The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Drops the Moon, then the Ball

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I’m probably going to encounter some overpaid assassins for saying this, but after playing a fair chunk of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, I’m not entirely sold on it. It’s not bad, but it definitely falls in the shadow of its predecessor. I loved The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Due to the fact that I didn’t beat it completely, I’ll keep things rather brief, biased, and stick to my initial reactions. It might be cleaner to do this in a pros-cons list format.

Alright, so, what I liked:

  • The Happy Mask Salesman. What a freak. He would make one hell of a protagonist. He has more personality than… well, everyone.
  • The masks themselves. Transforming into other creatures? Getting to be a Zora? Yes please. Dicking around with masks is genuinely fun and allows for a versatile gameplay experience.
  • Time shenanigans. They add a different feel to the game; a sense of urgency and impending doom. Being able to see the angry-faced moon descending ever so slowly while listening to the heavy, grinding ticks of the clocks; tip-top immersion. I’m involved. Now don’t crash into Clock Town and kill me.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

And what I didn’t like:

  • The convoluted fetch questing. My tastes have definitely changed since playing Ocarina of Time, because in Majora’s Mask, all that running around to get things to get other things feels like a huge chore. It’s been a core part of gameplay though, so this particular aspect can be forgiven. Damn Goron sword.
  • The musical selection, including newly implemented ocarina songs and background music. I like the Song of Healing, but the Song of Awakening and the Song of Soaring… They’re rather icky. As far as background music goes, I didn’t really notice anything good or bad, which is in itself a problem. Hell, I have the Ocarina of Time soundtrack on several personal playlists.
  • The camera controls. Nothing’s changed since Ocarina of Time. If it has, I haven’t noticed. The gosh darn thing is as clunky as ever, and it goes from impractical to crippling come the time for high mobility in closed tight spaces, i.e. the Deku Shrine. Good lord, my battle was more against the camera controls than it was the obstacles. Where the crap did you go, you umbrella brandishing dandy nut spitter butler?!

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I’m thinking you need to carry hype over from Ocarina of Time to Majora’s Mask in order to fully appreciate it, but since I haven’t touched the former for years, I went in blank slate. Despite really wanting to like the masky chain-tasky follow-up to a slice of N64 gold, I find myself at a spectacular neutral while hunting down the Four Giants and navigating tool-oriented dungeon puzzles.

Maybe I just need to play it more. Or maybe I would have had more fun if I hadn’t played Ocarina of Time at all. No context means the heightened tolerance in dealing with new games. Most- excuse me, all of the negative points I make regarding Majora’s Mask are directly linked to Ocarina of Time. I can’t help it! I liked OoT more. Oh well. To all the Majora’s Mask fans out there: I’m sorry, but this one’s just not my cup of tea. I would recommend it to Legend of Zelda fans and that group only.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

An anonymous LoZ fan of ZeldaDungeon can provide you with the very review that I had hoped to give! Saves me the trouble of replaying OoT over again then quickly shifting to MM before the buzz fades, anyway. Here’s a link to the alt review (no pun intended), and if my review offended your eye-holes, feel free to forget about it entirely: http://www.zeldadungeon.net/Zelda06Review.php

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