Review by geno_16
Items, Exploration, Epic Boss Battles, Lots of Information, Everything A Game Needs
Metroid Prime. The long awaited sequel to Super Metriod, except it wasn't really a sequel, it was a prequel, sort of. Metroid Prime is the first of a three game series that takes place after the original Metroid but before Metroid 2. Metroid Prime was also Metroid's first venture into the world of 3D since Metroid was absent from the N64 and it was extremely successful. At first it garnered some doubt from long-time Metroid fans it pulled off the Metroid feel in 3D perfectly, boasting some of the best graphics for it's generation (GC, PS2, XBox) and some very enjoyable gameplay, Metroid Prime is one of the better games for that generation.
First off, Metroid Prime is not a First Person Shooter (FPS), it is a First Person Adventure (FPA). It is more of an adventure game then a shooter game but has a first person view. Don't get me wrong, action is a huge part of the game but it isn't straight brainless alien shooting like games like Halo. Also, unlike most FPS's (like Halo, Goldeneye, etc.) it is one large, open game, like Legend of Zelda, rather then level or chapter based. This is a breakdown of the game.
The graphics for this game are absolutely beautiful, and the visor effects are awesome. The greenery in the Tallon Overworld makes you feel like you are in a legitimate South American rainforest, the rain falls from the sky and splashes onto your visor, dripping off, never had I seen a game have an effect like this. The Chozo Ruins look and feel like real ruins in a desolate desert. Enemies are detailed nicely and if you are close to them sometimes their blood splashes onto and drips off of your visor, it is a wonderful visual. The lava in Magmoor Caverns could have been a bit better but it still doesn't look terrible and jumping in it causes it to splash onto your visor. Then there is the Phendrana Drifts, the most beautiful environment I had ever seen in a video game. Snow falls and melts on your visor. Ice chunks float in the water and sink slightly when you step in them. The ruins of the temple look and feel like they'll crumble under the weight of the snow, Phendrana Drifts is really a sight to be seen. The graphics for this game are amazing and are even better then some current gen graphics.
The creators of this game basically created a mini-world. Using the scan visor you can scan just about everything, giving you details of every alien enemy you come across and through you log book tell you much useless but interest information. All the fauna, landscapes, almost everything can be scann ed, giving you insight to the game. Stories left behind by the Chozo race can be scanned and read giving you full details of their involvement on Tallon IV, Space Pirate logs can be scanned and read giving you insight to what they've been up to since the first Metroid and tell you of their plans on Tallon IV. Space Pirate computers can be scanned giving you usually useless but interesting information like temperatures of Metroid holding cells, status of mutated specimens and other tidbits like that. The story starts relatively simple, Samus intercepts a distress call from a derelict Space Pirate frigate and goes to investigate, from there, mostly through scanning, the story about the Chozo, Space Pirates and Tallon IV unfolds, again never before had I seen such an in-depth story and so much information, most of it not needed, outside of an RPG.
I love the controls for this game but most don't. Want to know why? It doesn't use dual-analog stick controls. GASP!!!! OH NOES! ME CANT STRAF D00DZ, LIKE TIS GAME SUXORZ! Seriously, you won't believe how many people I have heard say that Metroid Primes control scheme sucks cause it doesn't have dual-analog. I personally hate dual-analog, I prefer to play Halo on may laptop with keyboard and mouse controls and on console FPSs like Timesplitters I always change the controls so that turning left and right is the same stick as moving forward and backwards, the way the default controls for Goldeneye and TWINE worked on the N64. The control scheme is simple and easy to get used to. Up/Down on the control stick is move forwards/backwards, A is your fire button. Y fires missiles, B jumps (B again in the air does a mid-air jump with the Space Jump Boots), X activates and exits Morph Ball mode, holding R activates manual aiming, holding L locks on to enemies and objects, scans when the scan visor is activated and shoots the Grappling Beam when near a grapple point, Z access your map. The diagonal pad changes your visor (up-Combat, left-Scan, down-Thermal, right-X-Ray) and the C-Stick changes your beam weapon (up-Power, right-Wave, down-Ice, left-Plasma). There is nothing difficult about the controls but many people are so used to dual-analog that they instantly hate the controls when the C-Stick doesn't turn them. I have two friends who won't play this game cause it doesn't have dual-analog and one of them is a huge Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion fan.
The sound quality is great and the music is awesome. Many themes are catchy (especially the Lower Norfair remix in Magmoor Caverns) and I actually have most of the themes from this game on my MP3 Player. Wind blows in the Chozo Ruins while machines hum in the Phazon Mines. The sounds and music are truly excellent.
Gameplay, the main part of any game. Metroid Prime's gamplay is excellent. If you played Super Metroid then this game will feel a lot like a 3D, First Person version of it. You travel across a huge planet, defeat local enemies, confront massive bosses, most mutated to the point of epicness, and fight wave after wave of Space Pirates using various weapons. There is some backtracking like Super Metorid but it isn't boring or repetitive, they often throw in new enemies in earlier parts the farther you get in the game. Now, while the game may seem linear at first, it isn't. You don't have to collect Item A, now using Item A collect Item B, not using Item B collect Item C, now using Item A, Item B and Item C defeat Boss A and so forth. Many hardcore Metroid fans have come up with speed runs and ways to skip items, skip scenes, even skip entire bosses. After your first time through, spice up your second playthrough by using these methods, or challenge yourself with a 100% Item run, 100% Scan game, a 100% Scan Speed Run, Power Beam only (of it's possible, I think it would be), etc. The gameplay is great, almost flawless.
Like I mentioned above there are many things to do after you beat the game, many challenges you can make up for subsequent playthroughs. You also unlock a Hard Mode after beating normal once and believe me, it is hard. This is one of those games you will probably play through quite a few times.
Lots of tidbits of Information
Kind of Linear first couple time thorugh
Rather easy on Normal
Metroid Prime is a great game, and I'd recommend it to anyone, even if they've never played a Metroid game before.
Rent or Buy? Buy, definitely a game worth having in our collection. It's quite cheep now, since it is a Player's Choice Million Seller it's only about $20-$25 brand new. Pick this up ASAP.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Metroid Prime (US, 11/17/02)
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