- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 7, 2011

A timeless, role-playing classic gets remastered in three dimensions for Nintendo’s latest, dual-screen portable system to dazzle a new generation of adventure seekers in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo, reviewed for Nintendo 3DS, rated: E+10, $39.99).

Our elfin hero Link is still out to stop Ganondorf, an evil king in search of the ancient wish-making relic, the Triforce. However, his quest is now very eye-popping thanks to visuals that make the lands of Hyrule a vivid and immersive masterpiece.

The simple act of a 3D version of Link climbing a 2D spider web (especially when a 3D spider comes down for a fight), watching our hero’s illuminated fairy companion Navi buzz around the screen, battling skeletons that really pop out of the ground or the hero on horseback riding into the sunset will cause Zelda fans to giggle with glee.

Moments to stop and savor, without use of any 3D glasses, range from watching a moon rise over the mountains, admiring the massive Deku tree and wading through rushing streams of water.

Features worth appreciating include accessing hint movies using a Sheikah Stone, a touch-based inventory system (on the lower screen, of course) to quickly access weapons and items, playing the Ocarina to open doors, a Boss Quest to simply fight every big bad guy in timed matches and a Master Quest mode to enjoy a more difficult version of the game after beating the original.

The best trick in the entirely new control scheme taps into the 3DS’ gyroscopic tech, so as a player moves, the handheld moves his onscreen visuals for 360-degree views.

That means easy first-person, motion-sensing targeting with bow and slingshot as well as constantly being entertained by this magical perspective.

My only problem was with the 3DS battery life. I spent hours upon hours reliving this incredible and now fluid adventure, and I hated to stay tethered to a charging cord.

Suffice to reiterate, those who have never played any version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are in for a stunning treat while older gamers will gladly take a nostalgic trip into the three-dimensional realms.

Also, no amount of words could express the sheer joy in the faces of youngsters I watched play the game. The 3D really takes the action to a new, intense level.

Parents should make sure tweens take a break, with the potential for eye strain occurring during the time-consuming experience. I felt a little cross-eyed after about 30 minutes in Hyrule.

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