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What is the last game you beat? Thoughts/impressions?

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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (as part of Trilogy):

It took me months to finish Prime 2 and years on and off to complete Metroid Prime 1. I enjoyed 3 so much i finished it with 100% in a week. Time on "mission complete" screen was 18:54.

I never finished previous Prime games with 100% before because until this game they didn't show items on a map. UI in general, is improved across the board -- no more weird planetoid menu items, scanning is more smooth, you can also select and deselect individual rooms on a map as bookmarking of sorts.

Level design feels like it took all the best elements from previous games. Skytown is like a better version of Sanctuary Fortress from 2, Valhalla is a great spin on Metroid/Alien staple "spooky crashed ship". Bryyo is a very good Metroid Prime 1-style dungeon with fantastic lore to tell, and Skytown's lore about Elysians was pretty interesting too.

The art-design is a strong comeback after moody and weird Echoes' style that just didn't gel with me. None of the suits look as ugly as Dark Suit and environments are more varied. I remember saying "wow" when entering Skytown and Valhalla for the first time.

Game has many great memorable moments: initial exploration on Valhalla felt like something straight from "Event Horizon" or similar horror sci-fi flick, when you see soldiers' bodies turning to dust for the first time. Skytown is a beautiful level by itself but also has funny old 50s movie robots clumsily walking around. Destroying them is somehow comedic too whether you're just exploding them or melting them. Warping to Ice part of Bryyo for the first time and music adding a hint of Phendrana Drift was a magical moment.

I am playing this as a part of Trilogy so change in controls went smooth because i only played these games with Wii pointer controls. Occasional motion controls to extract batteries and open doors are slightly cumbersome but not that bad and relatively unobtrusive. The only motion you have to do in combat is pulling motion with grapple hook and it works fine.

More important change in controls is removal of beam selection -- now all beams stack, upgrading beam weapon as you progress through the game. + button on wiimote now controls hypermode and you have to hold it to activate. Because - and + buttons are operated differently i no longer confused visor and beam button. Hypermode is a combat enhancer like Devil Trigger and it is just fun to activate it and go ham on enemies.

Beginning of the game is heavy on Galactic Federation game. When starting the game i got the impression Metroid "went mainstream" imitating more popular military shooters like Halo and Call of Duty where you are part of a big army effort, but that is over pretty quickly and after that game becomes usual Metroid style exploring abandoned worlds alone. I am guessing Retro didn't want to "reduce" Samus in her own game so Galactic federation are kinda useless -- half of the campaign is you saving and babysitting them and in the final battle cutscene there is zero point of them even being there because you still do everything. There is only one part where you actually work as part of a squad with them and that does feel like a small Call of Duty campaign but it only takes 10 minutes.

The more proactive characters are other bounty hunters. Their introduction feels like beginning of Metal Gear Solid game where new characters and their abilities are established so you know who you will later be facing as bosses. Bounty hunters were okay, they could have done even more with their characterisation but what is there is pretty good -- ending cutscene where Samus reminisces about them is nice.

In the beginning, unlocks are paced in a linear, rigid formula: you land in an area A and then go as deep as you can until you're blocked. Then you're told to go to another area B, get the unlock there and come back to area A. It all feels like you're constantly walking back and forth the same rooms. Game makes sure to compensate this adding slightly different combat and story scenarios on returning trips but it doesn't mask backtracking in the beginning.

Sometime after i reached Skytown game structure opens up and i was more free to expore and collect items on several different planets at the same time. Valhalla also opens around the same time and it is this game version of final artifact hunt. You need to collect 12 batteries that will be used as keys to go deeper into Valhalla until you reach final room that unlocks end game. Batteries are spread out more evenly and you get most of them just by playing the game. I only had to get out of my way to find 2 of them -- 1 was just lying there in docking bay of Valhalla and i just never noticed it until i actively started looking for them. The other was in Bryyo and it probably the only tricky battery. It required my ship to place some part in top of a structure. I had no idea what part exactly game was asking me to get -- so i just went over all rooms in that part of Bryyo with Command Visor turn on look for the part. Only took me 5 minutes -- i actually spent more time trying to think about it logically and failing.

Each planet is divided into smaller parts accessed by ship. Ship acts as fast travel system and gains other upgrades throughout the game. Apparently you could even use it to bomb enemies on open areas -- but i only discovered this function at the last hour of the game so i only use twice if that. Ship also works as kinda toy to mess around in between levels like you can check your in-game stats and your Corruption status.

The game is supposed to conclude Phazon trilogy so theme of Phazon corruption dominates everything, hence the title. Everyone gets Phazoned -- Galactic Federation, bounty hunters, space pirates. Reading lore entries how Dark Samus creates splinter cult of Space Pirates that are worhsiping her and calling her "our glorious leader" was amusing. Samus herself also gets Phazon abilities and hypermode adds a fun risk reward system because it consumes your life when activated.

Bosses were pretty fun if not as inventive as guardians from Prime 2 Echoes (but also not as annoying). Risking dying in this game is even more fun because -- game checkpoints before every big combat encounter and boss battle so even if you die you go back to it almost immediately.

All these badges (basically achievements) is was getting in 1 and 2 were apparently introduced in this game. But in Corruption you have achievements for more than just beating bosses and getting items -- there are all kinds of achievements for doing specific feats, getting scans -- very similar to achievements system on Steam and Xbox.

Music is a bit generic but still competent enough. Overall i think this is my favourite Metroid Prime game -- quality of life features (map, UI) go a long way for me but also nice art-style and atmosphere, great all around levels and satisfying combat. Now i am really looking forward how Metroid Prime 4 will look like.


--- Quote from: azeke on March 13, 2023, 08:17:03 AM ---I remember saying "wow" when entering Skytown and Valhalla for the first time.

--- End quote ---

Mission Accomplished!

I will be returning my friend's PS Vita, so might as well write down impressions about games i finished on it.


Nice artsy-fartsy experience. Tilting Vita to control petals' movement didn't felt precise enough but the game doesn't really require it. Night rain level was so dark i could barely see what is around me, i wonder if it was because Vita model i had wasn't OLED...


It's alright, though i never really liked tone in Sony's games in genres that are close to Nintendo games (like this one and Little Big Planet) -- it comes off as insincere and saccharine to me. Gameplay-wise it's a decent 3d platformer -- even if you can't jump for the first hour or so. Utilizing all of Vita's features works okay and gimmicks don't have the time to get old until the game ends. Though the one where you need to cut out hats, crowns and other character's features out of coloured paper -- i never really bothered with it and the characters were happy no matter how half assedly i made their thing.

Gravity Rush:

This game's movement is fun. Pressing shoulder button to change direction of gravity and "fall" in any chosen direction is exhilarating. You can also press another shoulder button to turn artificial gravity off and fall down naturally to reorient yourself or get a quick breather on solid ground when you need to refill your gravity gauge. Flying is pretty fun though it can get disorienting -- i was even getting dizzy at times. I guess this explains Japanese name "Gravity Daze".

The city you're in floats in the air and has many levels with lots of skyscrapers and towers. I always liked complex vertical architecture like this in videogames, Gotham in Batman: Arkham Knight comes to mind. There are crystals floating on top of every roof and under every bridge so you can just collect them for a while and upgrading your abilities without even touching any story missions. Just traversing this city is fun by itself.

Story missions also unlock challenge missions these are probably the part where game's movement mechanics really shine. I spent many hours optimizing's my routes in race challenges. Gravity slide challenges were harder to do because sliding controls are kinda broken -- you need to touch bottom corners of your touchscreen to start sliding and direction is motion controlled. It kinda works but making tight corners during sliding is almost impossible.

Combat challenges i stopped bothering with because unlike movement combat is pretty boring. All the more shame that story is filled with combat especially later in the game.

Story itself is kinda baffling. It doesn't really explain anything, things just happen, story arcs keep piling up and not get resolved at all, even the ending is more of a cliffhanger than a proper wrap-up.

Overall, very fun game with great movement and cute main character but the story and the combat are kinda meh.

Paper Mario Origami King.  A game I liked a lot more than I thought I would.

Pikmin 2 (New Play Control, Wii):

Last time i touched this game was in 2014, with 4th game coming out and third game still largely unplayed i decided to finish it.

First Pikmin game felt like a short but nicely designed puzzle game. Jankyness of mechanics didn't to get old and meta-game of speedrunning the game to collect all items in 30 days provided just enough incentive to play (and replay) the game efficiently.

Second Pikmin game feels like such a big swerve, moment to moment gameplay is largely the same but meta-game is completely changed from speedrunning to survival game. Instead of striving for more efficient time management on the surface you are now playing roguelite dungeon crawler with constantly dwindling squad as you go deeper and deeper. Not losing your pikmin is technically possible but it is extremely tedious because mechanics are still janky and randomly generated layouts can sometimes can spawn you right near the enemy or hazards.

For me, surviving in the caves feels more stressful and less compelling than working around time limit in 1. Despite that game Pikmin 2 doesn't have "game over" (you can't "die" technically) a misplay can rob the player of a good 20-30 minutes run unless you're constantly resetting which i ultimately was forced to do. Resorting to press Reset button on the actual console when some random mistake costs you half of your pikmin feels so bad. It also doesn't feel like an actual solution to bad game design at all, they just made it relatively easy to restart a floor rather than prevent cave generator do unfair layouts.

Because bosses at the very last floor are so hard you will often have to make several expeditions -- one to scout the place out and collect easier items, 2nd to get to the boss and check his patterns, 3rd (and maybe 4th) to actually kill the boss, and yet another one to collect all the remaining treasure. This is way too much time spent replaying the same level. And designers definitely knew about -- that's why deep caves have geysers mid way that instantly transport you to the surface.

It's not a coincidence that game's best cave is the only one with fixed layout. It's also really short unlike some other end-game caves that can be as deep as 15 floors. Submerged castle is short, has an actual level design and a fun gimmick -- everything all other castles are not.

Challenge mode is the closest sequel has to Pikmin 1 gameplay with timed missions. But even that is executed badly because there are so many of them and they require perfect play for final reward.

In general Pikmin 2 feels like a sequel that subverts structure of original game making it too long and tedious for no reason. New Piklopedia describing items is nice and has wholesome writing and there are new mechanics, enemies and bosses but it all drowns in tedium of caves and having to constantly replay unfair floors over and over again.

Unfortunately, Pikmin 4 looks like it brings back caves again -- hopefully they're no longer randomly generated.

Metroid Prime Remastered (Switch):

I wasn't in a hurry to replay the game after finishing Prime Trilogy, but i felt like getting physical version anyway. Nintendo probably didn't make enough carts, so Amazon delayed my physical version till middle of April.

I just put the cart into the Switch to test it and check new shiny graphics but once i started i just couldn't stop and spent most of the weekend playing it again.

New controls make a bigger difference than i expected. It took me a while to get used to standard dual stick controls after playing entire Trilogy with pointer controls. Gyro also doesn't improve the game as much as i hoped, so i eventually turned it off.

However i did turn off all on-screen helmet ridges and UI and the picture looks really nice now. Not being able to tell how much stuff i have doesn't harm the gameplay, except for when you have to save power bombs.

This was my first time when i was going for 100% item and scan completion in Metroid Prime and i got 88%. I tried to listen for humming sound but most of the ones i missed where tucked so far away you can't hear them, like the the ones in underwater caverns or the one in a hole behind bushes. "Gotcha" secrets like that make me glad both 2d and 3d series evolved to explicitly mark items on the map.


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