Review by ZidaneTribal13
"The first of my 3 greatest games of all time reviews..."
Metroid Prime is the sequel to the original Metroid for the Nintendo/Famicom and the prequel to Super Metroid for the Super Nintendo/Famicom. The Metroid series has been widely praised on the side of the Pacific, while it has not been so accepted in Japan as it is in America. The object of any Metroid game is to explore and gain up-grades for Samus's arsenal. Developed by Retro (a Texas based game studio) and the great Shigeru Miyamoto (the dude that made Zelda and Mario and many other great games), many speculated if this game would be a joke to the Metroid series as it was being developed by an American based developer and the fact that it would be a First Person Shooter (or a First Person Adventure for those who are sensitive to the FPS term). Anyway, Metroid Prime continues to the great saga of the Metroid series and definitely lives up to all the hype it received. So how does the prequel to one of the greatest games of all time fare? Continue reading on...
Story: 10/10 Possible SPOILERS!!!!!
The story in Metroid Prime begins as it does in Super Metroid...on a Research Frigate that just gave out a distress signal. So of course, our heroine, Samus Aran races towards the site to investigate the scene. It ends up being a Space Pirate Frigate, the ship of probably Samus's greatest enemies...and that begins the story of Metroid Prime. Tallon IV is a planet that was struck by a meteor 20 years before Samus first lands on the planet. This meteor contained a substance called ''Phazon'' which is a highly radioactive substance that the Space Pirates want to contain in their genetic engineering experiments. Metroid Prime is unique as it's story develops while you play the game and not through tons of cut-scenes, quite similar to Halo's method of progressing it's story. Metroid Prime puts you in control of whether you want to learn about the story of Tallon IV or just breeze through Tallon IV without having one clue of what's going on...Retro used the Scan Visor technique as the basis of how the story would develop, all the player has to do is switch to the scan visor and scan hundreds of different information, some of these scanees bringing valuable research and being added to your log book. As you venture throughout the various landscapes of Tallon IV, you'll learn how the Chozos (an advanced bird-like race) lived and prospered on the planet. You pretty much progress through the story through the information of both the Chozos and the Space Pirates, the Chozo being the peaceful species that lived on the Tallon IV as an escape from the advanced technology of their other civilations and being able to foresee the future and the prophecy of the Hatchling (won't tell you about it, though). The other side of the story is through the Space Pirates' research on Tallon IV and about their many experiments...the Space Pirates...they're pretty bad guys; they want to take over the universe using any means possible...including using the Metroid species as a tool to gain that goal. What exactly is a Metroid and what is the significance of it? A Metroid is a parasitic life form that grasps onto it's host and sucks all the energy out of it, it takes lots and lots of firepower to bring a Metroid down and thus the reasons that the Space Pirates want to harness them. If the Space Pirates can just perfect all of their experiments using the Phazon program, they'd no doubt be the most powerful race of the universe. It's Samus Aran's job to stop the ambitions of the evil Space Pirates!
Metroid Prime's graphics are bleepin' good! Easily...easily the best graphics of any game so far, be it the Gamecube, PS2 or Xbox. Retro did a hell of a job in making Metroid Prime's graphics awesome. First of all, the graphics are so detailed...great lighting throughout the landscapes, sometimes making Samus's Power Suit all metallic looking (which looks extremely awesome). Samus is very very shiny...it's pretty funny. Samus' visors are very cool looking, when you obtain the 2 other visors other than your default 2 visors (the scan and battle visor), these 2 visors would be the Thermal visor and the X-ray visor. The Thermal visor is sweet looking, you fire your Ice Beam and you won't even see it fire since the ice you just fired is so cold, when that beam lands on your enemy, you'll see them pretty much disappear because their whole body just became cold, that's just one of the cool touches to the Thermal Visor, another would be that it looks totally cool, when facing off with an enemy, they will become transparent and you'll be able to see right through them, most enemies will become yellow/orange and will give you a heads up when you want to instantly find the enemies of a darkened room. As for the X-ray Visor, everything will turn black and white and it will pretty much look like the game is drawn in pencil (it looks cool), you'll see the enemies' bone structures (if they even have bones) and you'll sometimes be able to see through Samus' hand, showing off her bony fingers. The game's atmosphere is amazing, you're always in a room that gives you a sense of amazement; when you're in a room where steam is shooting from pipes along the wall, that steam will fog up Samus' visor which looks too cool, when you're in a cold room, there will be fog growing on your visor, also when you fire off your beam in a dark room, you'll see Samus' face in the reflection of her visor. Retro did a great job with the atmosphere of Tallon IV. You need to actually play the game to understand how great the graphics are since I do not have the ability to list all of Metroid Prime's great graphical features, there are just way too much for me to list, but...I'll try to manage. As for the enemies, Retro wanted to please all the old school Metroid fans by including lots of past enemies from the Metroid series...like the little Zoomers, those weak little monsters that just roam along the walls, the Shriekbats, the very annoying enemies that suddenly drop from the ceiling and make a dive bomb right on you. My personal favorite enemies would be the Shegoths, the main ice predator of the Phendrana Drifts are very ferocious looking, you will be pretty intimidated when you first see them. All these monsters look great and I'm glad that Retro did a fantastic job at bringing Metroid Prime to the graphical king that it is.
Metroid Prime easily has some of the greatest music in any video game, it also has great sound, when I say it has great sound...it's an understatement. If you have a stereo in your room that can be played in surround sound, don't hesitate to use it. If you do use it, switch the sound settings to Dolby through the options menu in the game. You will be treated to extremely loud sound effects that make you shiver at some points because it sounds so loud and so cool. Just be sure not to wake up the neighbors when you're playing at a late time in the night. Metroid Prime does not have any voice acting, which is a good thing since it adds to the mystery of Samus' character (and she is the only person who would speak in the game anyway), in my opinion, I think it was a good idea to not have voice acting for Samus. The sound effects in Metroid Prime are awesome. You have 4 different weapons in the game and it would suck if they didn't sound cool when you fire them off. The default weapon pretty much sounds the same as it does in Super Metroid, but with higher quality of course; the Wave Beam sounds like a beam of electricity and when charged up and fired at an enemy, that enemy will become electrocuted for a few seconds and you'll be hearing their whole body shock with static. The Ice Beam when charged will start to crystallize and you'll hear the ice forming (which produces a crackling noise) on Samus' cannon. Samus does however emit some kind of noises throughout the game, those noises only being grunts though. On to the music in Metroid Prime...it...is...awesome. Fans of the previous Metroid games will be very happy to see that there are quite a few remixes in different parts of the game, such as the traditional ''You got a weapon'' theme, that theme has also been turned into a cool riff when you get upgrades and energy tanks. When you first start the game, you'll be treated to the ''Metroid'' theme in the ''Press Start'' screen and then transferred to an awesome ''Data Select'' song that will put a smile on the gamers' faces that are just beginning to play Metroid Prime. Then when you begin your new game, you'll hear the dramatic music from the beginning of Super Metroid. Some of the music is kinda creepy though...like some parts of the Chozo Ruins. The music in Metroid Prime is pretty techno-based, pretty much 80% of the game's music is techno. Gamers from previous Metroid games will recognize the music from the Magmoor regions, which would be the music from the Norfair Depths in Super Metroid (I could be wrong though...I don't remember that much). There are about 4 boss battle songs, one of those includes the boss music from Super Metroid...heh, I won't tell you who it's with though. The Phendrana Drifts song is pretty relaxing since it's in an ice region, you'd expect a pretty relaxing song in that kind of environment, would you not? That's that for the great sound and music category of Metroid Prime...gamers will be pleased that it has some of the best music and probably the best sound effects of any game.
What many were afraid of before Metroid Prime was released was it's controls. Since it would be in the First Person...how would Samus be able to jump with ease, how would she be able to aim without the inclusion of a dual-stick set up? Well, Retro answered all these questions when they finally released the game. I have no idea how they managed to make jumping seem like a normal thing in a game in First Person, but they did a fantastic job in doing that. The aiming question was also answered with the player having to hold down the R button and tilting the analog stick up or down in order to aim. As easy as that. The basic controls of the game are as follows: A is for shooting your weapon, B is for jumping, Y is for firing missiles, X for morphing into the morph ball...that's pretty much it for the right side of the Gamecube's controller, now I'll be off the the analog sticks...the C-stick is for switching in between the 4 different beams, and the analog stick is for moving of course...also, the D-pad is used to switch your visors. You can also assume that Start is for getting into the main menu o_-. It may take half an hour for beginning players to get used to the control set-up and probably an hour or so for people that have just been off from playing another FPS (they may be a tad confused with the set up)...the main problem with the controls is the aiming...it takes some getting used to to be forced to press your right finger into the R button to aim your weapon or looking around the surroundings. In my opinion...I really don't think the controls are as bad as the trolls (or just the people that just can't get a hold of them) on the MP board claim them to be. I think Retro did a fantastic job in being able to integrate great controls in this game, and put in the fact that Metroid Prime is a First Person (Adventure)...good job.
In conclusion, it's safe to say that Metroid Prime is one of the greatest games of all time (it's by far the best game of 2002). Nintendo has been 3 for 3 in turning their most loved franchises from 2D to 3D with great precision. I'd say that Metroid Prime is a very unique adventure that has you in the first person pretty much the whole game (except while in the morph ball). MP's graphics are extreamly amazing, the sound and music is some of the best currently. If you have a Gamecube and you don't have one...do your job as a Gamecube owner and buy this amazing game...if you don't have a Gamecube, find any means possible to play Metroid Prime since the is the type of game that people will be reminiscing about in 10 years or so.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/21/03, Updated 02/21/03
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