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Metroid Prime 3 Overanalyzed

The release of a new Metroid game is indeed a rare occasion.   For me itís almost a religious experience, a sacred day in which the gaming gods have bestowed their blessing upon the world.   Sometimes it can even feel better than Christmas morningÖ assuming that Mario or Link both donít have games coming out during the holiday season.

What makes a Metroid game so special?   Metroid at its very core is the definitive exploring game.   Sorry Castlevania fans, I just never got into the whole Castlevania thing.   Thereís just something about running and shooting plasma beams that entertains me more than a whip.   No, just kidding, Castlevania is awesome too.

The basic concept of the ďMetroidvaniaĒ type games is that you start out in an unknown world, and itís your mission to chart out and explore that world while collecting various power ups and items along the way.   Each power up or item holds the potential to unlock new areas in the game world that you couldnít quite reach or find before.   Maybe you see a ledge high up on a cliff, but with your current condition you canít make that jump.   Then, 20 or 30 minutes later you come across an item that boosts your jumping heightówell, now itís time to back track and find that damn cliff because you forgot where it was.

Some people may think this is a pain, but I love this type of game play.   I feel like Iím constantly going where no one has gone before, even though potentially thousands of other players are doing the same thing.   In a Metroid game, an item just isnít a new way to move around, or a new gun to shootóits unlocking a whole new world for you to explore at each pick up, and the feeling never loses itís intensity.   Every item still feels like getting the Morph Ball for the first time, or the Missiles, or the Space Jump.   Itís just an amazing sensation when I play any Metroid or exploring adventure game.

Warning: Spoilers for Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, and Metroid Prime 3 Corruption are ahead.

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