The Nintendo 64 was a turning point for a lot of Nintendo franchises, but none more than The Legend of Zelda. This all started with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a title widely considered to be the best of the franchise, which took Zelda from its iconic 2D side-scroller style, to a 3D action adventure title. Following that was The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, a title that is still unique next to other Zelda games, though for that reason several fans consider it the best or at least most interesting title in the franchise. Naturally when Nintendo announced plans to remake Ocarina of Time, fans were hopeful than we would get Majora’s Mask in the future. After a couple of teases and a few years of waiting, Nintendo has finally released a remake of Majora’s Mask. The only question is, can Majora’s Mask stand the test of time or is it a title best forgotten like the CD-i games?
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D takes place after the events of Ocarina of Time where Link is successful; the sacred realm is protected and is the start of the so-called child era. Here you start your adventure in a place called Termina and meet a mysterious imp called Skull Kid. He turns you into a Deku, prompting you to chase after him in hopes of turning back to normal. Along the way you run into another mysterious character referred to as the Happy Mask Salesman. The salesman offers to change you back to normal if you can bring Majora’s Mask back to him in three day’s time. After failing the first time, you play the song of time to return to the start, where the salesman assumes you completed your task and helps you return to normal. After he learns you were unsuccessful, you’re given a brief summary of the danger/history of the mask, which sets up your adventure to stop Skull Kid and return the cursed mask to the Happy Mask Salesman.
For those of you who haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask in the past, it’s easily the most surreal and interesting stories in the Zelda franchise. With elements that warp reality, trippy cutscenes and unsettling things like the grinning moon, make a thrilling story that fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.
In addition to having a memorable story, Majora’s Mask is also a delight to play. Taking after its predecessor, Majora’s Mask 3D is also a 3D action adventure title with plenty to see and even more to do. At first your options will be limited, but as you talk to people, unlock new abilities and conqueror the dungeons, the world really opens up like with all Zelda games. The only real problem with the gameplay is the time limit.
As mentioned above you need to return Majora’s Mask to the Happy Mask Salesman in three day’s time, so you need to make the most it. Once you’re about to hit the end or finish enough side tasks, you can play the song of time and return to the start. This will reset your progress in most areas, leaving you with only the most essential things completed. So if you completed a dungeon, then that will remain completed, where as you’ll lose all your rupees, arrows, side quest progress and so forth. This makes progressing very tedious without a guide, but at least the 3DS version has a number of hints/clues to help you progress with some trial and error. As frustrating as this can be, eventually you’ll get the hang of it and over time you’ll figure out all the steps, times and things you need/can do to complete all the side quests in Majora’s Mask.
Much like Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D takes full advantage of both the 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS. The bottom screen gives you helpful information, such as a map that can be zoomed in on, key items, in addition to giving you helpful information without cluttering the screen or making things difficult to read. This helps streamline the process, especially if you need to look at the map or are viewing the journal to keep up on your events.
Majora’s Mask 3D also supports the circle pad pro, which means you can use the New Nintendo 3DS’s c-stick. Despite its small size and arguably weird position, the c-stick is quite helpful for precise camera work. For those without the circle pad pro or New Nintendo 3DS, you’ll have to use the left trigger. The left trigger will let you look around, lock on targets or simply move the camera to match whatever direction you’re looking. Sure you lose some of the precise controls the c-stick/circle pad pro offer, though you don’t need much more than what the left trigger offers.
Similar to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D offers a modern take on the beloved classic. While the changes are small and numerous, they help make the title more accessible to newcomers, while keeping the original vision intact. This might be disappointing to some, as the time constraints can be annoying, but the hints, tips, second screen and other improvements help streamline the process. So if you had issues playing Majora’s Mask in the past or simply want to relive this classic, then you can’t go wrong with Majora’s Mask 3D.The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D Review,