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  1. https://twitter.com/RetroStudios/status/1338559406284410883 They're currently looking for a Boss and AI designer, but they've probably already made tons of progress on the game, that we just don't know about. Nintendo would have zero reason to hire and keep anyone, if a game isn't going to be worked on just yet. The only way Prime 4 wouldn't of gotten far by now, is if nintendo, for some insane reason, wanted to waste money on paying for world-class developers to not work on the game yet? Early to mid 2022 is my guess What are your thoughts on this? Are you excited :) (maybe we'll get another sa-x too?)
  2. Ok, I've decided to start porting crap off my Docs and adding it here for your enjoyment. Perhaps one day something I write will inspire someone in some way. Probably not, but hey, whatever. Feedback Thread is linked below . Enjoy? ...Visor Online. Database accessed. Scanning Bio-Signs... Scan Successful. Bio-Signs indicate User is Samus Aran. Level 7 Access Granted. Loading Logbook... Create New Log Entry? Y/N N Load Previous Log Entry? Y/N Y Select Log Number. 001 Loading Log Entry 001... I no longer know what I am. I know what I was, though the exact name for my species is one I would have to dredge up from Her memories, but I am no longer what I was. I cannot understand why, and it makes me feel...what is the word for it, again? Another thing I cannot remember. I recall that She was the one who made my people feel it, the day one of us attempted to enter Her and was torn apart within Her system, and I remember assisting my people in utilizing every species we had access to trying to stop Her, even the frozen one, which we knew She would recognize and hopefully view as a torment from Her past. We even struck at Her with Her own abilities and weaponry, but it was all for naught. Now I am the only one of us left, and I am no longer certain I am one of us any more.
  3. It’s my birthday today. You know last year I played the original Xenoblade Chronicles game for the first time on my birthday, it was really something, a shame that I can’t include Xenoblade X on this list because I haven’t I haven’t started playing it yet. Which I should soon and a review will be coming. But for now, I want to see what games everyone really liked playing this year. I’m going to list my favorite games that I played in 2015 and I would like for you all to share your own as well. I played a lot of older games I had shelved for a while, so this list isn’t going to only feature games released in 2015 and in fact don’t be surprised to see games that are 2 generations old. Bloodborne is off this list since I didn’t play much of it, it was on a friend's PS4 but I don’t have a PS4 myself so I didn’t get to play it past the first boss. I didn’t play that much of Rocket League either. An honorable mention goes to The Beginner’s Guide. Okay without further ado, here are my favorites that I played during 2015 with a brief description for each. Mine is in no order. Metroid Prime Trilogy: Super Mario Maker Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Undertale Fallout 4: Tabletop Simulator: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: That is all for today folks, what are your favorite games that you played this year? Doesn’t have to be one released this year of course, feel free to list them here, and you don't need a description if you don't want to of course. And thank you to everyone who read if even some of the reviews I posted throughout the year, it’s been fantastic. It's still the morning, I’ll go and see what the rest of my birthday has to offer. Happy birthday to you too, Sully. *Wink*
  4. Phase into Phazon: Introduction: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is the final game of the Metroid Prime series, and the closing of the Phazon saga. Metroid’s first jump to 3D was successful enough for not one, but three games. As the ending of the trilogy, it has more to live up to than Prime 2 did. So, is it good? How well does it do its job of ending this epic story? That is the question I intend to answer in this review. Full Review: Story: Metroid Prime 3’s story starts out with Samus waking up from a nightmare, in which Dark Samus is resurrected after the events that happened on Aether. If you saw the secret ending of Prime 2, then you saw this coming. After waking, she is ordered to board a federation ship and meet up with Admiral Dane who has a mission for her and three other bounty hunters. The other hunters are Rundas, basically an ice lord. Gohr, who is apparently obsessed with giant robots. And Gandrayda, who appears to resent Samus and thinks she’s better than all of the other hunters. Admiral Dane informs the hunters that the galactic federation’s Aurora units have suffered from Phazon corruption, and hires them to hunt down and eliminate the viruses and rescue the Aurora units. The Aurora units are basically the federation’s own mother brains and run the information networks for the Federation. The mission briefing is cut short by a pirate fleet who comes to ruin the party, and a meteor that is about to crash into planet Norion. So Samus and the fellow hunters immediately go to Norion to reactivate the cannon generators there and destroy the meteor. But Samus gets derailed not just by pirates, but the Berserker Lord, a baller status trooper that knows how to make one hell of an entrance. He gets defeated but not before absorbing a ton of punishment. After reaching Norion and repairing the first generator, Samus encounters Meta Ridley, who's back again with a vengeance. Samus then defeats Ridley and Rundas rescues her before she falls into the abyss. After activating the final generator, the hunters hurry to the cannon before the meteor hits Norion. When they get there, however, they are attacked by Dark Samus. Damn, those dreams came true! Dark Samus kicks all the hunters butts and leaves as Samus desperately crawls towards the cannon and fires it to destroy the Meteor. Overall, the intro sequence of this game does a solid job of building up tension before shit hits the fan. I like it a lot. Samus then wakes up a month later and discovers that all the hunters who were attacked by Dark Samus are now corrupted. Samus acquires the PED (Phazon Enhancement Device) suit as an upgrade of her iconic Varia Suit. Admiral Dane tells Samus to go and cleanse the Aurora units from Phazon infection and destroy leviathans that have landed on three different planets. She will encounter the other hunters who have been completely corrupted by Phazon, so you are forced to kill them. Honestly, the hunters lack enough character development for me to feel sad about their loss. The only exception is Rundas, who is a great character that had a good amount of interaction with Samus before his corruption. It looks to me like Retro Studios ended up putting a lot of detail and depth into the story, but sadly not much to the character development (except for Rundas). That’s my only gripe about the story. Otherwise, it’s very well presented, with epic cutscenes to boot. Every character except Samus is fully voiced, and every planet you visit has its own backstory, told by a series of logs. Of course, that means none of them have even close to the amount of depth that Tallon IV and Aether had, but it's a fair trade off. Graphics and Presentation: Metroid Prime 3 is the best looking game in the trilogy, at least on a technical level. The game has really good lighting for the Wii and the textures look really good. Artistically speaking, it’s more impressive than Prime 2, with some gorgeous environments. But for every Skytown, there’s a Pirate Homeworld which is kinda repetitive on the visuals side, and the leviathan seed levels all look too similar to the impact crater. But from a narrative standpoint, I’d say it makes sense. But there are a lot of good looking vistas and areas, which are memorable this time around, unlike in Prime 2 where I kept getting lost, at least in the Temple Grounds. Two little notes on the graphics side, one is that the Plasma and Nova beams can sometimes fire from locations away from the barrel if you tilt the Wiimote enough while shooting them, but it's not a big issue. A brighter note is that you can now see Samus’ face fully reflected when you use the scan visor, complete with eye tracking. The game’s sound design is on par with the rest of the Prime series. I’m not sure how I didn’t mention this in earlier reviews but I like how the game has a sound effect when you near a power up or expansion. The soundtrack is on par with Prime 2, but I think it could’ve used more memorable tracks if it wants to catch up to Prime 1. It focuses a bit too much on the atmospheric tracks, but I like the Super Metroid pirate remix in the Pirate Homeworld. The voice acting is superb, both in cutscenes and in-game dialogue. All of the characters feel down to earth and the lines are delivered convincingly. Overall, Prime 3’s presentation was awesome, but then again, it was not really lacking in the previous two games. Gameplay: Prime 3 proves to me that I made the right call to review these three games separately, as they always do some things differently. First of all, the objectives are more clear. The Aurora Unit give Samus all of the objectives and hints she needs to progress through the story. It’s like the hint system from the previous two games except it’s more frequent, it’s voiced, and it’s forced. And you now have a log to view your objective, now described in-depth. With that, the game’s exploration feel is somewhat hurt since I know where my goal is and don’t have to search for it as much. It's understandable since the developers were probably trying to appeal to a wider audience; it’s just I’m not particularly a big fan of that. Since this is the first Wii Metroid game, it was bound to have motion control gimmicks attached to it, but I actually like them in this game. The motion controls help immerse the player further into the game. Stuff like pulling handles, twisting them, pumping power into some machines, inserting codes and accessing elevators all felt natural, with nothing too gimmicky about them. Some of the power ups you obtain such as the grapple lasso are pretty fun to use. Speaking of power ups, the game doesn’t take them all away from you; instead it just doesn’t give you that much in the first place. But you still have to collect them all over again, but having played Super Metroid and the last two Primes, I’m already used to that. So let’s do it and re-obtain our lovely missiles, beam weapons, grapple upgrades, and the good ol’ Screw Attack. You actually get the screw attack quite early this time around, which is good because one of my complaints in Prime 2 is that you got it so late that you couldn't experience how cool it is that much. But to be honest, it was still utilized way better in Prime 2 despite getting it earlier here. And it’s still a pain to hit enemies with it. The seeker missiles have returned, which were useful for me in Prime 2 and just as good now. The morph ball has a new-ish type of puzzle, air puzzles which allow you to use bombs to launch yourself into the air. Your missile combos are gone now, but later in the game you obtain the Nova Beam, which lets you shoot through Phazon. Combined with the X-Ray visor, you will go to town on any enemies or bosses that gave you trouble beforehand. The beam weapon system is different from the first two Primes. This time around, your weapons stack their effects by the new ones. The power beam is replaced by the Plasma beam which now fires as rapidly as the power beam. The Nova Beam is essentially a green plasma beam, but the awesome thing about it is that you can shoot through Phazon with it and destroy enemies from their weak spots. The Ice Beam is not back, but instead you’ll get Ice Missiles which were featured previously in Fusion. And it still freeze your enemies regardless. I think Prime 1 had the best weapon system of the trilogy because you had four completely different guns that never became obsolete and always had their uses against different enemies. I would also say that Prime 2’s weapons were better than 3, honestly. But the weapons are at least different enough that it’s exciting to get a new one. You can now use Samus’ Gunship in more ways than ever before. You can travel not only between planets, but also different landing zones on each planet, which cuts down on the backtracking present in pretty much every Metroid game. Not all that necessary since the only Metroid game where I felt that backtracking was a pain in was Prime 2, but this is still greatly appreciated, and perfect for newcomers to the Metroid series. You can also command your ship on specific parts of levels, with commands including landing, attacking, and picking up or dropping off cargo. It’s kinda disappointing though. I never used the ship missiles at all because I never knew what specific parts of the map I could use it on, and it wasn’t needed because Hyper Mode destroys every enemy out there. Frankly, I would’ve preferred having the power bomb back. If there is ever another Metroid game, it would be nice to have the ability to fully pilot Samus’ gunship. It would be epic. Another cool new thing introduced is the achievement system. Bowling Bots is a funny one. They’re satisfying to earn but I didn’t pay much attention to them. There are green ledges that can be grabbed onto, so Samus can now finally grab ledges outside of Smash Brothers. 'Atta girl! The game’s boss fights are once again well done. The Berserker Lord is the best first boss in any of the Primes. Omega Ridley and Meta Ridley are epic fights. Helios is a fun, challenging and complex boss battle with many different attacks. Gandrayda is my favorite of the hunters because of how many different forms she uses through her shape-shifting powers. Rundas’ battle is epic and the music is fantastic. Mogenar, on the other hand, is a terrible boss. He never gives you room to attack - at all! It’s impossible to get a straight hit on him without screwing up a thousand times over. And the Metroid Hatcher is annoying and you fight it three times, but the second and third are not that bad because you can defeat it easily with X-Ray Visor + Nova Beam. Speaking of the Metroid Hatcher, I got stuck during the Norion fight. I dunno why but I just jammed for 40 seconds before regaining control. I thought that the Repticlus Hunters were gonna be the new Chozo Ghosts/Pirate Commandos but they’re much easier and you only encounter them once or twice. The Steamlords, however, ARE the new Chozo Ghosts/Pirate Commandos, but they’re not nearly as bad or common. Let’s talk about this game’s biggest gimmick, Hyper Mode. Hyper Mode is basically god mode. It’s the Phazon Beam from the first Prime that you only got to use during the final boss battle. Now you can use it all the time as long as you sacrifice a single energy tank. Despite playing on veteran, the game is still generous enough with health drops that you can use Hyper Mode almost all the time, I didn’t abuse Hyper Mode to keep the game fairly challenging, but there are some enemies who have a Hyper Mode of their own which can only be countered by your own Hyper Mode. If you stay in Hyper Mode too long, it will fill up and lock you in until you consume all of your Phazon. But that actually makes the game easier since it gives you more time in Hyper Mode. Overall this is the easiest of the Primes. It even has save points right before bosses, but this is a plus since it kinda bothered me that it didn’t have that in the first two games. The game was fairly challenging while not abusing Hyper Mode and the pacing remained solid throughout. Even collecting energy cells for the Valhalla wasn’t bad because you can collect them throughout the main story. In fact, I had 7 by the time I reached Valhalla. And you only need 5 of them to proceed to the final level anyway. As for the final level itself, without spoiling anything, it is terrific. Unlike the Impact Crater and Sky Temple, Retro added a challenge to their final level this time around. The time crunch scenario feels rewarding to pull through at the end. But the final boss was really disappointing. The concept and execution behind it were decent enough, but it could have been done better. In Prime 1 and 2, the final bosses were a test to all of the skills that you acquired throughout the game. And in Prime 3, the final boss gets his ass whooped by Hyper Mode! It's way too easy. Thankfully, the boss preceding it was spectacular. Despite the game having a big and large scale feeling it was actually not that huge, as I finished it in 12 hours unlike the first two games, which took around 20. But at no point did I feel like the length was bad - the story covered most of what it needed to, and the ending was great. So there’s not that many complaints I can throw toward it in that regard. Final Verdict: Prime 2 and 3 were great games, but the highlight of the trilogy in my opinion is the first Prime. It was the perfect blend of exploration, puzzle solving, and storytelling, and it was an absolute blast to play through. But Prime 2 and 3 were also a blast, despite not having as much impact on me as the first Prime. All and all, the Metroid Prime games are some of the most atmospheric that I’ve played, and I loved how each of them had their own personalities, their own differences to distinguish them from each other. Retro Studios have succeeded not only in adapting the Metroid series into the 3D realm of gaming, but also providing quality games in that dimension. And that is an achievement I find very admirable. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a great ending to a well crafted trilogy. It is an excellent game that has served its job well in ending one of the best game trilogies of all time. The ending was climactic and satisfying, despite the final boss not being all that creative. The game felt too easy at points but at no times did it feel like a chore to play through. It may not be a new gold standard in the first person shooter genre but it’s a great entry in an already great series of games. And a great Metroid game in general. Final Score: 9/10 Update on Upcoming Reviews: Hoo, I didn’t expect to come back this early, not even a month after my Prime 2 review. I got a week off, and I took the opportunity to play through and finish Prime 3. At this moment, I am 60 hours into Square Enix’s Bravely Default for the 3DS, I still got a few chapters to go, but after I finish it, it’s gonna be my next game to review. So please stay tuned for that. For those of you who were with me throughout my run through the Metroid Prime Trilogy, I must thank you for doing so. Since game reviews are pretty much my favorite side hobby right now, I am here to stay. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is on my radar since Zera recommended it to me. I will definitely play and review that at some time in the near future.
  5. The Legend of Metroid: A Link To The Past: After playing Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, both of which I loved, I have finally played through and finished Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Here are my full thoughts of the game. Story: Let’s talk about the story, Metroid Prime 2’s story is different than the first game with some similar elements, it takes place after Prime 1, the game starts out with Samus hired by the galactic federation to go to a rogue planet called Aether which had some marines that called for an emergency signal. Aether’s atmosphere damages Samus’ gunship, leaving her stranded on Aether, with her initial objective being to find out what happened to the marines. Samus encounters Dark Samus, essentially the daughter of Metroid Prime if you will, come to avenge her dad’s death on the hands of Samus! seriously, though, she’s just the remains of Metroid Prime. Samus then she gets attacked by Darklings who hijack all of her items, ALL of them….except for the charge beam, Varia suit and Morph Ball, the game doesn’t have any heat based areas so the varia suit is purely cosmetic. She then proceeds to find that the marine troopers have been wiped out by the same darklings that attacked her, and then she encounters a Luminoth man called U-Mos, this NPC serves as the driving point of the story, giving Samus her objective and providing a lot of context to the world in a lengthy bit of exposition. Samus’ goal now is to restore power to Aether’s energy controllers so that she can gain access to the Sky Temple and take out Emperor Ing. Graphics and Presentation: Graphics and animations have been notably improved from the first game on a technical level, Samus’ model is fixed, no longer does it look jaggy a bit, it now looks all smoothed out, the game now has better cinematography than ever before, not that it was terrible in the first game, but cutscenes are now fully animated, even saving the game has it’s own animation. The game now has in-game dialogue unlike Prime 1 and it actually works well within the game. Dark Aether’s has a great post apocalyptic atmosphere feel to it, I heard some people complain that it makes Dark Aether’s graphics too repetitive and boring but I beg to differ, that’s the whole point of the game and it succeeded in that part. The UI however was very difficult for me to get used to at first, Prime’s menus were much cleaner and easier to navigate through. One thing the UI did greatly improve upon was the scan visor, it now highlights scannable objects by three different colors: Blue being unscanned, red being unscanned and important to progression and green being scanned. Gameplay: Now let’s talk about Prime 2’s gameplay which can easily be considered hit or miss for some people. This is considered to be the black sheep of the series, it’s gameplay structure deviates greatly from the first Prime game, now much more similar to Link To The Past than its prequel, Echoes plays around with LTTP’s light world, dark world mechanic, where the game is divided into two halves, light Aether and dark Aether. The game has a lot of returning powerups and a few new ones here and there. The Dark Beam is essentially a much faster Ice Beam, it freezes your enemies, making them vulnerable for some hilarious missile kills, in true Metroid style, its combo is the Darkburst, it’s an awesome looking and very powerful powerup that shoots a dark portal that absorbs the enemies’ HP like it’s nothing. The Light Beam is super effective against dark enemies, and can disintegrate them, it’s combo is the sunburst, a powerful yet quite slow attack that I rarely use. Then finally, there’s the annihilator beam which besides using it to open its doors, the only combat scenario I used it for was against the final boss, that’s how impractical I thought the weapon was, it uses both your light and dark ammo, its combo is the Sonic Boom which I just about never use because it’s too expensive for a combo that’s not much stronger than the previous ones. Oh, by the way, there’s ammo in this game, a traditional thing in first person shooters yet it was completely unnecessary and very unfitting in a Metroid game in my opinion, managing missiles and beam ammo have gotten very cumbersome for me throughout my playthrough. Missiles are really enough, and the Beam weapons from the previous Metroid games were personally much more interesting and enjoyable for me. In Prime 1, none of the weapons felt obsolete because you would always encounter enemies that require different guns in order to defeat. But in this game, there was no reason for me to use the Dark Beam over the Light Beam unless I wanted to open Dark Doors or do a darkburst. The exception was the Ingmasher enemy and Emperor Ing who both required switching your beam weapons constantly, besides from that, there was no incentive for me to use the Annihilator beam due to its cost except for the occasional sound wave puzzle. The Morph Ball in this game is utilized very well and has some really fun and clever puzzles to get through, overall, the puzzle design in this game is as great as ever, and at points, feels even better than before. The dark visor lets you see stuff invisible objects and enemies, and the Echo visor allows you to detect sound waves. The gravity boost replaces the gravity suit and instead of just allowing you to walk better underwater but also gives you an ability to hover in the air underwater; Torvus Bog is the only region with water so this power is rather underutilized. Speaking of underutilized, the screw attack comes in very late in the game that you can’t experience its greatness well enough, the best improvement is that it’s no longer just a very powerful attack, it’s used for traversing the game’s world, too, and reaching area otherwise unreachable. I consider this game to be overall not as strongly paced as the first Prime game, which is the biggest problem for me, one that hurts the replay value greatly. The game starts out with a strong opening sequence, not nearly as strong as its predecessor’s opening but it was good regardless. Then the game takes you to dark Aether and for the first hours of play, you will find yourself taking ridiculous amounts of damage by just standing in dark Aether, the only way to avoid damage is using light energy fields which not only prevent you from taking damage but also SLOWLY regenerates your HP which can be quite boring, you can shoot the light field with a light shot which powers it up to deal more damage to dark enemies, which is a great level design technique because it encourages players to save ammo by luring enemies to light fields and powering it up, but that doesn’t increase health regeneration speed, it’s incredibly slow and boring, I’ve never played a game where I had to sit there and wait for my health to refill for potentially more than 3 minutes if you have high enough energy (HP for non Metroid players.) It’s not until a bit later in the game when you obtain the dark suit which boosts Samus’ damage resistance but also significantly decreases the damage you take from dark Aether. There’s the point where the game becomes much more fun and overall more playable than before, now I can play the game without feeling constantly feeling stressed. Now that the game picked the pace back up when you obtain the dark Suit, let’s talk about the game’s bosses. There are a lot more of them here, there’s almost a boss for every power up obtainable, most of the bosses have a gimmick where they use your power ups against you until you defeat them. I liked most of them, with the exception of the Boost Guardian, the Alpha Blogg and Grapple Guardian. My favorite bosses and some of my favorite moments in this game as a whole were Quadraxis, the Spider Guardian (Yes, I’m serious) and Emperor Ing. I didn’t have that much trouble with the spider guardian, in fact, I beat him on my first try, and perhaps that was because they made jumping easier with the Wii controls. Quadraxis was a masterful boss, why can’t we have other bosses this good in pretty much any FPS? Quadraxis is a fun and challenging boss that is a great test of skill and everything you learned in the game, he’s more complex than the final boss of the first game, nuff said. And I won’t spoil much about Emperor Ing, see for yourself. I also loved every boss fight against Dark Samus as she uses a lot of Samus’ signature skills. And when you reach the late game part is when the game slows down once more and gets rather tedious because of the final mission objective. Collect the 9 Sky Temple keys. Before you take on Emperor Ing, you HAVE to do this. Oh, man, this mission was boring. And it killed the game’s pacing right there, this is why the replay value is hurt for me, besides the early hours with Dark Aether damage. This time around, you acquire the Light Suit which allows you to fast travel between energy controllers, go through rays of light, improve your defense once more and of course, completely negating all dark Aether damage, as well as damage taken from swimming in dark pools which is awesome. But that doesn’t change the fact that the reward for finding 9 temple keys is finding 9 more that are even harder to find this time around. Some would argue that the same criticism could be leveled against Prime 1 for finding the 12 Chozo artifacts, but the game instantly gave you hints on how to receive at least most of them. The thing here is when I killed the Omega Pirate in Prime 1, I already had about 80% of the Artifacts I had to collect. However, when I killed Quadraxis in Prime 2, I had literally just ONE sky temple key out of nine. This part of the game is just there to pad out the game’s length whereas in Prime 1, I didn’t even feel like it was there. The Final Verdict: All in all, my final impressions of Metroid Prime 2 is that it did some things better than its prequel and did some other things worse. The game’s fun factor had some really strong and really weak moments scattered throughout. Unlike Prime, which remained a consistently solid experience that I never got sick of. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Metroid Prime 2, it’s the sequel to what I consider to be the best first person shooter ever made, and I still adored the boss fights, I loved how they added more of them and made them feel varied. I feared that this game would feel too samey but in fact, it changed but perhaps changed too much for its own good, when I play Prime 3, I hope it expands on what the first game offered more than I would like it to be like another Prime 2. And heck, if it can manage to be a nice blend of the first two games, then that’s great. But bring back the weapon system from the first game, please. I will be taking a break from Metroid Prime Trilogy for the time being to play some other games and do some work. But I will hopefully be done with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption hopefully in the near future. One thing very much in common between Prime 1 and 2 is that I felt very satisfied when I reached the end. As disappointing as it felt at times, I still enjoyed this game. And that's enough for me to recommend it to Metroid Fans and FPS fans alike. Here's a link to my review of Prime 1 if you're interested http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=52669
  6. Exploration at its finest, atmosphere at its greatest, first person gaming at its prime. Intro: Metroid Prime is a game that came out in 2002 for the Nintendo Gamecube, remade in the Wii with the Prime trilogy and now finally re released for the Wii U. It’s the same game as the Wii version but I just wanted to point it out. I have came into this game having already played Metroid before, only Super Metroid, though. I always wanted to get my hands on this game and when I finally got it, I was very excited to just start playing. Without further ado, here’s my review for Metroid Prime for the Wii. Full Review: The story of Metroid Prime is pretty straightforward at glance, you’re the intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran and you start the game with your mission being to investigate a space pirate ship. You get into the ship finding nearly every Space Pirate inside of it slaughtered in some of the most gruesome ways you can imagine. You encounter the Parasite Queen and have a pretty exciting boss fight and then you discover that the Space Pirates have used cybernetic technology to resurrect Ridley who is now known as Meta Ridley. Ridley escapes the ship as it explodes and Samus boards her gunship to follow him until she reaches the nearby planet known as Tallon IV. What happened to one, two and three again? Never mind, when you get there, your goal is to collect your items and gear that you lost during the ship’s explosion and at the same time, locating 12 different Chozo artifacts hidden throughout Tallon IV. The Chozo is an extinct alien race, throughout the game, you’ll find various different walls that have Chozo texts written on them that will provide context to the game’s world and a goal to you, the player. Reading those texts will provide you with the deepest, most engrossing story you’ll ever find in a Metroid game. The story of how this race built their home, thrived and ultimately perished after the Phazon infection. Samus’ goal primarily in this game (No pun intended) is to access the Impact Crater which is hidden beneath the Artifact Temple, from there, she needs to get into the heart of the crater and destroy the source of all Phazon energy in this planet of Tallon IV. There is no word of dialog spoken throughout the game’s storyline, unless you count Samus’ AI which very rarely speaks in the game outside of just saying “Incoming data” or “Data received” which only happens if you get stuck with the hint system turned on. On top of little to no dialog, there is also a very minimal amount of cutscenes in the game. The game only has cutscenes for entering new areas and boss fights so if you’re expecting a cutscene heavy game then you won’t find one here. But that is what makes the story presentation of this game unique, a new item that Samus gets in this game is the scan visor which allows her to scan anything ranging from objects, enemies, pirate data logs and the aforementioned Chozo lore entries are there to provide the story for the player. And most of it is optional as well, making it a game that is great for both people who enjoy a good story and also people who wanna play a good game. The game has great art direction, it looks better than most Wii games I played. The developers of this game have crafted an art style that helped this game’s graphics in aging quite well. On top of that, The atmosphere this game presents is flawless, it hooks you up from the very intro sequence and never pulls you away from there onwards to Tallon IV and beyond. It has a sense of loneliness to it since this world is not inhabited by any NPCs you would regularly find in any other game. It’s beautiful and disturbing all at once. The variety of the game’s environments is just as great as the environmental design itself. You’ll go from Tallon Overworld which is the forest-like hub area that masterfully connects everything together, to the ruins of the Chozo that once inhabited this planet, to the lava filled caverns of Magmoor, the Phazon Mines which is the main operating base of the Space Pirates in Tallon IV and my personal favorite one, Phendrana Drifts, the breathtaking snow covered tundra area. Not only is it my favorite level in the game but it is also my favorite Ice level in all of gaming as well. Metroid Prime stays true to its roots, the first person view is there to further increase the sense of immersion, this game is not a first person shooter but rather, a first person adventure game. The game’s structure is similar to that of earlier Metroid games. Very non-linear with some levels that you can’t get access to at first but as you acquire more and more items, you will be able to unlock and visit areas that you weren’t able to before. The great thing about the weapons in this game is that none of them become obsolete or useless after a while. Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. The Power Beam is the weapon Samus starts with, being able to do rapid fire and combos with missiles to fire off a super missile which has more destructive power and of course, more damage. the Wave Beam fires electrical shots effective against electric based enemies and combos with missiles to create the Wavebuster, using that is like using a Ghostbusters gun. There is also the Ice Beam which fires it’s rounds slowly, kinda like a shotgun and with enough energy, it can freeze an enemy and it combos with missiles to create the Ice Spreader which is an aoe freeze that can freeze off certain parts of the map. You can actually destroy frozen enemies and see their limbs fall apart which is a bit disturbing to see in a Nintendo game. There is also the Plasma Beam which fires off heat based shots and when charged high enough, it can completely disintegrate enemies which, once again is especially disturbing to see in a Nintendo game. It can combo with missiles to create a flamethrower which is actually not that strong and very costly. I usually prefer sticking to the Super Missiles combo. The boss fights in this game are actually very well done which is indeed rare to see in an FPS. They are for most part, fun and challenging and provide a test of the player’s skills. Another thing this game does surprisingly well is its platforming. Platforming usually sucks in FPS games but Retro Studios managed to make it work remarkably as it wouldn’t be a Metroid game without some platforming here and there. The game has its fair share of epic first person shooting segments with space pirates and such here and there. But the game always feels fresh as it breaks up these segments by exploration, platforming and of course, good ol’ puzzle solving. The morph ball is one of the most unique things about the game that separates it from other shooters. Samus can still indeed turn into a ball just like in previous Metroid titles and this game handles it even better than it did before as the 3D environment makes things more complex and even give the opportunity for adding more features. For example, a new thing you can do with the morph ball is that you can use a charge power up which makes the morph ball accelerate into high speed and allow her to use things scattered throughout the world known as half pipes which allow you to skateboard on them and just go back and forth until you get high enough speed that it boosts you up to your target. The most impressive thing about this game are the little things that the developers added that made the experience overall better. There are very neat graphical touches that this game has that is advanced for even the Gamecube such as how you see Samus’ visor getting humid, little water drops that you see when she gets out of a pool or water area or even seeing her face reflected from her helmet visor when a big flash of light happens, usually from an explosion. Another thing that is very impressive about the game is the fact that immersion is never broken and the experience is completely seamless. There is no loading screens in the game whatsoever, when the game loads, it loads and it never does so again, you will see no loading screens in between areas and will always find yourself going from one incredibly detailed environment to the next without anything breaking up the flow of play which is something was adapted in games that came later such as Elder Scrolls, Dark Souls and Demon Souls, etc. But Prime does it better as it never loads or seem like it’s loading up with technical hiccups and such, instead it remains smooth with rock solid framerate through and through. If there’s any complaints I have against this game, they’re quite minor. For being such a huge game with big emphasis on immersion and atmosphere, the enemies can respawn a bit too much which not only feels monotonous, but it also breaks the immersion which is one of the key things that this game does really well. Maybe it doesn’t shatter the player’s immersion but it can at least crack it a little bit. The backtracking might be a problem for some players but I personally liked it as the areas you go back through has new enemies and will even give you an oportunity to try out new gear that will allow you to access areas not previously accessible, kill enemies much faster which can be quite satisfying or even kill enemies that were previously unkillable which is even more satisfying. But going back to complaints, the Chozo ghosts are just the worst enemies in the game, they respawn too frequently and can sometimes be a bitch to take down due to their ninja skillz, cloaking and insane warping that can be annoying to deal with at least until you grab the X-Ray visor which will allow you to go to town on these punks. This complaint is more of a personal thing for me but when you die in this game you go back to a save point which sounds ok in theory but you will lose all of your scanning progress that you did before saving the game which can have you forget to scan things again thinking that you already scanned them again but noooo. Final Verdict: In the end of the day, there are many great things to say about Metroid Prime because it is an overall solid experience throughout. There are lots of attention paid to every little detail and the game is brimming with lore throughout. The game also seems like it has a chance for replayability. It’s one of those games that is enjoyable to go through more than once because it’s just that good, it’s hard to find games like that these days. But calling it a solid game is not enough as this is a game for the ages, what Super Mario 64 did for the Mario series and what Ocarina of Time did for the Zelda series is also what Metroid Prime did for the Metroid series. Adding in a 3rd dimension and a first person camera was not enough for Retro, instead, they went completely outta their way to make the first 3D Metroid game the best entry in the series to date. UPDATE: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has been finally reviewed http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=53553.
  7. Does anyone know any good Metroidvania games other than Metroid and Castlevania? P.S.:Happy new year everybody!
  8. A thread for one of Nintendo's best and most underappreciated franchises. Discuss what you like; share your favorite games, favorite moments in the series, favorite weapons/equipment, etc. etc. Let's try to avoid getting too heated on the topic of the Metroid franchise's latest game; discussion of Other M's controversial portrayals and shortcomings are inevitable, but let's try to keep it respectful and positive for the most part.
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