released on Nov 17, 2002
A 3D exploration-focused metroidvania with first-person shooting mechanics and the first 3D entry in the Metroid series, Metroid Prime follows Samus Aran after the events of Metroid (1986) as she boards a Space Pirate frigate, then chases her escaping archrival Ridley into the intricately structured Tallon IV, a planet full of deadly wildlife and former home to the advanced and ancient Chozo race.
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Really good, only thing holding it back is the hardware
I wish anyone who thought it would be fun and quirky to not have all beans like in Super Metroid just to have key switching as a mechanic for doors while backtracking a very kindly go fuck yourself.
Other than that this game is pretty goated. It's Nintendo's attempt at their own Half Life/Doom and it works better than both of them while also reinventing an old IP.
Backloggd users when they think about games too much.
Metroid Prime is one of the greatest games ever made. The pacing, drip-feeding you items at just the right speed, is immaculate, the world design is a true evolution of Super Metroid in the third dimension, the immersion and atmosphere are both amazing, the controls, although strange by modern sensibilities, fit this game perfectly. There is only one criticism I can come up with and that is the fetch quest near the end of the game. It feels pretty padded out. Overall, recommended to everyone.
played on primehack so mouse and keyboard controls modded in, incredible experience. only issue was a lot of enemies felt unnecessarily tanky, but that's mostly caused by me playing on hard without knowing that would be the case.
I won't pretend this game doesn't have flaws, namely in the back half's pacing. But two elements deserve exceptional respect: the sense of place, and the happy accidents.
The sense of place is hard to miss while playing, but it rewards intentional attention. The details are just stunning, especially considering this was before throwing complex geometry & high-res textures on things was "free" (insofar as performance is concerned). Whether it's the atmospheric soundtrack, the bite-sized sprinklings of worldbuilding the Scan Visor offers, or the way each interstitial hallway has varying depth and implied purpose, it's a lot to baste in. As a child, I would treat some game worlds more like sandboxes to play in rather than linear experiences, and Metroid Prime offered a lot to enjoy with that kind of in-the-moment play.
And the happy accidents. Whoo, boy. Being a Metroidvania, this is a game about acquiring things that change your relationship to your environment, recontextualize places you have been, and open up ways to progress. By design, it does this with items. By accident, it does this with knowledge. Yes, I'm going to discuss the glitches in this game - if talking about things that were neither intended by developers nor affect the average player's playthrough doesn't interest you, fine. I think art is worth evaluating for how it arrives, separate from intent - and the wealth of knowledge there is to plumb from this game is vast, deep, and rewarding. I've been learning this game's dark arts for about two years now (in conjunction with the excellent randomizer mod), and I'm still learning more every run.
I don't expect the average player to try any of that out, though. I expect most will play through it once, have a ball in the first half and gradually tire in the second. But with time and study, this game appreciates in value. If you've already played it, check out a commentated speedrun. Watch them fling themselves at incredible speeds, hop around obscure geometry, and maybe even turn into a math-breaking ball of light, and you'll have a glimpse of the strange beauty of this game's accidental depths.