Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 01/10/11

"Lets milk Zelda fans!!!"

The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is an Action\Adventure developed by Nintendo. I start off by saying that I am a huge Zelda fan. My favorite games in the series are Link To The Past and Ocarina Of Time. However I’m no fanboy. I don’t care if the cartidge has the name Zelda on it… if the game isn’t good it just isn’t good and that’s it. After the enormous success of OOT, fans were thirsty for a sequel. Nintendo had the chance to create the best game ever, far better than any other Zelda title. The budget was there, the guarantee of success was there and the whole world was waiting. And then someone in the company probably said, “Gamers are stupid!!! They would buy anything with the name Zelda on it, especially after OOT. So lets make a game without wasting too much effort and money!”

Story: 5/10
Presentation: 2/10

Kudos to Nintendo for trying something more original but thumbs down for the bad execution! After the end of OOT Link has set off on a journey to find a certain friend of his. While riding his horse he gets attacked by a strange imp that wears a strange mask, steals his ocarina and transforms him into a small Deku scrub! After a small array of intro-type missions you get your ocarina back and change into normal Link, but now you realize that the mask that the Imp is wearing has somehow possessed him and is using him to bring the moon down to the Clock Town. The catch? It all ends in 3 days and you only have a few hours left!!! It is then that the real game starts… you play a song in your ocarina and turn back time and you now you must do all you can in order to stop that Imp completing his evil mission with the aid of the time bending Ocarina you have. The concept is very good and promising but the result is quite flawed. The biggest problem is the lack of character… the game is far from an epic tale like The Ocarina Of Time. Besides the 4 main dungeons the rest of the game is filled with boring side-quests, mini-games and cardboard characters that you won’t care at all if they live or die. Nintendo has put a lot of effort to create a virtual world where people don’t just stand there. You will see the characters doing their daily chores in certain days and in certain times, but as I’ve said you won’t care… Give a potion to a witch, help a whiny kid fall asleep, play music for some man and so on. Even worse: since you’ll rewind the time too many times you will see the same characters and the same mini-plots developing again and again until your mind flips!!!

Gameplay: 6/10
Replay Value: 1/10

Lets see… what made the Zelda games famous? Well especially when we talk about the Ocarina Of Time, we talk about a magnificent world to explore, lots of items to find and secrets to unveil, wonderfully puzzling dungeons and great boss fights. This game HAS a vast world to explore, it HAS great dungeons, it HAS a lot of items to find… it has EVERYTHING a Zelda game needs. So why don’t I like it???

The 3 Groundhog Days:
Your main quest is about gathering four masks in order to stop the moon’s fall. After 3 in-game days everything ends so before that you must use the Ocarina to turn back time. Sounds great? It isn’t and let me give you some reasons why. First of all, almost 90% of the game revolves around some stupid side-quests and while I love side-quests, here they are a chore to do. Most of them are simple ones like fetch quests and the like. The problem is that since there is an actual in-game time system, full with day-night cycle and all, you must do things in very specific moments of the day something that requires a LOT of trial and error and time rewinding. If the quests were any good it would be ok, but they are boring and unrewarding for the pain they give you. In fact the only mission worth doing is saving Cremia so that she may shovel you in her breasts, (Not kidding!!!). Another problem with this 3-day cycle is the fact that you’ll do things more than once since the things you’ve done before are wiped out when you rewind time!!! So in order to melt the ice in the mountains you must fight a certain boss once more, in order to get a boat ride you must save a certain old lady and so on…

All this trouble for some masks:
Like I’ve told you most of the game is about side-quests and that because that’s the main way you can strengthen your character since most of them lead to heart pieces or certain items while the main quests leave you pretty weak. Besides that though you’ll get a lot of masks. There are 4 kinds of masks. #1: The 4 ones that are needed to win the game. #2: Three ones with which you can transform into a Deku Scrub so that you can hover in the air, a strong Goron-link that can roll like a boulder or a Zora-link so that you can swim. The problem is that most of time you’ll use these masks in very, very specific areas of the game usually in the main dungeons. #3: Masks that give you certain powers, like faster running speed, invisibility and… to say the truth I can’t think of any others and that’s because of… #4: The rest of the masks, (and there are a lot of them), which don’t really have any real use apart from solving side-quests. For example a dancer gives you a mask that will make help you to teach some girls how to dance better and that-is-it! The only saving grace of the game are the dungeons. They are not flawless… in fact there are some things that I don’t like about them but they are far better than the rest of the game. They are made for Zelda veterans, since they are the most complex and hard ones you’ve ever seen and not only that but you have the clock ticking creating a nice, (although sometimes annoying), feeling of urgency.

Graphics: 10/10
Design: 7.5/10

The game is beautiful but at the same time so freaking identical to OOT. We have only a few changes here and some of them are very subtle for most people to see. Technically speaking, the draw distance is magnificent, the dynamic lighting is better, we have more models on screen and the texture mapping has better quality… but that’s not enough for me to buy a game and furthermore an expansion pack. For the most part I feel like I’m replaying Ocarina Of Time and then BAM!!! A boss fight starts with wonderful special effects during the battle and that-is-it. My biggest complain though has nothing to do with the technical aspects of the game but with the overall design. Nintendo had the opportunity, the money and the certainty that their game will definitely sell and instead of creating something truly magnificent they make something inferior to OOT. I repeat, technically the graphics are top notch, but that’s not all there is to it. The town looks boring and the dungeons are quite forgettable while in OOT each dungeon had a special atmosphere. The bosses here are also quite borring. OOT had a dark ghost knight on top of a flying horse, MM has a big fish, OOT had a Shadow Link battle in a dreamy area, MM has a strange bull like creature that runs around. In fact there is only one area in the game, (near the end), that really owed me. Finally the games reuses all the models of OOT and I don’t mean simple shopkeepers and such, but main characters! Couldn’t they make at least some new models for their new characters??? Cheap… very cheap! Anyway the game does look great, there’s no question about that, my problem is that it could be a lot, lot better…

And what’s up with that Moon??????

Sound: 10/10
Music: 7/10

The sound effects are pretty much the same as the ones in OOT with only a few additions, some good, some cheesy, none of them worthy of any mention. They do their job, they do it ok, so that’s fine with me. The most important thing though when it comes to the sound section of a game is probably its music and the music of Majora’s Mask fails to capture the greatness of past Zelda games’ music themes. Some themes are back from OOT, especially some Ocarina tunes and of course we also have some new ones, the problem is that none of them are catchy at all. Even now, that a lot of time has passed since I’ve last played a Zelda game, I can remember most of the themes, (if not all), and while I started writing this review right after I completed this damn game I can’t recall any theme other than the music that plays when the moon starts falling down. What I am trying to say is that the music here isn’t bad, but who the hell wants a Zelda game with just average music?

-Good complex dungeons
-A big world to explore
-Very good graphics

-The plot concept is great the execution is very bad…
-Boring characters
-Annoying side-quests, (a lot of them).
-The 3-day cycle forces you to “backtrack” a lot
-A cheap reuse of models from Ocarina Of Time
-Average music for a Zelda game

Also Play:
Beyond Good & Evil ((PC, PS2, GC, XBOX)
Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past (SNES)
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (N64)
The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC, WII)

Overall: 6.1/10

6/10 in GameFaqs terms means, “Good but there are other games out there that are better” a term that says everything there is to be said about the game. Yes there are far better games out there… like the REST OF THE ZELDA GAMES!!!

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/25/00)

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