Metroid Prime

Yeah, I’m late to the party. I bought this with my cube over a year ago, and didn’t crack it open until a week ago. Sue me.

Anyway, maybe it gets better as you go but right now it’s painfully frustrating. It has what might be (so far) one of the worst save systems ever. Save points are too far from the danger zones, so you end up having to replay the same segments over and over. That’s not so abnormal, but usually counterbalanced by having a save point close AFTER a danger zone. Not here. So you finally beat a boss (or semi-boss), after 2 or 3 reloads and repeating the same jumping puzzle each time to get to the boss, you have to play another sizeable chunk without dying (often times low on energy) or do it all over again anyway.

I don’t like the controls, but I can’t think of a better option so I suppose my beef is limited. I really hate that you can’t look around while you’re running, a la Halo. The C-stick is tied up allowing you to swap beam types, so too bad. I haven’t gotten far enough to have a 2nd beam option, so I don’t know if it needs to happen fast during play (otherwise, you could have moved the beam selection to a start-button menu choice to free up the stick).

The auto-targetter stinks. If there’s an enemy on the screen I can see, the targetter should pick it up. It doesn’t. If the enemy is in what seems like the top 1/3 or bottom 1/3 of the screen, you have to use the R button, scan up or down and then catch it. If there are multiple enemies on the screen the targetter won’t grab the next one automatically, you have to release and re-hit the L button.

The morph-ball camera stinks. There’s no reason for it not to be locked directly behind the ball, because when it gets off to the side it becomes a pain to do bomb jumps. At the least, if you’re going to move to the side, move to a 90-degree side angle, not some variable side angle.

All that said, when the game is good, it’s GOOD. It’s very easy to see all of the original Metroid gameplay aspects. I like that you can turn the “hints” on or off and that when on they come “in-character” and aren’t head-clubbing obvious. I like the ability to scan, and how it can take longer to scan bosses (making you give up something for the benefit of finding the weak spot of an enemy)

It’s a shame. The game could be amazing, but there’s enough frustrating crap in the way, that it’s merely good.

The controls would have been much better if they aped half-life for ps2. Allow for free look with the c-stick, but still provide a lock on option to assure a hit. This would require all weapon and hud mode switching to take place on the d-pad. Simple enough. Make dpad left and right cycle through weapons, up and down cycle through hud modes.

IMO, Metroid Prime was pure genuis for 15 hours. The last 5 hours (starting at a later boss and ending when you finish) were so indescribably frustrating, repetitive, and bad, that they managed to retroactively sink my opinion of the first 15 hours and make me hate this game very much.

Metroid Prime is awesome.

Yeah, I think the point where I stopped must have been right at the start of those last 5 hours… when they start throwing hordes of space bandits at you. Brilliant game up to that point, though.

I see this complaint about MP a lot, and I still don’t understand it. It did not have Half-Life controls because it didn’t need them. Metroid Prime is not a FPS.

Yeah, I totally loved this game until I got to one of the late bosses – the
x-ray inviso one. Tried to kill that guy at least 15-20 times and gave up. Unfortunate, because otherwise I was definitely enjoying the game.

If it’s not an FPS, what is it? It is first-person, and the primary task is shooting things while roaming dungeon-like areas.

Having played the game, it didn’t bother you that you couldn’t move and look independantly? That the auto-targeter only caught about 1/3 of visible enemies?

The boss fights are getting stupid. How many times can you use the “Beat the Boss Multiple Times” stunt? The Furnace, the Giant Solar-Powered Plant, god knows how many times I’ll have to deal with this.

How the fuck do you fight the plant more than once?
You mean you have to bomb the thing four times while the difficulty steadily ramps up with every successful attack?
Your empty, petty, aimless bitching infuriates me!

That’s right, because every bit of repetition means you have to fight the same thing more than once.

After all, in pretty much every WW2 single-player game out there, they make me fight a Nazi FIFTEEN HUNDRED TIMES. I just KNOW it’s the same one over and over again, they keep reviving him.

The game is definitely not a first person shooter. I’ve played a lot of FPS (as I believe many have) and not a single one plays like Metroid Prime. Simply having a first person view and action does not instantly mean FPS (I know I wouldn’t put the Thief games in the genre).

As corny as it sounds, the game is as Nintendo described it, a First-Person Action game, more specifically a first-person action platformer. When I originally reviewed Metroid Prime, I spent days switching between playing it, Metroid Fusion, and the original Metroid. All three games delivered the same feeling of play, with the focus on movement and exploration through the levels, rather than on aggressive action. To this effect, controlling Samus in Metroid Prime is far more precise than found in the FPS genre, especially when it comes to jumping.

Perhaps Nintendo and Retro Studios were wrong to present the game from a first person perspective, as it seems to have only confused people, but that does not change what the game is. Wanting it to play like Half-Life is akin to criticizing Virtua Fighter for not having Street-Fighter-esque special moves.

-AM Urbanek

TRex, you’re a tool. Your empty, petty, aimless fanboi-ness for Metroid Prime makes me laugh. I won’t bother trying to debate the “repeat, only harder” game mechanic with you because I’m too busy figuring out how you type so well with your head in your ass.

AMUSIX, when Thief came out, people called it an FPS but “tweaked” it to mean “First Person Sneaker”. I wouldn’t call it a shooter, because shooting is frowned upon. But would the game have been irritating if they had taken out the ability to lean around corners or look around while moving? I think so.

I don’t think it being more precise in the jumping really differentiates it from “traditional” FPS games. They did that because they have lots of jumping puzzles that required it (btw, it’s not even all that precise. You can’t tell how close to a ledge you are without work, which is a hassle at times).

As for the moving/exploring vs. aggressive action point, sort of. I mean, you can’t debate that there’s a lot more exploring, finding “secrets” and how to get them and so forth then in most FPS games. But not only is that something that was a staple of the original FPS games (Doom/Wolf 3D), but you can’t do anything of worth without fighting constantly. Maybe if rooms didn’t re-spawn for 10-15 minutes after clearing I could see this. But if I enter a room, kill some things, leave for 2 seconds and come back (letting the door close behind me), it’s all re-spawned.

I will say I haven’t played a LOT of FPS games, but I’ve played enough to be familiar with them. Control wise, MP plays like an FPS. It’s accepted that it’s hard to have FPS “controls” on the console, and MP does a particularly bad job of it. Game experience wise, it doesn’t play like an FPS. That’s one of the reasons I’m not snapping my mini-disc in half (though I thought about it last night). I pulled up a FAQ last night and realized how many missle expansions I’d missed so far, and I had a tremendous appreciation for how all of them were pretty easily accessible if I’d just looked harder. Some of them were things I’d noted the first time through “I’ll be able to go there when I get <x>” and then forgot once I’d gotten <x>. Some of them were “Scan EVERYTHING” which I think is less cool but since it’s not required you get 250 missiles to beat the game, it’s fine to reward the dedictated player.

I don’t think you can slap a “new” label on something and poof it’s that. First-Person Action game? What action are you doing most of the time? Running and shooting. If a majority of people see the game as an FPS and expect it to control similarly, calling it something else doesn’t negate their opinion.

I don’t think I fully accept the VF/SF analogy, either. I don’t want it to play like Half-Life, really (I assume you mean “play” here in the control sense). I want to not have to fight the controls all the time. I’ll admit that my wanting to be able to look without moving is a holdover from standard FPS fare, and it’s not all that important here. I’m sure I’ll adjust to that in time. Even so, it was a very common complaint among players/reviewers.

The auto-targetter/shooting system rots, though. To have to manipulate 4 (or 5) different controls (L to target, R to look up/down, stick to move the reticule or move/strafe and A/Y to fire the cannon or missle) is just silly. Then the auto-targetter doesn’t pickup the next target, you have to release and re-press the L button to get the next target. Ugh.

Anyway, I think a better analogy would be making a new 2-D game where you did a lot of VF/SF style fighting, but has some side-scrolling/platforming elements (in between fights you find power-ups and such). Then, you made it so you did all the moving with the right side buttons and all the fighting with the control stick and shoulder buttons. Then you cover for the bad control scheme by saying it’s not a 2D fighter but rather a 2D fighting adventure platformer. That’s an extreme example I suppose, but at least better describes my objections about the game.


I see this complaint about MP a lot, and I still don’t understand it. It did not have Half-Life controls because it didn’t need them. Metroid Prime is not a FPS.[/quote]

I know that Metroid Prime is not a FPS. It never felt like one to me. But it pissed the hell out of me to have to stand still to look up and down and aim at a fucking boss while having the shit pumeled out of me the whole time. Why couldn’t I move around while I was trying to aim at the boss? Why couldn’t the auto target pick up the boss so I didn’t have to manually aim? What a clumsy, sluggish control system. I felt like I had no control over my character to the point that I simply did not want to play the game anymore.

TRex, you’re a tool. Your empty, petty, aimless fanboi-ness for Metroid Prime makes me laugh. I won’t bother trying to debate the “repeat, only harder” game mechanic with you because I’m too busy figuring out how you type so well with your head in your ass.

You’re a retarded sack of shit. Fuck you.

Metroid Prime is an FPS, and any argument otherwise is just an attempt to evade the criticism that the game’s “Twister-for-fingers” control scheme sucks serious scrotum. It has to be the worst case of control overthink since FAKK 2, and that’s saying something.

It’s in first-person. You do a LOT of shooting – probably more shooting than you do in most FPS titles. The Thardus and Omega Pirate battles worked my thumb harder than even Halo when it came to shooting. Yes, there is a bit more of an exploration element than similar FPS titles, but there’s also a similar degree of differences between Serious Sam and NOLF, and you don’t hear anyone bitching about lumping both games in the FPS genre.

I hope MP2 introduces the option for standard FPS controls (right-stick look), and does away with the tedious and cumbersome visors/scanning element. Plot in a Nintendo action game is like platforming in Half-Life: what’s the freakin’ point?

The scanning was cool, but the writing could have been better. The control needs fixing badly. I’d also like to see them change the targeting so it automatically locks onto the next baddie after you’ve annhilated the current one. Constantly pressing the shoulder buttons sucked.

It’s no more an FPS than Diablo 2 is an RTS. Similar perspectives and/or control activities do not define genre, style of gameplay does. Metroid Prime is an adventure game from a first-person perspective, not a shooter.

I think my tolerance for “frustrating crap” is rather low… I really don’t see what people find fun about this game, Windwaker, or any of the Metroid or Castlevania games (except for some reason I rather enjoyed Symphony of the Night on PSX). I had this game and Windwaker when I bought my cube about six months ago and ended up selling them on Ars Agora. My girlfriend gave me Prince of Persia for X-Mas, and it’s pretty cool so far, but it’s frustrating enough to not really make me want to play it all the time.

Metroid Prime is an adventure game from a first-person perspective, not a shooter.

Explain how it isn’t, and explain how the game wouldn’t be improved significantly by offering a standard FPS (mouselook) style control scheme.

As for “gameplay” style, it’s a first-person game where you shoot shit up good with a variety of weapons, and the game’s challenge comes from the shooting components. Sure, there’s some platforming, but Half-Life and Tron 2.0 had that, too. Sure, there’s some third-person bits (the ball), but Jedi Knight and Jedi Academy had that. Sure, there’s some hub-based exploration, but hell, System Shock 2 had that. No-one is disputing the tag of “FPS” for those games, and Nintendo doesn’t get off the hook either, even if some folks want to try and gussy their product up with special labels (“Nintendo games are just that unique!”).

It’s an FPS inasmuch as the term “FPS” can include games like NOLF2, Tron 2.0, Jedi Knight, Half-Life, and System Shock 2.

I agree with Doug here. If you are in first person viewpoint and are shooting things most of the time, it’s a FPS… Next…

As someone who hasn’t played it, what makes Metroid Prime not an FPS? I’ve seen it played, and it looked pretty much exactly like an FPS does.

Also, Diablo 2’s lone flaw, IMO, is that it took the RTS control scheme. I much prefer Dark Alliance’s method. Having the same 2 mouse buttons be responsible for moving/attacking/skills means a lot of “Oh, shit, I wanted to cast fireball at that guy, not walk to right next to him”. I’d much prefer keyboard movement.