Review by linksbabiigurl
"A must for your collection."
Samus returns from her classic NES and SNES hits Metroid and all of it's sequels. Metroid Prime has all of the original elements of classic Metroid gameplay we all know and love (missile expansions, energy tanks, morph ball mode), but delivers something new and original, something very rare in the gaming industry these days. Some may pass it off as a game of the first-person shooter (FPS) genre. But this game contains so much more than just random running around and shooting everything that moves. While it does incorporate running around and shooting everything that moves, there are lots of original puzzles and obstacles that will keep your right-thumb sore, but your brain clicking. The game begins with Samus landing her ship on a Space Pirate Frigate. She's been sent to investigate suspicious Space Pirate activity. After some basic run-of-the-mill tutorials, you'll fight your first boss battle. While it is the easiest in the game, you shooting the goo out of a giant bug is a sight to behold. Classic Metroid-like story, your Power Suit's upgrades all get stolen and one of your main objectives is to get them all back. Then the usual sci-fi action gameplay goes into effect, the ship is going to self-destruct and you need to get the heck out of there. Let the mayhem ensue. Samus makes an emergency landing on the nearby planet of Tallon IV. Left to fend for herself, she will need to use all the suit upgrades at her disposal to uncover the secret of the Space Pirate Operations. Chilling, isn't it?
Finally, something new and original, while still paying homage to the roots of this classic series. During your quest, you will have to use four different visors with special vision enhancements to reach certain areas, four different types of Power Beam that are effective and ineffective depending on the enemy, and four different suits that you will need to collect to reach new places. And of course the always-will-be-loved Metroids make an appearance. Let the nostalgic reminiscing of the old Metroid games commence. Once you obtain them, you will have to use all of the Power Suit upgrades you have at your disposal to dispose of the Space Pirates and their secret operations. Challenging boss battles are a plus too. Like past Metroid games, once you figure out the perfect strategy to beat the boss, you can beat them without losing a lot of health at all, as long as you stay on your toes. Watch their movements, recognize and memorize the pattern of their attacks, choose which beam weapon you think will be the most effective, and unleash an attack at the perfect moment. The massive environments also add to the experience.
There isn't really a lot to the story, but when you're being blasted off of a ledge by an Air Pirate, there isn't really much time to think about it. The story elements are something you'd expect from a science fiction type game such as this. Get your Suit back. Oh, and kill the Space Pirates, please. An expansive story with plot twists is something that you'd expect from a platformer or RPG game, so I think what Prime has in terms of story is fine, if a little vague. But of course, that's why the sequels are there. This game is just setting the whole Metroid Prime series up, and that's why it got a high rating with as little plot as it has. The game also has some significant tie-ins with past Metroid games, such as the story of the Chozo and their existence on Tallon IV. The Chozo, who inhabited the planet until a meteor containing Phazon crashed on it chased the peace-loving aliens away, left behind records found in the walls of their Ruins, in the form of Chozo Lore. Samus will need to use her Scan Visor to upload these stories to her suit for further review, and solve the mystery of the Chozo. Just another optional sidequest you may or may not choose to undertake, which all adds to the plot and the gameplay experience. And it is these sidequests that will optimize the gameplay and make it all the more enjoyable. Choose to complete them, or if you are one who is low on patience, just play through the game one time, and come back in hard mode to uncover every nook and cranny of the planet. Sometimes during the course of your adventure, you will be stumped. It happens. If you are, you can always turn the hint system on to give you a little nudge in the right direction. Sometimes, you will not be able to access a certain area without a certain part of your suit. You will need to backtrack to find that particular upgrade. The hints system will always be there to guide you in times of need, showing you your next destination to showing you the next suit upgrade. No need to worry about getting lost. Though you probably will a couple of times the first time you run through the game.
The moment you land on Tallon IV, you will be treated to a remix of the original planet Zebes music. This is a nice treat for all the long-time gamers out there. While this may look like an FPS at first glance, never once during the game do you feel that this is anything but Metroid. The various remixes of the original Metroid games will keep you in the Metroid world, only you are experiencing it all from Samus's perspective, as opposed to some invisible camera that follows Samus from the side view. The graphics are just plain beautiful for the time that this game came out. Something that, I'm sorry to say, most Gamecube exclusive games these days lack. I thought the old launch titles for the Gamecube have as good as or better graphics than most of the games today. Of course, graphics aren't everything, but they certainly enhance gameplay and make for a better experience. The environment details are superb, and seeing Samus in her full 3D glory really makes you feel good inside. When you put on a new visor, everything looks and feels different; the whole way you look at everything changes, literally and figuratively. The way your eyes have to adjust to the brightness when you run out of a dark area. The slobbering mouth of a Sheegoth inches away from you, ready to devour you. The crackling sound you hear to comfirm your ice beam shot has found it's target. The short jolt of electricity when you fire the Wave Beam. It all really adds to the experience and really makes you feel like you are Samus. The sounds effects are great too. The way your chests tighten up as you hear an Air Pirate activate his jetpacks and soar through the air. Until of course, you get the Plasma Beam. Then you can show them who's boss. Anywho.
Play Time/Replayability 10/10
I heard a lot of comments that the game was just too short. On the contrary, I thought it was really fulfilling and definitely exceeded my expectations. Playing through it again doesn't feel like a hassle either, when you can actually pay attention to the extra stuff without worrying about where to go next. When you play through the story once, Hard mode is unlocked and is now playable. This should be good treat for players who loved the game and are looking for an extra challenge. If you have a GBA and the game Metroid Fusion (also recommended), and complete them both, you will be able to transfer your Metroid Fusion suit over to the Gamecube and be able to use the Metroid Fusion suit. I've never tried this before so I don't know if it has any advantages or disadvantages or anything. You can also play the original Metroid on the NES by linking up. Just extra incentive for you to complete the game. I suggest you try it out, just to get to see the long way that the Metroid series has come, from it's 8-bit form to it's fully 3-D glory.
Get it. Nuff said. Seriously though, this game will definitely make a nice addition to your collection, not to mention the also-fabulous sequel, Echoes. Even if FPS-like games aren't to your taste, get it anyway. It's good. Trust me. All of the recent Nintendo games have disappointed me as of late, so I started going back to old games. I started with one of my favorites, Metroid Prime. Metroid games, 2D, 3D, first person, side scrolling, will always make a nice addition to your Gamecube collection, and almost never get boring. It even sells really cheap used and brand new, at almost any local gamestore. If you don't have it already, it is highly recommended by almost anyone you ask to have this game, even if it may seem a bit short in your eyes, it is still a very fulfilling experience.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/23/05
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