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Zelda dev won't quit until he bests Ocarina

Zelda dev won't quit until he bests Ocarina

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is still one of the most acclaimed and popular games ever made.

Eiji Aonuma, one of the lead developers on Ocarina of Time, won't quit developing for the franchise until he finds a way to better what many claim is one of the best games ever made, admitting that he's become obsessed with improving the series.

"I'm happy that a title I worked on some time ago remains highly praised to this day, but that also shows how none of the subsequent games in the series have surpassed it," Aonuma said in an interview with Nintendo Everything.

"As someone who is still working on the series, I have mixed feelings about that. Because I haven't yet surpassed it, I can't quit. Surprisingly, that simple motivation may be the reason I continue to work on the Zelda series."

"Ocarina of Time was the first title I worked on, and I was continuously tackling challenges every day during its development, so I think this is the title I feel I impacted the most," said Aonuma.

Ocarina of Time is still one of the most acclaimed and loved games ever made, still topping charts on sites like Metacritic and Gamerankings.

Personally, though I didn't play it at the time, I never saw what all the fuss was about to be honest. It's a definitely a very good game, but to me the Zelda series has always been a bit formulaic and samey. Give me Deus Ex or Beyond Good and Evil anyday.

Am I missing something? Which is your favourite Zelda game? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

32 Comments

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docodine 27th November 2008, 10:17 Quote
I much preferred Majora's Mask, the atmosphere was just a lot cooler.

He already topped Ocarina of Time anyway, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were both superior, in my opinion.
CardJoe 27th November 2008, 10:36 Quote
Twilight Princess?! I've had more fun locked in a toilet cubicle counting other peoples nuggets.
Jordan Wise 27th November 2008, 10:40 Quote
Ocarina was just one of those flawless games, miles ahead of anything that was available at the time. They'll never fo something that good again, and can't with that franchise, its been reused too much now.
TomH 27th November 2008, 10:40 Quote
Ocarina of Time is certainly up there with Deus Ex, in my opinion. Just for different reasons.

But then I still hold Gunstar Heroes (Megadrive) as one of the best games ever, too, so what do I know. :)
Jamie 27th November 2008, 10:43 Quote
What helped make OOT amazing was the way introduced Hyrule Field, you go from playing in this small enclosed space to suddenly being given a massive (not so big by todays standard) landscape to explore.

Majora's mask was a badly thought out sequel. The time reset feature made the story and gameplay fragmented. I didn't find it as compelling to play and the end was a little bit of a let down.

Wind Waker had a refreshing feel with the new graphics style but the method of exploration (on the king of red lions) was boring. Whilst the world was large, it was in essence made up of very few small islands.

I've not had a chance to play Twilight Princess.
p3n 27th November 2008, 10:46 Quote
I was a SEGA kid :<
theevilelephant 27th November 2008, 10:50 Quote
i loved OOT, its the reason i still have a a n64 somewhere :)
itazura 27th November 2008, 10:57 Quote
i hated ocarina, so the fact he feels he hasn't beaten it for quality yet amuses me greatly.
Florian 27th November 2008, 11:54 Quote
"A Link to the Past" will probably remain my favorite.
CardJoe 27th November 2008, 11:56 Quote
I have this fantasy that one day Nintendo will release a Zelda game and that when I come to review it I'll open the manual and it'll simply say "See the last game for details"
whisperwolf 27th November 2008, 12:01 Quote
I have this fantasy that in the next Zelda game I won't need a hookshot to get over an annoying gap i see 10 minutes into the game and know i wont be able to cross for another 10 hours, after i've found a bow, blue suit, shiney sheild, metal boots oh and a stick. Its never going to happen is it. :(
Bauul 27th November 2008, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
Ocarina of Time is certainly up there with Deus Ex, in my opinion. Just for different reasons.

But then I still hold Gunstar Heroes (Megadrive) as one of the best games ever, too, so what do I know. :)

Gunstar was an AWESOME game. Flamethrower + Lasergun = LIGHTSABER ACTION!
Brooxy 27th November 2008, 12:04 Quote
I can remember when I used to go on a music forum, I compiled a list of the greatest game ever thread, where people first nominated favorite games, and then they were put into a poll competition, for people to vote on.

Zelda OOT came at the top, although I can't remember what second and third were...one day I might do something like that here, if the mods permit it - although it would take some time to plan it...
kenco_uk 27th November 2008, 12:11 Quote
Perhaps Bit-Tech could get a sponsor involved and offer a prize for whoever guesses the top 3 correctly? Doesn't have to be much but it'd be enough to motivate people to vote for their favourites.
adamc 27th November 2008, 12:27 Quote
OoT is an amazing game, but personally I preferred Link's Awakening - yes, on GameBoy Classic...
Mentai 27th November 2008, 12:29 Quote
The conversion of all the major Nintendo titles to 3d, with the quality of the studios behind them and the rampant fanboys, were all considered great games. They had formulas that worked magnificently in 2d and translated them nearly perfectly. It was fantastic. Now what? There is no great divide to really overcome. You can't make a Zelda game that is as good as OOT, because quite simply, it can't advance further than every other game out there without a new frontier to advance to.
The mechanics in zelda games are honed to perfection, they are brilliant, and are good enough to bring back fanboys sequel after sequel. But simple iterations will never win any prizes, zelda imo will never be great again. I don't think anything Nintendo offers really will be for hardcore gamers.
I understand now why they are considered to be "kiddy". Even though their games are great, and it's brilliant to grow up with them, you grow out of them not because of the "childish" content, but because they never truly change. I used to love Nintendo, now I'll only have a reason to buy their products when I have children, it kinda makes me sad... but then at least I'll always have an idea of how to get past that bit in the latest Zelda that my kid is stuck on :)
Artanix 27th November 2008, 12:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian
"A Link to the Past" will probably remain my favorite.

Definately :D


But tbh, its like the old Final fantasy argument... most people will say VII was the best and has never been topped, to be honest, half the time its never about how good the game is.. but more to do with timing it seems. Granted the game has to be polished and good, but to make it one of those "perfect" is luck it seems (to me anyway).
Veles 27th November 2008, 12:51 Quote
I agree with you Joe, while I did really enjoy OOT when it was released, I played it on the GC again a few years ago, and I just couldn't figure out why people thought it was the best game ever. Same with Goldeneye. It's just all rose tinted glasses, neither game has aged very well at all.
Joeymac 27th November 2008, 13:41 Quote
Goldeneye and Ocarina probably were the best games I've played, nothing like them was available on a console at that time. They have their faults, Goldeneye is slow as ass now. But Ocarina was the first visually epic game, that's why it was/is regarded the greatest game. Goldeneye made a leap in multiplayer gaming. How many of us got our friends round and played that game for days on end.
Veles 27th November 2008, 15:20 Quote
That's my point, at the time they were great. I rate games on how good they are now, not how good and revolutionary they were when released. There are many games out there that stand the test of time, IMO, OOT and Goldeneye aren't among them. Greatest games of all time they are definitely not, they have been beaten many times over and I find it truly bizarre how they keep popping up on the top 10 games of all time lists.
TomH 27th November 2008, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Gunstar was an AWESOME game. Flamethrower + Lasergun = LIGHTSABER ACTION!
Hehe.. Dual flame was the winning combo, and rather over-powered comparatively, but still.. I find it relatively satisfying to go Fixed Shot and melee my way through it. :D

Yes, the N64 is still on my desk, connected to my monitor, and my Megadrive's connected to a 14" tele on the desk behind me. Geek geek geek.
Joeymac 27th November 2008, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
That's my point, at the time they were great. I rate games on how good they are now, not how good and revolutionary they were when released. There are many games out there that stand the test of time, IMO, OOT and Goldeneye aren't among them. Greatest games of all time they are definitely not, they have been beaten many times over and I find it truly bizarre how they keep popping up on the top 10 games of all time lists.

Well if I was doing an "all time" list then I would have to rate games on how much I enjoyed playing them, when I played them. I enjoyed those games far more than I have more recent games. The fact that I was 15 and the fact that I'm not going to play through them again means that for the rest of my life they will rate highly on my "best ever" list. You judge the subjective playing experience relative to your other playing experiences. You don't calculate the best games by looking at the minutia of view distance, texture detail and level size of games 10-15 years vs now.
Besides if you judged games on the length of time you played them for.. then OOT and Goldeneye would be in my top 5 easy. Nowadays I get my lovefilm rental, play whatever it is for 5 or 6 hours and send it back. Back in the N64 days I might have played for 5 or 6 hours a day for a couple of days a week... and still be happily playing them a month or so later.
Aside from the historical significance of a game, the lists on websites will always have the great games from 10-20 years in the past due to ages of the people making the lists up.. who in their 20-30's will remember playing those games when they grew up. How is that bizarre?
dr-strangelove 27th November 2008, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamc
OoT is an amazing game, but personally I preferred Link's Awakening - yes, on GameBoy Classic...

That game was great, of all the hand held Zelda games that was definitely number one
13eightyfour 27th November 2008, 17:50 Quote
I Loved OOT one of the very few games i really got into, For me it was a little linear Id love to see the next zelda in more of a sandbox environment not completely free roaming to do what you like but maybe a bit like oblivion, massive expanses to cover and it would be nice to have to search for weapons in dungeons, and search for clue as to where to find them. Rather than the another dungeon another weapon to be had formula.
TurtlePerson2 27th November 2008, 18:18 Quote
If they added voice acting to the game it would help the series a ton. The Zelda series was cool when it came out in the 80s and it was still modern in the N64 days, but keep in mind that Half Life came out the same year as OoT. Look at Half Life 2 and compare it to WindWaker. If you took away voice acting from games like HL2 then they would be very silly. Why is it that Nintendo gets away with a lack of voice acting?
evanbraakensiek 27th November 2008, 20:56 Quote
Contextually, 'Ocarina of Time is the best game ever made. It's utterly flawless given that the series has never used voice acting - which was seen as its only flaw. Artistic integrity in the face of continuous over-whelming platform development is something to be admired not sneered at.
Quote:
I rate games on how good they are now, not how good and revolutionary they were when released. There are many games out there that stand the test of time, IMO, OOT and Goldeneye aren't among them.
You're entitled to your opinion, but your logic is fundamentally flawed. Without context you draw unfair conclusions based on limitations which the developers can never contend with. I agree it's often hard to appreciate the cultural and historical significance of a piece of art, but it's by no means impossible.
Cadillac Ferd 27th November 2008, 21:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I have this fantasy that one day Nintendo will release a Zelda game and that when I come to review it I'll open the manual and it'll simply say "See the last game for details"

I think Nintendo could just save time on press releases by just doing that every time they announce a new sequ- err... I mean, game.
Amon 28th November 2008, 00:08 Quote
Five-disc epic, at least, probably around 2010.
C0nKer 28th November 2008, 00:16 Quote
My first Zelda game is Majora's Mask, and for me it ranks up there with HL and HL2. Of course, respective of the time it was released. Later I tried out Ocarina of Time, found it to be just too buggy.

Wind Waker? Although I really like it as well, there's just too much time spent on sitting on the boat doing nothing.

Twilight Princess? Although wasn't bad, it's just a boatload of fetch quests.
Veles 28th November 2008, 03:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanbraakensiek
You're entitled to your opinion, but your logic is fundamentally flawed. Without context you draw unfair conclusions based on limitations which the developers can never contend with. I agree it's often hard to appreciate the cultural and historical significance of a piece of art, but it's by no means impossible.

I don't see it as flawed, I live in the present, if I stick OOT in my GC, I would spend my time thinking that I'd be better off playing Twilight Princess. If I play something like Deus Ex or Fallout, I'm not thinking that there's a better version of this game out there I could be playing instead. I don't see taking into account how well a game has aged in how good it is now compared to another game is in any way flawed. Yes, I can see and appreciate that back in it's time it was pretty revolutionary and groundbreaking, but if I were making a list of my top games of all time, I would make it so that if a gamer had never played a game on my list before and picked it up, they would be able to see the enjoyment in the game and not think that there was a better version of the game they could be playing. If you put OOT in the hands of someone who had just finished Twilight Princess and had never played a game like TP before and you told them it was a much better game, they would not agree with you, even if they could ignore graphics.

That is what it's all about, enjoyment now, the top games of all time isn't the top revolutionary games of all time or the top games of the 90's. What it should be is a list of really great games that someone could look at and go "Oooh, I've not heard of or played that game before, it's made this top games of all times list, it must be good. It's a bit old so the graphics might be crap, but there should be something that puts it above every other game, like really good gameplay or an amazing story". It's not a list for the writers at IGN or whatever to have a reminisce through rose tinted glasses. OOT has nothing to set itself apart from current games apart from fond memories and the fact it was revolutionary back in it's day. Sure, that's nothing bad, but that doesn't make a game that someone can pick up now and really appreciate as being a great game. That's why I believe it should never be at the top of a greatest games of all time list.
johnmustrule 29th November 2008, 19:10 Quote
Ocarina of Time
Half Life 2 -series
Windwaker

I own 50+ games I've only ever completed those three. I think that's the highest compliment I can give them.
bloodcar 3rd December 2008, 09:48 Quote
I've got hundreds (heck, probably thousands) of games under my belt and OoT is nowhere near my top 10 list. Most of my all time favorite games came from the SNES era. A Link to the Past tops my list at number one. It's the only game that I've actually played through more then twice. Heck, I've probably played through it at least a dozen times and I have a copy in my GameBoy Micro that sits in he bathroom.

Majora's Mask was ok and Wink Waker would have been a great game had it not been for the massive fricken ocean. The jury is still out on Twilight Princess though as I don't really remember too much about the game. If Nintendo would bring out a 3/4 top-down style game like ALttP for the Wii, then I would probably stand outside in my underwear for a week just to get it on launch day.
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