Is Metroid Prime The Citizen Kane Of Video Games?

If Orson Welles' groundbreaking, multiple award winning film Citizen Kane has an analogous counterpart in the video game space, one ABC News report argues that it's Nintendo's Metroid Prime Trilogy.

It's IGN's Michael Thomsen that makes that argument, saying that the "dark and lonely world" of Welles' film is comparable to the environments presented in the Metroid Prime series. It's also the game's emphasis on exploration over combat and its reflection of Samus Aran's visage that helps to humanize the experience.

Maybe he's right. Metroid Prime is arguably the best GameCube game ever made. But is it as nearly universally praised by fans and critics of the medium, as Citizen Kane is in film? Does that even matter?

Where we might disagree—and not to take away from Retro Studios and Nintendo's work on the series—is on Metroid Prime's comparable technical and cinematographic accomplishments. Sure, Morph Balling in 3D works like a charm, but are they on par with Welles' and his crew's work? And does that matter?

And do we benefit in any way from the comparison?

Nintendo's Video Game Masterpiece [ABC via GoNintendo]


    Absolutely not.
    Citizen Kane is praised as one of, if not the best, films of all time for three reasons:
    - The point of the film is that no one person saw Kane the same way. Kane's life is an allegory to our own: No one knows us as well as we know ourselves.
    - The film was an epic that failed miserably at the box office, only to become greatly appreciated over time.
    - The introduction of many camera shots and techniques have influenced film to this day.

    And as a bonus:
    The film was written, produced, directed and starred a friggin' 25 year old.

    Now, I ask you, as someone I assume knows enough about Metroid Prime to draw a comparison:
    Is this retarded or what?

      I don't think the point of using that comparison was to compare MP to citizen kane directly, but rather to compare it in terms of simply greatness.

      But for sake:
      - You see through the eyes of samus, and only then do you release the scale of her battles.
      - MP didn't exactly do great in video games sales, especially true in its sequel.
      - MP literally started the whole craze of visor effects, on any FPS, it'll be quite rare to not see water run down the screen.

      The point of the statement is not to a film context to compare it, it merely an example to show the scale of how awesome MP is, and not how it works as a film.

      I think you may have been confused.

    Yeah I've got to disagree, games like system shock 2, pyschonauts or pathologic are closer to being Citzen Kane than Metroid Prime is and I'd still hesitate to even calling them that.

    I studied citizen kane in year 12 and played metroid prime when it came out. No. Just no. You can watch Citizen Kane hundreds of times and it will always find a way to challenge you.

    Metroid Prime? its a videogame. Yes videogames are a form of art, but they havent yet reached the status of film.

    Really? Metroid Prime? That back-track-athon with samey enemies and a dated gameplay progression structure?
    No. No.

    No game has yet to match the power of films like citizen cane. Hell we are taking steps backwards in this gen so it's gonna take along time before we can get up there with films.

    If we're going to compare a film for its many awards and praise and translate that into the video game world - there is just zero competition. You need only look at (and many others) #1 ranked game of all time: The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.

    What was this reporter thinking when he thought he could compare the acclaims of a film like Citizen Kane and not even MENTION Shiguru's masterpiece? This is assuming that the report is making the comparison of accolades/awards.

    Furthermore, even if it is highlighting the "dark and lonely world" in which Citizen Kane is known for, you can STILL draw a comparison to Ocarina - just look at Hyrule when Link becomes an adult; the sky is dark and cloudy, the people are dead or in hiding (especially Hyrule town Market), there is a very real sense of being just one force against a dark presence, one which was particularly felt in the Shadow and Spirit Temples.

    I can't help but denounce this idiots choice on game when comparing it to Kane. Although I'll always love the Metroid trilogy, you simply can't ever look past or disregard what is considered "the greatest game of all time".

      Replying to myself to add to what WaveofMutilation said, even System Shock 2 (even STALKER) would have been a MUCH MUCH better choice - in certain aspects even beating Zelda on grounds of atmosphere of a "dark and lonely world."

      It just goes to show you can be a ill-thought tard and make it as a games journalist.

    Metroid Prime?

    I mean, seriously?

    Thats just... dumb.

    Kane basicly invented half the language of film that we use now. Not just a shot type here or there.

    Metroid Prime may have been good, but it wasn't revolutionary, it hasn't had a big effect on the gaming industry.

    I think it's silly to compare film and Video games. Video games add another depth with interactivity, which you don't have with film. The two are different mediums just like paintings and film. You can compare them to a point, but that's as far as it goes.
    I think he should've isolated what part of Citizen Kane he was comparing Metroid prime to.

    Also, Metroid Prime isn't a complete FPS. The worlds are more colourful, the boss battles longer and you don't spend your entire time shooting. It's more of an adventure/exploration game. I don't know many other FPS' where you have to stop to investigate the planet you're infiltrating.

    To answer the last question, no, we do not benefit in any way due to that comparison.
    The statement "Metroid Prime is the Citizen Kane of video games" is misleading and disingenuous in the context provided. It's probably safe to say that most people reading this article know that the "Citizen Kane" symbol in terms of video games stands for more than shallow parallels in content, but rather a point at which the medium transcends entertainment to become "art" - whatever that is. Sure, those similarities stated may well be true (never played the game) but that similar content, themes, atmosphere, or ideas are present in both a video game and a movie is nothing new.


    My pick would be something like Half-Life. Reason being, is that it set the standard for the way story is communicated to players in a game that has since been adopted by a buttload of games.

    No. NO and NO. Absolutely not.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now