Review by Thardus0
"Gunpei Yokoi's greatest creation has finally returned."
I remember when I first heard about Metroid Prime I was the happiest guy in the world, I have been a big fan of Metroid ever since I was 5 years old. After Super Metroid all the die-hard Metroid fans had to wait for almost eight years for a new game, part of this was because the creator of the series and of the Gameboy, Gunpei Yukoi died in a car crash in 1998. He is greatly missed and we owe a lot to him. This event was terrible and some thought it the end of the Metroid series fore ever, that was the case until Nintendo joyously gave us their news on two more games being developed for the Metroid series. It was Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion. Metroid Fusion was a direct sequel to Super Metroid and was also a side-scroller. Prime however caught most the attention because it was a sequel to the first Metroid and it took place before the story of Metroid two, it was in 3D, and it was also in first person, something never thought of for Metroid ever before.
In Metroid Prime you are Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter that was raised by an ancient and extinct race called the Chozo. You fight your way through endless amounts of enemies that know nothing but to destroy you. You are alone with the exception of your power suit and numerous weapons at your disposal. You start the game on an enemy aircraft in search of something that is trying to be protected by the enemy itself and with the help of your scan visor, power beam, missiles, and the famous morph ball you will either accomplish your mission or die trying. You were ordered to stop the enemy, known as the Space Pirates from using the powerful creatures called Metroids to take over the universe but you end up landing on the planet below, named Tallon4 run by sickly mutated creatures and a wasteland of a toxic material called Phazon. Like all Metroid games you must fight your way through long hallways and giant rooms filled with endless amounts of enemies in order to obtain power ups for your suit and to reach your final destination. There are many bosses in the game to keep you company and they all have their secret ways of being defeated. You will also learn the story behind the Phazon, the Space Pirates, Metroids, the Chozo, and Samus as you go deeper into the caves of Tallon4. Tallon4 has different stages reached via elevators found through out the planet and each area has its own unique form, they are vast and you may sometimes get lost or not know where to go next. There are especially times in the game where you may need to go back and retrace your steps, but that is a known factor for all Metroid titles. The game also makes you feel alone, which you are, but it makes you feel like you are the only one able to stop this evil from spreading like a virus. There are areas that are open, and you can see the sky up above and there are areas that are enclosed. Factories, caves and other wonders lie ahead in this game of survival as you turn corners and not know what to expect to come out and surprise you next.
You will almost feel yourself laughing with joy while playing this game. You explore all the regions and all the little caverns you can find shooting enemies with your power beam. See a place to small to fit? Use the morph ball and explore little caverns while rolling around and laying bombs. There are many secrets to be found in this game and it will take you a good deal of time to do so, there are places that look like they may be accessible but how do you get there? It is up to you and you alone to find out. There are too many puzzles in this game to count and some of them require much brain power and thought to figure out, but in the end it is all worth it. You almost ask yourself when the game will ever end because it is so long, it gives you an actual challenge as well, something I can't say for most games these days. The game is also easy to control, though it is not the way you would expect a first person shooter. You will never find yourself looking at your controller and you will sometimes feel like there is no controller and every thought you make just seems to magically move the game itself. You will have many things to look for and many things to do so you will never get bored with this game, that is a promise.
What Retro Studios was going for was to make the player feel like he or she was actually Samus Aran and that you are actually on the planet. Retro Studios did this very well indeed, everything looks real, almost like somebody filmed it and the enemies look so real that you want to reach out and touch them...or not. Retro added a great amount of detail into everything including the background, sometimes you stop and look around at the planet because it is so big and it looks even beautiful, the scene is breathtaking and you will wonder how they did it. There are places that you wouldn't ever expect someone to look at yet there was obviously a great amount of detail put in it just to add to the effect. The cut scenes look like movie scenes and the water looks real enough to drink, shadows play about and the lighting effect adds an even deeper effect to what you see. In the different visor modes everything works as it should and nothing was left out, you can sometimes even see your own skeleton hand with the x-ray visor and the thermal visor works perfectly finding heat sources and such. When an enemy is blown away there is a rag-doll effect that causes the body to move with and object as it hits it. Trust me, Retro didn't leave anything out, I wonder if you could even get a microscope and find bacteria on a rock or some other object laying about the ground.
Retro Studios remade the sounds of older Metroid titles and they sound great, this really shows the GCN's capabilities as far as sound goes to be utterly amazing. If I could find a sound track for this game I would not hesitate to buy it. The sound adds an even more eerie effect to the whole sci-fi feel of the game and it may sometimes creep you out a bit in certain parts of the game. The sound effects are great as well, every sound you make with your feet matches perfectly with the textile you are walking on, whether it be wood, metal, or stone, it sounds perfectly like it should. The aliens don't sound incredibly annoying or any thing like that, they sound exactly like they should and even the Space Pirates sound like they are talking to each other in some alien dialect. The sounds of explosions, lasers, and fire sometimes fill the air with the sound of combat, they all synchronize perfectly with each other.
This game has been beaten by one person in 1:05 but to be even close to that range you would have to have serious skills with the game itself. For your first play through the game however it may take you from six to ten hours, but you will never get bored of the time well spent to get to your final destination in Metroid Prime. For those of you familiar with Super Metroid, it is about the same length as that game.
Replay ability 10/10
Yes, this game can be played again with out the risk of getting old. For one there is always stuff that you missed in your first trip through the vast tunnels of Tallon4 so you will definitely want to go back. After you beat the game once you can play the game in a hard mode, this mode makes the enemies require twice as much damage and you are more vulnerable to damage. There is also a cool gallery that you can unlock by beating the game in hard mode, scanning everything, and by collecting all of the missile and health expansions. There are other extras you can get if you have GBA/GCN connection cable, a GBA, and Metroid Fusion. You can wear Samus's fusion suit and even get a taste of the original Metroid for the NES in Metroid Prime. Both of these things require you to beat Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion so it is well worth it in the end. I myself have played through the game countless times and every time I find something new. There are also challenges in the game that you can make. In certain parts of the game you can sequence break, which is playing the game out of the order the developers originally intended you to do, you can get different advancements to your suit before you were supposed to and that can make it even more fun.
This game isn't too hard to find, it is in all gaming stores and even some convenience stores, so you won't have too hard of time finding it. It is now a Players Choice title so it goes from around forty dollars and it would definitely be worth putting out the extra effort to acquire this money if you already have not to buy Metroid Prime. It is praised to be one of the best Metroid games and even one of the best game overall. I doubt that you will be disappointed, even if you don't like first person shooters. Most people say that this is more of a first person adventure than it is a first person shooter, but no matter what it is in that sense, it is a brilliant game that stayed true to the Metroid fans and to Metroid itself. Renting this game would just serve as a waste of time and money because after a glimpse you'll want the whole thing to yourself. If you find it used you could save some money but this game is definitely worth buying new.
Game play 10
Replay ability 10
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/24/04
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