Hey Blaze, ever play Prototype? How about Metroid? What's your opinion on it?
That’s sort of a weird combination of franchises to ask me about.
No, I have not played Prototype. I do want to, but [$$$]. I do, however, own the predecessor to Prototype - Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Same developer, a lot of the same concepts; one could say that Prototype was basically Hulk: UD2, minus the licensed character. Ultimate Destruction is a very, very fun game, but the difficulty ramps up FAST and pretty soon you can’t freely explore the game world anymore because you’re constantly being harassed by the military. Unfortunately, exploration is usually my favorite part of any game, and with the level of mobility you’ve got in a game like Hulk it’s super annoying when you’re constantly having to fight robots when all you wanna do is jump around and run around on some buildings and not be bothered.
I’ve always thought about Sonic games being more about mobility, and I think the Sonic franchise has a lot to learn from games like Hulk and Prototype.
Of course I’ve played Metroid! I haven’t finished all of them, but I have played most of the franchise. The only ones I haven’t played are Prime 3 and Other-M.
Metroid’s pretty cool, I guess. By the time I played Super Metroid it was long past the point where its legacy has overshadowed any emotional resonance I get from the game, so it’s been kind of hard for me to “get in to”. Sort of like meeting a celebrity and being sort of starstruck - you aren’t seeing them for a person because you’re too busy being blinded by the stagelight. I can’t remember if I ever beat it or not, but I know I got close to Mother Brain.
Unfortunately, I think Metroid’s a bit out of style right now. The biggest complaints I can remember about the Prime games is that there was too much backtracking - an opinion I always found offensive, because the entire point of Metroid is backtracking. It is visiting familiar areas with new abilities and digging just a little bit deeper in to them. If you don’t like backtracking, then don’t play Metroid. Yet, people do, and they whine about having to go back to old areas.
I think efforts made to “update” Metroid have been pretty awful, too. The idea of having cutscenes and dialog in a Metroid game is something I really do not like, especially when you start having Samus herself talk. Metroid was always this weird world where you’re supposed to believe this is a “Space Pirate”.
Like, really stop and think about what that implies. That horrible bug monster up there with serrated knives for hands has a language and a society and cognitive thought. It can pilot a space ship. It takes orders from this thing:
A giant space dragon that is nearly three times its own size. They communicate with each other. They can have dialog. Even though the only noises they ever make are terrifying monster screeches, you discover computer terminals in Metroid Prime that were presumably written by these creatures. Internal memos about how they’re going to experiment on Metroids, or revive Mother Brain, or rule the galaxy, in regular human english. But these are not humanized creatures. Isn’t that weird, in kind of a cool way?
I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I guess what I’m getting at is I don’t want cutscenes and dialog in a Metroid game. Finding memos and computer readouts after the fact in Metroid Prime was cool; but delving deeper in to Samus’ role as a bounty hunter and showing me other “hunters” is not something I have any interest in. Nor do I have any interest in Samus’ own dull internal monologue droning over every single cutscene endlessly.
Metroid is a game about backtracking to old areas with new gear, where you are all alone in the vast emptiness of space, and the monsters are still monsters even though they are totally self-aware thinking beings. Those are the core tenants of that franchise; change anything else about it, but leave those alone, and I’ll be fine.