Monday, February 20, 2017

End of 30th Anniversary

Today's the last day of the 30th Anniversay of The Legend of Zelda. Tomorrow the franchise will be 31 years old, roughly ten days before the release of the next big installment that is Breath of the Wild. Unlike Skyward Sword back in 2011, the new game didn't make it in time for the anniversary, which is probably why Nintendo kept things low, when compared to the 25th Anniversary of Zelda.

Essentially all we got for the 30th Anniversary were a bunch of amiibo, a Nintendo 3DS HOME menu theme and the new Arts & Artifacts book, which will be released tomorrow in the West. Japan also got some new concerts and a Game Music CD Collection, but that was it. As already depicted in my review of the year 2016, Nintendo could have also tied all of the March 2016 releases to the 30th Anniversary, like Hyrule Warriors Legends and all the new Twilight Princess stuff, but they didn't, probably because they still may have had plans for a potential 2016 release of Breath of the Wild.

But what could they have done in addition? What the 25th Anniversary started six years ago, essentially never stopped. The golden Wiimote, the Limited Edition Nintendo 3DS, the Hyrule Historia book, the Zelda level in Super Mario 3D World, the orchestral concerts, the CDs and what not felt pretty special at the time. Finally Zelda got a lot more attention. But by now it seems like all these things have become a standard - the Nintendo 3DS alone saw a total of three more Zelda Limited Editions in the following years and even the Wii U got one. The Symphony of the Goddesses concerts kept happening in cities all over the world. Hyrule Historia now is receiving follow-up books with Hyrule Graphics ("Arts & Artifacts") and Hyrule Encyclopedia. And in general Nintendo is more open with the franchise, which even led to a new spin-off series with Hyrule Warriors.

The one thing from the 25h Anniversary that probably still stands out is the Four Swords Anniversary Edition - a free game, where Nintendo never made it available again (save for four days in 2014 in North America), not even during the 30th Anniversary. In fact this would have been the best opportunity to offer this game to anyone, who didn't have a chance to get it before. They could have offered as a bonus in their new My Nintendo program. But they didn't...

Also, I personally hoped that for the 30th Anniversary they would offer something similar in the form of some free Anniversary DLC for Tri Force Heroes, but sadly this also didn't happen. And the game could have used it, because it was dying quickly without any new content.

Another thing that I expected was some Zelda anime movie, but this can still happen and might tie in with Breath of the Wild later this year...

And from now on Nintendo will have to wait nine years now to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Zelda in 2026, there's no big date in between (you don't usually celebrate 35 years; 25 years is only a thing, because it's a quarter century). But that probably won't stop them to use Zelda as their golden cow in the meantime.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Breath of the Wild: DLC Announced

So much for avoiding the media from now on... Aonuma already hinted at DLC in previous interviews, but now Nintendo officially announced their DLC plans for Breath of the Wild via Youtube, an "Expansion Pass" for two upcoming DLC packs. They will include the following:

DLC Pack 1

  • New Cave of Trials challenge
  • New Hard Mode
  • Additional Map Feature

DLC Pack 2

  • New original story
  • New dungeon
  • Additional challenges

As usual with Nintendo DLCs, you also get some small extras right from the start, if you buy the Expansion Pass. You will find three additional chests on the Great Plateau, where one of the has a "Nintendo Switch shirt" and the other two "useful items".

This takes me back to my Zelda and DLC article from 2013. In general I'm not opposed to DLC, because it usually gives me something new to look forward to. It works especially well with Hyrule Warriors or multiplayer games like Tri Force Heroes. However, with a Zelda singleplayer game I somewhat prefer getting a full package. It now looks like Breath of the Wild is an unfinished product, where Nintendo wants to grab some extra cash for completing it.

It depends on what they are trying to achieve with the DLC. If it really goes beyond the scope of the current game and goes for the extra mile as a real expansion, it might be a good thing. It sounds like DLC Pack 2 is exactly that, though we don't really know at this point, what "new original story" really means. It could just be some advanced sidequest. If it's like a "mini sequel" that gets added to the game, it might be worthwhile. A new dungeon is also a big deal, considering that the game supposedly only has four main dungeons. So, this could become a good expansion and maybe something that Zelda games in the past wouldn't get.

But the first DLC Pack sounds like a pure rip-off, because those are standard features by now. These trial dungeons aren't exactly the freshest idea, in fact they have been a thing in Zelda for 15 years now. The Wind Waker had the Savage Labyrinth as part of the main quests, Twilight Princess then had the Cave of Ordeals as an extra challenge and Twilight Princess HD the Cave of Shadows (though the latter was amiibo content and in that sense already a rip-off). In Spirit Tracks you have the "Take 'Em All On" minigame and there was the Treacherous Tower in A Link Between Worlds. In Tri Force Heroes we got the Den of Trials as the first Zelda DLC ever, but this was a free add-on. And these multi-floor trial dungeons are usually just a cheap way of creating a challenge, where it's not hard to create them. It's just room after room full of enemies. There's no good reason, why this shouldn't already be part of the main product.

However, I can see, how this makes a good DLC extra feature, because these types of challenges (along with the Boss Challenges) are usually treated as an extra that you might want to play at the end of the game after everything else, where you are the strongest. It worked as a good addition for Tri Force Heroes, however, it was free DLC in that case. So far we didn't have to pay extra for this type of content, which now leaves a sour taste.

Same goes for the "Hard Mode". If this is some fully fledged 2nd / Master Quest, then I'm happy to pay for it! We rarely ever get this, in fact only the first Zelda game offered this from the get-go. I'd love to play something like Master Quest for Ocarina of Time again, where they really took the time to change all the dungeons, but even there it was planned as add-on content for the Nintendo 64DD and wasn't available right from the start. Ever since Skyward Sword we usually just get the cheap "Hero Mode" option, where you take double or quadruple damage, where you may find no hearts anymore (if there even will be any in the game) and where maybe the entire world got mirrored. But these are all options that are easy to implement and do not justify paid DLC.

In fact I'd say that the game should have a toggleable "Hero Mode" option like in the Wind Waker HD right from the start, while the DLC would provide a real Master Quest mode, where they make you face tougher enemies everywhere, where they alter all the shrines and dungeons and maybe even switch locations of the shrines to make certain runes / upgrades harder to get. Remember, how the dungeons in the original 2nd Quest for The Legend of Zelda were suddenly in different places? They could easily do this for the Sheikah Shrines in Breath of the Wild, since the entrances look all the same anyway. There are tons of possibilities to alter the game in challenging ways, where I really hope that with the DLC Nintendo actually takes the time to do that and finally give us a proper 2nd Quest again after all these years. In that case it would be the perfect DLC for a Zelda game. However, if it's really just the cheap "Hero Mode" option, I would be tremendously disappointed and Nintendo shouldn't ask any money for it.

The issue here is that we might not get to know, what we're buying here, until the content will be released. It was a similar problem with the DLCs for Hyrule Warriors (Legends), where they didn't specify, what characters and weapons will be included, they only gave a number. And in the end some fans were disappointed, because they got Tingle instead of Skull Kid. In the least they did give a pretty good estimate for the value, because a new character is a new character. With this DLC we don't really know yet, how big the story expansion will be or what the "Hard Mode" means. A true 2nd Quest would be worth the money, a Hero Mode not. But will we know this, when the content becomes purchasable on March 3rd?

Another problem is the fact that I'm starting with the Wii U version, but I also want to get the Switch version later on. Will I have to pay for the DLC twice or will I get some discount? But I'd suppose that for the Holiday season it's possible that Nintendo really releases a Zelda Edition of the Nintendo Switch that already has all the DLC pre-installed. Even more reasons to wait with the Switch purchase! And Nintendo seems to be quick to release "Deluxe" versions of new games containing all DLC anyway...

PS: Comments are enabled again for the moment, in case you want to share your opinions about this!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Breath of the Wild: Preview Phase Begins

It seems like Nintendo will now let the media run wild with the game. Because I don't want to get spoiled any further, I will avoid Twitter, Nintendo news feeds and the like for the time being. Comments are also disabled for now just to make sure.

In the meantime I will try to finish my 3D Zelda sprint with Twilight Princess HD and Skyward Sword. Starting March 3rd I will dive into Breath of the Wild with my "Adventure Log" series on this blog, where I share my experiences with the game on a daily basis. Comments will return after I've beaten the game.

Update: It seems like this was false alarm. Five days later and it doesn't look too bad.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Breath of the Wild: amiibo Speculation

In less than three weeks we will all be able to play Breath of the Wild in our homes and add a bunch of amiibo to our collections, where the game even gets its own amiibo line, separate from the The Legend of Zelda line, that has been established already. And it's weird that we don't know already what they will do. But we can always speculate (again)!

So, these five amiibo have been announced for Breath of the Wild and will be available at March 3rd::

  • Archer Link
  • Rider Link
  • Guardian
  • Zelda
  • Bokoblin

The functions of the 30th Anniversary amiibo also have been announced, where each of them lets you have a delivery of goods. Also, there is the Wolf Link amiibo that lets you summon Wolf Link. All of the amiibo seem to be used by the "amiibo Rune" of the Sheikah Slate and they all seem to function in a similar way, where they let you spawn or summon something right in front of you. And this might also apply to all the Breath of the Wild amiibo.

It's kind of obvious with what Archer Link and Rider Link will do in that case. Archer Link will basically work like the Link and Toon Link amiibo in Twilight Princess HD and will supply you with arrows, probably even bows. There might also be a chance of getting the rare "Tek Arrows", which let you destroy the Guardians with one shot. The Archer Link figurine is even using one of these arrows!

Rider Link simply summons a random horse in front of you, in case you ever need one. The only question is, how this will work, if there are indeed different mounts for different regions, but then the horse amiibo could simply give you a walrus instead. Or we will have separate figurines for this in the future.

The Guardian might be there for a challenge, where it lets you summon a hostile Guardian right in front of you, which you can fight for fun. It might also be that the summoned Guardian isn't in a corrupted state and will support you instead, but in that case they might have colored the figurine differently. And if the Guardians in the game really turn out to be limited (which means that they do not respawn after being destroyed once), it will be good to have some way to let them loose again, where the amiibo figurine seems like a fun idea to implement that. The Bokoblin figurine might just do the same thing with a horde of Bokoblins, which you can call for your destructive pleasures, whenever you want.

With Zelda it's not so obvious and it would be boring, if the figurine simply gives you another health recovery supply, where the 30th Anniversary amiibo already got you more than covered. But if the whole buddy system turns out to be a real thing, the amiibo might just let you summon Zelda at any time like Wolf Link, so you can have her at your side. It might not be the actual Zelda, because this probably wouldn't make sense from a story point, but it could be like a "hologram" enabled by the Sheikah Technology, which does fit the whole mechanic, where you're using the amiibo via your Sheikah Slate.

Whenever I finish the Earth Temple in the Wind Waker, I'm sad that I have to leave Medli behind, because I really enjoy having her at my side. amiibo might be Nintendo's costly solution for that, where the figurines let you bring the characters back into the game. But it does fit the concept of amiibo quite well. It brings the figurines to life in the game, but at the same time you're not missing out anything essential, if you don't want to buy or can't buy amiibo, because you can still play with the characters during the respective points in the story. The amiibo are just for some fun later.

And you can even take this idea further, where all the supporting characters will get their own amiibo figurine at some point. I'd expect the Breath of the Wild line to be expanded by the following four figurines later on:

  • Darkel, the Goron
  • Mifa, the Zora girl
  • Reebal, the Rito
  • The Gerudo girl

They do all look like catchy figurine material and the figurines might be a way to bring them back to your side at any point later in the game. The only drawback would be that these figurines might not work, until you have progressed enough in the game. But that's fine, if the figurines will be released at a later date, and it might also explain, why Nintendo hasn't revealed the amiibo functionalities yet, since they might not want to spoil as much of the game this time.

Also, there might be a fallback for all amiibo, where you get something for scanning any amiibo that you have. Like scanning any amiibo in Hyrule Warriors other than the supported characters will give you some random materials, weapons or Rupees. This will probably be the same for Breath of the Wild, where it doesn't even seem like any of the Super Smash Bros. Zelda amiibo are directly supported. But they also might just give you certain supplies, where it would be fun, if scanning Sheik will give you Sheikah technology gears.

Breath of the Wild: Possible Mounts

It's been a month now that the Switch Presentation trailer of Breath of the Wild has been released and you can still look at the thing and analyze all the details. It really gave away a lot of potential, where some of it lies in the possibility of having other mounts than just horses.

(Up front: I want to apologize, if anything new about this already has been revealed. I'm not up to date anymore with the media and I drew the line with the latest trailer. But this is still a topic, where I wanted to talk about it, before the game arrives.)

In the trailer we saw Link next to the Gerudo girl, where both arrived at the "Camel Guardian dungeon", but not on horses, but what appears to be some hairy walruses:

Potentially there are different mounts based on a regional aspect. It could be like in Twilight Princess, where you can't bring your horse to the desert, but you can mount the wild boars used by Bokoblins in the area. Depending on where you leave the Great Plateau, you might not have access to any horses, but different ridable species, like the walruses.

When replaying the Wind Waker I enjoyed a lot, how quick and fun it is to ride the boat with the new Swift Sail speed. The rafting that showcased with Breath of the Wild so far on the other hand was utterly slow and terribly inconvenient, so it would be nice to have some water mount, which lets you speed quickly across any ocean areas in the game. And for Death Mountain you might get something that lets you climb rock walls, for example a gecko creature. And ultimately you might be able to use some kind of Loftwing later in the game, which lets you fly over the entire world.

This might even tie in with the new buddy system, where it seems like there will be various characters which will follow and support Link throughout the game, from different races. Next to Princess Zelda and the Gerudo Girl, there are warriors from the Goron, Zora and Rito tribes to support you. And it seems like these characters are using their own mounts, so that they are able to follow you around everywhere. Maybe for each race there will be a different mount. Link and Zelda will simply go on horses and the Gerudo travel on the walruses. Maybe the Zora will offer some water mount to cross the sea and maybe the Rito will give you access to some Loftwing replacement (they wouldn't need it themselves, though). And of course the Gorons could have their own mounts as well.

This reminds me of my Pre Hyrule Warriors Zelda battle game idea, where every character also would have had their own mount. With that I always imagined Darmani or Darunia going around on a Dodongo-like creature similar to Dimitri:

I suppose that the Gorons will have something that lets you climb rock walls, but the Dodongos from Twilight Princess actually looked like geckos and even were able to walk on ceilings, so it's still a possibility that we can have both.

You can still compare it a little bit with the Oracle games, where you did have different mounts with different skills available. The difference is that you won't have to make a choice for the entire game, where one region gets essentially replaced based on your choice (see here). Instead the regions now will determine the available mounts, where you might even have different types of stables for them. So, in Hyrule you get the horse stables, which we've already seen, while in the Gerudo Deserts you might find "Walrus tents", which look very different, but work in the same fashion.

Breath of the Wild will have a huge world and maybe there will also be many different means of traveling through this world other than what we've seen already. There's quite some potential here and in three weeks we will see, how Nintendo made use of it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Wind Waker HD: 2nd Quest Logbook

The current journey is clear: before Breath of the Wild gets released in exactly three weeks, I want to re-experience all 3D Zelda games on my Wii U again. And after things were progressing quite slowly with the Nintendo 64 games on Virtual Console, I'm back on track with the Wind Waker HD. Only after one (work) week I was able to complete the 2nd Quest mode and thus finally the entire game...

When the remaster came out in October 2013, I completed everything in the normal game mode (see my The Wind Waker HD Logbook) and left the 2nd Quest mode for a future playthrough. And that playthrough happened now. It started last Saturday, where I played til Tower of the Gods, while on "Sidequest Sunday" I did the majority of exploring of the Great Sea. Like the last time, I've avoided to start doing things as early as possible. That's unusual for me, because I usually try to get all Heart Pieces and other optional things as early as possible in the games. I even did this in a past playthrough on the GameCube once and it's kind of fun to get some Triforce Charts really early or whatever, but to save time I didn't start scavenging the ocean until after the battle with the Helmaroc King. It's just more convenient to do everything on a per-quadrant basis, where I systemically charted the entire sea, cleared all islands, conquered all platforms and submarines and even salvaged all Light Rings yet again.

Apropos Light Rings, I had the same phenomenon like in my first playthrough of the Wind Waker HD, where early in the game I couldn't find the Light Ring to the southeast of Dragon Roost Island, but it then appeared later throughout the game. Strange. It would also have been nice, if the charts would cross out all the things, that you've already gotten or done. E.g. if you got all the treasure chests on one of the platforms, it should be crossed out in the Platform Chart. Even a Blue ChuChu Chart, which keeps track of them, would have been great. The same goes all the Light Rings... Whenever I replay the Wind Waker now, I keep track using pen and paper on my printed Light Ring Chart, but that feels somewhat old-fashioned, especially while playing the game with a touch device, which includes a pen. At the least the ability to take notes on your maps like in Phantom Hourglass would have been nice.

Anyhow, doing these things were quite fun to me, but it does lack the necessary variety in the Wind Waker. Most of the activity is tied to the boat and all the platforms, the submarines and also some of the islands are simply just the same thing over and over again. But I'm confident that Breath of the Wild with its similar approaches can be fun, while at the same time deliver more variety thanks to the different terrains and the fact that there will be much more to do, especially with the over a hundred Sheikah Shrines.

Talking about the Sheikah Shrines: the Tower of the Gods really had this big Sheikah technology vibe coming from it, especially with the blue relays everywhere and the eye symbolic of Gohdan. The Beamos even had a level of deadliness to them, which may or may not compare to the Guardians. But it's hard to destroy them without being hit first and in Hero Mode they can do quite some damage.

Overall I left Hero Mode activated during the entire time and it felt much tougher than before. I've never died, but the lack of any hearts combined with the double damage can be threatening, because a lot of things can easily hurt you in this game. The enemy cannons, which you will mostly face in the six reefs, for example two or even more hearts of damage with one hit and these hits can rack up quickly, because you don't get thrown out of your boat anymore. And it's not like there are fairies around every time, early in the game I even used the "Save & Quit" method a couple of times to "heal" myself.

But of all 3D Zelda games the Wind Waker probably offers the most fun and intense fights, where the secret cave on Shark Island will always be the prime example. It's just so much fun to wreck the hordes of various enemies in this game. Twilight Princess then wasn't as fast and it felt more grounded, while Skyward Sword overdid the whole motion control directional puzzle thing instead of delivering actual combat. But the Wind Waker really shines here, except for two factors. You can't attack tumbling enemies, which is super annoying, and the game uses lots of small enemies to effectively prevent you from targeting the important ones, like the summoning Wizzrobes. It's even used in boss fights with Molgera.

It's the boss fights, where I also tried something different for this playthrough, namely Kalle Demos. For the first time I used the Forest Water trick on it to kill the thing quickly. It's not hard to do, if you leave the dungeon right before the boss and use the "warp pots", but it will block one of your battles for half an hour...

Otherwise I didn't do anything special with this playthrough. The focus lied on enjoying the visuals, where the Wind Waker HD easily delivers the best in the series so far. The Cel Shading style is timeless and the bloom makes everything pop. It just looks really nice and I can't get enough the lush, sunbathed views of all the island. It might be even a shame that this game never got an actual sequel with the same graphics, because the whole style was never matched on the weak Nintendo DS hardware and the graphics of Twilight Princess, while having their own charm, didn't age as well.

But what didn't entice me as much this time was Miiverse. I still think that the Wind Waker HD did an excellent job of incorporating Miiverse into the game, with the Tingle Bottles it's probably still the best Miiverse inclusion I've seen so far. But after a view drawn dick pics I quickly lost the motivation to go after them. It just wasn't the same as in the days after release, but that's to be expected. Part of it was also, because I've already completed the Nintendo Gallery in the 1st Quest, so that Carlov isn't even present in the 2nd Quest. As soon as you arrive at Forest Haven, you can immediately enter a fully completed figurine gallery. I did this even once on the GameCube, but with the Wii U version it was much easier and saved me quite some time here.

Still, one small additional goal that I had with this playthrough was collecting all eight missable figurine shots on my Deluxe Picto Box:

  • Tetra
  • Kogoli
  • Cyclos
  • Big Octo
  • Phantom Ganon
  • Helmaroc King
  • Wizzrobe King
  • Puppet Ganon

I took them all again and scattered them over Miiverse yesterday... So, if you're still missing one of them, go to the game right now and you might be lucky to pick up one of my Pictographs in a Tingle Bottle.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Replaying Majora's Mask on the Wii U

If I ever rank all the Zelda games, I will have to put Majora's Mask above Ocarina of Time for sure. As with the Nintendo 3DS remasterakes last year, I felt that Majora's Mask gave me the better replay value, because there is just so much to do all at once in the world of Termina with it's many sidequests. The world is also quite dense when compared to other 3D Zelda games and there's something to discover / to find / to do in every nookie. It's just really well designed and there are no dull moments in this game, unlike in Ocarina of Time, where you keep going through the Field of Nothingness.

Similar to last time on the Nintendo 3DS I tried to do as much in one cycle as possible for my 100% run on the Wii U. Since the Song of Inverted Time essentially triples the available time, I was effortlessly able to clear one entire area per cycle:

  • Cycle 1: Deku Minigame, Lottery
  • Cycle 2: Clocktown sidequests, Southern Swamp, Swamp Spider House, Woodfall Temple, Romani Ranch (3rd Day)
  • Cycle 3: Anju & Kafei Quest (partly), Snowhead, Snowhead Temple, Gilded Sword
  • Cycle 4: Romani Ranch, Ikana Graveyard
  • Cycle 5: Great Bay, Oceanside Spider House, Great Bay Temple, Frog Choir, Deku Tile Trade
  • Cycle 6: Anju & Kafei Quest (complete), Anju's Grandmother's stories
  • Cycle 6: Ikana, Stone Tower, Moon

On the third cycle I was mostly playing without a sword, where I had to realize (again) that you can actually activate Owl Statues with a Deku Stick. It doesn't work with any other weapons around the time, you can't use the Goron First or the Deku and it tells you to use your sword, but a Deku Stick does the trick as well.

Again, this run was nothing impressive, but beating the game in this way felt pretty good. What didn't feel good was the analog stick aiming, however. Gyro aiming was pretty much one of the best additions to the 3D series, where we can only hope that this will stay from now on, because going back to aiming with analog sticks is just frustrating. In Majora's Mask 3D I could easily score a "Perfect" in both Shooting Galleries on my first try. Back to Majora's Mask on Virtual Console I have to keep trying, trying and trying to get it done eventually...

Curiously enough, I found the Town Shooting Gallery somewhat easier than the one in Swamp, mostly because you only have to aim horizontally, while in the Swamp Shooting Gallery you have to shoot things all over the place. The Swamp Shooting Gallery is still the easier one, however, because the one in Clock Town just doesn't leave any room for error. You can't hit any blue Octoroks and the Octoroks will be gone quickly, where there's no second chances. A "Perfect" really is perfect play here.

I also had an issue with the 10-seconds-minigame at the Post Office, because there is some slight input lag, where I wasn't able to hit the 10 second mark accurately. The Wii U version also has the same downside as the Nintendo 3DS version with the Goron Labyrinth, where going straight is not so easy thanks to the completely rounded analog stick.

Otherwise the Virtual Console version was pretty good. I didn't mind the lower framerate as much as with Ocarina of Time, though this could be because I finally got used to it again, but the graphics are also somewhat nicer thanks to the Expansion Pack dependency of the original game. And of course it's nice to use Zora Link more freely again or use Ice Arrows wherever you want, though I didn't really play with the latter. But overall the Nintendo 3DS version made same changes to the worse, where the original version of the game still has some ground, unlike with Ocarina of Time, where there's no real reason to go back.

But there are also some changes and features from the Nintendo 3DS remasterake, that I missed. A smaller example would be planting the Deku Bean at the wall near Deku Palace. You can really get used to the shortcut and I forgot to bring some fresh Spring Water with me, where there's no pond around in the Nintendo 64 version. I would have had to go back, if it wasn't for the rain, which came with the start of the 2nd Day.

And the fishing in Majora's Mask 3D really grew on me, so that I kind of was missing it somewhat here, but since I don't have too much time left for the 3D Zelda games, before Breath of the Wild gets released, it's a good thing that I don't spent the additional hours with the game. I kind of have to rush things, while still going for the 100%.

Anyway, here are some fun RNG facts of my latest playthrough:

  • Bomber Code: 45321
  • Lottery Numbers: 251, 201 and 443

Another big advantage of the Wii U Virtual Console version are certainly Restore Points, which I mostly used for some of the minigames. In the already mentioned Clock Town Shooting for example, I could skip the early parts after mastering them. Or with the Zora Swimming you can set a Restore Point after the first race, so you don't have to do it again.

There isn't much else to do with Restore Points, though. Of course you can now leave the game at any time without the need of saving ingame thanks to Return Points, but this already worked on the Wii. There is Sakon's Hideout as an ideal point for saving and I also used it for the Heart Piece at Ikana Castle, where I really struggled to get this one on the Nintendo 3DS last time. Turns out that this isn't a problem at all in the Nintendo 64 / Virtual Console version.

Restore Points also now allow you to finally create a "perfect" savegame at the end, where you even might want to max out all items:

Why do we need to carry a total of 20 Magic Beans? 10 would have been enough (and make sense, since there were only 10 in Ocarina of Time).

But otherwise I was in a rush and despite the ongoing "time limit" in the game, Majora's Mask isn't a game that ought to be rushed. I didn't have many Nintendo 64 days as a kid, but this game alone could keep me entertained for a very long time, because it offers the "Adventure Sand Box" feel that Zelda should have. There's so much to discover and to try in every corner and thanks to the three-day-cycle you can do it all all over again and try different things at any time. With the masks alone there are so many hidden secrets, for example you can use the Captain's Hat and the Bremen Mask for some hilarious reactions during the Igos du Ikana Battle. It's these kind of details that drive the overall replay value of the game.