This game is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, but, as with the majority of Zelda games, no real knowledge of the other instalments is required to be able to enjoy it.
The story begins with Link searching through the Lost Woods in order to find an old friend of his. This search goes very badly, as the Skull Kid appears along with two fairies and steals his horse, Epona, and all of his items. Link chases after him, but the Skull Kid curses him so that he becomes a Deku Scrub (he’ll later find himself transformed into a Goron and Zora too), and abandons one of his fairies with him, who then becomes Link’s companion for the story. Link finds his way into some sewers, then meets the Happy Mask Salesman who asks him to try and find a missing mask of his. Link leaves to sewers and goes out into the world of Termina, only to find that the moon is falling and will destroy everything in three days. You gain the ability to time travel though, and you are able to live the same three days over and over again as you try and save the world.
The whole three day cycle idea is one which I like very much. There are a very large number of side-quests to do, and if you don’t do them, you’ll see the lives of the non-playable characters become really miserable. I would say, in fact, that the side-quests are the main appeal of this game, there are only four dungeons to do in this game (the least of any Zelda game) so you’ll spending much more of your time solving people’s problems, than fighting monsters and whatnot, and I certainly would not call this a bad thing.
The game looks very similar to its prequel, but it is really very different. The tone, especially, is very distinct. Ocarina of Time has the big bright world of Hyrule which was full of interesting and funny characters, but the world of Termina is much darker looking, and while you may still have funny characters, they all tend to have a depressing backstory and, even if not, are going to be killed in three days when the moon crashes! Also, while Hyrule seemed big and bold, Termina seems very mysterious; there are several strange things hidden around and definitely many more secrets.
On the whole, I have to give this game the high score of 9.5/10