Saturday, February 14, 2015

Majora's Mask 3D Daybook, Day 1

Usually when a new Zelda game or remake comes out, I was blogging here about my progress. I couldn't do this for A Link Between Worlds or Hyrule Warriors, because I got review copies in advance and was under an embargo. But not this time, so I guess I can return to this little tradition.

First impressions of this remake are really positive. It's of the same quality as Ocarina of Time 3D and even better when it comes to certain aspects (see my previous post). However, the graphical enhancements don't feel as big this time around. It probably has to do with the fact that Majora's Mask on the N64 already looked more detailed than Ocarina of Time thanks to the Expansion Pack. Or maybe it's because I didn't have the time to play the original again, because then the difference is probably more striking. Or maybe it's because I've gotten used to the quality of Ocarina of Time 3D. In any case the game looks really good and fluid, so I'm not complaining. It simply doesn't have the same awwww-effect on me that Ocarina of Time 3D did.

When it comes to Zelda, I'm a sidequest junkie and I usually try to get every optional item as soon as possible. The challenge here lies in remembering, where you can get what item, and with that Majora's Mask is probably the supreme discipline, because this game was really designed around the sidequests. But it also has a lot of frustrating minigames, which can give you a hard time, especially in the original.

So, in my first cycle as Deku Link I tried to make use of the time and beat the Deku jumping minigame, which you can find in North Clocktown, right away. Now... it didn't exactly go so well at first. In fact I was horrible and kept missing the platforms. Now you can actually look down by pressing R, but I didn't know this yet (I think Tatl teaches you this new feature in the Deku Palace). So, I kept losing on the 3rd Day, kept grinding Rupees and I started to get really frustrated with the time running out. And when I was about to finally win the minigame, the game really screwed me over. I was about to land on the last Rupee, when the movie of the clocktower coming down started. This dropped me right of the minigame and I rage quit... :D On my next try I beat the minigame pretty fast, probably I had the practice, but it still was quite a comical moment to remember.

After the initial cycle I kept hanging around Clocktown, Termina Field and the Romani Ranch, collecting various masks, Pieces of Hearts and whatever you can get right now. Kafei's Quest is now so easy and quick to follow thanks to the new Double Song of Time, I actually already got the Postman's Hat and a first bottle from Madame Aroma. It's so quick now, I have no problems with doing this quest three times altogether. In the past I would get one of these items first and then make the 2nd choice, whenever I have access to Ikana and can actually complete the whole quest. Because waiting for the right times was really boring. But now you're in full control and the time sensitive sidequests play so much better.

What's interesting is that you now can only steal the reservation from the Goron, if you're actually a Goron yourself. That's smart and I didn't know that you don't even need the reservation to start Kafei's quest. I got so used to making a reservation at this point that I started to believe it was necessary, while it actually isn't. (Though it's weird that Anju expects you to visit the kitchen at night, when the lower door is locked... she even throws you out of the house!)

And with that I have to say that the new Bomber's Notebook really gives you a better idea, what quests are connected and where you still can find rewards without spoiling the actual time frames. But for example some minigames give you multiple rewards, some don't. Some minigames have to be played each day, some don't. And the only way to figure this out in the original was to keep trying each minigame or to use the official strategy guide. But now you have sort of an ingame checklist, which let's you keep track of what Pieces of Hearts and Masks you got, while it also tells you, where you can still find things, without telling telling you how to get them. It's actually pretty smart and I like it.

This is my list of masks that I got on my first day of playing:
  • Deku Mask
  • Great Fairy Mask
  • Kafei's Mask
  • Blast Mask
  • Bremen Mask
  • Bunny Hood
  • Kamaro's Mask
  • Keaton Mask
  • Postman's Hat

Quite a lot already. My favorite masks are the Blast Mask and the Bunny Hood, so I always try to get those as soon as possible. Very useful masks, which I always have ready to quickly get the 200 Rupees hidden in East Clock Town (one in the sewer, the other one above the target shooting).

I also tried out the fishing and it's a nice addition. Before I got the game yesterday I actually played the fishing minigame in Ocarina of Time 3D again to compare. And that one feels like a terrible demo of the new fishing in Majora's Mask 3D. First of all the fish are much easier to catch, they don't fight you for hours or suddenly break lose. Or at least I didn't have these problems yet.

And for the first time ever the Sinking Lure is a legal tool used to catch fish at the bottom. The Swamp Fishing Hole actually reminds me a little bit of the fishing in Link's Awakening. The lure sinks and you have like these little alcoves deep in the water with fish behind them!

To make things more interesting, you have lots of different fish. It seems like instead of different lures like in Twilight Princess, you use different masks to catch them all, which is a nice idea. I wonder, what Fierce Deity Link will catch... :D

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