by Preston Tolliver
To a certain extent, video games are expected to bring with them a certain realism. It's why in this age of Playstation 4's and Xbox One's, we see recognizable faces on sports games, down to the beads of sweat that fall from their heads. But to that same extent, we also expect those games to bring with them a larger-than-life feeling; bringing more entertainment than life to the field. It's why in “Call of Duty,” you can get shot a couple times, duck behind a corner and a second or two later, you're good to run the next 100 yards raining gunfire, or in “Final Fantasy” games, why you can get hit with fire spells without looking like Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru after.
Video games are a lot like professional wrestling in that way. They toe the line between realism and entertainment. But when does a game get too real?
In “NBA 2K16,” famed movie director Spike Lee took the reins of the game's MyCareer mode -- a mode in which you live your life in an alternate reality, one in which you become an NBA star, rather than some guy eating Cheetos and playing video games. The mode is a staple of the 2K franchise, letting the player dictate all the minutia of being an up-and-coming NBA player, down to the player's position, nickname and mannerisms.
Lee gives the mode the tagline, "Be The Story"; however, in this year's, you're anything but. You still create your character, and determine what position you'll play, but, for the first couple hours of gameplay at least, the rest of the story isn't in your hands, but Lee's. You start out a high school star, known the country over as Frequency Vibrations ("Freq" for short, pronounced "Freak"), a moniker that will later earn you the dumbest NBA nickname this side of Big Baby Davis and Panda Friend. After playing a few short high school games, you declare to one of several colleges that come to interview you. Along with your best friend, Vic Van Lier (who will later come to be known as up-and-coming rapper and mega-mooch best friend Bo$$ Key Yacht$), and your family -- your parents and your twin sister CeCe -- you make a YouTube video announcing where you'll attend school (Note: If your character is white, your parents and twin sister are still not -- meaning your character is also so dumb he hasn't realized he's adopted yet).
You spend the next four games working up to the NCAA championship game, where you lead your team to a title before engaging in a heated conversation with your parents and your agent (Dom Pagnotti, from Lee's “He Got Game”) about whether or not you should declare for the NBA draft or return to school for a sophomore season. You tell all parties involved that you have some thinking to do, but you really don't, because the screen fades to black and suddenly you're awaiting NBA commissioner Adam Silver to call your name.
Your rookie season in the NBA then begins, and either the big stage has given you some serious jitters or Spike Lee decided he wanted to make a video game about Christian Laettner, because all that talent you used to snatch those high school and college championships with is gone. The next year, which you see through the lens of eight games, is filled with the ups-and-downs of the common rising NBA star's life, assuming the common NBA star is haunted by secretly killing a guy in high school and loses his best-friend/new favorite hip hop artist to a car accident. The season is riddled with lengthy cut scenes, and you'll spend more time watching the off-court drama unfold than you will playing in actual games.
After that first year, Lee's grasp on your career is released, allowing you to change your nickname, though you're still oftentimes referred to as Freq in pre-game shows and in-game commentary, proving there are some demons that will just haunt you forever. You get to play each game if you'd like, while choosing between practice, hanging out with friends or fans, or filling contractual sponsorship commitments on your off-days, and the rest of your career is free of Lee's control.
Lee changed the script of the franchise's career mode by giving it one, an attempt at revitalizing a game mode that in recent years was becoming stagnant. But in the final seconds of a big game, when you put the ball in the wrong hands, it's likely to clank off the back of the rim. Lee didn't just grab the ball and run with it -- he airballed entirely. There are no words left to explain the disappointment of Lee's tutelage, though I can think of someone else who might know just what to say.
by Luke Liddell
I’ve loved video games from the time I was four years old. I had a Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advanced, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 64, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and a PC that I played on.
Playing video games enhanced my imagination as a child. It gave me seeds to build worlds and ideas. During some of the darker parts of my life, games gave me ways to process difficult events I faced and gave me moments to feel like a normal kid when nothing else I was dealing with was normal. Of course, it’s also been an excellent form of entertainment over the years.
Video games gave me some of my favorite childhood memories with my dad. Whether we were trying to beat every difficulty level of “Goldeneye,” or working as a two-man sniper team online in “Ghost Recon 2” and coaching our way to a perfect Arkansas Razorback season on “NCAA Football 2004.” Those moments of gaming remind me how much fun I had with my dad. My dad and I didn’t share a ton of interests when I was young. I was able to see how much he loved and cared about me though when we would play together. While I remember a few of the games we’d play, what really stays with me today is that we managed to find a bridge between two very different generations. My older, adult Dad was able to easily enter a world my mind played in and understood, and we both were able to connect on the same level despite any age or generational differences.
That’s incredibly relevant to me right now. I’m going to be a father really soon. That’s a sentence that excites me one moment and makes me dizzy the next. I hope to share with my son many of the things I never got to enjoy and also many of the things I loved. Whether or not those things end up being what he is interested in is up to him and that’s simply where I follow his lead. Knowing most kids though, he’ll probably want to play video games and it’s my hope to play video games with him and any other children we have. If my kids have a passion for them like I did, I’m going to support that rather than say he is just wasting his time.
I grew up with a lot of parents saying that video games were detrimental to a child’s mental, emotional and social development. I personally disagree with that. Instead I think parents who are intentional with facilitating how they have their kids approach games and take part with them to some degree, don’t see a lot of issues occur. Often the children with behavior problems or who end up on the news have a far more influential factor at play. It’s something simple but so much more damaging, bad and neglectful parenting.
On the contrary, games were beneficial to my development and while that’s anecdotal, I feel it’s probably true for many people. Video gaming planted seeds that helped develop my personality, passions and interests significantly. I became a solid reader because of science fiction novels hooking me on books; what lead me to look at those books were games like “Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire” and “Star Fox 64.” I l began my interests in geography and sociology (my college minor!) from reading Lord of Rings, which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t played fantasy games akin to “The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion,” to first feed me interest in the fantasy genre. I’m a huge astronomy buff because of space games like “Mass Effect.” I wanted to know the science behind the universe the game was in and that led me to learning about our universe. Games developed much of my offbeat humor. They are why I have such a strong curious and analytical nature. Through gaming I found an outlet to express myself and develop confidence and my own identity through the numerous characters, stories and choices I experienced. I got to make tough, often times, emotional choices and explore different character personalities in a safe environment.
I need to dial back the psychology of it all though and focus on what was most important, I was having a whole lot of fun. I pretended to be Luke Skywalker when I was little. Video games helped me bring that to life. Last night I played the “Battlefront” Beta and I felt like that little kid imagining himself in a galaxy far, far away again. Those moments don’t happen often. This world is full of painful, depressing things. As adults we face those things every day. Every kid eventually comes to a point where they understand those things and the child in them mostly goes away. There are all kinds of ways of holding onto a healthy part of that childhood simplicity and joy. Some find it in other forms of media, sports, nature etc. Video games do that for me.
With my son Liam on the way, what I take from games even more so matters. They are helping me remember how to think like a kid, how to approach them and understand them without looking down on them. Maybe my kids won’t want to play games, who knows? If so then cool, because they probably have some other passion taking up their time, and it means I don’t have to fight for the controller! I’ll still stand with them doing what I can to develop pride and passion for what they love and enjoy. If they do love games though, I’m going to be right there watching them, learn, grow and conquer challenges that they spent a week having to better themselves to beat. In my family there will be cheers and hugs for high scores, fun times and child-like wonder, count on it.
by Christopher Kelley
Earlier this month, Nintendo celebrated the 30th anniversary of their most popular plumber, Mario. The mustachioed mascot has starred in countless games spanning from Nintendo's first humble home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, to their current console, the Wii U. Mario has competed in various sports such as tennis, soccer and baseball as well as racing games such as “Mario Kart. He has thwarted the plans of Bowser and other foes on numerous occasions and even taught us a few things about typing. He is, also, easily the most recognizable video game character to come out of Japan.
Most of Mario's games involve running and jumping while fighting through hordes of Bowser's henchmen, usually Goombas or Koopas. Using power-ups he may find throughout levels, Mario shows Bowser he means business. Sporting frog suits, raccoon tails, capes and fireball throwing abilities he makes his way through many dangerous levels on his way to reach King Koopa's (Bowser) Castle. Mario's powers differ from game to game, but his goal is usually the same; save Princess Peach.
To go along with this anniversary celebration, Nintendo released the “Super Mario Maker” game for the Wii U. In it, players not only play through levels designed by Mario's creators, but also take the helm and create their own levels using the Wii U's gamepad. Players can make simple, fun levels, punishing, difficult levels, or anything in between. When creating levels, the sky is the limit, until you use power-up that lets you fly such as the propeller hat. Level creation is very intuitive and the game features the ability to share levels with other players which opens up the floodgates of creativity Mario fans have been sitting on for years. How many times have you thought “If I made a Mario level, it would go something like this...?” The “Super Mario Maker” makes this dream a reality.
Mario has brought joy to many gamers and their families over the years. His simple to learn, sometimes hard to master adventures have entertained many parties or get-togethers, whether they were from his platforming roots, racing outings, party or sports games. I, for one, hope we see many more years of great games featuring this lovable character.
by Chris Kelley
The first round of the Video Game Hall of Fame has passed and some really great games were among the inductees. “Super Mario Bros,” “Pac-Man,” “World of Warcraft,” “Tetris,” “Doom” and “Pong” were all games that in many ways outlived their original release, whether it be in fond memories of simpler times, countless sequels, or in the case of “World of Warcraft,” monthly subscriptions that people still pay years after its debut. When considering what makes a game worthy of being inducted, one must consider not only the “fun factor” of a game, but its place in history and the innovations it brought to the industry. That being said, here are five games that should be considered for the next round of the Video Game Hall of Fame inductees.
“The Legend of Zelda” is a game packed with secrets, challenges and a certain level of freedom to explore. Players start with a gift of a sword from a mysterious old man whose line “It's Dangerous to Go Alone! Take This” has been parodied across every corner of the Internet. Link, the main protagonist of the game, has since become a very iconic character in his green tunic and hat. The game spawned many sequels; most of them good. Many other games in this series also deserve a mention, but the truth is, they wouldn't even exist if the original title hadn't broken ground and established a basic formula for the series. The game provided a challenge not only in sheer difficulty of some of the enemies, but by forcing the player to truly explore every inch of the game. Several times in the course of the game, players need to access a secret area of the map using items they collected from dungeons they've completed. The problem with that is that this game existed before the Internet, so simply finding those secret areas could be next to impossible. But for the true adventurer, this was merely a hurdle on a quest of great danger and excitement.
“Super Mario Kart” for the Super Nintendo was the first game in the chaotic madness that is “Mario Kart.” Most racing games, in my opinion, are for gear heads, appealing to the mechanically inclined who can appreciate slick looking cars with revving engines. “Super Mario Kart,” on the other hand, is for anyone seeking an unpredictable, fun time with friends. Racers participate in multiple races while collecting items to help them knock other players out of the running for the coveted first place. The game also featured a Battle Mode, designed for nothing more than blasting each other with Koopa shells, banana peels and invincibility stars. Players have three colored balloons spinning around them and are out of the action when they take three hits from other players' items. “Mario Kart” is also a game that has spawned multiple sequels, all with the same central theme, winning first place. However, each game has its own special variation, most recently “Mario Kart 8” for the Wii U, which introduces Anti-Gravity portions of tracks where racers can drive their karts or motorcycles on upside down stretches of track.
“Goldeneye 007,” an iconic shooter for the Nintendo 64, is a game many will look back on with fond memories. One of the best first person shooters of the era, it is perhaps best remembered because of its inclusion of a four player multiplayer feature. It went on to become the third best-selling game for the Nintendo 64, despite a weak debut at E3, a popular expo focused on showcasing the greatest in electronic entertainment. At the time, first person shooter games were much more popular on PC because of the more solid controls of mouse and keyboard. Then “Goldeneye 007” broke that mold and forged a new path for shooters. The multiplayer featured special mods such as “Paintball Mode” where guns could splatter the wall with various colors of paint. “The Man with the Gold Gun” was a mode where only one player could control the Golden Gun, capable of taking out any player in just one shot, with the drawback of only having one bullet to fire before having to reload. I personally remember playing “Slaps Only” which took out all weapons other than the ability to karate chop each other and “License to Kill” which would be a one hit kill. This was close quarters combat, and silliness, at its finest.
“Metroid,” a side scrolling adventure game with a fairly complex upgrade system for its time, put you in the Power Suit of Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter protagonist with a connection to the mysterious Chozo. The Chozo were a bird like race of super intelligent beings who created Samus' upgradeable Power Suit. Each upgrade Samus unlocked on her adventure allowed her to access new areas which were either inaccessible or far too dangerous to attempt before. This game was incredibly difficult, but was highly rewarding as players don't discover Samus is a woman until beating the game. Upon completing “Metroid,” players get the chance to play through again, this time as Samus without her Power Suit. It's purely cosmetic, but the revelation that the protagonist is a fearless, powerful and intelligent woman hidden behind all that armor is refreshing and something we should see more of in today's game industry.
“Sonic the Hedgehog” is one of the most iconic characters to come out of the budding game industry in the ‘90s. TV shows, lunchboxes and books featuring the famous “Blue Blur” were huge staples of my childhood. I'm pretty sure the lyrics “Sonic the Hedgehog, you can't catch what you can't see” sung to the Sonic theme is going to be permanently etched into my brain until I die, and I'm okay with that. ‘Sonic 3’ was such an improvement to the rest of the series it really stands out on its own. ‘Sonic 3’ was the first game in the series to allow you to save your progress. You could also start over on a save file with Super Sonic unlocked. This added a huge amount of replay value because once you unlocked Super Sonic, the game became both easier and more difficult at the same time. Super Sonic in ‘Sonic 3’ could be activated by double jumping once the player collected over 50 rings. The ring count would deplete for the duration of Sonic's transformation. The transformation not only looked cool, it changed the “Blue Blur” to a invincible golden wrecking ball. Sonic's increased speed, acceleration and the ability jump higher allowed players to access more areas, however it could quickly come crashing down as even Super Sonic couldn't stand up to crushing spike platforms, falling in pits or drowning. Sonic 3 was the second in the series to feature connectivity to another game in the series, Sonic and Knuckles, adding not only another playable character, Knuckles the Echidna, but also added new levels, and ability to turn into Hyper Sonic. Unlocking this transformation added a special space battle at the end with the series antagonist, Dr. Robotnik (see also Dr. Eggman). ‘Sonic 3’ was one of the very first platformers which allowed simultaneous control of two characters. ‘Sonic 2’ also did this, but an improvement to the mechanics of Sonic's little buddy, Tails (Miles Prower), the two tailed fox, allowed the second player to assist Sonic in a new way. Tails was not only invincible, but could also fly using his spinning tails. Sonic could jump and latch on to be lifted a short distance allowing him to reach new areas with the help of a friend. My brother and I played this game a lot when we were kids. I'll remember it for the good times I had with him, but it really shines for its innovations to multiplayer play and dual game connectivity.
All of these games are great choices for induction into the Video Game Hall of Fame. They are games that people can look back at with memories of playing with friends and family members. Whether it be sharing tips and secrets in “The Legend of Zelda,” “Metroid” or ‘Sonic 3,’ or dominating each other in “Mario Kart” or “Goldeneye 007,” these games have influenced people's interest in the games they play today. They have also been foundational in the development in new games as developers surely look back fondly and remember what made these games so great.
by Preston Tolliver
On Sunday, Bethesda Softworks rolled out its plans for “Fallout 4” and “Doom,” and just like that, the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo was won. But then something weird happened.
Every year, as gamers, we've made it our responsibility to ask for the same gift from Square Enix, and every year we're left feeling a little scorned, like children whose parents buy them that nice sweater instead of the 10-speed bike that tops our annual wish list. You'd think it's a wish that would have been abandoned after two or three disappointing years, and after 10 it was one that we, as gamers, were finally coming to terms with.
But then, on Monday, something amazing happened.
Square Enix (or, The Artist Formerly Known as Squaresoft) caved, bringing to reality what we have dreamed of for a decade since they teased us (tauntingly, almost) with their HD test footage to show off graphics for the then-recently-released Playstation 3. Yes, on Monday, Square granted our wishes when they played the trailer for the upcoming (OK, to call two years "upcoming" might be a stretch) remake of its hallmark game, “Final Fantasy VII.”
It took me more than two years after Square's highest-received game released for me to play it. In fact, my first venture into the ‘Final Fantasy’ universe came in February 1999 with the release of “Final Fantasy VIII.” After discovering the fun of RPGs, I decided to give this new game's predecessor a shot, walking across the highway from my stepfather's furniture store to Wal-Mart, where I would purchase the green-labeled "Greatest Hits" version of what would quickly become my favorite game. Like any new ‘Final Fantasy’ game, it took a bit to adapt to the mechanics -- trading magic draws from its older brother to the Materia system, and convincing myself that those blocks attached to that purple cube with yellow spikes were actually arms. But for all its faults -- and there are a lot -- I not only fell in love with the game, but with everything about it. The cheesy dialogue, the wacky mini-games, the bizarre story -- all of it.
I've never fancied myself much a reader. I've tried getting into some select books, and have a couple novels I can still read cover-to-cover enjoyably without having to fight the temptation of dozing off or zoning out while trying to get to the end of each chapter. I've always wished to be the kind of person with an affinity for reading; a person who can transmute words on a page into an imaginary world in which to delve recklessly and freely. But a childhood spent palming Super Nintendo controllers left me not with a hunger for my own imagination, but someone else's -- and it's only recently that I've learned that's OK. Like people who turn to their favorite books over and over again, I've turned to my favorite games -- even now, I'm in my fourth or fifth run through ‘Final Fantasy VIII’; I recently finished ‘Final Fantasy IX’ for the third time; and I've played through ‘VII’ probably three times (a game I've beat less than others not because I favor it less, but rather a perfectionist attitude I adopted at an early age from my older brothers makes the game a long and tiring process). Of course, Square isn't the only author I revisit – “Fallout 3” rarely has enough time on my shelf to collect any dust, and games like “Red Dead Redemption” and “Mortal Kombat” find themselves revisited from time to time. Call me lazy -- and you'd be right to do so -- but the video games I grew up with are to me what books are to literary hobbyists.
Square Enix promised us three years ago that the HD remake its fleeting fans had been pleading for wouldn't be entertained until the company made an equally-received game -- an impossible feat given the legendary status ‘VII’ earned and the recent slope the company's found itself trying not to roll down since the series tenth installment (to me, the franchise redefined itself with “Final Fantasy VII,” but it peaked in 2000 with “Final Fantasy IX”). When other video game companies made a seamless transition to the Playstation 2, Square Enix faltered with its ‘Final Fantasy’ games -- perhaps because of an impossibility of working staple mechanics into its newer games, such as a world map in which the players could roam at will, or a fan base that seemed to want a more active battle system (I'd give anything to go back to the turn-based systems of old) -- while its new franchises, like “Kingdom Hearts,” all but buried the old ones. In recent years, Square Enix has established itself as a franchise seemingly incapable of building a new fan base; instead, its fans are primarily those who were with them 10 or 15 or 20 or 30 years ago. The problem, as I would think they've realized, is that fan base is dwindling and those dropping out aren't being replaced.
And so on Monday, Square Enix decided to reward those fans loyal enough to see the rough patches through.
Now, in two very, very long years from now, Square will have its 16 Revive Materia maxed out and will breathe new life into a game 20 years old -- a game whose biggest faults are poor graphics and an outdated story. Square Enix has also given itself the liberty of rewriting history -- where some parts of the game were fun and goofy 20 years ago, today they'll likely be awkward and out-of-place. It'll be interesting to see if we still throw a dress on Cloud and send him headlong into a brothel, or if Barrett is still a racial stereotype. But most of all, Square Enix will give its most loyal fans a chance to relive their childhood, one high-def Chocobo race at a time.
Five days ago, I was telling my girlfriend how I thought my favorite game, made in 1997, when I was 9 years old, had been eclipsed by “Fallout 3.” And now, just five days later, I already know my mind will change again. It already has. And that's because, again, on Monday, something weird happened. On Monday, Christmas came six months and 10 days early.
by Chris Kelley
After what seemed like an eternity since the release of the Nintendo 64 remake “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: 3D,” Nintendo once again teamed up with Grezzo and finally delivered on one of the most divisive of Zelda games, “Majora's Mask 3D.” Fans of the Zelda series often disagree about the merits of this game citing time constraints and frustrations over the limited save feature as huge obstacles inhibiting the completion of dungeons and as result, the game. However, it is still one of the most beloved games in the series due to its darker, more emotional tone. Not long after releasing “Ocarina of Time: 3D,” Zelda fans began with their usual pattern of calling for the next game in the series. Fan petitions even formed into social media movements with fans creating Facebook pages such as Operation Moonfall, named after the falling moon theme of the game, to grab the attention of Nintendo by expressing the overwhelming support for a ‘Majora's Mask’ remake.
This time Nintendo had a real decision to make. Should they develop a new game in the series, or remaster a game that honestly, despite being arguably one of the best in the series and cult favorite, wasn't received as well overall as previous titles? Some fans argued for an HD remake on the Wii U console instead of a portable 3DS version. One dedicated group of anonymous fans even went as far as to develop their own HD trailer for the game, which was so convincing, many believed it to be made by Nintendo. Almost four years after “Ocarina of Time: 3D” hit stores, and a little over a year after Nintendo released the “Link the Past” sequel, “A Link Between Worlds,” they announced “The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D” which would soon be available to play on their newest version of the 3DS, the aptly named NEW Nintendo 3DS.
In “Majora's Mask: 3D,” players once again take control of their favorite Hylian hero, Link. This is the same Link that appeared in “Ocarina of Time: 3D,” where he is also known as the “Hero of Time.” The name takes on a new meaning as Link works to put right all the trouble caused by the mask wearing impish figure, the Skull Kid within a 72 hour time limit. The moon is falling on the land of Termina and the many of the residents wish to flee the land, while others choose to ignore the face of the looming moon which creeps closer every day. Using the mystical Ocarina of Time, Link relives the same three days, each time helping someone he might not have had time to help the last time.
The Skull Kid, the game's main antagonist, stole a very important item, Majora's Mask, from a traveling mask salesman in the woods. With it, he uses its dark power to play tricks on people. Link's main quest in the land of Termina is to put a stop to the falling moon, caused by the Skull Kid, which menacingly hovers over Clock Town, the land's central hub. The Skull Kid's tricks have affected nearly everyone in town and it is only by helping the townsfolk that Link will be able to put a stop to the imp's games. By helping townsfolk, Link is often rewarded with masks. Mask collecting is a very important as some of them have significant powers which help Link reach new areas and face new challenges.
Nintendo opted to change many things about this game including the dungeon boss mechanics, as well as streamlining some of the item collection. Link's precious item, The Ocarina of Time, which he uses to return to the first day again, has been given a significant upgrade which allows the player to travel forward to anytime of the day. This makes quite a difference as it can speed up the pace of the game so the player is always engaged rather than standing around waiting for townsfolk to become available at certain times. The graphics have had a huge overhaul, looking even better than “Ocarina of Time: 3D,” despite the fact that many of the game's character models originally come from that game. The sound, which keeps true to the original, has still been upgraded and sounds great on the 3DS. Playing “Majora's Mask: 3D” on the New 3DS is definitely the way Nintendo intended it to be. Making use of their new “Super Stable 3D,” which uses face tracking to deliver a beautiful 3D effect without the need for 3D glasses or having to view it from just the right sweet spot, Nintendo truly showed the fans how much they cared about delivering above expectations of their fans.
Many fans would have been happy to have the original Nintendo 64 game brought on the portable 3DS platform. Instead, Nintendo was secretly developing this game while many fans had given up hope it would ever be developed. It was revealed later that work actually had begun on “Majora's Mask: 3D” immediately after “Ocarina of Time: 3D” came out. Eiji Aonuma, the producer of “Majora's Mask: 3D” even left cryptic hints in “A Link Between Worlds,” the game Nintendo decided to develop and release while remaking “Majora's Mask.”
While I feel like most of the changes are for the good of the game, I can't help but feel a bit betrayed by the lack of consequences when you run out of time or lose all of your hearts in this game. In an effort to make this game more accessible to a wider range of players including those who were turned off originally by the game, Feather Statues have been added to make saving during your three day cycle less stressful. There are literally no consequences for running out of time on the 72 hour clock unless you forget to save at one of these statues. In the original game, it was only possible to save by resetting back to the first day or using an Owl Statue. Saves made at Owl statues were only temporary and your progress would not be saved if you ran out of time. Running out of time would send you back to the “Dawn of the First Day,” losing all of your progress since your last time travel. Doing so in “Majora's Mask: 3D” only sends you back to your last save point. It is great for what it is, accessible. However, as far as remaining true to the original and maintaining your sense of consequences and urgency, the game simply does not deliver. But the good thing is that Feather Statues are entirely optional so if you want to play hard mode or feel more like you are playing the original title, you can simply bypass them.
I've never played a game that has had such a memorable impact on my childhood as “Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.” The characters have their own dreams and desires and many seem to always be on the go. As a child, it felt like I was really a part of this world as I could spend many hours roleplaying in the game and creating my own stories and adventures. One part of the remake I really enjoy, which may not have been an intended part of the game, but still adds even more enjoyment to this game, is sequence breaking. Using glitches or exploits to break the usual Zelda “go here, get this, then go there and do that” allows me to get items and access areas earlier than I'm supposed to. Since I like to role-play with this game, sequence breaking fits well within my play style. What I mean to say is, if I'm supposedly stuck in this endless three day cycle, I'm sure to pick a few tricks from observing the land and characters within. Sequence breaking was possible in the original game and I am very glad to see that, while maybe unintentional on Nintendo's part, I am still able to do this.
The 3DS version astounds me even more with how much cleaner it looks and plays. I recently took a look at the original Nintendo 64 classic and while I remember appreciating the graphics at the time, the low frame rate was a bit hard to bear. The 3DS version still has a hiccup or two in frame rate, although a recent patch claims to have remedied the problem. Playing Majora's Mask on the 3DS anywhere and anytime is a dream come true and now reliving that experience as an adult makes me feel like Link once again as I travel through Termina putting an end to the Skull Kid's tricks and making my own adventure at the same time.