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I finally finished this game after playing it on and off for a while. I still stand by what I said in the "games that defied your expectations" thread. I like the densely packed Zelda dungeon-like design of the three main areas and how new items make revisiting old rooms rewarding thanks to better level design that stands up to being approached from multiple angles multiple times.
Towards the middle of the third area I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed. Between keeping mental checklists for both the dark and light world, managing ammo, and keeping track of where you need to go once you find anew powerup, this game can be mentally tiring. That's not a bad thing, but the game can drain you. But in a way, that's also what makes overcoming Prime 2's challenges rewarding. It truly feels like I've overcome an obstacle by the time I finished an area and returned power to the light world.
By the last third of the final area I was leaning a fair bit on a guide. By the time I had to find the sky keys I was following the guide very closely. Like with Prime's endgame, having to run all over the place for random collectables isn't very enjoyable. It was less laborious here since moving around the world is a smoother process. It still shouldn't be there (or at least not to this extent), but it at least is more tolerable.
The only thing I'm really complaining about here is the sky key hunt. I don't have a problem with this game being mentally taxing towards its later half. You just have to go in with the right mindset and take breaks when necessary.
All in all, I'm positive on Metroid Prime 2. It really caught me by surprise. With the success of Metroid Prime, Retro Studios could have followed it up with more of the same. Instead, they decided to try new things and expand on the foundation they had built while incorporating the lessons they learned from the original. These new things didn't work for a lot of people, but they certainly did for me.
I mean intellectually I can understand why a lot of people despise them, but I rather enjoyed it. Working out that A) the lore descriptions on each key referred to specific rooms, B) working out exactly which rooms and then C) actually locating the key in said rooms was (to me) a fun little scavenger hunt puzzle.
Yet near everyone else finds them groan worthy. I'm weird sometimes.
@Hero_of_Aether Congratulations! I've started that game twice but always bail at the Sanctuary Fortress through sheer exhaustion. I'm having a great time until about 90 mins into the Bog and then it's werk, yo. Just reading how you felt about the final third is enough to convince me that I likely wouldn't see it through anyway. Although I don't remember hating the endgame of Prime, was the world more compact maybe? Ah well, Dark World stresses the heck outta me. So there's that. Well done, mate.
Although almost nothing matches the first Prime for me, I thought this was a pretty great follow-up, and it was better than Prime in a few ways (mini-boss fights, puzzles, etc.) I even enjoyed it more than Prime 3 despite the fact that the consensus seems to be that 3 was a better game.
I do think they made a few key decisions that held the game back a bit though. Ammo for missiles in a Metroid is fine, ammo for your other guns... meh. And the continually decreasing health in the dark world thing sounded cool on paper, but it ended up just becoming a game of scoping the land, finding the next light, and getting to it... to often sit there and wait for your health to slowlyyyyyyyy crawl back up to full. (A huge pet peeve of mine is anything in a game that you can easily refill health doing but it takes a lot of time... like, either let people refill health or not, don't make say here you can refill health but them waste a lot of time to do it.)
Still, love it. One of my favorite Gamecube games. Like the other two Prime games, I played through it on both normal and hard mode. One day I'll replay the whole trilogy.
I remember loving this game from the first minute to the last, I was mesmerized for weeks and it's all I though about.
But, it was so long, so complex, that after beating it once I've never had the desire to go back and play it again, and probably never will. When I get nostalgic for Prime I'd rather play 1 (on CGN), it's just a much better paced adventure, and it has the best atmosphere in the series.
@Zero Not sure, but it felt longer... I didn't' really keep track but if I had to guesstimate I'd say Metroid Prime took me about 15-20 hours and 2 took more like 25 or 30. Either it just took me longer or it *seemed* that way at the time due to how it was paced.
Towards the middle of the third area I was starting to get a bit overwhelmed. Between keeping mental checklists for both the dark and light world ... this game can be mentally tiring. That's not a bad thing, but the game can drain you.
Gosh, thats a huge understatement, at least in my experience. I don't even remember how I managed to beat it. And SEARCHING for invisible things later on? YIIIIIIKES.
Curious to see how long they took me, I remember making entries on here.. Metroid Prime 235:28; 5 and a 1/2 years Metroid Prime 320:12; nearly 4 years
It's a beefy, intimidating game that feels rewarding to conquer. But like the toxic atmosphere of Dark Aether, the game is so imposing that I rarely feel like going through it again. Even so, quite good on its own merits and a worthy chapter in one of gaming's greatest trilogies. I think I ranked it a high 8 or so, while 3 would be a low 9 and 1 would be a mid/high 9.
I think my playtime for Prime 2 was very close to the originally, but it certainly felt longer. If I had insisted on finishing out the game without a guide, it definitely would have lasted longer than the first prime, but I would have also enjoyed it less. I think it felt like it took longer because this game required more energy and focus.
Thanks! If this game stresses you out then I wouldn't advise playing it again. For me, it was the good kind of stress where you feel like you're overcome something by finishing it but it isn't unpleasant in the moment either. Kind of like playing Pikmin for the first time.
I never ran out of ammo or had to wait for my health to refill in the safe zones. They both acted as motivators to keep track of my resources. In the dark world, you're stuck in this dark and twisted version of a familiar landscape where it constantly feels like you're running out of something. It does a good job of putting you into the mindset of Samus, where you don't want to stay there too long because just standing in the wrong place or fighting enemies is sapping away your chances of making it out alive. I think that's why this game can be tiring to play; you're constantly trying to make sure you don't run out of something.
Fortunately for me, those mechanics made me feel that way without hampering my experience due to the need to refill ammo or life. If I ever did reach a point where I had to sit still for 15 minutes or scour for ammo before I could move on, then I might not be as positive about the whole thing as I am. But as I was able to experience it, the mere threat of running out of ammo or health was enough to elevate my experience of Prime 2.
I was thinking of taking a break from Metroid before closing out my marathon with Prime 3, but the more I think about it the more I want to dive into Prime 3 now. I thought I'd be burnt out on the prime series by this point, but I took a week or so off from playing Prime 2 right at the end, only to finish it in 2 quick sessions once I came back.
So it looks like the conclusion is coming sooner than I thought. Next stop, Prime 3!