Majora’s Mask 3D Remains a Timeless Classic
Originally released for the Nintendo 64 15 fifteen years ago, despite being an indisputably phenomenal game, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask has always been regarded as somewhat of a cult item in the franchise’s now-29-year-old catalogue. Link’s second N64 outing was arguably more inventive than 1998’s Ocarina of Time, but for most fans Ocarina will always go down as the zenith of the series.
Still, some of us favour Majora’s Mask for its moodier tone and Groundhog Day/Edge of Tomorrow-esque non-linear narrative that still has yet to be rivaled by any other video game.
Lucky for old-schoolers and newcomers, this 3DS upgrade makes an already superb title achieve its full potential that many of us didn’t even know it needed. Here are five reasons why Majora’s Mask 3D is the definitive way to play Link’s boldest, arguably best, and definitely weirdest adventure.
Released in tandem with the New Nintendo 3DS, Majora’s Mask 3D is the perfect indicator of how players will benefit from the new handheld’s C-stick. As with many N64-era titles, those camera angles can be a tricky thing to operate without the aid of a second analogue stick. But that’s all history now that you can rotate the camera in any direction around Link for smoother, less limiting gameplay. If you don’t have the New 3DS, you can also take advantage of the regular 3DS’ gyro controls by moving the device around for a better view of your surroundings.
Like the 3DS’s Ocarina of Time remake, two screens means way less time pausing/switching to the menu in order to decipher maps, switch up items, and memorize specific song notes. Some games make better use of a second screen than others, but this is a franchise that requires a lot of back and forth between the menu and the action, so having a secondary touch screen is a godsend.
Revamped bomber notebook
One of the hardest things about a Zelda title is keeping track of people, side missions, items, and heart pieces. While the original Majora’s Mask offered a quest log reminding us of various tasks, this one is far more robust, and is especially useful for working around some of the game’s time-sensitive mini quests.
Slick 3D graphics
Not gonna lie, revisiting an N64 game these days is far less enchanting than Nintendo’s 8 and 16-bit era. Several classics notwithstanding, those bland polygons and wonky controls haven’t aged as adorably as the older stuff—perhaps because we’re still playing the same types of games, but with more refinement. Without eliminating the innocuous charm of 2000’s Majora’s Mask, this revamp offers just the right amount of sheen to make it feel both nostalgic and new. If you’re going to introduce gamers to monster moon hurling its way towards the surface of the planet, you’ll want it to appear a terrifying as possible.
While the original game’s vision is strongly intact, Majora’s Mask 3D also features a different arrangement of masks and songs. For instance, a tune that gives you fast travel is unlocked much earlier, and a song previously used to fast-forward to the next dawn now let’s you choose the specific hour you want to skip to. There’s a lot less standing around and killing time, which feels more suitable for handheld gaming.
Majora’s Mask 3D is slightly less challenging than its originator, though not the kind of challenge you’ll miss. Both versions rock, but these aforementioned tweaks and trimmings alleviate some of the original’s minor frustrations, which were already few and far between.
Just get it.