ones like "get the Kokiri sword behind a hole in the wall at the sword training camp because that's definitely not the one place you wouldn't explore until you already had a sword" or "use physics to crash through this web and then never use physics again even though this is the tutorial dungeon" that bother me, and the others just aren't that interesting. The music was definitely excellent. As for translating LTTP, the combat was far more challenging in LTTP and the rooms were often just unnecessarily large and empty.

I really just strongly disagree about your comments on the side quests in Ocarina; aside from the Gold Skulltula and Biggoron Sword sidequests, the only ones that really matter are the ones that give you Heart Pieces and bottles, while there are many that give you "larger capacity containers!" that are inessential, the Fire Arrows/Ice Arrows are inessential and I rarely used them, and then there are all the ones that just give you Rupees. Meanwhile, many games build most of their content on the sidequests; all of Skyrim's best content is in the sidequests, Batman's sidequests are extremely fleshed out, and, in the case of a predecessor, Chrono Trigger's sidequests are practically essential to complete that game.

You really never have to fill out the map in Wind Waker, and you eventually get a teleportation spell that lets you warp from important location to important location. While the sailing is definitely one of the game's downfalls, its highs are so excellent that it's sort of a wash for me. Dragon Roost Temple and The Temple of the Gods are excellent, excellent dungeons, and the "restoring Hyrule Castle" sequence is even better than the first time you pull the Master Sword from its stone in Ocarina.

I say Majora is the better game because its story exists and its dungeons are far more detailed and complex without being labyrinthine like the Forest Temple. Having played the first third of that game again recently, I stand by that claim.

Metal Gear Solid's story is crazy, but at least it has one. There really aren't story beats to Ocarina, it's more a set-up, a sequence of dungeons with some uneven characters standing outside them who have their own small, unfocused stories, and a giant final encounter. I'm not a huge Half-Life fan, but I credit them for creating a first-person shooter that has more characters than the foul-mouthed Duke Nukem 3D and creating a more cohesive narrative in that genre. And I'm only comparing StarCraft's story with Ocarina, and considering they came out in the same year, I think that's fair. Everything that happens in the Sarah Kerrigan arc is far more engaging than any story beats from Ocarina, right? And when you consider the existence of Final Fantasies 4-6, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, and even the more intense story of Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars...

I dunno. There's nothing quite like Ocarina in that it combines a whole lot of elements, and it's helped to redefine modern games. But as a video game? It just seems unfair to stuff that's come since that's combined all of those elements so much more effectively.

You shouldn't be comparing a Zelda game to any RPG, because that's not what a Zelda game is. Of course Chrono Trigger is going to have a more meaningful story and sidequests, but that's basically all the game has to offer. Chrono Trigger's gameplay is basically just there to give you something to do while you play through the story and go through the world. Zelda games are about the actually gameplay, and the story elements are just there to give you a context as to why you are doing what you're doing. The is essentially no difference between the purpose of the story in OoT and MM. The story is simply there to give context and motivation, not something to dwell on like in story focused games like RPGs. It's the same with Mario games. In story is just for context in the platformers, while it is a main focus in the RPGs, and that's just how those genres are. Also, comparing new games like Skyrim and Batman to something almost 15 years old is kind of stupid. Of course those games are going to have better side quest implementation 15 years later, especially when OoT was one of the first polygonal 3D games to do a lot of the things it did, and the fact is, it did them pretty damn well. Also, I can never agree that Wind Waker is good in any way. The sailing and filling out of the map takes way too much time, sucks to play, and even the teleportation doesn't make it much better. You still have to find the damn islands, and then fish for all those stupid fish. Then, if you took all that horrible shit out, the game would probably only be about 4 hours long because there is nothing else to do. The dungeons are the shortest and simplest dungeons in a Zelda game, and if you want story in a Zelda game than Wind Waker isn't where you should look. Yes, the end of the game has some good story elements in it, but that does not make up for all the boring, horrid shit that came before it. Saying Majora's Mask is better than Ocarina of Time is something I can understand, but I will always think of Wind Waker is the worst of all console Zelda games.

#6 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: I was going to discuss each thing you brought up, but I simply disagree with each of your statements and will leave it at that, with one exception. It is not foolish to say that games like Skyrim and Batman are better than Ocarina of Time when people continue to posit that Ocarina of Time is the best game ever made; it must stand the test of time, and if it does not, then it is not the best.

#7 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@DoctorWelch: I was going to discuss each thing you brought up, but I simply disagree with each of your statements and will leave it at that, with one exception. It is not foolish to say that games like Skyrim and Batman are better than Ocarina of Time when people continue to posit that Ocarina of Time is the best game ever made; it must stand the test of time, and if it does not, then it is not the best.

You should go read this to better understand the context to which this blog post is written. Also, just because a game came out in the early polygonal era is no reason to dismiss it, which is essentially what you're saying. Not one single game from that era stands the test of time because of the new technology they were using. Whether it be visually, or mechanically, every single game that came out in that era had to essentially reinvent the wheel in the transition from flat games, and every single game that has come out since would not exist if those games didn't do the things they did. By you're logic, the older GTA games should be considered horrible games because GTAIV iterated on every part of those games to make them better, but without the earlier ones, the newer ones wouldn't exist. By you're logic the first The Legend of Zelda is complete shit because of it doesn't hold up and future games iterate on the concepts to make it better. "Favorite games" is subjective, and the "greatest" or "best" games can only be objective if looked at in the perspective of most influential at the time they came out. Otherwise, everything is still subjective.

#8 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: I wouldn't agree with that, actually. Super Mario 64 is a better-designed set of levels and music than Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, and that weighs in heavily as to where it stands as the "best" Mario game. The original Legend of Zelda does hold up because its art style, music, dungeon design, overworld full of secrets and intense combat are still totally awesome. Tetris is still arguably the best game ever because it has absolutely pitch-perfect mechanics, a pleasant aesthetic, and memorable renditions of classical favorites, and it's an argument that Jeff makes regularly. Final Fantasy IV and VI still arguably have the best stories in Final Fantasy history, and Chrono Trigger still arguably has the best combat in a JRPG today. Just because a game is influential doesn't mean it holds up, and there are enough games that do both that I feel comfortable disagreeing with your assertion that influence is an essential part of quality.

Essentially, I'm arguing Ocarina of Time was never one of the best games ever because there are other games that surpass every one of its elements by quite a bit, but it's also outdated and newer games have surpassed all of those elements. Some games have surpassed most of them at once. Being first to do many of the things it did in 3D is not enough to make it a good game, just an important one. The Jazz Singer may have added sound to film, but it's not the best movie ever, and it's not even close.

But, also, we disagree on the quality of the gameplay and the story, which seems pretty relevant to our disagreement.

#9 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@DoctorWelch: I wouldn't agree with that, actually. Super Mario 64 is a better-designed set of levels and music than Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, and that weighs in heavily as to where it stands as the "best" Mario game. The original Legend of Zelda does hold up because its art style, music, dungeon design, overworld full of secrets and intense combat are still totally awesome. Tetris is still arguably the best game ever because it has absolutely pitch-perfect mechanics, a pleasant aesthetic, and memorable renditions of classical favorites, and it's an argument that Jeff makes regularly. Final Fantasy IV and VI still arguably have the best stories in Final Fantasy history, and Chrono Trigger still arguably has the best combat in a JRPG today. Just because a game is influential doesn't mean it holds up, and there are enough games that do both that I feel comfortable disagreeing with your assertion that influence is an essential part of quality.

Essentially, I'm arguing Ocarina of Time was never one of the best games ever because there are other games that surpass every one of its elements by quite a bit, but it's also outdated and newer games have surpassed all of those elements. Some games have surpassed most of them at once. Being first to do many of the things it did in 3D is not enough to make it a good game, just an important one. The Jazz Singer may have added sound to film, but it's not the best movie ever, and it's not even close.

But, also, we disagree on the quality of the gameplay and the story, which seems pretty relevant to our disagreement.

Everything you are saying about the Mario games and the Final Fantasy games is completely subjective, and that's the difference. So is the original tetris game better than the same tetris game with more mechanics thrown on? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. So what I said still stands. "Favorite games" is subjective, and the "greatest" or "best" games can only be objective if looked at in the perspective of most influential at the time they came out. Otherwise, everything is still subjective. Whether a game "holds up" or not, is completely your opinion or mine. The quality of a game is completely subjective, and the only way to objectively understand quality is by looking at critical reception, and even that may differ from ones opinion. So when you get right down to it, the only true objective thing we can look at is the influence of a game, and to deny Ocarina of Time's influence is just ignorance of gaming history. Whether the game was or is great, is completely subjective, and if you read what I linked to previously you would then understand that subjectivity is the context in which I wrote this.

#10 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: I read what you linked me, and I'm having the argument with you, here, about this game, not about your subjective experience with Journey, which you wrote about in an entirely different fashion and appear to have come from a much closer, rawer, more personal part of you than your declarations about Ocarina of Time's significance and quality.

I do not believe that Ocarina of Time has quality arguments for the best dungeons, best overworld, best story, best combat, or best puzzles in a video game, at the time of its release or since. I do not believe that to be my preferences, I believe that to be fact. Unlike The Witcher 2, a game I hate but still respect as a masterpiece, I cannot hold respect for Ocarina of Time as anything other than "influential." I love what Zelda can be, and as a result I hold a lot of respect and love for the original game, A Link To The Past, Majora's Mask, and the somewhat-flawed Wind Waker. I could get into my issues with Ocarina of Time now, but that would probably best be saved for a blog of its own. Instead, I'll summarize by saying it's not that I think Ocarina of Time isn't what I like about video games, it is simply that the game is kind of a mess.

#11 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@DoctorWelch: I do not believe that Ocarina of Time has quality arguments for the best dungeons, best overworld, best story, best combat, or best puzzles in a video game, at the time of its release or since. I do not believe that to be my preferences, I believe that to be fact.

I stopped reading here; I can't help you if you hold your opinion as fact.

#12 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

@DoctorWelch: Again, to define exactly what is wrong with Ocarina of time's dungeons, story, gameplay, etc. would require a blog of my own, if not a series of blogs, so I chose to keep my opinion simple. At some point, I really do need to get to writing that blog, though, as this isn't the first time it's felt necessary.

#13 Posted by DoctorWelch (2765 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: You should. I would enjoy reading the more in depth reasons you seem to hate a game so many love. I could probably write the same kind of thing about the Half Life games to be honest.

#14 Posted by Dan_CiTi (3524 posts) -

Yeah in retrospect, I can agree Link to the Past makes Ocarina of Time look kind of bad. It has better graphics, controls, overworld, combat, dungeons, puzzles, all that. But hey Z-Targeting. Also the music and the glitches are quite awesome. But besides that, there are plenty of games with better pretty much everything, though Ocarina is very charming and iconic and of course it is utterly staggering how influential that whole Z-Targeting thing is, which not many games can qualify for.