Welcome to Hyrule.
It can get rough on the large field that makes up each Legend of Zelda, a series I’m criminally under experienced in and hopelessly happy to have come to grips with on Nintendo 3DS. It’s a portable system capable of great nostalgia and glittering galaxies in glasses-free 3D, so I wanted to experiment with this hands-on preview. Later, before the review embargo has lifted, I’ll transfer my Nintendo Network ID to the new 3DS, which you can read a lot about here.
I grew up on Super Mario Bros. so some of the adventuring has had to wait and I couldn’t let Ocarina of Time 3D go by without a thorough play through. Water temple? HA! Song of Time? Sure! Now that I’ve landed in Termina and explored a little of the map, progressing into the Deku Palace and greater danger at that, I think I’ll preface any recommendations of “New” Nintendo 3DS XL hardware.
I personally love the fact that the IR sensor on “New” Nintendo 3DS XL manages to capture the 3D effect despite a rather durable and unassuming display. For techies, the 3DS has likely already entered a collection of gadgets gathering dust but it’d be better to explore a ton of software on the latest hardware iteration from Nintendo. No, it’s not the most consumer friendly package. You’ll need to keep your AC adapter and I’m dragging my feet on a lengthy transfer process I’ve done before. It still doesn’t keep me from saying that Majora’s Mask will make a far greater impression on “New” 3DS handhelds.
On my launch 3DS XL, colored blue and slightly beaten from travel wear, Majora’s Mask 3D looks and sounds as authentic as you could hope, though playing with both units has made some differences more obvious. Even Resident Evil: Revelations, my primary test for the “New” hardware, looks sharper and overall more entertaining and comfortable to play. I say this hating survival horror games and to be safe I’ll still shoot Tingle out of the sky with a Deku bubble any day (if only to hear what he has to say).
Exploring even the first hours of Majora’s Mask 3D pushes through a barrier I think many younger gamers may have with console and PC architectures. It’s a far more complicated game than I was aware of. The structure and generally hostile dimensions of what the player can do at any given time will have me jumping through hoops if not for the new Sheika Stones, added by Grezzo. I relied on these heavily in Ocarina of Time 3D, yet I find myself waiting around more often.
Regardless of your 3DS platform preference, as the number of different models on offer has grown year over year, Majora’s Mask 3D has already sold me. I’ll continue to poke at what comes next in the 72 hour cycle. I’ll play new songs on Deku horns to find exact hours (another new feature added to the 3D version). I’ll probably get to solve some of the franchise’s most interesting puzzles. Thankfully, it’s well established as a favorite and anyone toting a Nintendo 3DS could stand either a download or a retail copy given increasingly deft handling by Nintendo.
For a company ridiculed for its use of guiding mechanics like invincibility, should the player fail frequently, or added items at the start of a level (including "held" items), Grezzo’s remakes do a good job of leading the player. I was intimidated by Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask equally on Nintendo 64 and stuck to obscure and licensed favorites. I look at them as a mark of Link’s own Triforce piece of courage as I proceed timidly. Look for more on The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D in the coming weeks. Our review will run in February and I’ll have details about the transfer process to “New” Nintendo 3DS XL soon.