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The time has come for yet another test of wit, creativity, and the use of expensive software for trivial purposes: a Photoshop Contest is upon us!

We're asking readers to submit the funniest, most creative, or most awe-inspiring pictures they can produce within the guidelines we suggest. This week, we’re stoking the searing fires of the Majora’s Mask 3D Hype Train, First, let's take a look at the winners from last week's contest: Ganonize Link . . .

With release under two weeks away, the wait for Majora's Mask 3D is almost over. As anticipation continues to rise, some may grow anxious wondering if the game will live up to the overwhelming expectations. Worry not, friends; the game has finally received its first review in the latest issue of Game Informer. Editor Kyle Hilliard aims to put fans' concerns to rest, as his review is altogether positive with a score of 9.25 out of 10...

Introduction

After having released Part 1 of “A Case for Twilight Princess: The Music” (check it out newly revised), I looked on various social media for people’s reactions. I read some opinions about the music that were similar to ones expressed about the game overall. In other words, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (TP) elicits black-and-white responses. They are pretty polarized, and there rarely is any middle ground. People either love it with the flaming passion of a thousand suns, or they hate it to the point that they’d kill it and resurrect it just to kill it again. Once in a while, I’ll read “Meh,” or “I like it about third or fourth on the list of my favorites.” By and large, however, the responses are on the opposite sides...

In February of 2014, fan, artist, and musical raconteur Jeremiah Sun took on the project of digitally orchestrating the entire score to The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. He has been releasing tracks over the past eleven months and already has completed and released an impressive 52. Each of them demonstrates his vision (well, his “hearing”) of what the original Gameboy release’s sound capabilities might have been. Using computer software, he orchestrated each original track and even added original, secondary melodies in some areas to realize the potential of the themes. In this sense, his arrangements border on re-compositions. Nevertheless, since the creators of The Legend of Zelda series have taken to remaking so many prized games, they might want to listen to these tracks.


Introduction

A few days ago, I read the 2014 Zelda Fan Survey, an impressive undertaking by Max Nichols. As far as I could tell, he did not leave many stones unturned, or, to make an apropos metaphor, he did not leave many pots unsmashed. Some of the results did not surprise me; some of them did.

Naturally, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (OoT) reigns supreme. It is what made the Zelda franchise what we know and love today. It is the yardstick by which all other Zelda games—before or after it, it seems—are measured. I was 18 years old when OoT was released, and I have very fond memories of playing that game with my best friends. It made me fall in love with Hyrule and all that is in it, as it surely has done for many fans.

Being fairly new to articles about The Legend of Zelda series, however, I did not realize just how highly fans regard The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (MM). That was surprising to me, and it shows me just how much I have to learn about the game. I tried about three times since its release to play MM, and I could never enjoy it, sadly. Of course, that will not stop me from trying again . . .

Until the premiere of Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda games consistently have featured a synthesized musical soundscape to accompany Link on his adventures. Music either synthesized or generated from computer-software programs represented to some a welcomed tradition, a sort of trademark of the game. To others it was old-fashioned and not in a good way. As far as dissenters were concerned, a game of such scope and epic proportions required comparable music, e.g. acoustic or electro-acoustic instruments. Notwithstanding events like the “Symphony of the Goddess” tour, if we want to hear the music of Zelda, then we have to download midi-audio files where we can find them (if you haven’t checked out the Legend of Zelda Music and Soundtracks from ZeldaUniverse.com, then I highly encourage you to set aside a few hours and become the figurative kid in a candy store).

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is only two days away, and the hype is strong with this one. Perhaps the most beloved multiplayer game for Nintendo fans, Super Smash Bros. asks players to break fighting game conventions and instead of whittling away at HP, to knock their opponents off of a given stage. Here at ZI, we’ve had a good amount of time to play through the game’s plethora of modes and challenges, and let me tell you, Zelda fans will not be disappointed.

Head inside to learn more!

By now many of you may be aware that I had what I have now deemed as a “failure to launch” when it comes to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. My initial impressions were not looking good, mostly due to having intense lag in the single player areas whenever I faced 4 CPU opponents with items on no matter what stage I was on. It wasn’t pleasant, as having my screen freeze multiple times really kicks my brain out of the experience.

Thankfully this review is not based entirely on that experience, because I was able to rectify the issue after resetting my A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL and attaching a different Nintendo Network ID to it. Basically, a blank system with nothing downloaded and no games… except for my retail version of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. Yes, the things I make difficult for myself (recovering my digital downloads) just for the sake of a review. Somehow this eliminated my lag entirely, allowing me to give a fair review of what most of you are already are or can expect to experience should you choose to dive in at some point.

Have we considered all that Majora's Mask has to offer? Many essays and articles have been written about the N64 gem, but none of them consider its cultural roots and its connection to Japanese theatre. This article serves as an introduction to a series about the cultural background of the themes, motifs, and structure of Majora's Mask and what the game has to say about the Zelda franchise and video games in general.

As I did in my preview, I wanted to start off by making a few notes about me as a reviewer for this game. I have never played a Dynasty Warriors game before. I know of the series and have seen people play it, but I really never got into it myself. I have obviously played all of the Zelda games, so my perspective for this game is from the side of a Zelda fan heading in without any expectations for what this game is supposed to be. I also wanted to warn that yes, there will be some story spoilers time to time.