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.