I’m kind of ashamed to admit that my gaming backlog is pretty huge. Over the last couple of years, I’ve found that I spend less and less time actually playing games, though I still love them, and keep up with what’s new and exciting on my platforms (Xbox, Gamecube, GBA, PC). Coupled with the strange desire I have to scour all of the cheap game deal sites to find good games for cheap, I’ve found that I’ve become more of a game collector than a game player. Of the last several dozen games I’ve purchased, I haven’t finished any of them. There are a couple that I haven’t even played. For some reason, though, that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of the games themselves. I get satisfaction in just owning a good game.
In the interest of saving money (we’re planning on buying a house later this year), though, I’m going to try to spend less money on new games, and focus on playing through the games in my backlog. The first game to get this treatment is Metroid Prime.
When I first got the game, and played it for bit, I was a bit put off by the difficulty of the controls – it’s sort of a first person shooter, like Halo, but the controls are different. My muscle memory was tuned to the Halo style of console FPS control (a task which in and of itself took some getting used to). So when I started Metroid Prime, it was difficult to get Samus to do what I wanted her to do. That, coupled with the difficulty of the “intro” level (I hate “OMG you have 1 minute to escape from this level before it blows up and you DIE!” levels), the game got shelved for a while.
I decided to give it another shot this weekend, and I’m very glad I did. I’ve finally gotten used to to the controls, at least to the point where they’re not a barrier to enjoying the game, and I got past the “intro” level, and into the main game. All of the exploration gameplay that made me love the original Metroid and Super Metroid is here, and I’m loving it. Getting ability upgrades and items (Samus lost her high-powered weapons and suit abilities after the “intro” level) is great motivation to explore. Save points are spaced out just far enough that the game’s not too easy, but not frustratingly hard, either. And the presentation of the game (graphics, sound, etc.) is aboslutely top notch. Metroid Prime is one of the greatest console games of this generation.
Anyway, expect more updates on what I’m playing as I begin in earnest to work my way through my gaming backlog.