• Topic Archived
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
  3. Metroid Prime 2 is *all about* counter-intuitive design

User Info: Venom Dream

Venom Dream
5 years ago#1
I haven't decided if this makes the game more interesting or only more frustrating. Metroid Prime 1 felt like a very 'video gamey' video game. It had all the sorts of conceits you would expect from a video game, very straightforward design if you are already familiar with other similar games.

Metroid Prime 2 wrecks players who 'already know what to expect'. The entire game seems to be based around leaving veteran players scratching their heads.

From one of the very first areas, where the Federation spaceship has crashlanded. Sheer cliffsides look almost jumpable, there are scattered boxes and platforms that look like they could be used for a boost. Turns out, the Federation ship's entrance ramp is open. You just walk into the ship. Once you figure it out you slap yourself on the damn head. Who knew it could be that simple.

Another great example is the Alpha Blogg fight. Putting aside the fact that the save point is way too far away from the boss fight itself, look at the fight itself and the mechanics involved. You pick up an underwater jet boost pack immediately before the fight. Is it useful in the fight? Nope. You'll have way more success if you don't try using it at all. It's also an enemy that charges you, and in Metroid Prime this always meant jump to the side as they're charging. This is pretty common boss fight logic. But this makes it extremely difficult to land a hit on this enemy. Turns out the best strategy is to tank the hit. Players who don't intuitively try to dodge the attack are going to have a much easier time.

The Dark World is similar. Regen health gives the impression that the game is asking you to be patient, but you can actually sprint through most Dark World areas and tank the damage. You'll finish the game much faster! The game gives you this ability to not worry about picking up traditional health pickups, to be able to sit patiently and let your health restore, but it's a trick. Sticking to light areas as often as possible sounds like a 'good strategy' but it's going to seriously hinder your progress. You have to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. Eventually the game stops holding your hand altogether and has dark world rooms with no crystals whatsoever. If you're used to games with puzzles where going outside obvious boundaries ends in instant death, this is going to cause you a lot of anxiety as a player.

Metroid Prime 2 is also full of rooms you can enter but upon entering can't leave, rooms which seem to have no purpose (there are plenty of these in the dark world), nooks in the world map which look like doors but aren't, and sometimes rewards but sometimes punishes backtracking (by making you waste your time opening doors that lead you back where you started).

In the Boost Guardian fight, if you don't go into morphball mode, Boost Guardian can wedge you against the wall and instant-kill you in about 30 seconds. Sure, you're allowed to not go into morph ball mode, but you'll figure out yourself why you should pretty quickly.

If you think of some of the design decisions, especially some of the more confusing design decisions, as something along the lines of Sanity Effects in Eternal Darkness - Sanity Effects which don't announce themselves as such - you can start to see why the developers may have made some of the design decisions they did. Thematically, this makes a lot of sense in a game about an alien planet with an alternate reality shadow world. Metroid Prime 2 is very alien, and sometimes very alienating. Whether that makes the game better or not depends on the player.

User Info: sithmaster15

sithmaster15
5 years ago#2
Interesting post! I think I see what you're getting at. Another good example would be the Dark Commandos. The game trains you to think "Light enemy = shoot with Dark Beam, dark enemy = shoot with Light Beam." But then these guys come along. If you try to kill them with only the Light Beam you'll have an almost impossible time and usually you won't manage it. But switch to the Dark Beam, one charged shot and then a missile and they're done!! Super counter intuitive!
There are two of me.

User Info: Venom Dream

Venom Dream
5 years ago#3
That's a great example as well. It's really something you have to figure out through trial and error. It makes sense that they'd give you some enemies to shoot with the dark beam in case you run out of light ammo in a tense situation and need to open a door or something.


To sum up what I said the way a reviewer would put it:


Definite Minuses:
- Sometimes feels like it's still in beta, or hasn't been thoroughly playtested

Plus or Minus (or Feature Not A Bug)
- Dizzying, labyrinthine area design
- Harsh, unfriendly environments (the first 8 hours of the game are desert wasteland and swamp)
- Makes players feel anxious, without being more difficult, by creating tension. For example, forcing you to go into the Dark World to solve a puzzle
- Hint system is toned down substantially from Prime 1. Prime 2 gives way fewer hints. You're definitely going to be wandering around aimlessly at some point in your playthrough.

Definite Pluses:
- If you've already played Prime 1, you don't have to relearn the core concepts from scratch, so you're ready to dive into something more challenging. Prime 2 could be considered the "Minus World" or "Second Quest" to the first game.

Which is just another way of saying "it's unintuitive and confusing", but you have to know how to read reviewer doublespeak ;)

User Info: DarkStar643

DarkStar643
4 years ago#4
Venom Dream posted...
I haven't decided if this makes the game more interesting or only more frustrating. Metroid Prime 1 felt like a very 'video gamey' video game. It had all the sorts of conceits you would expect from a video game, very straightforward design if you are already familiar with other similar games.

Metroid Prime 2 wrecks players who 'already know what to expect'. The entire game seems to be based around leaving veteran players scratching their heads.

From one of the very first areas, where the Federation spaceship has crashlanded. Sheer cliffsides look almost jumpable, there are scattered boxes and platforms that look like they could be used for a boost. Turns out, the Federation ship's entrance ramp is open. You just walk into the ship. Once you figure it out you slap yourself on the damn head. Who knew it could be that simple.

Another great example is the Alpha Blogg fight. Putting aside the fact that the save point is way too far away from the boss fight itself, look at the fight itself and the mechanics involved. You pick up an underwater jet boost pack immediately before the fight. Is it useful in the fight? Nope. You'll have way more success if you don't try using it at all. It's also an enemy that charges you, and in Metroid Prime this always meant jump to the side as they're charging. This is pretty common boss fight logic. But this makes it extremely difficult to land a hit on this enemy. Turns out the best strategy is to tank the hit. Players who don't intuitively try to dodge the attack are going to have a much easier time.

The Dark World is similar. Regen health gives the impression that the game is asking you to be patient, but you can actually sprint through most Dark World areas and tank the damage. You'll finish the game much faster! The game gives you this ability to not worry about picking up traditional health pickups, to be able to sit patiently and let your health restore, but it's a trick. Sticking to light areas as often as possible sounds like a 'good strategy' but it's going to seriously hinder your progress. You have to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. Eventually the game stops holding your hand altogether and has dark world rooms with no crystals whatsoever. If you're used to games with puzzles where going outside obvious boundaries ends in instant death, this is going to cause you a lot of anxiety as a player.

Metroid Prime 2 is also full of rooms you can enter but upon entering can't leave, rooms which seem to have no purpose (there are plenty of these in the dark world), nooks in the world map which look like doors but aren't, and sometimes rewards but sometimes punishes backtracking (by making you waste your time opening doors that lead you back where you started).

In the Boost Guardian fight, if you don't go into morphball mode, Boost Guardian can wedge you against the wall and instant-kill you in about 30 seconds. Sure, you're allowed to not go into morph ball mode, but you'll figure out yourself why you should pretty quickly.

If you think of some of the design decisions, especially some of the more confusing design decisions, as something along the lines of Sanity Effects in Eternal Darkness - Sanity Effects which don't announce themselves as such - you can start to see why the developers may have made some of the design decisions they did. Thematically, this makes a lot of sense in a game about an alien planet with an alternate reality shadow world. Metroid Prime 2 is very alien, and sometimes very alienating. Whether that makes the game better or not depends on the player.


i love this so much. its pretty much the perfect summarization of this game if you'd ask me. i'm replaying it for the first time in over 11 years and it's just as great/frustrating as it was then. granted, i didn't have nearly as hard of a time on the boost guardian now as i had back then when i was 13.
Favorite games: Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Dark Souls, Megaman X, MH4U, Starcraft 1/2, and Timesplitters 2

User Info: Venom Dream

Venom Dream
4 years ago#5
I'm writing these as I go along. Here's another one:

Finally finished Torvus Bog, head back to the main temple. There are three different paths to take, so you go out of the most recently unlocked one, it lets you waltz right into a room where you almost instantly die. Just for standing there! I'm going to have to go back there to figure out if that's actually the way you're supposed to go because I was only on two energy tanks but I'm pretty sure the idea is to let you get demolished so you realize you're not really ready for the Ing Hive.

User Info: sithmaster15

sithmaster15
4 years ago#6
Which room are you referring to? I can't think of what you're talking about off the top of my head.
There are two of me.

User Info: Melange_Lover

Melange_Lover
4 years ago#7
sithmaster15 posted...
Which room are you referring to? I can't think of what you're talking about off the top of my head.


The one with the radiation.

Funnily enough I've just done the bog and completly stuck on where to go next. The map hint tells me to go to the fortress as it's under attack but points to a location on the map I can't get into!
http://www.duneinfo.com/Content/images/arrakis/actors/zoom/paul.jpg

User Info: sithmaster15

sithmaster15
4 years ago#8
I'm still confused. Did you walk into Ing Swarm? Or a pool of Phazon?

Also, hint: head back to Temple Grounds and search around. You'll find it.
There are two of me.

User Info: NemesisOgreKing

NemesisOgreKing
4 years ago#9
Venom Dream posted...
'video gamey' video game


Lol, did not realize TC worked for Bioware. >____________>
On the Eighth day, God created Turok.

User Info: Melange_Lover

Melange_Lover
4 years ago#10
sithmaster15 posted...
I'm still confused. Did you walk into Ing Swarm? Or a pool of Phazon?

Also, hint: head back to Temple Grounds and search around. You'll find it.


Ing Storm near the temple...
http://www.duneinfo.com/Content/images/arrakis/actors/zoom/paul.jpg
  1. Boards
  2. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
  3. Metroid Prime 2 is *all about* counter-intuitive design
  • Topic Archived

GameFAQs Q&A