The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service has just gone live, and early adopters have already noticed an issue with Ocarina water.
The N64 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time the water graphics are more beautiful than the new version of Switch. With its new subscription level, the Expansion Pack, Nintendo Switch Online offers subscribers the ability to play a selection of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games. Among these selected titles is the endless, much appreciated Ocarina of time. NSO + Expansion Pack just went live at the time of writing on October 26, and early adopters have already discovered that the new Switch version of Ocarina of time does not correctly restore its water and fog.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was first released in 1998 and has since had several reissues in various formats, including a full remaster for 3DS. Ocarina of time has been ported to GameCube, and is also available on Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U. None of these re-releases had the same issue with Ocarina of time water and fog like the latest version of the Switch. In addition, fan emulations of this The legend of Zelda are available and have successfully recreated the game without any similar issues.
Twitter user @stopskeletons posted screenshots showing three different versions of the Dark Link mini boss room in the Ocarina of time Temple of Water, where the problem is particularly visible. The screenshots compare the original N64 version to the Wii Virtual Console and NSO emulations. Ocarina of time on the Wii VC is a faithful recreation, although the game is a bit stretched by the wider aspect ratio in this screenshot. The new Switch version of Ocarina of time, however, leaves a lot to be desired in its inability to set the arena atmosphere. the Zelda the water in the game, which is actually a very shallow pool, feels deep and provides no reflections, and the lack of fog removes the visual trick that makes the room look limitless.
Ocarina Of Time graphics issues could be related to the emulator
Much like the NES and Super Nintendo games from Nintendo Switch Online, N64 titles are not portages of classic games, but emulations. According to John Linneman (@ dark1x on Twitter), who is known to do technical analysis on games for Digital foundry, the Switch emulation may be the cause of the lack of fog and transparency effects in Ocarina of time. If this is the case, similar issues may arise in other titles included in the NSO expansion pack. Nintendo’s new membership tier is already too expensive, but the inability to provide a faithful recreation of a game over two decades old is baffling.
It is possible that the problem with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s the water graphics will be fixed in the near future – all it took was a system software update to initiate access to the Expansion Pack games – but it’s quite confusing that these issues even appeared in the first place. Nintendo imitated Ocarina of time before on Virtual Console, and obviously emulation technology has changed between platforms, but you’d think Nintendo would want to be careful not to go wrong with a Ocarina of time emulation, given that it is still one of his most famous titles.
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