Metroid Prime (2002)

Video Game   |  Action, Adventure, Horror


Metroid Prime (2002) Poster

A Space Pirate distress signal draws bounty hunter Samus Aran to Tallon IV, a world she discovers is being consumed by a terrible poison.


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31 August 2004 | AnotherFuture
Halo + Myst = Metroid Prime, One of the Best Games Ever!
I never thought I would actually get Metroid Prime back in 2002. I thought I would get Super Mario Sunshine or Wind Waker (which was released the next year). I gave it a rent and it really sucked. I never played any of the Metroid games before Prime, nor did I ever hear of Metroid in the first place. One day, I went to the EB store in the Falls in Florida. I played Metroid Prime, which was on a Gamecube demo disc, wondering "what the hell is 'Metroid'?" before playing it, and BEHOLD! I played what may be the BEST GAME EVER! I was awestruck by how beautiful the graphics were, how innovative the gameplay was, how beautiful the soundtrack, the sound, everything. I HAD to get that game. Luckily, I got it as a holiday gift in around November-December, and it was good.

You play Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter who must investigate the "Great Poison" released throughout Chozo Ruins, which is among four different planets connected to Tallon Overworld through elevators. You defeat Flaagra (a giant plant creature that grew from the Great Poison) and you get rid of the Great Poison but you stumble across information of Space Pirates mining for Phazon and a creature known as "Metroid Prime". Then you must backtrack and find the twelve Artifacts scattered everywhere to get to Impact Crater and kill Metroid Prime.

Your travels take you to a Space Station (which crashes after you defeat the Parasite Queen), Tallon Overworld (which is a hub connecting four different planets through elevators; it is also the site of the Artifact Temple and the crashed Space Pirate Frigate), Chozo Ruins (where the Great Poison was released; home to the Chozo Ghosts, who were ghosts of the warriors of Chozo [they slowly get annoying as you backtrack through Chozo {at least you don't do it a lot}]), Magmoor Caverns (which is a giant group of caves with lava and flames; it is the home of the Magmoor, which is a series of fire-breathing dragons living in the lava), Phendrana Drifts (a snowing, freezing area which is home to the Sheegoths and its children, which were one of the greatest monsters in any game), The Crashed Space Pirate Frigate (a crashed spaceship crashed to water, which serves as a quick route from Tallon to Phazon Mines; it is accompanied with the best music of the soundtrack), Phazon Mines (a bleak, industrial area where Space Pirates are mining Phazon; is home to the Metroids [the jellyfish-like creatures that suck energy and play a major part to the story]), and the Impact Crater (home of the great Metroid Prime).

I liked the gameplay, which was a rare case of innovation in a new era. It fused the action of a first-person-shooter game with the depth and exploration of point-and-click adventure games such as Myst. You shoot a bunch of aliens ambushing you and then you put on your Scan Visor and you walk around all the rooms and you scan certain areas of importance. There are other visors, such as the Thermal Visor (you see things through heat) and the X-Ray Visor (where you see in the dark). That is how you learn the story in the game. There are no cutscenes (except when you approach an area or access an elevator), and you learn a story through whatever you scan (especially from the Space Pirate Data [which details what the Space Pirates are doing] and the Chozo Lore [which details what happened to the Chozo ruins]). You use the Morph Ball ability to go through small areas and solve puzzles. There are many suits and beams. There is the regular Power Suit (which you start off with in the game), the Varia Suit (which protects you from heat), the Gravity Suit (which lets you walk in water), and the Phazon Suit (which protects you from Phazon). There is the Power Beam (the normal beam you start off with in the beginning), the Charge Beam (a charged shot from any beam, the Wave Beam (which attracts and kills Bombus), the Ice Beam (which freezes enemies. You must use an Ice Beam and a Missile to kill a Metroid), the Plasma Beam (which melts frozen ice and is the most powerful regular beam), and the Phazon Beam (where you stand in a pool of Phazon in a Phazon Suit and you use your Plasma Beam to suck in Phazon and shoot powerful spurts of energy). There is also the self-explanatory Missile. You then get missile combos for each regular beam (the Super Missile for the Power Beam, the Wave Buster for the Wave Beam, the Ice Missile for the Ice Beam, and the Flame Thrower for the Plasma Beam). You can change beams and visors on the fly by pressing in the D-Pad or in the C-Joystick. This may pose as a problem to those used to the controls in Halo where you change camera with the C-Joystick in the Xbox, as you turn around completely. There is also a lock-on system with the L and R buttons.

The soundtrack and sound was good. I liked the screams and groans of the aliens you kill in the game. The music is very good. It is the best in Phendrana Drifts and in the Space Pirate Frigate. The only part where it may pose a problem is in the fight with Mecha-Ridley. It is cheesy 80's-ish rock in the fight with Mecha-Ridley. It does pose a problem to few people while I consider it as a tribute to the cheesy soundtracks of older Nintendo games (I played some old Nintendo games after Prime). There is no spoken-word dialogue (except for the "EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY" voice heard in the Space Station level and Samus's scream if she dies), but alien speak and soundtrack.

Value-wise, the game had to end somewhere. There is no avoiding it. There is no multiplayer (whether it is split-screen or online, it is good without multiplayer), there is no downloadable content. It must end, which is why the game is absolutely long and vast. You can take multiple paths through. It is still very good if there is no multiplayer or downloadable content, and it won't kill in ratings. To top that off, there is no slowdown at all. Sheer beauty and detail is crammed into one disc, and there is no slowdown. Usually, games that high of caliber are crammed into two or three disks with bits of slowdown. It does the impossible. Ironically, Gamecube does not have as much graphics as the others, yet they can cram that big a game into one disc. If you beat the game, if you link it with Metroid Fusion, you will play the original NES Metroid game (I played it. It was alright but you must get used to the password system). You play Prime with the Fusion suit if you do vice-versa.

When the game was released, it existed in the shadow of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As a result, the game did not sell very well until in 2003, when GTA began to cool down. It went from sleeper to cult-favorite to smash hit in a long course of months. I am very happy it sold enough copies to be a Player's Choice title, which sealed the deal as a smash hit.

I can't wait to get Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It will have a different story. It will have multiplayer (I'm split on the bizarre choice of adding multiplayer to #2). I hope it will duplicate the smash hit Metroid Prime was. However, it will exist in the shadow of Halo 2, which is a sequel to a game that has been a chart best-seller for three years. Hopefully, MP2 will have a good chance at the spotlight.

MP is the best game on Gamecube and one of the greatest games of all-time. I even played the older games (I played all of 'em except Super Metroid. I liked Prime better than the 2D games, although they still are great [I sort of consider M2 for Game Boy the black sheep although it is decent]).

My Score: 10/10

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Details

Release Date:

18 November 2002

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA, Japan, Mexico

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