Review by idiotman7

Reviewed: 01/02/06

Samus + X - Mother Brain = Fusion?

Metroid has become one of the great names in gaming right now. It has been dubbed, one of the best and most memorable side scrolling, and first person games on the market. Metroid has been around for years now, and is still going strong with its original line of work, for the most part. And, not only was it one of the most well designed and greatly thought out games, but its hero, was a heroine. The main character for the Metroid series has always been Samus, a female bounty hunter. This was not only new to gaming to feature a lead woman role, but to make her strong and able to fend for herself. But in 2002, a new era for Metroid was released. Metroid Fusion.

Fusion wasn’t the only new Metroid game to come out in 2002 though, actually the same day; they released Metroid Prime, the first person shooter for the Gamecube, although Prime takes place in-between Metroids one and two. Even though Fusion is the better of the two in my opinion, both were great games, and were both benchmarks for the series. Sure it took a few… a lot of long painful years without a Metroid game, both of these games were truly worth the wait.

The game started, as Samus and a few soldiers are heading to sr388, where Metroid 2 took place if you didn’t know. While there, Samus is attacked by the X parasite, which consumes her and morphs her suit and her nervous system, and sends her unconscious into an asteroid belt. An escape pod saves Samus before it collides into the belt, and she is recovered by a research facility. She is immediately sent to the Federation for medical treatment. In a last attempt to save her life, they inject the Metroid serum from the baby Metroid that saved her life once before. She is cured, and almost simultaneously, an alarm comes in from the research station that saved her. Now Samus has to go see what’s wrong.

When she gets there, she finds the station empty, quite, dead. Only, it’s more dead than she knows. The only survivors of the attack are the zombie like researchers, who were stationed there, and the X parasites roaming around, transforming into monsters and such.

Samus finds out that the X parasite, some how got lose on board, and took over her suit and are all over the station destroying it. With the help of an on board computer Adam, you have to regain your suits powers, become strong enough to destroy X, and get off of this God forsaken place. And seeing as how you’re the only one ever to be infused with a Metroid, who are the predators of the X, you’re the only one who can stop this. So, get to work, because it sure isn’t working itself out. It’s very interesting, and I thought it was one of the most in depth story lines yet for the series. I was very impressed, and thought it was awesome. You defiantly learn a lot about the Metroid games after playing this, and shines new light on Samus, and how real she really is.

One strong point though, was the boss battles. Everyone of them were massive, and required quick thinking, and strategy. I was very excited to beat the bosses, because some of their sheer sizes were amazing. All bosses had a different way of fighting, and each one was hard. Plus, the sequences with X were scary beyond belief. If X finds you, you’re dead, let’s leave it at that. Sometimes you will have to be running from him, jumping, and docking, and just being scared. Because he just walks towards you, it was like in a horror movie. Plus the music changes into a very creepy mood, and it was one of the most memorable handheld game experiences I have ever had.

Fusion did have one slight problem though; its controls are a little confusing. You really have to remember which button does which, and pressing it at the right time. It’s confusing, and will get you killed. Plus, your attacks don’t get that strong, until near the end, when you get the ice missile, which is strange, because Samus’s strongest attack is ice, I thought that was a little stupid and didn’t sit well with me.

All of the upgrades, aren’t new, just redone models from the first games. I wanted to have a little bit more fun with the upgrades in Fusion, but unfortunately, they gave me nothing to work with really. It was really like been there done that with a lot of it. And I also didn’t like how they started you with nothing. I understand that the whole suit X thing happened, but why did he have to leave my powers lying around a space station for? It’s not the most courteous thing to do to someone’s who identity you just stole.

Music wise, it was okay. The music was very very creepy in some parts, and other times it was fast paced and exciting. Though, n between these, it was simple generic music really. Blast sounded good, even if a little fake and enemies also weren’t to impressive sounding. But, they were all very good, but they just didn’t impress me for a Metroid game. Of course, I may have gotten my hopes up a tiny bit for Fusion, but that still doesn’t explain why I can’t have better music. It all felt replayed over and over, and like I was just walking around on replay the whole time through. Attacks I wish could have been in more depth also, they just lacked what they seemed to bring in past games. Like in number 3, the sounds were groundbreaking and stunning. Here, they just aren’t that new.

Bosses did have a unique music to them though. Each bosses music, really fit to what was going on. Like during one of the many cat and mouse scenes between you and X, they music is slow, and scary, and will make your heart race, and your palms will get sweaty, and you will panic, and do sudden movements. But during say, the boss battle with the lightening fast water snake, the music is very fast, light Japanese flash art or something, and it will make your moves become jumpier and will make you do stupid things.

Fusion looks amazing graphically. Samus’s new suit is very different, seeing as how it’s the X parasite fused with her suit. It’s kind of a blueish pinkish color, and really adds a new feel to Samus, rather than her goldish orange suit. Environments look great, and full of detail. If you look closely in some areas, you can see Nintendo stuff lying around, like a Gamecube, which was very cool to add. Samus’s attacks weren’t all too impressive, missile were like tiny explosions, and looked a little cheesy really. Enemy’s looked really well though, especially the X-Samus running around.

Cut scenes looked amazing, and have long cameos of Samus at the beginning and the end, with a few short ones in between. Mainly, the only time you’ll be talking in-between though, is with Adam, the computer CO of the station like I said before, and a few cut scenes here and there. I wish they could have made the game a little more, free to begin with. Because it was really a hassle to have to run to one side of the station, flip a switch, one to the other side, go into the area, flip another switch, and over and over and over, until you have flipped all the switches, and have all the upgrades, and can finally take the fight to X-Samus.

Fusion was a very necessary break from the other Metroid games, and an awesome addition to the series. Is it fun to play once? Hell yes, you wont ever want it to end. Is it fun to play twice? Not really. When you finish, you’re done, it’s over, nothing really to do. You can go back and finish it faster, and see new endings, or put in all the codes, and go through invincible and knock the hell out of people, but it takes away from the fun of the game really.

Would I want to see a sequel to Fusion? No. But that still does not take away from the fun with it. One of the top five GBA games no doubt, if not in the top ten in everyone’s list. A must have for all GBA owners. Fusion pushed the GBA to its limit’s, and it shows. Graphically it’s superb, and story wise, amazing. It sounds average really, and game play is confusing, mainly because you don’t have the large button lay out like for the SNES, but it’s nothing to damper this great game to much. It is a very good game, and one of the best handheld titles of all time, but that is no surprise seeing as its coming from the Metroid series.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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