Review by TheRedneck14
"Well Worth The Eight Year Wait!"
Metroid Prime is the first game made by Texan Retro Studios for the Nintendo GameCube, and it was one of the first games to show off just what that little cube could really do. It was also the first Metroid game in eight years after it came out [the last one was the incredible Super Metroid for the SNES], and it damn well made up for the long wait. As we all should know, Metroid Prime is about the Chozo [aliens in the game] raised bounty hunter Samus Aran. Well... let's get started.
Metroid Prime takes place after the original Metroid where Samus fought Mother Brain and the Metroids that were on Zebes, and she is sent to investigate a vessel that is near the planet Tallon IV. After she gets on board the Frigate Samus discovers the results of a Space Pirate experiment to mutate parasites, and those parasites got lose and killed a lot of the Pirates. So she goes through the ship and kills one of the surviving Parasite Queens, which falls into a reactor and destroys the ship.
On her way out Samus finds Ridley the "Space Dragon" who is one of the Space Pirate leaders escapes the ship, and Samus chases him onto Tallon IV. A former Chozo home world ravaged by a meteor which hit a long time ago and spread the scourge of Phazon [a mutagen which can corrupt living things] that wiped out the Chozo that were on the planet and forced them to leave.
Samus also discovers that the Space Pirates [if you don't know, Space Pirates are a species of intergalactic terrorists... only way I can describe it] are on Tallon IV trying to mine the Phazon and use it to alter their own soldiers into the massive "Omega Pirates" and use it to make themselves more powerful, and to alter other creatures. So as you would expect, Samus has to kill the Pirates.
There is also "Lore" that you can scan which reveals more about Phazon and "Metroid Prime" [where do you think the name came from!]. The Lore that you can find is from the Chozo who told about their lives on Tallon IV, and what happened after the Meteor hit, and there is lore for the Space Pirates who explain what Phazon can do and the experiments that they were working on in Tallon IV.
I won't ruin any more of it for you, but everything you find out will be from the Lore you download, so if you want to know what this game is about, just scan the Lore and read it.
To anyone who has played a Metroid game before, you should know what all of this is about. Prime follows the standard formula of Metroid Games, you are on a Planet, and you need to explore it and find items to integrate into your Power Suit, do some puzzles, and kill some challenging bosses. The only real new addition is being able to scan things to get information about whatever you're scanning, either the weakness of some enemy or some Lore for your Logbook.
But the real important thing on here is just how well Metroid transitioned into 3D it did it very well. You still have the overworld connected by Elevators, you still have the tunnels that you need to traverse with the Morph Ball, and you still have the challenging [sometimes] tasks and puzzles that you need to do to get into new areas or find power-ups. The blocks in the old games that could only be destroyed by some specific weapon were even replicated quite well, and firing a missile into some block feels exactly like it did back in Super Metroid.
Like you always do in Metroid, there are a lot of Aliens that you need to fight, it starts off easy with some weak Bug's and creatures that just crawl around after you land on Tallon IV, but after a while you begin fighting Aliens that make you work. You wind up having to dodge attacks by dashing around and firing your cannon at whatever gets in your way. They also give you several different weapons, you have four different beams for your cannon, and a missile launcher as well as some visors like the X-Ray Visor which must be utilized to beat some enemy's, this was all done quite well although some Space Pirates who make you keep switching your beam to hurt them get very annoying after a while [the end boss does this as well]. Other than that you got a lot of Metroid-esqe aliens to smear across the walls, I can did that. But in case that is not enough for you, there are a lot of huge bosses who you have to beat the hell out of for a while before they go down, having to fight Ridley [the previously mentioned dragon] pelting you with plasma beams and dashing across the platform you are on while you need to hit him in the chest. It is very exciting and a good addition to the exploration of Prime.
But one thing should be mentioned, Prime is more linear than the past games which you could sequence break [bypassing certain points in the game, getting items early], but in Prime everything is in a set path that you need to follow throughout most of the game. Other than that there is no problem, Prime gives you a world to explore, and you will enjoy it.
I'll be simple with this, if all you're doing is playing the main game without trying to find everything, the game won't be very difficult because it is easy to find where you need to go. But if you're trying to find all of the items, scan all of the creatures and the lore, as well as unlocking every image gallery. The game will be tough for you because unless you have a guide you should be ready to explore the hell out of Tallon IV to find everything. As I said, the main game is not very hard if you know what you're doing, someone who knows how to play Metroid games should blow through the bosses without too much of a challenge. Somebody who is new to the Metroid games should have a hard time though.
Being 3D, Prime controls a lot differently than the past games, and while to some people it sounded like a nightmare everything worked out very well. You use the Control Stick to move around and you press A to fire the cannon, you press B to jump, and those are the basics about the game. But to Aim at things, you must hold down one of the shoulder buttons to aim, and while you're doing that you're unable to move. But this is rectified by allowing you to lock onto anything [that is lock-on-able] with the other shoulder button, and that makes it easier for some people. But all you really need to know besides that is that Prime controls fluidly, and it will be quick to learn. But tit does seem very unusual and that may take longer to get uses to than the controls themselves.
Back in 2002 when this game came out, the Cube did not really have much out there that showed off that graphical oomph that people were waiting for, but Prime delivered. When you start off on the Frigate everything does not really look very good, but it is very atmospheric and you can see that the ship has been trashed. But after you land on Tallon IV you see a gorgeous forest patch that you land in where rain is dripping onto your visor, and then you travel through the standards for a video game nowadays, the Desert/Temple level, the Lava level, the Ice level. But they all look incredible, the Chozo Temple has several layers in the design and there are several areas where parts of the temple are falling apart, Magmoor Depths is filled with fire and you can almost feel the heat although the Lava looks really fake. But the best one out of these four [in my opinion] is Phendrana Drifts which is filled with beautiful ice and snow, and there are so many little details to everything in there. Throughout the game everything looks beautiful, but there are signs of how empty the game is sometimes with how some parts of levels are corroded, most of the Chozo sites in the game look like they are falling apart, the levels are just beautifully designed and Retro had some incredible artistic direction.
Onto the Aliens you need to kill, most of them look good as well, there are unique designs for most of them, but the real impressive thing is the hulking bosses. The first impressive one is the giant poison flower whose name is impossible to spell [read the FAQ], it is like I said a giant flower which looks horribly mutated and tries to slash at you with its claws, moving on there is a Golem made from floating Phazon infected rocks, there is Ridley the Metallic Space Dragon, and there are so many other things. The enemy's like the levels are mostly beautifully designed.
There are mainly two things that are to be covered in this section, the sound effects, and the Music. The effects are mostly done well, the beams sound good and have their own distinct sound and you can hear Samus' footsteps plinking on several of the surfaces, there are several things that you can hear that immerse you very well. But the Music is incredible in some places, there are some remixed tunes such as the Magmoor theme which is mainly the Norfair theme remixed with a more orchestral sound, and there is Ridley's theme which like always gets you excited for one of Metroid's best bosses. But Retro's original songs are brilliant; they really sound great compared to the remixes of Mr. Tanaka's songs. Sadly there is no voice work, which is unusual at the time, but the only voices you will hear are Samus' cries of pain and the roars of what you're trying to kill. I will put this in the simplest terms I can muster; you should like how the game sounds.
As I said above, Prime really draws you in; there are incredible graphics and some incredible songs that set the mood for where you are. Sometimes you really feel like you are on a dying world, and you can see the results of Phazon on Tallon IV. But the thing that adds to this the most is the amazing artistic design where everything just feels so right about where you are.
The only big things to keep playing for are finding all of the Missiles and Logbook scans. But there are also some image galleries that can be unlocked as well as a harder difficulty. But a lot of people do play through the game trying to get Speedruns [how fast you can beat the game], so if you are up for a challenge give that a try.
Excellent graphics, great music, great transition from 2D too 3D, innovative gameplay that was different than what was out there.
No voice over work, controls seem weird at first, it took 8 years to get it.
Should you get it:
Metroid Prime is an excellent game that you can find cheaply now; you should get it for your GameCube or Wii [if you have one].
Metroid Prime is what the fans have been waiting to get for eight years, and also drew some new people to the game. And the traditional Metroid exploration was exceptionally altered into 3D. Retro Studios did an excellent job on this game, and it is deserving of its praise.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/13/07, Updated 08/25/08
Game Release: Metroid Prime (Player's Choice) (US, 09/25/03)
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