In recent years everyone has been going on about the Metroid Prime series, sadly through this has taken attention away from the 3rd person Metroid games.
But with the recent announcement of Metroid: Other M at E3 it is only right that we take a look at one of the best games on the Gameboy Advance, Metroid Fusion.
The game is set at the end of the Metroid timeline, and Samus finds herself once again on the surface of planet SR388 after being hired by the Galactic Federation to overlook research being done by the B.S.L (Biological Space Labs).
The biological research was going well until Samus came into contact with a creature she had never encountered before...
Samus soon found out that her attacker was a newly discovered parasitic life form known as "X".
After the incident she decided to return to base when disaster struck, her body suddenly seized up, to make matters worse her spaceship was drifting into an asteroid belt.
Thankfully an auto-escape pod ejected her from the craft before collision. Her pod was later found by the research station that orbited SR388. How ever in the time since the infection the "X" had multiplied inside her power suit.
Samus was transported to Galactic Federation HQ for emergency medical treatment.
All hope seemed lost for Samus, then a miracle happened.
Someone found a cure, by using the cells from a Metroid the "X" that infected Samus were instantly destroyed.
For Samus one life ended and another began as the Metroid vaccine cased her appearance to change dramatically.
When Samus awoke Galactic Federation HQ received a distress call from the research station.
Samus then immediately left HQ for the research centre to investigate...
Metroid Fusion plays just like Super Metroid, so anyone who had played it will feel right at home.
Metroid Fusion is a 2-D adventure game, the games goal is to explore the space station and regain abilities for the power suit.
You use A to jump and B to fire from your arm cannon.
The games hit detection is spot on, if you shot touches the enemy in anyway they take damage, the same goes for you.
When using the blaster you can aim up and down diagonally using the left shoulder button. You can also use missiles by holding down the right shoulder button.
Throughout the game you will gain new abilities such as the morph ball and speed boost.
These power up's are all needed at some point in the game, they can all be put to good use if mastered, for example with the morph ball you can use bombs to jump if you learn the correct technique then you can chain bomb jumps and get to hidden areas, another example is the boost technique, once you have the speed boost you can use it to more or less fly at super sonic speeds, to do this you have to crouch when boost running, you then jump straight up and go in which ever direction you choose,. Like I said if you want to obtain as many upgrades as possible then you better learn to put your abilities to good use.
In the other Metroid games you gain health and ammo by absorbing items, in Metroid fusion you recover by absorbing "X" parasites.
There are about 5 different types of "X" in the game, there are Yellow (Health), Green (Missiles), Red (Recover large amount of Energy and ammo), Blue (Damages you if you don't have the varia suit) and Core.
The core "X" is what gives you your abilities back, to absorb core "X" you have to face a boss, there are many bosses in the game, some are new and other you may remember from past titles.
The games boss fights are great, no boss is the same, they are all unique and they all have their own weaknesses.
In the game you are guided by your personal computer throughout the mission, you can contact him by using navigation rooms, it's important to use the navigation rooms as they update your mission and give you map data.
If you happen to get lost in the game you can always look at the map, to view the map pause the game..
Metroid Fusion isn't that long a game if you want me to be honest, you should be done with it in a few hours, but it does have a redeeming quality, Metroid Fusion is addictive, it is one of those games where you test yourself, when you complete the game you get given a time and item percentage, you are then rewarded with some artwork of Samus. The picture changes depending on how well you have done, for example if you are a master at this game you can see Samus without her suit doing a pose.
Like I said it is a game where you test yourself to see how quickly you can complete it. I have completed this game about 5 times now and I still haven't beat the time I got a few years back (1Hr 57Mins with %52 items), the game can consume you.
Another good factor for this game is the fact that it can link to Metroid Prime on the GameCube to unlock content such as the Fusion Suit in Metroid Prime and a playable version on the original Metroid.
Graphics and Sound
The games graphics are pretty good, the sprites are clear, but the thing that really makes this game look impressive is the cut scenes they look so well drawn when you consider the fact that this is a Gameboy Advance game.
The games sound track is great as well and it really sets the tone for the game and it can make the game really intense.
Seven years on this game is still incredibly enjoyable, a good game to get if you are looking for a good action game on the GBA or if you are a fan or if you are new to the series.
+ Stunning Gameplay
+ Great Graphics
+ Brilliant Story
+ Good Challenge
- Too linear for some.
Note: Some time after I wrote the review I was able to better my old time by a good 20 minutes or something like that.