Author Topic: Metroid Prime  (Read 3123 times)

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Offline Feep

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Metroid Prime
« on: February 07, 2003, 03:32:28 PM »
Overall Score
10 / 10

   I'll admit, I never was a huge Metroid fan. Having never played the
original and only barely touched Super, I wasn't really sure what to expect when
a GameCube version was announced. I'm a fan of adventure/action games, but for
some unknown reason, Samus Aran never really caught my eye. When I heard Retro
Studios, of all developers, was creating the new Metroid in FIRST-PERSON
PERSPECTIVE, you better believe I had absolutely no plans to get my hands on
this surely-to-be-a-repeat-of-Star Fox Adventures. As fate would have it, some
friends thought it "looked cool" and bought me it for the holidays...and I've
never been so wrong.
   I don't enjoy stealing quotes, but an editor in EGM said something that
stuck with me..."It's as if Retro Studios went six years into the future, took
the best game available, and brought it back with them." I have never seen such
a complete package in a video game before. The game begins similar to the way
Super Metroid did; explore an abandoned space station above the main planet, and
get out before the damn thing explodes. It immediately bombards you a tidal wave
of emotions; from desolate loneliness to heart-stopping suspense to (if you
really get into it) pure terror. A great beginning...but it doesn't stop. You
expect it to, but it doesn't. I've never seen a game keep such a pace as Metroid
Prime; you're constantly wanting to sit down with your Wavebird (What? You don't
have one? Fool.) and fight that next boss.
   The gameplay is similar to previous incarnations of Metroid, despite
the unfamiliar first-person scheme. I must reinforce that this game is NOT a
first-person shooter. Okay, well, technically it is, since you're in the first-
person viewpoint and you shoot stuff, but the focus on the game is definitely on
exploration and adventure, NOT shooting. You explore the world of Tallon IV,
where the Chozo, the race who raised Samus and gave her the shiny suit you like
so much, has been wiped out by a mysterious substance known as Phazon. The Space
Pirates, after you busted 'em up in the first Metroid, fled here to try and
develop weapons applications of Phazon. As you'll see later, they did a good
job...anyway. You traverse one of five HUGE (as in....utterly MASSIVE) areas of
the world, finding upgrades to your suit to allow access to different paths. The
story is implemented in a surprisingly effective manner; the use of a Scan visor
allows you to learn about just about anything and everything on Tallon IV, as
well as the history of the Chozo and the Space Pirates. For those who are
purely-action minded, just...don't scan anything. You can choose whether to
uncover the rich lore behind the events of Metroid Prime, or blow through
without bothering. Brilliant.
   The controls of Metroid Prime have been criticized for lack of dual-
analog control, but those who do so are too locked-on (ha ha) to the standard
first-person shooter button layout. The controls are spot-on, intuitive and
effective at the same time. The tight first-person action is complemented by the
ridiculously cool Morph Ball system; the camera zooms out into third-person as a
complex and elegant physics engine guides your sphere throughout the game. You
have no idea how fun it is until you try it.
   With no immediate option to change difficulty level, Retro Studios had
better get it right the first time. Of course they did. In terms of enemy
difficulty, it seemed like I'd always be about to die when I just barely make it
to the next save point. Sometimes you die, but you get a better idea of where
the enemies are trying to ambush you from, and how to better combat them. The AI
is impressive, as is the variety of strategies you need to kill the myriad of
monsters throughout the game. Boss battles are nothing short of epic, and while
they seem a bit easy early on, they get really, REALLY challenging later. Not
impossible. Challenging. The game world is a huge labyrinth of rooms and
hallways, so the game uses an ingenious map system to guide the players to their
next destination. It isn't too revealing, and the hard-core can turn it off, but
the map itself is an indispensable tool for navigating Tallon IV. I have never
seen such a stylized and flat-out awesome map. Ever.
   I'm just going to come out and say it...Metroid Prime has, quite
possibly, the best graphics of any console game I've ever seen; certainly the
best on the GameCube. Running at a perfect sixty-frames per second with no
slowdown, the amount of visual effects on the screen at one time is mind-
boggling. The visor system (which you can alter the transparency of) is amazing.  
The regular visor gives vital information, all around the edges, while managing
to not obscure your view in any way. The thermal visor, obtained later in the
game, gives an infra-red picture of your surroundings; once again, highly
stylized and attentive to details. It's near black in the Phendrana (snow)
Drift, while it's almost blinding in the Magmoor (lava) Caverns. The X-ray
visor...I'm not even going to say anything. Buy the game and find the X-ray
visor, and it'll be worth your fifty bucks. Textures are high-res, aliasing is
very impressive, Samus's suit looks amazing, polygon counts up the wazoo,
progressive scan mode for you HDTV users...walking through a jet of steam and
seeing your vision cloud up, or looking up at the sky and watching raindrops
splatter against your visor just show how much detail has been put into this
game.
   Sound? What do you expect? Retro Studios, once again, went all-out.
Encoded in Dolby Pro-Logic 2, the quality is a good as you're going to find. The
chilling, dynamic music is extremely appropriate and helps fill out the
atmosphere of the game. Sound effects are extremely varied and crystal clear;
there are actually different sounds for the Morph Ball rolling across different
types of metal surfaces. In the very beginning of the game, during a (very)
short tutorial area, the sound of a force field deactivating is enough to make
even the most inattentive of gamers sit up and take notice. Superb.
   As for length, the game lasts for quite a bit of time. You can finish
the game when the clock says about twenty hours, however, this does not include
time lost due to death, map viewing, cut scenes, pausing, and a whole bunch of
other stuff. The brilliantly hidden missile expansions are enough to make any
gamer come back for me, and three different endings just increases the incentive
to find them. The game offers numerous galleries and a hard mode after you beat
the game; severely ramping up the challenge. Two hidden secrets, one a hidden
suit and the other the original Metroid for NES, are unlockable through use of
the GameCube-Game Boy Advance connection with Prime's sister game, Metroid
Fusion.
   Have I slathered this game with enough praise yet? Probably not.
Playing the game is a complete experience I cannot hope to describe with mere
words; you owe it to yourself to run out right now and buy this game. From
graphics to gameplay, from story to sound, Retro Studios has quite possibly
produced the best game ever made...and who wants to miss out on that?
Al' Ellisande, Al' Ellisande. Arek du arest cont alle axio, te arira.

Offline PIAC

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Metroid Prime
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2003, 01:41:22 AM »
you jerk its not like i didn't want the game enough allready, now you had to make it sound like gods gift to gaming =\ curse you australian release dates cuuuuurse yooooooou!!
well done btw