Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D (2015)

Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Developers: Grezzo, Nintendo EAD Tokyo

As with the 3DS remake of Ocarina, this revamp of Majora’s Mask successfully addresses every issue I had with the original. They were laser-precise in fixing the things that irked me the most, and even if I feel that those things were overcome-able by patient, smart players, I have to admit that there is an incredible sense of legitimacy to the changes herein. There is no similar great crime to rival the hand-holding present in Ocarina 3D’s trade quest.

The two largest alterations have a gigantic impact on how convenient it is to do a 100% playthrough. Owl statues now grant permanent saves, instead of temporary ‘memo’ saves. Resetting the time, however, no longer elicits one. I.e., get into the new habit of resetting, playing the Inverse Song of Time and running around the clock tower to the owl statue, now centrally located along with the bank. Having legitimate saves in the middle of cycles makes once trying things, like completing Anju & Kafei’s quest, completely tolerable.

The other significant innovation is that the Song of Double Time now allows you to pick the exact hour to which you’d like to travel within a given day. Picking a time in the next day will require a second rendition, but it’s still a huge boon in comparison.

While many other small refinements were made, sometimes the original tail-end dialogue for events will remain, resulting in a nice sense of preservation, but also a tiny loss of overall semantic logic. Further, relocating two of the masks may seem infuriating (especially given what one of them is), but this does result in a stronger story for an involved NPC.

The four boss fights are updated, unequivocally, for the better. They are more involved and cinematic. In order to maneuver underwater like an Arwing, Mikau now requires magic. Fear not, you can still dash and dolphin leap just fine without any, but if you want to have unfettered fun, I absolutely recommend going to grab a bottle of Chateau Romani before taking a swim.

There are only two problems. One is a bonus feature, so I’m not inclined to hold it against this release: While it makes all the sense in the world to finally bring the one truly missing feature of 3D Zelda games to MM3D, the fishing is simply a complete disappointment. The IDEA of wearing certain masks to catch analogous fish is incredibly sound! Having to basically catch every fish in the lake to spawn “boss” fish, however, is tedium and there is no reward, at all. When I say reward, I mean a log, a menu to fill up stating which fish I’ve caught. That’s ALL I ask for when it comes to fishing in Zelda, and I’d imagine that’s true for most fans. Here, as far as I can tell, you catch them, (sometimes) hear a comment from the fishing hole attendant, and release them with no record whatsoever that you caught them in the first place. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

The other issue could be serious, depending on individual circumstances: There were two instances where I became caught up on the geometry in Termina Field. I was able to free myself both times by changing forms. I realize that you cannot go outside prior to gaining control over the Deku Mask, but that could easily occur in Clock Town, if you’re trying to be adventurous with your jumping the same way I was when I had trouble outside.

I absolutely recommend this over the original versions, but please be careful on your first cycle! That said, I don’t think I've ever made it entirely clear how much I adore this interactive piece of fiction. Majora's Mask 3D makes this dense, rich experience magnitudes more playable. It is an utter joy to execute actions in this game once you understand how to play it. Resonant emotional colors bleed from it profusely. Cherish it, if it speaks to you even a fraction as much as it does to me.

4½ Inexcusable Instances of Deku Scrub Racism out of 5

I do not have binocular fusion and are thus incapable of experiencing 3D. 
Don't ask me how it looks here, or in any other 3DS game.