Ocarina of Time Repeated On a Smaller Scale
Majora's Mask attempts to craft a new adventure closely in the footsteps of its predecessor while still going in a different direction at the same time. It works to a certain extent, but ultimately ends up being a two edged sword in many aspects.
Picking up where Ocarina Of Time left off, Link and his horse Epona are traveling through Lost Woods when they are suddenly ambushed by the michievious Skull Kid, who steals Link's ocarina and horse. Pursuing the theif into a nearby cave, Skull Kid makes matters for Link worse by turning him into a Deku Scrub. From here, there is a great focus placed on the 24 masks you can obtain throughout the game, becoming one of Majora's Mask's gameplay center pieces. Strangely, there are only seven masks that you absolutely must collect to complete the game, and four of these are not needed until the last quarter of the game where you will only need to use them once or twice. Some of them are simply just fun distractions that may (or may not) increase the replay value for you, like the Blast Mask, which turns Link into a walking bomb that you can explode at the cost of a heart point to damage enemies within range.
Another element introduced in Majora's Mask is a three-day time limit (which averages out to about an hour in real time). At the end of these three days, an angry moon crushes Clock Town and the world of Termina, and in order to avoid this catastrophe, you will need to travel back in time to the first day via Song of Time. This proves to be interesting since you can continue progressing through the game with the items you get, despite the fact your interactions with the world have been erased. Unfortunately, this also gets very irritating quickly, since your eyes will always be tied to monitoring the time indicator, even after you are able to buy more time by warping around Termina using the Owl Statues or by slowing time down with a variation of the Song Of Time. You can get very far in a dungeon only to have no choice but erase your progression if your final day begins ticking down to its last minutes. The more this happens to you, the more you wish that the day cycle wasn't there dispite the best intentions somebody had in thinking it would be a good idea.
One thing that hasn't changed in Majora's Mask are the character designs. Few of them are completely brand new, and recycling half of Ocarina's cast and simply renaming them doesn't help you feel that you are in unknown territory. Some things, though, are better off without change, and fortunately, some of the Zelda series' greatest hallmarks still remain intact here. There are still those "Aha!" moments every now and then when you do finally conquer a truly infuriating puzzle. The boss battles, however, are not of the same quality as the puzzles. They aren't poor by any means, but compared to Ocarina of Time, most of them do not leave a lasting impression. Even the game's finale feels a little bit rushed and doesn't draw you in with sheer suspense like Ocarina of Time's did.
In the long run, Majora's Mask takes much of what made Ocarina Of Time so memorable - Link's transformation into an adult, the empowering Master Sword, the intimidating villain Gannondorf, Zelda, and a fantastic storyline, and replaces it with something... not so remarkable. It may be a must play for the Zelda fans, but those who still haven't gotten a chance to experience this awesome series would do better by starting somewhere else...
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Legend of Zelda - Majora's Mask
This one can be frustrating at times, but well worth it.
In short, the story proceeds this way. An evil "skull kid" drags our hero, Link, unwillingly into another world by stealing his horse and his ocarina. In this other world (named Termina), it seems the moon is falling. Yes, it's literally falling down out of the sky towards nearby Clock Town, and in three days' time--boom, Clock Town is history. This is all happening because Link's nemesis has stolen an artifact called Majora's Mask, and its sinister power has transformed him into quite an evil being. Your job is to get the mask back before the three days is up, thus ending the curse and saving the town.
You'll find the village of Clock Town quite amazing in and of itself. The complexity of plots, conspiracies, and events occurring between all of its inhabitants is a bit overwhelming. Luckily, you are provided with a notebook to help keep track of it all. Each citizen of Clock Town does his/her own thing, and you'll see the people walk back and forth between stores and houses. Depending on what time you are coming through, you always have a chance of meeting someone new and possibly obtaining some new information.
Time is one of three major features of the game, and it is real-time, albeit extremely truncated. An average day in the game will last about 18 minutes or so, and to help you keep track there is a clock located on the bottom of your screen at all times. I am usually scared off by the advent of time limits--time limits in general restrict your freedom and deter exploration. But the time limit is Majora's Mask is much different; it adds an entertaining new twist to the gameplay. Early on in the game, Link manages to get his handy Ocarina back, and with it he can play certain tunes that affect the world around him. Within his repertoire is a valuable song that allows you at any time to save your progress and start back at hour zero. It might sound contradictory, but you use it quite a bit. It would be tough to finish this game in 10 three-day cycles; in only one, it's impossible.
Time plays a larger factor than just providing an ending to the game. You'll find out quickly that most of the events and people around you are time-sensitive as well. Some examples of this might include meeting someone at exactly 5:00 pm, waiting for the mailman to deliver the mail at precisely 8:00 am, or visiting a certain shop that is only open between 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm. In addition, there are certain areas of the game that you cannot access until day two or three, which reduces your available time to finish some tasks. Time will affect nearly everything you do in Majora's Mask, and Nintendo has done it in such a clever way that you can't help but smile while solving the puzzles around you.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Zelda II -- the beautiful sequel for N64
Zelda: Majora’s Mask review
This game for Nintendo 64 is a great follow-up to the phenomenon "Ocarina of Time". It features the familiar characters, weapons, and challenging puzzles that fans like myself were blown-away with in the first one. The difficulty of the temples, and finding of masks can be quite advanced and tricky at times, which is a definite plus for anyone seeking an adventurous challenge!
Fans of the first one will appreciate the interesting places and things characters from the first game are doing in this new land such as the twin witch-sisters and one of my personal favorites: the organ player of the Song of Storms. One aspect of the story I enjoyed is the focus on a minor character from "Ocarina": the Skull Kid.
The story follows Link as he travels to the four corners of Termina in search of the mysterious ancient guardians who were said to come to Termina’s aid should ever she need it. Surely with the moon about to crash into the town, Termina needs their help! However, the evil Majora’s Mask has trapped the guardians’ spirits in masks that are worn and protected by ferocious beasts and monsters. The moon is on a crash-course for Clock Town – the center of Termina – and Link only has three days to stop the impending disaster by freeing his friend and destroying Majora’s Mask.
A main feature of the game is the element of different masks that our hero: Link, finds and utilizes throughout. The three main masks transform link into entirely different species and allow him to perform all sorts of amazing skills as a cute, bouncing Deku Scrub, a mighty, powerful Goron Hero, or a swift, sleek Zora Guitarist. There are plenty of other simple "face" masks that disguise Link's face but they too give him special abilities such as increased hearing and speed, or even the ability to talk to animals!
Of course, what would Zelda be without the memorable music. Personally, this is one of my favorite aspects of the game -- the incorporation of music. For a musician such as myself it is really cool to see music be given such a powerful role in the story. The songs are backed by a beautiful orchestra and I find myself humming them throughout the day. I love the power of the music in the game: Link can summon the “tears of a thousand angels” (a.k.a. the rain) and even go back in time with the beautiful melodies he plays.
I played this game as a child and it literally changed my life in that it made me love adventure and a good challenge. I played it again as an adult just recently and I can see why it was so influential to me: it expanded my imagination and encouraged my love of music!
The scenery and landscapes are spectacular, the characters are fun and memorable, the action is intense, the puzzles are vexing, the music is breathtaking, the story is outstanding, and the adventure is one that will certainly never leave you... even when you’re done playing.
Awesome! This game is priceless and an instant classic upon playing.
| No, I would not recommend this product.
Let’s get something out in the open first: Majora’s Mask is my personal favorite video game, ever. I know, not a popular pick like Half-Life 2, Super Mario Bros, or Final Fantasy VII. How dare I. The game struck such a deep chord that it’s impossible for me not to stack all other adventure games I play against it. Unfortunately, Majora’s Mask is often unfairly neglected when analyzing the annals of gaming, and that is a shame. A game like Majora just doesn’t get cast aside for no reason: it was released between generations while being in the shadow of one of the greatest games of all-time. That’s like breaking the legs of a high school track star before racing him against Usain Bolt.
Another thing damaging Majora was the gameplay expectations placed upon it. People wanted more of Ocarina, but Nintendo, fearing the that Ocarina would grow stale over time, didn’t give it to them. They gave them Majora’s Mask instead: a radically different Zelda experience. This change was too much to stomach for some gamers and journalists. But the game’s mixed initial reception (well, at least compared to that of Ocarina’s) still doesn’t change the truth that most reviewers couldn’t then see: Majora’s Mask was a forerunner in the open world genre, a game that was ahead of its time in so many ways that it’s still safe to call it the most up to date Zelda game ten years after its release. If you disagree with that, then at the very least you cannot deny this: it is by far one of the most unique games ever crafted. And one of the most underrated.
When first playing Majora’s Mask, one expects the game’s impending three-day long doomsday clock to disappear after completing the game’s one hour long introduction. But it doesn’t go away: death stays around the corner for the entire course of the game. This Stephen Baldwin like experience is unlike anything else seen in gaming. As each hour passes, the fear of Armageddon slowly ravishes the entire world; from the depressing tunes of the game’s music to the growing dreariness of the character’s dialogue. But the greatest gifts the clock offers are the ingenious gameplay mechanics that come with it.
The hardest part of creating a real-life virtual world is the idea of character growth. Developers just can’t seem to understand that it’s impossible to develop characters that grow old, lose jobs, and experience the ups and downs of a normal everyday existence. Peter Molyneux is still in denial of this fact. But this is where the true genius of Majora’s Mask shines through. Rather than having an infinite game life, Nintendo realized the best way to create a breathing world is to have a limit to it. So for three days, you get to see how a world and its civilians would live. Each character in this game has a schedule: a place to sleep, a time to eat, a time to relax, a time to work, a time to rob, a time to fight, a time to play, a time for a giant toilet hand to grab your ass, a time to jack off (okay, I made that up), a time for everything. It’s a schedule that feels so real that it can immerse any gamer entirely into its world. Most importantly, based on what quests and actions you perform in each three day cycle, characters’ dialogue and actions change, making the world feel wonderfully organic. In my opinion, it’s one of the most organic worlds designed in all of video gaming to this day. Considering its time, Majora’s Mask is an even greater triumph.
Now THIS is a Love/Hate Game.
I don't care what anyone tells you, this is a GREAT GAME.
Of course, you have to buy a special card of some sort for the N64 console, but, it's worth it once you get your little gamer hands on this game.
It has three days to compelte every task, but, the Ocarina of Time is your best friend in this game. It is used in almost EVERY situation, and it's SO MUCH FUN to see if you can't get ALL The songs, along with EVERY item.
It's a continuation from the Ocarina of Time, but, it also just kind of warps its way into a compeltely different feeling from most other Zelda games. It's not entirely emmersed around Princess Zelda, as a lot of the other games that were made in this series were, in fact, it's mainly surrounding the Skull Kid, which you meet in the OoT in the Lost Woods.
Basically, he's going to destroy the planet. You have to collect a large assortment of masks in order to finally get up onto the moon and help the entire planet in three days. It's quite difficult, as you have to meet certain characters at certain places, at certain times, wearing certain masks, but, as usual, Nintendo out does itself.
It's the N64, so the graphics aren't the best, but the music is, as usual, astounding. I like to just listen to it sometimes, and have it on in the background as I'm working on a paper or some sort. Being in college, I still find this game to be one of the best that I've ever played, being the game that got me hooked onto the Zelda series in the first place, I give it two thumbs WAY up.
But, there are a lot of people that tend to compare it soully to OoT. NO GAME will ever be able to beat the first one ever made for the N64, as it is awesome, but, you definately have to give this one a chance if you want to really get into a fun filled game. It's enjoyable to anyone of ANY age, and I would recommend it to EVERYONE.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.