“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” remake for the Nintendo 3DS offers fans the same great game they loved on their Nintendo 64 while adding its own elements that either shock and awe, or that come off as shockingly awful.
After the success of the remake of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” for the Nintendo 3DS, fans were begging for a remake to the other Zelda game for the N64, “Majora’s Mask.” After Nintendo teased fans with concept art, stills from the game, and finally a trailer, the remake was finally in our grasp.
The first thing that fans noticed was the eye-popping remastered visuals that are only exemplified by the glorious 3D. In “Ocarina of Time,” gamers used the 3D for the cinematic events, and nothing more because after a while, the 3D strains the eyes and doesn’t contribute more to the game. All of “Majora’s Mask” can be played in 3D because the entire game is visual joy. Whether it be rolling through Termina Field as a Goron, or swimming at high speeds though Great Bay, “Majora’s Mask” is a sight to behold.
However, the remake is not without its flaws. What made “Majora’s Mask” for the N64 so incredible was the enhanced element of time. Everything in “Majora’s Mask” has it’s own schedule of where they will be at certain times on certain days. This element made Termina feel alive; it felt as though the people of Termina would still go about their lives whether you were there to witness it or not. However, this element receives a harsh reduction in the remake. In the N64 version, the only way to save the game was to play the Song of Time to return to the first day. In the 3DS remake, every owl statue and save point serves as a hard save point where players can stop their game rather than be at the mercy of the clock. This certainly makes the game much easier, but the satisfaction from the original from conquering one of the hardest Zelda games rather than just feeling like you beat “another” Zelda game.
One of the biggest controversies for the remake was towards the different controls when in Goron from and Zora form. While rolling as a Goron in the remake, you tap A to start rolling, and tap A again to stop. In the original, the player had to hold the button to roll, and release it to stop. Given that much of the time the player rolls great distances for long periods of time, not having to hold the button came as a joy during my experience, rather than a hassle.
I will agree that the Zora controls were butchered. In the original, the Zora swam in the water with controls similar to the Arwing in “StarFox 64,” where you held the joystick down to ascend and up to descend. After my experience with the Goron controls, I was confused, but I got the hang of everything after only a few go’s with the rolling mechanics. Every time I don the Zora Mask, I find myself piloting the Zora as if it were an Arwing flying through the Lylat System, as it should have been. The controls are reversed in the remake, which unfortunately takes away from one of the greatest joys from the original; swimming at top speeds for hours on end.
This is not to say that the remake was all bad. Many changes were made that improved upon the original. After retrieving the Ocarina of Time, Link gets the Bomber’s Notebook. The notebook contains every side story in the game as you come across them. You can even set an alarm to remind you when the side story event will take place.