Review by DarkLink715
I expected a lot from this game, the prequel to it was my favorite game of all time and is considered to be the only perfect game ever to be made for any system. That game is, of course, Ocaraina of Time. I beleive that Nintendo was too hasty to get the next installment in the series out, they should have spent more than 2 years in development of Majora's Mask, it just needed MORE. It is certainly a great game, but nowhere near the caliber of the original for the Nintendo 64 system.
These are the graphics of a legend, the exact same as OoT's but better because they utilized the N64 expansion pack to become seamless, flawless in every way. I have seen no slow down in this game, none whatsoever. That is quite an accomplishment, considering that if the quality of the visuals of a game are excellent, like they are here, there is usually slow down because the system cannot support visuals of that caliber. But, this time, they designed the visuals to be at the peak of the performance of the Nintendo 64. This is the best that they could have done with the visuals, never has Link looked better (and I have played the Wind Waker, I am of the opinion that Link looked better in the Nintendo 64 graphics than he did on Gamecube, although the Gamecube graphics took the game in a totally cool direction that I approve of). There is nothing like turning on your system to see that Link is ready to slay Majora with the Fierce Diety's Mask on. The grahpic quality of the different races in the game is also superb, all of the Deku and the Goron resemble those of Link's prior quests, but they look so much better in this adventure. EVERYTHING looks better in this adventure.
Once again, Nintendo dazzles me again with the amazing sound that they put into this amazing game and amazing series. The music is classic and catchy, I have caught many people humming the title tune to the game or several of the songs that play when you are battling within the dungeons. The music is simply fantastic, but that is not the only good aspect of the sound that can be found in this game, the sound effects are also incredible. Every time you swing your sword, you will be rewarded with a whoosh of air and a sound if it connects with something. Each enemy makes a different sound when it is hit with a sword (or a bubble, goron, or arrow). The enemies also emit cries of pain whenever they are struck, and a dying cry when you finally take them down. There are also enemies that emit high-pitched shrieks when you enter the room in which they lay in wait of you, and you just know that something is creeping up behind you in the darkness.
One thing that they really did well in this game was the creepy atmosphere that was created by the music and the sound effects combined. For example, when you meet the Skull Kid with Majora's Mask on, different music plays than when you see a cinema of him with the mask off, playing with his fairies in a joyful way. Nintendo did a good job setting the mood in the game, and I think it was a great touch to add to the greatness of the game.
The controls have not budged since Ocaraina of Time was released, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The controls are as smooth as silk, there is no problem with them in any way. They take about 5 seconds to get used to, and then you will be able to play the game with ease, whether you have your Nintendo 64 or the Collector's Edition disc for the Gamecube. Nintendo made it very easy to draw out any weapon with the revolutionary select item screen, revived in this classic with the C-Button coeffecients for easy use during gameplay. Another great innovation is the targeting system, which can be used by pressing Z. It is so much easier to use this to target and lock on to enemies than it is to go in first-person mode and search around. The computer does all of the aiming for you, all you have to do is pull the bow string and hope that whatever you are shooting at isn't much faster than your arrow (because if it is, like a bird or a bat, the arrow will miss by a mile and you will have to get closer and draw another one). The controls in this game are without fault, and are some of the best that have ever been conceived by modern science.
The gameplay of Ocaraina is back, but it is slightly altered, I think in the negative direction. In Ocaraina of Time, you had to warp in between kid and adult, just a 7 year jump. When you changed, everything was different and it was a whole new adventure. I like this setup a whole lot more than the one that got put into the sequel, based on a 3-day time sequence in which you have to return a secret item to a mask salesman before he leaves town (when he does, the moon will crash into the earth and all will be doomed). You have to travel back in time every 3 days, and you lose all items and you have to redo all events over again to make certain new events be possible to access. The main thing that is missing is the ''save-on-the-fly feature, it has been replaced by owl statues that you can warp to. But, get this, if you turn off your system, the game goes back to the last time that you played the song of time to go back in time, so the saving in this game messes up the entire gameplay rating, and makes e very annoyed when I try to play through the entire game using only 3 hearts (not getting any heart containers). It is still great gameplay, though.
THE BOTTOM LINE
This is the sequel to the best game ever, you can't really expect it to surpass its prequel and take its place among legends. But what you can get from it is a short main story combined with a hell of a lot of sub plots and side stories combined together to make a really great game that I reccomend to everyone that liked the original, and even to those that have never played a Zelda game (although I am convinced that that is not possible).
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/04/04
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