Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Things No One Cares About: Metroid Prime: Episode of Aether

Metroid Prime 2:Echos is a sequel(no really) to Metroid Prime and is a bit of a change from the first game with much darker atmosphere and that lovely duel world game play that Nintendo adores. However I'm not here to talk about that game so no one cares about my thoughts on that game instead I am going to look at the manga. If you don't care about that either,then keep your mouth shut,because that is what I'm talking about. This is a bit of a weird manga that sadly lacks focus. I was only able to read the first six chapters and truly have no desire to read the last chapter.

It follows the plot of Echos fairly loosely covering the major plot points from the beginning and the end of the game. Torvus Bog and it's dank swamp that has intense firefights with nasty creatures,who needs it? The imposing and marvelous Santuary Fortress,considered the high point of the Prime series,and that awesome fight with Quadraxis,that's just a waste of time. No what you want is Samus fighting some no name jerk and then teaming up with stock military characters. Well that's what manga-ka Matsumoto Hisashi decided was important,so I guess that is what we are going with.

The plot seriously skips from the beginning of Agon wastes to her getting the light suit and preparing to fight the Emperor Ing(i.e one of the final bosses of Echos). I was trying to figure out if I'd skipped a chapter somehow as it seems the marines and Samus had had this great character moments but nope I didn't. We need that chapter to have the four characters who aren't Samus fight a giant pillbug.

With all the skipping and shoving Samus to one side,nothing interesting really happens at all. Dark Samus shows up but it is never explained what she is(barring the last chapter).The real highlight is honestly an early fight with some no name enemies. Even then it's more for the narm factor of Samus calling her attacks. It lacks the tense foreboding that beginning of the game did so well. Going through the marines makeshift encampments while slowly piecing together what happened is frightening and interesting. Here it's just have a video of what happened and hey there are some survivors better go find them.

Samus is a determined warrior dedicated to helping others,one of the more popular interpretations of her character . It does add some personality and I really do sympathize with her. Doing your job in a very matter of fact and silent manner would unnerve people. She is often mistaken for being emotionless despite her truly kind heart. Unfortunately her lone wolf traits are used as excuse to have her just leave the little group of survivors behind. Heaven forbid we have Samus be in a manga about her own game. The sixth chapter is the aforementioned pill bug fight with one page of Samus fighting the Emperor Ing.

This would be slightly forgivable if the characters we do focus were actually characters or at least likable. If you've read or watched anything in recent memory where a small military group survives a hostile situation than you know how the characters will play out. The coward who learns to be brave,the loner ace,the scientist and the tech guy. None of them have any personality worth talking about and their character arcs can be guessed with in five seconds flat. We have two whole chapters dedicated to these idiots while Samus is off doing things people want to read about.

The art is fine with no real standout designs or things to see. It's drawn like a typical shonen manga which is not bad with in it self as it does look nice. However there is just nothing to look at . It does not even have any weird panels or the like to just plain laugh at.

I started out annoyed by this manga due to the largely unnecessary opening fight scene,got drawn in by Samus' characterization and then pulled straight out by all the material left on the cutting room floor. Unless that last chapter some how makes everything I just said invalid some how,avoid this stinker.

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