If you follow me over on United We Game (and here’s your chance if you aren’t), it’s possible that you caught the vow I made over there last summer to complete Metroid Prime. If you didn’t, well…in late June 2014, I vowed to beat Metroid Prime. There ya go. At the time I had determined that it had been far too long since I faced that singular game loved by many that brought out the worst in me so many years ago. So, putting my nose to the proverbial grindstone, I picked up the Metroid Prime trilogy, dug out and hooked up our Gamecube (had to do it right, y’know), popped in Metroid Prime (my god, how beautiful it was to play a game without updates and load times), and I set off with Samus and her adventures on the planet Tallon IV.
And things were…good. Really good. I beat bosses, saved the game every chance I could, and had a decent time exploring. I fell in love with the music of the Phenandra Drifts, was only mildly annoyed by the fact that I could never remember the difference between the thermal visor and the X-ray visor, and made off pretty well with my collection of energy tanks and missiles. In the end, I faced off with the final boss, the actual Metroid Prime, and I lost. I lost to it a bunch of times. And eventually I lost to it so much that my interest in beating the game completely fizzled out. I felt accomplished enough to be able to call the game “done, if not beaten.” There’s not much more to dwell on, and you can follow my experience in these posts on UWG:
I bring up all this here not because I have anything else to say about the game itself, but because something about the experience has bothered me ever since I called it quits a couple months back. It’s personal and silly, but it bothers me that I didn’t enjoy the game as much as I thought I would. Like, somewhere in the back of my mind I held that once I completed Metroid Prime, surely it’d hold a top spot among my favorite games. The final battle with Prime notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure I rank it in the middle, and the lower middle at that. Over the years, I suppose I had seen and stored away enough positivity about Metroid Prime — even its Google search results exude almost nothing but glowing praise — that I just figured we’d hit it off. I like the Metroid universe, I like Samus, I like exploring and finding treasure and shooting things. What I didn’t like, simply, was all that as rolled into Metroid Prime.
Maybe it was because, to a certain extent, I forced myself to play.
Maybe it was because I’d grown apart from first-person perspective games.
Maybe it was because playing it brought back a number of stressful memories, not just of the game itself, but of the time around when I first played it back in 2002.
I can’t say for certain. All I know is that because I’m harboring these notions, I can’t bring myself to play the second and third games in the trilogy, and worse, I just don’t want to. At least right now.
But I did take away one big idea from Metroid Prime: when it comes to us and the games we love, it’s all subjective. There will always be people who will argue to their graves that this game or that game is the GREATEST GAME IN THE HISTORY OF DAMN NEAR EVERYTHING. (Hell, that’s how it is with me and Super Metroid.) While through writing or word-of-mouth we each may be able to convince friends and/or strangers to try games that we love, there’s not much we can individually do about it if their experiences turn sour. And there’s little reason to take anything like that personally. If you like a game, that’s awesome, and you have the freedom to tell everyone about it. If other people don’t, that doesn’t somehow stain your ego.
When it comes to Metroid Prime, however, part of me really wishes that I could see what of it people adore so much. It’s not something that keeps me up at night, but what did I miss? What about this game has relegated it so fondly to the memories of others? Did I just miss out on the initial zeitgeist?? Why don’t I care enough about Samus? Because I do, I DO CARE!
(At least, I think I do.)
Tell me people, WHAT MAKES US LOVE THE GAMES THAT WE LOVE??!!??
(Okay, that might keep me up tonight.)
(Sorry for all the yelling, I know it’s late, but I’m so confused…and tired…and I wanna play Super Metroid now…)