Metroid Prime 2, A Dual Perspective Feature - The Next Level

Metroid Prime 2, A Dual Perspective

Our uncanny hands-on demo disc report.

Article by Chris Bahn (Email)
September 23rd 2004, 05:00PM
 



So I was sitting down last week, thinking about how to document my experience with the Metroid Prime 2: Bonus Disc. For me, it’s a pretty big deal, especially since it’s a common fact most impressions tend to go off with streams of hyperbole before you end up realizing that the person actually enjoys the game. That’s when I got the idea to work with the duality theme featured in the upcoming sequel. The following is a live conversation between two folks I’ve recently met, who bear no resemblance to me in reality. Let’s listen in. . .

ShadowBahn: Is he done babbling yet? He takes forever to say anything.

Bahn: It’s just a courtesy you know, to introduce our feature.

ShadowBahn: Whatever. So what did you bug Nintendo for this time?

Bahn: Actually I didn’t say anything. One of the folks from Golin Harris was nice enough to send me a copy of the bonus disc. That saved me the trouble of having to trade in my old system.

ShadowBahn: Bah. You should’ve ditched your old system. I can’t stand fruity colors. Indigo is ugly, and it clashes with the entertainment unit. That’s why none of your friends come over anymore, you’ve got no sense of style.

Bahn: Hey, at least my system isn’t orange. Didn't you import that? Importing is illegal.

ShadowBahn: (looks around). Don’t we have something more important to be talking about?

Bahn: Yes. Quite right. Let’s break down our thoughts on the new Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc.

ShadowBahn: Ya know, it shouldn’t be called a "bonus disc". That’s misleading, it’s a freaking teaser for gamers that are too impatient to wait until November. And I thought those Halo 2 fanatics were bad.

Bahn: Riiiight. You’re just bitter because you missed out on experiencing the multiplayer mode featured at the E3 Nintendo booth. Anyways, I really enjoyed the presentation. It features a variety of goodies, including a chronicle of the entire Metroid saga beginning with Metroid Prime to the recent 2D GBA adventure, Metroid: Zero Mission. There's also a nice collection of artwork featuring a variety of Samus conceptual and 3D-based images. And I thought the standard trailer was decent, I was hoping they’d introduce one of the new tracks from the sequel, but instead they just took one from the original.

ShadowBahn: Goodies? Who uses that that word anymore? But yes, the features are a great touch. I especially like that footage of the Galactic Federation getting owned by the Space Pirates.

Bahn: Um, how do you know they were killed by Space Pirates?

ShadowBahn: I read the script.

Bahn: Sure you did. According to the press release, Samus is sent to the investigate the whereabouts of the Federation soldiers whose last known coordinates leads her to a planet named Aether. Upon descending into the planet’s atmosphere, her ship is struck by an electrical storm, forcing her to make an emergency landing. I am so happy she made it safely.

ShadowBahn: Hah! Owned by an electric storm.

Bahn: You know, the game doesn’t look all that different from the original. Guess if it ain't broke, then...

ShadowBahn: For once, I have to agree with you. Maybe Retro Studios figured nobody would notice. Like the way Capcom has put out so many Mega Man Battle Network titles. It’s the same thing all the time, Lan never does his homework.

Bahn: Well, I did discover a few cosmetic changes made to the suit. It actually looks pretty slick - I love the new look they’ve given Samus.

ShadowBahn: That’s all you ever think about, aesthetics. Personally, I am in awe with the new firepower she’s packin’.

Bahn: Yes, they’re among some of the new weapons Samus is equipped with at the start of the game. The Light Beam can cause massive damage against enemies in the dark world. It's partnered with the Dark Beam, which achieves a similar effect on light world foes. Reminds me of Ikaruga.

ShadowBahn: I hate that game, it's too damn hard. Shigeru should’ve designed it, and it would be replete with things like mushrooms and 1-Up’s.

Bahn: (Trying to ignore Shadow) One thing we should note for the readers is that these weapons can’t be used indefinitely. You need to stock up on ammo, which I depleted pretty often when I was in the Dark World of Aether. I also read that a normal shot of the Dark Beam can slow down enemies, while a charged shot will temporarily immobilize them. Odd, I don’t recall being able to do that when I played.

ShadowBahn: Erm, that’s why they call it a demo. You can experiment all you like when the full version comes out in November. What I am excited to know more about is that oft-discussed fourth beam. Maybe you’ll be able to combine the beams, but Retro Studios isn’t talking. I hate secrets...I hate them a lot.

Bahn: The good thing is that this isn’t the only set of features Samus will have at her disposal. Reports say that she’ll have a bunch of new bombs, missile and suit upgrades. What she really needs is some sort of cloak to even the odds against the number of forces she’s up against.

ShadowBahn: Are you kidding? That’s the last thing she needs. No one wants to play "Metal Gear Samus", even though I’ll admit that those new enemies like the Ing Horde look as if they’re going to leave me cursing up a storm. And I didn’t care for those Warrior Ing’s either; they have the ability to turn their bodies into deadly projectiles empowered with Dark Energy. They’re basically like a living weapon.

Bahn: Yes, I recall having a tough time with them as well shortly after entering that portal created by the Pirates. They also have the ability to create small portals and focus intense beams of light at the player.

ShadowBahn: None of these evil forces can hold a candle to Dark Samus though, featured in the Preview footage on the main menu of the disc. I hope to use her in the multiplayer mode.

Bahn: That remains to be seen, but anything’s possible. The multiplayer mode should be a great treat for fans, I just hope they’ll be able to get the frame rate up to par.

ShadowBahn: For real, I thought the television was giving out on me, but then I figured out that the demo was the culprit. Choppy frame rate isn’t appreciated.

Bahn: Honestly Shadow, I wonder if you ever appreciate anything Nintendo does for us. Did you know new customers looking to pick up the GameCube can get this disc for free? And it priced at the same SRP ($99.99) as the core system.

ShadowBahn: Very nice, but that’s not really practical for people like me who y’know - already own a GameCube.

Bahn: Well, in that case, persons can visit Nintendo.com, register their systems and/or a series of eligible game titles and receive a free copy in the mail.

ShadowBahn: Wouldn’t it be just easier if they simply got a subscription to Nintendo Power? Besides, more gamers don’t do enough reading these days; always sticking their face in front of a screen. Kind of like right now (stares at the audience).

Bahn: You know, I’ve just realized that we’ve pretty much covered everything about the demo, and we’re just about out of time.

ShadowBahn: Yes, we’ve talked about this somewhat extensively for awhile now, which I can honestly say lasted much longer than the overall time it took me to go through the disc.

Bahn: To put things in perspective, it gives you something to look forward to. Personally, I think it’s an exceptionally awesome teaser. Like a well-crafted trailer you’d see in the theatres that tingles the senses just enough that it will motivate you to discover what’s to come. I wholly recommend the disc to every Metroid fan out there to hold them over until November 15.

ShadowBahn: (raises eyebrow) Were you just now sucking up, to Nintendo?? Have you no dignity?

Bahn: (thinks) Well, now that you’ve mentioned it. I’d like to give a special thanks to Cory Lewis of Golin Harris for the opportunity to evaluate this disc. Cory, if you’re reading this -- I am really looking forward to the game when it comes out.

ShadowBahn: If my Power Glove still worked, I would hurt you. This is the last time I volunteer to sit in a mini-roundtable with you again.

Bahn: You’ll forget about it by tomorrow, besides, I’ll need someone to help me with the multiplayer aspect of the game when it ships in November.

ShadowBahn: I suggest you ask Cory if he minds if it’s ok to think about Halo 2 until then. . .


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