Review by SageOfTheWise
"Single Player is all that stands between this game and a 10"
A few months back when Nintendo announced they were delaying Metroid so they could add wifi multiplayer to it. Some people complained, but now we can all see just how smart of a move it was.
Its games like this that make me wonder why people think the DS has bad graphical capabilities. The graphics amazing, nothing seems blocky and the environments are diverse. The best part is the games multitude of movies in such high quality you'd never believe it was on a portable system.
The game uses an interesting method where you use the stylus to look around and aim, while you use the D-pad and L button to move around and shoot. The first big difference you notice is how much more fluid the aiming is, much closer to a PC shooter than a console one. While the learning curve is small, the new system can cause hand cramps if you play for a long time (or play someone really good).
The story is really nothing special. A mysterious message is being transmitted from the Almibic Cluster, where a long dead super intelligent species used to live. The message is that ultimate power can be found in the cluster. So of course the galactic Federation sends you down there to investigate it. The twist is that there are 6 other hunters also searching for the power which Samus will have many runs in throughout the game. With the exception of learning what the "power" is, there isn't much else as far a plot development goes. And even that twist is pretty obvious. On the upside you will slowly learn the history of the Alimbics and how they died out throughout the game by scanning machines and other relics throughout the game which acts as another diversion from the shootouts in the game.
The sound in this game is amazing. Much of the games music sticks to Metroid's sci-fi roots. But what even overshadow the games music are the eerie sound effects throughout the game. Everything from the slow creaking of a broken down space station to the sound of lava spurting out of a red sea perfectly fits with the area giving a really engaging experience.
The gameplay in Metroid is almost flawless. The aiming system gives you precision never seen on a console shooter. The return of many classic metroid puzzles like morphball mazes give a break from non stop fighting we've grown accustom to from other games. While the game is a little more linear than previous metroid games, it isn't that much of a factor. The games two main flaws is the repetition of the same bosses over and over, and the games length is relatively short.
This is where the game truly shines like no other before it. You can a battle up to four different people in seven modes in 27 different arenas. Add in seven distinct characters, each with there own playing style, from the big bulky damage dealer to the invisible sniper, to choose from and you've got yourself a game you'll spend many a night locked in your room with nothing but the glow of your DS and the flashing of your wifi adapter. The levels are all very diverse and so many different ways to play from basic survival to more complicated kinds like Capture and Bounty, the multiplayer trill will take a long time to ware off. And if that wasn't enough, when you trade codes with a friend you can actually talk to them though the DS, and their voice is almost crystal clear.
While you won't be playing the single player more than twice to get 100% of the scans, the multiplayer has no end its replay value. With the diverseness of it there's always more levels to explore, or more characters to master, or more friends to beat.
While I feel this is more of an 8.5, 9 is the best choice available. Lets not kid ourselves though, this game was made for the multiplayer. If you have no access to wifi and no friends to play the game with, this game is probably something you don't need if you're not already a big Metroid fan. But otherwise, this game is a must have for any DS owner.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/12/06
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