Last week Nintendo released ”The Legend of Zelda – Majora’s Mask 3D”, a remake of the Nintendo 64-game ”Majora’s Mask” for the Nintendo 3DS. Some time ago1 I bought the N64-version and I still haven’t played it through to the end. It seems my current lifestyle just doesn’t allow me to occupy the tv for hours on end. It does however allow me to play short bursts of handheld games here and there. So when I heard about the 3DS-remake I went giddy with anticipation.
I’ve now played Majora’s Mask 3D for a couple of hours and I’ve got some early opinions about it. If you’ve never played it, neither for the N64 nor the 3DS, you can still read most of this post without having anything important spoiled.
The look and feel
The story and gameplay of these old N64 Zelda games remain very engaging to this day, but the look of them does not transcend time as well as one would want. The 3DS version fixes most of this. Where a lot of details in the original (rocks, patches of grass etc.) looks like a single boxy polygon, the 3DS version really gives you a whole lot more depth to the experience. Details are sharp and the world seems a whole lot more realistic and believable, without losing any of its wonderful fantasy setting.
Playing the game
Majora’s Mask is a great game! Wether you play it on an N64 or the 3DS it is a really fun experience. The story is compelling, the puzzles just hard enough to make you slightly frustrated at times, the characters are well known to you if you, like me, has spent way too much time playing The Ocarina of Time.
Everything about the controls that was good about the original is equally good on the 3DS and some things feel better.
The concept of time is very important in Majora’s Mask. This is just as true in the 3DS version. The way time is used in the game led to a very odd and confusing saving mechanism in the original version. This has been smoothed out a lot in the 3DS remake. This does not make the 3DS-version ”dumbed down”, it just makes it less confusing.
Want to know more? See the following footnotes for details that might contain spoilers.2
Do I think you should by it?
Of course that depends on so many things about you that I know nothing about. But if you are like me, a grown-up geek with a well-paying job and disposable income, a love of Zelda-games and some time to kill, the answer is YES GOD DAMNIT, YES!!!!!
But I don’t own a 3DS
I bought my 3DS for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Even if that had been the only game I played on it, it would totally have been worth its price. I’m sure the same is true for Majora’s Mask3.
So how far have I’ve come
I’ve just finished the first real dungeon. On my never-finished run on the N64 I made it through three out of four dungeons, so I have a pretty good idea about what to do next. I’ll likely blog a lot more about the game as I make my way forward.
- Turns out it was quite a long time ago. I thought it was in the recent year but when I looked up the old blog post I realized it was in 2013. More than a year and a half ago! ↩
In the original version there are two ways to save:
1. You play the ”Song of Time” and return to the dawn of the first day. You’ll lose you’re inventory and the state of the land will return to the way it was at the beginning of the game. Collected masks and treasures will remain in your possession.
2. You find an owl status and tell it to save and quit. When you start playing again you will be back at that very place, that very time. However if you quit the game now, everything since the last time you played ”Song of Time” will be discarded, unless you once again quit by talking to an owl statue.
This is needlessly complicated for something that should just work. In the 3DS version you can still reset the time by playing ”Song of Time”. However when you encounter an owl statue you can save, but without being forced to quit the game. There are also more saving points placed here and there in the game. These are not owl statues so you can’t ”soar” to them, but they are fully functioning save points. ↩
- Again, if you have disposable income. Don’t buy things you can’t really afford! ↩