Updated Thoughts on Prodigal

I should specify that the “Updated” in the title is due to already having a Prodigal review published on another website. This post will cover all that the linked review did not, which includes content added since the game’s release in late 2020.

Let me also specify that my thoughts / opinions on this title are not influenced by my good standing with the team behind it. My goal is to be as objective as possible, regardless of whether or not I have an NPC modeled after me in-game.

Now, some close to me are already aware that I enjoy Prodigal quite a bit. It was my Game of the Year in 2020 and is currently my fourth-most played game on Steam in terms of total playtime. Discovered by complete chance, the impact it’s had on my life is a rarity that I try not to take for granted. Games that fit your preferences almost effortlessly well do not come along often.

Quite a bit of content has been added since my initial review—which, until this past week, I had never gotten around to playing. Extended story elements, lots of postgame content, and menacingly difficult challenges make up most of what’s now on offer. At this point, Prodigal feels truly complete. Did it carve out a fate worth diving into?

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Thoughts on Super Metroid

In case it was not apparent enough by the five Metroid-related posts since April and the multiple statements of Metroid being my favorite game franchise ever, Metroid is my favorite game franchise ever. Despite this, there always remained a sort of lingering absurdity with this claim. Prior to the other night, I had never finished what many consider the series’ magnum opus: Super Metroid.

Note the “finished” wording in the prior sentence. Prior to recently, I had actually attempted to play through the game via emulator with an off-brand SNES controller. The controls were floaty and occasionally unresponsive, and I could never get the hang of the game’s expectations. Such events soiled the initial impressions I got from it—not being able to defeat Phantoon didn’t help matters, either.

Hot off the heels of Dread, my desire to play through not just Super, but pretty much every Metroid title ever (including the pinball game; would not recommend) has skyrocketed to levels unlike anything felt in my adult life. Thus, on a whim, I booted up the subject of today’s post on the Switch Online SNES library and just went to work. It was here I learned that my first go at the fan-proclaimed masterpiece detracted me from something appropriately beloved.

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Top 10 Favorite Games After Four Years With KeenGamer

I mentioned last year that my productivity in terms of titles reviewed was fairly low. While I cannot remember the exact number, this past year was pretty low, as well—only twenty games. This would imply that the ten games I cover today will make up a clean half of the games I’ve reviewed between September 30th, 2020 and the same day, 2021. Nevertheless, there’s a solid selection of titles I’ve come across that make up the best games I’ve played in year four of my KeenGamer career.

No personal input from me this time around; life’s been relatively good. Work has been steady and I have no major complaints. If there’s been any reason for the lack of games reviewed, it could just be the increased responsibilities I have now that I work for Keen full-time. That said, I’ve already published a Metroid Dread review since the cutoff and will likely have another review out in the coming days. Off to a good start for next year!

Small and maybe unwarranted note, but I don’t receive review copies for everything I review. Also, since I’ve formally reviewed all games in the following list, I won’t go into substantive detail here.

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Thoughts on AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake (v. 1.5)

This could arguably be an “Updated Thoughts” post, given I looked at AM2R already around the time of its release. Though as a technicality, this is version 1.5; back then was version 1.0. It’s different… technically.

Nevertheless, as a quick catch-up, AM2RAnother Metroid 2 Remake—is a fan-made remake of Nintendo’s Metroid II: Return of Samus. It was in development for a billion years and finally released in 2016, then was given a cease and desist notice by Nintendo shortly afterwards. However, as evidenced by its subreddit, development is steadily continuing. Updates to the current package will feature even more content than before and, apparently, will feature a complete graphical overhaul.

It’s been five years since I played this for the first time, and while my impressions were good, I had some reservations. In time, I would come to prefer Nintendo’s official remake in Metroid: Samus Returns. Now, I’m five years older, five years wiser, and five years removed from a fan game that has apparently received some added polish. My Metroid marathon this year wouldn’t be complete without going back to one of the best Metroid fan games ever produced.

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Thoughts on Pokémon Black Version 2

Surprisingly enough, I never played this game as a wee lad! It may have been a case of stubborn cynicism upon their announcement—”Why do these games need a sequel? I’m good with the originals.” Ironically, it wasn’t until much later that I would find out that this title and its White Version 2 counterpart are essentially pseudo-sequels. They take place at a later date in the same region, but it’s not all that necessary to play the originals to fully enjoy them.

Despite being wrong, I still never found the motivation to buy play them before being swept up in more recent Pokémon news/games. Now, thanks to a friend of mine, I was provided a physical copy to try out for the first time. Interspersed between my playthrough of Metroid: Samus Returns, I would learn whether Gen 5 is all that a specific subset of fans promise it to be. That, and whether the original games are a better representation of what this generation has to offer.

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Updated Thoughts on Metroid: Samus Returns

Some may see the title of this article and think, “Wait, updated? When did you ever cover it?” For those unaware, I am also a writer for online gaming publication KeenGamer, which houses many, many reviews for games I’ve covered since 2017. The very first one? Metroid: Samus Returns.

Writing it a couple weeks after its initial release, I had not touched it in the years since. Given Dread is coming in the next couple months, I found it dutiful to go back to pretty much any Metroid title I could get ahold of and re-coat myself in the sweet sci-fi aesthetic that I adore so much. Samus Returns was replayed over the course of late June and early July. Now, I have some re-adjusted things to speak about when it comes to the (currently) newest title in the franchise.

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Updated Thoughts on Metroid Fusion

Last weekend was not great. I had been dealing with the fallout of a certain incident which resulted in a less-than-stellar perception of myself, leaving me in an emotional rut. One nice silver lining, though, was the decision to play through all of Metroid Fusion in one sitting, something I had not done in several years.

After reading my prior review of the game, I’ve decided to update my thoughts on the title. Why? Because holy hell do I not agree with much of what I said before. Plus, I’m an obsessive self-reviser. Five years with no touch-ups on the topic is sure to drive me insane.

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Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward to After E3 2021

I truly missed E3. After being cancelled last year, 2021 returned with all the lovely game announcements and surprise reveals that I once cherished as a gaming connoisseur. While my tastes and standards have shifted since 2019, I still viewed the Wholesome Direct, Xbox/Bethesda Showcase, and Nintendo Direct in full, and otherwise kept a pulse on the E3 “hype train” on social media.

So many games… I can barely keep my head on straight (not that I could before). Now that most of the celebration is done and gone, what’s there to look forward to? What games am I, specifically, foaming at the mouth to get my hands on? These are the ten games that I’m most looking forward to post E3 2021.

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Updated Thoughts on Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

A Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door review already exists on this site. Along with it, an extensive amount of posts on its content, via Traveling Thoughts. Even with this amount of information about my thoughts on the series, I couldn’t help but feel the need to clarify further. It seems my quest for constant updates upon further self-reflection will never have me run out of content to post. That, and in hindsight, I believe my prior review on this topic is underdeveloped. I had the Traveling Thoughts, but really, who’s gonna read all that? (I should do another Traveling Thoughts subject soon…)

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