Ben Caplinger, Live Wire Senior Staff Writer

It should be obvious that one of the first hot selling video games of the year is going to be “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D,” the 3DS remake of the N64 classic that came out in the year 2000. And why wouldn’t it be? “Zelda” fans from all over have praised this game for its dark story, unsettling atmosphere, and wide open world. It’s no wonder why several fans went as far as to start a petition to have “Majora’s Mask” remade for the 3DS, in the same fashion as its predecessor “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.”

This is an excellent move on Nintendo’s part, as it will allow gamers who have never played “Majora’s Mask” to be able to experience the wonders that it holds. But the bigger question is this: is this game still worth the time of gamers who HAVE played “Majora’s Mask?” Well, considering that Nintendo has been adding differences to the game, that’s what’s going to be decided right here and now.

One of the obvious differences between the original and the remake is that the graphics have been updated. From the character models, to the environments, and the items, the entire appearance of the game has been polished to make it look shiny and new. Right off the bat, this is a welcome improvement, as the original N64 graphics, while impressive for their time, do not entirely hold today.

One of the best graphical enhancements is that of the moon that threatens to crash into Termina. Many “Zelda” fans have recounted their childhood traumas brought about by looking at the moon’s terrifying scowl as it looms over them. With the updated graphics, the moon now looks ten times more terrifying than it used to.

Compare and Contrast: Majora’s Mask in 2015 (3DS) vs. 2000 (N64) Photo Credit: Kotaku

Another, much more subtle, change is that the character animations have been slightly changed to make it look more fluid. This will help the characters appear to move a little less stiffly as they did in the original. This includes the main character named Link, who will sport better movement for all of the different forms he takes on in the game. One of the only complaints people may have about the movement is the major change Nintendo made to Zora Link. In the original, when Link transformed into a Zora with the help of the Zora Mask, he was given the ability to breathe and swim fast underwater. The original animation had him swimming like a dolphin, but for the remake, he now swims like any other person and can only dolphin kick when the player activates the electric barrier ability. This could upset many players as it will require magic in order to swim fast.

The final change to be discussed, and probably the biggest change, is that the original strategies for the bosses have been replaced with new strategies. This could be a means to make the bosses a much greater challenge than in the original. Alexa Ray Corriea, who wrote a review of “Majora’s Mask 3D” on Gamespot, had a say about the boss changes. “These fights have been adjusted to prevent you from exploiting the boss’s attack pattern, meaning that they won’t always do the same thing with the same regularity in the same way. You need to knock bosses over and then attack their weak spots three times before you’re victorious,” Corriea explains, “but this time around, it’s harder to sneak in cheap hits when they don’t follow the same attack, rinse, and repeat formula. It makes these long fights feel new and interesting and makes success more satisfying.” Since most gamers like to see new things added to remakes, this will most likely be a positive change in their eyes.

Final thoughts: is “Majora’s Mask 3D” a must have addition to any “Zelda” fans library? So far, it looks like it is. This is the game that fans have been begging for and Nintendo chose to not only listen to their requests, but work hard to improve on the game and make it feel like a new experience in an old world. As for any other changes added, they will have to be found when the game hits stores in the U.S. on Friday, February 13, 2015, which is not too far away.

Art Still from Majora’s Mask. Photo Credit: Video Games Blogger