Metroid Fusion
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameBoy Advance
Publisher
Nintendo
Developer
Nintendo
Genre
Adventure
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Fun adventuring that's reminiscent of earlier titles
• Nice graphics and a mind-blowing sound track

The Bad

• Too short, and it strays on the easy side

 
Grade
B+

Concerning Metroid's leap into the 3D realm, which was considered controversial, but turned into one of the most enjoyable games of last year, and is the reason everybody should own a GameCube. But still, some fans would rather have their Metroid in 2D form.

This game takes place right after the events in Super Metroid - our heroine, Samus, has just finished off the Metroid race, and she is back on duty investigating and keeping order in the surrounding planets. During a routine mission, Samus discovers a mysterious organism which infests her body. She gets back in her ship and is in a coma in the matter of minutes. When she arrives back on her home vessel, doctor's realize that she only has one chance for surviving. She must be injected with the very last of the Metroid genes. Her suit and all equipment has been removed and can not be used because of this infection.

After a new suit change, which allows her to feed off the energy of the X, our heroine Samus is back on her missions after receiving a distress signal from the space ship carrying the X. When she arrives, she finds the ship in ruins, and crawling with creatures that the X virus can imitate.

And this kicks off your adventure. This game is very similar to the others in the series (Never played a Metroid Game? It's kinda like Castlevania in a Sci-fi setting) - it's based around exploration. You must find different weapons, suits, and other power-ups to survive. In this game, you fight creatures that X viruses are imitating, and after you destroy a beast, it turns back into an X. Then your suit can suck it up to recover any health or missile that have been lost or used up. Along with the weapons and suit expansions that are essential in completing your quest, you can also test your intellect by finding all Missile Expansions and Energy bars (You have to search every nook and cranny to find these things). Considering the insane amount of damage even the smallest enemy can deal, it's a pretty good idea to find as many as you can.

The game's graphics are up to par with it's predecessor, Super Metroid. The graphics seem a little darker (because of the GBA's dark, hard-to-see screen) than Super Metroid's, and many of the enemies are much more detailed. A ton of creatures from previous installments make welcome returns, and there are of course more to shoot at as well. The sound also creates the perfect mood for your adventure, and it's light years ahead of its competition's, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. Nintendo was able to squeeze every drop of power the GBA's sound chip had. Let's just hope Konami can learn from these guys.

While this game sounds very swell and peachy, it has a huge downside. It's too darn easy and it cuts the game's length. Super Metroid lasted a good 15 hours (or more) on the first go around, but the average player can blow through this thing in several hours. More experienced Metroid vets could finish it in less than three. Pathetic. Concern of this flaw is the linearity - the space station is split into 6 sectors, and they are simple to navigate with your trusty map, but through most of the game's entirety you go to a sector, get the special power-up, defeat the boss, and be on you way to the next sector. While the concept ain't bad, the whole setup makes it too easy.

With such a loss in the challenge department, Nintendo thought they could make it up by adding enemies who can slice 50 Hit points away in one attack. How did the X learn to boost the potency of such simple attacks? The world may never know. And why did the developers think this would make the game any harder? It just makes things a bit more frustrating. But still, I'm being kind of harsh on Fusion. This is classic 2D Metroid action, it short, but it's great fun while it lasts. Didn't care for Fusion's big brother (Metroid Prime)? Then it's worth checking out.

- - Grandlethal

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