Metroid Prime

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JaySevenZero
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Metroid Prime

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Metroid Prime for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Granny7989
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Granny7989 »

I've always been aware of the Metroid franchise but never actually played any of the games. I have owned a copy of Metroid Prime for over 10 years but I only decided to play it in November 2021, after I had moved into a house and had the room to set up my GameCube.

I came away feeling lukewarm towards Metroid Prime. I did enjoy the exploration of Talon IV, especially scanning the environment to piece together what happened during the events that led up to Samus’ arrival. I enjoyed the fact that gaining new powers and abilities made the backtracking quicker and easier, as it allowed Samus to bypass the original platforming methods used when initially encountering them.

However, I didn't find the combat to be particularly fun. I'm not sure if I was too used to the modern twin-stick control setup that the majority of console shooters used, or that I was not interacting with the combat properly. I appreciated that the game used a lock on mechanic that kept the enemy centred on screen and allowing the player to circle strafe around them, due to the GameCube controller having one analogy stick, but I didn’t find the combat itself very engaging compared to other console shooters.

Most enemies went down with little issue, there were some encounters that felt like the enemies were damage sponges (the Chozo ghosts comes to mind - maybe I wasn't using the correct weapon?). While I have no problem with respawning enemies in Metroidvania-type games, it did get a little frustrating when I cleared out a room of (what I found to be) tough enemies, move onto the next room, realise that I'm going the wrong way, re-enter the previous room and then find that the tough enemies I had defeated have now respawned.

I would often time find myself stuck on what to do or where to go next. The map was helpful on highlighting areas that you haven't explored yet but it lacked specific details about the rooms I had explored; I wish I could leave notes on the map to highlight rooms where I found an unreachable power-up or obstacles that I don't have the ability for. The hint system did help tell me where to go, but I would often be wondering around Talos IV aimlessly trying to work out where I needed to go with my new power-up for 20 minutes before the hint system kicked in. I didn’t want the game to hold my hand the entire time but I wish the tools were a little more helpful at times.

I may have come across as quite negative towards Metroid Prime but I'm glad that I've finished it and have my own thoughts on the game. I can see why this game is loved by so many but it didn’t click with me. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had played it around the time of its release. I have every intention to check out the rest of the Prime games so see how I feel about them as the series progresses.

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Kermit McElmo
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Kermit McElmo »

I'm standing there in Woolworths picking what bundle I want for the new Game Cube my mum is getting me for my birthday. The bundle I picked was of course Metroid Prime! Which of course came with a Samus plate that I could put in the top of the console. (obviously with a purchase like this there was no way I was getting any picm 'n' mix.

My first memory on plugging it in and setting it up was the colours, this beautiful labyrinth of colour. I remember how lost I used to get in this game, literally and metaphorically. For me still to this day, this is by far the best Metroid game and it truly is a sin that that the HD Trilogy is not avaliable on Switch.

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seansthomas
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by seansthomas »

Presume we can include thoughts on Metroid Prime from the Trilogy release here, and that it won't be getting its own show given its a compilation?

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ratsoalbion
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by ratsoalbion »

We'll be covering both GC and Wii versions in this podcast.

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seansthomas
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by seansthomas »

Thanks Leon

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seansthomas
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by seansthomas »

I know that you can't use all of this, but I thought I'd do a long post for this one as a) I love this game so much and b) many other people might cover similar themes, so it gives you something different to cut down and use!:

--------------

The Wii era was magical for me. As a Sega fan growing up, I'd pretty much missed every major Nintendo franchise as a kid and feverishly spent the next decade hoovering up their past work.

But I can't deny at times I was jealous of my friends raving about Halo, Portal, Mass Effect and Fallout on their consoles. They seemed to be off having these incredible exploratory adventures whilst I hoovered up 2D platformers and lightgun ports. I'd read about Metroid Prime Trilogy on sites like 1up and Eurogamer, and noted the rave reviews, but being on a fairly low wage I put it on the wish list to one day get if it was ever cheap. But it never was. It sold out fast. It was never in pre-owned bins. It spiralled on ebay. And I presumed my chance had gone.

However my youth was spent on buses hunting down bargains. I would trawl Essex on a Rover bus ticket, looking for CDs and games that charity shop owners or larger chain stores failed to realise the value of.

Our Price. Toys R Us. Woolworths. WHSmith. Blockbuster. All of them occasionally dropped the ball and sold a gem for nowt.

One night I was doing my shop in Sainsbury's and I thought I'd check out the bargain DVD clearance bin. And I'm sure I let out an audible squeal. There, still in cellophane, was Metroid Prime Trilogy. Mine for £20.

I put half my shopping back and knew it had to be mine. And it's one of the best calls I ever made.

I adore Metroid Prime. I rarely replay games but every few years, I go back to Prime and still find it baffling that this was made when it was. And that it was by all accounts a torturous development, given how perfectly realised it is. It is a decade or two ahead of its time and still a great game, even today.

There is so much pure greatness here. From the start, you know what Samus is capable of at her absolute best. Missiles feel glorious. The morph ball a joy. You are introduced to the controls in a way that avoids feeling like a boring tutorial and ends with a climatic chase sequence down to the planet below's surface.

And then you're alone. The rain pours down your visor. You catch light of your face as the blast from your arm cannon is discharged. Doors that lead to new areas are locked, high above you, reminding you to return. And the music makes you feel like you're on an alien world.

And it just gets better and better. Scanning the world to understand it made me feel like a true explorer. Movement became more fluid as a powered up. And to this day, I marvel at how it fuses not just great exploration and platforming - something few first person games do well 20 years later - but also incredible puzzles and traversal via the morph ball. The way that mechanic is integrated into the game is truly staggering to me.

Many say the shooting and map is poor, and I do appreciate that, but for me it was what I wanted. I was happy that the combat wasn't the main draw here and loved getting lost, and being forced to go back to old areas. I also think the Wiimote motion controls helped make the shooting less infuriating and more enjoyable. I will go to my grave waxing lyrical that almost every shooter is made better by their integration.

After I beat the game, I started the other 2 instantly and even after around 150 hours of playing them back to back, I wasn't tiring of the formula. I think the atmosphere and sense of an alien world is something very few games ever get right.

I also have a tendency to lend my games and consoles out to people in the hope that they get to enjoy and adore games as much as I did. My retro gaming collection is embarrassingly poor - around 2 modest cardboard boxes - for someone who has owned at least one machine for every generation since the Atari 2600 and spent countless thousands of pounds on gaming. I lent this game to my brother in law, who isn't into gaming at all, in the hope he'd love it. And to my surprise, he started texting me about it. Bit by bit, over several months, he too beat the whole trilogy and adored it.

It's the only game I've ever forcibly had to get back off of someone and commandeer, due to him loving it so and me missing it so. He still asks me if he can borrow it, a decade on!

Metroid Prime is a powerhouse of a game. It combines everything Nintendo do best. It gave me totally unrealistic expectations of anything with the word Retro Studios on it. I long for an update on 4. And I hope, in its 20th anniversary year, that soon more people will get to experience what a brilliant experience it is.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Jobobonobo »

This was my first ever Metroid game. Getting into Nintendo during the N64 era, I was ignorant of Samus Aran up until this point. I was also intrigued by the first person perspective. While I had tried FPS games on N64 and PC before, it was typically with someone else and we would be swapping goes between each other. I was never confident enough to feel like I could take one on by myself. With Prime I thought I should change that so when I seen it on sale I picked it up and decided to dedicate myself to my first FPS. The only problem is that this was not an FPS at all. When my friend came over who was excited I finally got something that was not family friendly for once, he was disappointed by the comparatively long spaces between combat and how quickly you could get lost. He treated Prime as if it was the weird cousin of Halo and decided to try something else instead.

As for me, I quite appreciated how it was not always constant action. The feeling of exploring these environments and solving puzzles with your abilities and backtracking to previous areas made this more like an action adventure game from a first person viewpoint. While I was unaware some fans decried this decision, I thought Retro pulled it off the Metroid formula sublimely. The switching back and forth between first person and morph ball was elegant in its execution and really made it stand out from the competition. And when there was combat, it could get incredibly intense. Still remember exploring the Chozo Ruins and being set upon by invisible Chozo ghosts and desperately switching to the X ray visor so that I can see them and fight for my life. I also enjoyed the way it told its story with scanning various locales, objects and inhabitants doing the bulk of the world building. Every time I was stuck or seen a new enemy, I always scanned it so that I could figure out what I was doing or just learn more about the world. A really compelling mechanic which truly defines the Prime games to me.

There is so much to say about this revolutionary title whether it is its beautiful art direction, soundtrack dripping with atmosphere or its diverse pool of abilities and visors to navigate the world. Samus’ debut into 3D has been just as impactful as that of Mario and Link and like those two, shows the incredible possibilities the third dimension can bring to videogames. With Prime, I can now see what it is about Metroid that so many love. Wonderful game.

3WR: A bonafide classic

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Iain[Ian]Ianson
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Iain[Ian]Ianson »

This just pips Super Metroid to the Metroid top-spot for me. It shares the same broad strokes of Super Metroid, but almost everything it did technically (60fps, detail through geometry in favour of textures, ultra-polished camera transitions, incredible looking scan visors, brilliantly smooth inputs, non-repeating environment etc etc) felt instantly next generation at the time of release. A real step beyond almost everything else.

There’s a great recent Jemery Parish interview with one of the Image and Form founders, where he explained how he always imagined that games were made by science geniuses in lab-coats in big rooms of computers with blinking lights, instead of normal people using PCs.

This might be the last game which gave me that similar feeling, such was the level of polish and technical prowess.

How are the colours THAT rich? How is the movement THIS smooth? How can they perfectly reflect a human face against a glass visor at the same time as rendering Phendrana Drifts, all while using a cookie-sized disc spinning around inside a £120 games console?

Mental.

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Girard
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Girard »

I've never been a fan of first person shooters. Even all-time classics like the Half Life games, GoldenEye, and Bioshock have left me totally cold. As such, when Metroid Prime debuted, it didn't much capture my interest - my Gamecube was more or less a Windwaker, Smash Bros and Mario Kart machine, and that was fine. I received Prime as a birthday gift, which I accepted with the grimacing graciousness one does a gift from some well-meaning relative who doesn't quite 'get' you.

I eventually spun up the game, since I did own it now after all, and my attention was captured by it. The focus on exploration and puzzling was so well preserved from the exploratory platformers I'd loved, augmented further by the first-person perspective and the inventive visors. The bosses often felt satisfyingly puzzley in a Zelda sort of way. And even the straight-up shooty bits fit fun with the Gamecube's idiosyncratic controller in hand. Metroid Prime is a rare bird: an FPS that won me over despite my never enjoying FPSes.

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ErikBergman
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by ErikBergman »

While the gameplay, level design and vibe of this game are nothing short of excellent, I think it's easy to forget just how much of a milestone Metroid Prime is in terms of 3D graphics. If you're interested in the ingenious technical solutions that made this game possible, I'd highly recommend that you go to Youtube and listen to Kiwi Talks' interviews with the Metroid Prime developers.

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Toon Scottoon
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Toon Scottoon »

Playing the remastered Metroid Prime on Wii U in 2022, I absolutely respect the artistry and craft that went into making this game nearly twenty years ago, but I think the most interesting thing about this version of the title is that Nintendo decided to force players to use the motion controls to play it. I get that they were proud of their ability to simulate having an actual arm cannon with the Wii-mote, but functionally I'm just not as skilled at aiming with my arm, and I imagine most other people aren't either. Furthermore, toggling between shot types using the point and click method was cumbersome to my taste.

Three word review: Arm causes harm

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MattL
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by MattL »

Prior to Prime, I avoided Metroidvania games because of my experience trying to play the original Metroid on my NES around the age of 8 or so. I was utterly lost and hated that feeling confusion, having been more accustomed to the Marios and Megamans of the world, all of which had a clear start and a clear goal. It wasn't until much later in my mid-20s and a local game store going out of business and clearing out their stock, including Metroid Prime for $5, that was I willing to give the genre a fresh go of it.

Upon starting up Metroid Prime, I connected to it almost instantly for, I believe, two reasons. First, I was older and more patient and more able to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of being lost and trying to figure out an exit. I see this in myself still in real world situations, such as going on vacation to new places. These days, I find a strange sort of pleasure from trying to learn where things are and how to reach them and have almost no inclination to resort to a map unless absolutely necessary. The journey is the destination, man. Second, the graphical fidelity clearly improved from the NES and I could buy into this place as a planet that could actually exist; a concept that sadly the sparse graphics of the original Metroid were not able to convey to me. As I've gotten older (quickly approaching 40), I've learned that being put into a believable world is one of the key factors for my enjoyment of a game.

Metroid Prime and Metroidvanias in general not only taught me patience and calmness when venturing into the unknown, they made me love the mystery of doing so.

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Nicktendo
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Nicktendo »

Metroid prime was my first foray into the Metroid universe. Prior to this my most immersive videogame experience was ocarina of time. Talon IV felt like a living breathing world for me to explore. The first person perspective put me front and centre in experiencing the unique biomes first hand and take down it's threats with awesome accuracy.
This was a game players not only played, but felt with it's immersive atmosphere and excellent score.
I enjoyed the ebb and flow of the game, from action packed one on one battles with large intimidating bosses, to quiet serene exploration and puzzles to solve. This games flow was on point.
I've rinsed it twice, one on the GameCube and once more on the Wii trilogy port. And although the Wii version has much more accurate aiming, the GameCube version is my favourite. Like Mario 64, Metroid felt like it was specifically designed to use showcase the GameCube controller.
TWR: Prime Time Classic

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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

The best decision made in Metroid Prime was to allow the option for the game to outright tell you where something of note is located.

I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, especially considering I don't think it can be turned off in Metroid: Zero Mission, but as someone who struggles with first-person navigation it would have been nearly impossible for me to have beaten the game without it. It's subtle enough that it doesn't outright say the means of getting there, while still ensuring that players like me aren't stuck doing some fruitless task under the assumption that it would lead to progress.

If memory serves, this isn't utilized in the endgame "find the macguffins" task, which is both a positive and a negative aspect. On the one hand, it serves as encouragement to pay attention to your surroundings and look for suspicious areas where you may not have had the ability to do so beforehand, which is part of the Metroid experience as a whole. But on the other hand... well, if you're me, you just end up getting lost even more than before.

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Mr Ixolite »

More than a decade ago a friend went on a trip abroad, and left me his Gamecube in his care. He still hasn’t reclaimed it to this day, and so in the meantime Metroid Prime has become the only gamecube game I’ve ever purchased. Such was its reputation, seemingly rivaling even the mighty Super Metroid.

And Like Super Metroid, Prime instantly offers up tantalizing exploration, the joy of cracking open a new pathway recreated perfectly. The game also has atmosphere to spare, and though I’m normally not that invested in “environmental storytelling”, Prime had me obsessively scanning every last thing I came across.

But again like Super Metroid I feel like combat is where the game falters a bit, to a greater extent here. Normal enemies are manageable, but I found bosses frustrating, as they felt more tailored to fighting in a 3rd person than first person perspective. It’s also possible I’m just unskilled as my experience with FPS’s is very limited. But sadly my predominant memory of Metroid Prime is of fighting the Rock Boss and dodging its attacks by turning into the morph ball and madly rolling away in a random direction, retransforming, and furiously scrambling to relocate the boss. It felt disorienting and inelegant, and not at all like being a cool bounty hunter.

For the same reason I actually never managed to beat the games final boss. However, I didn’t feel like the game provided much reason for why I had to fight that boss in the first place, and since I had defeated Ridley and halted the Space Pirates excavation efforts I felt content to let Samus call it a day. All things considered, I’d still be willing to dip into the sequels though, should they ever find their way to the switch.

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Re: 539: Metroid Prime

Post by ThirdDrawing »

Metriod Prime was my introduction to the series, when I started buying Gamecube games in the late 2000s.
After playing several FPSes on the PS1 and PS2 I felt Metroid was fairly intuitive to grasp the controls of, and pretty easy to learn.

What I found so different from games like Medal of Honour, Unreal and Timesplitters was the sense of isolation. You can go ages in parts of the game without encountering anything you need to shoot and the focus on puzzles and exploration really appealed to me.

It was hard to go back and play Super Metroid (blasphemy, I know) after this game, because I found this game much easier to navigate and not get lost, even when backtracking.

As for GC vs. Wii comparisons, I much prefer the GC controls. They are more precise, easier to handle and less finnicky. I've never been able to finish Prime 3 because of them. The much-rumoured Prime Trilogy Remastered collection with "normal" controls would be much appreciated.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.10.22) - 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Rhaegyr »

Stepping into Phendrana Drifts for the first time as a 15 year old genuinely filled me with awe; I hadn't had that feeling since stepping out into Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time.

Everything about the visor was incredible - the flashes of Samus' reflection, the particle effects, the different visors to hunt different enemies but most of all it gave a sense of immersion that was unparalleled at the time.

How games still struggle with 3D maps 20 years later is beyond me. They absolutely nailed it.

Fighting the Chozo Ghosts got real old, real fast though!

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Wuqinglong
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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.10.22) - 539: Metroid Prime

Post by Wuqinglong »

The context in which I came to play Metroid Prime 1 was with Metroid Prime Hunters as my first game in the series and then later playing up to the end of Metroid Prime 3, using a power cell on an optional energy tank, and then was unwillingly to go find another power cell so that I could finish the game. I'd seen speedruns of this game reminding me I should try it out, but like so many games it was Cane and Rinse that broke down the barriers that kept me putting off playing it in spite of the praise it often receives.

Ultimately Metroid Prime is a game I like but don't love. I see why it is lauded so highly by many but also feel it is a title I would have enjoyed much more if I had experienced it contemporaneously. Some areas still look great even today, others not so much. Combat feels good but not great to me and the puzzles range from very clever to tedious at times. I understand why the MacGuffin hunt at the final stages of the experience exists but would honestly enjoy the game more without it given current time constraints on my gaming. Lukewarm feelings from present-day me aside, when I remind myself that this title is nearly 20 years old I am genuinely impressed and do not regret taking the time to play it at all. It's even more impressive when you consider the story of the title's development. If you have the patience I do think this is a title worth your time.

3 Word Review: Chozo ghosts bad

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