The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D Review (3DS eShop)

Majora's Mask 3D Review

Let me start out by saying that this is my first experience with Majora’s Mask and I never played it on the N64 as a kid. This should allow me to make this review as unbiased as possible and give it a fair score for what it is.

Majora’s Mask is hailed as one of the best if not the best Legend of Zelda games of all time. There are some who would even classify this game as one of the best games ever created. It might be hard to imagine, but the game that some of you played almost 15 years is soon going to be played for the very first time by a new generation. While I can’t deny that this game was amazing for its time when it was released back in 2000, it has definitely aged, though some aspects have stood the test of time. It’s okay though because Nintendo was very deliberate about making sure that this wouldn’t be an issue for any new or returning players.

Whether you want to believe it or not, gamers have changed drastically over the years. Many people have much less time to dedicate to their games or don’t want to put as much time into them. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is a different mentality and that’s why changes were made accordingly. The layout for the Bomber’s Notebook, for example, seems to be laid out a bit better than in the original and now sports touch controls, which is a debatable improvement for some. The biggest addition by far is the incorporation of the Sheikah Stone within the central clock tower that provides players with hints on what to do next. Whenever you are stuck or feel like you missed something, just crawl inside of the stone. It shows you a clean layout of all the available activities you could have done in that cycle of days to let you know what you completed and what you missed. Most of the time there is also a short video clip available within the game to show how to do something in detail. This feature feels like a YouTube guide within the game and it definitely cuts out some of the time it would take to Google a walkthrough. Maybe I’m just stupid, but I feel like I would’ve had a tremendously hard time trying to get everything done in this game as a kid without leaning on the Sheikah Stone for help here and there.

Having seen multiple playthroughs of the original Majora’s Mask over the years made me realize just how much better this 3DS remake looks compared to the original, and it’s definitely on or above the graphical level as 2011’s Ocarina of Time 3D. One of the moments that sticks out most is when you first enter the Astral Observatory. I noticed many people were complaining about the changes made to the bottom segment of the observatory, but any complaints should be silenced once they see what lies above. Admittedly, the graphics didn’t make the game back then and they don’t matter as much even now, but the new coat of paint is certainly appreciated and will make Majora’s Mask 3D all the more appealing to newcomers.

In terms of story, the game has been left entirely intact. Majora’s Mask takes place several months after Ocarina of Time and begins with Link riding Epona in the Lost Woods where he is razzed by the notorious Skull Kid and his fairy companions. Epona runs off and Link is turned into a Deku Scrub, so you chase down the masked Skull Kid.  One of the fairies is then separated from Skull Kid and decides to help Link out. Soon after, it is revealed that the moon is suspended just above the earth, heading straight for Clock Town — Link only has three days to stop Skull Kid and prevent the grinning moon from crashing down.

This setup gives way to the main mechanic of Majora’s Mask 3D: the three-day time cycle. It often times feels like an impossible task, but with the help of his ocarina (or corresponding instrument of choice), Link is able to travel through time. You can go forward and back through time, and even slow down or speed it up, which is good because certain events will only occur during certain days at specific times. Needless to say, you need to manage your time during each cycle wisely. If you go back to the beginning of a cycle then you lose all of the items from your inventory that aren’t key items. An example being that if you enter a dungeon and get the bow, but you can’t finish the dungeon before the end of the third day, so you reset, but Link will still keep the obtained bow. Arrows as well as any other used items like potions or Deku Sticks, however, will be lost in time. Truthfully, the three-day cycle is probably my least favorite part about the entire game, but it’s for entirely personal reasons. I just have never enjoyed being pressured to accomplish given tasks within a strict time frame and Majora’s Mask 3D certainly imposes daunting time constraints on players even with all the helpful time-traveling aspects.

Overall, this game is nearly the same as the original with some new and necessary bells and whistles. Even though there isn’t much in this 3DS version that’ll really change the minds of the game’s skeptics, anyone who has never experienced the N64 original should at least try Majora’s Mask 3D out. There’s an exceptional game buried somewhere in here, but it’s still not my cup of tea. I give The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D a solid 7/10.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D Review (3DS eShop)
Overall, this game is nearly the same as the original with some new and necessary bells and whistles. Even though there isn't much in this 3DS version that'll really change the minds of the game's skeptics, anyone who has never experienced the N64 original should at least try Majora's Mask 3D out. There's an exceptional game buried somewhere in here, but it's still not my cup of tea. I give The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D a solid 7/10.
Pros
  • Improved visuals
  • Sheikah Stones for hints
Cons
  • Daunting three-day cycle
7Overall Score
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About The Author

PR/Game Reviewer

A general tech geek, he spends his time playing video games and working on computers. Watch out ladies.