Saturday, 30 January 2010

Metroid Prime Nintendo Game Cube Review

I'm sure by now you have heard of the Metroid Prime Trilogy that is set for release in September and I am sure that you are very excited to play classics such as Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3 Corruption.
Well, why wait for that to come to come out at retail price when you can play those games for less already?

Single Player
The game has you take the role of bounty hunter Samus Aran who is on a quest to destroy the evil that lurks in planet Tallon IV. But it won't be easy, to do this she has to once again stop the space pirates and their leader Ridley.
The game is set just after Super Metroid, for all those who don't know the Metroid Prime games fill the gap between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.


Well what can I say, when the game was first shown a few years ago people didn't think much of it, they looked at it and thought "meh, doesn't look like anything special" little did they know of the impact that this game would have.
The game is a first person adventure, for those unfamiliar with the term I'll explain it like this. Imagine that Super Metroid was in 3D, now imagine that it was in first person, yeah, sums it up well.
Unlike most first person games Metroid Prime doesn't use the C-Stick to aim, which does seem quite odd to most hardcore FPS fans, same goes for the controls, instead of using the shoulder button to fire you use the A button.
To aim you press and hold the R button, this lets you look in all directions whilst standing in one place, if you do not use the R button then you can only aim 360 degrees.
The game also has a lock on feature to help with your targeting, to lock on to an enemy you press and hold the L button.
To jump you just press B.
Like I said this control method may sound strange for a first person game but trust me it works really well, in fact I'd go as far as to say that it betters all other FPS games on the GameCube in terms of control.
Like all other Metroid games you unlock new abilities and weapons as you go on through the game.
So you have classic Metroid abilities like the morph ball and grapple beam.
The morph ball plays a big role in the games mechanics and you will find yourself using it on several occasions such as solving puzzles and getting through small spaces.
The morph ball can also be upgraded further so that using it never gets repetitive. In all you will have a lot of fun playing with balls.
One of the games better features is one of the new mechanics, the visor.
The game is in first person so you will always see things through the eyes of Samus Aran, the way that this has been done is genius.
For starters we have the battle visor, this is your standard view. The screen is filled with bars and numbers that you may or may not understand. The Battle Visor lets you fight enemies as you normally would, it also tells you small details like how much health you have left, how many missiles are left and what weapon you are using.
The second visor is also the games most interesting feature, the scan visor. In this mode you cannot attack enemies. The scan visor is used to gather information and data, to switch visors you use the D pad.
When using the scan certain objects and creatures will have an orange/red symbol appear on them, this means that they can be scanned, to scan look at the object/creature and lock on using the L button. All scanned data is then added to your log book.
I like the log book feature because not just does it explain the creatures and the science of the Metroid universe but because it also gives you a good understanding of the games story. Most games try to tell the story through dialog and cut scenes, this game tells the story through journals and lore, I that counts as dialog but the best thing about it is that you don't have to read it if you don't want to, in other words the story isn't shoved in your face link with most games.
You also have two other visors in Metroid Prime, first is the thermal visor which lets you view things in heat vision, this visor is ideal for dark rooms, it is also useful when fighting certain enemies.
The last visor is the x-ray visor, this do what it says in the name, its an x-ray, you can use it to see invisible enemies, to see through dark rooms and to find hidden doors and rooms, the only problem with the x-ray visor is the range, you cannot see very far when using it.
Next up is the weapons, in previous Metroid games weapons were combined to created more powerful attacks, this time the developers have decided to try a different method this time, now instead of mixing the weapons you swap them, this brings quite a few new features to the gameplay, for example you need to use certain weapons to open doors.
The game has four main beam weapons in total, to changed beams use the C-Stick.
First is the power beam, this is your standard beam which you start the game off with, this beam is pretty week at first but it can be powered up through upgrades like the charge beam.
The second weapon is the wave beam, this beam has an electrical element to it. The beam has the ability to paralyse enemies, activate electrical outputs and open purple doors. There are certain enemies who can only be damaged with this weapon.
The next beam is the ice beam, just like in past Metroid games the ice beam has the power to freeze enemies, and the beam can also open white doors. The beam does have a fault though, it has a really slow firing rate so you are likely to miss most of you shots when using it.
The last weapon is the plasma beam and this is by far my favourite weapon, for starters it is heat based so it has the power to turn enemies into a pile of ashes, which is really really cool.
The other great thing about this beam is that it is the most powerful of the four. The beam can be used to open red doors.
Metroid Prime is a huge game, once you have played it you will feel as if you have been on Tallon IV yourself, there is a load to see and there is hardly a dull moment.
A lot of the game will stick with you forever, the power-ups, the scenery, the bosses ect.
Saying that though I only have one complaint to make with this game. Sometimes the game makes you do huge amounts of back tracking, this can at times be annoying.
In all Metroid Prime does have some length to it and it should last about half a day. But that’s not all the game also has some replay value.
You may not know this but once completed Metroid Prime is can be linked to Metroid Fusion on the GBA to unlock new content.
"What kind of new content?" you ask, well how about playable fusion suit and the full version of the original Metroid for the NES, that should add to the games length as well.
Oh yeah there is also Hard mode and art galleries to unlock as well.
So yeah you will be playing this for a while.
Let's not forget that classic Metroid replay value as well, once you have finished this you will want to play it again in an attempt to better yourself.

Graphics and Sound
The GameCube was quite well known for its graphics, some first party titles looked amazing at the time and Metroid Prime is no exception. The GameCube was never quite pushed to its limit so consider this (and Zelda Twilight Princess) to be the GameCube's Graphical peak.
As for the sound, well let's just say that the music is as good as the graphics. The games music is perfect, it fits perfectly with the areas in the game, not much more can be said.


This game is more or less perfect, easily one of the best games ever made and arguably the best game on the GameCube.

+ Did what it set out to do
+ Looks amazing
+ Sounds Amazing
+ Plays flawlessly
+ Cool features and extras

- Backtracking is annoying


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