"I'll be damned. Americans CAN make a game."

Not only can Americans make a game, but they can make THE Nintendo system seller. They made a hands down game of the year choice. And I'm thinking the same thing you are: WTF?!

Most American made games are action oriented. Don't take this lightly. American games are notorious for being Quake III system rips...and not much else. And yet, America has finially proved its self to the gaming industry. With a little help from big brother Japan, granted, but they still did it.

Graphics 9.5/10

The graphics are very, very good. Probobly the third best CONSOLE game graphics out. The first two, naturally, being the Resident Evil GCN games.

There are no jagged edges. There is 60 fps. There is no load time. The enviroments are amazingly detailed, except when you stand right next to them. If your wondering where the .5 came off, its the lava. It looks like the lava from Zelda 64, but take it with a grain of salt, as the rest of the game more than makes up for it.

This game is detailed. I use the full extent of the word here. When in the cold enviroments, ice crystals form on the visor. It also fogs up, and can be covered in water or lava that will drip off as you move. If there is a bright flash, you see Samus's face. If you have on your X-ray visor, you see your hand in the gun pulling switches. The detail is endless, and is where a good 4 points of the total score come from.

The enviroments are stunning, yes, but the charactor designs are where this game really shines. Each enemy is detailed as far as the GCN will allow, and without slowdown. A technological marvel is what it amounts too.

Sound 10/10

This, in my opinion, is the best feature of this game. The first song I heard, the title screen theme, immidiatly transported my mind back to the golden days of the SNES, where the music was best. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 3, Super Metroid. I hear all of this at once, and it is nerdgasmic.

The Magmoor Cavern themes is naturally the best Norfair remix. Ever. You can just stand there in the area and use it for music in place of your stereo.

The sounds fit the areas perfect, as do they the weapons and enemies. Each enemy has a destinct sound, and by the end of the game you can know what is coming by just listning. Truly astounding.

Controls and overall Gameplay 10/10

Nostalgia. Even though it appears to be an FPS, you will constantly find yourself thinking of Zelda: OoT and Super Metroid. This IS the Metroid sequal. Miyamoto has taken it into the 3D realm perfectly, just as he has done with Mario and Zelda.

The controls will become second nature in an hour or less. Designed perfectly for the controller. Sometimes I wish this game was technically an FPS, just so it could show developers that a console FPS CAN be done. But, it is not.

This game is an adventure. It relies on thinking and exploring rather than shooting. The shooting is easy, the exploration is long and sometimes tedious, but it remains fun the whole game. I would have liked more puzzles, but it seems like the game its self is puzzle enough.

Now, like I said, shooting is easy. Bosses are hard. The first boss is pretty easy. You shoot it untill it dies. The second boss, however, forces you to use logic. When you shoot it, it takes no damage, but several hits can stun it. Obviously you need to bide time. Then you realise that it is gaining power from the Sun mirrors. You must unalign them, and then roll into the an aclove and place a bomb near the monsters 'core'.

The final boss is damn near impossible. I won't go into detail, but when you find yourself dying 10-11 times on it, don't say I didn't warn you.

Storyline 8/10

The story is completely optional. It is told through the scan visor. You scan things (By the way, if you want to scan everything, it adds a good 10 hours to the overall game. That is how much material there is.) and read. Whether it be a space pirate note, chozo lore, or just background information on why a tree is dying, it is done in a very tastefull textbook fashion. There are plenty of twists, as is there plenty of time where there is no story at all, and that is where the 2 points come off.

Fun Factor 10/10

This game is so packed with things to do, its almost inane. You can't get bored, as you can't do it all in any short amount of time. You can roll into a ball and roll up and down a half-pipe, you can link up to your GBA and play the original Metroid, you can do almost anything. And it doesn't get boring for a good while.

Buy this game. If you don't have a Gamecube, buy the bundle. This game is well worth the 200 bucks...not to mention the rest of the great GCN library.

Overall, 10/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/22/02, Updated 11/22/02

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