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Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Review

Déjà Vu
By: Roku

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 4
   Interaction 4
   Originality 3
   Story 2
   Music & Sound 3
   Visuals 5
   Challenge Easy
   Completion Time 10-40 hours  
Overall
3

Well, this is new
Well, this is new
Title
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask appears as a kind of spinoff to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Child Link is pulled into another world and is put under a curse that turns him into a Deku. On his quest to defeat Majora's Mask and stop the world from being destroyed, Link will need to time travel once again. This time he repeats the same few days over and over until the crisis is averted. To aid him in his quest are dozens of masks which bestow special powers upon him such as the ability to run fast. Unfortunately, the entire game has only four or five levels depending on how one looks at it as opposed to eleven in its predecessor.

Battles are almost exactly like they were in Ocarina of Time. Link can use a variety of sword attacks, evasive abilities, and his shield to fight. He can even use a variety of tools such as bombs to aid him. Majora's Mask includes some new fighting abilities thanks to masks playing a major role. Masks such as the bunny hood will increase certain statistics such as speed and allow a combat advantage that way, but there are special transformation masks which have different effects. By turning into other creatures such as the Deku, Goron, and Zora, Link can gain a few new combat abilities such as the Goron's spin attack. Once again, battles are fought in real time and are generally exciting.

Majora's Mask features a large number of overpowered masks which make the game very easy. Even most of the puzzles aren't challenging. It's even possible to get the ultimate mask which will make even the last boss seem like a pushover, not that it's very difficult anyway.

Most of the play control and interface in Majora's Mask come straight from Ocarina of Time. A few improvements may have been made to controlling Link, but they are more than made up for by the less-than-perfect play control when he transforms. Localization remains the same with very little dialog that has few noticeable errors.

Virtually everything found in Majora's Mask comes from Ocarina of Time in some form. The only major original additions come in the form of the many special masks, the end of the world theme, and the transition from the main game to the sidequest system. The masks with new powers offer a few new puzzles and options in battle. The end of the world theme is new, but the time constraints can get annoying at times. The sidequests are the most original part of the game and are quite interesting. They seem to offer a fairly unique experience for those willing to complete them all.

The storyline of Majora's Mask starts off extremely well, but quickly falls. The introduction is full of plenty of interesting events such as Link's curse, Majora's Mask, and time travel. Afterwards, a short series of levels follow with little addition to the main plot. It isn't until the very end of the game that it begins to pick up again, but it ends soon afterwards. Time travel elements help the game at first, but hurt it later on as there is a great deal of repetition. Players are often forced to fight the same bosses several times as they regenerate every time Link travels back to the first day. While the main story isn't that great, there is quite a bit of NPC development. A large cast of characters exist and has their own personality and storyline. Though some subplots are much larger than others, this is a nice touch.


Boo
Boo
Since it only has four or five levels, Majora's Mask can be completed very quickly. Though the levels are longer than in other Zelda games, the game can still be completed in under ten hours. There are tons of sidequests to keep the player busy ranging from the massive amount of heart pieces to quests to aid the townspeople in their time of need. These extra quests account for most of the gameplay and can add thirty hours easily.

Majora's Mask features a good soundtrack, but it consists heavily of recycled music from Ocarina of Time and several old remixed Zelda tracks. There are new tracks as well, but none are really worth mentioning. Most of the sounds are recycled as well, but they are still quite good. The few new sounds are well done and fit in with the rest nicely.

The visuals found in Majora's Mask are beautiful. This is probably because most of them are simply recycled from Ocarina of Time with a few additions. The important characters have gained a much larger range of animation which is a nice touch. All things considered, Majora's Mask was still the leader in graphics at the time of its release and for good reason.

The main game itself is far too short to earn it much merit. The large number of sidequests are nice, but it seems they went a little overboard with them. Despite the number of mask upgrades and minor improvements, it is difficult to consider Majora's Mask as much more than a slightly cheap spinoff due to the severe lack of an actual game. It's still fairly enjoyable, and worth playing if you enjoy Zelda games and sidequest driven games, but otherwise you're better off elsewhere.

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