This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but MNOG is my favorite video game in my life thus far. It may seem to be a crazy thought with all of the modern high fidelity games out, but I believe, similarly to NickonAquaMagna, that this game does hardly anything wrong.
Graphics/soundtrack- The graphical art style in this game holds up even today with its simplistic yet highly vibrant design. Stylized designs seem to stay the test of time better than realistic ones (just look at Windwaker), but obviously the graphics have many “hiccups.” I would argue that for this game’s limitations (it being a pioneer in big flash games and merely a licensed product), it did exceedingly well. I still think the game is very pretty to look at despite grainy sky textures and the lack of variety in Ta-Matoran. The soundtrack is very atmospheric, and I enjoy listening to it on its own despite some of the questionable audio quality and tracks (like “Flight of the Valkyries”).
Gameplay/mechanics- The open world makes Bionicle come alive, and while the “gameplay” sections are a bit tedious, I would argue that the true gameplay is exploration. A game does not need to be action packed to be fun. MNOG is simply a pleasure to play. The game really is a journey that I have fun with, and the game is roller coaster of emotions, from urgency to happiness to curiosity to excitement to confusion and finally to sadness as the game closes. The mechanics while not rock solid (I do not know about the game in its original state all that much), facilitate a decent experience.
Story/world- Bionicle is probably my favorite fantasy world, and its story is superb (though not without error). This game perfectly sets up the story; if someone is trying to get into Bionicle, make them play this game first! It is the quintessential piece of Bionicle media. The story while much larger once the other years are considered, does a fantastic job of easing the fan into the world. It creates a tribal and mystical feel which the other years gradually move away from, but the story still makes sense on its own. I understand why the latter years moved away from the tribal scene, and in some cases, I like that change, but I love the tribal setting of Mata Nui. There is so much mystery in this game that leaves questions even after the game is done, but the story is still tied up quite nicely. Without mystery, things can be bland, but with too much, they can be confusing. MNOG finds a good balance.
I do not believe that MNOG is the best game of all time, but I do believe it is a very good game. I think it deserves more praise than it gets, and while I understand that a major reason I like it so much is nostalgia, I still believe it will appeal to new players, young and old, if given an honest chance. I commend you Templar; thanks for putting it on your website. I hope to see more from you in the future. Post your thoughts or memories below.