Review by Mech Master

"One Word- WOW!"

Nintendo took probably one of its biggest risks ever by turning over one of its biggest franchises to a developer in texas that has never done a single game. What the **** were they thinking?! No, seriously what were they thinking. Putting your faith in some little company that has never done a single game to develope the next installment of a huge franchise that has an even larger fan base is really strange. That is a really big risk. I really don't know how, but this little developer managed to make one of the best games ever on their first try! Hats off to Retro Studios. They took everything that was great about the original Metroid games and translated those things perfectly into a 3D game. This game really does feel like an evolved version of its predecessors. The graphics have been massively overhauled. All of the music and sound effects stay true to the past games to create a very eerie mood for the game. And the gameplay is just as good if not better. This is definitely a perfect example of how to bring a 2D game into 3D. Everything is just so polished. This is how a first-person shooter should be.

STORY:5
Just like past Metroid games, this new installment has almost no story to it. That is sort of a good and bad thing. It is good that the developers stayed true to the past games by not having a story. I am really glad they could do that and at the same time while not making the gameplay dull and boring. That was a big risk because gamers today love a good story. The story is what drives a game after all. Again I am glad they did that, but games have evolved over the past couple of years. These types of games should have a story. Just look at Halo. It has a story and it is one of the best games ever. Actually, in a way this game does have a story. When you read certain things with your scan visor you get a piece of information that gives you a little piece to the story and if you put those pieces of information together you will have a story. So in a way the game does have a story, but it isn't deep enough or interesting enough for this category to get a higher score. But look at the last games. They didn't have a story but they are still great games even by today's standards. The good thing is is that the lack of story doesn't really subtract from the gameplay experience. I do know if you like more fast paced games, the lack of story might ruin your fun though.

GRAPHICS:10
These are without a doubt, the best graphics on the Gamecube at the moment. One thing that is really cool is that you actually see through Samus Aran's eyes. Well, you do that in every single first-person shooter, but it is different in this. You get to view everything on the HUD in her visor. It just looks cool. Another thing is the effects. They are unbelievable. Here is an example. Lets say you are walking through some cold water. You actually see your visor get covered with frost and you have to get out of the cold for it to go away. Or if you are walking around where there is a bunch of fire and lava your visor will get steamed up. Rain will actually splatter agaisnt the screen just like Wave Race: Blue Storm and 1080 Avalanche. The weapon effects look just as good too. One that I like a lot is when you charge up your ice beam all of the way and you shoot a missle with it the ice missle will detonate on what you shoot and spread over the surface. All of those elements add that much more realism to the game. The character models look amazing. Everything is very rounded and has an immense amount of detail. The environments look amazing too. Fire is done well. So does the water and everything else. The whole game just looks drop-dead gorgeous. Oh yeah, did I also mention about the game's silky smooth framerate? It never drops. One other thing is that the game has such amazing menu screens. They look really cool. There is only one thing this game lacks. In the old games whenever Samus dies all of her armor breaks off and you see her naked. Where in holy ****ing hell is that?! That single-handedly made the old games part of what they were. Hopefully, that great feature will return in Metroid Prime 2 this year.

SOUND:10
The sound is just as good as the graphics. That says a lot because the graphics are perfect. All of the music perfectly fits the game. Metroid Prime really does evolve on what was in the last game. The last game had some There aren't any licensed bands or songs in the game. Nor is there any great orchestral symphonies or anything like that. That just isn't how the metroid games are. The game uses techno music. I bet a lot of people are wondering what is so great about techno music. This isn't techno music that you would hear in a club or something. It is different than that. All of the sound effects are also done extremely well. There isn't any dialogue in Metroid Prime. That means that there are no voice overs. I guess that might make the game seem like it has more of a story than it does or maybe they just didn't want to take the chance of getting horrible voice actors (cough Sega cough cough). The enemies do have their own noises that they make which are done well. The game also supports Dolby Pro Logic 2. Even though Metroid Prime lacks a few things in the audio department, what it actually does have in the game is perfect.

GAMEPLAY:10
Perfect. Perfect is the only word that can really describe how Metroid Prime is. The game is absolutely brilliant. Everything that made the first games so great is in hear litterally(if you don't know what I mean play it and find out). Like I said everything from past games is hear and has been made better times five! I don't know how, but the game really shames almost every other game of its kind. The gameplay can only be matched by the best of games like Halo for instance. These two games make this genre what it is all about. The actual gameplay is amazing. There is a heavy emphasis on exploration. Of couse there are plenty of aliens that need some killin', but there definitely is a heavy emphasis on exploration. The artificial intelligence is amazing. It is almost as good as Halo's. There are really only about two or three weapons in the game. There are tons of upgrades though which makes everything interesting. Your visor have many different modes. There is the scanning mode which you can view information of surrounding aliens and environments. There is an X-ray visor which speaks for itself as does the infer-red visor. The X-ray visor can see through walls and the infer-red visor lets you see heat that enemies and the environment put off. The list keeps going on for amazing gadgets in the game. There are massive weapon enhancements. There is an ice beam, plasma beam, power beam, and a sort of electric beam. You can acquire a charge shot for each and a charge shot/missile shot. The cs/ms for the plasma beam is a flamethrower. The sort of electric beam is like a huge electric line and so on. Words can't describe how good this game is. The morph ball is back as well. It also has tons of new things to get for it. The morph ball uses explosives. There is one ability missing. That is the screw attack. Hopefully, that is in Metroid Prime 2. I know a lot of action gamers who will be bored with this quickly because of the emphasis on exploration. But for those interested, you are in for quite a treat.

CONTROL:10
These controls are just how a lot of Nintendo 64 games were. You use one control stick to move. The A button shoots. You use the B button to jump. X transforms into the morph ball. Y shoots missles. The R trigger looks up and down. The L trigger is used to lock on to enemies. The Z button brings up the map. And the d-pad and c-stick changes visors/weapons. A lot of critics think this controls set up stinks, but it is actually very comfortable and easy to pick up and play. That is how controls should be. It would actually be harder to play the game with a regular controls set up when you use both control sticks to move and look around and the right trigger to fire. I tried to think of how it could work, but every time it just seemed more logical to use the control set up given.

PROS:
+beautifully rendered graphics
+great audio components
+top-knotch gameplay
+awesome unlockables
+stays true to old games

CONS:
-lack of story
-no nude Samus
-no multiplayer
-no screw attack for morph ball

OVERALL:10
Metroid Prime delivers in every single way possible...well, except for multiplayer. This game has mind blowing visuals. The game has some of the best special effects in a game ever. They are gorgeous. Everything else about the visuals are also just as good. The game is so realistic that it is scary. The sound effects are just as good as the graphics, like I said. But most importantly, the gameplay is really why you play this game. It isn't for the visuals or the sound. Sure, those things help make the game that more enjoyable, but you really play this game for the gameplay. Everything is done perfect. Who cares if there is no multiplayer. The single player is an unparralleled experience. I also forgot to mention the great replayability. There are three different endings to see. They all depend on how many things that you scan. You have to scan every last thing in the game to get to see the final ending. You can unlock new costumes for Samus. There is a little art book to look at which is nice I guess. The best thing is a bit of old school nostalgia for old Metroid fans. This game really is one of the best games ever created. This shows that Nintendo along with Retro Studios are some of the best game developers ever! This game is definitely worth every penny of the price.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/26/04


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