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REVIEW: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

I’ll be honest. I never played the original Majora’s Mask.

Way back when the game was released on the Nintendo 64, I never got around to playing it. I sank countless hours into the game that came before it, Ocarina of Time. But somehow I just never got around to this one. I had heard a lot about the game and it always intrigued me but I never played it.

Until now.

Nintendo is continuing the tradition of updating older games in their catalogue and releasing them on current generation systems. I had always thought that the practice was a little silly, but that opinion has changed because of Nintendo’s latest game.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is a marvel of a game and looks magnificent on the Nintendo 3DS.

One thing for sure is that this is no simple port and Nintendo spent a LOT of time on it. Majora’s Mask looks to have been rebuilt from the ground up, taking the original game as a frame and building a whole new game around it. Sure the plot, story and characters are the same, but the look of everything in the game has been updated.

It’s amazing to think that the original game was released fifteen years ago and Nintendo has gone through three generations since then. Technology has changed and so much more can be done with the game that a simple port would have fallen short of any modern gamer’s expectations, visually speaking.

So what is this game about anyway? If you played the original release then you need no reintroduction. If you weren’t around in the Nintendo 64 days, this game is fresh and is like a brand new game.

The Skull Kid embodies the mischief and mystery of the Lost Woods, but now a cursed mask has transformed him into something far more terrifying. When he tricks Link into entering a land called Termina, the Hero of Time faces an urgent challenge in a strange, new land: stop the moon from ending the world in three days. Don’t panic! You’ll have some time-twisting tunes and magical masks to help you make it to tomorrow.

Termina is locked in a three-day cycle of doom: sun, rain, apocalypse—repeat. Only the Hero of Time—that’s you—can break this crazy routine by mending history one problem at a time: right wrongs, fix relationships, find treasures, fight evil, and more. Just be sure that you finish each job before that malevolent moon ruins everything.

As the massive wooden clock in the square ticks down to certain doom, the residents of Clock Town are handling the news in their own unique ways. If you sort out some problems for the townsfolk, they’ll make it worth your while. Yes, we’re talking treasure. It could be a piece of heart, or a new mask to help you on your journey.

A gang of do-gooders will entrust you with the Bomber’s Notebook to keep track of your many tasks. The Bombers Secret Society of Justice will loan you an appointment book that tells you exactly when and where critical events will occur. If you set an alarm, the notebook will even remind you when something is about to happen.

As you might expect from the title of the game, masks are an important part of the game. As you start off the game you are given a Deku mask, which turns you into a Deku scrub. Well you’re not so much given it as it’s forced up on you. One perk of the mask is that it does give you a new little ability. As a Deku scrub you can fly with Deku Flowers, and even hop across water.

In fact there are many masks, some of which will change your form, some of which are needed in various areas to progress, but others will give you a helpful boost in the game. One such mask will allow you to run twice as fast as usual.

Just like Ocarina of Time, you’ll have your trusty ocarina this time around as well. Some songs can carry you back to another time. When you play them on your ocarina, they will literally take you back. They can also slow down time … or speed it up. You get the idea.

The game is packed with puzzles, side quests, intricate dungeons and a lot to uncover. I also had a lot of fun exploring the various areas on the different days. Characters in the game do set things at set times over the three days, and you can also only access certain areas at specific times. You might even uncover a chest with a lots of rupees, if you’re there at the right time. Luckily there is a bank where you can actually deposit your coin, and still have access to it if you have to turn back the clock.

Any key items you pick up will carry over when you head back in time, including things like the bow and the bomb bag. The contents will disappear though, so you’ll have to repurchase or find arrows and bombs. That’s not too bad though.

The bottom touch screen is also greatly suited to displaying the map, as well as being useful for quick inventory control. I couldn’t imagine not having the second screen on any game like this anymore.

If you played the original game this remake is definitely worth checking out. You can download the original game on the Wii Virtual Console for 1,000 points ($10), but grabbing the 3DS remake is well worth it. Majora’s Mask is definitely one of the more unique Zelda titles and it’s great fun to play again and again. Pun intended.

Gameplay 10
Graphics 10
Sound 10
Overall 10