Level Select Thursdays: Chozo Ruins
The jump to the 3D plane was a dangerous road for 2D games. Some franchises successfully made the jump while others experimented then went back to the 2d plane, and some had the misfortune of dying all together. While many of Nintendo’s characters made a decent to excellent jump to 3D during the N64 days, there was one franchise that missed out. The Metroid series had seemingly been left behind and gamers had to play Smash Brothers to play as Samus Aran. Enter the Nintendo Game Cube, and the Metroid series would finally enter the 3D world, but now the game adds the genre of FPS to it. So let’s take a look and see if Retro Studios managed to capture what made Super Metroid so great, with The Chozo Ruins.
I’ll go ahead and say that I love the decision to make this game an FPS, or to clarify a game with First Person Perspective instead of shooter. Especially when you’re walking around the Chozo Ruins itself, you instantly feel more immersed into the world that was digitally built.
It also helps that playing in this area actually has the feel of a classic Metroid game. Whoever labels this game (now or back then) as hoping on the trend of first person shooting games is wrong. While there are shooting segments (mostly against Chozo ghost and minor enemies) the emphasis remains on exploration of an unknown planet and finding your own way to a new area.
The music for the Chozo Ruins is catchy and I wasn’t expecting that at all. The initial area’s music is on par with Brinstar for me in terms of favorite Metroid themes. For me it slightly edge me on to see what lay beyond the next blast door. The second being the area where you learn more about Tallon IV feels ancient and adds more depth to this world. It’s not as catchy but I still dig it as a track.
With this being the ruin part of Talon IV, I love that this world actually feels like it was lived in. I applaud Retro for making this area rich with detail. Namely coming from the Chozo writings you can scan and that basically tell the back story. That concept isn’t new but when it’s done properly it breathes more life into a seemingly dead world.
It’s much better than having an NPC abruptly stop your progress to dish out some exposition. Cause that’s always fun right? Metroid Prime perfectly captures what makes Metroid the series that it is, and making it an FPS was a great choice from Retro. If you’re one of the lucky ones who have played this game then you know how awesome this was. If you haven’t well I encourage you to play this game. It’s truly one of the best games Nintendo has had a hand in making.