| 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
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.