I started replaying Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles at the same time I was playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in order to better understand the differences between the two games. Naturally, I had an itch to keep playing this fantastic game after beating its sequel. Xenoblade Chronicles is an RPG developed by Monolith Soft for Nintendo’s Wii system. It first caught my eye back in the day due to the fan outcry that finally brought it over to North America in 2012.
Xenoblade was a spectacular game for many reasons. As a JRPG that was developed for a system that was very underpowered by 2012 standards, Xenoblade shattered expectations by being a humongous and expansive experience. The world of the Xenoblade managed to be one of the most visually unique and beautiful settings I’ve ever seen in an RPG, despite the hardware limitations of the Wii.
Note: In honor of the long overdue announcement of Metroid Prime 4, I will be playing and reviewing all three titles in the series! For context, I am replaying it via the 2009 Wii compilation Metroid Prime Trilogy, which features all three games with “enhanced” Wii pointer controls.
Metroid is a magnificent series of games. Even before Metroid Prime brought it into the 3D world, Metroid had made its mark, so much so that its name has come to define an entire genre of games (“Metroidvania”). However, after the release of Super Metroid, the series would go dormant for eight long years. In 2002, the series would return in full force with not one, but two new games, Metroid Fusion, a sequel that plays in a 2D perspective similar to the classic games, and Metroid Prime on the GameCube, which featured something surprising for a Nintendo title: a first-person perspective.
It would be Metroid Prime that would have the most impact on the series. Developed by a rookie developer from Texas, Retro Studios, Prime is today what we consider to be the equivalent of Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time to the Metroid series. Prime elegantly elevated the mechanics of its predecessors into a three-dimensional space, staying true to its roots, but simultaneously modernizing the series and making it achieve more than anyone thought was possible.