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Metroid Prime Vs. Fusion: How a Team of Texans Out-Nintendoed Nintendo

Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion...two games that Nintendo fans know very well. Metroid Prime stands out as a high watermark for the entire franchise. Metroid Fusion certainly has its fans, but it's not usually at the top of the list for favorite entries in the franchise. Still, these two Metroid games show how Samus was both evolving and refining within two different outings.

Article here

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19 Nov 2012 19:06

@internet
In the article's defense, they're talking about two very specific games to compare against, which makes it less about the developers themselves and more about this isolated event. Metroid Prime 2 and 3, while good in their own right, were an obvious example of how much a deviation the Prime series was rather than a vision of Metroid's future. In contrast, the first Prime, I believe, was hands-down better than Fusion and did so by sticking to what made the previous games so amazing rather than deviating like Metroid Fusion.

The direct comparison that forms the article is also very valuable in that it breaks the trend of everyone wanting to compare the Trilogy against Other M, which are really just the end result of the two games that are compared here. The design of Fusion led directly to Other M, just as the design of Metroid Prime led to the sequential development of the whole trilogy. It's really these two games that should be compared first and foremost.
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19 Nov 2012 19:08

@AnoukiAgentYellow
It has everything to do with personal preference. Gaming critique is not an objective science (nor is game development). Just because because two things are too different to compare doesn't mean people will still compare them anyway. It's impossible not to.
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19 Nov 2012 19:32

Out nintendoed nintendo?
With Metroid Prime?

......
hahahaha no.

First of all the games are so different that it's really hard to compare them, and second, Prime is a totally different experience.

The prime games are very good games but they don't feel like you're playing a metroid game. They don't replicate the gameplay or even the type of story the series is supposed to deliver. They're pretty good at recreating a similar atmosphere though. They play great and all but they don't play like the main outings: they are slow paced and lack fluidity. The story is just your average action science fiction game story when the main outings have always been about bringing novelty.

Again I'm not saying that the Prime games are bad, I absolutely loved them. For example one of the things they were awesome for was the brilliant backgrounds elements which were definitely better than what we get background wise in the main series.

But they are spin-offs. They are de facto and they feel like spin offs when playing them anyway. It's an interesting take on the series, but in my opinion the real 3D Metroid has not been released yet. OtherM gets a lot of things right but even if I loved it, I have to admit it didn't gather the fans like a true classic Metroid game should.

@StarStabbedMoon

I like what you said about the article being at least coherent because it does not compare the sequels but two games that attempted to do new things with the series. But still I find a lot more elements in Fusion to tie it to the first games. Prime is really something different and just like you said, the lack of new ideas in the sequels showed that it was never meant to be a vision of the future of the series. There is no long term ambition in that series. Which, again, does not mean it's bad in any way. I personnaly liked all three games in the series.

@pokemaster515

haha good point ^^
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19 Nov 2012 19:36

How could Retro Out-Nintendo Nintendo with Nintendo holding their hand when ever they make a game?
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19 Nov 2012 20:03

I prefer Fusion.

-shot-
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19 Nov 2012 20:06

Turning samus in an obnoxious, anime doll is "evolving"? yeah right...

Go to hell sakamoto.
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19 Nov 2012 20:14

Super Metroid is still the best.
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19 Nov 2012 20:20

Bobbuffalo wrote:Turning samus in an obnoxious, anime doll is "evolving"? yeah right...

Go to hell sakamoto.


Yeah it's not like Sakamoto created Samus so that he could do whatever he wanted or anything... oh wait!
User avatar
19 Nov 2012 20:26

Metroid Prime is a great game, and Retro did some amazing stuff with it that I never thought could have been done with FP Metroid. But to say they "out Nintendoed Nintendo"? No. Fusion was a great game also. And very much followed the Super Metroid mold. So I fail to see how they got one-uped in any way.
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19 Nov 2012 20:44

Why is everybody being so negative? I thought this was a really interesting article. It wasn't bashing Fusion, Prime, or Nintendo. Great read.
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19 Nov 2012 21:00

I'm playing Metroid Prime Trilogy at this moment, shortly after beating Fusion on my 3DS...

... I'm not a fan of Fusion. I didn't hate it, but, good grief, that game keeps slapping me away from doing the fun stuff I want to do and instead keeps pushing me forward towards areas of the game I don't want to go to yet. It practically penalizes exploration and it has nothing but disdain for you if you dare try and venture off the beaten path.

... But the final straw for me was when I finally had all the power-ups I needed, confident that I could now fully explore all the world... only to discover that that stupid computer ADAM wasn't about to let me do something as silly as backtrack, explore, or fully prepare for the final battle. He wanted me to beat that final monster right then, right now, and I had no choice but to face the final enemy and finish the game, even though I did NOT want to beat the game. There was no choice; I had crossed that magic, invisible barrier and the whole game world had been shut off from me because ADAM said so.

But my love for the Metroid series is being rekindled by Prime 3 at the moment. That series DOES understand what Metroid's best strengths are; the sense of self-discovery, of steadily-increasing power, of puzzle-solving and world navigation. For the most part, it doesn't let the pure gameplay or immersive world-exploration get bogged down with intrusive cutscenes or invasive gameplay mechanics (no slow-walking or pixel hunts in THESE games!).

And the music? Oh the music... and that sterling art direction. And those tight controls. And those imaginative, adaptive bosses and enemy encounters. And Jennifer Hale's sweet heavy breaths in my ear...

Not that I wouldn't mind a new 3DS Metroid, but the Prime games latched onto the most rewarding and satisfying traits of the Metroid franchise and fanned them into overdrive. I adore the series for taking the elements of the originals and putting them into a modern gaming world, despite all the odds stacked against them.
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19 Nov 2012 21:27

wisdomcouragepower wrote:Yeah it's not like Sakamoto created Samus so that he could do whatever he wanted or anything... oh wait!

Sakamoto was one multiple character designers working on Metroid, and he's been able to do what he wanted with the series because Nintendo gave him the opportunity to do so. He then used that opportunity to make a Metroid game that was released to mixed reviews, upset a lot of long-time fans, and had to be discounted heavily to sell a decent number of copies. Yes, he was given the ability to do this, but why get so defensive? Is it that you like the game and can't stand people disparaging it? Are you worried he won't be able to do what he wants next time if enough people complain?
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19 Nov 2012 23:03

@thorn-rock

Speak for yourself, homes.

The 'Metroid' name means different things to different people. For some of us, the essence of a Metroid game is defined more than anything else by depth, the sense of isolation and self-sufficiency, and the freedom to go off the beaten path and discover things at one's own pace.

And on those fronts, the first two Primes deliver. Getting to their conclusions requires total mastery of every interlocking facet the games deliver -- of Samus's arsenal and mechanics, of the puzzles presented by each room, and of the level design of the world map itself. Intrusive guidance, narrative or otherwise, is kept to a minimum. And the levels have endless venues for charting new courses through each playthrough.

As far as I am concerned, nailing those aspects takes far more precedence in defining a Metroid than superficial elements such as Samus's movement speed or the inexecrable sub-fanfiction-level garbage that passes for the series's plot these days.

If anything, Fusion is the game that plays like a watered-down spin-off. From the pathetically-easy enemy and boss encounters to the obnoxious scripted events to the game telling the player exactly where to go (not that it matters because because the game might as well be on-rails for all the choice players have in progressing through the levels) to the constant, terribly-written monologues. Everything about that game feels like it was trying to be [The] Baby's First Metroid.
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20 Nov 2012 01:26

Hamr wrote:
If anything, Fusion is the game that plays like a watered-down spin-off. From the pathetically-easy enemy and boss encounters to the obnoxious scripted events to the game telling the player exactly where to go (not that it matters because because the game might as well be on-rails for all the choice players have in progressing through the levels) to the constant, terribly-written monologues. Everything about that game feels like it was trying to be [The] Baby's First Metroid.


I don't like Fusion as much as other Metroids due to its invasive narrative, linear progression, and stunning lack of new weapons or abilities, but "easy" it was not. Fusion is notorious for some of the harder bosses in the game, and I'm sure more than few Metroid players get unpleasant flashbacks remembering bosses like Nightmare, SA-X, and Ridley-X.

It was plenty hard and challenging, spurred forth by an unforgiving linear narrative that often prevented you from backtracking so you could discover upgrades and properly equip yourself for future battles.

I do think a lot of people were more forgiving of the monologues. Playing recently, yeah, they're not great at all, but compared to Other M's narrative they're practically Oscar worthy (and even then, Fusion paints a far different picture of events than Other M did. Seriously, Fusion makes Adam sound like a pretty decent guy... until we finally got to meet him).
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20 Nov 2012 02:11

Garlador wrote:I don't like Fusion as much as other Metroids due to its invasive narrative, linear progression, and stunning lack of new weapons or abilities, but "easy" it was not."


Yes, it was. I managed to get through it with minimal trouble and few deaths, and I am most certainly not an exceptionally-skilled gamer. In the second place, I have played the other Metroid games, those games offered much more challenge than anything I experienced in Fusion.

"Fusion is notorious for some of the harder bosses in the game"

Notorious among who? I cannot believe that anyone who could beat, say Mother Brain in NEStroid and then turn around and say, 'Nope, this Nightmare guy is just too hard for me'. Or beat Ridley in Super and then suddenly have trouble with the Ridley-X version of the fight.

"and I'm sure more than few Metroid players get unpleasant flashbacks remembering bosses like Nightmare, SA-X, and Ridley-X."

Yeah, no. The SA-X fight in particular is hilarious. The first form, you can just sit in a corner and when it jumps down, exploit the terrible AI to catch it in a loop where it gets shot, runs away, jumps down, and gets shot again. The second form dies in like, three hits, and going into the third form with full health means you do not even need to bother dodging the counter-attack thing it does whenever it is damaged.

"I do think a lot of people were more forgiving of the monologues. Playing recently, yeah, they're not great at all"

'Not great at all' strikes me as severe understatement.

But how will the beings of the universe view our resolve? I doubt they will understand what we did... the danger we barely averted. They will hold tribunals and investigations. They will hold us responsible. Adam understood this, and he spoke to me in my anger...

Do not worry. One of them will understand. One of them must.

I've reflected upon his words, and I see the wisdom in them. We are all bound by our experiences. They are the limits of our consciousness.

But in the end, the human soul will ever reach for the truth... This is what Adam taught me...

Image
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20 Nov 2012 02:24

Hamr wrote:@thorn-rock

Speak for yourself, homes.

The 'Metroid' name means different things to different people.


Good reply. You're right I should have added "In my opinion" pretty much everywhere in my comment.

Still, I'm not denying that the Prime series was good at these particular areas of the game you mention as being the most important elements of the series for you. But as far as I'm concerned, a series is first and foremost defined by it's gameplay. And on that front the Prime series simply doesn't deliver the same kind of gameplay. I have difficulties to imagine that the Prime series could become the new classic Metroid and throw out the window any hope of getting a real 3D Metroid one day that would at least try to stay closer to how the older games actually play.

Because that's the most important thing about a game, right? How it plays.

Also about that other stuff you posted. Ok Fusion was not too hard, but the Prime games were fairly easy too. Especially the first one which is being discussed here. Easy. So the comment is not relevant.

And also, criticizing the monologues in Fusion, really? You know some stuff were not well translated at that time right? You know the criterias were not the same either. You know some very manga-comics line like these were more easily accepted at that time. There is no point in re-reviewing a game according to nowadays criteria. None at all.
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20 Nov 2012 02:32

thorn-rock wrote:But as far as I'm concerned, a series is first and foremost defined by it's gameplay.


I agree. That is why most of the things I mentioned that the two Prime games have in common with Metroids 1-Super (that Fusion does not) were focused on the gameplay.
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20 Nov 2012 02:50

Hamr wrote:
thorn-rock wrote:But as far as I'm concerned, a series is first and foremost defined by it's gameplay.


I agree. That is why most of the things I mentioned that the two Prime games have in common with Metroids 1-Super (that Fusion does not) were focused on the gameplay.


Ok let's get our facts straight. What I call gameplay is actually how the game plays, how you control the character. In the case of Metroid, it's a fast-paced arcade platformer with shooter elements. The sense of exploration, I say it's tied to the level-design and level of linearity. The feeling of self-sufficiency, I say it's linked to the atmosphere. I know all these elements are ultimately linked to what people feel when playing the game but I just wanted to explain why I seperated gameplay from the rest and what I meant by that.

What defines Metroid is indeed gameplay as well as exploration and atmosphere, but if I have to chose, I'd rather pick the gameplay elements. I feel more at home with Fusion which keeps the gameplay and atmosphere but somewhat forgets about the exploration part than with Prime which picks exploration and atmosphere but not gameplay.

But yeah, I totally get what you said and we just don't have the same priorities. Still waiting for a big 3D 3rd person Metroid that keeps the exploration feeling and adds old-school gameplay and even the best (and only?) real innovation that Retro added to the formula: lots of background elements with the ability to scan things.
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20 Nov 2012 03:51

pokemaster515 wrote:How could Retro Out-Nintendo Nintendo with Nintendo holding their hand when ever they make a game?


this a million times
90% of retros success is thanks to nintendo's amazing support and supervising
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20 Nov 2012 03:52

People arguing about this is rather absurd.

Both games were great, and it was an overdose of awesome to get them both right beside each other after so long without Metroid. It all depends on what you want out of a game. Fusion was a great 2D Metroid game, a great game period, more of a classic Metroid experience, albeit more linear. Prime was great too, in a different way, as Retro took what shouldn't have worked in 3D (and looking at Other M, honestly doesn't work in 3D otherwise), and made it work as a first person game that somehow still FELT, fundamentally, like Metroid. It's not the classic Metroid experience, and at the end of the day, that's what I prefer and want out the next game: a 2D, preferably sprite based Super Metroid style game. But that doesn't mean the Prime series (of which 3 was actually my favorite), wasn't amazing in it's own right.

When arguing over two great things, all you're doing is talking subjective opinions. So just agree to disagree.
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20 Nov 2012 04:44

Both of these games are in my top 10 first person shooter/adventure and third person action game/side-scroller single-player games of all-time. If you disagree with me, your opinion is wrong.

You got some of the best gaming tunes of all-time on both games (especially in Prime), some great atmospheres, awesome challenges, incredible speed runs, sweet weapons and gear, engaging enemies and bosses, interesting story (and the way the story is told), and fresh touches to what were (and still are) seemingly "tired" genres (side scrollers and FPS).

Also, the ending of both of these games gives me the chills. The music, the story, the vibe... it's perfect. Especially the way everything goes down in Fusion. When the results screen shows up for either game (again, especially Fusion), I get goosebumps; like I just fought through an epic war, and now I get the taste of peace after a sweet victory.

And dang it, if you don't like both games, you suck. That's a scientific fact!
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20 Nov 2012 05:50

thorn-rock wrote:Ok Fusion was not too hard, but the Prime games were fairly easy too. Especially the first one which is being discussed here. Easy. So the comment is not relevant.


You really think Prime was easier than Fusion? Sorry, but that is something I cannot agree with. I can at least name encounters where I died in Prime my first go-round (the color-coded beam Troopers, Omega Pirate, fusion Metroids, Meta-Ridley, final boss), which is more than I can say for Fusion.

Jeremy Parish would also seem to agree, since in the article on this page one of the 'flaws' he names in Prime is that he believes it to be *too* hard (apparently he also died at the beam troopers).

"And also, criticizing the monologues in Fusion, really? You know some stuff were not well translated at that time right? You know the criterias were not the same either."

Er, there are lots of games that came out in the early 2000s that had translations that were not awful. Paper Mario came out in 2000 and has one of the best translations of any game I have ever played.

Also, there was that game released in 2010 where Samus was still talking that way (despite the game being localized by the tremendously talented folks at Treehouse), so I kind of get the impression the hilarious purple prose is intentional.

"There is no point in re-reviewing a game according to nowadays criteria. None at all."

?

Sure there is. There are lots of games that came out over a decade ago that are still good by today's criteria.

thorn-rock wrote:Ok let's get our facts straight. What I call gameplay is actually how the game plays, how you control the character.


And what I call the gameplay is the mechanics, how you use them, how the world requires you to use them, and the qualities thereof.

"In the case of Metroid, it's a fast-paced arcade platformer with shooter elements."

I do not really see much about Metroid's design that I would qualify as 'arcadey', and I say that as someone who grew up in and prefers arcades to console. The games are rather long, you have no lives and varying levels of punishment for dying, level progression is largely non-linear, and the options for your arsenal increase as the game goes on.

I would also argue that on balance the games focus far on the killing-enemies aspect than they do on the jumping, so it is more of a fast-paced shooter with platforming in it.

"The sense of exploration, I say it's tied to the level-design and level of linearity."

I agree. And the level design is an inexorable part of how you interact with the game, which is why it is categorized as gameplay. If you truly believe Metroid to be more platformer than shooter, than this applies doubly so, as the whole focus of platformers is platforming -- i.e., the levels.

"The feeling of self-sufficiency, I say it's linked to the atmosphere."

It is linked to the atmosphere, but I think it is rather silly to argue that it has nothing to do with the gameplay. Playing NEStroid, you are given no instruction, no direction, no map. An inordinate portion of playtime is spent learning the layout of the world, figuring out how to traverse through it and where to go, and determining which abilities open up which new paths. That you are not told 'Go right here, jump up there' has a direct impact on the manner in which the player approaches and plays Metroid. Ditto for the ability of the player to decide to say go left and jump down here instead.

"I know all these elements are ultimately linked to what people feel when playing the game"

What I just described is not a 'feeling', though. What I just described are options which you can take in the gameplay. Freedom is not a 'sense' or a feeling, it is an actual thing. And it seems extremely strange to say that the amount of gameplay options a player is given not count as an aspect of gameplay.

You also seem to have ignored what I said about the depth offered by the games, which is odd because it was the first thing I listed -- and for a reason. Completing the first three Metroid games is not a simple affair. The game systems are considerably complicated and frequently unforgiving. Beating everything they have to offer requires practice and a full mastery of the games mechanics. Getting to the point where one can manipulate Samus and use her moveset at that level of skill is the game, far moreso than the cosmetics of how quickly she runs.

"What defines Metroid is indeed gameplay as well as exploration and atmosphere, but if I have to chose, I'd rather pick the gameplay elements."

As would I. The exploration, atmosphere, and badass music are just nice pluses to the gameplay elements. Except the gameplay elements I place importance on deal with choice, complexity, and challenge. 'Samus moves fast' is simply not enough for me to hang my hat on.

"Still waiting for a big 3D 3rd person Metroid that keeps the exploration feeling and adds old-school gameplay"

I am still waiting for any Metroid, 2D or 3D, that manages to check all the boxes I prefer once again. 2004 was a long time ago. (._.)
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20 Nov 2012 13:32

Hamr wrote:
thorn-rock wrote:Ok Fusion was not too hard, but the Prime games were fairly easy too. Especially the first one which is being discussed here. Easy. So the comment is not relevant.


You really think Prime was easier than Fusion? Sorry, but that is something I cannot agree with. I can at least name encounters where I died in Prime my first go-round (the color-coded beam Troopers, Omega Pirate, fusion Metroids, Meta-Ridley, final boss), which is more than I can say for Fusion.


I died ONE time in Metroid Prime. I died MANY times in Fusion. Granted, I died MORE times in Metroid Prime 2 (which even Nintendo admitted was too hard and toned down the difficulty for the Metroid Prime Trilogy re-release). But Metroid Prime 1? It was challenging, and I was often low on health, but I think the only part where I died was fighting Meta-Ridley towards the end.

Also, there was that game released in 2010 where Samus was still talking that way (despite the game being localized by the tremendously talented folks at Treehouse), so I kind of get the impression the hilarious purple prose is intentional.

Everyone makes mistakes. I think Other M's narrative, in any language, is bad, but the translation used in the game did NOT help matters either. The dialogue is very stilted, the deliver is awkward, the voice actors (all around) were terrible, and the terminology isn't consistent with prior games. I mean, seriously, an S.O.S. called "Baby's Cry", named that way to draw attention... as opposed to all those OTHER S.O.S. signals being broadcast? What do they think an S.O.S. is for?!

"There is no point in re-reviewing a game according to nowadays criteria. None at all."

?

Sure there is. There are lots of games that came out over a decade ago that are still good by today's criteria.

Agreed. I've been arguing with someone for what seems like forever over the merits of games like Perfect Dark, Resident Evil 2, Goldeneye, and even Mario 64, whom he believes are worthless now due to advanced graphics, online, and better controls... while I argue that the fundamentals of those games are still near-flawless and prime examples of phenomenal game design and layout.


"In the case of Metroid, it's a fast-paced arcade platformer with shooter elements."

I do not really see much about Metroid's design that I would qualify as 'arcadey', and I say that as someone who grew up in and prefers arcades to console. The games are rather long, you have no lives and varying levels of punishment for dying, level progression is largely non-linear, and the options for your arsenal increase as the game goes on.

Metroid is "fast-paced"? Since when? I vividly recall Metroid on NES and Gameboy (hell, Super Metroid and Metroid Prime too) as being slow and deliberately paced games where you had to understand and exploit your surroundings to stay alive. "Fast-paced' actions often got you killed, while carefully surveying your world and experimenting with your powers (like bombing walls) was the only way to proceed through the game. You can beat many Metroid games killing nothing but the bosses and avoiding every other enemy; the true adversary has often been the environments themselves that hinder your progress. Yeah, you can shoot something every now and then, but killing what's in front of you is often secondary to simply navigating your terrain.


"I know all these elements are ultimately linked to what people feel when playing the game"

What I just described is not a 'feeling', though. What I just described are options which you can take in the gameplay. Freedom is not a 'sense' or a feeling, it is an actual thing. And it seems extremely strange to say that the amount of gameplay options a player is given not count as an aspect of gameplay.

I would argue that you're both correct. It IS a feeling and it CAN be an actual thing. But, well, even the "freedom" of prior games was limited by what the developers programmed into it. You can not actually do everything you wish to do at the start of a game. Towards the end, once players EARN their freedom, they can more freely explore, but even then it's within the confines of the game mechanics and the level design. Someone brought this up with Final Fantasy games lately: Final Fantasy 7 is pretty linear; you advance the story in a straight line. And yet the "illusion" of freedom, of going somewhere else off the linear path at a point, makes players "feel" like they have choice and freedom, when in fact their options are very limited. But simply having a giant open world map, even if you just have to walk to the nearest town, makes players feel like it's their freedom to go where they want and they are directed to that town of their own accord. Compared to Final Fantasy 13, which lacked even the "illusion" of freedom, and everything was a linear hallway of battles and cutscenes, and that mechanic sticks out like a sore thumb.

A big difference between Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime isn't the "freedom" of the games... because Prime locks off areas of its world until you get the right power-ups to access them, just as Fusion locks game doors behind you until you finish the current objective. The difference is that "illusion" of freedom, because Prime makes YOU feel like you're going to go there when you get that item of your own accord, while Fusion makes you feel like they're FORCING you to do everything instead of letting you approach new and old areas when you feel like it. Both are limited, but one feels like liberation and one feels like mandatory servitude.

You also seem to have ignored what I said about the depth offered by the games, which is odd because it was the first thing I listed -- and for a reason. Completing the first three Metroid games is not a simple affair. The game systems are considerably complicated and frequently unforgiving. Beating everything they have to offer requires practice and a full mastery of the games mechanics. Getting to the point where one can manipulate Samus and use her moveset at that level of skill is the game, far moreso than the cosmetics of how quickly she runs.

I would argue that "mastery" of Samus isn't what's the focus. It's the mastery of the world. Samus, by and large, remains stationary throughout the game, apart from many helpful upgrades. But those upgrades are pretty useless in terms of combat. The mastery of those early games was not in Samus herself but in the player's understanding of the WORLD Samus was in. Map memorization. Finding the signs for breakable walls and floors. Finding out how to create platforms out of enemies with the ice beam. Navigation is the challenge, not combat. There is mastery in navigating Samus, yes, but it's a symbiotic relationship. Samus, herself, divorced from her environment, is shallow and empty, lacking true depth and skill. Her jumps, her running speed, her plasma beam distance... all secondary to her Lara Croft-like ability to traverse a hostile world.

"What defines Metroid is indeed gameplay as well as exploration and atmosphere, but if I have to chose, I'd rather pick the gameplay elements."

As would I. The exploration, atmosphere, and badass music are just nice pluses to the gameplay elements. Except the gameplay elements I place importance on deal with choice, complexity, and challenge. 'Samus moves fast' is simply not enough for me to hang my hat on.

And I would argue that exploration and atmosphere CONTRIBUTE to the gameplay. I spend less time blasting enemies than I do exploring the world of the Metroid universe and investing myself and abilities into the atmosphere of the game. The gameplay stems FROM exploration and atmosphere (and combat).

"Still waiting for a big 3D 3rd person Metroid that keeps the exploration feeling and adds old-school gameplay"

I am still waiting for any Metroid, 2D or 3D, that manages to check all the boxes I prefer once again. 2004 was a long time ago. (._.)

I was just fine with Metroid Prime Trilogy and Metroid: Zero Mission. The only game in the entire series that I outright hated was Other M, with its three-fold sucker punch of bad narrative, gutted exploratory depth, and maligned authorization system.
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20 Nov 2012 13:52

@Garlador

Not gonna get too involved in this, as I'm not the most experienced Metroid player, but:

"Samus, herself, divorced from her environment, is shallow and empty, lacking true depth and skill. Her jumps, her running speed, her plasma beam distance... all secondary to her Lara Croft-like ability to traverse a hostile world."

What exactly is your point? ANY game character or player-controlled object is "shallow and empty" if there is nothing to interact with.

Her jumps and running ARE her Lara Croft-like ability to traverse Zebes or whatever. Is like saying Bayonetta or Dante are shells without the enemies they have to fight. Well duh, Bayonetta is the game, it's loading screen is not, even if you have all her moves. Because in the loading screen there is nothing to interact with, unlike the actual GAME.
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21 Nov 2012 07:24

Garlador wrote:Metroid is "fast-paced"? Since when?


No, I get what thornrock is saying on that front. Samus is a great deal more quick-on-her-feet in the 2D games than she is in the Prime games, that is not even arguable.

There is also the fact that the games explicitly encourage speedruns where you to play through as fast as possible, with lower completion-times netting you better endings to the game.

“Metroid Prime 2 (which even Nintendo admitted was too hard and toned down the difficulty for the Metroid Prime Trilogy re-release).”

Indeed. Yet another reason the port was inferior to the original.

“but the translation used in the game did NOT help matters either”

I do not disagree, but I am saying that that most of those things are intentional stylistic choices by Sakamoto. For instance, Treehouse wanted to say things like ‘The infant Metroid’ but he was adamant that they go with ‘The Baby’, which is incidentally literally the same thing they go with in the Japanese voice-track.

“I've been arguing with someone for what seems like forever over the merits of games like Perfect Dark, Resident Evil 2, Goldeneye, and even Mario 64, whom he believes are worthless now due to advanced graphics, online, and better controls... while I argue that the fundamentals of those games are still near-flawless and prime examples of phenomenal game design and layout.”

*Poker face*

"You can beat many Metroid games killing nothing but the bosses and avoiding every other enemy"

Well, you can, though I am at a loss as to why anyone would want to.

"Yeah, you can shoot something every now and then"

What? You shoot things far more than that. That is how you open doors. That is how you escape rooms that lock down until enemies are all dead. That is how you gain health and ammo. That is how you progress through SR388. That is how you remove threats to give yourself space to solve puzzles. That is how a lot of puzzles are solved in the first place.

"You can not actually do everything you wish to do at the start of a game."

Er, that is a joke, right?

Who cares that you cannot do 'everything' you wish? The choice is not between having one options (which is really the same thing as no options) and infinite options -- that is completely ridiculous -- the choice is between having one and more than one option. All other things equal, the latter will always be superior.

"Someone brought this up with Final Fantasy games lately: Final Fantasy 7 is pretty linear; you advance the story in a straight line. But simply having a giant open world map, even if you just have to walk to the nearest town, makes players feel like it's their freedom to go where they want and they are directed to that town of their own accord."

I would buy that argument only if I were incapable of differentiating between having multiple destinations where one can go to versus only having one destination, or between having multiple paths to get to the same destination and having only one path. Alas, for me the real, functional difference between having choice and not having choice is like that between heaven and earth.

"A big difference between Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime isn't the "freedom" of the games... because Prime locks off areas of its world until you get the right power-ups to access them just as Fusion locks game doors behind you until you finish the current objective." The difference is that "illusion" of freedom, because Prime makes YOU feel like you're going to go there when you get that item of your own accord, while Fusion makes you feel like they're FORCING you to do everything instead of letting you approach new and old areas when you feel like it. Both are limited, but one feels like liberation and one feels like mandatory servitude."

Pure nonsense. Prime gives you multiple routes to get to the same objective. Prime gives you the ability to go back to previous areas and find newly unlocked optional secrets (energy tanks that make you more durable, ammo expansions that give you greater destructive capacity, beam moves that give you new attacks – all of which directly augment your combat ability) that have nothing to do with unlocking paths to current objectives.

And most importantly, Prime gives you the ability to circumvent entire objectives at the ground level. If one has the inclination, they can do things like get the Space jump boots right off the bat, get through Magmoor without the Varia Suit, get the plasma beam before you fight Thardus, and a lot more.

I have replayed Prime and its sequel tons of times, and depth like that ensures that every single run-through plays in a totally different manner. The idea that there is no choice in how one approaches the game or where one can go, or that the game is anything like Fusion in terms of limitations is honestly kind of laughable.

If you only use moves in the instruction manual and get every major power-up in the exact order the hint marker would tell you to, you are missing out on far more than a feeling.

“I would argue that "mastery" of Samus isn't what's the focus. It's the mastery of the world.”

A. I mentioned mastery of the world above.

B. Samus is how you interact with the world. If you as the player do not have the ability to pull off her moves as needed, then you are not going to survive combat and you are not going to escape rooms that require even remotely-complicated platforming maneuvers.

“Samus, by and large, remains stationary throughout the game”

I know what each of those words means, but that sentence as a whole is incomprehensible to me.

“But those upgrades are pretty useless in terms of combat”

Missiles, morphball bombs, power bombs, several flavors of beams, shinespark, screw attack, suits that reduce the damage you take from enemies, bomb/missile/ammo expansions and health are all ‘pretty useless in terms of combat’?

“Samus, herself, divorced from her environment, is shallow and empty, lacking true depth and skill.”

Did Sakamoto write that part of your post? :lol:

“Her jumps, her running speed, her plasma beam distance... all secondary to her Lara Croft-like ability to traverse a hostile world.”

Could not disagree more. If traversing a hostile world were my primary interest, I would go and buy a point-and-click adventure, lol.

As far as I am concerned, how well one plays the game is inseparable from how well one plays Samus. The environment is just there for her (and by extension, the player) to interact with. It does not work the other way around, as the environment itself does not, cannot interact with her -- enemies can, but then you are getting into the combat that you think is is so incidental.

So as she has the dominant, active role in this scenario, she and her assorted mechanics warrant greater emphasis.

"I was just fine with Metroid Prime Trilogy and Metroid: Zero Mission. The only game in the entire series that I outright hated was Other M, with its three-fold sucker punch of bad narrative, gutted exploratory depth, and maligned authorization system."

Is this the part where we rank the Metroid series? I am down with that.

Super Metroid = Echoes > Prime > Zero Mission >>> Return of Samus > Prime Pinball >>> NEStroid > Prime Trilogy Pack > Other M > The taste of a cigarette where one has taken too many drags and started to smoke the filter > Fusion > Hunters >>> That part in Brawl SSE where you play Samus > Corruption

Have not played Metroid Blast yet.

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