Thursday, September 13, 2007

A tale of two shooters

Mike Bostock writes:

I just played Metroid Prime 3 for thirty minutes, and now have a crippling pain in my right hand from mashing the A button. Not to worry, I can still type, especially when livid enough to rant; I'll type through the pain for this.

Amen. I'm a little more positive than Mike (I lasted longer than him before getting frustrated), but my enjoyment of Metroid Prime 3 is still limited by my tolerance of the terrible ergonomics of the Wiimote as a first-person-shooter controller. I loved the original Metroid Prime, and liked Metroid Prime 2, but when I'm thinking "your save points are too far apart" because I cannot physically endure the controller any longer, there's a problem. (Unlike Mike, I think the problem has less to do with repeatedly mashing the A button and more to do with holding the wiimote on a target while mashing the A button, but either way it's a poor design).

I admit that part of my problem is that after an hour I thought "'normal' mode is too easy, I'll try 'veteran'". I have since switched back to 'normal' mode from 'veteran', and when/if I catch up with my previous saved game I'll see how that turned out.

My experience with Metroid Prime 3 has really put my experience with the other hot first-person-shooter of the moment, Bioshock in perspective. When I finished Bioshock, I thought it was too easy and it wasn't as good as my memories of System Shock 2. So I reinstalled and replayed System Shock 2. After that experience, I decided that Bioshock was close to the right difficulty, and even System Shock 2 wasn't as good as my memories of System Shock 2. SS2's story still holds together a little better than Bioshock's under close scrutiny, but of all the games I've mentioned in this post, Bioshock is the one I'm most likely to play again.