Sense of direction vs. field of view
Last saturday, I bought the Metroid Prime Triloogy for the Wii. I didn’t yet have the Wii Metroid and it’s impossible for me to use the GameCube to play the old games as the distance between my couch and the reciever is too large for the GameCube’s wired joypads. It has been a long while since I last played any of the 3D Metroids, and seeing the box in a store made me want to play them again.
So all in all, this felt like a good deal to me: Getting the third Prime plus the possibility to easily play the older two for the same price that they once asked for the third one alone.
Now I’m in the middle of the first game and I made a really interesting observation: My usually very good sense of direction seems to require a minimum sized field of view to get going: While playing on the GameCube, I was constantly busy looking at the map and felt unable to recognize even the simplest landmarks.
I spent the game in a constant state of feeling lost, not knowing where to go and forgetting how to go back to places where I have seen then unreachable powerups.
Now it might just be that I remember the world from my first playthrough, but this time, playing feels completely differently to me: I constantly know where to go and where I am. Even with rooms that are very similar to each other, I constantly know where I am and how to get from point a to point b.
When I want to re-visit a place, I just go there. No looking at the map. No backtracking.
This is how I usually navigate the real world, so after so many years of feeling lost in 3D games, I’m finally able to find my way in them as well.
Of course I’m asking myself what has changed and in the end it’s either the generally larger screen size of the wide-screen format of the Wii port or maybe the controls via the Wiimote that feel much more natural: The next step for me will be to try and find out which it is by connecting the Wii to a smaller (but still wide) screen.
But aside of all that, Metroid just got even better - not that I believed that to be possible.
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