By Sam Coles:
Me and a select majority are the only gamers that seem to think that The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask is better than Ocarina of Time and I and those select few seem to get lambasted by comments saying “No it’s not Ocarina of Time is the best game ever”! The reason why I love Majora’s Mask because it strayed away from the standard Zelda formula where you have an adventure with no Ganon or Zelda, well she’s in it for a few seconds to remind you the Song of Time.
Story takes place after of the events of Ocarina of Time where you see Link riding Epona through the forest as he is in search of his fairy friend Navi, but he is then ambushed by Skull Kid who has been possessed by Majora’s Mask where he steals Link’s horse and Ocarina then turns him into a Deku Scrub. He finds himself in the world of Termina which is a parallel world to Hyrule which has the same citizens as Hyrule but they have different roles and they don’t know who Link is. In the small hub Clock Town you find that Skull Kid has summoned an evil moon to crush the world in three days and you must summon the four giants to stop him.
You’ll trudge through Termina disguised as a Deku Scrub, Goron and a Zora, what I like about this is that no one really registers Link’s presence rather they register the spirit that he has transformed into such as the King of the Gorons or the guitarist for that bizarre rock band in the Zora domain. This philosophical approach is great because you can work your little elven legs, but it is no use because the land is doomed, because when you revert the time back to the first day everything becomes gloomy and depressing again when you have saved the swamps from the poison water or melted the ice from the Goron’s homeland it reverts back to its problematic situation.
The gameplay is identical to Ocarina of Time with a few minor tweaks and changes; for starters Link is more robust and flexible with his movements with the subtle addition of flips when he jumps rather than a simple jump animation. The main gameplay mechanic in this game is the three day time loop where you have those days to get what you need to get done before the moon smashes into the world. Your Ocarina is your main tool in this game where you can reverse time back to the first day which in the original game was one of the only ways to save the game, but it does work like that in this one I’ll get into that later. Other ways you can alter time are you can play the Song of Time backwards so you can slow the passage of time (which is very helpful) or the song of double time where you can fast forward time.
Features that they’ve added and tweak are great such as the save system which makes the game more accessible compared to before because as I said before you can no longer save the game when you revert back to the first day, however there are more save points around and you don’t have to quit the game like you did in the old version. The bombers note book has been fine tuned and you get it when you meet the Happy Mask salesman rather from the Bombers and everything is better laid out compared to before.
The graphics and presentation have been given a massive boost compared to its N64 counterpart with textures that have been smoothed out in every way by making the colours vibrant to the new design to the moon which looks scarier coupled with more detail to Clock Town with the added posters that the N64 couldn’t render. The main thing that I’m thankful for is the frame rate runs at 30 frames per second and I don’t think it drops at any point, Majora’s Mask had very bad frame rate issues on the Gamecube and N64 which would drop to 15 fps which is unplayable, but they have fixed this in this remaster.
Overall The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask is just as good as I remember it and this remaster is another case of how it should be done with updated visuals and gameplay tweaks to suit the portable system. So if you haven’t played Majora’s Mask before then pick up this version of the game, but play it on the “new” 3DS for the better control scheme.