Review by DJ X2Z
What a blast... Let's go again! *plays song of time on ocarina*
I was told years ago that the Nintendo 64 would become the best video game system to ever be created. After seeing games such as Resident Evil 4 on GameCube, Jet Set Radio on Dreamcast, Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 on GameCube (originally on DC), Gears of War on Xbox 360, Halo 2 on Xbox, Guitar Hero 3 for PS2/Wii/PS3/Xbox 360, and Manhunt 2 for PSP/PS2/Wii.. such great games...
I believe that person that told me that bold statement.. was correct. Games such as Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Perfect Dark 64, Bomberman Hero, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Super Smash Bros., Robotron 64, and many others are some of the highlights of my childhood. And these are also highlights of many other peoples' childhoods. But one game that most people forget.. which is possibly my favorite game ever.. one I spent $69.99 for on the day it came out.. is Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask.
As a Nintendo gamer.. I learned quickly that Nintendo isn't a company that wants extremely beautiful visuals, they simply want fun games. And the N64 was pretty much left out of the whole "beautiful visuals" department when PSX was coming out with all of these random RPG's with stunning graphics, awesome effects (like rain, fog, etc), and all of that. And, as a Nintendo gamer, that ticked me off really bad. But this game had visuals that surpassed anything the N64 had brought up to this point with a fantasy title (such as Mario, Zelda, etc).
The graphics are absolutely amazing. There's not one part of this game that isn't detailed to perfection. From the water, to the grass, to the enemies, to the people.. it's amazing. I mean, come on.. it's revamped Ocarina of Time graphics.. how much better can you get? In a nutshell.. the visual department has nothing lacking.. and will keep you amazed for hours trying to think of how they turned an 8-bit pixelfest into a 64-bit visual wonderland. Very nice. Very nice indeed.
Ahh.. the storyline. Very deep. Almost a little too deep. But also a little too shallow. The side-quests make the game pretty confusing, and there is hardly a focus on the main quest, which SHOULD BE destroying Majora's Mask. If you aren't a victim of ADHD, you might have trouble playing this game correctly.. or.. you may become ADHD-ridden by the time you complete it. So many random quests, so little time.. I mean, come on.. the game is about Majora's Mask.. not about a relationship between a worker of a hotel and a random man who became a little boy.. Nintendo, you guys could have done better on this. But hey.. enough complaining. Time to talk about the pros.
Basically, the main storyline is to simply beat the dungeons, get the masks from the bosses, and beat Majora's Mask at the end, all in 3 days. It's not that complex, just a little hard. But then, you have all of the other random quests and storylines that pop out of nowhere, and seem to never end, all conflicting with your main quest. All of these quests are recorded in what's called your Bomber's Notebook. This handy-dandy notebook allows you to figure out what in the #!$% is going on, and why these people are telling you all of this crap you don't really need to know. I guess these people assume because you're a kid wearing green with pointy ears, you must be a psychiatrist, or you must be some god. I mean.. saving Termina from an impending doom can wait, you need to help a bunch of random people you don't know with all of their problems that THEY COULD DEAL WITH THEMSELVES. ...ok.. sorry about that. I just had to vent a little anger.
Anyway.. in a nutshell, the storyline is deep.. but sometimes it's a little annoying. It all depends on if you have ADHD or not. =]
It's a Zelda game. It's good. If you can get past the strange quests.. the game will keep you occupied for hours. I mean.. you have to play for hours if you want to beat it.. there is waaaaay too much to do in just a couple hours. And, once you beat it, if you beat it without committing suicide (or attempting), you can go back through the game and finish all of those little quests I was griping about earlier. It's much easier to just play the main quest, then play the side-quests afterwards. Makes the game a little more organized. But, that's just me.
For an N64 game, the controls are amazing. Very good and accurate moving, and the famous "hit button to swing sword, hit button to interact" is still active. But now, you have 3 more buttons, where you can assign anything from masks, to special items, to more weapons/projectiles. If you've played Ocarina of Time, you should be set. If you haven't, it might take a little while to get used to it.
Now here is the part I love, more than the graphics, more than the gameplay, more than anything. The music. I love the orchestrated sound of this game's score, brought to you by Koji Kondo's genius. His compositions are considered amazing by many, but to me, I simply think it's some of the best video game music I've ever heard. I mean, just starting up in the forest, the jagged strings and hard bass makes the situation that much more tense, and that much more action packed. It's simply amazing, and that's no lie. Every dungeon's music is based around a dark theme, which definitely sets the mood. Unlike Ocarina of Time, where the music was often apt to make you go to sleep, this music is pretty crazy the whole time. Don't get me wrong, several pieces in the game are slow and steady, but when need be, the music is upbeat and action filled.
All of the songs in this game, even the songs that are simply remixed (such as the Termina Field theme), are very original, and very well written and performed. Tense areas feature tense music, slower areas feature slower music. It's the way it's supposed to be. The music is just beautiful, and I can't say enough about it. If you were a fan of Ocarina of Time's music, you'll love this.
Of all of the Zelda games I've played.. next to the first Legend of Zelda and Wind Waker, this would have to be the hardest. Also, take into consideration I haven't played Twilight Princess yet.. so I may change my mind in the future. But of course, after completing MM over 200 times.. and having every aspect of the game memorized.. it's no longer a challenge. It's very difficult for younger players to grasp the concept of, because most of them are used to the free-roam environment that Ocarina of Time brought to the table. When they realize they only have 3 days to complete the game, they often become frustrated, and simply stop playing the game. Most don't realize they can start time back over.. Let's just say with some explanation, it isn't too much of a problem. It's hard for a Zelda game, but it's not too hard. Just make sure if your siblings decide to take it for a spin, explain to them it's not like OoT. Also, explain to them...
*spoilers.. if you didn't know already*
You can slow down time by playing the Song of Time backwards.
Overall score: 9/10
I love the game. I love the franchise. I hope Nintendo remakes this for the DS, so I can pwn the Skull Kid wherever I go. Just a couple flaws that drop it a notch below perfect.
Rent or buy: BUY!
There's no way in hell you could possibly figure this game out in a rent! This game isn't too hard to find.. it's on the GameCube, it's on the N64 in several formats, and it's.. in other places that I can't mention without getting in trouble. It's also not too expensive.. depending on which route to take to get it. Just go ahead and buy it.. it's worth the money. However, if you don't like deep plots, hardcore action, and crazy people with loads of problems, I suggest you move along and pretend you never read this.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)
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