Majora's Mask 3D is coming in 2015!
Hello everyone! I thought I'd start out the new year with a blog post about a game that's all about new beginnings, and that game is The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. But first, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped make this blog grow; you know who you are! 2014 was a great year for me; I jumped back into the world of gaming by starting this blog, and I'm constantly overwhelmed and touched by the support and kindness I receive from the gaming community. It's because of you guys I decided to start this blog, and the reason I want to continue making content about games. I can't wait to see how this blog will grow in the coming years, and here's to a great 2014! Again, thank you so much; I can't say it enough.
This post is the first of three posts I will be writing about the masterpiece that is The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. I'm overjoyed to say that we will indeed be getting a Majora's Mask remake in 2015. It's ironic to me that my first post of this year is about a game that was the topic of my very first post ever, which was speculating about whether to not we'd see a remake on the 3DS. I always knew in my heart that we'd eventually see a remake of the well loved, black sheep of the Zelda franchise; we just had to have faith it would happen...
Just have faith...
Of course, with every remake, there are changes to be made. We haven't gotten much word yet about how this remake will be different from the original game, so I thought I'd share my thoughts about what I hope to see in Majora's Mask 3D. Here are the 5 things I'd like to see implemented in the remake (beware of mild spoilers about the original game):
#1. Better controls/camera
Honestly, the things I struggled the most with in Majora's Mask were the controls and the camera—not the three day cycle or the toughness of the temples. Controlling the camera with the c-stick was a pain, especially with aiming. The camera would fall as soon as you moved an inch, and you would end up aiming wrongly or just miss entirely. The most frustrating experience I had in the game was in the first temple. Towards the end, you have to shoot an arrow through fire in order to light a beacon in a dark corner on the other side of the room, all while you're rotating on a moving pillar. It was hell. Pure hell. You have to be so precise, and I feel like the controls barely allow you to do that. Swimming in the game is so tough because to swim up, you have to move the stick down, and vice versa. I often found myself flopping and bouncing against the bottom of the ocean because the Zora form was a nightmare to control. There's one particular boss fight where the swimming controls and the camera are detrimental; I'm pretty sure veteran Majora's Mask players know what I'm talking about. Luckily, it seems as if we will indeed get better controls in the remake, seeing as Ocarina of Time 3D got improved controls and camera movement.
#2. More apparent objectives/straightforward temples
It's a well known fact that Majora's Mask is a lot like piecing together a complex puzzle. Pieces and parts of different storylines intertwine, and it is not made entirely apparent why or how—that's up to you to figure out. That's all well and good, being as that is probably my favorite aspect of the game, but there's an area of the game where it's barely apparent as to what you're supposed to do next. In the last area of the game, Ikana Valley, you're supposed to acquire the Mirror Shield (probably my favorite item in the game) in order to tackle the last temple. In order to do that, you must do an obligatory Bottom-Of-The-Well dungeon, but you need the following items:
* 5 Magic Beans
* 10 Deku Nuts
* 10 Bombs
In no way is it apparent that you need these things. If you go into the well without these items, you can't get the shield. So, you have to waste time (a precious commodity in Majora's Mask) to backtrack to get everything you need. I don't want a game to hold my hand, but when you have to be subjected to useless backtracking, I'd prefer a little warning to avoid it. Not to mention that those items are completely random quantities that make hardly any sense
Again, before you can complete the last temple, you need to learn a new song. In order to learn said song, you have to go through Ikana Castle, but you have to buy items in order to do so. You need a powder keg, which you have to do a side quest in order to buy, so you end up backtracking a lot. Also, the game doesn't let you know that you need to even go through the castle or even how to do so in the first place. There was hardly any direction during this last part of the game. Again, I don't need my hand held, but there needs to be direction in a game in order to move things forward. I don't usually use hints or walkthroughs when playing Zelda games because I prefer to figure things out myself. But with this particular area, I had to use a walkthrough. It was the only area in the game I couldn't figure out. So as a result, I'd like the remake to have more apparent (but not easier) objectives.
On a slightly different note, I'd like it if the the temples were a bit more straightforward and forgiving. In almost every temple, if you make a small mistake, you lose progress. For example, in the cylindrical shaped Snowhead temple, if you fall, you have to backtrack and activate switches and pretty much jump though a bunch of hoops to get back to the top. In the Great Bay temple, the awful swimming controls can cause you to go in the wrong direction, which can cost you time since you have to turn around and go back. In the Ocarina of Time remake, Nintendo corrected a lot of the annoyances in the temples that were present in the original games, so I hope they'll do the same with Majora's Mask. I like how in Skyward Sword, once you reach a new part of an area or temple, you can open up a shortcut that can save you time if you need to leave and come back later. I think having shortcuts in the temples in Majora's Mask would make them a whole lot more enjoyable.
Mirror Shield, I love you, but you're such a major pain in the ass
#3. Good use of the touch screen
In both Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, scrolling through menus to change and equip items can be a major pain, and can waste a lot of time. In Ocarina of Time 3D, they made the bottom screen of the 3DS the items menu, making it super easy to switch items. I hope they do the same for Majora's Mask 3D. I can see it now—being able to put on different masks with just a simple tap of the stylus...*sigh* I can't wait.
#4. Loyalty to the original game while still improving upon it
Eiji Aonuma, the director of many of the Zelda games has said that they are making Majora's Mask 3D easier while still retaining its difficulty. While that is in a nutshell everything I want for this remake, I really hope they keep the complexity of the game intact. To me, asking for such a complex game to be simplified is like a double edged sword. Let me put it this way: there are points in the game where the complexity really helps the overall experience (like the storytelling), and there's places where it hinders it (no clear direction about what to do next in the last area of the game). I hope they improve upon the shortcomings while not harming what was good about the complexity in the original game.
I also hope they improve upon a lot of the graphical parts of the game as well. For an N64 game, Majora's Mask looks pretty darn good, but there are parts where it's too dark, and the graphics can get grainy, making it hard to see and make things out. I'm sure they will improve upon this, but I hope they keep a lot of the original charm of the game too. Thanks to the ExpansionPak, Majora's Mask featured greater detail than its older brother, Ocarina of Time. I hope in the remake, they will keep all those little details, but still improve upon them. I'm also looking forward to a fleshed out soundtrack, which I'm sure won't disappoint.
The graphics on the 3DS look clearer and sharper—a welcome change!
#6. The collector's edition to be released in the U.S.
This is more of a personal preference, but it has been confirmed that Europe is getting a collector's edition of Majora's Mask 3D. Majora's Mask is my favorite Zelda game, if not my favorite game ever, so I'd like to have all of the goodies of the collectors edition. I'd also like to be able to purchase both Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time 3D together in some sort of pack. I've played and completed OOT 3D, but I don't actually own it, so it'd be nice to have both. Two birds with one stone, if you will.
Ugh, Nintendo, I want all the things!
So there you have it. There are all my hopes and dreams for the remake of one of my favorite games. Hopefully, 2015 will bring lots of gaming goodness besides Majora's Mask 3D, but I hope this remake will be as awesome as I think it'll be. I'd love to hear what you all think of the remake so far, so feel free to leave a comment. Also, be on the lookout for two more posts regarding this incredible game here in the coming weeks.
I hope you all have a very happy new year as well!