In what is, and forever will be the pinnacle of strange and perfection, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is definitely a title that defines the golden age of Nintendo games, and seals the deal with it’s timeless gameplay, excellent story, and amazing charm, that only a Zelda game can surely deliver. So, why did it take Nintendo this long to realise that this title would be the exordium for any potential New Nintendo3DS owner out there? While Nintendo like to claim they always have the eye on the ball, and listen to what their fans want, that’s not necessarily the truth. With an outpour of uncertainty, since the successful re-release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D back in 2011, fans were truly clamerous towards the Japanese developer to bring the all time classic to the handheld. But all seemed effortless, until now. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask released back in 2000 on the Nintendo 64, and while that seems like a lifetime ago, the gameplay for this title holds up tremendously for a handheld console, today. While it may be the most unique, and risk taking title in the series, Majora’s Mask is a definite standout amongst the rest
Majora’s Mask is a true test of time. Not only in terms of being a classic, but the game itself.72 hours is all that is given to you to save the earth from the moon crashing into it. Being in a different setting altogether from Hyrule, really deviates this title from the norm of the usual Zelda story that we all grow to be accustom to. Separating itself from it’s counterparts here, Majora’s Mask does not reboot the story, but rather takes place immediately following the events of Ocarina of Time. The risk taking title, really does take itself into a whole new way of thinking Zelda, minimizing the real need for collecting items and visiting secret dungeons, rather putting the focus point on time management, and exploring the territory of Termina. With the moon falling, and it’s impending destruction withing said 72 hours, time travel plays a key element in this game. Being able to travel back and play through events over, and over again, may sound a little tedious, but is a true learning curb for skilled gamers out there.
Being one of the most eerie Zelda titles out there, you really do get the sense that this may the end of all ends, from beginning to end. From the moment Link runs into Skull Kid, being completely taken over by the evil Majora’s Mask, being transformed into various forms, or just the moon staring right down at you, you really do get that true, dark, fairytale vibe that the writers were aiming for here. Now, how do you control time? Well, it’s 2015… how else do you think? No, wait… not a DeLorean. The Ocarina (of Time), of course. Using the Ocarina to your advantage, can set a clear path directly to the end of the game, that is of course if you have mastered this classic. However, for newcomers, You have met a terrible fate, haven’t you? Missing key elements, Making mistakes, wasting precious time? It’s all part of the game. Being able to Travel, slow, and even speed through time comes at a price. Having to play all three days again, doesn’t necessarily mean you will master this… There’s more here than meets the eye. Playing a whole day again, will mean replaying past puzzles and quests, plus the ones you may have missed.
Being a classic, and re-introducing this title to a brand new, younger audience is something different, and will take alot of the newer Nintendo fans by surprise. The world of Termina, is not the ordinary happy-go-lucky atmosphere that you would regularly experience in Nintendo titles of nowadays, especially Zelda titles. Granted, the Zelda series are usually the darker adventure titles, that you would compare to the obvious Mario series, but to be completely dark and twisted from start-to-finish, is definitely different for the newer Zelda fans out there. The style of gameplay will also take alot of people by surprise here, with almost “Mario like” type power-ups, with each mask you collect. Starting the game with the Deku mask, you will then get the Goron and Zora Masks. But the Fierce Diety mask is the one you really want here. Becoming so ruthless, it’s almost you have been possessed to take out anything and everything around you. Just awesome.
Going through dungeons in Majora’s Mask, seems like a breeze and can really be something of a relief. Typically, you would spend ample amounts of time in Zelda dungeons, but the core focus of the title is obviously time here. So getting in and out of dungeons here are quick paced, but deliver greatly. However, running out of time here means you will have to defeat the boss of the same dungeon once again. You will still have everything you would have collected, but zooming back through time will mean repeating the same boss battle.
Having been given a nice graphical upgrade, we can really see some great improvements from the jagged edges we experienced on the Nintendo 64, to the vastly polished, and vibrantly detailed update on the Nintendo3DS. Giving off new, and improved details, with fresh textures and remodels that the game oh-so needed, really sets that colorful yet, gloomy tone of Termina. You can really tell a major difference between Majora’s Mask 3D, and Ocarina of Time 3D. It’s obvious that Nintendo really had some time to sit down, and re-do everything (and we mean everything) in Majora’s Mask. It makes Ocarina of Time 3D look completely outdated (ironically). You’ll find that the controls are more-or-less the same as Ocarina of Time 3D though. There are some improvements from the original Nintendo64 version, like a touch-screen inventory and map, and the addition to the New Nintendo3DS’ C-Stick, being able to now control the camera properly is something to be desired.
While many look at this as simply a re-release on handheld, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is one of, if not the best Zelda experience gamers will have the pleasure of playing. The dark, immersive, weird, wacky, and wonderful experiences you get to enjoy, and now relive on your Nintendo3DS is something gamers should admire Nintendo for. Being able to bring this unique title to 2015, and present it to the young ones, who are now are sons, daughters, nephews, and nieces, and being able to tell them, “I played this Zelda game when I was your age, and it was one of the best games I’ve ever played”, is something I cherish, and admire Nintendo for. Being able to talk to, and discuss an old school game to the younger generation, and have that be something that’s new for them, is simply awesome. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (3D), may not be the typical, nor standard franchise story we see, but will always stand the test of time, and be memorable for being the most unique title, of it’s series.
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