Food For Thought: Metroid Prime 2 And Other M

By Ishaan . October 25, 2009 . 3:49pm

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Now that I’m done with Metroid Prime, I figured it was time to delve into Prime 2: Echoes, which is considered by many to be the "oddball" in the series. I was really excited about playing it because I never got to play the original on the Gamecube.

 

Personally, I’m not sure why this is, because Echoes strikes a good balance between the elements that made Prime 1 and Prime 3: Corruption what they are. It’s a great link between the two games, and from a story standpoint, I think it’s arguably the most important game in the Prime trilogy. I didn’t want to spend too much time doing a separate playtest for Echoes alone, but I thought it’d fun to try a feature entirely based around the "food for thought" concept about this game and about Other M, which I dearly hope will make me cry tears of happiness. Here goes:

 

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

 

– Samus’s suit looks a lot nicer in Echoes. Ironically, Samus herself looks the worst in Echoes.

 

– Why did they make her Varia Suit less metallic in Prime 3? I don’t get it. It looks the most convincing in Echoes.

 

– Did they tweak the morph ball physics in this game? It feels like you don’t roll around as much, and move more like the tire from a vehicle.

 

– The Ing look a lot like the monsters from the Twilight Realm in Zelda: Twilight Princess. Even some of the sound effects you hear while fighting them seemed similar to the ones from TP.

 

– I didn’t notice it initially, but the Luminoth are way taller than you. It’s just that they seem to kneel while talking to you as a sign of respect. It says a lot about the kind of people they are. I thought that was a nice touch.

 

– I love how Echoes fleshed out the Space Pirates. When you enter their research lab and witness all the brutal experiments they’re conducting on the Metroids, it really makes you loathe them.

 

– On the flip side, reading about how some pirates tried to use Metroids as pets amused me to no end. Perhaps some of them aren’t so bad?

 

Echoes is probably the most worthy of the "Metroid" name, since it gives you the most insight into just how versatile they are, and the way they’ve been hounded through the years. It also contains some awesome remixed music from Super Metroid.

 

– It’s also the most important game in the Phazon saga, since it bridges the gap between 1 and 3, and sheds a lot of light on the evolution of Metroid Prime, her goals, and her relation to the Space Pirates as Dark Samus. Looking back, Metroid Prime showed great presence of mind when it absorbed Samus’s DNA at the end of the first game.

 

– "As terrible as it sounds, there are two of them now." is the funniest pirate log entry in the game.

 

– Aether feels much more like a real planet than Tallon IV did.

 

– To the guy from Retro Studios: drop by in the comments sometime.

 

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Metroid: Other M

 

– There will be hell to pay if I have to scan stuff obsessively in this game. I love scanning in the Prime games, but leave it out of Other M please.

 

– Similarly, if there’s any 100% completion achievement in Other M, it better be something more significant than a 10-second video clip.

 

– I’d love to see the suit take physical damage and get battered as you take hits from enemies, now that the game is finally in third-person and running on capable hardware.

 

– Actual statistical differences between the various suits would be nice, too. Perhaps even a difference in combat style?

 

– The first-person sequences had better not be scripted events. That’d be such a waste of a potentially awesome mechanic.

 

– The Metroid theme is back to being creepy as opposed to the "alien" twist it took in the Prime trilogy.


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  • Kris

    I never beat MP2, but reading this makes me want to. I love your Metroid articles, Ishaan, keep it up!

    • http://twitter.com/Clumsybigfoot Zach Norman

      It’s so weird seeing someone you know from another part of the Internet commenting on somewhere else.

      Great article by the way. :3

      • Kris

        I know, right? It was really bizarre when I saw De Bloo on Capcom-Unity. Anyway, I’m glad other people I know from the internet know about Siliconera, it’s a great place to be!

  • EvilAkito

    I loved Echoes when it first came out. It pissed me off how the mainstream gaming media would nut all over Halo 2, Half Life 2, and GTA: San Andreas, yet ignore the existences of Prime 2. While I haven’t really had the drive to replay the game, it was an epic experience the first time around, and it contained some of the greatest boss fights I’ve ever witnessed (such as Quadraxis). I wish the Zelda team would play it; they could learn a lesson on how to do boss fights correctly.

    But as much as I loved the Prime series, I agree that Other M should strive to be something different. Prime may have been a great transition to 3D for the Metroid series, but it did get a little stale after the third game. It’ll be nice to see a different approach.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I think people tend to overlook Prime 2 because it doesn’t have the novelty of being the first 3D Metroid like Prime did, and it didn’t radically change the controls like 3 did either.

      Still, I really feel people that skip it are missing out. I like it better than Prime 1…especially on the Trilogy where they’ve tweaked the difficulty. Echoes has better art overall, and the layout of Aether actually makes sense unlike Tallon IV.

    • http://danielprimed.com/ Daniel Primed

      Even though Retro have very much come to understand what makes the Metroid series so successful and then iterated on that in new and imaginative ways, I don’t think any of the Japanese internal studios have given it much notice. I agree that boss fights were done brilliantly in Metroid Prime 2, they’re skewed heavily towards the traditional perception of an epic boss fight: lots of layering and versatility, something that I think the Japanese studios have lost a little.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Yea, I worry sometimes about how Sakimoto seems to have no love for the Prime games. I understand there must be feelings of envy or wishing he’d been more involved with them — he is human after all, and it’s his creation — but they ARE what a lot of us associate with modern-day Metroid.

        But hey, the first-person perspective seems to have made it into Other M, so at least they aren’t ignoring the fact that they exist entirely and aren’t afraid to use the elements that fit.

        • EvilAkito

          Well, you can’t really blame Sakimoto for having an entirely different perspective. We experience the Metroid games from the perspective of the audience. The games are made so we can play them and have fun, and Retro succeeded greatly in that regard. But Sakimoto, being a big-shot project manager whose been with the series since the beginning, is clearly going to have a different perspective. To have his “baby” taken out of his creative control wouldn’t really be in his best interest regardless of how much fun we have playing it.

          As awesome as the Prime games were, I still prefer the top-quality 2D Metroid games (specifically Super Metroid and Zero Mission). Other M, based on what little footage we’ve seen, looks like it’s played primarily from a side-scrolling perspective, and I’m actually very excited about that. Plus, I feel that Retro is really being held back by the Prime series. I’d like to see what else they’re capable. The first Prime was easily one of the most amazing games of the previous console generation, but it would be such a waste for Retro to always play it safe and work on nothing but the tried-and-true Metroid Prime series. I’d rather see them focus their energy on bringing a new IP to the table; one which they would have full creative control over without having to play by somebody else’s rules.

  • thaKingRocka

    metroid prime 2 is one of those games that i simply could not get into. i loved prime 1 to death. it seriously was one of my favorite games of the generation. it was the only reason i bought a gamecube, and i felt it was worth every penny and every minute. i even liked the controls .

    i tried playing through prime 2 on two separate occasions years apart, and lost interest both times. i really don’t like the light world / dark world approach. it takes one map and makes it doubly boring for me. i want to love it. i really do, but i just haven’t been able to. i didn’t like the aesthetics, the world, or the key aspect of the game design, the light/dark world. i am still honestly saddened by this.

    i wonder if someday i can come back and try a third time, but it’s not looking so good now. prime 3 was pretty good. it was the reason i bought a wii, but prime 1 remains my favorite by far.

    btw, my friend in the coast guard is stationed on the ridley.
    http://www.uscg.mil/d1/sectLIS/units/cgcRidley/
    that always makes me smile.

    • Aoshi00

      I have never finished the first Metroid Prime, and I hope to change that w/ the Trilogy now (though not likely…). I admit, I never played Echoes (I bought it and never tried it), what deterred me was precisely the light/dark world setting you mentioned. It’s like Folklore on PS3, it’s cool to have 2 different characters w/ two sets of moves in the same but slightly arranged stages, but it feels tiring when you’re replaying the same stage back to back.. unless things are really arranged so well that you don’t feel repetitive, like the recent Batman Arkham Asylum.

      • thaKingRocka

        when the trilogy comes down in price, i may give prime 1 a third playthrough with the new controls. i don’t know if it’s worth it though, since i actually liked the original controls.

        the only game i was willing to accept the whole light/dark world thing in was the snes zelda. i hesitate to replay it because i worry that these days, i wouldn’t like it, and then my rose-tinted glasses will fall apart.

        • fallen

          I felt the same way about Link to the Past. Playing it recently, however, I was literally surprised by how much better of a game it was than I had even remembered it being, which is saying a lot. The game holds up exceptionally well. Many SNES games are as timeless as their NES counterparts.

  • ndjn3979

    Surely a great series. Too bad I’m a PS guy, and didn’t try out metroid on my N64. Was there one?

    • thaKingRocka

      nope

  • Chow

    Speaking of log entries, I can’t remember which Prime title this was in, but I always found a particular Space Pirate log entry kinda amusing. One of the entries talk about the Space Pirates attempting to replicate Samus’ abilities, then talks about how there were some unfortunate accidents involving being some of them getting squashed while trying to make their morphball work.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      That was Prime 1 in the Phazon Mines. I smiled at that, too. XD

  • cowcow

    I tried Metroid Prime Corruption the other day and just couldn’t get into it. Last Metroid I played was the DS one and it was the same thing. I am looking forward to Another M though.

  • malek86

    Not a fan of MP, so I didn’t get this when it came out. But it was included in the Trilogy, so maybe one day I’ll get around to play it.

    Then again, I’m not a fan of Trilogy either – currently stopped at after you get the night visor. Nintendo screwed me with the changed difficulty level, and I don’t feel like replaying from the beginning now. Also, I liked the old controls better. Who knows if I’ll ever actually play 2 or 3.

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