Review by bloo_dude64

"I play this game from Morning 'til Night"

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, one of my favorite games of all times. However, despite it is one of my favorite games of all times, it is also one of the most bashed games of all times, and this is due to it's predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Most of the bashers use several unfair reasons to bash such a good game, but I'll address some of those later. For now, let us take a look at the wonderful game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask!

Story
After having beaten Ganondorf, Link returned the Master Sword to its rightful place, and set off on a journey, on Epona, to find his valuable fairy friend, Navi. Whilst in the search for Navi, Link winds up deep in the lost woods and ends up encountering a mysterious masked Imp. The mischievous masked Imp makes off with Epona and Link's ocarina. While chasing the Imp, Link winds up in a new world away from his familiar homeland, Hyrule. There, Link undergoes a metamorphosis, and while doing so, runs into the Happy Mask salesman to find out he must get the mask the Imp was wearing and he must also get back his ocarina back from the Imp. While Link is able to get the ocarina back, he was not able to get the mask. He then finds out from the Happy Mask salesman that the mask the Imp wore was none other than Majora's mask; a mask that contains dark powers, and it is up to Link to obtain the mask, but there is a catch...he must get it in three days before the Happy Mask Salesman leaves...and also do it in three days before calamity strikes...

Controls
If you have played Ocarina of Time, which most have, then you'll find that Majora's Mask is practically identical in controls, which necessarily isn't a bad thing. If you haven't played Ocarina of Time, then let me say the controls are very smooth. The control stick allows to move obviously; you have the A button that is the action command for reading, talking to people, rolling attack, etc. The B button is your attacking button for the enemies. The Z Button allows you to target enemies easily so that you may hit them with ease, however, be careful of using this in an area swarmed with enemies because in those situations you're only focusing on one instead of the group. While also holding the Z button, you may attack jumping -wise, and may do back-flips and little jumps to avoid enemies. The R button allows to maneuver your shield ; if you're in Z-targeting mode, then you'll move around holding the shield without being able to move the actual shield. However, if you're not Z-targeting and use the shield, then you'll stay where you're at, but you'll be able to move the shield in any direction to protect yourself. Lastly, there are the C buttons. The Up C button allows you to go in a first person viewing mode to look around at your environment. The Left C button, the Right C button, and the Down C button control whatever item you have assigned to that button. And the C Button items can be changed by simply accessing the menu screen and selecting the C button you want for whatever item you choose. That's all there is to the controls of this game, and they may seem like a lot to anyone who hasn't played a Zelda game with this type of control system, but the controls are very simple and will become second hand to anyone within a small period of time.

Gameplay
The gameplay like any Zelda game, is enjoyable as usual. One of the biggest features, and challenges, in this game is having to keep control of time seeing as you only have three days to complete your task of obtaining Majora's mask. However, thanks to your ocarina and the famous Song of Time, you can restart the three days whenever you choose to. The catch is, you lose whatever tasks you have accomplished. For example, if you destroy the giant rock to get to the ranch and restart the three days, then that rock will reappear and you'll have to destroy it again. So the time system makes gamers have to think a little more in being efficient with their time, which provides a nice little challenge. Also, the time system makes gamers have to do specific tasks on specific time frames, specific areas, and specific days, which I mentioned adds a nice little challenge to things. The other new feature, is the addition of masks; to complete the game all the way, you must do deeds for people by doing them favors and making a person happy one way or another. Some masks are easy to get while others are harder, and for gamers who love sidequests will thoroughly enjoy collecting all the masks in the game. Lastly, there are four challenging temples for you to complete instead of eight like Ocarina of Time. However, the temples have a lot more preparatory work than Ocarina of Time, so the area in which you're in will last much longer, which is kind of nice for a change. Overall, the gameplay in Majora's Mask offers a challenge to any gamer, and even if you beat the game, you'll still find some of the bosses a good challenge. In addition, the sidequests for the masks will bring long length to the game for all the hardcore gamers, therefore the gameplay is very promising.

Graphics
We needed the expansion pack for this game. Now the graphics are very similar to Ocarina of Time, but the graphics are a bit smoother, not as a many points in an object, and the shadow effects are done quite nicely in the game. So it took Ocarina of Time's good graphics and slightly made them better, so there isn't much else to say but the graphics are still enjoyable.

Sound
Ah, one of the best features about this game. Legendary Koji Kondo, performs for us once more in bringing us a soundtrack that's melodious to the ear. The soundtrack brings pieces of music that seem to describe the feeling of the setting/environment that you're in. While listening to such wonderful music, it makes any gamer not mind staying in an area for too long. Overall, the sound ends up making anyone appreciate the game a little more.

Replayability
This game is not as long as Ocarina of Time, that is, if you're only interested in the story. So you might be wanting to play the game over again since it isn't as long story-wise. Also, due to the save system, you can replay any boss/ mini bosses in the temple whenever you want instead of just fighting them once and they never appear again. So gamers who just want to hack and slash a boss don't have to play the entire game over again just to do so. In general though, most gamers, including myself, will play this game quite a few times due to the charm of the game, and how good the game is. Like any Zelda game, it will generally be played a few times due to it being so enjoyable.

Top 5 Complaints
Now before I end the review, a lot of gamers, perhaps such as yourself, wonder which game should they buy, Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask, or if they have Ocarina of Time, then gamers will ask if Majora's Mask is still a good game to play. Now let me say that both are excellent games, but several gamers bash this game and I just want to show the top 5 reasons they dislike this game and that it should not discourage you from playing the game.

#5. The Save System
Most often you'll hear gamers complain they constantly have to redo things more than once because of everything resetting once you start over the three days. Now to be fair, if you're a new to this game, then I can understand the save system being a little annoying. This is more than likely because you may run out of time to complete a task or if you have time but don't want it to stop then I understand the frustration; this can be easily resolved, though. One, the inverted Song of Time slows time down in half so that you have a lot more time to complete a certain task. Secondly, the owl statues in the game allow you to save at the current time you're at. So the save system isn't all that bad because there are ways to work with it; besides the save system is certainly not bad enough to not play this excellent game.

#4. Length
Now this is rather a pathetic argument, because length has nothing to do with how good a video game is. Besides, Majora's Mask is a decent length game just story-wise, and completing all the sidequests will take up a lot more of your time than people think. The story and sidequests combined in Majora's Mask makes it a longer game than story and sidequests in Ocarina of Time. So do not let any argument about the length of the game fool you.

#3. Story vs. SideQuests
Gamers often complain that the game had not much gameplay doing with the story, and too many sidequests. Often you see gamers these days only looking at the just the story, and if the story is short then they're not pleased. This game is meant to have a copious amount of sidequests that way the game is prolonged and that the story won't go by as fast. The sidequests make just as much of Majora's Mask as the story does. And most of the masks provide a fun little challenge in getting the mask. Don't let the number sidequests prevent you from trying this game out because the sidequests are more enjoyable than most gamers proclaim them to be.

#2. Repetition
As I mentioned a little bit before, some tasks you'll have to repeat if you start the three days over. Now, I will admit there are only a few things that will actually need repeating, but the task is usually so minor that it should not be that much of a hassle to do it again. As for Temples, if you were doing a temple and you ran out of time, the game froze, or whatever prevented you from finishing it, then there is a way to skip a lot of what you did in the temple. If you obtain the dungeons main item/weapon, then you'll be able to skip some parts of the temple. However, I will admit if you do not have the item then you must repeat all that you completed in temple again. Still, when doing a temple most gamers should give themselves more than enough time to finish the temple within the three days they're given. And as I mentioned before, there aren't THAT many tasks that you have to repeat, so don't let repetition scare you.

#1. Unoriginality
Most gamers will complain more than anything else in this game is the unoriginality of the game. To be fair, I understand where they're coming from with this argument. I know that the graphics, though slightly improved, were the same, a lot of the character in Ocarina of Time were in this game as well, and the controls were the same too. However, these aren't exactly bad things, on the contrary. The controls and graphics were nice, so though not being exactly new, at least they're still enjoyable like its great predecessor. And to the characters, sure they may be in this game, but that doesn't mean that they're the same people in Ocarina of Time. In fact, Majora's Mask was original in giving the characters more of an emotional appeal to them, which makes the game much more interesting in interacting with the characters. Another thing people say is unoriginal is the items. This, to me, is a completely unfair argument against this game. Gamers say the items were unoriginal and that all the items were the exact same from Ocarina of Time, and that no new items were made. But I'm just going to remind you that Zelda games are famous for reusing items from previous games, and to single out this particular game in reusing items being a bad thing is just unfair. Besides, the masks are items too; there are 24 masks in the game, which means 24 new items. So the whole "no new item/ item's are unoriginal" is not that good of an argument for the unoriginality of this game. It's unfair in general to say this game had no originality, because if you take a closer look this game does have originality. Without giving much spoilers, I'll just say that the story alone shows a lot of originality. Think about it, we're not facing Ganondorf, we're not in Hyrule, and we're not saving Zelda! I say that's a piece of originality for you right there, so believe me, this game still has originality despite its minor aspects of unoriginality.

Overall
Easily 10/10, this game is superfluous I think it's even better than it's predecessor. The gameplay is good as ever, while using smooth controls, and the sound of it will be soothing to your ears. This game has a lot to offer to please any gamer who plays this game, and gamer will find themselves pleased with what they play. Just because some gamers can't enjoy it, doesn't mean that you can't =), so what're you waiting? Go out there and play it today! =D


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/09, Updated 08/18/09

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


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