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Finished Majora's Mask 3D!


Yay, I'm not blogging about E3!

Finished that there Majora's Mask 3D. Overall, I enjoyed my time with it. But, I felt it had some problems, some of which are my fault, some of which are the game's design.

Not gonna lie, I haven't been able to get sucked really into a Zelda game since Wind Waker and Ocarina of Time. I don't know--they've always been good, not great, games for me, you know? I've never felt they were spectacular, just good. The storylines have always been good, not great. The gameplay has always been good, not great. The sense of exploration, outside of Wind Waker, has always been good, not great. The puzzles have always been good, not great. I dunno. Majora's Mask didn't really change my mind on that. It was good. Not great.

I don't know if anyone reading this doesn't know the story, but the gist is that the same Link from Ocarina of Time, now a widdle kiddle, gets robed while searching for his fairy friend from Ocarina of Time, Navi. He's robbed by the Skull Kid, wearing the Majora's Mask. Skull Kid takes Link's Ocarina changes him into a Deku Scrub and takes his horse. Pretty quickly, this first bit is taken care of, but it turns out the Skull Kid is gonna make the moon crash down into Termina in three days and Link needs to fix it. Link has the ability to travel back to the start of the 3 days, basically repeating the same three days over and over until he frees all the spirits Skull Kid has imprisoned. What this means for you, the gamer, is that there are four areas, each of them with a different main quest, several side quests, and a dungeon. Get to it.

So, the clock at the center of Majora's Mask is probably the best and worst part of this game. Repeating the same 3 days over and over can be really cool from an explore-the-city perspective. Everyone in Termina is on a schedule, which you can learn and eventually figure out to solve their problems and get rewards. You come to know the people's schedules pretty well without even trying, but helpfully, there's a Bomber's Notebook which keeps track of said schedules all the side quests. Of which there are a LOT.

This is where things with the clock can get a bit annoying. Some quests can be started, but not finished, until you have an item. Like in most Zelda games. What's different here is that every time you rewind time, you have to start the quest over again. For most quests, this isn't a big issue, but some (like the lover's quest) can be a real hassle since you're not sure if you lack the item or just didn't do the right thing, and have to repeat it over and over figuring it out.

The timer continues into the dungeons as well, and this is where things get a bit annoying for me. See, the 3 days in MM translate to just under an hour of real world time. You can extend that with a "Slow down time" song to make it just about 2 hours. That's a good amount of time to solve a dungeon, but it's not exactly a TON of time. Fortunately, the dungeons are designed around this and you won't find anything to the extent of the Water Temple here (thank god). But, it made me feel like I was constantly rushing just the same. Rushing through the dungeon because I didn't know how long it would take me, and how hard the boss would be (they aren't hard at all). To make matters more annoying, each dungeon is filled with 15 little fairies that when combined together form a pointy-boobed Great Fairy. Collect all 15 from the dungeon, find/go to the Fairy Fountain, and get a reward.

If you don't beat the dungeon on one go, you have to find all the fairies again. Thankfully, they remain labeled on your map, but it's still a pain. If you beat the dungeon but either didn't find the fairy fountain or spend time looking for it, and then have to reset, all your fairies go away. Meaning you have to do it AGAIN. This never became an issue for me, fortunately, but it added to the feeling of rushing. "I don't wanna do this again, so I need to HURRY so I don't."

To complicate this, each area changes when you complete the dungeon, opening up new side quests when you beat it. Fortunately, once you beat a dungeon, you can return to it, skip to the boss, and then trigger the "after-dungeon" events. But assuming the dungeon gave you trouble, you'll have to fight the boss twice. And in the case of the Water Dungeon boss, that's a nightmare because the camera is unhelpful most of the time.

These frustrations led me to using a FAQ far more often than I would've liked. Everything had a sense of "do it now or you'll have to do a bunch of stuff again to do it" that really didn't sit well with me. I can get stumped on puzzles sometimes, and it made me more frustrated than anything when I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out something obvious, only to do so, and then have to start over because the timer ticked too far past. If I didn't make smooth progress, I found myself just looking up how to do it so I didn't waste time. It took away the joy and the "AHA" of solving a tricky puzzle and just made them annoying.

Oh, and the bosses? Easy. All of them. The water dungeon boss is annoying because of the camera and swimming controls, and while some are cool, they were never hard. The final boss, all of its forms, I beat in less than 5 minutes. I didn't die once. I didn't use a fairy in a bottle once. I don't know if that's the 3D remake or what, but the game was never hard. Puzzles were annoying sometimes, but it wasn't hard.

Also, the lock-on combat can be kind of tedious. Link doesn't always lock on to what you want, and most enemies can just be powered through with your sword.

So, yeah. Good game. Not great. 

I did like how dark everything was though. 

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About Derek Pietrasone of us since 12:33 PM on 05.03.2014

Derek spends his days trying to keep up with Sonic the Hedgehog, his evenings attempting to jump as high as Mario, and his nights by sneaking into the Ninja Turtles' secret lair in the hopes of getting some special ninja training from Master Splinter.

Among other things.

Born and raised in boring ol' Massachusetts, Derek has felt the call of fantasy from a young age. Proudly declaring that "Reality is boring!" he strives to find new and interesting fantastic worlds with an unmatched drive. He hopes that his works will one day inspire others to explore the fantastical. He welcomes anyone on board for the ride.