Review by Chaosky 900
"~! Perfect? Maybe. !~"
After a huge gap without Nintendo's Female Bounty Hunter (Huntress? Whatever) from the last title, Super Metroid, Samus Aran comes with a vengance on Nintendo's powerhorse, the Nintendo Gamecube. But, ever since Nintendo/Retro Studios HQ gave out word of a Metroid game on the new system, fans were either shocked or dead by the news of Metroid going to a First Person Shooter . Almost no-body (almost) supported the idea of Samus going to a FPS game. No-body was 100% sure that this would turn out okay...
Until it was finally released as one of GCN's "Launch Year" games. Metroid fans were cautious and questioned the game, but as each brave fan went to the store and bought Metroid Prime too, about 99.9% of the audience who owned a Gamecube also had this masterpiece of a game. Would it follow the traditional line of Metroid gaming? Would it? Or would it be worse?
I bet the whole audience who bought this game was shocked. Released in the same year the GCN was released, Metroid Prime served one of the best graphics on the game list that year, and still remains as one of the graphically advanced games, even 3 years after the Gamecube was released and when this game was released in stores.
Everything is incredibly detailed. The textures are very realistic looking. Everything fits the mood. The Chozo Ruins have very ruin-ish looking models, but also fit the mood that an advanced technology race lived here once. The icy level has a lot of shiny ice terrain, the overworld is a raining peacful place, yet in ruin. Apart from the environment, Samus's model is very good. VERY good. As a FPS, you see your gun about 90% of the game. The gun fits with the lighting prsented in the environment, and when you do see her, her Power Suit is modeled very nicely.
Also, Retro has done the best job filling in places with graphical surprises that you'd never expect in a game. Like everything. From reflections, rain dropping on your visor like a car windshield. Everything from guts from bugs, rain, sand, acid, fire, and magma. Very surprising indeed. Hats off to you Retro!
I'm not a big fan for stories, only in RPGs. So Stories don't weigh much on anything in my review. But, this story is good. Clean, not confusing. It's story fits clearly in the timeline. The game gives you more of a clear explanation as you scan stuff and go on with the game. But, the story is mainly of two parts.
The Chozo are a bird-like race that are very advanced in technology. There were two colonies, both extinct. One of Tallon IV and one of Zebes. The colony on Zebes took care of Samus Aran and gifted her with the Power Suit. The colony on Tallon IV was more of a closed colony. They had advanced technology, but they used it all for the purposes for nature and stuff. A peace-loving race.
The Space Pirates
The Space Pirates are a killing, meancing race. Savaging and planning to take over the galaxy by trapping Metroids and using them as weapons. The Metroids are a parasitic life form, with pincers to absorb energy from their prey. They started on Zebes, but after Samus destroyed their base and their leader, Mother Brain, they started to group their colonies by two. One on Zebes rebuilding everything for their next assault, and one of Tallon IV, building many bases, mining for a versatile ore called Phazon. A Power source used for mutating and for powering their weapon forces. They are a big threat to the Galactic Federation, so....
Enter to Bounty Hunter. Enfused with Chozo blood and clad in their Power Suit, an exo-skeleton that enfuses with her, she has already stopped the Space Pirates on Zebes. But, after finding a distress signal on a Space Frigate orbiting Tallon IV, she must go and stop the Space Pirates from controlling Phazon.
I thought it was important here because this IS a FPS game, and there IS jumping. Meaning it's hard to, since you don't know where to land. But, rest assured the good folks at Retro fixed that. Every button on the controller does something, and it's not too hard to master. Jumping isn't that hard too, in fact, it can be very easy at times (i mean, out of water). Aiming and Locking On make it easier to control. Bravo.
The main part of the game, and it all depends on that. The gameplay. As a FPS, it in a way is VERY different, but then again, at the same time it is also very much alike. I'll split up the gameplay section into parts, so it's easier to view.
Exploring is always a great part of the Metroid franchise (although I think it will cease at *shiver* Metroid Pinball DS). Explore, reach an obstacle you can't overcome, find another route, find the item you need, get a new item, defeat a boss, learn more about the story, and just advance. It's very simple, but at the same time very fun. You'll come back to the area a lot to go to areas you couldnt after you power up. But, at the same time it isn't tedious. It's very fun advancing through the game. Especially with a whole whack of new weapons.
Nicely done as well. (almost) Every enemy is different, and you need to find a strategy for them to successfully defeat them. There are stronger forms of enemies, but they don't overdo it. About 90% of the enemies are different, and the 10% are stronger forms of them. And for bosses, you know that it's fun to find out a strategy and defeat the boss, but it's not fun repeating it over and over and over for the whole battle. For each boss there is, there are probably different stages for the boss, each stage with it's different weakness. Most of the time at least.
Scanning is vital. Press + <- and prepare to scan your buttocks off. Scanning is getting information from various computers, scan analyses to find out an enemy's weak point, activate switches, and find various Lore, which is interesting to read once in a while. You'll be scanning a lot. At least 25% of the game, but about 50% of the game if you're going to scan everything to record to your Logbook . It may be a pain at times, but it is worth it sometimes.
Very nicely done. The old power-ups have been made and translated to Prime time. A different features about your beams is that they don't add up to make a single strong beam. You'll have to switch between your 4 beams for different purposes. Use the Wave Beam as a electric pulse to energize dead electronics! Power Beam has the best rate of fire, but is also very weak. Each enemy has their weakness, so switching will be consistent. Classic weapons like the Missile Launcher and Grapple Beam return! Of course, translating it to 3D FPS wasn't easy, so changes had to be made. Space Jump dosn't send you up tot he skies forever, but allows a double jump. Screw Attack has been removed (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but it'd be too difficult to translate this early. Also, Energy Tanks, Missile Expansions and Power Bomb Tanks return! Gotta Catch Em' All *shot, tortured, and just killed*. Serves very good replay value as well.
It feels like Metroid is just in a FPS mode. A LOT of concepts from the previous games (mostly Super) have been made here. Including the MORPH BALL! A vital part of the game. Isolation is big, just like in the other games, and there is plenty of exploring and stuff. Very Metroid-like.
You'll be morphing in a ball about 1/4 the size of you to get to narrow places a lot in the game. Not only is it vital to get your Missile Expansions, Power Bombs and Energy Tanks or to progress, it is also vital to get out of areas *glitched clippings*, and a very smart way to go melee. There are 4 power-ups for your Morph Ball. It's fun, and it's third-person, making it lots easier to control (=)!). Bomb Jumping is here, as well as a few new ones. Morph Balling could be considered to be about 1/4 of the game, a lot.
Sound and Music: 10/10
>.> <.< I don't know why lots of people dislike the game's soundtrack. It's very neato. It had tunes stuck in my head for days, and the remixes are awesome! You do you dislike it so? The music also fits perfectly. This, in my opinion ties head to head with Metroid Prime 2's soundtrack. The Sound FXs are very good as well! Very sci-fi ish. The Beam Shots are very bearable, not repetitive at all >.>
Replay Value 8/10
Metroid Games (with the exception of Prime 2) haven't been known for multiplayer. In fact, it'd be very awkward to start multiplayer in the year Metroid was revived. But, with the 100+ items and expansions that roam Tallon IV, it's a large planet to explore. With plenty of scanning, you can go back to explore, read your logbook and more. Also, trying to Sequence Break and get all of the Image Galleries could be tough work. Nice, not too much and not too little.
Overall, this game is one of the best. I wouldn't be surprised it if sold 1 million in the year it was released (or maybe '03). Everybody knows this game, and it's very affordable. I got mine at about $29.99 CDN. It should keep you on the gamepad with this for about 20 hours your first time around. Try to sequence break and speed run. Lots of stuff to do, and a lengthy game at that too. Highly recommendable. Get Prime 2 and you'll want to play your GCN everyday...for the next long while...as long as your GCN dosn't get "BROKEDED", you're all right =D Hats off to you Retro.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/22/05
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