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Metroid is the Citizen Kane of Games

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Comparison confuses design director

Outside of the gaming media, videogames rarely find much airspace, and at times suffer large-scale ‘video nasty’ shock stories. However, when ABC News ran a favourable webcast, comparing Metroid Prime Trilogy to Orson Welles' renowned cinematic classic Citizen Kane, Mark Pacini, the series' design director, was shocked by the report.

I found out about it like everyone else did. Somebody sent an e-mail out saying, 'Look at this.' It was a WTF sort of thing… I honestly had a similar reaction to everyone else. It's flattering, and it's great, but I didn't get the comparison at all.

Mark Pacini, speaking in an interview with Kotaku, went on to say: “For me, when I talk about games with my friends, we never compare games to movies, we compare games to games…”

The webcast from IGN’s Michael Thomsen suggests the isolated atmosphere of the game is similar to that of the film, and that the delivery of story through the scanning mechanic echoes the movie's thriller exposition.

Pacini prefers to distance himself from the analogy, saying “that comparison works more for people who don't speak the language of games."

If our linguistic training is up to speed, the language of games seems to say "Metroid Prime Trilogy is phenomenal", as our 10/10 rating says. Would you compare the Metroid Prime games to a film or book series? Let us know!


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User Comments (30)



Link-Hero said:

I'm sorry if I sound mean, but IGN and a few other sites reported about this already over a month ago. So this is old news.

But I do agree that this sounds great and all, but the comparison didn't make sense at all.



Chunky_Droid said:

Even if this news IS old, there are quite a number of people who (and I only say this because I get told personally) only visit this site for their Nintendo news. And personally I was unaware of the comparison myself! So thank you Chris for reporting on this



y2josh said:

This site, gametrailers and gamefaqs are the only few game sites I go to. Any other game site I go to is once or twice on account of google bringing up what I am looking for news wise and it's on their site. So you are right Chunky



Stuffgamer1 said:

I'd not heard of this either, so to me, it's the people complaining about "old" news who are getting old.

That's a weird comparison, all right. Maybe I'd understand it better if I'd ever seen Citizen Kane. All I know about it really is that it's THE most spoilered movie ever. Or at least, it sure SEEMS that way to me.



Big_A2 said:

@:Stuffgamer1: I'm absolutely %100 sure The Empire Strikes Back is the most "spoilered" movie ever.

Anyway, his is pretty much a waste of time for the crazy man who wrote it and generated huge traffic for the site and got a big bag of "laundry" afterwards. What’s next? Comparing 2001 to the first Mega Man? Actually I might have something there. They both have a very slow moving plot, feature machines turning against humans, make no sense whatsoever, and take place in 200X!



Starwolf_UK said:

I'm pleased to hear Retro studios are also confused about the whole thing

Btw it is worth reading the things Mark Pacini said over at Kotaku (which to all the people going LOLold Slowtendolife actually new info).



Sylverstone said:

Well, this is old but the mention here is good.

I threaded this a while back. I don't think it was just a month ago.



DarkEdi said:

Then i´ll compare videogames with food because more people eat food than playing games.



Deviant_Mugen said:

I'm of the same sentiment as Pacini. The Prime games were masterpieces, but they shouldn't be compared to movies...



accc said:

That comparison doesn't make much sense. Metroid Prime didn't revolutionize the way games are designed in the same way that Citizen Kane introduced many modern filmmaking techniques, it just happened to be a really really really good game.



CanisWolfred said:

Would I compare it to a book or movie? Not really. I mean, I suppose I would compare it a bit to the movie 'Aliens', if only for its gripping atmosphere, but outside of that, I find it hard to compare any game to a book or movie, unless it's purposely trying to emulate it(and even then it's a stretch).



Jeroen1 said:

A female heroine who has to fight against insurmountable odds, parasitic creatures, escape sequences near the end, desolate surroundings, eery alien environments; that sounds pretty much like Metroid to me. It doesn't precisely fit the Alien mold of course, but the similarities are very striking. I'm glad Weaver's character isn't called "Ridley" though.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@BigA2: I guess you have a point. The difference to me is that I've actually SEEN Empire Strikes Back, and before I saw a bunch of spoilers, no less! Citizen Kane, on the other hand...I don't think I've ever even seen a DVD available! Granted, I haven't been looking very hard.



Objection said:

Flattering, but a bad comparison, really. It's usually unwise to compare things of different mediums.



Shin_Kazama said:

It's how the movie begins, not a huge spoiler....but you're right citizen kane is one of the most spoilered movie ever...Many shows used the ending as a reference like the Simpsons



SmaMan said:

I think Citizen Cane can be better compared to Metroid on the NES. The whole "Rosebud" spoiler is a lot like the "Samus is a GIRL?!!" spoiler. They're the some of the most spoiled things in their respective genres.



Ren said:

Yeah, very silly.
As far as plot, etc., Alien is the obvious better comparison. As far as filmmaking innovation or historical significance, it's just doesn't measure up in the same way at all. If you must (silly as it is) try to use a pretentious film comparison than Mario 64 would be a better Citizen Kane comparison.
Metroid Prime, great as it is, is still a First Person Shooter, which is no big innovation, and the trilogy is only what it is now after this re-release. As a trilogy maybe compare it to Aliens or even Star Wars, but Star Wars is it's own mess of gaming stuff too so it can't work that way. It's just some journalist who doesn't know games trying to sound smart.
BTW many people here have seen Citizen Kane. Many who love cinema still regard it as "one of the greatest films ever made". I'm getting tired of that Cliche, myself, but it is a pretty important film in terms of film history. You young uns' should check out Orson welles movies like it. Also see: "Touch of Evil" and "the 3rd Man" for cool Welles stuff (directing/acting)



MiiMiiMii said:

It might be a weird comparrison, but lets get to the jist behind it - that a computer game can evoke feelings and moods like the greatest feature films.

Now, that's old news to us - we knew that the first time we picked up a pad. But the wider media tends to run with the whole 'video games are evil' story. So we should be glad that even in a weird way a commentator is showing 'our' medium has an awful lot to offer, instead of teasing the writer for a slightly odd (but not that odd?) story.



JakobG said:

I've got the game on Christmas, and I'm loving it.
And I tried Metroid Prime only.

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