1up's recent Prime vs. Fusion article got me reminiscing. I'll never understand why some people dislike Echoes relative to other titles, or think its "good but not in the same league" as the other two Prime games. Nobody ever seems to give any major reason other than "the difficulty". I never thought it was frustrating or tedious any more than other Metroid games can get, which I guess all depends on the player's ability to lightbulb and solve stuff. Is increased difficulty and a daring sense of vulnerability (a la Majora's Mask) a bad thing in this regard? For me, I remember mostly the amazing art, environmental creativity, the intense-as-ever fights, harder yet rewarding puzzles, and sick music. I'm not trying to change anyone's opinions or forcefully persuade (it's been 8 years after all), but I'm still curious. I'd like to hear more opinions about this title, or memories good/bad.
I felt it dared to be just different enough from Prime 1, and it didn't feel the need to revive the annoyingly frequent MotherBrain/Ridley blah blah fan-service stuff that Prime 3 and Other M later did for the billionth time. Being the hardest Prime puzzle/combat wise, it was also the most rewarding, it definitely expected you to be 2 years smarter since your last run with the original Prime. That's why Prime 3 didn't blow me away or impress me as much, it was on a much easier level (similar to Twilight Princess for Zelda). Couple that with easier aiming and a return to the "1 beam does all" mechanic, and Corruption felt like going through the motions at times. I'm not going to try to blame the "draw in more wii audience" on this one, but in the future I'd like Metroid games to not shy away from trying to kick Samus' ass in both action and adventure skills. If she's visiting alien planets she's unfamiliar with, there's nothing wrong with a feeling of newfound danger to go along with that loneliness. If anything, it motivated me more to find those hidden powerups, and get a better ending. Maybe it was all those powerups I got that prevented me from having overly frustrating times with the battles? It's possible the rest of the world went through the game with minimal energy tanks and ammo expansions.
This IGN review from an older editor pretty much sums up how I feel about the game. It's the little details that make the Prime series taken for granted these days. From the very quiet, subtle, yet clever return of "Brinstar Red Soil" music (my favorite Metroid theme) to the satisfying Missile/Beam hybrid weapons that you can obtain, Prime 2 was Retro at their most confident. It's right behind Prime 1 in my top 30 favorite videogames.
Happy 10th Birthday to the Prime series of Metroid games (well, 10 years ago since Nov. 17th)