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Metroid Prime (GC)

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  • Takes backtracking to new levels. Mind-numbingly easy
  • nope that's it.
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    16 Reviews
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      17.10.2012 13:21
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      Masterful gameplay with brilliant effects

      A full 3D Metroid title that promises to deliver similar gaming joy to the likes of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark of the N64. We shouldn't even use Goldeneye and Metroid in the same sentence, mind, because this new gargantuan quest is a title like no other, it has no parallel, no equivalent, and nothing that even comes close to matching its cutting edge characteristics.

      The game begins at an orbital station in which you learn the very basic controls and features of the game, all of which will feel a little sloppy to newcomers. Manoeuvring your hero is easy enough, but when it comes to locking on and aiming, before diving into the morph ball option, it all starts to become a little complicated. Fear not, it will become familiar in time.

      Despite a few faults, of which I will refer to later, Metroid Prime really is an astonishing gaming experience, and probably the most startling and generic one I have come across. The first thing that will appeal to all about the game is its looks; the glorious abnormal effects that you'd expect from a space action encounter are present, and incredibly beautiful at that. The structural designs and surroundings are also highly detailed and true to the eerie atmosphere Prime creates. Nothing about Metroid's graphics disappoints in the slightest; it's flawless.

      Yes, taken as a whole it does have faults though. There is an annoyance when it comes to some scanning aspects of the game play. Whilst using the scanner is a breath of fresh air at times, it can get highly repetitive and irritating when you either miss out scanning a certain boss, or enemy of which you will not come across again. Another more miserable part of Prime is the rare save points, which will often frustrate players of which fall to their death just prior to reaching the next one. Luckily, both flaws inspire a repeat of the game, in order to gain entire completion of it.

      Like Super Metroid from the SNES years, Prime has all of the credentials that make a classic Nintendo game. Shamefully, there will be a fair few that will not relish the finer moments of Metroid Prime, because when it gets good, it gets really, really good. The later bosses and puzzles involve a lot of thought-provoking play, which will also push you to the boundaries of your gaming skill. Those that don't see past initial flaws ultimately won't know what they're missing out on, but they really are.

      This is probably the finest 2D to 3D transition, it includes audio and visual displays that will see your mouth water with glee, and masterful game play that is so brilliantly true to its SNES predecessor. This is a staggering achievement that is a more than worthy update to its franchise. Metroid Prime truly is a Gamecube saviour.

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      12.10.2012 23:12
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      A masterpiece

      The first 3D version of Metroid got parts of the gaming world buzzing when it was released on the Gamecube many years ago now. It never perhaps got the exposure it would've done had it have come out on PS2 or XBOX, but this still offers a compelling and involving experience even now.

      You play Samus and you very soon get stripped of all of your weapons and power-ups (double jump, sling shot etc.). This sets the game up nicely for a progression system, carefully allowing the player to have one power back at a time throughout the course of the game, eventually leading to situations where you will have to be proficient in every power-up in your arsenal to proceed.

      The game takes you on a variety of different space-ships and alien planets, each with their own unique appearance and features and each with their own mesmerizing background tune that fits the the environments perfectly (Phendandra Rifts, a notable highlight), the presentation of this game is very slick.

      There is also a feature called scanning, which will require you to pull down a visor and then pick up extra clues and information in the scenery, essential for some parts of the quest, but mostly optional for completionists.

      The controls are relatively straight-forward, but may be a little frustrating for seasoned first person shooter players, since only the left analogue stick is used for movement. Holding a shoulder button will allow you to Strafe. You can also hold a shoulder button to look around. This seems strange at first, but it makes a good fit for a game that has evolved from 2D and allows the gameplay to have a similar feel to its 2D predecessors.

      A highly recommended, fun, big and challenging game that would suit all serious gamers everywhere and highly deserving of GamesTM's first ever 10/10 rating.

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      25.09.2012 07:59
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      I'll never stop being alone, but at least I have Metroid Prime. That's good enough right? Right?

      If you're a lonely gamer, unlike this handsome reviewer who has thousands of friends and that's why he spends his free time indoors reviewing videogames for peanuts shut up, then you may have considered playing The Sims, a game that perfectly simulates the horrors of being alive, social interaction and pretending you don't want to brutally slaughter every person you meet. You'd be better off avoiding The Sims and playing a loneliness simulator, something games are a lot better at. Enter Metroid Prime.

      Metroid was a rubbish game for the NES that somehow became awesome on the Super NES and celebrated by being crap again on the Game Boy. So that's a bad game sandwich with an awesome game filler, just waiting to become a pile of sloppy inedible strained metaphor in the form of a 3D sequel. But against all odds, Metroid Prime is a modern classic.

      Like in the previous games, you play Samus Aran, a bounty hunter investigating the mysterious semi-deserted planet of Tallon VI. It's worth noting here that even though there are far more words than planets in the solar system, marketing monsters of the future are giving planets identical names and then tacking on Roman numerals on the end to distract people from their laziness. I could give you at least three names for planets that I'm sure don't exist in just a few taps of the keyboard. In fact:

      * Wub Wib Wab Wob

      * Earearth

      * Sooooooooooooooooonilipon

      There, why couldn't you just call your planet something like that? But I digress. You're dumped on the planet of the start of the game with most of your weapons broken and are left to explore on your own. Enemies are everywhere, but this is far from a traditional shooter. Fighting enemies is more about strategy than the all guns blazing approach (which rarely, if ever, works in this game). Finding an enemy's weakness is done through scanning the creature, and many other items in the game can be scanned as well. This means the location can be as detailed and developed as the player wants. Want to learn more about Tallon VI? Get scanning! Don't want to learn about Tallon VI? Suit yourself moron.

      It's an adventure game at heart, and could easily be described as a 'futuristic Zelda'. For example, notice how easily I just described it as a futuristic Zelda. See! I just did it again! Puzzles are challenging without ever seeming unfair and as you unlock more items the game encourages you to backtrack to previous locations to unlock parts of the map that were previously inaccessible. Stunningly, unlike 99% of games with backtracking, this is rarely annoying.

      Where it fits with the loneliness simulator tag is in the emptiness and quietness of the planet you're exploring. There is very little dialogue in the game, your on your own throughout the adventure and there will be plenty of times when you have no idea where to go next (more out of personal stupidity than anything). The game has an excellent fully 3D map which really should be the standard for all maps in videogames by now. The game is more about exploration than shooting, and the wonderful visuals (even now, the GameCube version looks great) and intriguing story make it a joy to play.

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      29.12.2009 00:53
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      Prime mixes FPS, puzzle-solving and platform gaming seamlessly, tied together by a great storyline.

      *This review is about the Prime Trilogy version of Metroid on the Wii, which uses motion control*

      Metroid Prime was originally released in 2002 for the Gamecube, but was re-released as part of the 2009 Prime Trilogy pack, which combined all three games. The great value package updated the first two installments with the innovative motion controls utilised in Corruption along with improved graphics.

      I had not played the original Gamecube version, nor had i ever played a metroid game before, so this was my first exposure to the universe of the bounty hunter, Samus Aran. I was instantly enthralled by the games smooth controls, immersive story and amazing visuals.

      GAMEPLAY:
      Samus, the intrepid bounty hunter, explores a damaged vessel belonging to the Space Pirates. These Pirates (who look nothing like the Long John Silver kind , nor the Somalian kind, of pirate) are technologically advanced and are the scurges of the galaxy. They also destroyed Samus' homeworld and parents, so the girl has a pretty big grudge to bear. Within, Samus finds evidence that the Pirates have discovered a new weapon and have revived Ridley, their leader, who samus had destroyed in an earlier game. She pursues Ridley onto the nearby planet of Tallon IV, a Chozo homeworld, which has been devastated by Phazon, a mutagenic substance the pirates are mining. Samus must destroy the pirate operation and save the dying planet.

      Perhaps not an original story, but the way it is told is what i feel makes Prime great. There is no dialogue and few cut scenes. samus must find out what is happening herself, by scanning the hieroglyphs of the Chozo and the logs of the Pirates. You will spend most of the game with your scan visor, exploring the world for this lore that provides clues for where to go and what to do. This scan visor also tells you about the various monsters you encounter but also about the peaceful organisms of Tallon IV. This information is well written, and reveals this world to you. Retro Studios have designed a full, living, breathing world, and are letting you explore it freely. It is non-linear (well, progress is linear, but you can re-visit regions freely). Spending the time to research and read about this world is rewarding. You care about the plight of the chozo, as their downfall is revealed in bits and pieces. It is this extra information, that makes this games so immersive.

      GAMEPLAY:
      Metroid games have always been a massive fetch quest. You explore this world for devices that will grant you access to new areas. Without these devices, progress is impossible. You also search for gear that improves your offensive capability (new weapons, missile expansions and life expansion). Collecting these items are challenging, but entertaining. From impressive and difficult boss fights, to solving puzzlies. Despite being an FPS (which was original in a Metroid game, and many were skeptical about before release), Metroid is a competant platform game, from jumping challenges, to Morph Ball tracks.

      The gameplay never grows stale; one moment you are in a tense gun battle against alien monsters, the next you are carefully traversing platforms while your skill at control is tested, the next you are solving puzzles to obtain gear. Metroid Prime tests your mind, as well as your trigger finger.

      CONTROLS
      On the Wii, the remote controls the targeting reticule and your view, while the nunchuk controls lateral movement. The rest of the buttons are used for the key tasks of jumping, shooting and locking on. Retro provided extensive control customisation, such as turning speed, and you can customise to your hearts content. Turning and targeting feels smooth and Metroid is one of the few good FPS's on the Wii. I prefer the free aiming approach, as it feels more natural and challenging.

      VISUALS:
      The visuals and graphics are stellar. The four zones you travel through are very distinct, filled with imaginative flora and fauna. The frame rate is solid. It is in the visuals that the immersive elemtent of Metroid that makes this game so good. While the HUD is standard, with health meter, radar and minimap, you also see the edges of Samus's helmet, when you emerge from water, droplets run down your visor, explosions cause samus' hand to cover your face, bright flashes reflect Samus' face in the visor, certain attacks create static in your vision. All these simple touches are just so immersive, they make you feel that you are in this suit, and are this person.

      DOWNSIDES:
      The game has one or two flaws. Being a fetch quest, you end up going back and forth across areas. You backtrack countless times, to pick up gear that you now have access to or missed earlier. To access the final region of the game, you have to collect twelve keys scattered across the map, causing you to search high and low, back and forth, for any little clue, and to be honest, this gets dull, especially if you are in a rush to experience new content. To make this worse, enemies respawn when you leave a room, meaning to go back you will have to fight through more and more monsters, which slows your progress. Although, to be fair, this back-tracking is a problem for any explorative type game, and if the monsters did not respawn, than this back tracking would be even duller.

      Because of this back-tracking, you have to carefully plan your route, in order to save time. To do this you need to study the map, and some times the map is un-readable, especially the Tundra region, as trying to move the map around cause you to flick between higher and lower layers. It takes almost as long to navigate the map as it does to navigate the world itself.

      CONCLUSION:
      However, these drawbacks detract little from the overall experience. It combines moments of high tension with calmer moments, and these are communicated with amazing music and sounds. The controls are engaging, the way the story is told is compelling, the gameplay is immersive and on top of that there is so much content. Prime took me 17 hours to complete, and i only completed 86% of the game, as i missed a few key scans and couldn't find some gear. Speed playthroughs still take 7 hours. This is a great game for OCD players who like to collect everything and provides hours of entertainment. This game is amazing

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      19.09.2009 17:23
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      good game with some awesome shizzle

      Metroid Prime is the best shooter game to appear on the gamecube. Well one of them. you folow the story of Samus Arun and start off super powered bounty hunter, just after you start the game a little way in you loose your powers, have to get loads of them back while on a foreign planet and trying to get back at her old enemy Ridley.

      In game you have a scan mode using which you can find all kinds of information dotted around the game environments or new grapple points and other things of interest. This is one the interesting things in game and also a cool idea, you can scan enemies to get all the details on it, and on bosses you can kelp find weak points with the scaning device.

      The combat in game is awesome, simple controls yet effective and the difficulty in game is just about right for your first play through that you enjoy the carnage. you use a lock on to target enemies and the you can shot at the, charge your shots from your cannon, use missles later on. You also unlock some alternative beams as well where you can shoot different kinds of things and the combat becomes even better as the game goes on.

      The game also has a good number of puzzle elements to it, some of which take some time to figure out and by completing are the only way to unlock some items. There is also the ability to morph into a ball and get around small passages and small ducts, etc. Helping you to find extra add ons and upgrades.

      The graphics in it are awesome and the game totally immerses you with eerything going on. You feel very alone in the game, as there is never any other interaction just you in this lone planet where anything that moves is probably trying to kill you.

      The game is one of my favourites and has lots to offer, the story will take you a niec long amount of time to complete, and then if you want there is a hard mode you unlock which takes even longer. And the game is fun enough to come back and play again. Definately reccomend this game.

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      23.08.2009 18:25
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      A very unique and fun shooter.

      Metroid Prime is a shooter for the Gamecube developed by Nintendo.
      The game follows the bounty hunter Samus Aran she starts out investigating a distress call of a Space Pirate ship and soon finds her old foe Ridley who has transformed in to Meta Ridley, you then follow after Ridley as he takes off and enters the Chozo ruins where Samus is able to discover more about her own race the Chozo. The actual storyline itself isn't very rich but there is a lot of detail and information to learn about your enemies and Samus herself.

      The way you unfold the story is largely down to yourself, which is initially a bit strange as usually games have cutscenes that inform you of the various enemies and worlds you are exploring. You largely do this by using the Scan mode that Samus is equipped with, with this you can scan the area around you and anything of interest will have its own details and you can read through picking up information on the area or item. The scan mode is also used to show items you can interact with, like something you can destroy or grapple on to.

      The combat in the game is pretty intense but the control scheme is different to a standard shooter, Samus can lock on to her targets and use her cannon which can fire single shots or be charged up for a more powerful blast. In addition to that you can use missiles too. You can free aim but you will only need to where you have to aim at something in the environment to destroy it, as Samus can't move while in free aim it isn't really helpful to use it in combat. The shooting is excellent and feels tight and accurate, nothing beats charging a shot and unleashing it into the face of an enemy.

      The game also has some puzzle elements to it, you will perform a lot of jumping around and traversing environments in the first person, Samus even gains the power to turn into a Morph ball which can detonate three explosive charges to help her jump around in very enclosed spaces. The puzzling action is really tricky at some times and even the boss fights in the game incorporate puzzles which make them a real challenge! Thankfully you will come across upgrades which allow you increase your health and missile capacity.

      Graphics are very good and the atmosphere in the game is really haunting as you really feel isolated, it's just you and your power armour against the world!

      Metroid Prime is an excellent shooter with a lot of adventure features you wouldn't find in a normal shooter which make it well worth your time.

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        03.06.2009 00:31
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        Buy this game.. just buy it

        I love the Snes and Gameboy versions of this game to death it was an exciting prospect when I heard this game was being released in luscious 3D. Ahhhhh yeah.

        But can you take such an archetypal game that works so well in 2D and move it into 3D without losing what made it so special? The answer is yes, yes you can. Nothing has been lost, the controls are fantastic the graphics are sublime and the soundtrack is a triumph. I'd suggest having a look for the soundtrack on CD to be honest, its actually that good.

        Play through different environments, fight gigantic boss fights. Find new weapons. Enjoy all the stuff that made Metroid such a hit in 2D but now you can see it all in the 3rd dimension.

        The only thing I could say negative about this game is the fact that the auto-lock can make it maybe a little bit too easy.

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          12.08.2007 13:11
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          Not only is the game play addictive but the new look is freakin' awesome.

          I waited 8 lonnggggg years for this but it's finally came back! Metroid Prime for the Nintendo GameCube is a huge update to the legendary Nes and Snes games. In it Bounty Hunter Samus Aran returns to fight the evil Space Pirates of the galaxy again but now this Metroid game is completely 3D and the view is almost always First Person Shooter now like in other games a Halo, Quake, Goldeneye. Weird but true. Metroid Prime is filled with spectacular graphics, familiar sounds, and the same good old gameplay that made the originals such great games, but is this really one of the best GameCube games out there or is this game one big 3D disappointment?

          After the last known Metroid was killed off in her previous adventure, Samus Aran was searching for the final batch of Space Pirates that escaped from the now destroyed planet of Zebes. We now know that Samus's reason for hunting these evil aliens is because she was orphaned as a child after an devastating raid by the Pirates on her home world. Samus uses her advance techniques and famous power suit originally from the peaceful Chozo race to protect anyone from the deadly menace of the Pirates. The few remaining Space Pirates fled to the planet of Tallon IV to rebuild their once fearsome empire and unfortunately for you, Tallon IV had more that enough natural resources to get Samus's enemies off their feet again.

          First let's start off with what developer Retro Studios did with this new Metroid here. The new First Person view sure takes some getting use to especially if you are used the classic 2D gameplay of the original Metroids, thankfully these controls are fairly simple to learn. The basics to the newer controls is the Aiming (R button) of Samus's hand canon and the Lock on (L button) feature to focus on a object or enemy, once you learn those two buttons you'll be ready for action. I only wish that Nintendo gave me the option to change my control set up around, but you can't even edit the controller in the options menu so you're stuck with them. The reason I bring this up is because the 'Jump' button is used by 'B' red button to the left of the giant A button used to shot, some may notice that those buttons are actually in reverse from the NES Metroid. "I can't tell you how many times I hit the 'X' button (the Morphing ball) by mistake, just because I wanted to jump!" Moving on to the subject of 'Jumping', the only problem with the First Person view is the difficulty of judging your jumps and if miss an important jump could really frustrate you in a hurry. You can also forget about doing flips and Screw attacks in Metroid Prime, it's one of the major problems with this new view here. Another thing to get use to while in this view is fighting some trickier enemies from that attack from behind or something, it's really annoying when you get hit by a enemy that you can't even see. Still Metroid Prime is very easy to get into despite the 3D look and you won't have to mess around with a camera all the time either unlike in Super Mario Sunshine.

          The view and controls are not the only things new here. Samus can now open a cool new Scan window to exam various things for clues and info or to activate devices. Most of the orange items that are scan able are pretty pointless so I recommend only scanning the red square for anything important. As you get deeper into the game there are upgrades for your Visor that can help you see attackers in the dark or find some hidden area too. Don't worry Metroid freaks, Metroid Prime also has a lot of classic game play that made the other three Metroid games such cult favourites. Samus starts off the game with many of the power ups from the past games like the Morphing ball (in Third Person view of course), the grabbling gun, varia suit, and more but don't too attached because she is going to lose it all after some trouble near the beginning. The fun thing about a good Metroid game is to find a new item or ability that helps unlock new areas and Metroid Prime has that here too.

          I don't know if you hear yet, but there is a little glitch in some of the earlier copies of Metroid Prime. I experienced it too when Samus was riding one of the Chozo Ruins elevators, the game just froze up on me before she reached the top and I was forced to turn the system off. In fairness to Nintendo, it only happened to me once but it's better to be safe then sorry when or if you buy this game that it's not one of the defected copies. Ask the sales rep just to be sure.

          Metroid Prime is also compatible with that kind of useless Gameboy Advance to GameCube link adapter too. With this little gizmo you can download some of your Metroid Fusion data to a Metroid Prime game to unlock some special features like new suits and if you finished Metroid Fusion you get to play the NES Metroid on your GameCube. The only problem with that is you have to spend a extra 20 bucks for a link cable that only works on a weak hand full of games, the thing is really just a dust collector but that's for another review.

          The graphics in Metroid Prime are nothing short of stunning! The First Person view thing may seem a little strange at first but it sure makes this game look like a million bucks! I love the way the screen ripples when your Charge shot blasts away at a target, plus the Scan effects also alter your view to change things up a bit, it's looks very realistic. Other noteworthy things are the many things that get in the way of Samus's vision like alien slime, mist, and water, words can't describe how impressive it is to get something right in your face like that. Not only is the game super detailed with very diverse landscapes (although some of trees and snow banks look a little blocky) but the frame rate is really smooth too, I'm pretty sure this baby runs at 60 frames per second. The action only slows down when there are too many baddies on the screen at once but that's fairly rare.

          Speaking of your enemies, the world of Tallon IV is filled with lots of them. Remember those spiky wall climbers, or those pesky suicidal bugs that explode on impact from the other Metroid games? They're back in this game and they are beautifully detailed in 3D (most of them are still ugly though of course). I also love the attention given all the animations, it was really freaky seeing those bugs that pop out of the ground and caw their way towards you. Metroid Prime also has some killer looking bosses like a giant plant bug with razor sharp claws powered by ancient sun mirrors. Although you don't see Samus a lot in the game, you can view her sometimes during intermissions and when Saving your game, her suit looks amazing with a nice amount of glare and detail. The action switches into a third person perspective when Samus transforms into her Morphing Ball mode (X button) and there is even some cool lighting trail effects created simply by moving around.

          I was very surprised by the sounds in MP, not because it sounded cool and all but a lot music in here is from the past Metroid games. Fans should instantly recognize many of the remixed tracks from Metroid and Super Metroid (sadly no Metroid II music though). The sound effects were really impactful too with lots of cool loud shots from the various lasers, plus we can't forget about the tons screaming aliens on the other side. It also really helps if you actually hear a enemy making lots of noise especially if one of them decides to strike from behind like I pointed out earlier.

          Metroid Prime is not like most First Person shooters you played before, this game involves a lot of searching, jumping, and even some puzzle solving besides the usual shooting. Although it's weird that Retro Studios didn't go all the way with the First Person craze and do the first ever Metroid multi-player (or even Metroid Online, eh?) but you can't win them all I guess? There better be a GameCube sequel though so people could really get excited by Metroid again and add the features I just mentioned, eh? None of this wait a decade crap Nintendo!

          If you hate First Person Shooters then I recommend renting this game before you invest your cash right away but chances are if you are a hardcore Metroid fan, you will love it anyways. New comer Retro Studios still did an absolutely fantastic job with their game here and if you don't fall in love with the liquid smooth graphics or heart pounding sounds, then maybe the addictive game play will lear you in. Like the past Metroids, I couldn't stop playing it until I did everything possible there is to try out and believe me it's gonna take awhile to beat this one. It's not really better or worse then the awesome Super Metroid but I'm glad there is finally another Metroid, it's not fair that we should have to wait 8 years to play one, especially when the games are this good.

          METROID PRIME overall rating 93/100

          For 1 player only
          Rate (T) for Teen
          graphics: 9/10
          sound: 8/10
          gameplay: 9/10
          replay: 8/10

          -StarSoldier1
          (Ryan Genno) 2007

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            18.05.2004 04:19
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            It was at E3 in 2001 when people started to worry about this game. Shigeru Miyamoto himself stated that there would be no demonstration of the game due to ?personal concerns? and that the game would have to go through re-evaluation. However in 2002 the latest screenshots and test plays showed signs of it being a truly great game. Now people are claiming it to be the best game on the GameCube yet. Metroid Prime is the new addition to the popular Metroid series. While it was never that big in its home territory of Japan the Western gamers lapped up the adventures of the bounty hunter Samus Aran. Now Retro Studios has brought the series into a vast 3D world. Starting the game on a docking platform on a Space Pirate ship Samus is all set to infiltrate it. However it all goes slightly wrong as a huge explosion goes off and robs Samus of nearly all of her abilities. She then lands on a nearby planet hoping to reclaim her abilities and also to put a stop to the Space Pirate regime. Before the views on the graphics, sound and gameplay are written about I?ll start with the control system ? something that has caused a certain amount of interest in its design. Unlike other First Person Shooters, Metroid Prime has no ?free look? system so you cant look around and fire at the same time. It may sound strange but works well in concept and there are reasons for this. A big reason being that, while maybe having the C stick as a free look control may have worked in other shooters, in Prime there are so many different controls the joy pad needed to be used in every conceivable way so that if you wanted to use something you didn?t have to go to a menu and choose but it was right at your finger tips. The other reason being this isn?t a FPS anyway. It is best described as a 2D shoote
            r in a 3D environment. However combat is actually very simple. This is thanks to Nintendo?s use of ?L targeting? first used in the N64 Zelda. Holding down the L shoulder button will make you ?lock on? to an enemy making aiming that bit easier and works well against one-on-one as well as multiple enemy combat. When you hold down the L button you can also strafe around enemies using the Control Stick for the usual movement and pressing the B button can make you jump sideways if you are being targeted. It may initially take some getting used to but thanks to the mini tutorial at the start of the game you will soon settle into it. As Samus progresses she will find her abilities which take up the additional buttons. An important ability you have from the start is the Scan Visor. Using the D pad and pressing either up, down, left and right you can use the Scan Visor to pick up various bits of information by using the L button to lock on to the targets. Scanning plays a crucial role throughout the game and some puzzles can only be solved by the use of this. There are also other Visors such as the Thermal Visor and the X-Ray Visor and controlled by a specific direction of the D pad. At the start of the game you will only have your Power Beam. Further on you will acquire a Wave Beam, Ice Beam and the Plasma Beam. Selecting these is the same as the Visors but it uses the C pad. The Y button is used for missiles and, when in Morph Ball mode (by pressing X) used for power bombs. The R button is used to look around the environment and also to use the Spider Ball when in Morph Ball mode. All this, especially written down, can look very confusing. In practice is executed very well and you will, like the combat before it, get
            used to it. It also shows just how much difference pieces of equipment you have to play with and each one holds importance in either progressing or defeating certain enemies. The only one problem I have had is that sometimes in the heat of battle you may select the wrong Visor or Beam but it only takes a few seconds to re-select the correct one. Metroid Prime looks fantastic. Each and every environment has its own distinct look and feel and is mapped out brilliantly. The Chozo Ruins are cragged and bright with the distant sun overheard. The Magmoor Caverns are a mix of tight corridors and open pools of lava. The Phendrana Drifts is made up of high ledges made of ice and ruined structures. Though, admittedly, you could break this down to it being an ice/fire/normal type world it is what?s in each environment that makes each one so special. Pleasingly enough in a game of this size, save for the patterned structures, there are no repeated textures to be found in this game. Every bit of wall or floor is detailed differently which goes to show how much work Retro has put into this game and gives the game a much more realistic setting than having to see the same bit of wall about fifty times in the game in different locations. Lighting effects are superb, whether it be from your beams, when you curl up into your Morph Ball or using your Thermal or X-Ray visor they always impress. Enemies also look the part and the bosses that you encounter are absolutely stunning. The game is also filled with fantastic little touches. At the start of the game you can shoot asteroids in space. When it rains little droplets hit your visor and when you come out of water your visor will steam up for a few seconds. Come into contact with electricity and static will cloud your vision and when there is a big, bright explosion Samus? face will briefly refle
            ct back off the visor. Progressing through the world means you have to get through hoards of enemies and also solve puzzles. The creatures you face are varied in their attacks and all require a certain strategy and there is a large number of them. They may be simple things such as the giant wasps you can pick off with a quick blast from your beam or a little beetle like creature that can grip you while in Morph ball mode and then spit you out. Then there are the larger enemies such as the Sheegoths in the Drifts that will come charging at you and the only way to kill them is to shoot off their protective shell that they have on their backs. The Space Pirates are the most vicious and will lend out some heavy attack and some will even clock themselves making use of the Thermal Visor while later incarnations will see them using your weapons for themselves. The Chozo Ghosts are also particularly nasty and remain invisible for a large amount of time unless you use your X-Ray visor and your Wave Beam to destroy them. As said each enemy requires a different tactic. Then there are the bosses. Not only are they big but they are clever. Usually in these situations you pick a weak point and just fire. This is still true to an extent here but there are other things to combat with. For example the first boss you encounter can only be shot when there is a gap between what it is being held in making you constantly strafe around. Then another early one will feed off mirrors that reflect light that must be shot at but it gets increasingly harder to do when you need to shoot all four and the boss then hits them back. All in all combat is a satisfying challenge and its many ways to defeat enemies? means you need to be on your toes as to what weapon in your arsenal is most effective. Puzzles can be fairly simple, you may just have to shoot certain targets
            to gain access to higher ground while others will make you think a bit more and call upon certain skills and weapons that you may have in order to progress. As you enter a room there is always a brief hint as to where to progress if you are wondering where to go but how to solve it is left up to you. It is a change of pace which may not please some but I myself loved trying to figure out how to progress through the game. You are constantly rewarded in solving these puzzles either with a new ability or upgrade or just entering a previously sealed room. Indeed there is constant satisfaction to be had from the game and its all about exploration. There are many secret areas in the game waiting to be discovered for the discerning player and to complete the game properly you will need to discover them. Exploration has always been a key aspect in Metroid titles that and the feeling it gives you of being alone and isolated. Prime captures this well. You have no contact with anyone, there is no ?guide person? to tell you what to do or how to use a weapon, you are totally alone but it doesn?t spoil the game in any way it just makes it feel more intense and desolate which is what Metroid titles are basically about, you against the world. The game will take a good thirty hours to complete and possibly more so to discover everything. This is not just a massive game in terms of size of the world but in everything you have to do there. Not once, however, does it become a chore. Even when enemies re-spawn in rooms it may detract from making a believable world but you wont tire of encountering them. For people who have a GBA and Metroid Fusion you can also access the original Metroid to play on but only if you have completed Fusion. Likewise with Prime you can also have Samus battle in her suit she wears in Fusion in Metroid Prime. These are nice welcome
            additions to an otherwise generous game. Criticisms are few but, because no game is ever perfect, there?s going to be a few. When playing this game brush up on how to read a map because there is a lot of backtracking to do and it?s over immense environments. Backtracking is, however, vital to the game and indeed all over Metroid games before it because you use the new abilities you have acquired to reach areas you couldn?t before. It can be annoying and also daunting but because the map system is perfectly structured you shouldn?t become lost. There are points in the game, however, where you may question where to proceed next but a handy hint system is in place that points out areas to investigate though this can be turned off. The only other real flaw is the concept of scanning. This never bothered me because a lot of the information is worth reading and also useful but for people who just want to blast their way through the game then it can get tiresome. It is also needed to complete the game ?100%? and to get the third alternate ending so, for completists, it?s a big task to take on. For a game with such a seemingly troubled development it could have turned out to be 2003?s answer to Daikatana. However it seems we all should have had a little bit more faith with Nintendo and Retro. They have done what they did with Mario and Zelda before it and converted a 2D game into a highly successful 3D one. It is a joy to play from start to finish and it will take a while to do so for even the most hardened gamer if they want to discover everything. For people who want a shooter with brains, looks and a challenge then look no further. Best game on the GameCube? Possibly. Worth buying a GameCube for? No question. [9 out of 10] METROID PRIME IS Huge
            Challenging Breathtaking METROID PRIME IS NOT All about shooting A typical FPS A disaster

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              23.04.2004 16:06
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              Retro Studios, the developer behind 'Metroid Prime', was having a difficult time before the release of this game, the company torn apart by redundancies, release date delays and the scrapping of projects, mostly due to harassment by the perfectionist zealots we know (and love) as Nintendo. For a long time the future of 'Metroid Prime' was uncertain: early screenshots of the game were impressive, but it was unsure if the gameplay would come up to scratch, and do justice to the original 'Metroid' game and the classic 'Super Metroid' on the SNES. Things seemed to change when Nintendo intervened, however, and the game really began to take shape until, after months of intense anticipation, it was unleashed upon the world. And I can say for certain that it was worth the wait. As interstellar bounty hunter Samus Aran, you must enter Tallon IV, a planet once inhabited by the peaceful, indigenous Chozo, but now devastated by a sinister poison which has mutated the native wildlife beyond recognition. You are the saviour, prophesised by the ancient Chozo, who must pursue the evil lurking within the depths of Tallon IV. During your quest you will encounter various harsh environments, ranging from the freezing blizzards of the Phendrana Drifts to the fiery depths of the Magmoor caverns, all of which contain hundreds of evil critters you must blast your way through, including some very VERY big bosses. You start the game on the orbital platform of the Space Pirates, where you are shown the basics of the game, including the rather unusual control system. Unlike most first-person shooters, 'Metroid Prime' does not have dual analogue controls, which means you cannot move and look around at the same time. Instead you lock onto and strafe around
              enemies by holding down the L-button and using the control stick and you look around by holding the R-button and using the control stick. While these controls might seem difficult at first (especially if you are a fan of games like 'Timesplitters 2') they are really quite simple to master and actually make progressing through the game a lot simpler, allowing you to concentrate more on your objectives and less on aiming at enemies. The game actually handles very well, despite the odd controls; personally I think they just make this game even more unique: an example of 'The Nintendo Difference'. While shooting aliens clearly plays a big part in 'Metroid Prime', there is a lot more to it than this. The game is set out more as an action-adventure than a standard first-person shooter; instead of a series of set missions to accomplish, there are a number of different 'worlds' to explore, including a main overworld from which the other areas are accessible. While it is always made clear where the next objective is situated, 'Metroid Prime' does not give the impression of being linear, but seems to give the player a degree of freedom, as there are often different routes to reaching the goal. There is also an emphasis on completing puzzles and collecting upgrades, which might seem more suited to a role playing or adventure game. Indeed, the game has been described as 'a space-age Zelda', although I don't feel this is quite true. The environments you find yourself in are never anything less than hostile; there are few safe areas and no friendly characters to chat with between the action, like there would be in a game like 'Zelda'. Clearly, 'Metroid Prime' is a first-person action-adventure role-playing shooter. Or something. While much of the game is played in the first-person, S
              ;amus' suit has the ability to roll into a ball at the touch of a button, at which point the camera moves into a third-person view. While in the morph ball you can access areas that would normally be out of reach. You can also lay special morph bombs that can be used to open up new passages. There are a number of upgrades to be collected for the morph ball to increase its uses further, including the boost ball (which gives you bursts of speed useful for getting up ramps) and the spider ball (which lets you move along special magnetic track systems on the walls and ceilings of certain areas. 'Metroid Prime' is unique for a first-person game in that you view the game from behind the visor of the main character. One of the best touches of the game is the environmental effects on the visor. For example, in certain conditions the visor will steam up, get splattered with slime or become filled with static interference. If there is an explosion nearby, you can even catch a fleeting glimpse of Aran's reflection on the screen. As well as the standard combat visor, you will also obtain the thermal and x-ray visors, two very cool upgrades useful in certain situations. Also, to really complete the game fully, you will need to use the scan visor in every area you enter. The scan visor is used to activate switches, give information about the environment and enemies, and expose weak-spots in bosses. The more you scan, the more bonuses you get. The completeness of your logbook also determines which of the three alternate endings you get when you finish the game. The fun doesn't end there, however. If you own a copy of 'Metroid Fusion' for the Game Boy Advance and have a Gamecube-GBA link cable, you can link the two games together to unlock a bonus upgrade to your suit plus the full version of the original 'Metroid'; for the
              NES, which should come as a pleasant surprise to retro gamers. The graphics in-game are truly amazing, making the most of the Gamecube's hardware. The textures are nice and varied, and Retro's attention to detail is exceptional. Also, if you have a scart cable and a television supporting 60Hz refresh rates, you can enjoy a more flicker-free game, which helps you appreciate the fantastic visuals even more. In terms of sound, the game offers atmospheric soundtracks which are nice but which at times I felt to be little more than background noise. When the action begins, however, the music really picks up; the sound effects are overall very good. As for gameplay, you'll probably have gathered by now that 'Metroid Prime' definitely has lived up to its predecessors and has exceeded all expectations. This is a fantastically good game; words just cannot do it justice. While it does have a huge lifespan, 'Metroid Prime' is a single player game only - unfortunately there is no two player co-operative mode and you cannot challenge your friends to Metroid deathmatches. As an action-adventure, there was never really much chance of this, although it would have been nice. Metroid Prime 2, anyone? GRAPHICS: Breathtaking environments with fantastic effects. Unrivalled. SOUND: Good atmospheric soundtracks; but no masterpieces. GAMEPLAY: Truly masterful (once you get used to the unusual control scheme). LIFESPAN: The game will take weeks to complete, there are three endings to achieve depending on how thorough you are with scanning and there are numerous bonuses, including the original 'Metroid' for NES for people who also own a co
              py of 'Metroid Fusion' for Game Boy Advance. COST: As it is now a Player's Choice game, Metroid Prime will only set you back about £20 (or even less if you buy online) - this is great value for money for such a great game. VERDICT: This is one of the best games available for the Gamecube. It's a game you'll play through once and then keep coming back for more. If you haven’t already done so, go out and get this game right now!

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                16.01.2004 00:35
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                If asked to list the all-time greatest games of the 8-bit era, your response would undoubtedly include The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania. Of course, if you're a gamer worth your salt you'd also include the classic adventure game Metroid, one of the most influential games of its time. Released in 1986, the original Metroid was a sprawling science-fiction adventure that placed you in the boots of female bounty hunter Samus Aran. Your goal was to hunt down the parasitic Metroids and the leader of the nefarious space pirates, Mother Brain. Metroid was the definitive action-adventure game for its time, and its Super NES sequel, Super Metroid, is widely considered to be the pinnacle of the side-scrolling action genre. With such a stellar resume to its credit, it's curious that the gaming world has gone without a new Metroid game for over eight years. Samus has made a few cameo appearances here and there (most notably in the Super Smash Bros. games), but a new Metroid adventure has been sorely missing from the gaming landscape for too long. Until now. The Metroid dearth officially ended on November 18, 2002 with the long-anticipated release of not one, but two new Metroid titles: Metroid Fusion for the GameBoy Advance and Metroid Prime for the GameCube. Although it is highly unusual to see the release of two high-profile games of the same series on the same day, Nintendo has pulled this sort of stunt before with its two Legend of Zelda titles for the GameBoy Color, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. Metroid fans will undoubtedly purchase both games out of sheer delirium, as well as for the connection bonuses that are unlocked when both games are linked with the GC-GBA Link cable. Of course, the good news is that the wait has been well worth it, as both games are of such a fantastically high quality that Metroid fans should be satisfied for a very long time. This review covers Metroid Prime, but be sure to check out my review of
                Metroid Fusion as well which i will post on the this site at a later date as i am still writing it. Metroid Prime for the GameCube takes the venerable side-scrolling series into the third dimension for the first time. While a few classic franchises have made this all-important leap with grace and aplomb (Super Mario 64), many have struggled to retain their identity and appeal in 3D (Castlevania 64). This alone raises the stakes for Metroid Prime, but developer Retro Studios has gone even further with their controversial decision to turn Prime into a first-person shooter (FPS) rather than the standard third-person action game. Can Metroid work in 3D? And more importantly, can it work as an FPS? You could forgive my skepticism, and that of many other game players, based on the directions that Nintendo had taken their other top-name franchises, Mario and Zelda. But Retro Studios has escaped the clutches of Nintendo's first-party GameCube malaise to make Metroid Prime an outstanding game and a worthy heir to the Metroid name. In a word, it's superlative. Metroid Prime places you in the helmet (literally) of bounty hunter Samus Aran for her longest and most complex adventure yet. Though the game and manual aren't exactly clear, Prime appears to take place in between the first and second Metroid games. Some have suggested it occurs between the third and fourth games, but I can't tell one way or the other and to be honest, I'm not sure most people are even going to care. It's Metroid. In 3D. Satisfied? The game begins with Samus following a distress signal to a derelict space cruiser in orbit above Tallon IV. After a brief tutorial you begin to explore the cruiser, and after fighting a few skirmishes the auto-destruct mechanisms are triggered. Time to escape! The old flee-the-exploding-installation part of the game is fairly extensive and could take you up to six whole minutes to complete, especially if you're struggling with
                the controls. It sure is exciting, though! After that you'll land on the surface of Tallon IV to continue your investigation. The game is played from a first-person perspective, but the play mechanics differ quite a bit from most other console shooters. Movement and turning is handled entirely with the left analog stick, and you have to press the R button to look above or below you. This means you can't look and move at the same time, a standard feature of nearly every FPS game. But after playing Prime for an hour or two you'll begin to realize that the setup works fairly well. Pressing L near an enemy will put you in lock-on mode, in which your cross-hairs will stay fixed on an enemy as it moves around. This makes all but the toughest of enemies very easy to kill, and allows you to circle-strafe around them and dodge their attacks. Samus fires her beam weapon with the A button (hold down to charge) and jumps with the B button. Playing Metroid Prime will feel a little weird at first, especially if you've been enjoying Halo, Red Faction II or Timesplitters 2 recently. But despite the drawbacks everything works remarkably well with a bit of practice, from aiming and shooting to platform jumping and puzzle solving. The yellow C-stick, which might have been used for free-look, is instead assigned to switching between the weapons on Samus' cannon arm. Pressing in any of four directions will select from Samus' four beam weapons (power, wave, ice and plasma) once they're available. The Y button fires standard missiles and the X button sends you into Morph Ball mode, complete with third-person perspective. Additionally, beam-missile combos can be acquired that combine your beam weapons with your missile reserve, allowing you to unleash some devastating (and cool-looking) attacks. The flamethrower attack looks particularly awesome, and these attacks finally provide you with a reason to find all those missile tank upgrades. Contro
                lling Samus in Morph Ball mode is a lot of fun, especially when you acquire the Boost Ball upgrade that lets you scoot along at high speed. You'll be amazed at how well Retro was able to integrate Morph Ball puzzles into the layout of each area, but I'll talk about that further down. The directional pad is used to switch between Samus' helmet visors, which, aside from looking extremely cool, are used extensively throughout the entire game. You can see the fringes of her helmet along the edges of the screen, as well as a cool heads-up display on the shield of her visor. (The opacity of both can be tweaked to your liking, thankfully.) Her initial visor is the Combat Visor, which displays information concerning energy, missile reserves, enemy positions and map location. Later on you'll acquire the Thermal Visor and X-Ray Visor, which let you see in the infrared and x-ray spectra, respectively. The Thermal Visor is used mainly in low-light environments and to sniff out hidden power conduits, while the X-Ray Visor allows you to see through breakable walls and find hidden platforms. Both produce very cool visual effects with no impact on performance, and it must be said that no other game has come this close to producing the in-the-helmet feel. Your visor will even get fogged up when you walk past a steam pipe and will get coated with gunk when aliens explode too close to you. It's really cool. In addition to the Combat Visor, Samus begins her quest with one other visor, the Scan Visor. Turning this visor on reveals a number of orange and red "scan points" that are otherwise invisible. Holding down the L button lets you scan these points and decipher its contents. Some of these contain story-related information while others will activate doors and platforms. Scanning enemies will often reveal their weak points, and this is crucial to do during boss encounters. Important information will be downloaded to your log book for saf
                e keeping, which you must fill out completely to unlock one of the bonus image galleries. Scanning objects in the environment like this is a very logical thing to do and it makes you wonder why no one else has thought to do it before now. Samus will glean bits and pieces of the overall story by deciphering date from space pirate computers, and this auxiliary information makes the game much more engrossing than it might be otherwise. This tends to slow the flow of the game down just a bit, but sets a comfortable pace for the game that most people will likely enjoy. Even though it is in glorious 3D, Metroid Prime still employs all of the classic puzzle elements for which its predecessors are famous. This is no small feat, as Metroid just might have been the most complex game to translate into three dimensions. There are six expansive areas on Tallon IV tied together by long vertical access shafts, just like the good ol' days. Puzzles involving the Morph Ball, Space Jump and Grappling Beam are all well-thought-out and integrated into the environment to such a great extent that you'll stop thinking of them as discrete elements. There are even a smattering of subtle half-pipe puzzles that require you to use the Boost Ball upgrade in creative fashion. Secret passages are a little easier to find in Prime, as they are often revealed by a scan point that details how to get around them. (For instance, obstacles made of Bendezium can only be destroyed with Power Bombs.) These are perhaps the most well-designed 3D environments to date, a fact you'll come to appreciate after only a few hours of game time. While much of each level is linear in nature, there is still a lot of room for you to explore to your hearts' content, and there are no "forced" events like there are in Metroid Fusion. The top-notch level design is complemented by incredible visuals, as Metroid Prime is clearly the best-looking GameCube title to date. Just about ever
                ything is excellent, from the lighting and particle effects to modeling and animation. The impressive game engine runs at an unwavering 60 frames per second and even supports progressive-scan displays. Samus's reflective battle armor looks fantastic, and she sports some pretty cool animations. The environments are the real star of the game, as they look so organic and natural that you don't even realize that there are platforms to jump on and walls to bomb. Because the game is broken up into bite-sized rooms, Retro Studios was able to pack each one full of interesting terrain and minute details, like broken pipes shooting off steam or a school of fish encased in a wall of ice. There is very little repetition between rooms as well, which is very impressive considering the scope of the game. And of course the visor effects, which I've already mentioned, look awesome. The only real negative I can point out is that the textures tend to smear pretty badly when you look at them closely, a problem which plagues most console FPS games. You probably won't care all that much though, as the game looks absolutely beautiful otherwise. The one area where the game doesn't keep pace is the audio, which is disappointingly weak for such a high-profile next-generation title. The musical compositions themselves are fairly decent, and fans will surely recognized the re-worked Norfair theme that plays in the Magmoor Caverns, as well as the tranced-up version of the main title theme. The music generally recedes into the background quite well and helps set the tone for each area. The problem is that much of the music doesn't sound much better than a typical SNES game and has a decidedly MIDI-ish quality to it, which is completely unacceptable for a game released in 2002. Sound effects are similarly weak and muffled; explosions in particular are unconvincing and lacking in bass response. The game supports Dolby Pro Logic II, but this is a complete waste cons
                idering that many AV receivers (including my robust Sony model) don't support this rather obscure sound format. Your average Joe Schlub might not care, but audiophiles will likely be disappointed in the audio performance they get out of Metroid Prime. Retro Studios has done a fantastic job of bringing the Metroid universe to life on the GameCube, and the game is fun and engaging throughout. I did have a handful of problems with the game starting with the control. I greatly prefer the freedom that dual-analog control affords in a first-person shooter, and I found the control in Metroid Prime to be a bit restrictive by comparison. The lock-on mechanics work well for small enemies and groups clustered in tight corridors, but they become quite cumbersome when fighting multiple enemies in a wide open space. (Battles against multiple Beam Troopers just aren't any fun.) And once you're locked on you're almost guaranteed not to miss your target, all but eliminating the thrill you'd get from defeating a tough foe with manual aim. The lock-on system is absolutely necessary in the games many boss battles as it's the only way to dodge their attacks. The only problem here is that most of the boss battles are rather easy, but the last three are monstrously difficult and quite frustrating. The developers could have provided a smoother learning curve leading up to these boss battles; I smashed my controller up pretty badly fighting Meta Ridley. The game succeeds in spite of these drawbacks, but they're worth mentioning all the same. Audio issues and control quirks aside, Metroid Prime is an excellent game that has finally convinced me that my GameCube purchase wasn't a waste of cash. It's stellar visuals and superlative level design, coupled with fantastic puzzle integration, make this one of the most engaging games of the year. I'm still stunned at how well the Metroid gameplay has translated into a 3D first-person shooter
                and I think the vast majority of Metroid fans are really going to enjoy this game. And if you buy both new Metroid games, the unlockable NES Metroid will make you appreciate just how far games have progressed since 1986. Metroid Prime is hands-down the best game available for the GameCube and I recommend it highly to just about everyone. Don't miss this game or you will be missing an experience like no other you have had. A must have for any game cube owner.

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                  15.01.2004 06:00
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                  Metroid Prime is a must have game, with very high ratings from magazines and other noticeable sources it truely lives up to its name. The game is a first person shoot em up and is set in the distant future, where all humans have been wiped out and all hope depends on one human life that was lost in space. Survived in a hi-tech metal armoured suite, with the cool abilities to change into a ball and fire unlimited bullet and limited missiles, the human has to take on the other life forms that have in inhabited the planets remains and destroy the monsters and machinery that stands in the way of a pure earth. Together with also building your own knowledge of the planet and its inhabitants by scanning anything that could be of use,you slowly come to understand piece by piece what actually happened and why. As the game progresses the game gets harder and the suit upgrades your receive get cooler and cooler helping you on your way for the ultimate battle. With great graphics and easy game play this game is a definate must have if you enjoy shoot em' ups and adventure games. The controls are easy when you get use to them and you could never get as much satisfactory as rolling round in a ball and bouncing off any thing that stands in your path. I dwfinately recommend this game, and give it a personal rating of 5 out of 5

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                    19.08.2003 02:33

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                    One of The Gamecube Greats - Advantages: Good Graphics, Long Gameplay, Great action clips and movies - Disadvantages: Controls, Audio

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                    06.07.2003 13:44
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                    • none!

                    Well well...if it isn't Samus once again, returning to the small screen a decade after her debut. Only this time, bigger, 3D, and better than ever (so to speak). Even though at first Metroid was never too keen to my eyes, this one certainly got my attention while watching a kid that came up to my waist give his best attempt at playing it at a Toys R Us. *Ahem* Soon there after, it found a new home nestled in my underwear drawer. More so, the drawer where I put all of my Gamecube goodies. Not knowing what to expect, I popped the little disk into my cube, which in turn looked like a morph ball from the game (aww...how cute). Following that, I turned it on, sat back, and here's what happened: An explosion, followed by my Gamecube erupting in flames and melting a hole into my floor, and ultimately crashing into my garage in a heaping pile of goo. Ok, so not really. Instead, I was entertained by a nice introduction movie. After about the first 5 minutes or so, the game had already seemingly wrapped its way around my brain and took full control, drawing me in farther and farther. My first sitting was probably about 4 hours long. I say 'probably' because I went into a state of "video game unconsciousness" while playing. And yes, that is a good thing. As for the game, what can I say? Metroid Prime is a definite action/adventure role. Some people claim it is a first person shooter, due to the fact that Retro places you behind Samus's visor, instead of that stone age 2D hoopla. Who needs it anyhow. However, most players were in for a surprise as they soon discovered how action packed the game is. Constant blasting, non stop exploring, infinite amounts of new creatures and bosses, etc. As key in the original Metroid series, exploration is emphasized. You won't be spending the midst of your time blasting ground beetles with your arm cannon, but more so exploring the vast lands that Retro has created. Everywhere yo
                    u go there is a new door to be opened, new tunnel to walk down, etc. Taking on a Zelda style physique, the game also intertwines puzzles, most of which require you to obtain some new item before their completion. And getting to that new item requires that you obtain a different item...ahh the horror! And this brings me to the next part: the graphics. Ahhh the graphics. Possibly the best made thing in the game. What am I saying, they ARE the game. Metroid Prime definitely pushes the cube to its limits, with its very nice 3D graphics rendering system. They are perfected to the finest detail. While walking under or near waterfalls, the mist collects on Samus's visor. Likewise while it is raining, the rain sprinkles and patters against you and everything else. The lands are vast, stretching for miles. Each has its own "theme", I guess you could say. From snowy lands, to dark gothic morbid places, to jungle type worlds, etc. Basically everything in the Lord of the Rings combined into a small two inch wide disk. On top of that, everything IN the lands is detailed down to the centimeter. Plants each have their own texture, as do the creatures in the game and the grounds that you are walking on. In fact, while equipping your X Ray visor (which I'll get to in a minute, so hold on Charlie), you can see the skeleton that makes up all of the different enemies, and even points out their weak spots. Not to mention the game is HUGE. As I said earlier, if you're into hiking the Alps, this game is right up your alley. It is basically just one long, gigantic level, that stretches out for who knows how long. If you were to walk from one end to the other, I bet it would take you a half an hour. "A half an hour? Pssh, that's not big," you're thinking. Oh yeah? Just picture it for a second. Jogging for half an hour straight. "I still don't believe you." Ok, let's do some swift mental arithmetic. The average man runs
                    at about 7 miles per hour. Therefore, meaning the game would be almost 4 miles long in real life. Now that is a lot of information to put into a video game. Anyway, as I said, the graphics are beautiful. Heck, you even get sun glare if you look upwards into the sky, not to mention it reflects off of your nice spiffy suite. X Box eat your heart out. An arsenal you say? Big guns? Explosions? You've come to the right place. Samus Aran packs a punch. Included in your array of big boy toys are things like a wavebuster (cannon that shoots out something from Ghostbusters), a plasma beam (just sounds cool), and an ice beam. And yes, it does shoot out a liquid nitrogen substance that freezes your enemies solid. Mmmm.....frosty. You can also upgrade all of your shiny bludgeons by getting missile expansions, that make your nice shiny arm cannons even nicer, and shinier. I won't give away too much, because discovering new toys to play with and getting cooler things is just half the fun. However, counter parting your way cool tools are those nasty space pirates. "Hey Bob, what in the name of Saint Joe is a space pirate?" Well Charlie, space pirates were the main focus in the original Metroid series. They look like a cross between a walking grasshopper and one of those things from the movie Starship Troopers. Scary, huh? They should be, as in the game they are the most annoying thing you will ever encounter. Making them even more annoying, are the fact that there are different kinds. Some can be killed by only certain weapons, some are stronger than others, etc. Oh! And it gets better! They fly too. Aside from them, there are hundreds of different insects, plants, things that look like they came from Star Wars, and bosses. The game is just unreal. Also, you can obtain a variety of different visors along your quest. Such as: infrared, X Ray, etc. They identify different things, reveal hidden objects and passage ways, all the fun stuff. Oh, can't
                    forget your scan visor. "A scan what?" A scan visor, silly. Basically, Retro decided to go gun hoe happy in the details section (as stated earlier). Your scan visor will bring up a small rectangle, which when moved over any object (say, a ground beetle) will bring up a red square type design. This means that you can scan it, and collect information on whatever it is. It will reveal information about the enemy, or how to open a certain door, pretty much anything and everything. In fact, some of your scans will be paragraphs long, explaining the myths behind the game's plot and things. Scanning is one of the most tedious parts of the game, but also one of the most interesting. Probably why Retro spent a good 7 years making Metroid Prime. "Wow." The audio section is just as up to par as the visual part. Each weapon has a distinct sound, as do all of your foes. Also, each of the different lands has its own unique music theme, and some of the old style Metroid sound track titles are brought back to life. Very nice. Combining the puzzles and worlds of Zelda with the level design of Half Life, and splashing in the graphics of Halo, Metroid Prime is possibly the first flawless game out for the cube. Intertwined in the game is a good 25 hour play time required for completion, and it gets better: it has 3 possible endings. "3 possible endings? Naaah..." Yeeaaah, it does. This depends on things such as: what did you collect? How many of these do you have? Did you find this? And also if you collected all of the Chozo Artifacts. "Huh?" Never mind. As you can see, Metroid Prime isn't a game for the squeamish, or you timid gamers. You must be as serious as a seal to complete this baby. Don't plan on having a few 15 minute sit downs every so often. Basically, a sit down for Metroid Prime is just that: a sit down. You sit down, and you play..and play....and play....etc. Ok, so you don't play
                    THAT much, but there will be at least a half hour or more evolved in each sitting. And, after you beat it on normal, you can go back on hard for a whole new array of puzzles and more difficult endings. Ahh..the possibilities. The game really never gets old, with constant new worlds and places dying to be explored. Combining all of this into one would force me to rank Metroid Prime a 9.8 on my "cool-game-o-meter" (10 being the best). So, for all of you ultimate serious gamers that want a new challenge ahead, Metroid Prime would be the next on my list. For you guys, it's prime time. God speed. ~Shibby

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                      15.06.2003 01:47

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                      Good! - Advantages: Good Graphics, Good Sound, Good Story - Disadvantages: Alot of backtracking, repetitive

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