Review by Dub26
"Wow, this is really unique!"
Zelda fans were greatly astonished to see Nintendo's pride series become 3D in 1998 with the release of Ocarina of Time, which many gamers have come to believe is the best game of all time, due to its bliss story and game play, not to mention the greatest graphics the Nintendo 64 has seen in a while. Expecting a sequel just as awesome would be a hard request, but Nintendo was up to the challenge. Two or three years later, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was released. After playing through it, many people, including myself, weren't sure how to review this game because it was an exotic new formula for the series. Some people received a twitch after playing this game. I don't blame them. The game is different, and I tend to like this new theme. While many people wouldn't dare say how the new look of the game is pretty cool, I'm not afriaid to say how much I loved this game, even with the eerie music and the 3-day time period "flaw."
You start out as link, leaving the land of Hyrule attempting to find another land to save of evil, sadly leaving beloved Zelda behind, only seeing once in the game, as a flashback. The opening scene shows him and Epona asleep on their journey. They come across this strange creature wearing a mask and his two weirdo fairies. Anyway, the dude stealthily jumps you and comes across the Ocarina of Time in your belongings. He begins to play it, and all of a sudden you wake up and start chasing him. Eventually, you chase him into a huge hole and you go into a sort of sleep. You wake up as a deku shrub, not knowing where you are. You go down this path of obstacles and end up in this new land, and there's no way you can get back to Hyrule. You come in contact with this man who would like you to get back a mask that was stolen from him, the same mask the weird dude was wearing. So as a deku shrub, you go looking for the mask and after 3 days of attempting to get it back, you failed. However, the man does teach you a song which will get this shrub look off of you and into a mask. You now return to normal link! From here, the adventure continues and will send you on an unforgettable adventure, sort of. You'll experience the paradise
The graphics run on the same engine as Ocarina of Time, which pretty much means they are completely gorgeous for that generation of games. The rough lines on the characters are put to where they are not a problem. The landscapes and day/night system are beautiful, almost partially realistic. The textures are made to work with the landscapes, which are gorgeous, by the way. I'm highly impressed.
The sound, as most people could see, is more exotic than in previous Zeldas. It tends to be more eerie, as though voodoo was added to the main tune that you hear a lot. This tune has the same melody, but the theme of it changes depending on the area you are in (if your in the canyon, it sounds like music from a ghost town, if your in the swamp, it sounds somewhat Cajun, etc.) Being a lover of exotic changes, I was a fan of the soundtrack. The sound effects are great. Everything makes a noise when interacted with or when moved. All the sounds are with great quality, too.
The environment is not what one would expect from a Zelda game. Usually you would expect a desert, a lake, a forest, and a very deadly volcano/mountain. This time around, you are stuck in the middle of a swamp, an ocean, a snowy mountain, and a very interesting canyon settlement. This exotic turn is something from the ordinary, which I am a huge fan of. I hope to see some more changes like these in the future of Zelda games, possibly combined with the royalty and deep story of the past zeldas.
Game play: 10/10
Yep, that's definitely Zelda material. In total, there are only 4 dungeons, but that's not counting the extra dungeon areas, the extras, the things you must do before and after the dungeons. Combined, it's around 40 hours of game at the most. What impresses me the most is the difficulty. Instead of unlimited time, you are now limited to 3 game days, or about 72 minutes. In order to go on longer (it is very close to impossible to beat it any other way), you must use the Ocarina of Time to go back three days. You won't lose all of your unsaved data, however. Your data saves, but you lose all things like money, arrows, and bombs. Ocarina of Time was a little too easy, so if you're up for a bigger challenge with a bit more indirect stuff, I would think that you would like this game. There are also the masks which all have special powers within them. Three of the masks have powers to turn you into another being, including the fish people Zora, the rock eating Goron, and the shrieking little Deku shrubs. The other masks can be obtained by completing the simplest of deeds such as stopping a burglar that robbed a little old lady. Once all are obtained, you receive a very special mask that, if used, properly, can kill the first boss in one hit! There are still plenty of other extras. All of the areas have special little stories within them that you must fufill. For instance, in the mountains, a little baby Goron prince is too cold to go to sleep, and he is crying extremely loudly. The only thing that could put him to sleep is the melody his father would play for him. However, his father is dead. It is up to you to capture the apparition of this long lost Goron. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll leave it at that. Well, as you can see, there's more than just entering the dungeon and killing the boss. The controls seem to be easy to control, considering that I was seven when I started playing this game and it was a snap to play with. The z-targeting system is still present, making your battles with other sword bearing beings very dramatic and intense. Another fun aspect is swimming with the Zora mask on underwater. You speed through the water like a missile and it is fun to control, as well as hovering with the Deku shrub and playing pinball with the Goron (not really, but the experience is similar.)
Once I finally beat the game and looked back on my experience with it, I realized this is a really great game. While it appears like a small world and a small adventure, there's really a lot packed into it, especially when playing in the canyon, the longest, hardest, and last area of the game. So overall, the basic story and game is quite different from normal Zeldas that a lot of gamers tend to dislike, sadly. So, seeing as I like it, I guess it's a matter of opinion. I guess you best option would be to go ahead and buy it. It should be dirt cheap right now. If you don't have an opinion at first, like me, just go ahead and play through it. If you never try, you'll never know. It's definitely a unique experience. That's something all the gamers that play this experience can agree on.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/21/05
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