“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” will launch for the Nintendo 3DS in North America and Europe on Feb. 13, but reviews for the action-adventure game, which originally launched for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, are already in. Looks like Nintendo knocked it out of the park with the remastered version of the sixth main installment to the “Zelda” series. The visuals are improved; the touchscreen controls are better and Link can now fish in the game --and those are only a few aspects of the game that have reviewers raving.
Check out the reviews below for “Majora’s Mask for the 3DS.”
The gaming site gave “Majora’s Mask” a 9/10, praising the game’s improved visuals and improvements to the title’s dungeon bosses, which were considered a weak point in the original version 15 years ago.
“The game wasn't just ahead of its time when it first launched 15 years ago; it's still ahead of its time today,” Polygon said on Wednesday. “This remake carries a level of polish and consideration that Nintendo excels at, but it's the old stuff — the three-day structure, the inescapable gloom, the non-linearity — that remains its most exciting feature.”
Polygon was impressed with the reworked version of Bomber’s Notebook, which played an important part in the original game as a way for Link to keep track of the schedules of characters who need his help. The current version is more detailed and provides Link with each aspect of every quest he completes – including heart pieces and treasures.
Gamespot awarded “Majora’s Mask for the 3DS” a 9/10, saying “the overall package for ‘Majora's Mask 3D’ preserves all the weird delight of the original game while lowering the barrier of entry for new players.”
The game review site said that the game’s puzzles and fights are still challenging, but “a few minor tweaks make your hard-won heart containers and masks feel that much more satisfying.”
Nintendo also implemented some improvements to the game’s time limit of 72 hours, which equals to about 54 minutes of real time. If Link doesn’t complete his tasks within 72 hours, the moon will destroy Clock Town, including the regions of Termina, a land parallel to the typical “Zelda” setting of Hyrule.
“The changes to how you can control and manage time mean the otherwise dense ‘Majora's Mask’ is comfortable for shorter play sessions, making it a great fit for the handheld. It's evident that Nintendo put a lot of thought into updating this classic, which takes the game beyond a simple remake to become a new-old classic,” GameSpot said.
IGN gave “Majora’s Mask” a score of 8.7/10, saying the game “proves that interesting game design and strong world-building never get old. Even 15 years later, it still delivers charming characters, tense resource management, and a world rife with personality.” Though the site called the menus “cumbersome” and called one in-game dungeon a “drag,” it still claimed “Majora’s Mask” a “great adventure that stands the test of time.”
GamesRadar called the game’s 3D graphics “excellent and subtle without being gratuitous.” The site also said “Majora’s Mask” is “still as much of a joy to experience as it was a decade and a half ago.”
However, GamesRadar did say the title’s “dungeons aren’t quite as well-crafted as those of its predecessor, and its enemies rarely reach the difficulty of a really tough ‘Zelda’ boss.” But unlike many ‘Zelda’ games, which focus on Link rescuing the oft-helpless Princess Zelda, “Majora’s Mask” is more about the “intimate moments that shine, like following the notoriously tricky Anju and Kafei sidequest and unravelling a story that's masterfully, quietly brilliant.”
VideoGamer called “Majora’s Mask” a “superb game,” addressing its superiority over another “Legend of Zelda” favorite, “Ocarina of Time.”
“’Majora’s Mask’ does so much of what ‘Ocarina of Time’ did, only better. The game feels perfectly designed for a handheld thanks to its time and mission structure, meaning you can speed through a loop in just a few hours on your journeys.”
The review also called the title “brilliant” and “the most innovative ‘Zelda’ game ever released.”