Review by Metroidude477
Metroid like never before.
Nintendo is amazing. When the NES first came out, it was a must buy console for gamers. It had many great hits like Donkey Kong, Ice Climber, and Super Mario Bros. And with the Legend Of Zelda, it took the possibilities of a single cartridge to its limits, providing an excellent adventure too big for one sitting. All that was left was a solid action game, which brought us a proud title, Metroid, which completed the legendary library of the NES. What also was born was a great series, spanning 10 games in total. The Metroid series were always know for a 2D non-linear, action packed side-scrolling adventure, which was mainly focused on exploration. In September, 2001, the Gamecube was released. Fans already knew that a Metroid game was going to be released, so they waiting patiently, for another fun, side-scrolling adventure. But when Nintendo announced that Metroid Prime was going to be in 3D first-person perspective, many were shocked. People felt betrayed, many thought it would just be another brainless shooter with the Metroid logo slapped on, but no, it was a great hit. Why? See for yourself....
Story: 9/10 (Spectacular)
This is probably the best story for a Metroid game yet. Everything unfolds slowly, as the story isn't told to you directly, but through scans and some cutscenes. Don't expect minute long cutscenes with characters talking to you, the whole story is for yourself to uncover. For those of you lazy people who don't like reading scans, you can read the following part for the main plot. Otherwise, you can skip to the next section.
Tallon IV, once a peaceful and beautiful planet, was inhabited by the Chozo and many other creatures. However, happiness and peace soon came to an end, when the Chozo foresaw a meteor crashing into their planet, spreading a "Great Poison", with only a young women to save them before it was too late. Indeed, many years later, a meteor struck with the planet, and spread what was called Phazon onto the planet, corrupting all that came into contact with it. The Chozo tried fighting back, but they failed, so they sealed the Impact Crater up and the heart of the Phazon with it, and spread 12 artifacts around their planet, as keys to lock the meteor. One could only gain entry to the original crater by collecting all 12 keys. The Chozo fled the planet, in search of new home. Many years later, an evil alien race called the Space Pirates were on a search for a new base and energy sources, because of their original base being destroyed by Samus Aran, on Zebes. They soon found Tallon IV, and moved in quickly, reconstructing their bases and fitting in their life-supporting systems. They starting harvesting the dangerous powers of Phazon, and experimented with them. They also brought specimens of Metroids from Zebes, and started to experiment with them as well. 50 years later after the impact of the meteor, the Chozo's visions came true. A young female named Samus Aran had come, and it's your job to save the planet, and destroy whatever horrors the meteor might contain.
Graphics: 10/10 (Perfect)
Truly stunning visuals. This is one of those games where you just wanna look around at your environment and say wow to all the details. Enemies are crisp and clear, lava flows nice and slowly, each weapon sends out a different beam, and environments are absolutely gorgeous. Each place is very atmospheric, like the blazing hot Magmoor Caverns, the snowy Phenedrana Drifts, and the jungle-like worlds of Tallon Overworld. Whenever you go into water, step into steam, or get splattered at by an enemy, your visor will always register to it, such as dripping water, steamed up visor, or nasty bug splatterings on your screen. There was a lot of details that Retro didn't need to add, but they just did. It's that good.
Sound: 10/10 (Perfect)
Another reason of how this game towers over the others. Each sound effect is unique, whether it be the eerie shriek of a Metroid, or a grunt of pain from Samus. The themes in this game are simply magnificent. You'll be humming along before you know it. Each theme gives their area a unique personality, and separates it from other places. Great examples are the Phendrana Drifts and Tallon Overworld. Sometimes you'll just want to stay in one area just to listen to its theme. My personal favourite is the credits theme, it is single-handed-ly the best song in the game, in my opinion.
Gameplay: 9/10 (Spectacular)
If you're one the people who think that First Person would be a terrible idea, think again. This game handles very nicely, with a good HUD (Head Up Display) and somewhat awkward but good controls. You see the game completely through Samus's eyes, save for the Morph Ball, which automatically switches to a third-person perspective. The HUD can be a little complicated to someone who has never played a 3D Metroid game before, but you'll feel welcome very soon after. If you activate the Morph Ball, the game will automatically switch to a third-person viewpoint, to help you navigate better, and back to first-person when you switch back, using very smooth animations. The whole game is about exploring Tallon IV, collecting weapons and suit upgrades, solving puzzles, and fighting bosses. Don't worry about a non-linear adventure, this game basically has no objective, and your' re free to explore the world. The way this game works is that your on your own with no real allies, and you have to explore the world while looking for upgrades and picking fights with bosses. Don't worry about skipping plot events, everything you do will eventually continue the storyline until you come to the final area. The way the game keeps you from going into areas you shouldn't is that they will have obstacles in your way that require certain upgrades to clear through, which you will usually get from exploring or after a boss battle. One little issue is the fact that the controls can be a little awkward to a player who has not played a 3D Metroid game, and they are kind of hard to use, but they soon merge with you and you'll be gunning enemies without even peaking at your controller. I'll explain the controls in detail in the following section.
Controls: 8/10 (Great)
The controls for this game is great. Hard to get used to at first, but you'll pick up soon. The controller stick is used to turn Samus around and move, and C-Stick is used to switch weapons (Once obtained), the D-Pad is used to switch visors, A is used to shoot, B to jump, R to manual aim (More on that later), L to lock on to nearby targets, Z to bring up the holographic map, and Start/Select to pause and bring up the game menu. If you have hard times aiming with analog sticks, no problem. This game features Lock-On targeting, which automatically targets an enemy that is nearest to the center of the screen. Hold down the L button to maintain the lock on, and blast away. To swap between targets, let loose of L without letting it go the whole way and press it down again till it clicks to alter between foes. There are some items that must be aimed at manually, such as crates, structures, and birds. (Yes, you can hunt birds in this game at the Chozo Ruins by looking up and shooting them, they'll instantly turn into a pile of feathers and slowly drop to the ground. =P) To Manual Aim, hold down R and use the control stick to aim. Take notice that Samus can not move while manually aiming.
Replayablility: 8/10 (Great)
This game is so fun, you'll definitely wanna play it again. To make it even more interesting, there are also a lot of glitching and sequence breaking to do, to make your second time through even more enjoyable. Just be sure that if you're going to sequence break or glitch, get the original North American release of the game, other versions of it have had many major glitches fixed.
Overall: 9/10 (Spectacular)
A masterpiece. Truly remarkable, as I would say. It's easily the best Gamecube game to date. Combine awesome graphics, spectacular audio, elite gameplay, great controls, and you've got Metroid Prime.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Metroid Prime (US, 11/17/02)
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