Remembering the Classics: Metroid Prime

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Not entirely unlike fine wine, certain video games improve with age. I’m not talking physically of course. I’m talking about status and price. What commonly happens with any regular video game release is that overtime the game will become cheaper and cheaper as it fades into obscurity. Almost all home console games are released with a $60 price tag nowadays, but give a game a few months or years and that price is almost guaranteed to drop at least $20. This is why used games are so immensely popular. Everyone likes a good deal after all! However, there’s always that title that becomes so exceptionally rare overtime that the price skyrockets. These are games that people love so much that they refuse to part with them, and anyone who failed to invest at the beginning might have to resort to spending upwards of $100+ to get their hands on a copy.

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The concept of a game’s price rising overtime was especially prevalent this week when news broke that GameStop was bringing more vintage and difficult to obtain titles to their stores. Naturally, these games are expected to have higher than average price points due to their rarity. One of the games in question coming to the store is the Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Nintendo Wii which currently goes for almost $90 used. A brand new copy runs about $200 which is astronomical. This costs more than buying the three games completely separate brand new. While some might view this as incredibly over the top for the right reasons, there is a reason for this. What reason could this be to cause the price of a game to more than triple its original cost? Well read on and you’ll find out!

The Metroid Prime series first hit the shelves back in November of 2002 with the appropriately titled Metroid Prime on the Nintendo GameCube. Metroid Prime stars Samus Aran, one of the most legendary female video game characters of all time, as she investigates a distress beacon which leads to the planet Tallon IV. Throughout the course of the game, Samus travels to a diverse range of environments fighting an innumerable amount of enemies as she learns the secrets behind the planet and where her arch-nemesis Meta Ridley ran off to. Samus encounters an unknown entity named Dark Samus during her journey who would become the primary series antagonist for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Despite the change in locale among the titles, the gameplay was almost completely the same. The Metroid Prime series is a first-person shooter with a typical heads-up display and many power-ups at your disposal. You get new laser beams to shoot, new visors, and stronger armor. The famous Morph Ball mode is important as well.

What made the Metroid Prime series stand out in this wildly successful franchise that began in 1986 was how it introduced a completely different element to the series. Every title prior was a two-dimensional side scrolling platformer that was extremely large and open-ended. While Metroid Prime retained the open-ended world, it took a different approach by being a first-person shooter. It’s something that wasn’t done before for the series but absolutely makes sense now. This simple change in perspective completely altered the franchise forever. It made the game that much more expansive and intricate. The improved graphical power of the Nintendo GameCube allowed you to immerse yourself in vast wastelands and jungles that had danger at every turn. It made a nearly 20 year franchise fresh again, bringing in a whole new breed of fans and retaining long-time lovers in the process.

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Now I bet you’re wondering what exactly is it with the Metroid Prime series that constitutes it’s rarity on the market. On the outside it probably looks like just another first person shooter where you fight hordes of angry aliens. I’ll admit, that’s not exactly a new concept. However, when you use that simple concept and completely flesh it out with a legendary heroine to create an entirely new adventure unlike anything you have ever seen before, something magical happens. In regards to Metroid Prime alone you get an award winning title that currently holds a 97 on Metacritic and is one of the highest rated games of all time. People loved the Metroid franchise long before Prime even began praising the franchise’s regularly amazing sound effects, detailed environments, and battles that were massive in scale. Metroid Prime brought all of this to an entirely new level by fully immersing you in the action from Samus’s perspective. The following two games to complete the trilogy just added more and more to the already successful idea. So it’s hardly a surprise that the three titles on their own are difficult to get, and having them all together in a single trilogy disc with great graphics makes it that much hotter of an item.

A lot of people doubted the success of Metroid Prime when it first became public, but I personally have been a fan of the game since the beginning. I already loved first person shooter games and coupling that with a mega franchise like Metroid was just a gold mine waiting to be struck. Metroid Prime was a must buy for me back in 2002 and considering how pricy the series is now I’m glad I got it when I did. The game was jaw-dropping amazing, enough so that I re-played it multiple times. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes in 2004 was also a fantastic title but there was no way it could have possibly topped the original. I’ve only played bits and pieces of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on the Wii but I know that many regard it as the weakest of the trilogy (a “modest” Metacritic score of 90). The praise for the original Metroid Prime extends far beyond the trilogy itself as it’s currently the highest rated Metroid game ever. I’ve played nearly every Metroid game in existence and I can personally confirm this as fact.

Every popular franchise has that particular game that resonates so immensely with fans that it becomes a rarity in the marketplace. For Final Fantasy, it’s Final Fantasy VII. For The Legend of Zelda, it’s undeniably Ocarina of Time. Metroid Prime and its subsequent trilogy fit that role perfectly for the ever expansive journey of the space bounty hunter Samus Aran. The games are just awesome and it makes sense that they have become such a sought after title over the years. It’s great that GameStop is doing whatever it can to get this trilogy out to new fans albeit with a higher price. If you have the means to do so, I’d recommend trying to get each individual game separately and see if you can save a hefty sum that way. At the very least, get a copy of the original Metroid Prime if you’ve never had a chance to play it. Good luck to you if you try this! There’s a reason why it’s so rare and the price has gone up after all!

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