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Almost happy
Prime 1
Zero Mission
Prime 2
Prime 3
Other M

Haven't played RoS more than a few minutes so I can't judge it. I'd say there's a pretty big gap between Prime 1 and Fusion, as well as between Prime 2 and Prime 3.
Game Lover
MZM/Fusion (I can't decide)
Metroid 2

(I haven't played Pinball or Other M).

-MZM is loads of fun with built-in SBing, but I also love Fusion's storyline and difficulty. Also: confusing the SA-X is too addictive. XD
-Echoes, IMO, is the strongest of the Prime games. It has a good storyline, but you're not completely forced to go to specific places like in Corruption. You're also not told what to do in specific; it allows for less linearity than Corruption. The different beams allow for strategy and different uses for every situation. I actually like the Ammo System (surprise!) because the Dark and Light beams are so insanely powerful that without the Ammo system why would you EVER use the Power Beam except to open Green Doors?
-Prime, to be honest, I see as 3D Super Metroid with some changes. That's not necessarily a bad thing because I really like Prime 1, though. It's the second strongest of the Primes (and a really close contender for Echoes if it had a better scanning system and cleaner HUD like Echoes'), and I think Retro did a good job of taking the classic beams and making them slightly different to make them have different uses (except when you get the Plasma Beam). I also like how they did the Morph Ball in the whole Prime Trilogy
-Super. It was my second Metroid game (Metroid 2 was the first) and I loved it. When there was a lot of "hype" around it, I started to dislike it, but I feel like that's unfair because Super is just a classic Metroid game.
-Hunters. Believe or not, I liked this better than Corruption. Why? They actually do the multi-planet system RIGHT. You can go in whatever planet order you want if skip bosses and get all the beams early. You're not forced to go to any planet, you can choose which one you want to raid. I've killed Planet Bosses out of order due to the fact that you can get beams and then leave to whatever planet you want to do next. Also, multiplayer is fun, though, Nintendo didn't balance it well.
-Corruption. This game was fun. I liked the Wii controls, but... it felt very weak in the item department and in the variety of areas that the planets had (especially Bryyo Fire. That place is just... so linear). It's too story heavy for the type of game that it is (unlike Fusion. I felt like the story fit better), and I hate being told every five seconds what to do and where to go. Still, Hyper Mode is buttloads of fun, and the Core bosses were well-made.
-Metroid 2. No map, areas look so similar that it hurts, poor music and sound effects. However, it's very non-linear (sorta, depends on the number of metroids you've killed), and the build-up music to the last battle is really intense.

Metroid 1 didn't show up because I feel like MZM is a better placeholder for the first game in the series.
Edit history:
arkarian: 2013-01-14 03:33:41 pm
red chamber dream
making an unbalanced beam system then adding ammo to balance it does not make a good beam system. it makes a terrible one.

i used the power beam all the time in prime 1, even after getting wave and ice. each beam was useful for different things.
Game Lover
Well, everyone has a different opinion on the Ammo System and even if that makes it a bad beam system, I still like it... to a point that is. :P

For me, once I got the Plasma beam, it was like: "Power Beam? What's a 'Power Beam?'" After Plasma, the only use for the Power Beam was Super Missiles and Power Beam Troopers. :P
red chamber dream
sure, but you get plasma near the very end of the game. it's a superweapon basically given as a reward. lots of games do this.

you get light and dark beams a couple hours into echoes, after which power beam becomes essentially useless. that's bad design.
One shall stand, one shall ball.
Quote from Aegis Runestone:
It has a good storyline, but you're not completely forced to go to specific places like in Corruption.

Uh, what? I suppose it has a storyline, but it's extremely basic for how much it insists on telling you about it.

And I mean you get like five rooms into Sanctuary Fortress before you are forced back into Lower Torvus, like it's not even optional at all, you have to go back and get power bombs. Also seekers, also every other item in the game. Prime was the same but the layout of everything felt less absurd and purpose built to send you as far away from new stuff as possible so people don't mind as much. Lower Torvus is basically hell.

Quote from Aegis Runestone:
Well, everyone has a different opinion on the Ammo System and even if that makes it a bad beam system, I still like it... to a point that is. :P

It literally made the final supposedly amazing beam utter garbage, it guzzled ammo and managed to be less effective than the Power Beam anyway solely by virtue of super missiles not costing large portions of your various ammo stores. The ammo and beams of Echoes are as broken and underdeveloped as the rest of the game. Retro clearly doesn't know what to do with weapon progression as evidenced by just handing you god mode ten minutes into Corruption and the beam specific enemies in Prime. Those guys were clearly there to try and make sure you didn't forget about the Wave Beam.
red chamber dream
like i've always said, retro has never intentionally made a good game
I disagree on that one mostly because of DKCR, but I'll go half way with you on the Prime trilogy. I can still enjoy all three of them despite the flaws of Echoes and Corruption bogging down sections and killing the pacing at times.

I forget though, what is it about Prime that makes you think they fell into it by accident? We're always talking about how awesome it is at its base even to this day and personally I'd like to think Retro had some hand in intentionally making that magic in the first place.
red chamber dream
nah they just got lucky. they've proven since that they don't actually know how to develop good games.
Well, they did start and scrap four projects prior to Prime. If they didn't get something right by then, they wouldn't even exist.
Game Lover

Look, you have your opinions about Echoes, I have mine. I've met other people who've liked the beam system, and I also think the Power Beam is hardly useless after getting the Dark and Light Beams. As for the Power Bomb Guardian... you're forced ONCE to go there. Think about Corruption and how non-linear it is.

Echoes is my favorite of the Primes. That's that. Nothing you say will change my opinion that it's a well-designed game.
I'd say Prime 2 is a good game overall, but the beam system is a travesty and some of the areas just drag on too long.
One shall stand, one shall ball.
Quote from Aegis Runestone:
It has a good storyline, but you're not completely forced to go to specific places like in Corruption.

Quote from Aegis Runestone:
As for the Power Bomb Guardian... you're forced ONCE to go there.


For real, there is literally no point in Echoes where you have options until the last little key round up. Up to that point you go exactly where the game tells you. All Prime games and in fact most Metroid games are like this.
One shall stand, one shall ball.
I mean being a better designed game than Corruption says more about Corruption than Echoes.
I dunno, Super and Prime 1 have a few ambiguous moments when it comes to 100% runs.
But I don't really do any% runs cause they're kind of boring.
One shall stand, one shall ball.
Prime 1 is secretly super linear. Again, the artifact round up at the end leaves you to your own devices but until then there's only one way to go, it just didn't have things like Lower Torvus so no one cares. Super is one of the few that does just let you go nuts but the Primes, Other M, Fusion, and really RoS have a pretty strict progression. I'm not using linearity as a negative, it's just that people have an odd idea the the series is notable for not being that when only a couple games fit that description.
Yeah, Metroid's sense of non-linearity lies in multiple paths to get to the same place rather than multiple destinations. Progression-wise, the games are pretty linear.
Edit history:
Prime Hunter: 2013-01-14 08:05:38 pm
If you really think about it the original Metroid is the only one where you get complete freedom to go pretty much wherever you want once you grab the bombs. Even Super has a clear and intended progression to it at its most basic that's blocked by the key items. I think one of the reasons Prime 1 disguises that so well is because you're never locked into one area at a time and you can get some of the artifacts earlier if you wish to pursue them before you're required to.
Yeah, it really boils down to going out of your way to get stuff that you have multiple opportunities to obtain.
One shall stand, one shall ball.
But it's usually like oh boy five more missiles for that boss I can charge beam to death anyway.
Well that or the beam combos.
I think that's just a problem with the missiles themselves in later games though. They're incredibly useful in Metroid and ROS. (The two without charge beam, go figure.)
They were pretty useful in Super and Zero Mission.
You could spam them and deal more damage than repeated charged shots.