Why is the Metroid Prime trilogy so critically acclaimed?

#1
I've seen this question lurk around frequently since the reveal of Metroid Prime 4 at E3. And it made me super happy to see this actually happening. The reactions here were no different. Everyone was so happy. The various videos online perfectly demonstrate how so many felt. Pure excitement. Pure joy. All from a logo.

However there are a lot of people who don't understand why we feel this way and how this trilogy was held in such high regard on the GameCube and Wii.

So what is it that makes these games so precious to you? Was it the sense of isolation? Exploration? The various new and returning items? Bosses? Music? Or was it the poor reception of Other M or Federation Forces?

For me it was all of the above, plus more. No other game has been able to replicate the same experience the Prime Trilgy has made for me. You felt like Samus. You felt like you were in this world. Everything was beautifully made - from an aesthetics and music point of view.

And it's made me excited to see what they can do on the Nintendo Switch and it's extra horsepower. Nintendo know what's at stake here with announcing a sequel and it's made me eager to see their plans.

Do you agree with the above? Or is there more? Or do you feel the games are overrated? Discuss.
 
#7
It really was a pioneer in environmental story-telling. The vast majority of the narrative in these games is pieced together using little details uncovered by your scan visor. In many ways the modern trend of environmental story-telling in things like "walking simulators" and even the way that games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne tell their stories is something that Metroid Prime pioneered.

That's also not to mention the amazing level design, atmosphere, sense of isolation, fantastic boss battles. They're just incredible games all-around.
 
#8
They have some of the best 3D level design in video game history combined with gorgeous art design and creative challenges.

In short, they're good games.
 
#9
It really was a pioneer in environmental story-telling. The vast majority of the narrative in these games is pieced together using little details uncovered by your scan visor. In many ways the modern trend of environmental story-telling in things like "walking simulators" and even the way that games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne tell their stories is something that Metroid Prime pioneered.

That's also not to mention the amazing level design, atmosphere, sense of isolation, fantastic boss battles. They're just incredible games all-around.
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#11
Well the title and the OP seem to ask slightly different questions. The Metroid Prime series was so critically acclaimed because the games were just outstanding, and the first one sorta came out of nowhere from a studio with basically no expectations. I've seen some people here consider MP1 to be as close to a perfect game as we may ever see. I'm no reviewer so I don't think I'm really qualified to go in depth as to why that is, but I will just say that it's one of my favorite games too. I also really liked 3, primarily because of the controls.

The question in the OP though seems more like, why did the MP4 announcement get us so excited? And the answer to that is, people believed the Metroid IP in general was basically dead, and that MPFF was basically a slap in the face/last ditch effort to save the series, and seeing it bomb horrendously meant they wouldn't bother trying again. I never really believed that theory since Metroid has two producers pretty high up in Nintendo who love the series, so there's no way they'd let it die. And I actually went into E3 expecting a 2D Metroid game announced, but even I was blown away by them announcing a Metroid Prime game, even moreso that it was literally called Metroid Prime 4, rather than a sort of reboot.

EDIT:

I will say that I believe Metroid Prime was basically the BotW of the Metroid series. It went back to the original game and stayed remarkably faithful to its themes and designs, while opening up a completely new dimension in gameplay with 3D exploration from a first person perspective.
 
#16
The first Prime is one of the most immersive games I've ever played.
Amazing world building.
Narrative driven through exploration and play.
Spectacular music.
Great level design.
Unparalleled art direction.

MP1 is one of the greatest games ever made.

The other two are not too shabby either
 
#19
They nailed tone, ambience, atmosphere, isolation. The soundtracks were great. It had the best visuals on their respective consoles while running at 60fps.

It transitioned 2D to 3D perfectly. The puzzles were so damn clever and satisfying. The feeling of being locked out of an area until a certain weapon or suit upgrade makes powering up worth it.

And lastly, telling so much lore through scans instead of Samus monologues was a breath of fresh air at a time when everyone was putting voice acting in games for the sake of having voice acting.

I'm sure the franchise being dead for 8 years also lead to a it's positive reception upon its return. Metroid fans weren't used to getting so many metroid games in a five year window (Prime trilogy, Hunters and Fusion from 2002-2007) so the metroid momentum was at an all time high.
 
#20
I didn't come in this thread expecting the op to have everything I was gonna say already, but alright.


I would do unholy things for a metroid.prime built from the ground up as a vr game.
 
#21
Imagine a 2d Metroid game like Super Metroid in 3d. The first prime game is probably the best 2d to 3d transition of all time.

The game plays like one gigantic maze, just like the traditional 2d Metroid game, figuring stuff out with the backtracking and all. Telling story through the environment, very little to any discourse at all. Extremely immersive.

The only thing that didn't translate well imo was the fact that the enemies some of which are huge nuisance. Respawning​ when entering some rooms making backtracking feel like a pain

If you enjoy puzzle ganes. I think it's a puzzle game first
 
#23
The fact they were able to perfectly replicate the 2D Metroid experience in a first person game is nothing short of a miracle. Also the games just ooze atmosphere and it's like one of the very few good 3-D Metroidvanias.
 
#24
i remember feeling completely immersed in it. felt truely like i was exploring an alien world and piecing together what happened.

number one for me, it had all the tropes and trappings of a traditional metroid game and i didnt even notice they were happening. i just thought i was exploring.
 
#26
Also the visors are the beginning of Detective Mode and other stuff in games.... and the visors are still better than the Detective modes that tryed to copy it.


Also scanning stuff is super fun
 
#27
The first Prime is one of the most immersive games I've ever played.
I just started playing through the Prime trilogy for the first time and this was the thing that has stood out the most for me. The level of immersion is better than most games today even. It makes exploring the world so much more engaging and meaningful.

I can't believe i've slept on these games for so long.
 
#28
Because the first prime, besides being a awesome game on its own, was very unique for its time


I also think the prime 1 is far more superior then 2 or 3
 
#29
Because they are fucking awesome
Pretty much this.
The controls of the Wii Trilogy makes the games god tier imo as if they weren't already fantastic enough.

Sense of exploration/isolation and danger especially if you play on Veteran or higher.

It feels like the Alien/Space games done right imo. And who doesn't love those crazy cute lil metroids sucking the life out of ya.
 
#30
EDIT:

I will say that I believe Metroid Prime was basically the BotW of the Metroid series. It went back to the original game and stayed remarkably faithful to its themes and designs, while opening up a completely new dimension in gameplay with 3D exploration from a first person perspective.
Yeah that nails it -- this could be said for MP, BotW and Mario 64.
 
#31
I just started playing through the Prime trilogy for the first time and this was the thing that has stood out the most for me. The level of immersion is better than most games today even. It makes exploring the world so much more engaging and meaningful.

I can't believe i've slept on these games for so long.
That's because the games narrative is delivered through gameplay, not silly cutscenes.

You're samus, not watching a samus movie.
 
#32
a) the third successful, genre defining translation from a Nintendo 2D classic into 3D
b) immersive, atmospheric first person games about more than just shooting people in the face
c) FPS gameplay perfectly tailored to its console controllers
d) top shelf games overall
e) dat god damn music
f) timeless art style, holy shit
g) incredible mechanics blend (that morph ball transition is something else)
h) Metroid is good series y'all
 
#35
I never played any of the main Prime games (only Hunters on DS; loved it), but I recall being gobsmacked by how good Metroid Prime looked. I can't think of a better looking shooter from that generation.

If you haven't already, watch the DF retro episode dedicated to Metroid Prime.
 
#36
Metroid Prime was the first game where I felt they succeeded in combining 1st person gameplay mechanics with adventure and the feel of discovery. It brought many great video game tropes that weren't so prevalent in 1st person games like bosses and power-ups.

Also the scanning mechanic was very good and we cannot ignore the presentation which was amazing at the time.
 
#37
Im hopeful that 4 will be cool. But even though i loved the 2D games i never really loved Prime. When it came out i bought it day one and i just got frustrated my the controls and the respawning enemies. At the time i was mainly a PC gamer and i just could not get into it.

Ive tried it again since then and i get about four hours in and give up.
 
#38
The first metroid prime, and to some extent the 2nd game, is one of the few games I can think which just puts you inside the unexplored world and you never meet or talk with any other npc. In an era in which games were bombarding you with cutscenes or long talks between characters, because voice acting was pretty new, here was Metroid Prime which did the exact opposite. You are all alone in this hostile alien world and you have to uncover what happened on your own.

The story isn't being told to you through cutscenes or npcs that explain the whole thing but from you scanning the enviroment and reading messages dying civilizations left or even your own enemies, another thing I like which Metroid Prime series does well is portray what your enemies think (even about you) and do.

This feeling of extreme isolation, which not even Dark Souls portrays that well, coupled with amazing art, a world full of secrets for you to explore and a really good tight gameplay is what made Metroid Prime the masterpiece that it is. The sequel followed the same path kinda while the 3rd went all halo on you at least at the prologue and at the end which was kinda disappointing.
 
#39
I was about ready to jump in this thread and chastize OP, but thankfully I don't have to.

But seriously, what brought Metroid Prime above and beyond a typical first person adventure title was the level of immersion, specifically in the first one.

I love how unknown everything feels, not knowing anything and only getting small bits and pieces of lore from the scanning mechanic. I would say it's similar to how the Souls games employ storytelling, but Prime did it first.

It's probably why 3 was my least favorite as it had a lot of outside human elements that spoke to you directly and were there to give orders and exposition, it kind of took away from the mystery and quiet immersion. Though it was still there in many aspects so it didn't outright ruin it and 3 is still a fantastic game.
 
#43
Nintendo should hurry the fuckkkk up with releasing their classics on Switch. I want to play Super Metroid and the Metroid Primes on my Switch.
Playing prev-gen console games on a handheld is huge for me.
While the wii u was backwards compatible, i didn't play a lot of wii games on it at all.
But having those prev gen games now portable is a big differents for me.
Like they could re-release eternal darkness (windwaker, ...) on it and things like that.
 
#44
I'm sure people will put together a long list of things that the game does right. However, my answer to you is play MP for an hour and you can decide for yourself. IMO the trilogy is an amazing modern update to Metroid. Retro was able to pull off what Id did last year with DOOM.
 
#48
They are excellent games, and beyond that, there was and still is nothing else out there quite like them. "First-person adventure" wasn't just a bunch of hot air; it's really not an FPS.

The world- and level-design is outstanding, the boss fights rank among some of the most memorable and challenging in the 3D-era, the soundtracks are stellar, the art-design is excellent across all three games. Beyond that, the games all play well, with seamless transitioning between first-person and morph ball, and platforming in first-person that still feels better than most modern games.

The Metroid Prime Trilogy deserves every single amount of praise it's gotten over the years. Prime 1 is probably the 2nd or 3rd best game I've ever played, and Echoes isn't too far behind that.
 
#50
It is still a mystery to me. The controls felt really slow and clunky for me. Besides the last 5 hours of Metroid Prime were really bad to me
When you say clunky do you refer to the GameCube or Wii version? As many felt the addition of the motion control aiming made the game flow a lot quicker.

Yeah Metroid Prime feels like the BoTW of the Metroid series. As well as 64 and Galaxy. Maybe Odyssey given by how that is looking too.