Review by Firestorm88
"Outshone by its Predecessor"
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a great game, but it just doesn’t meet the standards set by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. There are many factors keeping it from doing this, but the main one is the addition of the 3 day to doomsday clock. That’ll be discussed in the gameplay section though. I guess the main thing is, Majora’s Mask fails match the epic scale that most Zelda games measure up to.
The gameplay is very similar to what was in Ocarina of Time. However, the time plays a much larger role. In three days, the moon will destroy Termina, the world you’re in, and you must stop it from happening. This wouldn’t have been that bad of a deal, but then going by the logic of time travelling, almost everything you do is erased when you go back in time. Other than your main weapons, all others are reset. No ammo for your slingshot and bombs. And worst of all, everyone will have forgotten what you did for them, which I find very unfortunate because the Bombers Notebook is in my opinion the best add on in the game.
The Bombers Notebook is a diary type thing that you receive very early in the game, it records who you have met that needs help, and if you have helped them. There are twenty or so people you can help in the game. Two of them are Anju and Kafei, their side story is the most involved you’ll do, it takes the full span of three days. It’s a very heart-warming story, but at the end you’ll go back to the first day again and they’re completely distressed giving your work a feeling of dissatisfaction. I hate that part about the game, but I guess that’s the effect of time travel.
The flow of the game is well done just like in Ocarina of Time. More time is spent on the field which I like as well. However, the number of dungeons is disappointing. There are only four dungeons along with a mirrored version as well.
Another new addition is the mask system. There are tons of new masks that you can use to change what Link can do, including four transformation masks that make Link transform into a different form (Deku Scrub, Zora, Goron, or a secret form that I won’t tell you). They make for an interesting game, the Bunny Hood is especially useful since it lets you run, something Zelda fans have wanted to do for some time now!
The controls are the same as Ocarina of Time. They’re just as responsive as ever. The C buttons are still your buttons for items. You can still have a maximum of three items along with the Sword and Shield. The Z Targeting system is still in place making for cool battle moves. You are in full control of your actions at all times, and are easy to use even when you change into one of the many forms as a Deku Scrub, Zora, or Goron.
It fails totally to match up to the grandness of a Zelda game. This is most likely because it is a side-story, but the game is just too gimmicky. It seems to be all about the masks that you collect. Well here’s the story, you’re thrown into a parallel universe because the Skull Kid takes Epona, your faithful horse and runs off with her and your ocarina. Once you arrive, you learn that the world will be destroyed in three days time. But on the third day, you find out you can go back in time and revisit the three days so that you are able to go further in Termina and stop the moon from falling. Although most of the NPCs have a much better personality this time around, the help you give them is erased due to the time travel, and you never get to see them develop very well. Also, the story seems like it’s on a small scale, especially compared to Ocarina of Time.
The graphics are the same old graphics from Ocarina of Time. A bit improved, but not much. When you have too much going on at once, you can experience slow down. But it looks sorta cool, slashing away in slow motion isn’t an everyday thing after all. The cutscenes that happen everytime you use a transformation mask are also annoying. In my opinion, it didn’t really take full advantage of the required expansion pack. The designs, especially during the final battle are marvellous though. Also, the Termina and especially Clock Town is huge. The areas you go into are gigantic. Everything else is really just average.
Another thing that was kept pretty much intact from the Ocarina of Time. Most of the sounds are the same, and you even use some of the same ocarina songs as last time. However, music plays a large part in the game, and it’s done nicely. Everything fits together. It’s just classic Zelda.
This should last you a good month or so as long as you don’t play it too much. The bomber’s notebook gives it a bit of replay value, as does collecting the many masks found within the game. However, after you do all that it’s not that great. I had no incentive to play through the whole game again, and I doubt most people do. But as I said, the bomber’s notebook is a fun side-quest that will take you a lot of time.
Final Rank 8/10
A pretty good game, but it’s bashed out of the spotlight by the stunning Ocarina of Time. It’s not a rent though, a buy. Just remember that you’ll have to buy an expansion pack with it. The best course of action would be getting the Zelda: Collector’s Edition for the Gamecube since it comes with both Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. It doesn’t need the expansion pack as well! All inall, if you’ve beaten the first already, I encourage you to buy this because it’s more of the same, just on a smaller scale.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/04
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