I am a big fan of The Legend of Zelda series, with Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask being my ultimate favourites!
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Review:
I am a big fan of the Legend of Zelda series, with Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask being my ultimate favourites! I therefore thought it'd be a great idea to share my passion through a review.
It was actually only recently that Majora's Mask became my joint favourite Zelda game alongside Ocarina of Time, having previously found it too challenging and inaccessible. I recall my attempts at playing Majora's Mask in the past, where I'd feel so under pressure and stressed out by the time limit when trying to complete the first, initial cycle of the game that I would just give up. I am so glad to have come a long way since then, since now that I have played the game through, and particularly since my more recent experience of playing it on the Nintendo Switch, I have ended up falling completely in love with the game, having a great love and passion for it to the point it now shares equally tied top place in my heart with its predecessor, Ocarina of Time.
What I loved most about the game was the amazing story and sense of adventure, which made for a really exciting, wonderful and engaging experience! I felt very absorbed in the adventure I was embarking on, along with the deep, intimate theme of the story, of friendship, loss, healing, grief etc. I loved the atmosphere throughout the game, being most dark, eerie and melancholic, giving off a most haunting ambience, with a lot of melancholic, dark, haunting, emotional moments too, such as Darmarni's death, Mikau's death, the Deku Butler and his son, Pamela and her dad- it really was a most emotional rollercoaster, being very dark, tragic and melancholic, with side characters being perhaps the most three-dimensional and appealing of all Zelda games side characters, given their own arcs which were most engaging, interesting and bittersweet to follow. Being full of depth, intimacy, and some most haunting, tragic, melanholic themes, I'd perhaps even say it's the Zelda game with the best story! The psychology and backstory of the skull kid was most interesting too, when having seen him possessed by the evil forces of Majora's Mask.
It definitely has the best, most solid and engaging side content of all Zelda games, which more than makes up for the significantly shorter main quest with only half the number of dungeons of the average Zelda game, with the side quests even consisting of stories within them, something which makes things all the more adventurous! This includes the Anju & Kafei Side Quest, the Saving Romani Ranch side quest, as well as the fact you are actually particularly motivated when doing these side quests, because they have an intimate, engaging story within them, but also because you can obtain a bigger range of items than usual, with there being about 17 masks you can obtain as a result of completing these side quests, which makes it all the more interesting, with a lot of the masks being most useful and fun to use for other side quests. The Anju & Kafei quest was without a doubt the best of all of them, as it's very lengthy, you obtain three different masks throughout it, you are diving into a deep, intimate arc/subplot involving you helping others, you get that really tense but exciting feeling towards the end of it as you warp back to clocktown and it's the final hours, meaning you are in a real race against time, while also trying to get the postman's hat (if you are aiming to get the Fierce Deity Mask ultimately) and waiting for Kafei to arrive during those final hours with all this heavy tension surrounding you, and when you finally succeed this quest, having reunited Anju & Kafei and obtained the Couple's Mask, it feels most rewarding indeed, as you can finally play the Song of Time and go back to day 1. You also feel most motivated completing these side quests to obtain the masks, as you have to obtain all the masks in the game in order to ultimately obtain the Fierce Deity Mask, which is technically the cheat way of beating the final boss, but still nevertheless making it a fun, powerful, epic experience! People may say beating the final boss with the Fierce Deity Mask makes the battle less fun by basically eradicating any sense of challenge, but I actually think it feels really cool and epic to put on the mask as a child, transforming into an fierce, adult warrior (it's the only time in the game we see the Adult Link model (I mean that actually looks exactly like Adult Link, as I know Zora Link is a recycled, Zorified version of the Adult Link model of course!) albeit in different attire of course.
I had a really exciting time playing too, feeling like I was on this most exciting, fun-filling journey, with dungeons and bosses being a perfect compromise of challenging, but not too challenging, and overall exciting! I'll admit, the previous time I played it I did find it too hard and stressful, since it was my first time playing it through and I only had the puny kokiri sword the entire time, as well as the fact I was playing on the gamecube, which is very faulty and rusty, as would break down some times with disc errors, which was very difficult when you are playing a game you can't even save in as you go along! I played on the Switch last time and it was truly a most substantially better experience, ultimately making the experience much more accessible and more relaxing for me, basically not having to worry about it breaking down any minute while I was unable to save, and even then, you could actually save as you go along here, only I didn't even end up needing it! I was a whole lot more confident with the game this time round, and loved that it was still challenging, but not too challenging to the point of having limited accessibility like last time, obviously due to the console I was playing on, my increased proficiency from prior experience (which might've actually somewhat been the case due to the potentially better controls on the switch than on the gamecube, which is very janky and rusty now of course!) and most obviously due to having the gilded sword this time round, making the whole thing a great deal more accessible and smoother for me! Likewise the revamped graphics on the NSO version where definitely a joy to behold, not that I ever had a problem with the original N64 graphics, but it was definitely a noticeably more sophisticated image to behold!
The soundtrack/music was also most beautiful, haunting and epic; consisting of tunes ranging from melancholic such as Song of Healing, oddly upbeat tunes like the Clock Town theme, dark and eerie tune such as Majora's theme, tense themes such as the Final hours theme and truly happy, upbeat, joyous themes such as the Ending theme!
The gameplay was also most amazing with its variety of transformation mask mechanics, being able to manifest various powers and abilities as Deku Link, Goron Link and Zora Link, and Fierce Deity Link (though this is optional of course!). It definitely gave a nice broad variety of an experience of gameplay, something you don't that often get. It was brilliant as well being able to possess all these different identities, which definitely gave a nice new perspective on things! I loved as well that, in order to also make up for there only being 4 dungeons, there were quite a few mini-dungeons, and fairly lengthy quests before all the main dungeons that were part of the main quest of course, which I realize is something that makes a Zelda game all the more exciting and adventurous, when there is quite a bit of main quest content before the dungeon itself, so you're not always just heading straight to the main dungeon itself! It definitely added to the sense of adventure! It was fun getting to make use of all these different mechanics at once when doing the Milk Bar side quest for Toto's sound check on the stage, playing the different instruments in each of your transformation forms!
The ending was a much bittersweet, beautiful one, with Link having saved a town that isn't even his own, rides back home, then you see all the residents of Termina celebrating with the most heart-warming, joyous music playing, all having been saved, then you see Link head back to Hyrule through the lost woods, continuing his search for Navi, as you feel a most rewarding, bittersweet feeling after having seen him save a land and be a hero for the second time, and now he is just heading back home, leaving a great sense of mystery of just what he went on to do next (although there is the matter of the Hero's Shade of course, though how he got there we do not know!). It feels even more rewarding and emotional than watching a film given you have actually immersed into the character of Link, having played him throughout of course, which is one of the main things I love about playing Zelda games, the intense immersion!
Wonderful, amazing game, 10/10.