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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Flake Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:51 pm

Exhuminator wrote:It's worth nothing that Echoes is the only console Prime that Nintendo really gave Retro full reign on. Nintendo realized their mistake after that, because Satoru Iwata himself actually co-directed Prime 3 to keep it on the rails. "Mark Pacini, you are NOT going to screw this one up."


I'm about 4 hours into Prime 3 and it really shows. I've never played all three prime games back to back before - it is a singularly insightful experience into game design.

Metroid Prime 1 is probably the least 'Metroid Prime' of the series. Other than the first person perspective, it could essentially be a fan made remake of Super Metroid. It almost completely lacks the puzzle aspect that became such a defining characteristic of the series that I forget sometime that it's not actually a part of the original game. There are puzzles to solve but they are entirely optional for people collecting all of the energy tanks or missiles. The 'puzzle' of the game is almost entirely in the exploration.

Metroid Prime 2 seems to have left behind completely the idea of a large, interconnected map in favor of something that feels much more like a hub world in an Western game. The emphasis on exploration is stripped down to just opening doors when you have the item and always moving either towards the center or to the edge. Combat is given more emphasis but the pacing of the game takes a huge blow because of the insistence that every room be a puzzle, and the level design...I feel like maybe they had a new map creator and that she/he had a very, very different view of how to make levels. Metroid Prime 2 is so much more claustrophobic than Metroid Prime 1 but it's not done well and the levels just feel frustrating and a chore to navigate. The game took me twice as long to beat than Metroid Prime 1 and I was following a guide the entire time!. How is that a thing??

Metroid Prime 3 is, within moments of starting the game, a refreshing experience that fixes all of the flaws of the 2nd game while still retaining the compelling story line and somehow ratcheting up the intensity. The stakes always feel high in every battle and although the game is a much more linear experience than even Metroid Prime 2, the designers actually took advantage of this to script all these amazing sequences to occur as you pass through areas that you'd already visited.

Case in point: On the second planet in the game, you visit an area that is being held by a space pirate boss. You beat him and gain access to the control room that he was guarding. You have to back track at this point to get another upgrade. When you return, the space pirates have actually set up an entire defense line and are waiting to ambush you - it made the process of backtracking not seem annoying because as soon as I relaxed - 'oh God, it's a whole army of Pirate Militia!!'

I don't know what happened with Echoes that didn't plague Prime and Prime 3 - I am glad I played through it because it had a really excellent story. But I'll just watch cutscenes on youtube in lieu of future playthroughs.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:58 pm

Metroid Prime 3 is boss. It only gets better, and the "lasso" is one of the most satisfying motion-controlled weapons in any game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Flake Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:05 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Metroid Prime 3 is boss. It only gets better, and the "lasso" is one of the most satisfying motion-controlled weapons in any game.


There is a flow to battle in Metroid Prime 3 that is addictive. In the course of a sequence I played through last night where I was assaulting a Pirate AA weapon:

- I leap 30 feet into a pit, surrounded by Pirates
- The world warps as I go into hypermode and strafe in an expanding circle, vaporizing 3 pirates
- Pirate Commandos join the fray, throw a phazon grenade, and put me into phazon overload-
- I unload the entire charge into their ranks and safely return to normal
- group of pirates with riot shields jumps down
- I grab the shield off one with my grapple and shoot an ice missile into his face that freezes him instantly
- his buddy throws another grenade. I dodge and shoot a charged blast at a fuel canister near by, turning them both into dust

This couldn't have been more than 10 seconds of gameplay. There are so many ways to deal with every situation and the developers had no problem throwing an entire army at you, confident that if you could win you would really feel immersed in the role of Samus Aran who is, by this point in the game's lore, a figure of terror for the entire Space Pirate race.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:06 pm

Flake wrote:I don't know what happened with Echoes that didn't plague Prime and Prime 3

Miyamoto played a heavy hand in the development of Prime. Iwata played an even heavier hand in the development of Prime 3. But Retro was left to their own devices with Prime 2. That's what happened best I can tell from researching it.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:09 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
Sarge wrote:Oh, and very yes to Mega Man 9. That's a modern day classic. It's tough enough to require you to use your subweapons, unlike some of the post-Buster games, and the level design is inspired stuff. MM10 is just okay compared to it.


Yes. The sub-weapons were critical, and I definitely had to break out a few E-Tanks to take down Dr. Wily. There were also some times were I really, really wisehed I had the Mega Buster, the Rush-Marine, the slide, and all of the other mechanics that made the later NES games so much easier. :lol:

I am also looking forward to 10, but I know to keep my expectations in check a little bit.


I actually beat all bosses in MM9 the first time through using only the base gun, but those levels...I knew the instant you guys started talking about it that those beams were going to show up. I also used concrete shot, but it was a brutal slog.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sarge Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:14 pm

I probably had to use the Arm Cannon for at least half the bosses the first go, I chose a really, really non-optimal route. Not using a guide will do that. ;)
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:44 pm

I should probably play one of these newer Mega Man games.

My childhood memories are a bit fuzzy, but I think the only Mega Man games I've ever beaten are 2 and, uh, II.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:06 pm

Well Ack, you pretty much summed up what makes Earthbound awesome and what places it could be improved. The only thing I'll point out is the Healing PSI does say what statuses it cures. And most of the statuses, to me, seemed to be fairly self explanatory, especially when their effects kicked in.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:11 pm

Cograts on finish Earthbound Ack, I missed that apparently.

If one were to go play Earthbound, would one be better off playing the officially localized version, or one of the fanhacks that are supposed to remove censoring?
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:18 pm

I'm ok with the censored Western versions. They often have their own level of quirkiness that more accurately reflects our culture. Woolsey's work for Square, for instance, has a whole other level of charm not found in more accurate translations. But if you're really curious, try the US one first and then play a Japanese version.

MrPopo wrote:Well Ack, you pretty much summed up what makes Earthbound awesome and what places it could be improved. The only thing I'll point out is the Healing PSI does say what statuses it cures. And most of the statuses, to me, seemed to be fairly self explanatory, especially when their effects kicked in.


I suppose. I guess I'm just particularly irked by possession, and that some of them were so rare that I never really saw what they were. Like diamondized, which is apparently a death-like state, but I couldn't tell you what else it does if anything.
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