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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - Play It
After I played Prime 3 for Wii back at E3 in 2006, I knew I had to be ready to play it when it hit store shelves. Sadly, by the time the game launched last August, I still hadn't played through the second game in the series, subtitled Echoes. I just finished taking care of that prerequisite this weekend.

To start at the beginning, the story in Echoes pulled me in almost instantly. A world in peril needs Samus' help and most of the inhabitants are hidden away waiting for the disaster to hopefully pass. The story begins to play out by showcasing some new features of the scan visor that weren't seen in the original game. Basically, scannable objects are now color coded, and every object that has already been scanned turns green. This does a great job of removing the redundancy of rescanning, wondering if you've already read something before, and makes discovering the history of the planet more interesting than tedious. Knowing the history makes it easier to blindly help the local inhabitants, as their enemy definitely appears quite evil.

The essence of Metroid games is exploration and that is were Echoes shines. The height of fun came every time I entered a new area and slid my scan visor down, hoping to see plenty of scannable items. While retracing your steps to find new items can get repetitive, as in almost every Metroid game, I find the realism quite refreshing. It goes a long way to making it feel less like you are playing a video game, and more like you are becoming acquainted with a new place.

The absolute biggest cause of frustration in Echoes lies in the balancing of the difficulty. There is absolutely no reason for one of the hardest bosses to defeat to show up so early in the game. That boss is just one of the examples of a time where Samus' health is more of a time limit. A good boss should be one that can be defeated without taking a large amount of damage after a good method has been discovered. While some of the bosses in Echoes abide by that rule, others are just an exercise in complete frustration. On several occasions I just watched my health plummet, compared it to the bosses' health, and the only solution I could come up with was to shoot him faster, which was always easier said than done. There were several occasions where the only thing keeping me from retiring the game early was the fact that I wanted to know the entire story before moving on to the third game. While the end result was interesting, I'm not positive it was worth it.

So as for Echoes, I would definitely play it, but not necessarily finish it.
By Mike on February 23, 2008 at 6:14pm EST Topic(s): metroid prime 2: echoes nintendo play it? gamecube games

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