The Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask
Let's get one thing just right out of the way on this game. Depending on how much of a Zelda fan you really are, it'll determine how you like this unique game in the series.
So, in my case, as a rather big Zelda fan, Majora's Mask is a masterpiece and an excellent followup to Ocarina of Time, a game that made the estabilishments that we've seen in 3D action adventures, only now this game takes those foundations and kicks it up a notch.
Let's get onto the different subjects of this game.
Very Impressive for an N64 game, as is with all of Nintendo's games during that time. Yes, it's the same style from Ocarina of Time, but with the N64 Expansion Pak (sold separately. Required to play the game), it allowed for more details, and, a much welcomed improvement, all indoor buildings are full 3D instead of pre-rendered backgrounds, which make it much more real.
Basically, the Expansion Pak helps make Majora's Mask's visuals very pleasing and detailed, bringing out more and more of what the N64 could do in terms of graphics.
For a short summary, the game takes place after the events of Ocarina of Time, with Link looking for a friend he had parted with in the past (presumably Navi), when he and Epona are ambushed by two fairies and a mysterious skull kid, and a set of events go off that leads Link into the strange and foreign land of Termina, where the population is faced with the threat of armaggedon with a menacing moon looming overhead and will crush the denizens in 3 days.
Zelda's stories aren't very hard to follow, and in basic are rather simple, but Nintendo always provides a strong presentation that makes you forget the simplicity of the story. One thing that differentiates MM's story from other games is it's atmosphere. It's dark. It's abstract. It's the only game in the series that really deals with the subject of death and the apocalypse, and brings together a cast of memorable characters and scenes that may have you feeling their emotions. I'm not gonna spoil to much, but I will say that a certain sidequest involves you reuniting a couple, and what follows there is possibly the best sidequest to be brought out of the series, thus far.
Everything plays just like what you'd expect a 3D Zelda to play as. Link automatically jumps, you assign items to three hot keys, you have a mini map on the screen. It's all familiar. Some minor touches involve Link pulling of some rather sweet flips when he makes hops over small gaps, and probably the biggest gameplay changes are the 3-Day Time system, and the ability to change form thanks to three (four at the end) masks.
The first one, the time system, is the game's way of reminding you of the impending doom that is to come, and not only that, all the NPCs go about their daily lives by this time system. So, you can actually overlook someone's activity, and if it's possible, you can help them out at key events of the game for some rewards (minor ones or stuff that are very much worth it).
The second big change are Link's different forms he can take by wearing special masks. The first one, the Deku mask, turns Link into a little deku scrub, and can use special flowers to shoot him into the air, allowing him to fly long distances. The Goron mask turns Link into a large Goron, and while slow, hosts a large amount of strength. Of course, you can overcome the slow speed by rolling up and shooting your way throughout the land. And one of my personal favorites, the Zora mask, turns Link into a member of the aquatic humanoid-fish race. In this form, Link can swim gracefully with easy, and has a set of boomerang-type fins on his arms, and fights with hand to hand combat, so that's pretty tight.
Also, there's one more form-changing mask, but it's only available near the end once you've collected every other mask before the final boss. All I can say is that's AWESOME.
Again, plenty of sound effects are borrowed from the previous game, and Koji Kondo provides another awesome musical score for the game. From the Skull Kid's chuckle, to Link's battle crys and screams, and even the ocarina tunes that you learn, are all great.
Of course, nowadays, MIDI is considered unacceptable by todays standard, but not even this game's music can be taken down by those standards. It's just absolutely impressive.
You think no game could beat Ocarina of Time. Well maybe, but for the Zelda fans like me who look deep and hard at each game in detail, I'm with them when I say that Majora's Mask is the successor to Ocarina of Time in absolutely every aspect. If you take the time to appreciate this gem of a game, and all of it's great moments, you'll love it.