Name: Metroid Fusion review Category: Action Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1
Metroid Fusion 10/28/2002
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Samus Aran returns to kick some booty!
Hello, Kaiokenattack here with the first GameBoy Advance review on ZTGD. And what better way to kick it off than by reviewing one of the most aniticipated sequels ever, the 4th Metroid game, known as Metroid Fusion. Itís been 8 long, long years since we were blessed with Super Metroid back in í94, and we are finally able to once again control that bodacious bounty-hunter, Samus Aran. Before you begin, I know many of you might be concerned about spoilers and such, but rest assured, I will only say what is needed to get my point across, so for the most part, this review will be spoiler-free!
A brief introduction to the storyline will be needed so I can explain how the gameplay works! When you watch the intro movie, we find out that while on an experimental reconnaissance mission to the planet SR388 (the former home of the metroids), Samus is infected with a strange parasite known as X. Her suit and body become badly damaged, but Samus is saved by being injected with the metroid vaccine, created from the metroid hatchling Samus found in Metroid 2. Samusís suit had become so integrated with her body that it had to be surgically removed, and drastically changed her appearance to what you see in the game. Samus is then ordered to go to a space station hovering over SR388 after a large explosion is discovered there. Our mission begins!
The graphics in the game are exactly what you would expect from a Metroid game, except upped a notch. The game is extremely colorful and very beautiful. It is no wonder they made it so colorful since Iím sure youíre all aware of the GBAís dimly-lit screen. The sprite animation of Samus and all of the enemies are also very smooth and attention to detail is extremely prevalent. The bosses are huge and also very unique. You might even spot a few familiar faces here and there along with enemies from past Metroid games. The game never slows down and the cutscenes are just a pleasure to watch. All in all, I am not disappointed on bit with how this game looks.
Unfortunately, the GBA has very limited sound capabilities, and it shows through here. Even though the music was done by the same team from Super Metroid, they seemed to fall a bit short this time around. The tunes are extremely ambient, and have a more mechanical "space station" sound to them, unlike SM, which had a very organic and melodic soundtrack. The sound effects are very good, though. The sound bytes are very crisp and just help the overall Metroid experience very well. And of course the "item get" and "load game" tunes are back!
For the first time ever in a videogame, the developers have given us a reason why enemies respawn! The X parasite can take the DNA from any animal and make a perfect replica of it. So after you kill an enemy, an X appears in its place. Since the X parasite is the natural food source of metroids, the metroid vaccine gives Samus the ability to absorb the X parasite into her body. Yellow Xís give energy and green Xís give missles. If you donít collect the Xís quick enough, they can respawn before your very eyes, so technically the enemies never die! This really adds to the challenge in the game. Most of the original weapons make a return, as well as Samusís special abilities such as the Morph Ball, Jump Ball, Space Jump, Screw Attack, etc. I was slightly disappointed that you were not able to walk on walls, as they had hinted at in a prototype of the game shown at E3 2001. The game never really calls for you to need this ability, however, so it is not missed. The only gameplay aspect that took some time to get used to was the fact that you must hold down the R button and press B to shoot missles and lay Power Bombs. At first I didnít like this feature and even found myself pressing the Select button a few times. Once you realize how well this goes with the game, all will be forgiven. Samus can also grapple onto ledges, climb ladders, and climb hand-to-hand across the ceiling. The game is also drastically different from all the previous Metroids in that it is completely mission based. Now before you Metroid purists have a hissy-fit, just know that the missions do not pry away from the gameplay, but add much to the overall storyline and a much more deeper game experience. While you play the game, you must go to the Navigation Rooms scattered throughout the station and talk with the computer who gives you orders to go to different parts of the station, where you fight a boss and recover a new ability. Just like the Metroids before it, you have the option to either whiz through the game as fast as you can or spend hours and hours searching for that last damn Missle Tank. The game also has 5 different endings, depending on how fast you beat the game or whether you have 100% of the items. The replay value is definitely there, and just like Super Metroid, I will be playing this game over and over again for a very long time.
To fans new to the series, the game might be very difficult, but once you spend some time with it, and learn the controls, you can master the gameplay with ease. The game is actually quite difficult, I was very surprised and happy at this feature. (Unlike Super Metroid which was super-easy.) Old-school gamers and hardcores alike will absolutely love this gem, and it is something all GBA owners should have in their library. The game also hooks up to Metroid Prime using the GBA-GC Link Cable, and doing so unlocks the original NES Metroid in Prime (you must beat Fusion first) and you can even play Metroid Prime with Samusís new Fusion suit (you must beat Prime first)! Metroid Fusion is, without a doubt, completely worth the 8 year long hiatus from controlling Samus, as I am sure we have all changed into very different people since then. Take a trip back down memory lane and buy this game, pronto. November 18th doesnít seem so far away!
GameDiscovery.com : Game Boy : Metroid Fusion Review : Action