Hey, team. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while now, but I haven't really had the time. Now that I have the time, lemme give you the lowdown. I've been getting the urge to go through some games that came out when I was a kid that I never really had the chance to play, whether it be because I was enjoying the bliss of youth or because my parents thought them damned videogames would turn me into an unhinged psychopath. Dodged a bullet there. But they can't stop me now, and I've been digging through videogame history to find some hits that I can enjoy/hate.
I decided to start with Majora's Mask. Maybe that was an odd choice. Based on all the praise Ocarina of Time has gotten, you'd think that I would've went for that. Well, I didn't. You don't know me. Regardless, I played through (what I would assume to be) two-thirds of Majora's and have come to the resounding conclusion that it's...ehhhhhhh.
Maybe I should start with my history with the Legend of Zelda series. I played Twilight Princess back when it came out. That game was super boring, and whoever came up with the idea that switching to wolf form was fun should be dragged into an alley to be verbally assaulted. The graphics were neat and stuff, but wagging that Wiimote® around always made me feel dirty. I thought that Phantom Hourglass game was the bomb, but stopped at the point where some asshole merchant wouldn't give me an integral ship part unless I screamed, "Give it to me!" into the DS microphone. I don't care how badly I need the part, that shit ain't gonna fly on an airplane.
So I moved on with my life, avoiding Zelda for about three years or so. Three years without well-to-do grass, half-naked rock men and excitable fairies. I dunno how I lasted so long. I got that itch again recently and decided I'd try the lesser loved Zelda. Not just 'cause I'm outside of the mainstream, man, but also because of how it related to my childhood. There is no way in hell that I could've played Majora's as a kid; it was way too scary for my elementary mind. I was also a pussy. Still am, really.
Entering this game with a more adult perspective has definitely helped absorb all the creepy. Like that mask salesman. Dear God. I'm sorry I didn't get your mask, okay? But it's clear you're not mentally stable enough to handle that kind of responsibility. And, obviously, the moon incites an almost Pavlovian sort of weeping. He certainly provides plenty of reason to rewind that clock. Speaking of which...
I really like the mechanics of Majora...in theory. I love that it tries to make sense of all the different design choices that go into making the game (the owls acting as save points, time rewinding itself to start the adventure over). However, eventually, it runs into the Far Cry 2 issue of becoming more frustrating than practical. Sometimes I wanna be able to quit out of a game without having to worry about finding a goddamn owl statue. Things come up, sometimes I have to turn of the machine. And I sure as hell am not rewinding that clock to save.
Which brings up the issue I'm sure many have with the game. The retreading of the same ground can be maddening. I wonder if this is a Zelda staple, though. Again, I ain't no vet, so maybe that's some of the appeal. I will say, at least that the environments that you have to spend a lot of time in are worth exploring and have some fantastic art design. Really, the game looks great all around, and I don't mind wandering off to admire the scenery at some points. It's just...don't obscure the progression of the game so much that I have to dig my way out of the crop circles I've found myself in.
Majora's, much like the other two Zelda games I've played, has no problem keeping necessary information away from the player. Not as far as the mechanics go, I mean to get through the game. I don't mind if that's for side stuff, that's fine. You can keep that stuff secret all you want. But for the love of all that Eiji Aounuma holds dear, don't hide the essential path of your goddamn videogame.
I almost stopped after the Goron Elder part. My god, I couldn't figure that out for the life of me. And why should I be able to? Who in their right mind would go around punching giant snowballs (whose destruction requires you to be in Goron form, mind you) in search of an old man who is thought to be at the top of a mountain? I'll answer that question so you don't have to. Not me! Here's the worst part, though. After looking up online what I needed to do to progress, the left side of my brain deflated due to the realization that I had totally wrecked the snowball the elder was in earlier. It's just, his scripting hadn't gone through because the events that triggered said scripting hadn't occurred at that point. I fumed so hard that my roommate had me evicted.
Looking back on Majora's Mask, though, I can't help but give it kudos for trying. It was a daring move on Nintendo's part to put this game out, especially if their target demographic was kids. I'm definitely not gonna forget this game, and I'd imagine that it left an impression on those young'uns of my generation that got to play it. However, it's time for me to part ways with it. Fuck the Goron Elder.
What do you think of Majora's Mask, though? Love it? Hate it? Why? Any games from your childhood that you wish you hadn't missed out on?
P.S.: I like when they totally ripped off Dark Souls.