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Was Metroid Prime 1 a disappointing game for non fans?

nkarafo

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Metroid was always a pretty niche title for Nintendo. It was never nearly as big seller as Mario or Zelda (or even Starfox). Most people thought Samus is a robot called Metroid.

But when Metroid Prime was released, i was surprised with all the spotlight it got. Not only it was getting perfect review scores all over the internet (well deserved IMO) but there was also a pretty big marketing push, a first for any Metroid game. The Super Metroid release in comparison was nothing like it. The franchise never got that kind of attention ever since. Maybe OtherM came a bit close but for different reasons.

As a result, the franchise became a mainstream attraction for a little while . There was also the tiny fact that the game was in first person now and Halo was very popular at the time so the comparisons were inevitable. To this day people still compare Halo to Metroid Prime, even claiming how Metroid is Nintendo's Halo, despite being completely different games.

With all that, the game sold absurdly well for a Metroid title. But i have the feeling a lot of people must have been disappointed by it. Not me, i was thrilled. I knew what it was and what to expect and the game met or even exceeded my expectations. But what about those who got the game because of:

- The review scores and the hype.
- The FPS perspective making it look like a regular shooter.
- The Halo comparisons.

Were all these people aware of the Metroid formula and level design? And if not, how many of those liked it in the end? I'm sure some were pleasantly surprised and got to know and love this kind of design but how many hated it because it wasn't really the Halo game they wanted? That's not a great way to be introduced to the Metroidvania formula. And also, it's not a coincidence that after the Metroid Prime series hype cooled off, "backtracking" became the new videogame thing to hate. I don't remember this word existing in the videogames vocabulary before, it's like it was invented by the Prime series.

And it's not only the non-fans. I'm aware that even a lot of Metroid fans didn't like the first person perspective. So there had to be some disappointment from there too, though these people could easily avoid buying the game.

I don't know, i feel like a lot of people must have been disappointed because they thought it would be a different game and the sequel selling less than half proves that i think.
 
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cireza

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I never felt that people did not get what Metroid Prime was. It was the opposite actually. People were well aware they were games about exploring, and they felt very complementary to the Halo games.

Direct sequels always sell less.

Echoes is my favorite of the three, by the way. Prime 3 on Wii made pretty great sales, it is the best implementation of the Wiimote in my opinion.
 
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Tschumi

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I was a non fan and i fell in love. The music, pacing, graphics, scanning for information everywhere.. I was pretty sure that they could not possibly have done something as detailed and immersive in previous iterations.. to date i stand by that
 
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jigglet

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Wait, we're defending the desires of non-fans now? Let's be inclusive, The Best A Ham Can Get.
 
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Soodanim

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I’ve barely played Super Metroid. I’ve started a few times, but I didn’t get more than half way.

Metroid Prime was great fun. I wish I had put it on GC controls and not Wii’s free aim controls for most of it, but it was still great. I still need to go back and finish 2.
 

Vagswarm

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No way. I played 1 - Super, but they didn't grab me at the time. Metroid Prime on the other hand blew my mind with just how good it was. Right up there with Mario 64 and Zelda:OOT for brilliant transitions into 3D. The morph ball could've been a game of its own. There isn't much I disliked about the game, but many moments where I said "wow, this is awesome", and it just kept getting better and better. Not many games do that for me anymore. The backtracking wasn't a big deal because you came back with better equipment to go through it quickly, and new stuff appeared. The level design was genius.

Most of the disappointment seemed to come from fans of the 2D games. Like you said, the first person perspective was a big one. The first-person platforming was annoying at times (especially with boss fights) but no game is perfect. I didn't mind the control scheme because I knew it wasn't an FPS, but more of a first-person action-adventure game. And a damn fine one at that. Some of the disappointment also came from the Halo crowd at the time, viewing it as a weak FPS with worse controls. But there was a lot of system war type stuff going on with that too.

Well deserving of all the praise and accolades. By how good it was, it should have sold a lot more. Same with Eternal Darkness.
 
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GametimeUK

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A lot of people at the time were disappointed that the game had moved to a first person perspective. Quite a lot of Nintendo games had changes that initially soured their audiences.

1. Luigi's Mansion as a Mario launch title. (People perceived it as a Mario launch title starring Luigi... we all expected Mario starring launch titles at this point). This entry on the list is a bit of a reach, but I remember the disappointment.

2. Mario Sunshine with Fludd.

3. Wind Waker with its graphics.

4. Mario Kart Double Dash with its 2 drivers per kart.

5. Metroid Prime in first person.

6. Pokémon Colosseum was just super different from mainline Pokémon games. People wanted your normal Pokémon structure with GameCube graphics.

7. I didn't play the Starfox games, but I recall them being massive departures from the SNES / 64.

It was a crazy time for Nintendo and I loved it. I love Metroid Prime so much that I'm disappointed Dread was released as a 2D entry whilst I'm waiting on Prime 4.
 
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Shut0wen

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Started the series with metroid 2 on hameboy colour then the next game i got was prime, personally made me live the seriee even more and have finished a majority of them except dread and other m, i think the comparison to halo was abit unfair since there both completely different games and even though its an fps it still feels a million times different, really surprised no obe has ever tried to replicate prime
 
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Why would you care to play a non violent Nintendo FPS on a purple plastic box (i had one) when you could play Conter Strike else where. You are living in a dream. Good night kids!
 
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tassletine

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No. It's what got me into the series. I've played most of them now, but that was the game that started it.
 
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Dream-Knife

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I was a kid and expecting it to be like Halo. I was disappointed when I rented it when it came out.

I gave it a second chance a few years ago and enjoyed it, but the Metroid series really isn't for me.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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Dec 8, 2019
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As someone whose perspective on video games was rocked big time by Super Metroid, I can’t say I was a non-fan. But I can say that Prime took a while to click for me, to the point that I considered dropping it. Then something clicked, and it’s become one of my Top 10 games ever, and one I simply have to get all the way through if I start it.

The internet’s disappointment when Prime was first revealed to be in first person was palpable. It wasn’t the meltdown stirred by The Wind Waker’s first trailer, but it weighted heavily on the game up to release. Comparisons with Halo never made a lick of sense, though. Completely different games.

Nintendo was very wise to come out with two Metroid games at the same time. As good as Super was and still is, Metroid wasn’t exactly a big deal. Prime alone would probably perform much worse without the huzzah from the marketing push, and Fusion being there together with Prime surely made the return of Metroid feel bigger.
 

Fredrik

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First person shooters often get me motion sick, so it wasn’t ideal, but I managed to play about half of it and I enjoyed it so it was better than I expected.
Metroid Dread is about a million times better though.
 
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Osaka_Boss

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I hated it. The map, the way the game progressed. Very confusing. And claustrophobic as well, I always felt pressured by the FOV
 

Iced Arcade

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Prime got a lot of new people into the franchise and remember a lot of old Metroid fans HATED the 3D 1st person of it. Prime definitely brought the series to the forefront.

I absolutely loved that silky smooth 60fps in 2002
 

ClanOfNone

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I was one of the crusty old codgers that was outraged over Nintendo turning "MY" Metroid into a fps.
But they did the impossible, they took the 2d Super Metroid formula and effectively transitioned it into a first person engine. I went into the game prepared to hate it, but ended up being blown away by how good it was.
A shame Prime peaked with the first game. Echoes was decent, I never even bothered to finish Corruption I disliked it so much.
 
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A lot of people at the time were disappointed that the game had moved to a first person perspective. Quite a lot of Nintendo games had changes that initially soured their audiences.

1. Luigi's Mansion as a Mario launch title. (People perceived it as a Mario launch title starring Luigi... we all expected Mario starring launch titles at this point). This entry on the list is a bit of a reach, but I remember the disappointment.

2. Mario Sunshine with Fludd.

3. Wind Waker with its graphics.

4. Mario Kart Double Dash with its 2 drivers per kart.

5. Metroid Prime in first person.

6. Pokémon Colosseum was just super different from mainline Pokémon games. People wanted your normal Pokémon structure with GameCube graphics.

7. I didn't play the Starfox games, but I recall them being massive departures from the SNES / 64.

It was a crazy time for Nintendo and I loved it. I love Metroid Prime so much that I'm disappointed Dread was released as a 2D entry whilst I'm waiting on Prime 4.

Some of these were better-received than others upon release or in retrospect, but I in particular was bummed out by how many people overlooked Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat just for not being a Donkey Kong Country. I hope Nintendo tried approaching that game's style in another entry at some point, even if the controls need to be majorly tweaked (in a way that's better than that awful "new play control" version on Wii.)

The DS was also full of it's share of these types of experiments... I think ultimately it fueled a lot of the fire that caused the success of New Super Mario Bros., which caused Nintendo to go 180 and be hyper-conservative about any formula changes for the post-Wii era.
 
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CAPSOL

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The change of perspective was a let down at first.

In the end, it was the exceptional quality of the Prime titles that pulled me in.

It will probably never happen but I think the best evolution of Metroid today would be 3rd person and look/play similar to Returnal w/o the rogue like elements.
 
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ClanOfNone

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Housemarque doing a Prime title with the Returnal engine would be some amazing shit.

Give the 2d branch to Full Moon!
 

Astral Dog

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People realized it was not like HALO but something elsr entirely, a solitary puzzle filled experience with amazing music and few cinematics
 

Fbh

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I played Prime for the first time on Wii with the trilogy.
Wasn't a fan of the franchise but I knew the core concepts of exploration --> getting upgrades --> backtracking and accessing new areas with said upgrades.

Really loved Prime, great gameplay, level design and the visuals still look pretty good (aside from the low res)
 

TheInfamousKira

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I started gaming in the N64/PS1 era personally, so my introduction to Samus was in the original Super Smash Brothers. By the time of the GCN, I had mostly played some fighters, Zelda (OoT-WW) and Final Fantasy (VII-X) so my first exposure to Metroid and by extension the Metroidvania formula was through Prime. Being a non-fan with limited gaming experience, the closest thing I linked the experience to was Zelda.

The "open," exploration with unlocked abilities and items naturally pointing you in the "right," direction, the focus of combat not as battles of attrition but as puzzles of memorizing patterns, avoiding attacks, and finding weaknesses, the slightly-harder-than-the-critical-path puzzles leading to optional rewards, the differing climates of each "area," energy tanks = heart containers, the final area/boss being locked behind several plot tokens you needed to collect throughout the campaign, and further in the sequel, a dark and light world mechanic.

Going into it with that comparison in mind, it felt super natural and an extension of the skills and expectations I had developed with my limited gaming pedigree in the past. I can't speak for FPS buffs, but honestly, if you were an FPS buff, would the GameCube be your first choice in the era of Xbox and PS2?
 

Wildebeest

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I don't think people who were into FPS were buying a GameCube as their first choice. But by the time of Metroid Prime 2 it was pretty clear that PS2 was the console to own if you wanted to play adventure games.
 

BusierDonkey

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Super Metroid was one of my favorite games and I found Prime to be a faithful transition to 3D. The map was well designed and traversal was handled really well. The world was so interconnected and things like spiderball tracks were always placed in a way you'd remember where they were. Bosses and enemies were handled like they used to be, without being hard, more a puzzle to solve while fighting.

I didn't like 2 or 3 as much because the worlds in them were more disjointed and it lost a lot of the lone-wolf thing Metroid had always had with the Marines and other Hunters but I still enjoyed them overall.
 

Termite

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Playing Halo: CE all the way through properly for the first time in preparation for Infinite, and all my thoughts as a young Nintendo fanboy from back in 2002 about how Metroid Prime was miles better than it have been validated. The level design in Halo is atrocious. The game really doesn't stand up as a good game in 2021, whereas Prime is still a masterpiece. It really surprises me how so many people thought otherwise back in 2001.

Of course, Halo: CE is a legendary game for what it did for online multiplayer on consoles, and the wide open spaces and AI are impressive for its time. But the core game design of Prime holds up, while Halo doesn't. The last 3 levels are going through the first three levels backwards, lol, I couldn't believe that shit when I got there last night.

Of course, here we are in 2021 and now I'm all in on XSX while my Switch gathers dust, so I'm not trying to war here.
 
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Cutty Flam

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It was my first Metroid game, and even though I barely got past maybe 5-6% of the game I’m guessing, the game itself was beyond exceptional for its time. All the scientific terminology went above my head at the time but even then as a teen, I knew that the detail that went into Metroid Prime was unmatched

I wasn’t a fan at the time, so I’ll speak only for me and say that in no way was the game disappointing
 

Nikana

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I was too dumb to realize it was the same type of game just in 3D. Eventually when I was older and smart enough I can look back on that time and realize it was such a smooth transition from what I knew about Metroid that I had no idea...if that makes sense.
 
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Deerock71

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What is 'yes', Alex.
Alex Trebek Yes GIF by Jeopardy!
 

Tazzu

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If it had more entries in the franchise, it would be going through the Nintendo cycle.
 
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Because Prime got a ton of spotlight and coverage, unlike precious entries, so it became the first Metroid game for a lot of people.
I see, that explanation makes more sense than the thread title. "Non fans" makes it sound like you are asking about what haters and trolls of the game thought about it
 

STARSBarry

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For alot of people Metriod Prime is Metriod...

Its like how you can meet some diehard Zelda fan and be really confused because it sounds like there talking about some random generic Ubisoft game only for you realise "oh they haven't played a Zelda before Breath of the Wild"

I think Prime changed alot of "not fans" into fans for sure rather than the reverse.
 
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RoadHazard

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I hadn't really played the 2D titles (I had tried them though), and I loved it. But I knew what Metroid was about of course, so I wasn't expecting a regular FPS, and I've always been a fan of adventure games.
 

nkarafo

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I see, that explanation makes more sense than the thread title. "Non fans" makes it sound like you are asking about what haters and trolls of the game thought about it
Yeah, i thought the title would give that impression and i was hoping the OP would clear it up.
 

FeldMonster

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While I enjoyed Super Metroid to some extent, Metroid Prime 1 really made me a fan.

Metroid Prime 2 would be my favorite if it didn't have that unfortunate ammo system.

Too bad that the games on Gamecube were absolutely horrid otherwise compared to the glory days of N64. Every sequel was worse, save for Super Smash Brothers. Completely turned me off for Nintendo forever. I purchased Metroid Prime 3 to support the Prime franchise but never a Wii or any of their other underpowered consoles since.
 
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Buggy Loop

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Remember Dragona? The mod of old gaming age? She had a irrational hate of Metroid Prime just for the fact it was 3D. Hated it before it even released or reviewed with such positive impressions and still hated long after the game, probably never touched it.

I wanted to punch her through the monitor, she fucking came into every Metroid Prime threads to bitch.
 

BlackTron

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Playing Halo: CE all the way through properly for the first time in preparation for Infinite, and all my thoughts as a young Nintendo fanboy from back in 2002 about how Metroid Prime was miles better than it have been validated. The level design in Halo is atrocious. The game really doesn't stand up as a good game in 2021, whereas Prime is still a masterpiece. It really surprises me how so many people thought otherwise back in 2001.

Of course, Halo: CE is a legendary game for what it did for online multiplayer on consoles, and the wide open spaces and AI are impressive for its time. But the core game design of Prime holds up, while Halo doesn't. The last 3 levels are going through the first three levels backwards, lol, I couldn't believe that shit when I got there last night.

Of course, here we are in 2021 and now I'm all in on XSX while my Switch gathers dust, so I'm not trying to war here.

Prime's level design IS better than Halo, but Halo is a FPS and Metroid isn't. If Metroid had bad level design, it would cripple the whole game because it's an adventure/exploration title first. Halo is first and foremost an action game/shooter. For this reason asking which is better is rather like asking whether you prefer Zelda or Final Fantasy. You can have an opinion on which you enjoy more (and many have) but it's still apples and oranges. For that matter, Halo has a way better action gameplay loop than Prime, but again, Metroid isn't really a shooter so...

As for my opinion on Prime. Fact is, I bought the game back when it came out but was kind of bored with it. It seemed to me like Zelda, but in a first person sci fi game...which was weird. It mostly made me want to play the same style of game but either 2D or third-person instead -in fact I got Fusion too and 100% the game in a few weeks. I remember often playing 30 minutes of Prime and then 3 hours of Halo PC online (Halo CE was not online on console). It was a period of gaming where I was pretty sensitive to burning out on long, meandering single player adventures when it was so easy to play online sci-fi games like Halo, Starcraft and PSO with multiplayer. I think I got about halfway through Prime and never made a decision to stop, it just faded off behind all the other games I was playing. It didn't help that I HATE playing first-person games with a controller, Prime's solution seemed to be to just make it less of a shooter.

I respect the game for what it is and recognize its accomplishments, especially as a guy who loves Zelda. I STILL have my copy on the nagging feeling I should replay it one day and try to finish it. It feels like a gaming debt though. I still think it would have been better off third person, and better for the franchise/its reputation as well.