Real Talk By: The Wizard
A lot of people missed Majora’s Mask the first time around on Nintendo 64. The game was developed late in the life of the N64, and required the expansion pack. Which meant shelling out nearly $100.00 just to play the game. Those who were fortunate enough to own Majora’s Mask back then, may have also missed it due to sheer frustration. This was not the most user-friendly game, and it took awhile to get into. Some people just gave up and never touched the game again. Some of you may be kicking yourself in the butt for not giving the game a chance back then, and wondering to yourself if you missed out. And some of you may be new Zelda fans who were too young to remember. Luckily for everyone Nintendo has finally released this classic for Nintendo 3DS. It is completely re-worked, and ready for another generation to enjoy again. I have about 15 hours in the game so I thought I would share my experiences with everyone so you know if the game is good, and if you already have the original, if this re-make is worth picking up.
Before we begin, I just want to state that the New 3DS is not needed to play. It is only supported due to the new analog stick which is used to control the camera. Let me tell you now, do not buy a New 3DS just to play this game. You can still control the camera, and it is not needed at all. You are not missing anything, the camera can still be controlled by tilting the 3DS after hitting the camera button. Now on to the review.
Being a re-make I am sure everyone wants to know what the game looks like, so we will just start there. I will just jump right in and say the game looks amazing compared to the original N64 version. The N64 version looked choppy, and blurry. The new version looks great! It is very clear, and smooth. If you played the N64 version you will also remember the game was kind of dark. Not just dark in palette, but also dark in atmosphere. The 3DS version has managed to keep the dark tone to the game. So if you are like me and praised the darker tone, then you should be happy. I have zero complaints about how the game looks. I love what they did with the game. The models and textures look fantastic!
The story of Majora’s Mask is quite different from every other Zelda game before, or after. Majora’s Mask could be considered a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time. That alone should be enough to pull most people in who missed the game originally. There is no Hyrule, the game takes place in an alternate world called Termina. Instead of seeking out Gannon, you are searching for your lost friend. One can only assume this friend is Navi, since the two of you parted ways at the end of Ocarina of Time. We will however leave this up to your own interpretation. The main protagonist this time around is The Skull Kid. A mischievous Imp who steals Majora’s Mask from a salesman and uses it to crash the moon in to Termina. It is your duty to get the mask back for the salesman within this three-day period, before the Skull Kid destroys Termina. Definitely quite a different story compared to every other Zelda games out there, but also quite original. You will be doing a lot of time travel via you guessed it, the good ol’ Ocarina of Time. I like the story a lot. This is not your typical upbeat Hyrulian adventure. Be ready to have feelings of emptiness, and sadness. This is what Majora’s Mask is all about. So if this bothers you, then you might want to look elsewhere.
The gameplay is solid. Expect standard combat like Ocarina of Time, but also be aware there are a lot more side quests to take on. You can spend a lot of time tying up loose ends, playing games, and looking for things. The game is also a bit more challenging in regard to combat. You also change forms depending on which mask you wear and this changes gameplay much compared to what you are used to in Ocarina of Time. The 3DS version does not make use of StreetPass, this may be a blessing, or annoyance depending on if you have access to passing people. I will throw in that the 3DS controls work well though. Even without the New 3DS, I feel right at home, and have had zero issues controlling the game. To all the N64 fan boys and girls out there, believe me when I say not using a used-up, loose, N64 control stick makes it all worth it.
The music follows the same suit as the story, dark. Don’t expect upbeat tunes, things are going to be dreary, and slow. I think the soundtrack is great, but again to the people who dislike dark tones, avoid.
To sum up, Majora’s Mask 3DS is pretty much better in every way to the original N64 version. Unless you are the extreme gamer guy that thinks everything original is better, then you should love this version. Nintendo has changed everything for the better, and the differences are so miniscule that it will be hard to notice a lot of them for Majora’s Mask veterans. We are talking very small changes here besides the graphical up-haul. The save system is easier, difficulty slightly adjusted, and other very small things. To all the people who have never played and are fans of Zelda, this is a no-brainer. This game is amazing. Don’t expect the game to be exactly like Ocarina of Time, and try to accept the fact that this game is a bit darker in contrast. MM along with Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link are considered the Red-Headed step childs of the Zelda series. But it is no secret among various retro gaming forums that a lot of people, including myself, feel Majora’s Mask is the better of the two N64 titles, and quite possibly the best game ever created.
Amazing story, great music, and solid gameplay, all make for a game that is as perfect as any game can get. Nintendo did all the right things in this re-make, and it shows. I predict that in the future this will be the definitive version. With Ocarina of Time 3DS becoming rare, and not to mention expensive, I highly suggest picking up Ocarina Of Time first if you have not done so already, why it is still available, then picking up Majora’s Mask sooner, than later. For those of you willing to give it a shot, and power through the beginning, I think you will likely find yourself reliving moments like when you played Ocarina of Time the first time. I highly recommend Majora’s Mask 3DS to everyone.
The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask Gets
5 Out of 5
+Vastly Improved Presentation
+ Gameplay holds up
+ Awesome Story