Review by EJRICH
"A Majora's Victory"
People always make fun of something because it's what everyone else is doing. Soon everyone is making fun of something that they don't even know about. Before long the idiots don't even know what they're doing anymore. With the immense amount of hype that followed the so-called Perfect OoT, many thought Majora's Mask would be another hit. In reality, it was, but thanks to the idiots who run the media, the game got shot down like a duck flying in hunting season.
Coming off of sticking his sword through Gannon's furry hide, we find Link venturing about as youthful as ever. The birds are chirping, fog is about, and in a matter of coincidence, he winds up being turned into a Deku Scrub by some wacko with a mask on. Things happen, and Link winds up in the land of Termina, which happens to be on the verge of getting blown to bits by the moon in three days.
We all know the consequences of a story tack, and thanks to divine providence, so did Nintendo. Because of the unique aspects of the all-new three-day system, you're actually living right in the story itself. It almost becomes reality, while the game play itself encompasses changes that never could have taken place before. Some citizens of the Clock Town (MM's version of Hyrule Castle Town), only come out at certain times, which as you can guess, leads to a wealth of mini game opportunities.
While these mini games do lead to some diversions (half the time you'll be wondering what the heck you're doing), they can also allow you to become more involved with the game itself. Just think about it, see a person one spot, rewind time, see him in another. The possabilities are endless, and they definitely didn't make it so that they were scrapping it.
There are other mini games that do use a different basis than time for what they do, and it's expected. The point is, unlike other games that cast it aside, MM didn't, which made it special. They knew just how much to put in without brutalizing what we loved from OoT. One thing that I did notice, though, is that the number of dungeons did decrease, dramatically. In fact, there's only four this time around. The game is still long, yet, more time in them would have been appreciated.
What, I have to rush?
Yeah, you do this time around actually. The three day system is probably one of the most innovative ideas ever, not only because of the story, but because it makes you think twice before you do some stupid task. Of course, they were nice enough to give you the ability to turn back time (via the Ocarina), but then that means you're basically rewinding everything and your progress is all but lost. It's almost as if they instilled a sense of fear into you, which is brilliant.
Along with the ability to redo dungeons whenever you want (you can keep the important weapons through time, but they are among the few possessions that actually stick with you), the game also gives the ability to find a wealth of masks. These masks allow Link to turn into different beings (or they're just aesthetic, but it's still a collection), which add new elements of game play to the scenery itself. Imagine smashing through a wall via being a Goron, or swimming through the water as a Zora. Some masks are honestly overpowered, while others become useless right after you've gone past the part where they are used. Shame too, because they definitely could have gone much farther with it.
Why some people compare Link to Einstein
We all know that LoZ has always been about dungeons in one way or another, probably because they always have a way of allowing the hero in Link to shine. Many of the same puzzle elements from previous entries return, but very differently.
You may not be able to compare it to some James Bond game, but MM actually has a great stealth section, believe it or not. Near the beginning of the game (at least for me anyway, you could probably do anything you want), there happens to be a segment that makes Link stealth his way around a Deku Scrub palace in an attempt to free some poor souls. And if you weren't already alarmed by the fact that you have to get into the darn palace in the first place, you have three days to get it done completely, otherwise it's back to the beginning for you.
Getting fed up with instances like those can become a slight problem, but I probably wouldn't have it any other way. It's the fact that you are forced to make risky decisions for the sake of time that makes the game worth playing, because you probably will screw up in key points. Looking back at it, I probably would have thrown my controller against the wall, but once you're through, you gain a new appreciation for the subject.
Every bit of a Hero
Some people may not notice it, but MM is actually far more polished than OoT could have ever hoped to be. Thanks to the efforts of the expansion pack (pricy, but definitely worth it), the game has the ability to push the system's boundaries to far higher limits than most could have imagined. Shading effects are incredibly solid, pixel rate is kept at a surprisingly high maxim (You probably couldn't even tell that Link is edged anymore), and almost everyone is done in increasingly better ways.
What does make the game, though, is the shading. Environments are much more easily distinguishable this time around, even when a much darker tone is added to the game itself. In all actualities, MM is probably three to four times darker than OoT in some areas, yet it still manages to bring things home with the help of the expansions.
A Major Classic
By no means is MM what some would call an Epic, but the game has a great way of telling a story that touches you like few others can do. From the saddening reality of Skull Kid, to the ongoing plight of a people faced with catastrophe, MM gets its point across without actually including a ton of words; it all comes from the people. That's partially why it's hard to call the game an epic, it relies much more on emotions rather than the story itself.
Because of that, the game has a great tendency to go beyond what many would expect from it, allowing it to reach further heights than before through the people, not in them. Finding ways to do that is incredibly hard, because it relies on the will of the people in order to easily get it off. If Nintendo had decided to do this anyother way, then many people would have probably been turned off. The good part is, though, that they did do it, and thus we have the classic that we'd been hoping for all along.
The term classic is kind of hard to use, though, because it refers to such a wide radious of game events that make the game itself far too complicated for it's own good. To me, Majora was a central part. To others, it may not be. To each his own.
Sounding out Loud
As many of you know, the LoZ series has always been about finding ways how to be easily and effectively get the abilities to make it's sound fit in with the title itself. While some classic tunes do take place in MM, most of it is new believe it or not.
Granted, you may not see it at first, but it's almost as if the land of Termina is a vast void that needed something new of its own to set it apart from Ocarina. It wasn't going to get it from anything else, because the game play, like it as we might, plays extremely similiarly to OoT in terms of basic structure.
It would have been a bad idea to mess with it, don't get me wrong, but the whole point is the game had to do something to make it different, and this was where it was at. Some tunes include a more epic stature this time, which isn't a surprise thinking of where it came from, but as a matter of fact, still maintained what made OoT as entertaining as it was, without becoming deeply subtle as some might have expected.
There are many more reasons why some may not necessarily Like MM, but the point of the matter is, it's still just as much of a hit as OoT was, if not more due to some innovative mechanics that made the game truly worthy of my time. The media has a way of screwing with your opinions, not because of what you have to say, but because they have something to prove. Take the word of an outspoken critic and pick up this game, because time is too precious to waste on all of that other garbage out there.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/16/07, Updated 01/04/10
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)
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