The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask review

Platform: Nintendo 64, Wii Virtual Console

Year: 2000

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Score: 9

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask is one of the most highly regarded entries in the Zelda franchise, highly regarded by the many fans of the game for the ideas that it provided and the interesting story elements. In a sense another source of Majora’s Masks popularity in the present day is perhaps somewhat similar to that of how the fanbase views many of the games in the franchise, while initially the game provides hate upon release because of its ideas or even length, it grows with the ages just like what has happened with Wind Waker and will inevitably happen with Skyward Sword. In my own view Majora’s Mask has not changed and remains the same brilliant game it started as upon original release.

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Majora’s Mask follows on from where Ocarina of Time let us off. The games opening sees Link on a journey through the Lost Woods trying to find a friend, presumably Navi who parted ways with our hero at the end of his previous journey. During this time Link encounters the Skull Kid who steals his horse and Link gives chase somehow winding up in another world. In this world known as Termina the world faces an imminent danger of a falling moon and Link has to save it, the only problem is that Link has been transformed into a Deku Scrub and must find a way to return to being human before it is to late.

Majora’s Mask is a very different game to many of the franchises other entries and at no point does this  appear to be a bad thing, while many other Zelda games have put a focus on exploring every little inch of the games world Majora’s Mask does not have that focus. Right from the get go you are immediately focused on your goal of the time attempting to complete a certain objective within a small space of time. This mainly comes from Majora’s Masks interesting time mechanic, while other Zelda games have literally allowed hours of freedom to explore Majora’s Mask provides you with three days to achieve your goal and save the world.

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What makes this interesting is that you have only these three days to try to complete dungeons and bring order back to all of Termina. The problem with this however is that it is impossible to complete the game on the three day parameter, but this is where the time mechanic from Ocarina of Time comes in allowing you to return back to the dawn of the first day in order to have the three days to achieve your goal. This idea is where the game truly gets to become both interesting and frustrating, frustrating because of all your progress being erased essentially but interesting because of what it allows for.

For those concerned dungeon completion still remains and so you can continue onto the next area the only frustrating part is just how pushed you are to get through the dungeon as well as how to get into the dungeon. Interestingly while I may have said Majoras Mask is more focused by its time mechanic it does sort of allow a sense of freedom in how you approach your days. It becomes your choice if you want to attempt to get into the next dungeon on that day, want to start completing the objectives that can’t be removed by rewinding time or just hang around Clock Town. What you do with these three days is truly up to you and in some cases even spending a day doing reconnaissance on an area to get the best results on a future day is a great use of time, I recall spending many days exploring areas to get more information on that area as well as spending my time waiting for specific times to complete side objectives.

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This was one of the great things about Majora’s Masks world it deals with a lot of my issues with the Zelda franchise or games in general. I have often complained about how the characters in some of these games feel lifeless or that I may as well be constantly walking through a barren city, Majora’s Mask fixes this issue thanks to its time idea that gives each character a personality and a set criteria of what they are doing through each day. They each have a point and are actually interesting to follow the story of throughout the cycle and the game accepts that and even in a sense promotes it with its other big idea of masks.

Scattered throughout Majora’s Mask are a series of different masks each containing there own set of shall we see less then helpful abilities, not to  be critical but most of the masks have no actual point or even a purpose in the game itself apart from at the very end. Sure I will admit I did have some fun playing with a small selection of them from time to time mostly while I was spending five minutes remembering what I was doing or going to do on that cycle.

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Not all the masks are essentially useless as throughout the game you acquire three masks that play a critical part in the story and help you to make your way through the game.  These masks bestow upon you special powers that allow you to go through areas otherwise inaccessible by regular Link, the Deku Scrub has the ability to jump high and hover by using flowers, the Goron is powerful and can plow through incoming hazards, and finally the Zora allows you to swim to great depths and stay underwater. Each transformation is a key part of a certain dungeon in the game and becomes a key part of making it through the game, as well as offering different types of characters to allow further developed puzzle solving regarding each characters separate abilities as well as each being fun and highly enjoyable in their own way.

To date Majora’s Mask is one of the best Zelda games to date and features some of the best ideas that the franchise has ever known. still for how great Majora’s Mask is the notable issues remain such as how pointless most of the games masks are. But even with this Majora’s Mask is fun and if any Zelda game is worth playing it is definitely this one. The only thing left to say is that Nintendo needs to stop teasing us with references to this game and just do the remake now to satisfy myself, the fans and newcomers with an updated game. The main thing I find interesting though is that the game had only a year in development and the game is incredible considering that it was made in a year.

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What would you like to see on Discussing Games

Hello people out there if you have read my blog before you will know I deliver reviews, opinion pieces, news and a whole lot more, the only problem is that I want to deliver to you readers what you want to see or read about. As you may have noticed I have been delivering a whole lot of different ideas in my writing, I have done 2 parts of my Pokemon Y diary, I do regular opinion pieces, I do different reviews and there is still a whole lot more. My question is what do you want to see done, do you want to see something else from reviews, do you want to see my opinion on a specific topic, is there a certain game or topic you want me to cover and bring you more on. I want to improve this site and I need your help so let me know in the comments what you want from this and I will try to deliver those things to you. I also want to know if you want more opinions or even reviews and I will try to do more.

If you want me to return to certain features let me know as well, if you would like I can start doing game trivia again, expand on my quote of the week and even why I love features.

Simon’s Video games reviews update

Here at Simon’s Video Games I am constantly trying to bring you new Opinion Pieces and Reviews for your enjoyment to maybe provide you with a bit of insight as to what a game is about so you can decide whether the game might interest you. Over the past couple of weeks I have been adding a number of reviews of games and I have also been bringing you opinion pieces. I hope to bring more opinion pieces soon but I am also trying to get games played and reviews written and I have a couple in the works at the moment. I wanted to take this time to provide you with an insight as to what I have going at the moment and the reviews I plan to put up as soon as possible or by a certain date because they were published on another website first where I also write for. So here is my list for reference:

Lego City Undercover (Wii U)

Pokemon X and Y (3DS)

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Game & Wario (Wii U)

Call of Duty Ghosts (Wii U, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Wii U Version

Watch Dogs (PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Infamous Second Son (PS4)

Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Splinter Cell Blacklist (Wii U, PS3, PC, Xbox 360)

The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds (3DS)

Donkey Kong 64 (N64)

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS)

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask (N64)

A Dog’s Life (PS2)

Ratchet & Clank 2 (PS2)

Pokemon Black 2 (DS)

Trails Fusion (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC)

Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)

There is also a whole lot more coming up then that this is just a preliminary lineup of what is to come and I am not certain when all these reviews will be published however a few are coming very soon.

Gaming Locations – Hyrule Field

In all of gaming there is one land that is more famous than any others, these come from a wide range of history, but more particularly stem from a historic period in gaming and has helped in its many years to truly change the face of gaming and evolve it beyond previous comprehension. I of course speak of the fantastic and magical series, The Legend of Zelda, but more importantly a key aspect and staple of the series, Hyrule Field, which has forever aimed to show how things can be done.

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Linearity had grown into a common theme with games around 1986. As we saw games such as Super Mario Bros that raced from one side of a level to another and many others that were plagued by this similar linearity with no foreseeable end in sight. One game however had the means to remove the ongoing trend and set up a new era of games for future generations, this game was Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda. Prior to Nintendo’s masterpiece nobody had ever considered the true power and potential of games and the associated freedom. But even for the Legend of Zelda’s freedom it couldn’t have done it without the help of one historic location that is almost as famous as the series itself, Hyrule Field. This one location in the original game was set across many screens and was filled with almost limitless potential, it was huge and so full of secrets to find and explore and just a lot of depth in general that you couldn’t help but feel amazed by what we had just beared witness to.

I believe it would be safe to say that gaming would not have been the same thing if Hyrule field had never existed but even with the classic game showing potential this famous field even continued to show the potential of games in the eras to come. Most famously and perhaps what is most generally linked to is Ocarina of Time and the reimagining of the famous field in the third dimension. Super Mario 64 had already demonstrated how well done a game could be in three dimensions but Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time was a true testament to the demonstration of freedom, sure in may have seemed to have majorly condensed in size but it still stood tall as part of a major purpose and famous landmark of gaming kind.

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Hyrule field was a thing of dreams particularly after the games more linear opening, while there was always a goal in mind about where you had to be going but straying off and just spending hours exploring the fields to find secrets is always an option. Of course most notably is the beautiful sights that can be seen as you run across the field that fully connect together the world within Hyrule. As you venture across the field you couldn’t help but feel in awe as the eerie yet amazing looking volcano of Death Mountain sat in front of your eyes, for many of us on our first time in the game and across Hyrule Field we looked into the awe of Death Mountain and were excited by our opportunity to go and explore, easily unaware of the dangers and troubles we were set to face there. Hyrule field filled a position as the game’s central hub that interconnected the entire expanse of Hyrule and prepared you to access every part of the world leading to the knowledge of so much adventure to come.

The power of Hyrule Field holds a deeper significance to the series as well, this one field originally acted as our portal that allowed us to get access to a thing about as famous as the field itself, your long journey on foot gained access to a bond that transcended history and for many players filled them with so much joy, I of course am mentioning the bond you gather with one extraordinary equine named Epona. This horse acted as your reward for all the hours you had spent wandering this massive field and now acted as the quickest route around being faster than Link on the field.

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Hyrule Field has had many iterations over the years including seeing it below the seas and deep below the clouds but in each iteration whether you see it or not it continues to amaze, but it really is when it appears that we truly care more and love it. Twilight Princess seems to recapture the initial magic of Hyrule Field by literally having a field that expanded across many plains and many landscapes, it was rife with danger and had many secrets to discover and so much to accomplish it even had a much more significant means as part of the story then any iteration had done previously. It was big, it was beautiful and it was so full of potential and it showed just how great the idea of open world is. Hyrule Field was the gate to a new experience for gamers, and while many lands these days seem much bigger than our Hyrule Field, I at least believe many of us will always be amazed by Hyrule Field and strive for great adventure.

Hyrule Field is a great land, it is full of so much potential and the many concepts and ideas this one area introduced us to have made many of us love this field, it may be only one piece of an entire kingdom but it is the gate that connects them all. To quote the Legend of Zelda and tell you the line before we ever truly stepped out and experienced our true taste of freedom, “It is dangerous to go alone, take this”, heed these worlds and we will continue to step out bravely into the great land of Hyrule and the wonderful picturesque gaming location of Hyrule Field. It’s always hard to deny just how beautiful the field is when you are running with the sunset at your side. You know what? Now I want to play some more Zelda and explore Hyrule Field, goodbye.

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Simon walked off after this to play Zelda and explored Hyrule Field into the early hours of the morning. Don’t you think you should visit Hyrule Field? You might have some fun.

Random Game Trivia 7/23/14 Sonic character references

Sonic games are full of characters that have existed in the form of both a major and only one off appearance, many of the past characters introduced in the Sonic franchise have not even really had a place in the more recent Sonic games, the only real staples of the Sonic franchise include Sonic himself as well as Tails, Knuckles and Amy. With so many characters left unused for so long Sega did go somewhere to give many of the past characters even a slight nod.

In Sonic Unleashed many of the street levels have actually been named after characters that don’t appear in the game. More specifically the members of Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge and E-123 Omega), Silver, Blaze, Pachacamac, and the Chao. Exceptions to this include Knuckles and Cream. This at least has allowed the developers to pay homage to many of the characters used in the past even if they haven’t made an appearance in a while. I reckon future games should take this advice and make use of these extra characters, even if they only come in name, we already know that Sonic Boom really only has about four of the original characters playable but hopefully we might see more.

Skylanders Trap Team set to have a Dark Edition

When Skylanders Swap Force released last year it was released in two forms, the first was the standard edition of the game available everywhere, the second was the Dark Edition which was essentially the special edition, Activision has now announced that this Dark Edition is set for an a return with Skylanders Trap Team. Activision has gone far to say that this edition is a true collectors starter pack. Here is what you will get if you get this copy of the game:

The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition is a true collector’s starter pack that includes the special Ultimate Kaos Trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack features the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized Trap to capture Skylands’ #1 villain. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition will also feature two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire and Food Fight; a two-sided ultimate collector poster; sticker sheets and trading cards.

Pricing for the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack is set at $99.

Source: Activision PR

My top 10 Mario Kart courses of all time.

This article was first published on Gameluster.com on May 16. I have not updated it at all so mentions of Mario Kart 8 remain as they were originally written and I have not updated the list at all with new courses.

The Mario Kart franchise has such a rich history of fun and excitement brought about by its races and to celebrate the impending release of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U I set out to write this. The main stars of Mario Kart that really ties the whole thing together is the courses, often we rely on the inventive courses to provide us with a sense of fun, and often because of this creativity and excitement we want to come back and play these courses time and time again. That is at least how I feel and while I have not liked a good portion of what we have been offered across the seven entries to date there have at least been a few standouts that I have really liked.

10. Yoshi Falls (Original appearance in Mario Kart DS, more recently it has featured in Mario Kart Wii)

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I know in the long run there are a lot of courses that really could have made it into this spot, but since the first time I ever had a go at Mario Kart DS this was the course I played. There is nothing overly special other than the memory in my first time seeing how well a course could be transitioned to a handheld console. But the memories aside Yoshi Falls was just a well designed course, sure it wasn’t long, sure there was no defining features, but that’s not the point Yoshi Falls was fun to race on, with computers or alone and that is why it made this spot because I enjoy it.

9. Peach Gardens (Original appearance in Mario Kart DS, has since appeared in Mario Kart Wii)

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What else is there to say, this is just a really well designed course, the work done in the design of the garden is incredible and all the little sections feel unique and different as you visit them all, the other benefit is the course is enjoyable and that is why I love this it shows how great detail can be even on a DS game, which all in all is why I love this course, even transitioned to the Wii this course still shines as one of great detail and will go down in history and always be remembered.

8. Melody Motorway (Original appearance in Mario Kart 7, set to appear in Mario Kart 8)

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There is something about this course I loved from the moment I first set my eyes on this course I knew there was something special. So what was so special about it, well to this day I still don’t completely know I just know I immediately fell in love with the course. I think it is special because of the design, the combination of musical instruments that make up the course and even make up the music made a great atmosphere that I just loved to race on. I didn’t care when I won or lost because I just loved everything about this course.

7. DK’s Jungle Parkway (Original appearance in Mario Kart 64, since has appeared in Mario Kart Wii)

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I had a lot of fun on this course back in the day, on the Nintendo 64 I spent a good portion of my time on the original version of the course in Mario Kart 64 mastering all the little spots that the original courses offered. I loved being able to get a quick shortcut right near the end of the course, and even my little shortcut that gave me a boost near the beginning to pull ahead of my competition, I was disappointed that these spots were removed in Mario Kart Wii but I still have always loved the look and design of this course. It has always felt nice to race on this course and it did feel like a Donkey Kong level which really added to the appeal.

6. Rainbow Road 3DS (Only in Mario Kart 7)

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I don’t normally enjoyable the Rainbow Road courses, I normally find these courses long, boring and repetitive. Though Mario Kart 7’s Rainbow Road did change my opinion slightly. One of the major changes in a selection of Mario Kart 7 courses was the addition of stages. Stages were essentially the same thing as laps except with each section you would encounter a different environment, this is part of the reason that I really liked this Rainbow Road, the traditional repetition and boredom made present in the courses past were completely removed and became interesting as you raced across asteroids and all matter of space related things that continued to drive the course and make it interesting. It is all because of how the course changes that makes it have replay value and made a course I really loved.

5. Toads Turnpike (Original appearance in Mario Kart 64, is set to appear in Mario Kart 8)

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Traffic levels are usually more of a challenge and frustrating to complete. It is funny when I think that this is why I like these courses more particularly why I like Toads Turnpike, it is a nice course that makes itself fun when you have to avoid traffic. Even more so because it is all in such close quarters between each racer and vehicle, then in order to get items I had to make sure to be off to the side. Mostly I just love the design and just how fun the course was to complete and go through over and over again. In the end it made a great course to finish a Grand Prix.

4. Royal Raceway (Original appearance in Mario Kart 64, is set to appear in Mario Kart 8)

Royal Raceway

Like many of the 64 courses this course holds great memories for myself, I never exactly cared about racing about the course itself, even though it is not to say I didn’t like the course, because it was a pretty good course especially with some of the turns and the ramp potentially ruining a good lead or even costing you the race. Mostly I liked going through this course in Time Trial mode just to go and visit Peach’s castle. This was the best features of any course, being able to visit such a memorable location, drive around the front, and even remember our time with Super Mario 64, it was great. Then you look at the great music and the aesthetics of the course itself and it was amazing.

3. Kalimari Desert (Original appearance in Mario Kart 64, since has appeared in Mario Kart 7)

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I have great memories of this course, I always loved the look and feel of this course as you speed around a desert environment. Mostly what makes this course interesting to me though was the train that went around the tracks. How I saw it, was as a way to chase the lead in these courses. Even when a while behind the train helped to give me a chance to catch back up and often even take the lead. I would often narrowly miss the train and leave the others to sit and wait for it to pass. It was still a pain in parts such as when having to race but I still loved the course, more importantly I loved taking to time trails here to chase the train on the rails which is why I really love this course and remember it so fondly.

2. Moonview Highway (Only in Mario Kart Wii)

Moonview Highway

I know another traffic level. You may have something against these but I personally like these courses, again it follows the same reasons I like Toads Turnpike, however there are other reasons why I really like this course. I love the environment that surrounds this course including the great detail in the environment, and the ramp right near the start of the course that gives me a nice push ahead of the competition. Mostly though I really like the fact that the course is not as suffocating as Toads Turnpike which is why I rated this higher, there is room to breathe which is a sigh of relief even if it doesn’t stop me being ran over by traffic almost constantly.

  1. Yoshi Valley N64 (Original appearance in  Mario Kart 64, set to appear in Mario Kart 8)

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Would it be any surprise that I really like Yoshi Valley. Back when the Nintendo 64 was my main console to play on I remember me always being one of the best on the track. I could leave all my opponents in my dust without even a moment’s hesitation but this course was always my Achilles Heel. Because of the layout of the entire course you never knew who was in first, or any in any position for that matter. This really messed up how well I was doing on each visit as I would have to learn the best ways around in order to try and retain first. Very rarely I succeeded but that is why really love this course, it is inconsistent with any other and makes for the idea that anything can happen. In other courses you can honestly say yeah if my opponents and their shells, I fell off the track, but here was free game, anyone’s race to win. The mystery of not knowing what happening and who you need to outrace will always make this one of my best and worst Mario Kart experiences. It is even made worse because I haven’t played Mario Kart 64 in many years but I can still remember everything about it. Hopefully though I am not alone in why I love this level and others have great memories or particular reasons why they like this course.

Mario Kart has been very up and down with me for years but there are some really amazing courses in Mario Kart as I have said. In the future I look forward to seeing how my opinions change as we move into Mario Kart 8 with more new courses to potentially love. For now I look forward to the future and even though I never mentioned it I have to give an honourable mention to the courses Coconut Mall, and Bowsers Castle on the 64. Before you think anything I just really love the 64 courses as that was my favourite game in the series.  So what do you think do you agree with my list?