Ok, so I'll start off my MCM Expo London Comic Con 2011 coverage by going over the first thing I stumbled onto. Friday 27th May, dubbed the VIP day, was the quietest day by far, probably because it was limited to press, industry reps, a handful of celebrities, and those people who'd booked weekend tickets well in advance. As a result once I'd made my way through the press office, I didn't have too much trouble navigating around the various stalls, booths, and stages, because there were relatively few people around.
On a tip given to me by our very own editor, Matt , I endeavoured to make the Nintendo stall my first point of call so that I could have a quick peruse of their wears. I did however, get stalled on the way by the allure of Warner Games' statue of Christian Bale's Batman, accompanied by a rather flash flatscreen showing the Arkham City trailer, but realising they weren't showing anything I hadn't already seen I hopped the short distance to Nintendo's area.
Once there, the biggest booth caught my attention because, for a quiet day, it was packed with people. A quick glance at the banner above the booth quickly explained why, these were 3DS' all showing off Ocarina Of Time 3D! After a brief wait, during which I glanced around the various people who'd come in full cosplay dress, one of the little handhelds became free and I jumped at the chance to have a go.
After I'd gotten over my initial excitement of finally holding a 3DS in my hands and gawping at the impressive 3D featured in the game, although you'd be forgiven for sliding the 3D off and moving into familiar 2D because it's just as enjoyable, I launched myself into things.
There were three playable sections to the game: Kokiri Village, Inside the Deku Tree, and a boss fight with Gohma.
Just like the original version of the game, Kokiri Village plays out like a playground, complete with tutorials, so you'll be able to walk around talking to people whilst getting to grips with the controls. There are bushes to slash, rocks to throw, targets to hit with your catapult, items to buy, ladders to climb, and even a quick shield walkthrough. Navi, Link's personal fairy, is also back and she'll help you if you get stuck with things or need to target a character in order to speak with them. My only criticism about this section of the game is that some of the advanced moves are pretty hard to master, or even perform altogether, which I found deeply frustrating, especially considering I was doing exactly what was written on the signs. Luckily, the basic controls are fairly intuitive and are more than enough to deal with the majority of situations you'll come up against.
When you're ready to move on, you simply jump across a tranquil stream and head off on your way to see the Deku Tree. However, things aren't quite as easy as they seem when you venture onto a narrow pathway and a familiar enemy raises it's head; the Deku Baba. A few quick slices, or fired Deku seeds later, and the evil plant is vanquished, following which I found myself rewarded with a Deku stick before I resumed my trek.
Encountering the Deku Tree for the first time activates a brief conversation, before you venture into his inners for a quick peek at the first dungeon of the game and the second section of the demo; Inside The Deku Tree. You need to tread carefully here because there are Skulltulas and Giant Skulltulas crawling around, ready to jump out on you at any moment, but do make sure you have a good look around because then you'll find the illusive Gold Skulltula, which'll reward you with a gold token if you manage to defeat them.
Again there are nice bits of familiar gameplay in this section of the game, such as unlocking doors by lighting Deku sticks so that you can carry fire from a burning torch to one that's gone out, and climbing vines to access hard to reach areas.
It was at this point that I noticed the 3DS' touch screen coming into its own as it displays tabs for the Map, Link's Gear, and Item Selection, which are all easy to navigate. You can equip two items at a time whilst in the Item Selection tab, both of which can easily be switched between the X and Y button, whilst Link's various costumes, swords, and shield can be jiggled around in the Gear tab.
Last but not least are the dungeon rewards. I quickly discovered the large chests bearing the compass and the dungeon map, which are invaluable tools for finding your way around, seeing as the map showed me the rooms I'd already been in, whilst the compass quickly got me to the final chests, one of which held the Boss key and you know what that means . . . I was about to fight Gohma!
Gohma is of course, a giant spider looking sort of creature. Also, it almost goes without saying where this boss' biggest weakness is; look at that giant eye! To start with she'll stick to the ceiling, so whip out your slingshot and hit her in the eye to make her crash to the ground, at which point you need to jump forward and slash away at her eye whilst she's stunned. Just repeat this process and eventually, you'll defeat her and receive some extra health.
Seeing as she's the first boss in the game, Gohma's extremely easy to defeat, but I was assured by a Nintendo rep that they do get harder as the game goes on!
Well, that about covers it! To be honest, there aren't that many differences between the 3DS version and the N64 version, except that this time around the game's in your hands rather than being on your TV screen. As a result, it's a wonderfully nostalgic experience that transports those of us who've played, and indeed love, Ocarina Of Time back to our childhoods! Plus, it'll introduce a whole new generation of gamers to a game that frequently appears on people's Top Ten lists! But is this enough to justify spending full price on a rehash of a 14 year old game, even if it is one of extraordinary quality? I've got to say yes because I can't think of any games in the 3DS' line-up that come close to touching Ocarina Of Time, and it's actually got me seriously considering entering the realm of handheld consoles, which I've avoided in the past because I couldn't justify spending a large sum of money on something I'd lose interest in fairly quickly.
Ocarina Of Time 3D should be with us on 17th June!