Review by Shadow_King
"Well worth the wait."
We've waited a long, long time for this game, but is it worth the wait? Short answer: yes. Long answer: you would know already if you read the title of this review instead of randomly clicking on it. Very long answer: read on...
The story is simple; a weird telepathic message has been broadcasted in all directions saying that the key to ultimate power is in the alimbic cluster. The power once belonged to a mighty race that mysteriously became extinct. Leaving nothing but the message and some 1000-year-old technology designed to protect the ultimate power. The federation wants this power to avoid it being used against them and they've put Samus in charge of finding it and keeping it under federation control or failing that, destroy it or ensure no-one will ever find it.
The only problem is Samus isn't alone. Many other bounty hunters got the message and they want the ultimate power for themselves. What they plan to do with it changes from one bounty hunter to another. One wants to use it to safe his race, another wants it for himself whilst one just wants to prove that it's the best bounty hunter around.
The game is split up into to parts: single and multiplayer.
Single player: 10/10
The game takes on a new direction. Whereas before you just landed on a planet, explored it for 3 hours whilst collecting power up to open up new pathways and wipe the floor with every boss that so much as looks at you (well you still get to do that). Now you have to find 3 artefacts to open up a portal, which takes you to a secret location, were you have to fight a boss grab one of the 8 Octolith which are the keys to the ultimate power. On your way there a bounty hunter will show up to try and annihilate you. Then when you manage to get the Octolith you have to return to your ship in a time limit whilst another bounty hunter shows up to dispose of you and steal any Octoliths you have. What's cool about the other bounty hunters is that you can take them out anyway you want, if you want you can pummel them with missiles or you could turn into a morph ball and bomb them into a oblivion. Not only that but they are smarter than your standard boss. If they're low on health then they'll retreat looking for cover. I was fighting one bounty hunter when he turned and ran before I could finish him off. Well, he tried to but I ran after him and gave him a few shots in the back. Nothing feels more satisfying than giving the final blow to an over confident hunter.
This is by far the best feature of this game. If you're the only one with a copy then you can use download play to face off with anyone with a DS in close range. You can also go head to head online with people you don't even know. Each game has a friend code so if you have a friend who lives far away then you can swap friend codes and go against them whenever their online. You can also go against people who have the similar skills as you. And all your wins/lost are recorded so you can show off. And if you're unlucky enough not to have any nearby friends with DS or a nearby hotspot then you can face off against the computer. You can tell they've thought of everything here to make the multiplayer mode as enjoyable as it can be.
Now onto the modes of play. There are 4 modes to choose from: battle, survival, bounty and defender. In battle you have to kill as many other players as you can. In survival you set a number of times each player can respawn and try to be the last remaining player. For bounty you have a basic capture-the-flag game were you have to grab the Octolith from its resting place and get it to a specific place whilst other players try to take it from you. Survival involves you trying to keep others out of an area for a certain time. You earn time when you're the only person in the area and lose it when you're out of it. The main way to win is to get in, take everyone else out and keep them out until they run out of time.
Very little to say about sound as the creatures of the planet never seem to want to make much sound as they are killing you they just get right down to it. And as the other bounty hunters are alien you shouldn't expect them to speak perfect English. In fact you'd be lucky to get any kind of sound out of them as they unleash their own personal weapons at you. But what you hear doesn't sound bad so it gets an average 8.
Now this is where the game really shines (other than Gameplay that is). Both before and after a boss fight you get to see a stunning cut scenes of it appearing/dieing and during during standard Gameplay the graphics look as good as any other game. You have to remember that this is only a DS game so people who complain that the graphics aren't sharp enough are too used to Metroid for the GameCube.
This is what worries people the most about the game. In the free demo game they gave out the controls well they okay lets be honest here they down right sucked in the demo. BUT the game designers saw what they had done and made them so much better. Now if you want to shoot you press the L button. You aim/look around by moving the stylus on the bottom screen and you switch weapons by touching the one you want. There is also a radar on the touch screen to help you see were those irritating little enemies are that zoom all over the place and try to get behind you.
The aiming with the stylus allows you to target specific parts of the enemy's body without using the auto target like the old game. This allows you to give headshots to other bounty hunters (this dose extra damage) and makes fighting bosses even harder than before. The only draw back is that this takes a while to get use to but when you do you'll be laughing at the face of other players as you get shot after shot in whilst avoiding theirs.
This has to be far one of the best DS games and it's part of the Metroid series as well as being a first person shooter. What more could you ask for?
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 03/29/06
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