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The Media Entertainment Games

Croal vs. Totilo - Metroid Prime 3 vs. BioShock 75

Another round of considered commentary from two game journalism luminaries is now completed, and ready for your consumption. Newsweek's Croal and MTV's Totilo go back and forth on the merits of those 'other' console shooters, the ones without Halo in the title. What follows is a fascinating conversation focused on the titles BioShock and Metroid 3, with a wide-range of topics explored. They touch on the importance of a memorable opening, the sense of empowerment required for a good game, and a few words on what may have been lost in the move to 3D in the Metroid series. 'There's a very real argument to be made that something was lost in the transition from 2D to 3D, which is what the Wii's backers have been happy to talk about. While it's worth exploring why the transition ruined things for some gamers, I think little has been discussed about why other gamers didn't lose touch and what kind of tastes may have developed in those of us who stayed hardcore on both sides of the break. What do such gamers have to add to a discussion that so often deals only with the lapsed 2D gamers and the children of the 3D era, to say nothing of the outsider casuals?'"
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Croal vs. Totilo - Metroid Prime 3 vs. BioShock

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  • by trdrstv ( 986999 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:05PM (#20699541)
    If you want to compare both, you need to play both. I do recommend BioShock first however since Metroid simply controls better than any Dual analog FPS could. If you play Metroid first you may you might deduct points on BioShock for a control scheme that was natural before, but now feels "clunky". For the record, I prefer Metroid Prime 3 controls over Dual Analog & PC FPS's.

    While mouse sensitivity is still greater than the Wiimote (at least here, but it is a narrowing margin) The Analog stick kicks the shit out of WASD.

    Both are stellar games however, if you own a Wii60, buy both.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HalAtWork ( 926717 )
      I like both too. Bioshock is a good experience for me since I haven't enjoyed an FPS since Doom and Doom II... Bioshock takes it back to the roots of what made an FPS a lot of fun for me, the killing in a new and thrilling environment. You don't have to worry about vehicles, you get most things available to you within the first couple of hours of gameplay, and the rest of the game is spent enjoying the level structure, interesting enemy dynamics and situations unique to this game, an interesting ability u
    • The Analog stick kicks the shit out of WASD.
      Precisely why I use , . alt and right mouse button instead! ;)
    • The Wii remote will not do good on competitive FPS's though. Try playing counterstrike with a wii remote vs a pc player. You will get pwned all day long. You might want to think about your statement with analog vs WASD...
  • I enjoy the 2d Metroid games a lot. The 3d games range from horrible (3d on the DS, what the hell?) to "Meh."

    In my opinion, the 3d games ruined the franchise. They turned Metroid into Zelda in space.

    Zelda itself didn't fare too well in the 3d transition. Playing Minish cap on my Gameboy reminded me just how good things used to be.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chineseyes ( 691744 )
      3D ruined chess too.....oh wait.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jackmon ( 170028 )
      I have to strongly disagree. The 3D transition wasn't really a transition. It was the beginning of a totally different franchise. The 2D Metroid games were great (and they still are). There's just nothing in Metroid Prime like the arcade-style simplicity and precision of control that 2D allows. 2D games just have a certain appeal that can't be achieved in 3D no matter how many pixels or Gflops you throw at them. Nevertheless Metroid Prime was such a perfect combination of 1st person shooter and puzzle
      • 2D games just have a certain appeal that can't be achieved in 3D no matter how many pixels or Gflops you throw at them.
        I disagree. I think Super Mario 64 converted the original 2d Mario experience superbly to 3d. Then again, it was a 3rd person camera, which makes a big difference, and wouldn't work for a FPS (obviously).
    • I think that the 3D zelda games (in particular the N64 ones) are some of the greatest games ever. Although I love the original Zelda as well. Zelda 2 was different than the original, but still 2d, and I don't care for it much.

      I've enjoyed what I've played of Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii so far. I never gave the GC versions a shot. I went back and tried to play the original metroid again a couple years ago, and couldn't really get into it.

      I guess my point is, it's too bad you're not that big a fan of 3D games.
      • by Glytch ( 4881 )
        The original Metroid was good compared to its' contemporary competitors, but it's totally outclassed by Super Metroid in every way. If you get the chance, try Super Metroid. It's also worth trying Metroid Zero Mission. It's basically a remake of the original, but with all the gameplay problems fixed.

        As for Prime and Prime 2, they're easily on par with any Xbox/PS2/PS3/360 FPS in terms of gameplay and art direction, but after experiencing Prime 3's elegant control style you might have a hard time downgrading
        • And if you actually enjoy Metroid, Super Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission... then for the love of the gods, stay the hell away from Metroid Fusion.

          A Linear Metroid? WTF were they smoking?!
          • *quietly, to avoid the flames* I liked them all....the exploration of new places and upgrading Samus with kickass new the fact that Metroid games tend to be more challenging than a lot of the crap out there right now!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by grumbel ( 592662 )
      Metroid on DS was plain awful, the Primes weren't that bad, but I don't consider all that great either. I don't blame this on 3D, but mainly on the first person view. When jumping is a central part of the gameplay it just flat out sucks to not have a body. Which not only makes jumps annoying (even so Prime was always rather tolerant in that aspect) it also, and this is far more important, makes them uninteresting. In the 2D Metroid you had way more possibilities when jumping, you had the ledge-grab, walljum
    • by edwdig ( 47888 )
      I enjoy the 2d Metroid games a lot. The 3d games range from horrible (3d on the DS, what the hell?) to "Meh."

      Metroid on the DS was just an FPS game with Samus thrown in. It's not a real Metroid game.

      Prime 1 felt like Super Metroid from a different camera angle. Slower moving, but just about all 3D games are slower than 2D games.

      Prime 2 and 3 are Super Metroid with some elements of Fusion thrown in.

      Zelda itself didn't fare too well in the 3d transition. Playing Minish cap on my Gameboy reminded me just how
    • by Khaed ( 544779 )
      I have to respectfully disagree. I grew up on the NES and SNES, and loved the Metroid and Zelda series's. I'm the biggest Zelda/Metroid fan I know.

      I absolutely adore the 3D games. Twilight Princess is my second favorite Zelda game ever (after A Link to the Past), and the Metroid Prime series has yet to disappoint.

      It's all down to a personal preference. I feel that Twilight Princess had a very good grasp of what was GREAT about Zelda 3, and I feel that the Prime series translated the exploration and feel
    • (3d on the DS, what the hell?)

      The control scheme on the DS version of Metroid was absolutely horrible, the game itself was okay, but I had major issues with the controls. It's the only game I can think of in recent memory where the control scheme actually caused me great amounts of pain. I'm no stranger to game induced pain, I used to get blisters after playing SNES games for hours on end. Also, I used to suffer from mild carpel tunnel from all the PC gaming I did a couple years ago, but that pales in compa

    • First of all, I too was disappointed with the 3D DS Metroid. The DS is perfect for Metroidvania games, as the two Castlevanias have shown. Now Hunters is not a bad game; in fact, it is one of the best games on the DS, and the best portable FPS you can have, even winning against a whole bunch of dual-analog FPS with its control scheme. Still, I agre with you: I would have preferred a 2D Metroid on the DS.

      However, the Metroid Prime games on the Cube are clearly amongst the best games ever made. In fact, the f
    • I think I just heard the sound of the 7.6 million "Ocarnia of Time" owners go "MUUUAAAAHHHH???!?!?!?"
  • Guys... why do we need to hate games. Why not just play and love both.
  • Memorable openings (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dr. Stavros ( 808432 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:26PM (#20699887) Homepage

    Indeed, a memorable opening is important.

    Unfortunately, what was most memorable to me about the opening of BioShock was that, as soon as you gain control of the player, the water splashing up in your face as you swim in the sea leaves drips on the screen, as if it were hitting the glass lens of a camera. There's my sense of immersion destroyed in the first few seconds!

    In fact, "Something splashing on the lens, such as water or mud" is listed on Wikipedia's page on breaking the fourth wall [] as a "technical limitation" that can remind the viewer that what they are seeing is [a film, and] not real life!

    Otherwise, the opening was quite good :)

    • by MenTaLguY ( 5483 )
      Interestingly, the Metroid Prime games do this too -- but there it doesn't constitute a fourth wall violation since you (Samus) are supposed to be wearing a helmet with a visor.
      • In MP2 (and possibly the first, I don't remember) you could actually see Samus' face reflected in the visor when there was an explosion nearby. In MP3 its even better. Whenever the visor darkens in scan mode, you can see her face and her eyes move to follow the scanning reticle.

        It breaks the fourth wall in that I know I'm not a blue-eyed anime chick, but it's a sweet effect nonetheless. :)
    • by sanjacguy ( 908392 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @03:28PM (#20700983)

      Unfortunately, what was most memorable to me about the opening of BioShock was that, as soon as you gain control of the player, the water splashing up in your face as you swim in the sea leaves drips on the screen, as if it were hitting the glass lens of a camera. There's my sense of immersion destroyed in the first few seconds!
      Of course, those of us with glasses find this completely immersive. :)
      • Yeah, that annoyed me too. It's like when they add lens flare to medieval/fantasy games. Introducing errors that contradict the story just because... hey, the engine supports it! George Lucas syndrome.
    • I don't know how many people haven't played the game yet, so FAIR WARNING FOR SPOILERS:

      The fact that you are reminded that you're playing a game in the first few seconds of playing makes perfect sense, given the "Would you kindly" scene with Ryan (think about the connexions between what we do when we play a game and what Ryan does). Bioshock is more than a game; it's a philosophical discussion on what it means to play games. What I'm trying to say is that it might break immersion at the beginning, but w

  • by IceCreamGuy ( 904648 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:35PM (#20700055) Homepage
    I have all my old consoles still, and I play them about 25% of the time I'd say, but only a select few games that I just absolutely love playing, like Megaman 2, Metroid, LoZ, Lolo, and a couple others. There's something so attractive and moving about the simplicity of them visually, combined with the superb level design that just touches me in an extremely meaningful way. The music is also something that I love, it's so pure, no overtones and no human elements to make it imperfect, simple sounds juxtaposed against extremely complex musical arrangements; I actually ripped all my favorite NES music into .wav and listen to it in my car on a regular basis (Maniac Mansion gets me pumped when I'm driving). So the original 2D has this dichotomy of simplicity and complexity that makes it extremely unique and highly enjoyable, but the 3D games like Metroid Prime and Ocarina of Time just have so much depth to both the gameplay and the visuals that they just work for me. Obviously it's not the same type of enjoyment as the old ones, but that's why I keep them around. The 3D ones, I feel, have the same attention to detail and reflect just as much effort as the 2Ds, the only difference is that the incredible effort put into them can be directed into more areas of design and with greater depth than before. It's like eating a meal from the best chef in the world made from only 6 ingredients as opposed to a meal made by the best chef in the world with 20 ingredients; they'll both be the best meals you've ever had, but of course they'll be different.
    • I play both too. I still have my Super Metroid cartridge, but I haven't played it in awhile since I sold my SNES before I moved (no point in keeping it for just one game that I knew was coming to VC anyway). I got the VC download of Super Metroid 3 days before MP3 came out, and I ended up playing the two games together pretty much (take a break from one by playing the other...and I took a 2-week break from WOW to finish MP3). SM and MP3 are both fantastic games...they are very similar and yet very differ
  • by Glytch ( 4881 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:57PM (#20700481)
    A Bioshock review. []
  • when two 'hardcore' gamers get into the same room. Mario, Metroid, and Zelda are different games in 3D. It is unfair to judge a 3D game by the merits of the mechanics of a 2D predecessor. The fact that all three franchises have become critical and financial successes after the switch to 3D suggests that for any great thing that was lost, other things were added.

    Too many gaming enthusiasts are ridiculously conservative when it comes to things they love. I can't tell you how many threads I have read angry at
    • Hmm... Wow!

      That's incredibly insulting. All the "3-D" Metroid games I've played have been boring (I got 1 and 2 as gifts). B-o-r-i-n-g. However, unlike you, I don't begrudge other gamers their enjoyment of the spinoff Metroid series "Metroid Prime." Live and let live, I'd normally say. (After all, I enjoy Metroid Prime Pinball, a spinoff of a spinoff.)

      Unfortunately, the Metroid Prime series is killing off the good Metroid games, from my perspective. You never liked Metroid, but you like the spinoff

      • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
        wow, dude, such anger! I happen to agree with him, and I love Super Metroid. I place Prime 1 and Super Metroid at the top of the list. I think the 3D games are VERY faithful to the original series in all but the action-element in the gameplay... of which I think is not so much a defining feature of the series. Not all the 2D games are great, and not all the 3D games are great. It's all pretty mixed from "good" to "meh".

        Super Metroid and Zero Mission are amazing
        Metroid II and Fusion are "pretty good" thoug
    • by 7Prime ( 871679 )
      I agree with you except for Zelda. I think 3D Zelda and 2D Zelda are essentially fairly similar, since the game itself doesn't revolve so much around control mechanics. The game is essentially a puzzle game with fighting thrown in the mix. This means that although the perspective has changed, the way in which you methodically play through the game has not. Case-in-point, I don't think that Phantom Hourglass, which is fundimentally a 2D game, is going to feel or play all that differently from Windwaker

  • Have these two "game journalism luminaries" played anything beyond a few console hits? I had to stop reading midway through the third article because they couldn't stop talking about Metal Gear Solid.

    These articles seriously deserve some commentary from the designers to make them complete. I'd love to hear Ken Levine's response, although he'd probably rather see gamers work these things out on their own.
    • Near the end it becomes clear that one of them was relatively new, and never played Metal Gear before the 2d-3d transition. I"m not sure whether they're for or against MGS in 3d. Ghost Babel was a fantastic game that brought the most interesting parts from the 3d back to 2d, so I don't think it's clear-cut. But I think partly when you write for MTV maybe you don't want to use obscure references when a reference your entire audience would understand exists.
  • Ive yet to play either but both are games that I am looking foward too. Definatally when I get my new video card, BioShock is top of the list. Its one of those games that seem to stand out in a world flooded with the same stuff. It looks sweet, looks like it handles sweet and if it has stratergy other than running and gunning, it's a good thing. I quite liked the previous Metroid Prime games. The first and second Primes are still to this day my fave 1st person expereince of this decade, I felt it stayed t

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas