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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

Developers: Retro StudiosNintendo Publisher: Nintendo
15 November 2004
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - cover art
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591 Ratings / 4 Reviews
#162 All-time
#14 for 2004
After answering a distress signal on the planet Aether, Samus Aran finds herself caught in the middle of a war between the Luminoth, the planet's endangered inhabitants, and the Ing, a violent alien race invading from an alternate dimension. While intervening in this conflict she is confronted by a vicious doppelgänger who controls the deadly Phazon substance she had previously encountered.
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2004 Retro Nintendo  
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2004 Retro Nintendo  
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2004 Retro Nintendo  
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A Sophomore Slump Held Up By The Successes Of It's Predecessor
The dark/light world is a neat idea that unfortunately makes exploration feel cumbersome a majority of the time. Bosses have some of the jankiest hitboxes in any action game I've ever played making shots at weakpoints feel like luck 50% of the time (looking at you Grapple Guardian). The sub-optimal GameCube controls don't help either. Knowing where to go feels much more cryptic this time around as well. Pacing the game into mostly standalone areas that progressively unlock over time should've done a good job at preventing some confusion, but it ultimately doesn't. The level design and map layout doesn't feel nearly as polished or precise either.

Almost all of the new additions make this game worse than Prime 1., but at it's core it's still a Prime game and everything that made the first game so good (and revolutionary) is still present here - at varying degrees of course. The atmosphere is much more interesting this time around, the story and Luminoth deliver plenty of intrigue, and Dark Samus is just so damn cool.
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tyler_keeble 2023-06-29T12:55:25Z
2023-06-29T12:55:25Z
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Rejoice, fellow Metroid fans; for once Metroid Prime was released to mark Metroid’s debut in the third dimension, the franchise didn’t crawl back under its dark, damp rock for another decade of hibernation. At least, this was the case for a while until Metroid once again upheld its reputation as the Snorlax of Nintendo’s franchises: massively conspicuous, yet disappointingly dormant. Nowadays, it’s uncertain whether or not Nintendo will follow up on Metroid’s third wind after another ten year interval of silence, a worrisome state for Metroid fans everywhere. Back in the 2000s, however, it was a fantastic time to be a Metroid fan, as the tidal wave of Metroid Prime’s success reverberated for the duration of almost two whole gaming generations. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes was the direct successor to the first game’s new found glory, and the game was released in the time of a standard sequel as opposed to a whole life’s worth of events passing by the time Samus reappears. Metroid Prime 2 was also as exemplary a 3D Metroid title as the first, advancing what is typically a 2D game one polygonal space beyond itself and doing so masterfully. Yet, Metroid Prime 2 wasn’t met with the same level of awe-stricken delight, as the public merely deduced it as a sequel that fulfilled all of the expectations that the first game established. I suppose Metroid Prime 2 had an inherent disadvantage. People were no longer catastrophizing over the troubling notion of Metroid Prime’s American developers and their ambitions murdering the franchise in cold blood, but anything in Metroid Prime 2 couldn’t have been as astonishing as the first game since we had seen the template the developer referenced to craft it. Also, this was the first Metroid sequel on the same console as its predecessor, so both look and feel wildly similar to one another. Still, Metroid Prime 2’s sequel status meant that the game could relax and use the comparatively less pressured development period to do what a sequel does best: grease the loose screws from the first game that are still wobbly.

Because Metroid Prime is a direct sequel to the first game, the game’s events take place after the final resolution of the first game instead of flirting with their sequential releases in a Zelda-esque nonlinear timeline as the first Prime title did. However, most people who played the first Metroid Prime wouldn’t be able to even guess the opening conflict of the second game, as the sequel’s main antagonist was only revealed to those who had meticulously taken the effort to scrounge up every missile upgrade and scan a encyclopedia’s worth of Tallon IV lore. For those of you who felt content facing the final boss with a marginally less capable Samus, a being formed from the dark antimatter Phazon called “Dark Samus” rises from the wreckage of Metroid Prime’s demise. This shadowy apparition isn’t only referred to as “Dark Samus” due to her (it’s?) uncanny resemblance to the bounty hunter and dark complexion. The Phazon-fueled phantom is malevolence incarnate, with a mission of desecrating all natural life and causing Samus a lot of grief in the process. Dark Samus plans to enact a terrible catastrophe on the distant planet Aether, a place where Samus must trace the signal of a distress call. Aether used to be the thriving civilization of the human-moth hybrid creatures called the Luminoth, but have suffered an apocalyptic fate similar to the crumbled society on Tallon IV. The noxious threat to Aether is the Ing, tar-black bullies with parasitic natures so pernicious that it spells doom for any planet they come across. If the harrowing sequence displaying the Ing slaughtering an entire fleet of space mercenaries is any indication, the threat that they pose is tremendous. The Ing have all but wiped out the Luminoth people, except for one of their spiritual leaders named U-Mos who resides at the helm of Aether’s Great Temple. He instructs Samus to connect the other energy controllers located across Aether’s three other districts, for this unification will restore the planet’s vital energy source. While the premise of Metroid Prime 2 is eerily similar to that of the first Prime game, the Ing are a more tangible presence that makes them a more interesting force of great evil.

In order to cross the four invigorating streams of light in Aether, Samus must first find three keys that open the door to the dark version of that area’s temple. The Ing have usurped the energy from these temples, and Samus must retrieve the energy to the light world counterpart to the rightful Luminoth owners. This consistent collection process is a perfect segway to discuss Metroid Prime 2’s main improvement over the previous game, and that’s its level design and sense of progression. Backtracking is often perceived as a negative aspect of the Metroidvania genre and in gaming in general. While I’m often a staunch defender of backtracking, especially in the Metroidvania genre due to its specific design philosophy, roaming around creation in the first Metroid Prime admittedly did become rather tedious. Objectives were jotted on the map via signal transmission, and they usually led to retrieving one of Samus’s misplaced suit upgrades. The player had the freedom to meet this objective at their own pace, but the game often inhibited other paths of progression until the main one was met. Traversing to this plotted point on the map would often force the player to take the bataan death march across Tallon IV’s five districts just to immediately make the same grueling journey back to where they were when given this objective to use the new upgrade. This frequent escapade is why the area of Magmoor Caverns became especially tiresome, acting as Tallon IV’s molten mezzanine. In Metroid Prime 2, individual objectives are endemic to the current area Samus finds herself, whether they be obtaining a gadget or finding the three keys to unlock the door where the dark energy controller is located. This is the standard level progression for each area, and the comparatively contained design makes the pinnacle objective feel more climactic with a satisfying sense of completion. All the while, each area is stacked with those rich Metroidvania elements that make the genre so enticing. Aether’s world map is also constructed like a pyramid, which means that each area has an elevator that conveniently leads to the others in the rare instances of backtracking. Samus will still receive notifications to guide her on where the next point of progression is, but they happen much less frequently, only when the game feels as if the player is hopelessly lost after straying from the intended route for some time. No longer does it seem like Navi has intercepted a satellite transmission that beams into Samus’s suit.

In addition to triumphing over the first Metroid Prime’s areas in terms of progression and overall design, Aether’s districts are also superior on their aesthetic merits. Each area of Tallon IV was visually stunning, especially for being the first three-dimensional rendering of a Metroid world. However, anyone who played Super Metroid will notice some eerie similarities between Metroid Prime’s areas and those of the franchise's then last 2D outing. The Tallon IV overworld was another watery grove as Crateria, where Samus felt comfortable using the area as the docking bay for her ship in assuming that the only force of nature attacking the spacecraft is the inclement weather. Magmoor Caverns almost proves that Metroid cannot refrain from implementing a claustrophobic area revolving around dodging pools of lava similar to the classic example of Norfair. Metroid Prime 2 proves that the franchise isn’t a one trick pony in crafting areas in outer space that are appropriately tense and imposing. Right off the bat, it’s difficult to describe the topographical layout of the Temple Grounds. The perimeter outside of the Great Temple that intersects to every other area at different angles is an arid canyon composed of some borderline expressionist architecture caked in layers of insect webbing and eggs. The atmosphere the aesthetic conveys is not the same as the long period of decay since prosperity like in the Chozo Ruins. Rather, it feels like Samus has found herself in the beating heart of some extraterrestrial insect hive. It’s difficult to discern whether or not the area looks this way from the Luminoth’s initial design, or this is now the breeding grounds of the lesser creatures that inhabit the area because of how barren it has become. It’s a far cry from the placid wetlands where Samus usually keeps her vessel in and if I were her, I’d worry about returning to it entangled in a ball of web the size of a boulder.

The rate of deviation Temple Grounds makes from Metroid area tropes may seem compromised by the following Agon Wastes and Torvus Bog, seeing as they share strong similarities to the areas from the previous Metroid Prime. However, this is merely a surface level observation. At first glance, Agon Wastes recalls the sandy remains of the Chozo Ruins, with Aether’s own new line of scavengers taking advantage of their desolate ecosystem. Torvus Bog is yet another Metroid wetland situated in the far west region of Aether, making us all wonder why Samus didn’t choose to rest her spacecraft here as usual. Upon exploring these districts of Aether, the initial comparisons stemming from their aesthetics will shift to comparing both of them to Phendrana Drifts. The snowy peak of Tallon IV showcased a particular design in which the frost that covered the organic, breathtaking outside contrasted with the hazardously dim corridors of the Space Pirate Laboratory, and both sections of the area were of relatively equal space. Entering Agon Wastes from the Temple Grounds presents the vast desert wasteland which seems even more sterile than the former Chozo metropolis. After excavating through the land’s rocky cliffs and strangely translucent, holographic foliage, the good ol’ Space Pirates have made their presence known by erecting another laboratory on Aether that houses the same breed of metroids found on Tallon IV. Persistent bastards, aren’t they? Agon Wastes chooses the best designed area from the previous Prime title to introduce another dune-oriented district instead of replicating the one we were already acquainted with, along with improving on its inspiration by making the area more navigable with a more circular layout. That, and we can all be grateful that the laboratory here never loses its power source, so Samus doesn’t have to wander skittishly through the dark. Underneath the marshy surface of Torvus Bog is the area’s hydrochamber, a pumping station submerged almost entirely in the brackish backwash of the bog’s constant drizzle. While the parallels between how Torvus Bog borrows from Phendrana’s design are less obvious than Agon’s, the contained industrialized section of the hydrochamber still rivals the perimeter presence of the overworld. Also, the Grenchlers are more viscous versions of the Sheegoths in a temperate climate. The one area in Metroid Prime 2 that draws no direct comparisons is Sanctuary Fortress, and its sheer originality makes it the stand out area of Aether. This cybernetic city in the sky is arguably the most futuristic section of any Metroid game. An electric, neon aura permeates through its abstract aesthetic, and its architecture with wide chasms and series of elevators makes its overall design just as convoluted. Even though looking out on the lights below the area contradicts its placement with the rest of Aether, it only heightens its intended magnificence. Aether’s muted color tone also gives it more character and aids in the cohesiveness of the world as opposed to the varied level tropes seen across Tallon IV’s districts.

Of course, the most essential dichotomy illustrated in Metroid Prime 2 is the one between Aether’s light and the dark realms. Not since A Link to the Past has Nintendo implemented this dynamic as a method of dividing a game’s world and narrative with this classic contrast. Unlike A Link to the Past, Metroid Prime 2’s dark world does not comprise the harder second half of the game, and the surreal weight of this otherworldly dimension does not transform Samus into her fursona either. In fact, Samus must consistently work with both the light and dark realms in conjunction with one another after she finds the first portal in the Agon Wastes early in the game. Shifting the light and dark worlds throughout the game highlights a layered relationship between both realms. For example, a bridge in Torvus Bog is inconveniently facing the direction opposite the door needed to progress through the area. Only by warping over to the dark world and activating the switch with a power bomb will the bridge turn to the optimal direction. A similar progression sequence occurs in the hydrochamber when Samus must change the trajectory of a laser in the dark world to erode the earthy rock obscuring a passageway. Dead ends in the light world will often be exceeded via visiting the dark world and its slightly deviated map, and the dark world possesses just as many hidden items and upgrades with its indigo-hued map. The developers put in the extra effort to present a deeper connection with the two opposites of Aether besides lazily making the dark world an exact replica, but with an aesthetic of being baked alive in an antimatter pressure cooker.

Given that the dark world connotes a sense of evil dissidence, it should be evident that Aether’s dark side is more difficult to traverse through than its realistic counterpart. Retro Studios has paved Metroid Prime’s difficulty curve after the first title hit a gaping pothole in the Phazon Mines. Every subsequent area encountered in Aether is reasonably more challenging than the previous one, even if there are some interspersed sections that will still cause some ire. The dark world, on the other hand, manages to have a waning difficulty curve opposite of the standard one in the light. At first, the insalubrious air of the dark world will corrode Samus’s health as quickly as if she slipped and fell into the lava of Magmoor Caverns. Fortunately, the developers decided to aid the player in this brutal atmosphere by implementing domes of light that cover a limited radius of the ground that steadily restores Samus’s health. Whether or not the source of light is a fleeting burst or supported by a crystal with constant illumination, Samus will be forced to shelter herself from the elements of Aether’s bizarro realm in order to survive. While I appreciate the consideration of this safety net by the developers, I’m sure every player nursed the dark world’s health pools like charging a phone’s battery. If the opportunity to fully replenish one’s health is readily available, then I’m going to relish that advantage, even if I embarrassingly realized that the reason why I felt these spots of respite were tedious was because of my insistence on abusing them instead of any real gameplay fallacies. Still, the need to use these enclosed light bubbles as umbrellas becomes less necessary as the game progresses because adapting to the pernicious environment is often an automatic reward. Samus’s suit upgrades will grant her more durability, as her health will deplete at a more leisurely pace. At the end of the game, U-Mos will grant Samus total invulnerability to the dark world’s poisonous air quality, a satisfying conclusion to the game’s central difficulty arc. Still, couldn’t he have made Samus impenetrable at the beginning, which would’ve been more practical for his dire situation? Is that Glinda the Good Witch in a moth costume?

The dichotomy between light and dark in Metroid Prime 2 is such a pertinent theme that the game even weaponizes it. Gone are the elemental beams accompanying Samus’s standard blaster on the C-Stick from the first game. Instead, Samus uses two separate beams that expunge dark and light energy respectively, with the late game “annihilator beam” combining the two like a chocolate-vanilla swirl. As to be expected, the light beam is super effective against enemies that reside in the dark world, and the same goes for the dark beam in the light. These two beams aren't as balanced as they might seem, however. The primary reason for this is due to both beams having ammunition as opposed to the inexhaustible power of the beams in the previous Prime game. Replenishing ammo is made uncomplicated by simply using the opposite beam on an enemy or cache, but my main grievance with the new beams stems from the utility of them. Naturally, the light beam will be used in most circumstances in the dark world as the Ing’s kryptonite because these enemies here are far more formidable in an environment that is already draining Samus’s health just by standing around in it. In the light world where the enemies are less daunting and the base environment leaves Samus intact, why would anyone expend their dark beam ammo when the regular blaster works just fine? Using the dark beam only comes recommended in the tensest of circumstances. I can’t help but be amused at the irony at how unbalanced the intended yin-yang relationship is between these two beams. Later in the game, color-coordinated enemies are introduced to force the player to use the beams equally, but it feels very shoehorned. It’s also irritating that I’m forced to use ammo to open the light and dark blast doors. Again, ammo is plentiful, but I must gripe about the unfairness of it like an old man seeing a tax on his bills that wasn’t there before.

Fortunately, the alternate beams from the first Metroid Prime are the only weapons that have been replaced. Every one of Samus’s gadgets such as the missiles, power bombs, and grapple beam make their return after they proved to be functional in the third dimension. Showcasing all of Samus’s handy tools in the first Metroid Prime was rather impressive seeing them in a whole new dimension, but that initial wonder has diminished upon seeing them again here. Lest we forget the tools in Samus’s inventory that were omitted in the first Prime game, for the developers figured they would’ve been too obtuse to translate. I’m happy to report that Retro Studios took another chance at those items and have now rendered them successfully. The most glaring omission from Metroid’s leap to 3D was the absence of the Screwattack, Samus’s end game whirlwind weapon that weaponizes Samus’s somersaulting while defying the laws of gravity. This upgrade’s utility in Metroid Prime 2 is mostly used for traversal rather than combat, as the perspective shifts like it does when Samus is in ball form as Samus can glide for five energetic long jumps. While the Screwattack here does not make Samus into a force of pure destruction, soaring over chasms with some expertly timed jumps still exudes that feeling of power. The often wonky wall-jump mechanic coincides directly with the Screwattack as the same precision is needed to hop from side to side in only a couple of scenarios. I’m just happy that they managed to implement these competently to achieve the rounded Metroid experience in 3D.

Metroid Prime 2 also adds plenty of new items and upgrades besides the dueling beams. Samus’s missiles have always been able to be fired in bulk with the Super Missile, yet they’ve never had the rapid fire power of Samus’s standard beam. That is, until Metroid Prime 2 introduced the Seeker Launcher, which uses the 3D targeting system to lock on up to five missiles at multiple targets. Because the action in Metroid Prime is quick, standing still in order to lock onto multiple enemies is completely impractical, so the Seeker Launcher is disappointingly intended mostly for opening a few special doors. The Gravity Boost upgrade that allows Samus to move flexibly underwater without the liquid weight now comes with the added perk of a jet pack of sorts that boosts Samus upward for a short time, something greatly appreciated in Torvus Bog’s hydrochamber. The Thermal Visor has been replaced with the Dark Visor which reveals hidden platforms and enemies. It’s quite nifty when dealing with the frequent encounters with the Dark Pirate Commandos, infected Space Pirates who serve as the equivalents to the Chozo Ghosts who are arguably more irritating due to their increased durability. The Echo Visor is interesting enough, but I still scratch my head at its contradictory simple and complicated uses in unlocking doors. Metroid Prime 2’s upgrades are a mixed bag of improvements and odd implementations that should’ve been considered a bit better.

Whether or not the item at hand is old or new, they are all locked behind a boss battle. The full extent of the Ing’s thievery sets up this game’s premise of Samus suddenly being deprived of all her fancy gadgets, this time recollecting them with a vengeance. The developers evidently thought that even though they mitigated the backtracking from the first game, the player still had to earn these upgrades somehow while simultaneously compensating for the paltry number of bosses in the first Prime game. Unfortunately, the smattering of bosses on display here reinstate a warped difficulty curve that the levels managed to avoid and are the true source of frustration with Metroid Prime 2. The first egregiously stiff boss battle in the game is the Boost Guardian, a standard Ing enemy who uses Samus’s ball accelerator to erratically ricochet around the arena. The most challenging factor of this fight is that there are no light pools to heal Samus anywhere, leaving her uncomfortably vulnerable. The dominant Alpha Bogg at the core of the hydrochamber provides the slimmest window of opportunity to damage him, charging at Samus with violent impact and punishing the player severely for trying to correct their mistakes by dodging. The Spider Guardian is a boss situated entirely in a series of ball form tracks, and the unfair precision and time needed to zap the rolling bug is what makes this fight a fucking nightmare. I’d like to put the Spider Guardian in a tube and shove it up the ass of the developer responsible for this fuckness and see how he likes the boss battle playing out in his intestinal tract. It doesn’t help that failing on the two previously mentioned bosses sends Samus back to a save room miles away from the encounter to add insult to injury. Yet, The Power Bomb Guardian boss after the Spider Guardian is insultingly easy. The bosses that have snatched up Samus’s upgrades might be a sign that the quality bosses of the first game were more adequate than the quantity of them seen here. Fortunately, Metroid Prime 2 still provides top-notch bosses with the penultimate area bosses guarding the dark energy controllers, with the arachnid android Quadraxis providing an engaging level of deep circuity that makes his fight delightful.

Still, each boss in Metroid Prime 2 is inherently lower in precedence compared to Dark Samus. She’s a looming shadow over our protagonist in a deeper sense than just her supernatural state of existence, and the game conveys this throughout the game. Samus first fights her enigmatic doppelganger as early as Agon Wastes, where her stature is relatively equal to Samus with a few unique tricks to throw the player for a loop. At the Sanctuary Fortress, Dark Samus becomes more daunting as she’s much more difficult to take down. It’s interesting to see that Samus’s rival is gradually getting stronger in tandem with the player’s progression with Samus. Still, the slight unpredictability she puts on display in her encounters implies that Dark Samus still has one slight leg up on Samus, retaining that sense of dread with seeing her. After another tedious excursion of obtaining nine keys to open the door to the final boss in a quest that mirrors the one from the first game, Dark Samus even eclipses Emperor Ing as the game’s final challenge, and the grand poobah of the sludgy pests will make the player splurge all of their dark and light ammunition. Unlike the colored signals that signify Emperor Ing’s points of vulnerability, Dark Samus is so unpredictable that she’ll leave the player in a state of panic as her weapons do middling damage to her at best. That, and the classic Metroid escape timer has been reinstituted and is counting down rapidly during the fight, putting an insane amount of pressure on the player like no Metroid game has ever done before. Even when the player figures out how to damage Dark Samus, good luck trying to absorb all of her Phazon blasts without damaging Samus in the process. This frenzied fight is a perfect way to cap off the powerful rivalry between the two Samuses, and the only appropriately difficult final duel for the most difficult Metroid game.

My last statement might introduce a new argument to the table that needs addressing: is Metroid Prime 2 the hardest Metroid title. Was its elevated difficulty intentional on the part of the developers, and is that what gives it the clear advantage as the quintessential 3D Metroid game? I can’t definitely answer the first question, but I must state a clear nay to the latter. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is on equal standing with the first game on its own merits, which stems from both positives and negatives. Retro Studios improved upon so much from the previous game, but steered too far from a few aspects that were so strong in the first Metroid Prime. When I gripe about the world design and the steep arch that is the Phazon Mines, I start to commend the second game for making its world design more accessible and building a more accommodating difficulty curve around it. At the same time, being slaughtered by an unfair boss battle and using ammunition to open a door makes me yearn to return to the simpler times on Tallon IV. Debating whether or not Metroid Prime 2 surpasses its revolutionary predecessor always reaches an impasse. Still, the fact that Retro Studios could replicate their enormous achievement in gaming again while also making it indiscernible from their last game is extraordinary in itself.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T19:39:42Z
2017-07-21T19:39:42Z
9.5
2
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Uma versão mais “hardcore” da experiência do antecessor. Tanto em termos estéticos quanto no gameplay.

Há mais foco em combate e, em contrapartida, uma estrutura de progressão mais linear. Se isso é bom ou ruim, vai do gosto do freguês. Para mim, enfraquece o que torna a franquia verdadeiramente especial.

Ainda assim, Echoes é um jogaço capaz de transmitir um grau de imersão similar ao do primeiro Prime. Mas para se equiparar em qualidade, faltou uma Samus mais ágil e com mais habilidades ofensivas, o que ajudaria a equilibrar as lutas mais tensas.
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gabrielctps 2022-07-09T00:14:34Z
2022-07-09T00:14:34Z
4.0
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Metroid Prime 2 is a tougher, darker, more complex version of Metroid Prime. It is also a less soulful and less creative version of Metroid Prime.

Metroid Prime 2 has four primary areas: the Temple Grounds, the Agon Wastes, the Torvus Bog, and the Sanctuary Fortress. In similar style to Zelda’s A Link to the Past or Twilight Princess, there is a dark world version of each area, with mostly identical rooms in architecture, but containing different obstacles. The first area you encounter is the Temple Grounds. This area bears a strong resemblance in form and function to the Chozo Ruins of the first game. It’s a relatively rocky/desert looking area, it has ruins of an old alien culture, and it even has War Wasps and their hives. It’s probably my least favorite area, mostly because it does absolutely nothing new, and is a pain to navigate even in the late game, because to cross the level, you must either ride an elevator up then down again or go all the way around.

The second area, the Agon Wastes, is another desert area. I’m not sure why they decided on more desert, but I was never impressed with that decision. Look, I love New Vegas, but it’s certainly not because of the endless stretches of the Mojave that you can stare at. The good news is the area is laid out much better and has a Space Pirate base that mixes up the monotonous desert tones. In addition, this is the first time you get to travel into the Dark World. It’s an improvement, but I’m still not very impressed.

Torvus Bog comes up next and, my goodness, I do love this area. This is easily my favorite area in terms of both aesthetics and design. It’s an absolute breath of fresh air after all the lifeless, dull desert rooms. Suddenly there’s water, plants, and animals everywhere, and they all want to kill you! I know some people absolutely despise water-based levels, and I can relate to a degree, but most of the water navigation issues are dismissed once you get the Gravity Boost. I would even go so far as to say some of the pre-Gravity Boost water puzzles are, dare I say it, fun? It also doesn’t hurt that it has both of my favorite level music themes in the game. It does have the drawback of being yet another repeat in design from the first game (this time drawing parallels to the Tallon Overworld), but if they were going to copy anything, that’s one I wouldn’t mind getting a revisit.

The final light world area is the Sanctuary Fortress, which is a double-edged sword for me. On the one hand, it contains many of the best puzzles, enemies, and bosses, and is generally the most challenging area by quite a bit. On the other hand, it can be quite annoying to navigate, particularly after you’ve already beaten it and are just trying to get collectibles. The design of the place is very technology oriented, having the feel of an advanced alien sci-fi military complex. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, YET AGAIN, it carries a similar design feel to a previous Metroid Prime area, this time the Phazon Mines. However, of all the areas, this one mostly manages to distinguish itself as different, given that the Phazon Mines feel much more industrial whereas this area feels much more high-tech. Overall, I find its design to be very engaging and another good variation for the game to offer, but I will say, the whole place feels a bit lifeless. That of course is fitting, but it hurts it a bit, regarding my personal preferences.

Lastly, there are all the dark world versions of those areas. The dark world areas all carry similar aesthetics to each other, but they do inherit a few traits here and there from their respective light world counterparts. The dark world has an eerie, grim, oppressive atmosphere, compounded by the fact that you receive regular damage when you are not in various light bubbles scattered throughout the areas. I love the execution of the dark world in a vacuum, but the big drawback for me is that there is far too little variation throughout the dozens and dozens of rooms you will go through. Additionally, not all the dark world areas are connected which I found to be quite frustrating. I understand the reason for keeping them piecemealed out in the early game but having to go into certain portals to get into certain areas in the late game is just dismal. Still, because of the high damage potential and invisible enemies that like to pop out on you, it has some of the tensest, most exhilarating, and even panic inducing encounters, especially if you neglect to use a save room for the last hour like I do sometimes. Overall, the world design is very good, verging on great, but the first couple desert areas and the somewhat tiresome navigation hold it back for me.

Next, I’d like talk about my primary issue with this game. This game copies way too much from the first Metroid Prime. This is a non-issue if you’ve never played the first game, but I have, and it is fairly blatant throughout the game. I already talked about the similarities in overworlds, but it goes much further than those. Several enemies are re-skins of enemies from the first game and contain nearly identical attack patterns, such as the Grenchlers which are just baby Sheegoths, or the Dark Pirate Commandos which are just Chozo Ghosts (even locking doors when they appear and requiring a special visor to see, exactly like the first game). There are numerous other examples, some of which weren’t even reskinned, but simply renamed such as the Harmony & Diligence Class Drones which are identical to the Pulse & Scatter Bombus of the first game. The beam weapons are also re-skins (Dark = Ice, Light = Wave, Annihilator = Plasma), though they do function differently, happily, which is more important. Lastly the music takes so, so many cues from the first game, and unfortunately most of it isn’t anywhere near as engaging as the first game. Still, given I adore the first games soundtrack, this game’s is still pretty good. Taken individually none of these things are big problems. There’s nothing wrong reusing a few enemies or music tracks here or there, but when you pile them all up, it starts to grate. It’s not the kind of thing that can make an otherwise good game bad, but it does keep me from really loving it.

I want to be clear though, the game is still very, very fun. It is more challenging than the first, and even surpasses it in a few ways. The boss fights, for example, are nearly all better. I prefer the aesthetic boss designs in the first game more, but the mechanics of the fights are just so much better in the second game. I didn’t die a single time in my Metroid Prime playthrough, even on hard mode, but the second to last boss of the second game managed to kill me even though I had gotten max health before the fight. Another big positive is there are some very cool puzzles, particularly the spider ball puzzles. I always loved those puzzles from the first game and wished there were both more and more complicated ones. Well, wish granted!

In the end, having played this game twice (the second time to 100%), I think it’s a very good game that kept things relatively safe. I realize I may have sounded a bit more negative than I really feel towards this game, but I want to re-emphasize that is only in comparison to the first game. Where I view the first game was a masterpiece of creativity, translating the tried-and-true Metroid formula into a 3D world, the second took what the first game did and jogged with it. The game’s most bold move was the dark world, which mostly paid off, but paled in comparison to the sheer amount of work it must have taken to build a 3D Metroid from the ground up, for the very first time. I’ll probably play this game one more time sometime in the future, but probably not more than that. I would like to try the hyper mode from the Wii Collection.

I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a tough and engaging game, so long as they can handle fast paced combat, puzzles that force you to think, and maze-like map design. All that with the caveat that you really, really should play the first game first.
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Despite purchasing most Nintendo games on the Gamecube, I did skip Metroid Prime 2 because I thought the first game was a little overrated, and the whole dark/light world idea in this game just seemed cliche to me. Now I’ve finally played it via the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and I’m so glad I skipped it back when it was released.

The story is a typical set-up: Samus follows a distress signal on Planet Aether to find Galactic Federation Marines dead, killed by the Ing. There’s also “Dark Samus” and evidence of Phazon found in the first game. She goes through a portal and you lose your abilities again.

She meets Umos, the last of the Luminoth race who tells you how the world is split into parallel worlds. You need to travel between these worlds via the portals. Sometimes your path is blocked in one world, and maybe you need to use a switch in one world to open a door in the other. In general, you need to locate the Dark Temples, find a few keys, then return to the Light Temple to restore the area; repeat 3 times.

In the dark world, your health depletes unless you are inside a light area where it slowly regenerates. You later find a Dark Suit which reduces the rate your health depletes. Usually there are sequences of light areas that you need to move between. Some of these are permanent, some you shoot to activate, and others are moving creatures. Initially, navigation is very slow as you survey the area before moving (with the aim of conserving health), but once you get more health and the Dark Suit, you can generally not care about it too much.

It can be quite hard to see in these areas. You are fighting dark enemies in a dark coloured world, then there’s loads of lighting effects like the light domes which distort your vision slightly. The original game had a bland colour palette, and now this is probably just as dull in the light world and duller in the dark world.

You have your normal unlimited energy beam, but will often need to rely on the new weapons Light and Dark Beam. The special weapons from the first game don’t return, so the White doors don’t open with the Ice Beam; it is now Light Beam. These weapons have limited ammo though, although if you run out of ammo, then you can still open doors and portals via a weak shot. I think the game tells you that killing enemies with one gun always drops the opposite ammo; but it doesn't seem guaranteed. I thought it would be better to change the doors to standard doors once you have opened them; requiring you to switch guns to open them again is annoying especially when you travel through some areas multiple times.

I found myself spending a lot of time switching weapons. Hit a light door, switch to normal gun to conserve ammo if you need to shoot enemies, now you need the dark beam (or maybe light beam again).

Dark enemies are annoying because they keep dashing, disappearing into goo-form, then reappearing. Most enemies seem to have way too much health, and are only defeated quickly if you use the correct weapon against them, but that involves using limited ammo. I mainly avoided enemies when I could, because they were a chore to defeat. They respawn when you return to rooms, so there is no incentive to stay and fight unless the game locks the doors until you do dispatch them. This is normally for space pirates in a one-time battle.

The bosses are even more bullet-spongy and you really do need to use the correct weapon at the correct time to take them down. However, there were some boss battles where I went in with low ammo and there didn’t seem much scope for recovering ammo until you progressed in the battle. Ammo stations do exist in the game, they are just scarce and should have been placed outside the boss room along with a Save Station. I thought it was an absolute abomination that there was no Ammo station near the final boss.

The save points seem a bit spaced out - I often played for 30 mins before finding one. This is annoying because you have to go out of your way periodically to save, then have to backtrack again to get back on course. It’s possible to miss Save rooms because sometimes they are slightly hidden. Dying on a boss and having to trawl through several rooms is incredibly frustrating, as is battling a boss on low ammo.

It’s not obvious where to go, and even more confusing that you have to go through portals to navigate some sections. You will spend a lot of time on the map. Constantly going to the map and having to pan and zoom every time is a chore, and sometimes it’s hard to pan when there are multi-level rooms and it then focuses on the room above. After you venture through some rooms, you will often be disorientated and will have to go back to the map.

I think a good design in these Metroidvania games is to have a clear landmark which is blocked off, in addition to some optional areas that have the same blockage. Then when you acquire the new power-up, you know exactly where to go to progress the story, but can also venture off the path to claim some rewards for exploration.

In this game, I found that even if I could open a door and maybe venture to another room, I would then be blocked by some other required power-up, so I was then frustrated and had to tediously backtrack out of the rooms. Eventually, I just didn’t bother exploring - I thought I would only do that once I had every single power-up in the game. It’s actually a good idea to do that since the game includes another “key hunt” at the end, which was a much maligned inclusion in the first game. I wouldn’t have minded this if the clues were easily accessible and it was clear which keys you had, but you have to go through one of the worst menus you will ever experience. There’s these moving, connected nodes that you pan round, and it’s difficult to know which node is going to be highlighted. Then you will have to go through multiple levels of this. I just looked up a guide online.

Sometimes when you acquire a new power-up, you are supposed to return to an area on the other side of the world. There may be a partial short-cut but it’s not a strong indicator that it is the way forward. A great example is when you get the Spider Ball, there’s rails in the current area, and there’s some rails that I remembered in an area really early in the game, but you are actually interested in returning to an area you were in a few hours ago - and furthermore it could be a room that some players didn’t even see. How would they know to return there at that point in the game? There is a Hint system where it points to the room it expects you to be in, but it seems to only kick in if you linger in the wrong area for 30 mins or something- and some players may have turned it off.

There’s lots of scanning like the first game. Sometimes this gives you clues on how to defeat enemies, particularly useful against bosses.

As far as this Wii port goes, it is generally fine but I felt I had to point the remote slightly downwards so my wrist was in an uncomfortable position for long periods.

The Metroid series is generally held in high regard, and people do seem to like this game. Personally, I disliked it. It just seems cumbersome, unclear where to go, and frustrating to navigate. There were too many sections where I felt it was too tedious and felt like giving up. It’s just constantly showing annoying game design which you just don’t expect from a Nintendo game.
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CaptainClam 2021-12-02T00:24:06Z
2021-12-02T00:24:06Z
2.5
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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes resumed the series' 3D era with some major features and adjustments, including new environments, abilities, and even their own take on LttP's Dark World. A dangerous, corrupted mirror-image locale, this alternate dimension mostly contains what one would expect from such a re-imagination: Brooding atmosphere, cleverly placed secrets, puzzle-interactivity, etc. And complete with dark (and light) variants of past ideas to match. Its biggest beneficiary - however, is the enemy roster, whose Cthulu-esque designs and erratic behavior grant a terrifying edge to battles, forcing more specialized strategies while utilizing teleports, phasing and visor manipulation to overwhelm players. Some of the dark world's most intense situations involve these eerie creatures. That being said, while some boss fights (Boost/Spider Guardian, Chykka) are as varied as they are stressful, the rest tend to expose how tedious the combat system can get. Certain areas (and their counterparts) are as top-notch as the original, but the real winner has to be the imposing Sanctuary Fortress, a truly futuristic, nightmarish sci-fi spectacle (populated by even more distressing enemies) that stands among Metroid's all-time memorable excursions.

It was clear from the beginning that Retro Studios were exceptional developers, and their second outing reinforced the notion - by taking two of Metroid's prominent virtues (level-design and atmosphere) and simply magnifying their power. If anything, its main drawback lies in the originality; there isn't a lot on display here that didn't revise or repeat concepts from Metroid Prime and/or its influences, but that's hardly a fault when the end result is just as captivating.
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Blah_Blee 2021-11-10T21:57:20Z
2021-11-10T21:57:20Z
7 /10
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saylexs Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-20T08:52:28Z
Gamecube • US
2024-04-20T08:52:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FrostSonium Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-14T20:34:58Z
2024-04-14T20:34:58Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Novocain Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-13T07:57:10Z
2024-04-13T07:57:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Oqwert Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-06T08:17:28Z
2024-04-06T08:17:28Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-04T02:49:27Z
2024-04-04T02:49:27Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LesbianKit Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-03T20:01:56Z
2024-04-03T20:01:56Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
HatchThePlan Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-04-02T18:32:41Z
2024-04-02T18:32:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-03-29T14:59:39Z
2024-03-29T14:59:39Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
figurehead Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-03-21T01:32:12Z
2024-03-21T01:32:12Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
deforge Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-03-19T09:55:02Z
2024-03-19T09:55:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Beepkitty Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-03-16T07:56:37Z
2024-03-16T07:56:37Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Metroid Prime 2: Echoes 2024-03-14T00:01:07Z
2024-03-14T00:01:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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ESRB: T
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x Disc
Multiplayer modes
Deathmatch / FFA
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  • Metroid Prime 2: Dark Echoes
  • メトロイドプライム2: ダークエコーズ
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  • Previous comments (14) Loading...
  • IGGEL 2022-06-04 01:08:10.178837+00
    just beat it and my god Ing Emperor has to be one of the worst bosses in any game. Also Dark Suit looks awful. Other than that, good game. Idk why I skipped it as a kid.
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  • Surskit 2022-08-24 13:37:57.31339+00
    I remember back when Echoes was universally considered the weakest of the trilogy. Glad that there's been a reevaluation.
    reply
    • okayfrog 2022-12-01 18:47:33.652129+00
      I don't remember that. I remember Echoes being regarded as strictly worse than the original, but I also remember Corruption being regarded as the worst of the three from release.
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  • UncleKippy 2023-05-14 09:35:32.784409+00
    sadly gets bogged down by pacing issues even more prevalent than the first game, but this a video game i wish i could just live in.
    legit some of the greatest art direction in video games period
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  • DemonsSingLoSongs 2023-07-14 15:55:06.8201+00
    this might actually be better than prime 1 tbh, which is already one of my favourite games ever, but i honestly really love how the dark world works here which might be a hot take but idc i love it
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  • Zelda7 2023-09-13 07:23:31.487504+00
    They better remaster this shit soon, liked it back then but still prefered the first one. Won't be surprised to change my mind though, this was significantly darker and more difficult than the original so it may speak to me more as an adult.
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  • Meister333 2023-10-11 04:07:18.698513+00
    It came out in the same month as Half-Life 2, Halo 2, MGS3 and WoW. I think that's the main reason it felt kinda overlooked back then.
    reply
    • Zelda7 2024-02-09 05:49:02.819607+00
      didn't realized that, what a fucking crazy month lmao
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  • figurehead 2024-01-20 02:22:47.465418+00
    i absolutely love the look and feeling of this game. dark and creepy but not an outright horror game. when you first enter the dark world and the soundtrack is replaced by that barely perceptible low hum. wow! difficulty is just right except the bosses are a real slog
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