Review by ducksrule

"Did Metroid Prime live up to the hype? Click!"

''Why in the hell a six?'' is probably what a majority of you are saying. Well, let me explain myself. I've never played a Metroid game, so I basically bought this game on hype (and the great reviews). Wow, I'm regretting it now, read the review to find out why.

Gameplay:

The most important part of a game is gameplay. Without good gameplay, then you'll have no interest to play the game because it's not fun. After play Metroid for a while, I came to this conclusion: Metroid has bad gameplay. It's just not fun. The game is being labeled a first person adventure, and that's what it is. If only exploring this world of Talon IV was fun...

The main reason the gameplay is bad is because of the limited options. Samus can jump, shoot, and morph. That's pretty much it. I'll start off by saying that Talon IV is a huge world. But that seems to be a drawback instead of helping the game. Exploring this game with bland colors and objects that aren't interesting isn't entertaining for too long. Therefore, having to check every nook and cranny of the world to discover some paths is more tedious than fun. Another thing is the scanning. Let me pause while I yawn! You'll have to scan hundreds of objects if you want to be able to complete this game 100%. Getting back to the size of this game, here's an example of how it's bad. If you forget to scan something in the first level, then you'll have to go back. Depending on how far along in the game you are, you'll have to backtrack quite a bit to get back. This will happen constantly, and doesn't add much to the game. It would have been a neat thing for Retro to allow you to teleport Samus between save points instead of having to morph or run across all these rooms.

The morphing is the only thing I actually enjoy about the gameplay. It reminds me of Super Monkey Ball. Samus will turn into a ball, and you can guide here anywhere. The upgrades for the morph ball are great also, and make this part enjoyable. If only running and shooting was this fun. Shooting is like any other FPS, except for the lock on targeting. This makes destroying enemies rather easy. Jumping in the game works pretty well, but sometimes there's more guessing involved than skill.

Gameplay score: 5.5/10

Graphics

The graphics in Metroid Prime are quite a mixed bag. The colors (expect on Samus) are very bland and boring. Environments are often made with two or three colors, and the level of detail in the environments isn't too great. I have no idea why bump-mapping wasn't implemented into Metroid Prime. This is 2002, not 1997. Maybe there wasn't enough space on the disc, I don't know. There are hardly any jaggies, which combined with a constant 60 FPS is great. I have, however, heard of some people's game freezine while going up/down an elevator. Although this hasn't happened to me, it's happened to some. The water doesn't look too great, which is a shame. I always like seeing how lifelike developers can make the water look. The bosses look great, although they also are pretty bland. I don't know why Retro couldn't have used some exciting colors, because the ones they used are average.

Graphics score: 8.7/10

Audio

The audio in Metroid Prime is also a mixed bag. It's soothing, which in a video game isn't a good thing. If you're looking to take a nap, turn Metroid on and the music will put you to sleep in no time. In past Nintendo games, I have always found myself humming along with the music, but I've had no reason to do that in Metroid. To be honest, I can't recall any of the music now because I've never payed attention to it. That isn't a good sign when a game is supposed to be very ''immersive''. It's hard to get immersed into a game when you mute out the sound.

The weapons sound just as you'd think they would. The futuristic gun sounds like any other futurisic gun. That's not a bad thing, but I would have liked to see some improvement. You'll hear a cool sound when you morph into the ball form, but that's about the last of the great sound. When Samus falls from a very high height, you hardly hear anything. I thought that suit was supposed to be pretty heavy? Oh well, maybe I just think that.

Audio score: 7.0/10

Value

There's a lot of things to do and see if you like the gameplay. To 100% this game, it'll take about 50 hours. Something that bothers me though is the in game clock. It doesn't count your time the way I want it to. I want to know how long I've played regardless if I die, but unfortunately it's not that way. There aren't really any ''secrets'', but there are many different paths that you can open with your new upgrades. But this is another example of when that backtracking (yawn) occurs. The worlds are pretty diverse, with snow levels, lava levels, etc.

If you have a GBA, have beat MP and Fusion, and have a link up cable, then you can play the original Metroid. This is great for someone who either doesn't have a NES anymore or someone who got their first taste of Metroid in Prime. This is bad for those that love Prime but don't own a GBA. You'd then have to spend about 125 dollars to be able to play Metroid. Not worth it if you ask me. There's no multiplayer mode, but I don't know how a type of game like this could have one.

Value score 8.4/10

OVERALL SCORE (not an average): 6.3/10

As I stated before, this was my first Metroid experience. If Prime will be your first Metroid experience, then I highly suggest you rent this one. You may end up loving it, or you may be like me and not liking it too much. But if you have loved Metroid games in the past, then I suggest you buy Prime (although I'm sure you own it already).

Final Thoughts:

Metroid is an average game for someone knew to the series. It's not a FPS, but it would have been better that way. But because it's a FPA, there isn't very much action. This may not bother those that like to sit back and enjoy a game, but for those that are looking for something to have fun with for 20 minutes before you go out to dinner, then I suggest something else. If you do enjoy the gameplay, then you're in for a ride that'll last a very long time (especially if you have a GBA). Hope this is helpful for anyone that hasn't play a Metroid game before and was wondering if you'd enjoy it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/02, Updated 11/22/02


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