“How have you not played that?” I hear that question too often. I have played hundreds of games, yet somehow I have missed some of the “greatest games of all time”. I will be going back and exploring these worlds for the first time to see if these games hold up, and for my first game I donned the orange armor and morphed into a ball to explore Metroid Prime on the Nintendo GameCube.
I had a GameCube when it came out. I played tons of great games on it, yet somehow, without any reason I never played the Metroid Prime series. To be fair, I had never played a Metroid game, so I had no real investment in the franchise. So I finally played it, on a GameCube (not the remade Wii version) and here are my thoughts:
The first thing that caught my attention was the audio. The music and ambient noises really captured the whole “you’re all alone” vibe the game was going for. I felt powerless when I was meant to, powerful when I was, and alone when I wanted some help. Even after experiencing sound direction from games like The Last of Us and BioShock I was still surprised by the depth and quality of the audio. Every enemy noise or change in music had me quickly scanning my environment for danger.
Obviously, FPS controls have continually been refined and improved and it was jarring at first to play one with a single analog joystick. Although I felt hindered at first, the game does well in its lock on mechanic, reminding me of the Ocarina of Time lock on system. Playing the game also reminded me how great the GameCube controllers actually were. I loved the shoulder buttons and the overall feel for the controller was just solid, never getting uncomfortable in my 20+ hour playtime.
As I mentioned earlier, I had never played a game in the Metroid series when I was younger, and even before this I have actually never finished one either. I did sink some time into Super Metroid when it came out on Wii U Virtual Console, but I never got around to finishing it. I have however played all the Nintendo DS Castlevania games so I had an idea about the genre of game I was getting into. The backtracking and remembering where all the things I couldn’t get to before was a non-issue with a fantastic map. I felt like I always knew right where to go and that helped keep things fresh and quick.
The story had its ups and downs, and although I didn’t have to read the various logs found throughout the world, I was compelled to learn more about it. Sure it wasn’t an emotional or very dramatic journey, but it was a fun sci-fi world that I cared to explore. Overall I would say that is probably the weakest point of the whole thing, but easily overcome with its ability to immerse you in the world that was crafted.
I would recommend people who have not played this game to find a way to play it. If you have already played the game I would say find a way to get the Wii Metroid Prime Trilogy as it gives you 16×9 support and better aiming via the Wiimote. Metroid Prime is currently listed as #9 in All-Time Best list on GameRankings. Although I could name probably twenty other games that are better then it I would still say it is something every gamer should experience.