A Personal Adventure About Saving The World
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D is weird but wonderful. It has its flaws but it has its moments of brilliance too. I’m happy to say that Nintendo and Grezzo have done a great job in remaking The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask by fixing most of the problems of the original while keeping what made it so special in the first place. Side quests have never felt more meaningful, items more unique and a tale about saving the world more personal.
Majora’s Mask 3D looks stunning; a fact that will be made more clear to you if you use the c-stick on the New Nintendo 3DS or the circle pad pro to have free control of the camera. It definitely looks much better than the original. Link and various NPCs are now more than just a mix-match of polygons; they look like real people in a living, breathing world. Textures have been greatly improved and the music throughout Majora’s Mask 3D, in particular the Song of Healing, sounds incredible.
In Majora’s Mask 3D, there is no Zelda, no Ganon, no Hyrule and no Triforce. Instead there’s a Skull kid, a mask, a moon and every citizen in Termina. Your quest is to try to stop Skull Kid and Majora’s Mask from crashing the moon into Termina and killing everyone in three day’s time.
Nevertheless, it’s the little stories that you will care about. Everybody in Termina is unique, everybody has a story and everybody will die. As you repeat the same three days over and over again, you will try to help and comfort the citizens of Termina as they come to terms with their inevitable death. This allows for darker, more meaningful themes such as death and mortality to enter the traditional Legend of Zelda storyline, making Majora’s Mask 3D a much more unique experience.
The three-day cycle is what keeps this game together; it’s an incredibly clever game mechanic. Not only does it link the story directly into the gameplay, but it makes the player feel helpless and stressed. Those feelings don’t go away. All you have to do is look up and you will see the grinning face of the moon ready to take away your life and the lives of all the people around you. In addition, the three-day cycle makes you think out your decisions more carefully. It’s not hard to run out of time and see the moon crash into Termina, so you’ll be constantly questioning whether you have enough time. Should you explore or go back to Clock Town to deposit your items?
One of the biggest complaints with the original Majora’s Mask was that there were only four dungeons. But, as I’ve never been a big fan of 3D Zelda dungeons, this isn’t a problem for me. In fact, I’m glad that the team focused instead on extensive side quests because this is where Majora’s Mask 3D truly shines. Majora’s Mask 3D is one of the few games where I would 100% recommend that you complete most of the side quests. All of them are different and unique. In this game there are some of the most iconic side quests in video game history, which offer more than just a piece of heart but a story in itself.
Moreover, completing side quests gives you access to Majora’s Mask 3D‘s extensive collection of masks. Do you want to swim like a fish? Run like the wind? Or is it your dream to become a bomb? Well you can do all of that with the help of masks. It’s a good thing that the masks are so interesting though, because without the masks Link’s arsenal wouldn’t be particularly exciting.
After hearing me ramble on about side quests, you’ll be glad to know that completing side quests is somewhat easier in Majora’s Mask 3D. The Song of Double Time makes life a lot easier by allowing you to skip forward in time to an exact hour instead of in six hour increments like in the Nintendo 64 original. In addition, the Bomber’s Notebook, your guide to side quests, now allows you to set an alarm because if you are not in the right place at exactly the right time you will not be able to activate the side quest.
Sadly, that’s the only thing that the Bomber’s Notebook does right. The notebook itself is confusing, convoluted and difficult to navigate, so much so that you’ll want to take a real notebook with you. This is a real shame considering what an important part of the game the side quests in Majora’s Mask 3D are.
The Verdict: 9.2 out of 10
Majora’s Mask 3D isn’t a grand and dangerous quest about saving a princess. Ok, you have to save the land of Termina from a moon hurtling towards them, but that’s not what the game is about. You won’t spend most of your time working out clever puzzles in dungeons, absorbing the beautiful world around you or trying to save Princess Zelda from Ganon. In The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, you’ll be trying to solve the smaller, more personal struggles of the inhabitants of Termina as they come to the reality of their death again and again and again.
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Lucy Pallent is a Senior Writer at MONG. She is a girl gamer from a rock in the middle of nowhere and is the world’s biggest n00b. She likes Nintendo, JRPGs and food. Feel free to follow her random ramblings on Twitter.