The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is in every way an updated version of the 13 year old classic. Back then, the technology allowed Link and Hyrule to enter into a new dimension built by polygons and textures. In some ways it's the same now, when brand new technology allows Ocarina of Time 3D once again adds a new dimension to the famous legend.
That's also why I decided to move straight towards the Zelda-booth during Nintendo's big event in Amsterdam - it's after all a series that Nintendo could have published as toilet paper and they would still get my money. Fittingly enough, it would also become my first meeting with the 3DS and its new functions.
Our hero's childhood village, Kokiri, appears on the screen and surprises me with how clear it looks. I've yet to turn on the 3D-effect and the graphical updates that Nintendo have done to the Lego-blocks from the original become apparent. The green environments are sharper than they've ever been, the foliage doesn't look like green mud anymore and Link himself is much more detailed. It's not as impressive as some of the other, more graphically advanced 3DS-titles, but it still looks wonderful. I slowly turn up the extra dimension and is surprised once again.
The stereoscopic 3D-effect is much more subtle than I had expected. The environments don't jump out towards me; a instead it's like the small screen suddenly opens up and invites me to explore. The Elf village receives an added depth, and the small fairies slowly float out of the screen.
Even if the difference isn't that big with the 3D-effect turned on, it certainly makes the game more inviting. The effects that pop out of the screen are held to a minimum and are used to put focus on smaller details. If you light a torch the fire appear to burn out of the screen, and dialogue floats in front of the picture. It's hardly the same jump that the series took when it went from pixels to polygons. It's more of an evolution that adds a certain presence to the game.
The controls work without much problems. The small analogue stick, which you use to control Link, works with more or less the same precision as in the original. It only took me a few minutes before I easily dodged the attacks from meat eating plants and proceeded to cut them into pieces. The many buttons from the Nintendo 64 controller have translated well to the hand-held console - especially compared to the Nintendo DS version of Super Mario 64, that had a lot of problems with its precision.
Nintendo can absolutely be criticised for simply re-releasing a game, which from a gameplay perspective is identical to the original - down to which blocks that need to be moved or which torches that need to be lit. But from what I saw, this is a re-release of one of the most important console games in history. Just like the forest fairies beckon you to explore the Kokiri forest, I was pulled into this new vision of Ocarina of Time. A vision of a game that certainly make me want to experience a whole new version of a gaming experience that I've always loved.