Let me tell you a little story about a boy named Jimmy.
For starters, his name was actually James, but everyone called him Jimmy. At the time this story takes place, Jimmy was only a couple of years removed from his high school graduation. He was itching to move out of his parents' house, and had just recently been hired at a local store called Bi-Mart, which only readers from the Oregon/Washington area would understand. It was his first real job as an adult, and with his new-found income, he was looking to transfer that into a place to live other than with his parents.
He wanted to grow up and be the man he was trying to portray. He wanted to be an adult, and take care of his adult responsibilities. I admired his gumption, but his job wasn't exactly a high paying one, especially for a young bachelor to move out on his own in the big, scary world. So he came to my two roommates and I, who were renting a very nice house at the time. (Yes, it was the party house, and looking back, man we had some awesome parties there, many of which I wish I could remember better.) Anyway, Jimmy approached us about moving in as a fourth roommate, only for a short while so that he could save up and eventually get his own place with another buddy of his, who was pretty much in the same position he was in.
While we didn't have a fourth bedroom for him, he was perfectly fine with crashing out in the living room on the couch, as it was intended to be a short stay. He offered to pay a little bit of cash to us for letting him, so we all agreed no problem. Besides, he worked with my two roommates, so they would be able to keep on eye on him and make sure he traveled on the right path through life. So he crashed with us, and it was good for all.
During his time in the house, he had his twentieth birthday. We all chipped in and got him some presents, including the always inspirational and somewhat subliminal Dr. Seuss book, Oh The Places You'll Go. We thought it was kind of funny, and we all got a good laugh out of it. Other than that and a few other smaller things, we also got him the one video game he mentioned really wanting, which had just came out, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
At the time, I was going through my now infamous gaming hiatus, and wasn't familiar with any new games coming out, as I was pretty much on a full-on blackout of all things gaming related. So while I didn't know anything about this game at the time, I knew of the series because I loved the first Prime game so much, so I was excited to get the game for him. When he opened the present, he literally almost cried, as I'm pretty sure he didn't think we all were that close of friends. But hey, when you live with me in any capacity, you're as good as family in my eyes. I had no interest in playing the game then with him, and we worked opposite of each other most of the time, so I never really had the chance to watch him or even see it in action.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes would remain a mystery to me until years later, when I went back and repurchased a GameCube and started building my collection of games that I loved before and missed during my hiatus. I, of course, was glad I finally got to play it and wished I had been able to play back when I got it for Jimmy when it first came out.
I really hadn't thought about Jimmy or this game in a long time, but replaying it brought back all these memories of that weird time in my life. Aside from that, however, the game itself is really good, and was a good send off for the Metroid series in the GameCube generation. Dark Samus was an awesome touch to the storyline, and the difficulty was dialed up to make the game feel like a true challenge. There was also a multiplayer mode added into the game, which clearly was just Retro Studios and Nintendo trying to capture a corner of the multiplayer market that was running wild in the gaming landscape.
I'm glad my roommates and I were able to make Jimmy's 20th birthday back in the day awesome with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes as a present. Not sure if it was the game, or our friendship that cemented the awesomeness of that present, but either way, Echoes will always be tied to boy we called Jimmy.
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