Time Played: 2 hours
I played this when it came out in November, I've just been slow about writing it up, and also for some reason I haven't gotten back to it since the first night I played it... But! Overall I had good a positive impression of this game and I still plan on going back to it. :) I played through the whole beginning section, and I was just about to head off on my actual adventure (I had my sword and my green outfit and everything).
Art. Not a lot to say on this - the art was just very appealing overall. It's that whole graphics vs. aesthetics conversation. The Wii isn't graphically powerful, so they went with a style that worked beautifully with the capability that they actually had. Smart!
Characters. I'm pretty sure I said the same thing when I wrote about Twilight Princess - overall I felt that every character had a clear sense of personality, which made them memorable. I think the way they handled 'talking' also played into this very well. Seems like an awesome exercise for an audio designer - "give us a sense of who this character is in a short sound that he or she might make" :) I also love what they did in terms of making Zelda an actual character in this game with a real personality - which I've seen mentioned in a couple of articles on the game (although I guess I feel like she had some sense of character in Ocarina as well. ;) )
Swordplay. This seems to be the main gameplay selling point for this entry to the series - they wanted to use the Wiimote to make something as close to 1 to 1 action as possible. The first time I did a diagonal swipe in the training area, I was totally satisfied! I think it takes some amount of learning, and when I had trouble I was never 100% sure if it was my fault or the controllers, but overall I thought it was very cool.
World. When I think about Ocarina, I think about experiencing a sense of place. I'm not far enough into this game yet to really have that impression as strongly, but looking back on it from a few months after playing it, I feel like I still have a good sense of where things were in the world. It was also, like Kokori Forest, the sort of place I'd like to go live. :) Very appealing design.
Flying. I had a LOT of difficulty learning how to fly, and I got super frustrated really fast. This is my most prominent memory of playing the game back in Nov. I just didn't understand exactly what I needed to do to keep my bird from losing energy and flapping his way down into the clouds (which felt super lame!) It took me longer to understand than I expected, and I definitely lost my patience because things weren't going the way I expected them to. I think in the end, it came down to me just not understanding the tutorial.
Possessed Cat. Man! Why did that happen! I hated beating up that cat! I don't care if it was trying to kill me - it felt really really awful to have to fight it. I would like some sort of justification as to why I had to do that. It was messed up!
How Do I Feel About Continuing?:
Like I said, I haven't actually played this since November... so I guess it didn't really grab me the way that I thought it would. I think the main issue is that I didn't use that initial boost of interest to muscle my way through the 'hard part' of actually learning what to do. I stopped right before Link is going to (presumably) leave the floating city and head to the world below, and I'm anticipating quite a bit of learning when I get there - which is what has caused me to feel like I'm 'not in the mood' on the occasions where I've had time to pick it up again.
That being said, I'm still PLANNING on picking it up again. I'm just being super slow....