NS Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (3DS)
After years of campaigns, e-mails, and online complaining The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask has finally been given the same treatment as its revered older brother. So we now have a remake of the far darker title on Nintendo 3DS, with all the bells and whistles that Ocarina of Time had; but how does it stand up, not only against its brother, but against the hype that preceded it?
The story is possibly one of the most unique of the entire franchise, especially as it stands as one of the only times in which there has been a direct sequel (the other being Adventure of Link, if I am not mistaken). The younger incarnation of Link from Ocarina of Time leaves Hyrule in search of Navi, becomes lost and, through various events, finds himself in Termina. It turns out that Skull Kid has acquired an evil power from a mask and has pulled down the moon to destroy the world, which will happen in three days.
This leads on to the most unique feature, the time dynamic. The three days are constantly ticking down no matter what you are doing. If you run out of time, you have to start the three days over, losing any non-definite progress you have made. So, any temples you have beaten remain beaten, and any major possessions you acquire are kept, but any rupees, quantity-based items, or unfinished quests are reset. This leads to an amazingly tricky experience when you’re watching the clock and trying to work out if you have enough time to make it to the next checkpoint, or if there’s just enough time for you to reach (or finish) the next temple. It adds a real threat, and draws the player into the world by giving them the same concerns as the characters.
In the remake, there have been two fundamental changes that make the game easier than the original. Firstly, is the introduction of a more immersive and intuitive version of the Bomber’s Notebook, which makes all of the side-quests in the game much easier to follow. Secondly, is the return of the Sheikah Statues, which the player can use to watch clips to help them in their quest. The best thing about both of these changes in that they are optional and can be ignored if the player wishes to work out the game for themselves.
Aesthetically, this game is completely stunning. Nintendo have essentially reskinned Majora’s Mask in the same way that Ocarina of Time was done, so the over ten year old game now looks great even by today’s standards. However, I want to gloss over the beautiful appearance to focus on the music, because it is breath-taking. Majora’s Mask has one of the best soundtracks in the Zelda franchise, maybe of all games, there I said it. The haunting, foreboding music throughout the game perfectly suits the doomed world of Termina, with the music playing during the final moments of Clock Town being among one of the most imposing songs I can think of in gaming.
So, should you buy The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D? This all depends on how much you played the original game on the Nintendo 64. This is a fantastic remake of a wonderful game, but not quite enough has changed for it to be a worthwhile purchase for those that played it to death the first time around. However, if you haven’t played it or have only played around with it in the past, this is an amazing game that is worth your time and attention.