Reviews// Metroid Prime 2 Echoes

Love, hate and a packet of cigarettes

Posted 25 Nov 2004 17:23 by
Rather shamefully, this particular reviewer is a newcomer to Metroid's Prime mutations and the very seriously considered hype generated by very serious games journalists had previously gone a little over my head. But having chugged through Metroid Prime 2, it's all becoming clear. The first point to make is that if you were a big fan of the last game, you?ll love this to pieces; and that if you weren?t, you won?t. If you don?t know of the game?s intricacies at all, however, that?s where playing MP2 may prove an eye-opening experience.

Acquainting oneself to MP2 is a process remarkably similar to the effects of smoking cigarettes. A ridiculous analogy, yes, but it's still holds true under scrutiny (sort of). Your friends will tell you how cool it is and how they love it; and so, eventually, you try it. And you hate it. You don't really understand what you're supposed to be doing and it leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth. But, in an effort to keep up appearances, you take it upon yourself to try it out again a bit more thoroughly.

Then it hits you, a rush to the head as you work out how to make it all work properly for the first time. This is cool after all. It looks really sophisticated and is profoundly satisfying. Then you're hooked and all the while you need increasing amounts of Metroideine in your system. But as you get to the stiffer more oblique conundrums, you can't get that fix because you don't really understand what the hell it is you're supposed to be doing. You begin to resent it and want to finish with it. But you can't. There you are craving until frustration of the most extreme kind kicks you in the head and makes you want to cry. And so you do.

But away from absurdly extended metaphors and back to the game. It's clearly a masterpiece, just like its blueprint predecessor, but it can be a cruel beast. It has the power to test your patience far more than any other game that you might actually want to play. With a distinct focus on exploring your alien environment, there's plenty of running around and getting a bit lost to be done. That can get quite tedious, especially if it ends in a situation which blocks your progress, be it an unsolved puzzle or fiendish trial' n' error boss thing.
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Ditto 26 Nov 2004 11:21
Another cracking review Spong!

Just a couple of points:
* If you scan by holding down L and then keep the button held down while pressing A you can read the text on-screen without going into the menu. Much easier. The scanning is a way for making you explore rather than being spoon-fed all the information needed to complete the game - important in making an in-depth game.
* The controls are amazing. I love Metroid Prime's controls. Having spent far too long playing 2D games I just cannot use the controls of most FPS - they're beyond me. Metorid's controls are perfect for the exploration theme of the game and are easy to pick up and use. My main worry for Prime 2 was that Retro would remove the amazing control scheme. It plays like the 2D version.

Otherwise an excellent review which will hopefully convince people to try one of the best two games of the current generation.
bunny goes squish 26 Nov 2004 15:50
Excellent review, especially the analogy to cigarettes - absolutely spot on.
I myself had a copy of the first Metroid Prime sitting at the bottom of my stack of games, barely played for a long long time wondering why the hell it was so highly rated. Sure it looked pretty but so much of it was extremely frustrating. I'd start the game, get so far in, get frustrated/bored of it and not touch it for ages. A couple of months later, I'd try to get into it again, load up an old save file, realise I'd forgotton where I was upto or what I was doing, get annoyed again and leave it for another week. It'd then tempt me back once more, i'd restart, play it again but get that bit further.
It wasn't till the third time around the above cycle, that I actually properly got into MP, understood what it is all about and completed it.
All its elements fit together perfectly and it's only when you begin to look at them as a whole, rather than individual bits, that you truly succumb to its' wonder. The first is one of the most perfectly formed games I've ever played and I cannot wait to get my hands on this sequel.
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Ditto 26 Nov 2004 18:04
Having played this game a bit more throughly now, I think that it's good but not as good as the first one.

I miss the old scan visor with small coloured blocks rather than ugly lumps and your comment about the absurd menu system that becomes very irritating very quickly is spot on. It also sets itself to multiplayer at the beginning when most peope will want single.

I get the feeling less care was taken in this game's production that the previous game. The storyline at the start doesn't hold together, and I don't have the same sense of wonder as I got in the first. There's also less scan text.

But still good - a tad disappointed though.
Ditto 30 Nov 2004 08:56
Ahh! I've got it - sorry about making another post.

When you scan something that is "sent to the log book" you don't need to go through the annyoing menus. Simply press Start.

Above the text it kinda flashes "press START to go to the logbook" - press Start and it takes you directly there.

I must admit, it took me a while to get that!
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