Review by ghangiskhan1

"In many ways better than the game that preceded it."

With the success of Ocarina of Time, a sequel was in high demand, and fans wanted to play it as soon as they could instead of waiting six years for the next one to be released. Well, Nintendo heard the cries of gamers all over the world and two years later The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was released for the Nintendo 64.

The first thing you should know about Majora's Mask is that it requires an expansion set to play. So if you haven't played this game yet and want to, start looking on Ebay for both and don't expect to pay under $30 for the set. The Expansion Set is used to produce larger maps and to be able to display many characters on the screen at once.

The next thing you should know about Majora's Mask is that even though it uses Ocarina's engine it is quite a bit different in a few ways. First, time is a big part of Majora's Mask. You have 3 in game days to save the world which brings me to the story which I will explain soon enough. Each day is about 24 minute s but you can soon enough learn how to slow time down and skip ahead. Also, playing the Song of Time (Ocarina is back, along with a few new instruments) will save the game and take you back to day one. You will keep all the important things like your masks, bow, bomb bags, etc. but all your items that you can only hold so much of will be gone. (Such as rupees, bombs and arrows). Also, any progress you were in a dungeon will be gone unless you have found shortcuts in the dungeons (which are present). So make sure to finish that dungeon first.

The next big thing about Majora's Mask is, just as the name implies, you will use many different masks. There are four masks which turn you into completely different beings such as a Goron and a Zora which will be used a lot in the game to solve many puzzles. Each of these masks have their own powers and strengths. There are also many other minor masks in the game that don't have too big effects but will help you get other masks and heart pieces. Some come in handy throughout the game but others you will use once or twice.

The game starts Link off in the Lost Woods searching for an old friend. Soon enough he encounters the antagonist, Skull Kid, who is wearing a funny looking mask. Skull Kid turns you into a Deku Shrub and runs off to do more mischief as you meet a fairy named Tatl who works just like Navi from Ocarina of Time. Link eventually ends up in Clock Town in the land of Termina where he meets the Happy Mask Salesman who tells him that if he can get back his mask he will turn Link back into his true form. Well, when you become normal and have no mask to give the salesman he explains the mask, called Majora's Mask, contains great evil and you need to get it back before Skull Kid destroys the world by cause a angry looking moon to fall.

Majora's Mask will take the average player around 20 hours to complete. That being said, there are only four dungeons in the game compared to the eight in Ocarina. However the dungeons are quite a bit longer than Ocarina's and the game is much harder than its predecessor. In addition to all that, there are way more sidequests available than in any other Zelda game until The Wind Waker.

The controls are still the same. Z targets the enemy or person, B attacks, A to roll, the C buttons for items, R for defending the the control stick moves Link. The controls in Ocarina of Time were perfect and they remain that way in Majora's Mask. The gameplay is the same as well. There are new enemies, dungeons and places to explore of course but this feels like Ocarina of Time and that is a really good thing.

The game suffers from a little bit of slowdown every now and then but the graphics overall are amazing. There are easily some of the best on the Nintendo 64 and even with the Playstation 2 just being released during the time of this game's release, it looked fantastic anyway. The graphics have improved since Ocarina of Time. Many of the character models have been recycled but there is more detail in the textures and environments. The soundtrack is better than Ocarina's and one of the most eccentric video game soundtracks to date.

Overall, Majora's Mask is an amazing game that is different enough from Ocarina of Time to make it not feel rehashed and is in some ways better than the legendary game that preceded it. If you have a Nintendo 64 and do not own this game, definitely check it out.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/11/08

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