Review by Lady Celes
"This Zelda, by any other name, would get poorer reviews"
As a fan of the Legend of Zelda series, I am not here to attack the series, nor to attack this game. In the past Miyamato has not dissapointed. OOT was a wonderful masterpiece, LTTP was a near-perfect game, but Majoras mask thrives off of it's names. Had any of the other Zeldas went by any other name, they would have, without doubt, done fine. Had this game, not had the zelda title however, it would have done poorly. Fans tend to look at the name, and think it’s a good game. Their mind set has taught them that it, indeed is a good game. However, this game isn’t as good as some would have you believe. Sure it’s a Zelda, you can’t change that fact, but it certainly isn’t the best Zelda I’ve played, it’s below average for a Zelda game, and below average for any game really. It could have been much better, but Nintendo allowed this poor Zelda game to be released, without putting the full effort, as they have with the previous, and future (hopefully) zeldas.
Standard Zelda game, go through dungeons, solve puzzles, the works. That is where the game shines. All zeldas are good because of that. Where the gameplay fails is, the time limit, the masks, and the other non-zelda things. First off, there is a time limit. You have 3 days to complete the game. Time goes by fast, but you have the song of time to take you back. The problem is, when you go back, a lot of the things you did, get undone. This becomes annoying. Playing the song of time over and over again also gets tedious. Then you have masks. In Majoras mask, you have many masks, which you need to use. In OOT, you didn't have to use masks much, but in this game, it's esseintial. The gameplay is alright, but it could have been much better, especially for a Zelda game.
The graphics for this game, are actually really good. It looks like a zelda game, and the areas surrounding you are in 3-dimensions. There isn't much change from OOT, but as many people say, why change what works? Zelda OOT was a fine game, a great one, the graphics were good, why change them so much? They didn't, and that is definitly a plus. The characters look much the same as they did before, and the areas look nice. The town is a little big though, and it's hard to tell exactly where you are going. The only real problem I see with graphics, is that they haven't improved much. Sure, you don't change what doesn't need to be changed, but you improve, and they could have been a little better.
This is where the game fails. The story isn't the basic Zelda story. This game falls away from the traditional zeldas. Link is no longer in Hyrule, and he is looking for his fairy. Majoras Mask is taken by this skull kid, and Link needs to get it back for the Mask keeper, whos only staying for three days. Not only that, but the moon will crash to the earth in that time as well. Sounds like they like the number three a bit too much. In traditional Zelda games, the triforce, zelda, and gannondorf play large roles. In this game, it's more that LInk is going off on a different type of adventure. The story really lacks any greatness as the other zeldas had.
Both non-original, and tedious at times. Within the first few hours of the game or so, you will grow tired of the ever lasting song of time. Playing it time after time, after time gets really annoying. The music in the temples aren’t as good as the other Zelda games, and it really lacks quality, and quanity. Repetitive music that sticks in your mind, that isn’t really that good, annoys you. The music doesn’t quite fit the game well, the plot twists and turns don’t have great themes, nor ones that fit them well. The music certainly isn’t memorable, and could have been much better.
The game provides an adequate challange. Most zelda games aren't too tough, but they are challanging enough to make you try. This games dungeons and puzzles are hard enough to make the game actually challanging. Of course, the three day limit, would normally up the challange, but in this case, it is annoying, which makes it frustrating, not challanging. The game provides you challange, but does deliver too much frustration to allow for a delicate ballance of skill and mind.
The tediousness of replaying each day over and over, makes the replayability go down. As you're actually doing things over and over again the first time through, you will get tired of it a bit faster than normal. Rather than doing one task only once each time, you may need to do it, two, three or more times the first time through. This, in turn, leaves for little replay value. As you've already done it a couple times your first play through, you've most likely had the fun of it after your first play-through.
This game by any other name would probably have had lower scores from everyone. The fact that it's a zelda, makes it sometimes hard to dislike. But this game is not an excellent one, it is mediocre, and barely makes for a fun game. You may enjoy it, and if you're a true zelda fan, you probably will, just because of the dungeons. But if you like zelda for many other reasons, then you may find this game more tedious and boring, than fun, and original. If you love Zelda, I can probably say, off bat, you’ll probably like it, and think that I’m crazy. If you hate Zelda, you’ll hate this game more than I do. If you’re a fan of many good games, you may just want to stay away, as this game isn’t one of the better games made for the N64, not even close. OOT delivered us everything we wanted, it spoiled us in many ways, but Majoras Mask was a waste, and because of our spoiled ways, this game isn’t as good as many think it is. Sure it’s the sequal, but it’s most definitely the worser of the two. This game, is a Zelda, meaning most people will like it for that fact. But if it was called something else, not so many people would call this mess of a game, “perfect”.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/24/03, Updated 04/24/03
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