Last night I finished Metroid Prime with ten hours and three minutes on the clock and 77% of the game completed. It was one of the most rewarding experience I've ever had with a video game, taking its place alongside RPG's that are famous for their epic length and platforming games that defeat you every step of the way. Every new missile expansion, energy tank, and power up filled me with a sense of joy. I came to crave the music that was associated with each, and the beautiful animations that came along with them.
On that note, this game is beautiful. Back in 2002 this game was absolutely mind blowing. Today, it holds up as a crowning achievement in video game art styles and level design. I never felt like the game was challenging to the point of total frustration, but it was also never so easy that I could play it without worrying about error. This is thanks, in part, to the fantastic level design found throughout. It's obvious that Retro Studios were fans of the older Metroid games. This visual diversity couple with brilliant level design and an amazing soundtrack help to make Metroid Prime one the most immersive games ever made.
I remember reading that many fans were worried about the Metroid franchise when they heard it was headed to a three dimensional perspective. They didn't want Metroid to become a mindless fragfest along the lines of Unreal Tournament or Counterstrike. As I was playing, Metroid Prime felt more like an adventure game with a heavy focus on exploration. The combat elements were there, but they took a backseat to the enviroment.
I believe that this is what made it such a joy to play. What cemented it in my mind as a modern masterpiece. If you haven't taken the time to play Metroid Prime through to completion, and if you own it in your collection, I suggest that you play it immediately. You won't regret it. Unless you're Dyson.
Up next on my playlist I have Majora's Mask. Wish me luck!