Like most of you, I can appreciate the huge leap that Nintendo took in creating this game. In the end, what they got was something that's pretty darned good. I like to call it "The Watchmen of Video Games" because it showcases what this particular narrative medium can do that the others can't; Imagine Majoras Mask as a book, for instance. It'd be thousands and thousands of pages long. As a film, it'd go on and on forever. Only a video game could have told this story the way it's been told. I really like that. Unfortunately, to do so, it had to violate a great deal of elements that have always served as tentpoles for The Legend Of Zelda series. The time limit is one of them. You can slow down time and speed it up, of course, and do all sorts of wacky things to make life easier, but in the end, playing Majora's Mask amounts to a rush. There's no room for free exploration, and even less for lollygagging, something all of its peers in the series excel at. Then there's the case of Termina's design; it's much, much too small. Perhaps I don't mean this area-wise, but there's hardly any place anywhere on it you won't arbitrarily need to visit at some point or another, whether you want to or not. Unlike Hyrule field and all its provinces in the far superior Ocarina Of Time, Termina isn't loaded with little challenges littered about the place that result in gaining additional tools and items. Majora's Mask is brimming full of sidequests and mini-games, of course, but not nearly enough of them are optional; most of them must be completed to progress in the game. And the ones that aren't are not even hidden. Nearly every secret lies in plain sight. Now, let's talk about dungeons. Ocarina Of Time had eleven. Majoras Mask has four. Four. That's only one more than three, for the mathematically challenged. And the dungeons it does have are so inaccessible, obtuse, and hellaciously designed that it's near-impossible to enjoy them at all. I'm by no means opposed to a challenging game, but the challenges here are nearly malicious in their trickery. It's not real difficulty if a considerable part of traversing the dungeon depends entirely on guesswork. It's not a bad game, but the other three are much better.
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