Review by Phange
I won't lie to you. Metroid Prime had just about the worst showing EVER at last year's E3 and frankly that made me think it was doomed for failure. I was so incredibly wrong, though. Metroid Prime is, without a doubt, the best game on Gamecube and in the realm of FPSes it ranks up with Halo as a revolutionary work of art. Metroid isn't a FPS, though. In reality, it is more of an adventure game almost in the vein of Morrowind, which applies RPG-style elements into a first-person perspective. It is a crossbreed of Zelda and Doom of sorts. It also boasts some incredible graphics.
Obviously the most important aspect of any game is the gameplay. Metroid, for the most part, plays like any other FPS, though with a much easier to use targeting system. However, the puzzle solving and progressively discovered storyline adds a touch of old-style Metroid into what COULD have been a cheap cash-in for a quick buck.
Metroid's prime (ha) strength is its strict adherence to its roots. The Metroid series has always been about backtracking (which is a staunch no-no in games of today). However, Retro wasn't phased by the standards of today and successfully brought back the classic ''return to such-and-such area with such-and-such item to do secret things'' that Zelda pioneered. It works deviously well, and unlike most games that attempt this, it doesn't leave such a vast number of secrets that one would feel overwhelmed when they discovered a path they couldn't currently take.
Also, the game has very few weapons. This will anger some old-style FPS players, but I must remind you that this game is NOT a first-person shooter. This is an ADVENTURE game in a FPS setting, much like the older Metroids were ADVENTURE games in an odd 2D setting. Metroid has always been genre-busting, and Prime is no exception.
This game is gorgeous. Ridiculously gorgeous. Bump-mapping, dual-layered texturing, and even particle engineering. Beyond all that, it runs at a solid 60 frames per second and even adds touches of reflection.
.....and then you get the X-ray and Infrared goggles. Whoa. The X-ray is a ghastly blue hue of bones and invisible adversaries, and the IR goggle can see things in PITCH BLACK assuming it gives off heat. Both of these are not only effective, they look AMAZING.
It supports Dolby Surround. Aside from that, the music and sound effects are atmospheric enough to impress but nothing memorable is noteworthy. It does have plenty of old Metroid songs to keep you company, though.
It doesn't have one. Darn.
Overall: Buy this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/21/02, Updated 11/21/02
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