"A detailed breakdown of Metroid Prime"

Unlike some of the reviewers here, I'm not just some Nintendo fanboy ranting about one of their games. The score I give this is based on going into the game with an open mind. I will give you the the most accurate and honest review I can, without contradicing myself too many times :). With that aside, let's begin.

Yes, despite my little disclaimer, I still gave this game a 9. When I bought Metroid Prime, I had no idea what to expect. I had never played any Metroid games (save about thirty minutes of Metroid II), and I despise First Person Shooters. So, this promised to be quite interesting. I'd heard that this game was supposed to be awesome, so I picked it up. This game is great, the best game one Gamecube, and one Nintendo's best games overall (second only to LoZ: Ocarina of Time)

Graphics 10- This game has some great graphics. The textures are great, and Samus's character model is beautiful. The enemies are flawless and much more detailed then they appear (you notice the detail when the enemies are on top of you, ripping you to shreds). The visual effects are really makes this game stand out. Your arm cannon lights up the dark as you shoot. Then, there are the visor effects. Blood spattering on your visor, water sliding off as you emerge from pools and ponds, enemies scrambling your vision; it's indescribable.

Music/Sound 9- The music is pretty good. It really helps build the mood at crucial points and it draws you into the game. The boss battle music is most excellent though. Especially during the later battles. The music that normally plays is good, but it gets repetitive at times. The sound effects are awesome, the explosions are dead on. All of the beam cannon arms, sound exactly as you'd imagine them, if not better. The roars of the pirates and the screeches of the metroids are enough to make you run for your life.

Control 10- I've heard some people complaining about the lack of dual analog control, but really it's not a big deal. The dual analog would have ruined this game, and I would have nuked Nintendo if they'd put it in. People say dual analog would have made this game better instead of thinking what it would have actually done. Dual analog creates bad turning issues (at least for those who are unskilled with it). This game requires a lot of turning around and blasting the crap out the people behind you. The other issue that people seem to gripe about is not being able to aim and shoot. This is totally unfounded. There's an auto-aim, and one of the best auto-aiming systems I've ever seen, at that. This game was designed as an adventure with shooter elements. It's both a First Person Shooter and a First Person Adventure; there seems to be a lot of debate of which one of these it is. I fail to see how this matters, as classifications don't change the actual substance.

Gameplay 10- This one's gonna be long... *takes deep breath* ...okay, here I go. This game is about running through a massively expansive world blowing pirates, metroid, and other creatures. Some of the enemies are pretty powerful, others are just plain crazy. The A.I. is like nothing I've ever seen. The sentient creatures will attack and formulate strategies, while the ones with lower intelligence will rush you, and use their animal defense mechanisms. This is one of the game in which you can actually tell the difference between an intelligent species and an utterly mindless one. In most shooters enemies will hide behind barricades and blast you or just stand in the open an gun you down, not the pirates. They'll jump in front of you, try and gun you down. Then, they'll extend their freak blades, rush you, and chop you to pieces (and this isn't even hard mode). The Chozo Ghosts are even trickier. One will charge a huge energy blast, and just when you're about to stop him, the other two will blast you from behind. Then the one with the huge bomb will throw it, and you'll have just taken some major damage. This game requires you to think and outwit your opponents, something I haven't seen successfully done in a good long time. That's just the battling, on to the exploring. The world, as I've said, is huge. This may be a turn off to some, as it requires a lot of back tracking. I didn't find this to be a big deal though, because there's always new enemies in previously unexplored areas. There's no way to tell how an area has change over time, so if you're not ready, you'll be killed in seconds.

Lastability N/A- I'm not gonna rate this cuz I've only had this game since late November. I'm still playing it, though. I beat it last week and now I'm trying to beat it on hard mode. Most people will want to complete the game at 100% so that they can unlock the secret ending (I beat it at 60%... I suck :D) and scan everything so that they can unlock the image galleries of Metroid concept art. I'll just let you all rate this one for yourself.

Immersion Factor 10- You'll be drawn into this game, and you'll never want to leave. You'll physically duck and dodge while playing and you'll feel that dropping sensation in your stomach when falling. I've already described the factors that cause this so you'll just have to scroll up, cause I'm not gonna restate them! :P

Summary- Well, it's time to wrap things up so I'll give you the main pros and cons of the game right here, yeah I stole this idea from PGC.

Pros:
-Top quality graphics, best on GameCube
-Visor effects set this apart from other First Person Games
-Awesome sound will really make you feel as if you're really there
-A.I. is great
-Huge world to explore
-Lot's of unlockable features
-You'll be duck and dodging until you get a concussion

Cons:
-Huge world to explore
-Die-Hard FPS fans may be dissappointed


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/02, Updated 12/28/02


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