"Uh, where is Zelda?"

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a game that was made to be a follow up of the smash hit, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. After all, why wouldn't Nintendo do that. Ocarina of Time was very well received for the most part. Majora's Mask should be able to fix all the flaws Ocarina of Time had, right? Wrong. Majora's Mask is really not a true Zelda game. Majora's Mask did fix a few of the flaws Ocarina of Time had, but in return garnered up several problems.

Storyline: As I said, the storyline does not come anywhere to close to what you would expect. There's no Zelda (Why is this called Legend of Zelda then???) and no triforce, but the problem isn't that it fails to follow traditional Zelda. The problem is the fact that the storyline is bad. There is nothing wrong with trying something knew. But there is a problem when you fail at it. You are not in Kansas, I mean Hyrule anymore. You lie in a different dimension called Termina. A kid wearing Majora's Mask attacks you and steals your ocarina that you got from Zelda. Early on, you will fight this mysterious kid and get your ocarina back. But, the moon is falling! You have three days to go release all 4 giants and save the planet from it's impending doom. I honestly thought the whole “moon is falling” concept was lame. I applaud Nintendo for trying something new but it just didn't work. There isn't a whole lot of sense of urgency and nothing really eventful happens along the way that is worth mentioning. 7/10

Game Play: Like the other Zelda games, your life is measured by the amount of hearts you have. You get heart containers when you defeat a boss and you get heart pieces by completing various tasks. Four heart pieces make a heart container. There isn't nearly as many hearts as in previous Zelda games but that is because of the lack of length. You'll still get those classical items such as the hook shot, which can launch you a distance, bombs, that can blow stuff up, and a bow to fire arrows. There are more items too but what really makes this game unique are the masks.

Now I'll be honest, may of the masks are useless. But some of the masks are necessary to completing this game. The really important masks are the transformation masks. When you wear these, you will turn into whatever the mask is. The Goron Mask will let you turn into a Goron. You can then roll into a ball or pound things with your immense weight. The Deku mask will allow you to fly for short periods of time using Deku flowers. The Zora mask will let you walk in water as well as fire your fin things as boomerangs. These masks help greatly and they really are creative. The rest of the masks are just masks you put on, you don't actually transform. You get many of these kinds of masks and the abilities they can do can range from a blast mask to blow up walls to a mask that will make zombies be friendly towards you.

The battle system has improved a lot in Ocarina of Time and the camera has too. The bad thing about this game is the whole concept of you having to beat the game in three days. This was really lame and frustrating, every time you started time over, you lost all your money, fairies, arrows, almost everything. You could counter this by storing your money in a bank and easily going to the fields to get your items back but this is just an unnecessary waste of time. It doesn't make a lot of sense that you lose your money but not your masks. I really did not care for having a timer.

Despite the major lack of temples, the four that were put in this game were very well done. There were some good puzzles, difficult enemies and bosses (Compared to Ocarina of time at least) and it was overall an amazing experience. You still use your trusty Ocarina just like you did before and some songs are new while some are old. The game play is good in this game, it's smooth and easy to learn, but the whole 3 days concept wasn't very fun. 8/10

Soundtrack: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time had a mediocre soundtrack. Not to worry, this is something Majora's Mask fixed. Majora's Mask had a pretty nice soundtrack. It isn't the best thing ever, but it is good. The themes of the temples flowed very well, Termina Field was classic and the Deku Palace theme was very good. The fairy you get in this game is also much better than Navi. Tatl isn't anywhere near as annoying as Navi. The soundtrack to this game is good. 9/10

Length: The length to this game is actually pretty pitiful. There are four temples in this game. How does this game compensate for it's lack of temples? A lot of the time you will be forced to do some lame task like play hide and seek or find a missing boy or something tedious like that. Even filling the game with lame chores still didn't help the length. I'm sorry, but having only four temples in a Zelda game, even if they are pretty good, is unacceptable. 4/10

Graphics: The graphics to this game are pretty identical to Ocarina of Time's, but these graphics were amazing for the Nintendo 64. Nowadays, they aren't exactly that impressive but you have to remember this game was made last generation. Video gaming has sure come a long way since Pong hasn't it? But the scenery is colorful, the bosses are spectacular and the temples are great. 5/5

Difficulty: This game can actually be a little challenging at times, unlike Ocarina of Time. The enemies and mini-bosses are stronger a lot of the time and the bosses are good too. There was some pretty good puzzles in this game. You had to step your wit up a notch when trying to solve some of the puzzles this game provided. This game doesn't quite have the epic feel Ocarina of time had but I had fun with the bosses and enemies. 4/5

Recap:

Storyline: 7/10
Game Play: 8/10
Soundtrack: 9/10
Length: 4/10
Graphics: 5/5
Difficulty: 4/5

Overall: 37/50 = 74% = C

Pros:

Good graphics
Good soundtrack
Improved fighting system
Masks were creative
Harder enemies
More challenging puzzles
NO NAVI!

Cons:

The whole concept of beating the game in three days
Not a very good story
Only 4 dungeons, which is not good for a game who's namesake resolves around dungeons
Many of the masks were stupid
This game is filled with a bunch of boring tasks

Overall, I can't say it lived up to Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past. This game did improve on some of the errors it's predecessor had but it introduced new problems such as the length and the three day concept. You also had to stick to the lame Young Link the whole game, although Fierce Deity Link was cool. If you are not a fan of Zelda, you should still try this game as this game does stray from the normal things you'd expect in a Zelda game. If you love Zelda games, there is a chance you'll be disappointed but you should still find this game to be fun. If you do decide to pick this game up, don't get Legend of Zelda: Collectors Edition for the Nintendo GameCube, get the original cartridge for the Nintendo 64. Trust me.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/18/05


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