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On a related note however, the electro grapple can be used to suck health out of grapple-able enemies, or pour health into them to cause them to overload. I found this function particularly useful on Phaaze, as it helps a great deal in keeping your corruption to a minimum by dumping your excess phazon directly into certain enemies. So while limited, it does have some use outside of being a key.
Thanks for this tip; it saved my life playing the last level yesterday. Dumping Phazon into those Ing-like creatures was the most efficient way to keep your corruption level down on Phaaze.
So I finally beat this game with 100% completion, using no guide! It had some enjoyable parts, notably the entire Skytown segment, but overall I'm pretty disappointed with the way they ended the Prime series. The combat-heavy direction they took this in just didn't work; let the FPSs be FPSs and the adventures be adventures. Did they really want this game to help the Wii take some of the FPS demographics from the other consoles? I mean, it's not great as an FPS either; you can't do half-measures and expect a good game. It's sad that they did this for the conclusion of a trilogy whose first two games were so incredible; I wish they would have continued that style for just one more game.
Now as to the puzzles, for the most part I agree with you. With one exception. I absolutely love the spinning gear puzzle in Skytown, (I think it's required to get the Spider Ball?). I remember being genuinely puzzled by it in a way that no other Metroid puzzle has ever challenged me, and the solution required out-of-the-box thinking, was surprising, unique, and very satisfying. At least for me, anyway. Maybe it wasn't so original and stimulating for others.
Yeah that one was creative. It took me a minute to realize I have to get on top of a ledge to give myself leverage over that gear, and then shoot it into place while it's airborne.
This has me thinking, what items in the Metroid Prime series can be classified as 'glorified keys'? We could define a 'glorified key' as any item that does little to nothing except grant access between areas, between one room and the next, through some door or passageway. Immediate suspects are the Screw Attack, all hypermode attacks except your basic beam weapon and missile, and the Seeker Missile (another poor replacement for the Super Missile IMO).
The seeker missile was also pretty impractical in combat situations, although I used it a few times during the Skytown shootout when you have to defend the bomb. But yeah, also basically a glorified key. I love the Screw Attack though; it was fun to use in Corruption and Echoes. It has some more use, for example flying across areas where you would have required the grapple beam earlier; that way you can mow down all the enemies in your path. The other difference is that it actually takes some skill to use, in contrast to the hyper grapple or seeker missile, where you just stand there and hold down a button while the thing gets destroyed.
As for other glorified keys, I would say the boost ball, although I discovered a useful function; it's a one-hit kill against those robots in Skytown! When they walk at you in a row firing, you can destroy them all by boost-balling into them. It's like bowling! But I think the first two games did a much better job of making the items useful outside of situations where you just need access to a new area.
Oh man I love "bowling" with the boost ball. Adds a fun new dynamic to the combat in that area.
I found that even in the combat situations where I was using the Seeker Missile, it was only because I didn't have the much more useful Super Missile available. Case in point, in Metroid Prime 2, when you have both the Seeker Missile and the Super Missile, the only time I ever used the Seeker Missile in combat was when it was the only way to take out an enemy (such as those robots in Sanctuary Fortress who hang from the bottom of platforms). So the Seeker Missile definitely has to go.
I can see your point about the Screw Attack. It did make it easier to cross long stretches of flat terrain or spaces that were filled with enemies. Also, from a visual design standpoint, it allowed the designers to really open up the look of some areas, most notably SkyTown. Arguably they did succeed in this already using the grapple beam, but using the Screw Attack in some areas varied the gameplay nicely. Not to mention it was really fun to fly through the air and land on a small floating object. I was going to go on about the limited functionality of the Screw Attack when compared with its 2D counterparts, but then I realized that such a versatile Screw Attack would necessitate very closed in environments in a 3D game, which isn't very aesthetically pleasing, or fun.
Thanks for this tip; it saved my life playing the last level yesterday.
You're welcome! Were you playing on Normal or Hypermode? On Hypermode Phaaze is exponentially more difficult, and that trick becomes even more of a life saver.
Here's hoping that whatever Metroid games Nintendo has planned will harken back to Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, and that they won't try to make it more of an FPS, as they half-heartedly did at times in this game. Also, I really hope they don't let Yoshio Sakamoto anywhere near the story, not after he said this:
Seriously, if they announce that a new Metroid game is in the works, and he's the one penning the story, it'll be the biggest disappointment since... well since Other M. I'd prefer if he weren't involved with the game at all.
There are two of me.
I'd like to make an amendment:
The seeker missile may stay, if it is sped up. The main reason I never used it in combat is it just takes so bloody long you're better off using Super Missiles (in MP2), going into hypermode (in MP3), or just switching back and forth between missiles and charged shots. But a Seeker Missile that can very quickly select multiple enemies and hit them with multiple missiles could be fun.
There are two of me.
The seeker missile may stay, if it is sped up
I always thought of the seeker missile as a gimmick. If there were more than maybe one enemy per game that it was useful against that might be another thing. Speeding it up would definitely be good, although unless there are enemies with multiple weak points I don't know that it would be any different than a super/hyper missile.
A Seeker Missile that didn't take forever to charge up could also be good against multiple enemies with low health. A fun enemy type for this weapon could be one that attacks in groups, has low health, but does a great deal of damage. So you need to take them all out quickly, making a fast Seeker Missile ideal for such a situation.
But yes, in its actual implementation, the Seeker Missile is just a gimmick and possibly the most clear case of "items that are glorified keys" in the series, short of the Hypermode expansions.
There are two of me.