ABC News: Metroid Prime Is Citizen Kane Of Video Games

Posted Oct 6, 2009 by Wayne Santos
Today ABC News released a feature exploring the possibility that the video game industry's great, artistic masterpiece may be found on the Nintendo Wii.
Metroid Prime Trilogy Boxart
Metroid Prime Trilogy Boxart
ABC's most recent web exclusive features Michael Thomsen, an established gaming journalist with, the largest and most prominent gaming enthusiast website. In the feature, he shares his thoughts with ABC on how film critics cite Orson Welles' Citizen Kane as a landmark achievement in both technical and narrative artistry for cinema, and then posits that the Metroid Prime Trilogy, a series available on the Nintendo Wii, occupies a similar lofty position in the still young medium of games.
The Metroid Prime Trilogy is a recent compilation of three Metroid Prime games onto one disc for the Nintendo Wii. Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes were both originally released on Nintendo's previous console, the GameCube, and have been updated for this release to be compatible with the new Nintendo motion control system implemented in the Wii. Metroid Prime 3 appeared on the Nintendo Wii in 2007. The entire series itself is one of the older franchises in the Nintendo stable of award winning intellectual properties, having first debuted on the original Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, and occupying a critically acclaimed position in the years since alongside other iconic Nintendo titles such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda. However, while the Metroid games have traditionally been regarded as master class examples of game design, this is the first time the franchise has ever been comparatively favored to other mediums in an artistic sense.
"Like Citizen Kane, you can return to Metroid Prime again and again," says Thomsen. "Both are haunted by the knowledge of loss." He also cites other parallels between the game and the movie in terms of how they have pushed their respective media forward, and that Metroid Prime's "human element" is so prevalent in the title that it separates it from other games within the industry. While this is not the first time that games have been argued as an emerging art form, this is the first time a commercially successful game without the usual characteristics of an "artistic game" has been used as an example. Less commonly known titles such as Shadow of the Colossus or Flower are normally invoked in typical "games as art debates."