Metroid Prime – The Brightest Star

The cosmos. In the vast universe, the history of gaming is but a flash of light from a lone television. The light of a single console should be lost in space and time, but in the disc tray there is one light that burns brighter than all the rest. The light of Metroid Prime. Its legacy extends beyond the GameCube’s life and etches itself into gaming history. Today, a review of that legacy will be written.

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Let’s get HYPED for Metroid Prime: Federation Force!!

The build up to E3 this year saw the hype train going at full speed. With Nintendo’s show being a big secret, everybody had their own wild predictions. However we saw one name mentioned more than most: Metroid. It just felt like it was “time” with Retro Studios project being a secret, and no real Metroid being released in almost a decade. I was hyped for this too, because why else would Retro Studios open a Twitter account right before E3? The gaming media also helped set up the disappointment, with articles like “Why Metroid should be announced” and “Metroid Prime devs tease E3” right before E3. It wasn’t “Donkey Kong devs tease E3” despite that being their most popular, and most recent game. So when you deconstruct this hype, it didn’t follow much solid logic. Does it ever? Regardless, expectations were set to Metroid and hopes were high. Then we got this…

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Achievement Unlocked – Tropical Freedom

Recently it has been discovered that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has an achievement system buried inside the game, something that was never implemented in the final release. The Cutting Room Floor dived into the game’s coding and retrieved this list of achievements from a file relating to the Miiverse. As someone who has played this game to death I found this very interesting, and I’ve done pretty much all of those on my own. However, I’m writing this article to emphasise how glad I am they were removed. I’ve spent 120 hours on this masterpiece so far and I never expected that coming in, but the game continually impresses and engages me with new layers of depth. Would I have embraced the game’s design so much if there was an anti-fun tracker hovering over the screen? Probably not.

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Perfection

Retro Studios received a bit of grief when the world found out they were making this instead of another Metroid Prime. By the world, I mean 3 angry nerds on a videogame forum with Samus avatars. Despite Donkey Kong Country Returns being a huge hit and selling over 5 million, gamers were surprised when Nintendo green-lit a sequel. To be honest I liked DKCR but not nearly as much as the Metroid Prime games, so I had one foot in the entitled playground myself. At the end of the day we found out Retro gets to make whatever they want which is a good thing. DKCR was a refreshing change for Retro and they did an amazing job, but it didn’t hit that special spot for me and the level design felt a bit tame. Tropical Freeze however, is an entirely different beast. A beast that was frozen and injected with tropical goodness, then unleashed on unsuspecting Wii U owners with tropical fury. I bought the game about a month ago and I’ve already gone through all the levels, then back through them again on Hard Mode. It was a brutal challenge and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but perfect level design kept me going and I’ve loved every second of the struggle. In my mind it is (without a doubt, far and away) the best 2D platformer ever made and one of the greatest games ever. Retro Studios completely blew my expectations apart and if you’re having trouble getting excited I’m here to sell you some Tropical Freeze. It’ll enhance your performance and keep you going all night for weeks on end.

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