I loved Metroid Prime 1. Loved the atmosphere and the idea that it really felt like you were in some futuristic armor.
Probably one of my top 5 favorite games. I've replayed that game more than any other game... ever. I think that says something (about me).
I remember when I first played it, it was back in the summer of 2004, just before my final year of college. I got an "EMERGENCY" position working in the cafeteria for the forest fire fighters (BLM), because Interior Alaska had so many fires, it was declared a state of emergency. So I was given this job, but I had to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, on my feet doing kitchen odd jobs. The pay was rediculously high for a summer job, and I was working 84 hours a week... I was racking it in. But I was ridiculously tired, sore, and worn out. I actually had to take a sick day because I had blisters so bad I couldn't walk. I had been playing Super Smash Bros. Melee for the past year back in school, and was dead set on buying a GameCube. I went to the store, bought a silver gamecube, Smash Bros, Metroid Prime, and bought them out of Wavebirds (had to come back the next week to get one more).
So imagine, I come home at 8pm after a brÃ¼tal day, I put this game on, and from the very first moment on Tallon V, I was hooked. There's just something so perfect about that game, I can't even think of any flaws. Every cavern and corridor just oozes with atmosphere and mood. It has just enough backtracking to keep the nostalgia going (wait... I remember this place!) but not get old. It gets creepier and creepier as it goes on, but it's really the only Metroid game to tackle creating beautiful, serene places too (Phandrana). The music is extraordinary and fresh, and it paves new ground while being absolutely truthful to it's roots.
There were some amazing moments in that game:
- Coming back to the Tallon Overworld, stepping to the lookout over the crashed frigate and going "Oh my god, that's huge and... different!" The overworld music has changed, and you know things are getting tense.
- Landing on Tallon Overworld and hearing the iconic metroid theme, but with very subtle beginnings so you bearily notice at first. You hear the roar of the ship and it's raining.
- Stepping out into Phendrana for the first time, a new kind of area never tackled by a metroid game before, the music is beautiful, the color scheme is different from anything you've encountered, and you're suddenly charged by an incredibly dangerous and menacing monster with huge jaws!
- diving down deeper and deeper into the Phazon Mines. It gets darker and darker, and creepier, and all that's left is the horrible chimes that the phazon creates. You've get the X-Ray scope and suddenly you realize that there are many things around you can't see (creepy!). And then you're faced with the Omega Pirate: a 100foot monster who can disappear and all you see is his nervous system!
Unfortunately, I think it was the last great Metroid game. Prime 2 was no more than an "echo" of it's predecessor that just lost all of the magic of the original. Prime 3 had some good parts, but the fact that there are other people around, and your mode of transit is a sterile space flight just killed the mood. I also HATE what they did to Metroid Prime. "Dark Samus", what a horribly cliche and uninteresting villain. They should have kept him a giant deranged monster. Also, and I think this is just the absolute catastrophe, is the complete lack of Chozo. The Chozo are as important to Metroid as Samus herself. They raised her, made her suit, spent their existence fighting metroids, space pirates, and lost. It gave the game an emotional connection, a sense of timelessness, and the series just hasn't been the same since.
Other M was beyond a total disaster, let's not even think about it.
I really hope someone steps up, someone who really knows and loves the series, and wants to push it forward while recapturing the essence of what made it so great. But after Other M, it might be a very long time.