Review by PentiumMMX

"Another great Zelda game"

In 2000, as the N64 and Dreamcast where on their way out and the PS2 had only been out for a few months, Nintendo released the latest Zelda game, but with some unique twists to it, like masks that give Link different abilities when worn and a time limit of 3 in-game days. As one of the last major 1st party N64 games and one of the darkest Zelda games to date, is Majora's Mask any good?

Story
Shortly after the events in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link leaves Hyrule on a personal quest to try and find Navi (His faerie), who left after he saved Hyrule. However, everything seems to go wrong all at once; his ocarina and Epona (His horse) are stolen and he gets transformed into a Deku Shrub by a Skull Kid wearing a strange mask. He eventually finds himself in a place called Clock Town, in a land called Terminia, but the moon is going to crash into Terminia in 3 days. However, he can stop it if he manages to awaken the Four Giants sealed inside the temples of Terminia. Thus, Link only has 72 hours to recover his ocarina and horse, return to his normal self, and awaken the Four Giants to save Terminia! Its storyline is one of the darkest in a Zelda game to date, and is very unique for the series. Simply put, its story is even better than that of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Story: 10 out of 10

Graphics
It's among the best seen on N64. With a high level of detail (Link leaving footprints when running across a beach, for example), smooth character animation, more realistic lighting effects than Ocarina of Time, a very long draw distance (Almost no fog at all!), and huge bosses, it's easy to see why it required the Expansion Pak. There is some very minor slowdown at points, though, but it's easily ignorable. Overall, it's one of the N64's best when it comes to graphics.
Graphics: 10 out of 10

Music \ Sound Effects
Featuring a mix of new songs with a few songs taken straight from Ocarina of Time, the soundtrack to Majora's Mask is just another example of an epic soundtrack in a Nintendo game. Also, the sound effects are just as great as Ocarina of Time. It's simply awesome
Music \ Sound Effects: 10 out of 10

Controls
It's exactly the same as Ocarina of Time, because if it works great already, why fix it? Like Ocarina of Time before it, you use the B button for your main attack (Typically, a sword), the A button to do whatever the A button says on-screen (It's the main button. What it does will change based on what you're doing or what you're standing close to), the R button to shield, and the C buttons can be used to equip items (Except for C Up, which is reserved for talking to Tatl and looking around in first-person view). Simply put, it works great
Controls: 10 out of 10

Gameplay
Majora's Mask is unique among Zelda games as the only one that gives you a time limit to finish the game. Instead of being able to take your time, like other Zelda games, you have 72 in-game hours to save Terminia from destruction, which is around 1-2 real world hours. It may sound like it would be tough, but you can play the Song of Time to start over from Day 1 when needed. In the process of going back in time, you'll lose all your money if you didn't deposit it into the bank, along with bombs, arrows, and anything you where carrying in a bottle before playing the Song of Time (But vital items like the bow, the bomb bag, masks, swords, and Boss Remains will stay with you). Unlike Ocarina of Time, the other characters do more than just repeat the same thing day in and day out; they actually have schedules, making it seem more realistic.

The dungeons in Majora's Mask, though fewer in numbers, are much harder than that of Ocarina of Time; the dungeon layouts are far more advanced, as are the puzzles, so anyone who felt that Ocarina of Time was too easy will probably find Majora's Mask to be more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, what keeps Majora's Mask from getting a perfect score is how short it is; even with the higher difficulty, there are still only 4 dungeons in the game. There are many side-quests available in the game to add some replay value, but if you aren't the kind of person who cares about side-quests, you'll probably have the game finished very quickly.
Gameplay: 9 out of 10

Overall
Zelda: Majora's Mask is a great game, though it's not very long. It's at least worth trying out if you like the Zelda series.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/08

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)


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