Nostalgia 101: The Wonders of the 90's: Old video games are still favorites
Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 8, 2013 22:09
Welcome to the year’s first installment of Nostalgia 101, which I now realize is silly because UConn uses a four-digit numbering system for classes, but moving on.
This is a column that talks about the things we love about the 90’s, where things have slipped, and what things have maintained well.
One of my favorite topics is “old” video games.
I thought this week I would start off with, probably my favorite game of all time, ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.’
Released in 1998, the game was a huge step in the right direction for RPG’s. Being one of the first games released in a 3D world for the N64, along with Super Mario 64, which was released two years earlier, the game is massive in respect to other games of its time and before.
Earlier Zelda games, even the original, had enormous maps but almost everything was two-dimensional. This three-dimensional world was massive, largely interactive, and gave the game a whole new element to play with.
Rooms and dungeons were no longer just an arrangement of square rooms but had organic shaped rooms with multiple levels, under water swimming, flying enemies, multiple camera positions.
Some of the other major developments were first-person item use, horseback riding, more creative boss fights and dungeon puzzles.
Since the release of the game, popularity and fandom have sky rocketed and the franchise has since released 11 games.
The most recent, Skyward Sword, was a beacon of light amongst the hoard of disappointing games for the Wii.
Now, when I said Ocarina of Time was my favorite of the games, I meant it, because it holds a certain amount of nostalgia. But Skyward Sword, is also close.
The developers did a great job of utilizing the Wii controls to make new elements for the game. Swinging the sword, swimming, free falling, item use, mini games, harp playing, flying on your giant bird all make use of the Wii’s motion sensor controls.
I think my favorite use, besides the sword, which mimics the players hand movement, was the bow and arrow. The player can point with the Wiimote at the target and press the C button on the Nunchuck and draw it back like it was on a string, then release the button to shoot.
The Zelda franchise, in short, doing it right. But what really makes Ocarina of Time so special is how far it was ahead of its time. Not only were the maps huge and complicated, but there was so much to do.
Zelda games have always incorporated side-quests. Most of them were always just “go here and talk to this person,” which there is plenty of in the game, but the collecting sides quest was much more interesting with the 3D map because things could be hidden much better than in 2D maps.
I could probably go on about this game for hours, so if you enjoyed this, or hated it because you think I have it all wrong, feel free to tweet at me @GiGantos because we should probably be friends.