Review by SuperSmashBro13
"One of those games that's always fun to play through again and again."
Before we start, I'd like to make a little announcement. First off, usually my reviews have only five categories which I score: Plot, Graphics, Sound and Music, Gameplay, and Aftermath Fun. Starting now, I'm going to add a couple more categories: Control Ease and Game Length. These will be after the five sections and shall, hopefully, shed more light on the games to help you.
PLOT: 7/10. Metroid plots usually have been pretty sappy--the best I found was Metroid Fusion, which actually had a great plot--so naturally, this plot is pretty much a dumper. By scanning lots of stuff, the pieces can be filled in, but the issue of unexplained abilities Samus already had is at hand. For instance, early on in the game, Samus loses almost all her abilities in an explosion that messes up her Power Suit, but those exact same abilities are found scattered across the planet. Those and more. This is unexplained; how could completely foreign weapons and technology suddenly bond with the Power Suit? And were there honestly duplicates scattered everywhere of Samus's abilities? This is not explained. Still, the "Pirate Data" and "Chozo Lore" help fill in the pieces, like I said, including how the Space Pirates got here, how the "Cipher" was created, how the Phazon arrived, and more. So scan everything. The plot itself actually has some mystery and excitement to it, but all the unexplained item appearances and the fact that the plot gets off the ground pretty slow--basically, you find out a little something here, then one hour later something else gets revealed, and a little bit later--so it gets off pretty slow. It's one of those "shoot now, read later" type games. You really only need to read scans, and those, honestly, you can skip. Anyway, the plot is, a distress signal has been detected near the planet Tallon IV. Samus, great bounty hunter that she is, goes to investigate. (The events of this game take place right after the first Metroid game.) Finding mutated life-forms, the fact that this is a Space Pirate ship, the fact that all the Space Pirates on the ship are either dead or dying, and something about a mutagen called "Phazon." After a fight with a Parasite Queen, the ship starts to explode. In the process of escaping, a blast knocks Samus into a wall and destroys most of her abilities. Also in the process of escaping, Samus finds an old, dragon enemy that flies away: Ridley. Chasing it to Tallon IV, Samus loses sight of it. Honestly, Samus could just leave the planet any time she wanted to and get duplicated abilities from Galactic Headquarters, but for some reason she doesn't. So she recovers many abilities and eventually must stay to fight Phazon and the Space Pirates.
Sorry, this was a long "Plot" category, but I hope it helped if you honestly give a hoot about the plot.
GRAPHICS: 9/10. You see the game through Samus's visor. Thus, you can see the outstretched Arm Cannon, attacking enemies, and beautiful scenery. Yes, the game takes place in rainy jungles, crumbling ruins, magma-filled caverns, snowy drifts, enemy bases, and craters full of Phazon. In respective order, the Tallon Overworld, the Chozo Ruins, the Magmoor Caverns, the Phendrana Drifts, the Phazon Mines, and the Impact Crater. All have really neat scenery. The game also runs smoothly, and shapes and images are well-rounded and smoothed to look natural. Should you ever get a close-up look of an enemy, you'll see they're nice and detailed for ya. (I like the Sheegoths.) Like my Zelda: Twilight Princess review, I can't give this a 10 just because the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 have better graphics. Small tidbits are also nice; lighting is well-shaded, and the lava in the Magmoor Caverns looks surprisingly cool. It has a simple design, but looks really neat anyway.
SOUND AND MUSIC: 10/10. Ever have a game with such neat music, you're always whistling along with the tunes? Metroid Prime is that kind of a game. Okay, so this isn't on Zelda: Twilight Princess magnitude (practically nothing tops that game in terms of music), but the music is really nice, so you're always whistling along with it and must force yourself to stop before it TAKES YOU OVER!! Not really. The Tallon Overworld music starts off as slow and peaceful, giving it a feeling of "awe," almost. It later picks up into a heavier tone that you tend to bop your head to. None of the music in this game is heavy metal, "rock out" stuff or anything, but you do tend to bop your head back and forth gently to a lot of the tunes. The Magmoor Caverns has especially good music taken from Super Metroid. (I haven't actually played the game, but a bonus disc that came with my first Metroid Prime game showed me the Metroid timeline, where Super Metroid's "profile's" music was the same as the Magmoor Caverns here.
GAMEPLAY: 10/10. Most Metroid games--all of them to date that aren't of the Metroid Prime series--are platformers. This means you jump up from platform to platform, shooting the occasional enemy. The classic Mario games are platformers. Metroid Prime takes a step away from the usual path to suggest a new idea: A first-person shooter. You do have to be careful with taking steps away from ideas that have always been used for a game franchise, but this one was successful. You look through Samus's eyes and blast the many enemies that are thrown at you, preferably by locking on and jamming the A button until it springs out. (As far as I'm concerned, this hasn't happened yet; it was only a metaphor.) Bosses are not necessarily "difficult"--though there are a great number of toughies--but the battles are always interesting. Almost every boss must be killed a certain way. One boss must first have various weak points shot using a Thermal Visor, then the weak points become visible in the standard Combat Visor and can be shot then. Furthermore, among your "upgrades and abilities" are Missiles and Power Bombs. You start off with a minimal number of these, but various upgrades are scattered here and there, either hidden, gained as a reward for beating bosses (like going into the room beyond the Omega Pirate fight to find an Energy Tank), or gained from completing tasks. You start with five missiles but can work your way up to being able to have 250. You can upgrade your health by 100 points in the same way. Metroid Prime always encourages you to explore and find new paths, and you're graded on how many Missile Tanks, Energy Tanks, Power Bomb Tanks, and Missile/Beam Combos you found after you beat the game.
AFTERMATH FUN: 6/10. Mm. Pretty sappy, actually. After beating the game, you should start a new game; the only thing you can do after beating the game and playing from the beaten game file is re-fight Metroid Prime over and over again, try to scan everything, and obtain every Tank and upgrade. Honestly, this gets boring real quick. So start a new game; you almost always get a higher percent of upgrades found after beating the game.
CONTROL EASE: 9/10. The controls are pretty simple and well placed. When not in Morph Ball mode, A shoots and B jumps. L locks onto enemies and allows you to strafe, and R lets you aim manually. The control stick moves. The Y button fires missiles when you get the Missile Launcher, and the X button gets you into the Morph Ball mode. The D-Pad switches Visors by pressing in the different directions, and a similar effect is achieved to switch Beams by moving the C-Stick in different directions. Of course, you must acquire the different Visors and Beams first. When in Morph Ball mode, when you're all rolled into a cute little ball, the control stick still moves, but the D-Pad, L button, and C-Stick are no longer used. The A button drops Bombs--when you get them--the B button charges up the Boost Ball--when you get it--Y drops Power Bombs--when you get them--the R button activates the Spider Ball and lets you magnetically cling to rail tracks--again, when you get the Spider Ball--and the X button returns you to normal mode. Learning, and even mastering, the controls comes in a short time. Getting the hang of the controls fully comes in about twenty minutes--mastery comes in about an hour and a half to two hours. "Mastery" means strafing around corners, always locking onto enemies, jumping with good timing, learning where each button is and what it does, and developing strategies for enemies.
GAME LENGTH: 7/10. The average Metroid Prime game takes 10-15 hours to complete. This isn't very long; this means it takes about three or four days to complete. Still, the average game I play takes about a week to complete, so three or four days is still okay. Besides, the gameplay value is all worth it.
TOTAL SCORE: 58/70. Only 12 points shy of a 70 point possibility. Pretty good, and only lacking because of the plot, game length, and little to do after beating the game.
FLAWS: Sometimes when blasting the crap out of your enemy, you may accidentally hit the Y button and release a missile. Small-time thing, though, especially when you've got 225 like I do (and probably more soon). There's also the game length. The game is relatively short, so if you don't like games this short, you should go somewhere else. My sister claims that "every room looks the same." Since this is 3D, this is not actually so, but if you like each place to be distinctively different from the other, and don't like ten gajillion rooms per region, you might think the game drawls on too much.
CONCLUSION: When it comes to rent or buy, I might say rent. Personally, I never rent games, because if a game is honestly that good, who wants to give it back? So I'd never rent the game, but the game is short and good for a few laughs, so if you're the renting-type person, you should go ahead and rent this. But you never know when you might wanna scoop this out of the bottom of your GameCube game stack for nostalgia if you buy it...but seriously, it's your choice. I suggest you rent it if you like to rent things.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/21/08
Game Release: Metroid Prime (Player's Choice) (US, 09/25/03)
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