Review by jimmybiceps
"A Different, But Epic Zelda Title"
Back when this game was released in October of 2000, I along with other hardcore Zelda fans had high expectations. That's normal, seeing how this game is the follow up to Ocarina of Time, which was a great game. So naturally, I had high expectations of this game, even after reading the previews which warned players how this was a completely different kind of game than Ocarina of Time. I, for one, figured it would be a lot of fun in its own unique way, and that is exactly what it was.
The plot to this game is not too complicated. There is an evil mask, called Majora's Mask, that falls into the hands of Skull Kid. After pursuing Skull Kid, you end up in an unfamiliar world, called Termina, which is doomed to end in three days when the moon crashes into it due to the evil power of Majora's Mask. This puts a time limit against you to stop the evil caused by Majora's Mask before the end of Termina comes. I won't go into too much detail of the plot here, to prevent spoiling it for those of you who haven't played the game. The plot is unique to the Zelda series and rather creative.
The game's "main quest" only consists of 4 dungeons. That's right---only 4, as opposed to every other Zelda game thus far which had at least 7 or 8. All of the dungeons were very well done and rather creative, especially Stone Tower Temple. Also, each of the 4 dungeons have 15 stray fairies hidden throughout them, and if you collect them all and return them to their respective fairy fountain, you will get a nice reward. The stray fairies definitely add depth to the dungeons, and make you want to replay them. The three day time system adds a lot of depth to the game. This is especially true when talking about the many sidequests in the game. The time system dictates that certain characters do certain things at a certain time on a certain day. This makes the sidequests more interesting, although it could hinder the playing of the main quest at times for slower players. The sidequests were rather well done, and usually your reward for completing them was one of many pieces of heart, or a mask that gives you some kind of ability. The game also features some very neat mini games, and plenty of them. Some of the masks were useless and tacked on, but most were helpful. You can play a song on your Ocarina to slow time down or to go back to the first day of the three days. One negative of the time system is that when you go back to the first day, you lose all your rupees, arrows, bombs, etc, as well as any items you were storing in one of your bottles. It would have been nice if they let you keep your rupees, bombs, and arrows when you went back in time, since you keep all your other items. If you keep other items and weapons when you go back in time, it doesn't really make much sense that you would lose others. However, this luckily doesn't hinder gameplay too much. The time system and save system just take a little getting used to, and once you do get used to them, you will see that they too add depth to the gameplay. They require you to plan and think ahead. Majora's Mask added something completely new to the series - the transformation masks. The transformation masks allow Link to transform into a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora. Once he takes one of these forms, he has special abilities related to the character. As a Deku, he can dive into Deku Flowers and shoot out, flying through the air. As a Goron, he can roll and destroy anything in his path. As a Zora, he can breath underwater and swim with ease. The transformation masks were a brilliant addition to the series. My only complaint with them is that the Goron transformation's controls were a little rough at times, but they were still overall very well done. One other thing that should be stated about the gameplay in Majora's Mask is the fact that this game is HARD. You will find yourself being challenged much more in this game than any other Zelda game to date. Many of the heart pieces are rather difficult to find, as well as the masks also. This game will challenge even the most hardcore Zelda fans. Overall, gameplay was very solid. I just wish they could have fit 2 or 3 more dungeons into the game.
Very similar to Ocarina of Time, except with the transformation masks. Throughout the game, you will obtain masks that allow you to morph into a Deku Scrub, a Goron, and a Zora. Some of the controls for these transformations can be frustrating at times, but overall they are good. Other than that, the controls are pretty much the same as Ocarina of Time, and work just as well here.
There is simply so much to do in Majora's Mask, it's unbelievable. The immense depth of the game opens the gate for many mini games and sidequests to be completed with good rewards for all of them. There are a total of 52 Heart Pieces to collect in this game, as well as 24 (or 25) total masks to find. Also, there are many hidden scenes to uncover. This game is packed full of extras and will keep you playing for quite some time if you are someone who likes to complete games 100 percent. It has far more depth and extras than any other Zelda game to date.
In closing, Majora's Mask is a great addition to the Zelda series and is my favorite Zelda game of all time, if not my favorite game of all time. This game is very different from others in the series, taking more of a focus on sidequests and mini games rather than solely focusing on a main quest and dungeon crawling. It also adds a complex time system to the game, which adds depth in some areas. I, for one, used to find this game frustrating and hard to get into. After giving it a fair chance and playing through it years later, I have come to realize it is an outstanding game which is very challenging. In my opinion, Majora's Mask is great, and is very close to perfect. Do yourself a favor and get a hold of this game right now, either off the virtual console or from a pawn shop that has old video games for sale. Or look online. Just get this game. If you give Majora's Mask the time and effort it deserves, you will not be disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/13/07, Updated 04/01/11
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)
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