Review by Athmok
"Does Metroid Prime live up to the hype??"
For many, Memories of ''Metroid'' go back to the 2D sidescrolling days of the NES. Others experienced Metroid for the first time with the outstanding sequel ''Super Metroid'' on Snes. These were wonderful games that have a lasting appeal with many gamers of old. Now, many years later we have a new game in the series: ''Metroid Prime.''
When Nintendo first announced this game for the Gamecube fans of the series were screaming ''Hooray for Nintendo!!'' After the announcement that the new Metroid game was going to be a 3D game in the First Person perspective most gamers hung there head and whimpered ''Nooooo!!!'' The change in gameplay mechanics sent a shockwave through the Nintendo community. Some people were saying that it will never be as good as the Metoid of old and others stuck by Nintendo through this incredible change. Well, after many moons of waiting to play the game and see for ourselves the game is finally out. How is it? Was it worth it? Will I still have a social life, or can I walk away from it? You will have to answer these questions for yourself, but hopefully this review will give you some good information to help you choose.
Gameplay - How does it play? Very well I must say. The transition from 2D to 3D works very well. The worlds are huge and require a considerable amount of exploration to uncover all the secrets. The abilities you gain as you advance into the game make you stop and think ''Hmm..where can I use my new upgrade to find secrets''. Trust me, you will be finding a whole look of hidden passages and the like. Which means you will also be backtracking to previous areas, but if you have played other Metroid games this is no problem.
The control is a bit awkward at first. The buttons are mapped strange for a first person game and there is no customizing option. The game actually controls like Doom on a console, basically because it has a strafe button. This takes a little bit to get used to, but it ultimately works in favor of the way the game is layed out.
Story - What can I say there really is no plot or unfolding story, which brings me to the scanning feature. Your visor is equipped with a scanning feature that allows you to collect data from all over the planet and is upgradable to other visors. This would be the only way to have a story. It is pretty cool to not really know what is going on until you read reports and data that tells you what sort of stuff has been going on. It feels kind of like the move Aliens. The drawback is that the scanning does slow things down. You spend most of you time scanning every new room you come into in order to find information or key points to advance.
Graphics/Sound - Okay, this game looks great. From the living environments to the reflection of Samus' face on the visor when there is a bright flash of light, this game really pushes the Gamecube to the limit. It is by far the best looking game on the Gamecube. It is amazing to see all the detail that Retro put into this game. I did come across a few textures that didn't seem as nice as the others but that is just being to critical.
The game also sounds great. The music from the menu screen really makes you want to play the game. The strange compositions from the different levels really keep you on edge, but still carry the same riffs from the previous games to keep it feeling like you never left the Metroid world.
Replayability - If you fly through the game without really reading any of the text or collecting many power-ups you could get through it in about 25-30 hours, but why would you want to. There is so much to find that you could spend hours looking for that last energy tank or missile expansion. Most of the time taken to beat it will definitely be from scanning, which could add some more time to the game, but it is worth a trip through again to get 100% complete.
Final Word - With few really ''great'' games out right now you owe it to yourself to pick-up ''Metroid Prime'' if you own a Gamecube. There is so much to do in the game and it looks sooooo good. The scanning is a bit much, but it is the only way to get a story in the game, so I didn't minus anything from the score. Metroid never had much of a story anyway. The developers have done the impossible. I give this game a 10 out of 10. It is a masterpiece.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/21/02, Updated 11/21/02
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