Versus: Link to the Past vs Ocarina of Time

So I reported today on the slew of Q2 Nintendo release dates, including Ocarina of Time 3DS on June 19, and it got me thinking about Zelda’s history. Some people, mostly young people, will tell you Ocarina of Time is the best game ever. These people are wrong. Also, possibly high. Ocarina of Time isn’t even the best Zelda game ever.

That title belongs to A Link to the Past. Even Link’s Awakening might beat Ocarina on a good day. I’ve tried to go back to play Ocarina of Time again, on more than one occasion. While it’s still a fantastic achievement in game design and bringing the Zelda concepts into 3D, it really doesn’t hold up to memory once you see past the wallpaper. All those characters? Annoying side-quests. The epic sense of scope? Actually a pretty tiny hub world. And don’t even get me started on the visuals.

This is a bold statement, so I’ll go on and say it: Link to the Past is very nearly a perfect video game. It’s the pinnacle of Zelda design, and Nintendo has yet to top it. It’s impeccably crafted from start to finish, with clever puzzles and a story that gets out of its own way. Unlike Ocarina, you can play LttP today and enjoy it just as much as the day it came out.

Now, I’ll probably buy the Ocarina of Time remake. I’ve been meaning to replay it, and maybe the visual overhaul and tweaked dungeons will help the medicine go down. But the best? Zelda, please.

I’ve been in the mood to play Link to the Past again, and thinking about this reminded me that I have it in GBA form. I popped it into my DS, and damn that’s some good Zelda.

  • The Arcade Edition is surprising to no one, but at least there’s a downloadable option this time.
  • On the other hand, Capcom is remaking games that are less than a year old now? I know they want to squeeze every cent out of Dead Rising 2, but c’mon guys, this is a weird move.
  • A bit too little, too late for Fallout: New Vegas. I loved the game despite its stability issues, but it really would’ve been nice if the game didn’t crash a dozen times or so on the final mission back when I was actually playing it.
  • I have to hand it to Valve, they know how to hype Portal 2. And it’s working, I’m pretty excited now. Glad I pre-ordered, too. Valve is giving away the Steam version with the PS3 copy, and Amazon is offering both $5 off and a $20 credit. So basically, you’re getting both versions for $35. It’s kind of hard to complain about that.
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One thought on “Versus: Link to the Past vs Ocarina of Time

  1. Scott says:

    I’d probably even go so far as to say the best 3D Zelda is either Majora’s Mask or that one where he’s a wolf. :-p

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