Saturday, January 23, 2010

Two hours into Metroid Prime

It seems I can only handle this game in twenty-minute sessions. It's nothing to do with motion sickness or "Nintendonitis"; I find that the experience takes more of a spiritual toll for me, which I don't think I was adequately warned about when I signed up for this.

You're lost and completely alone out there, never knowing what awaits you in this alien world devoid of any intelligent life, where everything wants you dead. There's no support, no dialogue whatsoever, no props when you annihilate an enemy. There aren't even computers to talk to. Wandering blindly from one empty room to the next, with no idea what I'm even after, it is just endless desolation. In short, this is a game that leaves me, every time I shut down after saving, feeling like I need to hug my loved ones.

It all does give me an enhanced appreciation for Samus Aran as perhaps the toughest protagonist in video games. Although the game details little of her background and conveys even less of any personality, I figure it must take a superior psyche to continually engage in these extended solo missions in harsh, hopeless environments. I don't think Solid Snake could do it. With no backup and no evac, Marcus Fenix probably wouldn't last very long out there. The Castlevania characters can do it when they have to, but most never have to face Dracula more than once in their lifetimes. It makes me wonder what kind of person could do this for a living. It must be some kind of sickness of the mind or soul at work. Maybe the pay is just that good. But then what kind of life does she go home to? I don't know if Samus's creators had such questions in mind when they designed her, but, in the absence of any real story, these are the things that I think about while exploring this world.

1 comment:

Czardoz said...

I think you're experiencing what Ray Bradbury called "The Loneliness."

"When the United States shrank to a misted island and the entire planet Earth became a muddy baseball tossed away, then you were alone, wandering in the meadows of space, on your way to a place you couldn't imagine."