Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Metroid Prime

Spoilers for Meroid Prime 1, 2 and 3, and for Metroid: Other M.

Four Years behind the times, right? Well, I finally got a copy of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and I've been playing it obsessively for the last couple of weeks. Good things about the game: you start with space jump and you don't lose it, ditto morph ball. Bad things about the game: nearly everything else. The graphics are underinspiring, for what was a shiny new console at the time; the voice acting is poor; the fact that there is voice acting at all really annoys me; there's a lot less depth to the game as a whole. I do appreciate being told where all the suit upgrades are, but that takes a lot of the fun out of it in some ways.

After some time thinking about it I finally worked out the issue that I have with it properly (and with Other M, although my issues with that game are more pressing). In Primes 1 and 2, Samus was a woman alone. Every so often her suit's AI would tell her it had found things. That was it. In 2 she interacted with the sole Luminoth survivor, and with the holograms of the some of the other Luminoth, and she did see the video footage of the GF forces on Aether as well. But it was all silent. This added to the feeling that you-as-Samus were completely on your own, working out all of the puzzles and world as you encountered it.

In Prime 3, you're led by the hand by not only the human general of the GF but by two powerful AI-types. You interact with three other bounty hunters, and are in fact rescued by one of them. You are not alone. You are not relying on your own cunning and intellect. You are merely a hired grunt. At least you don't get to hear Samus, because apparently she just whines like a little girl - and wets herself when she sees Ridley, a monster that she personally has killed - completely alone - on more occasions than I am aware (never played it on the older consoles). She's allowed to be fucked in the head. I mean, who wouldn't be, if they'd been raised by an ancient alien race and gifted with an ├╝ber-powerful mech suit from them? But she shouldn't be so goddamn annoying.

Prime 3 and Other M changed her from being an inscrutable warrior woman, whose face you never saw except in the occasional reflection, to being a vulnerable girl who needs rescued by the big strong heroes who are round about her. She is no longer a feminist icon, she is a doll, a toy to be played with then put away.

In my head, she never speaks. She never has to. She does the job, she does it well, she does it alone, and she leaves. Her life is hard and lonely. And she is tough enough to do it better than anyone else in the galaxy. She could out fight the Master Chief, and she and Ridley would have beautiful fighty lesbian sex while fighting off all the alien hordes who dared to interrupt them.

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