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   The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - Review  

Overrated At Best
by Zachary Lewis

BATTLE SYSTEM
INTERACTION
ORIGINALITY
STORY
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Easy
COMPLETION TIME
10-40 Hours
OVERALL

3/5

Rating definitions 

   All in all, I wasn't terribly impressed with the latest episode in the great 'Zelda Saga'. It lacked much of the standard Zelda feel and seemed very rushed in its' creation. Combine this with the fact that it's so VERY short and you can come to see that there were better days behind than ahead...

   The battle system of TLOZ:MM is identical to that of Ocarina of Time in nearly every way. It's is movement and action based. Dodge enemy attacks and take on several different forms to master every monster and boss in a matter of moments. The battle sequences in Majora's Mask are often set up in such a way that it is a simple matter of having a bottled fairy or magic restoring potion on hand to achieve victory. Basically it comes down to: Chop! Hack! Slash! Whomp! And Link silently exclaiming, "I WIN!".

   The one twist to this is that you can become other creatures. Simply put (and avoiding plot spoilers...) you can become a Deku Scrub and hop across the water; transform into a Zora and propel yourself quickly through the water; morph into a Goron and pound blocks into the ground. Oh... And you can change your attack patterns, too. The plethora of other masks often have effects in combat as well. Discovering how to use them effectively is the whole object lesson of this game.

Cookout Cook-Out

   Musically, the game is as lackluster as in every other category. No single track comes to mind as especially wonderful and often I put in a CD and listened to my own alternate soundtrack (Ah! The wonders of A/V cables ^_^). The sound effects are poignant and effective. At the very least they brought back the Light World map theme (although it's remixed into the stars...).

   Yet again, Link doesn't talk. The only real character development or interaction comes when your new fairy companion, Tatl, her brother, Tael, and the infamous Skull Kid are together. Even then the dialogue is more simply a readable advancement of the plot instead of the typical hack and slash your way through the abysmally tiny dungeons.

   Storyline is the one new thing that helped this Zelda game. It no longer involves rescuing the princess or defeating Ganon. Instead, you are 'treasure hunting'... In a vague and mystical way. The prize that you are looking for is Majora's Mask. It was stolen by an imp from the Lost Woods and taken - along with your Ocarina - to the land of Termina (which seems to be a parallel dimension of Hyrule). After battling through each dungeon you'll quickly come to realize that your enemy might not be what it seems and that looking beyond appearances is a noble and wondrous thing...

A Lesson In Spyro? A Lesson In Spyro?

   Yet again, Nintendo shows that it's not just text that can tell a story. But, considering how little dialogue there is - given such a huge cast of characters - I'd say the translation is pretty good.

   Unlike the first three games in the series, I doubt that it will be less than a decade before I play Majora's Mask again. There simply isn't any reason to play it more than once, unless you want to try and complete every side-quest in the game and rack up a completely un-necessary twenty hearts.

   If you've played Ocarina of Time and successfully finished it, Majora's Mask will be a piece of cake. The single most difficult thing to work around in the entire game is the camera. A good number of the angles are absolutely horrific and can get you killed more easily than a spiked pit in a Mega Man game. In boss fights - unfortunately - this seems the most prevalent. Good luck!

N64 RAM Expansion In The... Flesh N64 RAM Expansion In The... Flesh

   Listen my children and you shall hear the story of the N64 RAM Expansion. I had assumed that the RAM Expansion would guarantee some sort of graphic genius when I foolishly bought it. Probably the only difference that it makes (and the only thing that the game uses it for, most likely) is in the psychedelic dream-type sequences. I wasn't awed by the effects in any case and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the $62.99 I paid for the game was merely based off the Zelda name. Considering the facts, Majora's Mask is simply an overly extravagant TLOZ:OOT in the graphics department.

   Time is a very objective thing where this game is concerned. Game time is a very strange concept when compared to real time but, considering all the little broaches, I'd say it shouldn't take more than a day or two to beat it. Figuring out the puzzles and finding the songs can get complicated but if you keep at it, you will persevere!

   TLOZ:MM is by far my least favorite game in the series. It just doesn't have the same flair and charm that the other 5 do. I hate to say it, but the off-hand approach that Koji Kondo and Shigeru Miyamoto took to this game hurt it as badly as it would be possible for a N64 game to be.

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