Thursday, August 1, 2013

August of Games: Day One - Metroid Prime

Phendrana Drifts remains one of my favorite game locales, and the song has a lot to do with that.

Summer. Traditionally a season opened with the excitement of E3 (or at least it's supposed to be exciting - this year it was at least! Even if all the excitement was at Microsoft's expense), and then characterized by a distinct drought of games releases. It's not empty of games, especially as the console generation winds down and everyone wants to get their games out before the PS4 comes out for the holiday and overshadows everything (okay yeah the Xbox One releases too but does anyone care at this point?). It's still pretty dry though. Of course I'll talk about things as they show up (and then not buy them because my money goes elsewhere) but that's not the main theme of this month! The daily event for this month is going to be about games that already came out that I want to praise and talk about without writing big review posts!
Every day I will feature one game, discussing, without going off the deep end of analysis, the pros and cons of the game and why you should totally play it. I'll be featuring some of my favorite stuff, but it won't be in any particular order. There is a caveat, however! I'm pretty into the indie video game scene, and I think that a lot of those games could use the extra exposure, and you readers coud use some games that maybe you haven't heard of before. For those purposes, I've reserved Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays for indie titles.
31 days. 31 games. 18 mainstream, 13 from the independent world, all high quality affairs.
This isn't Songaday at its heart. However, my standard habit of posting a song at the top of every post and posting daily means that this will have the same outcome: 31 songs, without overlapping sources. I'm not elaborating on them though, and not adding links. Sunday Songs is still on track to happen every week.

Metroid Prime
Developer: Retro Studios (Nintendo)
Genre (Setting): Science Fiction (Futuristic)
Genre (Gameplay): First Person Shooter, heavy Adventure elements
What is this game: This is a game where you play as a lady in a robosuit and investigate a space pirate facility and a meteor that is spreading horrible radiation and mutation all over the planet. You shoot things with a variety of beams and look around with a variety of visors and do a lot of exploring. There's Samus and Space Pirates and Ridley and metroids and chozo and a lot of lore and reading if you want to learn lots of things and be immersed in the world.
What's great about it: The shooter stuff is pretty decent, though why they didn't use the second analog stick for looking around is beyond me. The lock-on is good, the exploration is interesting, the art design is incredible and makes the outdated-by-now graphics still look really really nice. The music is great, and as a guy who's a HUGE sucker for lore-heavy sci-fi, the enormous Logbook is, like, the best thing ever. It was good enough to inspire me to name my blog for it. The story is extremely loose if you don't scan stuff, but leads well into the events of the other two games in the Metroid Prime series. The game is even better in retrospect now that we've seen the third, as it shows the foreshadowing and planning that went into the series.
Metroid Prime Trilogy improved it further by taking the somewhat iffy aiming mechanic and twisting it into a much more natural light-gun style mechanic for the Wii. Trilogy is pretty much the best thing ever and it is currently tied in the top spot as my Favorite Game.
Oh, and the soundtrack is pitch-perfect in the first, and still excellent in the follow-ups.
How do I get it: On the Gamecube? Well, it was Player's Choice so it was just $20 for a long time. Finding a new Gamecube copy could be pretty tough now if not impossible. However, a used copy is probably quite cheap, if you don't mind a weirder control scheme.
On the Wii you can buy Metroid Prime Trilogy, with all three games on one disc with the new control scheme from 3. It's fantastic. It does, however, seem to be out of print, which means that a lot of the time it gets sold for LOTS. It has the advantage of being playable on the Wii U still, since Gamecube discs aren't compatible. If we're very, very lucky, maybe they'll start putting Gamecube games on the Virtual Console and put this up. And as Nintendo has been discovering with Wind Waker HD, converting games to HD can be HARD (if you actually put work into it like they tend to), so I kinda doubt they'll be up for a real update anytime soon.

Seeya tomorrow!
End Recording,

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