I picked up
Metroid Prime with
great anticipation. Metroid is one of my all time favorite videogame
franchises (with only Zelda and Final Fantasy giving it a run for its
money). I played Metroid through and through and remember most of it
even today (How many of you remember the Justin Bailey password from the
first Metroid?). I know I am far from alone here. I instantly fell in
love with this newest addition to the Metroid family. Metroid Prime is
very different from its predecessors though. While certainly not a bad
thing, it did leave me craving a more traditional Metroid experience.
Not only does Metroid Fusion offer an amped up version of the
traditional Metroid Platform, but also when linked with Prime you can
even play the original Metroid.
protecting a research team Samus finds herself once again on the surface
of SR388, the place where it all began. It is there that our heroine is
attacked by a parasitic organism know as X (apparently the names
parasitic organism A through W were already taken). The situation
becomes bleak as the parasite becomes a part of the biological
components of Samuss power suit. With her chances of survival at a
minimum, scientists decided to try something drastic. Using cells from a
Metroid they developed a serum. The serum works. Samus is then sent to a
research lab where a mysterious explosion has taken place. Now, in her
weakened state and with only the help of her computer, she must
infiltrate the station and investigate the explosion.
From here on
the story falls into a thinly veiled Aliens rip-off, with moments of
laughable internal dialogue. Frankly, no one will care. The game is a
lot of fun and the story is merely a tool to further the gameplay. There
are a few neat little twists along the way. At one point Samus must
defeat SAX the evil Samus twin and a fan cant help but be a little
excited at the first glimpse of the old familiar Metroids. The story
isnt bad, nor is it great. It is just good enough.
I have had
limited experience with the Game Boy Advance thus far and I found myself
constantly amazed at what the little guy could do. This is a credit to
the machine and the developers. The developers did a good job of using
the GBA in the right ways to make the graphics seem quite impressive.
The game itself actually looks a little better than Super Metroid did on
the SNES. That, teamed with good use of some beautiful cut scenes,
constantly surprised me. It definitely helped lend weight to a light
offers the perfect amount of challenge. It isnt too hard, yet certain
spots will take all the finesse that you can muster. A number of bosses
really threw me for a loop. They always seemed fair though. I could
always see that there was a method to beating them and all I had to do
was figure it out and properly execute it. The levels are done well
enough that even the easier parts of the game remain interesting. I
rarely got lost, which I have little patience for anymore. Each
navigation room gives you a good idea of what to do and the maps are
done in a way that perfectly guides you without tell you exactly what to
do. One of the things that I was most pleased about was the placing of
save chambers. In fact there are so many that it can feel almost
redundant. In my opinion it is better to have too many than too few, by
defeat of each boss you are given a new weapon. I love upgrading,
especially as a reward after a particularly tough boss. Most of the old
bag of tricks are back with a few variations and exceptions but nothing
major. I just couldnt wait to curl up into a ball and blow things up.
Another credit to the developers is how expertly they allowed access to
wide array of weapons with the limited buttons on the GBA. Utilizing
button combinations allowed for quick access to all of Samuss arsenal.
I may get arthritis but Ill love every minute of it.
soundtrack is a bit of a let down. The best moments are the times when
the classic Metroid theme pierces through the otherwise uninspiring
soundtrack. This again is a minor quibble. You get so wrapped up in the
game you dont think about the sound much. It is just that every now and
then when you hear the old favorite that you are reminded of what you
me to my only real problem with the game. It is really short. I was able
to finish it in close to five hours. I noticed online that there were
people passing it in under four hours. This is their first time too.
After going through it, it is possible, and in fact a challenge, to go
through it all in under two hours. For my money I have come to expect
more than two to five hours of gameplay.
finish the game, not only are you rewarded with the end to your story,
there is also a bonus for Metroid Prime owners. As I mentioned earlier,
upon completion of Metroid Fusion you may link to your GameCube and play
the original NES version of Metroid. I think this is a great idea and I
would like to see the folks behind Februarys Legend of Zelda game take
If you really
want to know what this game is like just think back to Super Metroid. It
is in fact a direct sequel. The story is different but much else is the
same. This would be unacceptable on the GameCube but it works on the GBA.
If you go into this game expecting anything more you will be
disappointed. But if you are like me and want a little of that old 2D
magic that you were so fond of before than this is your ticket.
When I first
decided I wanted to play Metroid Fusion I had a big problem: I didnt
have a Gameboy Advance. So I went out and bought one. It pays to be
frivolous sometimes. I havent regretted it for a moment; this game
alone is worth it. And now that I have finished Metroid Fusion I can sit
down and go through the original Metroid that started the decades long