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Old 02-01-2008, 04:25 AM   #41
Seraph
>:3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,005

Nintendo Gamecube
1 Player
Developer - Retro Studios
Publisher - Nintendo

My Bias
-I love the 2D Metroid series
-I hate console First Person Shooters

My Completion
Beaten with 64% completion

Story
The story is more than what most Metroid games were before it. It starts off almost the exact same way Super Metroid does. A distress beacon goes off at a space station and Samus Aran goes to check it out. Ridley (Samus arch nemesis) shows up, havoc ensues, the space station blows up and Samus goes off to chase Ridley. The Story then begins on planet Tallon IV, Samus looking for Ridley, learning of the planets history, and ultimately of the mega evil Metroid Prime herself.

I found myself not knowing what was going on story wise throughout the entire game. Simply going from objective to objective just because that’s what I was told to do rather than I knew why I was doing it.

A lot of this games story is fleshed out by scanning and reading different logs left behind. Personally I think it’s a great way to tell a story, reading the history and notes left by others, much like your typical Resident Evil game does. It made for a very exciting moment spending most of the game casually reading tidbits about the evilness of Metroid Prime and then finally discovering her lair.

The games’ ending is a complete let down. The ending and epilogue are over in a matter of minutes with no explanation and feels like a slap in the face for all that hard work. It ends with Samus just staring at the ruins she came from for a few seconds then flying off.

Graphics
The visuals in this game are pretty good by Gamecube standards. The environments are all very unique and lively. This game is also pays very close attention to detail. Just about everything in this game is covered with little lights or foliage. Walk through a bunch of steam and your visor will fog up, unleash a blast too close to the wall and you will see Samus’ eyes reflect in her visor. Just a ton of little things like that add up to a polished package.


My screengrabs dont do this place justice

The animations in this game are very stiff. Watching ships fly, watching Samus walk, it all just seems very amateur compared with the games of its time and today. It’s kind of hard to explain, but none of the movement looks “natural”.


This guy needs to work on his whole dying act, it looks very stiff and forced

This could just be my problem, but I found the game to be very dark. I had to turn the in-game brightness to full as well as my TV’s brightness up a few notches.

Music
The Metroid series is known for ambient music. As far as new music goes there are very few tracks.

It feels like almost all of the good tracks in this game are the remixed versions of music from Super Metroid. While it’s disappointing that the new stuff isn’t nearly as impressive as the tunes from old, the remixed versions of these songs are great. This game has some awesome new versions of awesome songs. And despite the blandness of most of the new music, 1-2 new tracks do stick out.

However the battle music gets extremely annoying. Every single time you encounter space pirates it keeps looping the same short theme. It was pretty cool the first time, but after about the 10th time of encountering space pirates I was turning the volume down.

Gameplay
The controls feel sluggish and in my opinion are horrible. It took me a couple hours just to get to the point where I wasn’t fumbling every time I needed to think fast. Instead of a free look dual analog setup like most console first person shooters, aiming and movement are both bound to the left analog stick. This proves to be very frustrating as you literally can’t perform tasks that have become standard fare in the FPS genre. I eventually got to the point where I could maneuver the way I wanted to, but it took almost half the game and it still feels extremely limiting.

Like with most Metroid games Samus starts off the adventure retaining none of the power ups she archived in the last game. The Metroid formula of exploration, get new ability, explore new areas with new ability is still intact. That’s pretty much the summary of how the entire game flows up until the end.

The level design is brilliant. I have never seen a First Person Shooter with this level of platforming and room design. This game does an excellent job of recreating the world of Metroid in 3D. Samus can also roll into her trademark Morphball which sends the game into a 3rd person perspective and makes for some very well thought out puzzles.


I always wonder what Samus feels like in there

This game is fairly difficult, even on the easiest setting. Every boss in the game has some sort of weak point or trick to figure out. By the time I figured out what the trick was, how to take the boss down, and then did it I was almost dead. I finished too many boss fights on my very last energy tank.


SHOOP DA WHOOP!

Loading times in this game are for the most part very well hidden. When loading a new area the game usually plays some sort of cut scene to hide the fact that it’s loading. It’s not perfect though. If you try to open a door before the next area is fully loaded, the door just remains shut until the area is done. This can take up to 10 seconds meanwhile leaving you just sitting staring at the door. It proves to be very problematic when you are trying to escape away from enemies, causing you to basically run yourself into a corner.

The map system is confusing and annoying. Hitting Z at any time will bring up a map that you can shift and rotate to figure out where you need to go next. Due to the nature of how complex the 3D levels are, some rooms can be very confusing to try and make sense of. The other VERY annoying part about the map is scrolling through it. No matter how you position the map to get a clear view, the minute you let go of the control stick it snaps to the nearest room. It makes it very difficult to navigate in huge rooms because if you try to stop the screen on a certain section of doors, it snaps it back to the center of that room.


I am frustrated everytime I see this

Despite all the strikes this game has against it (especially the controls), it still manages to be a good game. The Metroid formula is always fun and there is barley a dull moment as you get a new ability to play with every 10-20 minutes. The bosses while hard are very interesting and intense. This game is full of tons of nooks and crannies to explore, with hidden items and routes all over. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you like to go out of your way to explore. This means that you have to use Samus's scan visor to scan a billion things, which I found extreemly annoying.


I did this at least 5 billion times

On a final game play note, this game follows a trend that a lot of games do nowadays that pisses me off to no end. Unless you beat this game with 100%, meaning you took extra hours to track down every single nook and cranny, you don’t get to see the “true ending”. It’s even worse in Metroid Prime’s case because the true ending is what links this game to its sequel. Nothing is worse than riding a story all the way to its end only to be told you can’t read the last page.

Lasting Appeal
My game saves total time locked in at 12 hours. Since then I have had no desire to go replay this game ever again. If you’re a completionist, then you will get many more hours out of this game than I did.

Final Thoughts
It’s hard to say how others will enjoy this game because I cannot stand the controls. I know some people that give this game endless praise so maybe the controls aren’t as big a deal to others.

If you’re a fan of the FPS genre and are looking for a very fun adventure then pick this game up now. It is by far my favorite analog stick based FPS game.

Gameplay Video
Video is high quality, if its choppy pause it and let it load

Last edited by Seraph; 08-04-2009 at 03:00 PM.
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