ACDCGAMER reviews Metroid Prime

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by ACDCGAMER, Mar 17, 2010.


    ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 11, 2010
    United States
    <div align="center"><!--sizeo:6--><span style="font-size:24pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->ACDCGAMER reviews Metroid Prime<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div>

    <div align="center"><img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>

    <div align="center"><b><i>"Brilliant? Amazing? Phenomenal? Sorry, but words simply cannot describe the masterpiece that this game is."</b></i></div>

    Back in E3 2001, a new Metroid game was announced, quite huge news at the time because no new game in the series was made since Super Metroid back in 1994. While it could be expected that fans of the series would give this new Metroid considerable hype, it, expectations were surprisingly low for various reasons. Perhaps the most important ones were because of the game’s 3D and first-person perspective, along with the fact that the trailer wasn’t that impressive, perhaps because of how God-awful Samus looked when she was revealed at the trailer’s end. Apparently, the game’s development cycle didn’t exactly go so smoothly, especially since Retro had to cancel their other 4 games to focus on the game. In short, gamers weren’t happy about what they saw, and it was almost certain that the game was going to, well, suck.

    Man, I can only imagine the looks on their faces, their jaws dropping all the way to the floor, when Metroid Prime was released to widespread critical acclaim, becoming one of the greatest games of all-time. Despite the backlash from Metroid fans, Retro did the impossible and made Metroid Prime awesome. But I’m rambling on too much! Now to the actual review…

    One more thing before I begin: You may come to an early conclusion based on screenshots or videos that Metroid Prime is a first-person shooter, but please, don’t do that, because this game is not like Halo. Despite the significant first-person shooting elements that are present in Metroid Prime, it has many puzzles to solve, many places to explore, a bunch of items to collect, and epic boss battles which have been staples of the series and what make the Metroid games so damn fun to play.

    The game takes place entirely from Samus’ point of view as she explores many different areas of a planet known as Tallon IV after receiving a distress signal from a frigate belonging to the Space Pirates, aliens that Samus hates to death and serve as antagonists. It’s as if you’re exploring many different worlds of their own on the planet itself, whether you’re trekking through a lush rainforest, ruins in a desert, volcanic caves full of magma, or a snow-filled canyon. Each of the environments you explore are filled with stuff to do as you travel through them, whether it’s a cool gadget to add to Samus’ arsenal, an epic boss fight (which can really get quite epic, actually), or a plot-advancing event. This isn’t some casual walk through the park, however; you’ll be shooting the hell out of every creature you come across, many of which are hostile and will attack you on sight. Some enemies are stronger than others, and as you continue to progress through the game you’ll unlock new items to use to unlock new areas as well as deal with your adversaries more effectively. Even as you become stronger, so will the new enemies that you encounter; some require more planning and strategy to defeat, as you may have to switch between different weapons and use different combinations of items in order to exploit your enemy’s weakness or weaknesses and become victorious. You may find Metroid Prime to be quite similar to the Zelda series in terms of how its overall gameplay works, but the two definitely have their differences which give them their unique strengths.

    Unlike other shooters, Metroid Prime goes with a one-stick control system as opposed to two, and I will say that it can be awkward to control the game due to its unique control scheme. Fortunately, however, the game’s learning curve is actually quite small, and you’ll be able to get a hang of the controls in no time as you eventually figure out how each of the buttons works effectively. While your only control stick is used for movement, you may be worried that this will hinder your combat skills. Not to worry, my friend! Retro Studios has implemented a lock-on system for this very reason, and will be your main way of combat. If you are looking at an enemy or target you want to shoot, the game will prompt you that you’ll be able to lock on to them with a targeting reticule: this is done by pressing and holding the L button, which will cause you to lock-on to your desired target. This is a must in order to fight enemies, and what’s also useful about the lock-on system is that you can strafe around your enemies, quickly dash to the side to dodge attacks, and quickly switch your lock-on to other targets adjacent to your target at your own will, which I find to be very useful when dealing with a group of enemies. Overall, it is a simple, yet superb combat system which will leave you very satisfied as you take down that giant monster or kill that group of enemies surrounding you. It’s awesome, really.

    Now, I had said earlier that the first trailer of Metroid Prime didn’t really leave me that impressed when I saw it, but Retro seemed to notice and completely revamped the game’s overall visual design, which was a bold yet very well-executed move. Metroid Prime’s graphics are simply breathtaking overall, featuring excellent particle and visual effects, sharp texture work, and awesome character models which are for the most part animated very nicely. Along with such great art direction, you’ll be simply captivated by the sheer amount of detail that is present in the game, all at a rock-solid 60 frames per second with progressive scan support to give you an incredibly smooth gameplay experience (with no slowdown as a bonus). This is only slightly hampered by a few drawbacks; some textures tend to become blurry when viewed up-close, and some parts of the game could really benefit from bump-mapping technology, but these are only minor complaints. If you can get past these issues (which I’m sure you can), the excellent visuals and strong game engine will just pull you right in.

    Accompanying Prime’s visual appeal is its audio work, which is truly one of the biggest strengths of the game itself. The game’s atmospheric soundtrack – composed by Kenji Yamamoto himself – is extremely effective not only by accompanying the various environments of Tallon IV, but also by augmenting the mood or moods set in these areas. While the soundtrack is done in MIDI, this is not a rushed job, as each of the beautiful melodies will leave you in varying degrees of sentimentality as you keep moving or fighting your way through different enemies. For those of you who have played the earlier games in the series, you may be stricken with a wave of nostalgia as you hear some of the classic melodies beautifully recreated in Metroid Prime. Thankfully, Retro Studios also did an equally superb job with creating and implementing all of the wonderful sound effects which happen to be present in the game, none of which are out of place. As the icing on perhaps the most delicious cake ever created, Metroid Prime also feature Dolby Pro Logic II support to please those with surround sound systems.

    So, there may be some of you who are still skeptical that this game is really that awesome, let me change your mind. Along with the excellent shooting/fighting mechanics are puzzle and level design which are rivaled by only a select number of games. Varying in complexity, the puzzles can range from relative ease to a real mental challenge, but you’ll become easily hooked trying to solve each one you come across in order to move onwards, most of the time collecting a really cool item in the process to try out and enjoy to death. With the variety of enemies and mini-bosses, truly epic boss battles, a compelling story complete with cinematic cutscenes to boot, you may find it very hard to put the controller down – you just want to keep going as you continually find new places to explore, gradually become more powerful, and kick a lot of ass.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Closing Comments<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Metroid Prime is a truly immersive, addictive, beautiful, and wonderful game that deserves at least one playthrough from every gamer in the entire world. Once you get the hang of the controls and how the game works in general, you’ll find yourself playing one of the most phenomenal games ever created, ever.

    This action-packed adventure is by no means a short game, either – you’ll spend at least 20 to 30 hours just trying to complete it the first time around, and even more time to collect every item that there is. But even when you’re done with the game your first time, you’ll be compelled to play through it again and again thanks to the game’s unlockables, including a harder difficulty mode, art galleries, and even some extras obtained by connecting a Game Boy Advance with Metroid Fusion inserted to unlock a new look for Samus and even the original Metroid itself, which are nice bonuses indeed.

    Sure, the game isn’t without its flaws, but they are so minor that I doubt they do even the slightest thing to ruin the experience. This game will easily please both the fans of the series and newcomers alike, and that’s an extraordinary achievement when you consider the rather unstable development process that Metroid Prime went through. Kudos, Retro Studios: you guys have really made a work of fantastic art.

    <!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><u>Ratings</u>:<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Presentation</u>: <!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro--><b>10</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    The most well-executed transition to 3D since Ocarina of Time, Metroid Prime features a fantastic menu system, is extremely polished, and is simply well-done from start to finish. Well done, Retro Studios. Well done.

    <u>Graphics</u>: <!--coloro:#00CC00--><span style="color:#00CC00"><!--/coloro--><b>9.5</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    A truly beautiful game with stunning visual effects and environments which will leave you gazing in awe, running at 60 frames per second with progressive scan support. Some blurry textures here and there slightly hinder the game’s visual splendor, but your jaw will drop to the floor the very second you gaze at the screen.

    <u>Sound</u>: <!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro--><b>10</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    One of the most ambient and beautiful soundtracks ever created, with an equally awesome array of sound effects really help the game come to life. Topped with Dolby Pro Logic II support, and you have yourself one hell of an audio experience.

    <u>Gameplay</u>: <!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro--><b>10</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    An unparalleled combination of action, exploration, and puzzles create one of the greatest action-adventure games ever made. Even with this change of direction for the series, this is Super Metroid in 3D and still retains the qualities that make it a true Metroid experience.

    <u>Lasting Appeal</u>: <!--coloro:#009600--><span style="color:#009600"><!--/coloro--><b>9</b><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->
    An adventure that will take you 20-30 hours just to complete, and much more time to collect everything. With a nice amount of unlockables and a harder difficulty mode, you’ll be hooked for quite a long time.

    <b>Overall Score</b>: <!--coloro:#00BFFF--><span style="color:#00BFFF"><!--/coloro--><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->10<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--><!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--> (Masterful)
    (out of 10 / not an average)


    Note: I reviewed this game before, but I don't think that I did that review justice, so here is the new and improved version! Sorry it's also really long, but I really wanted to be thorough with my review of my favorite game ever. I hope you guys like it, and I look forward to do more reviews for you guys! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
  2. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    I wouldn't give it a 10/10, but it just wasn't really my game. They're (the Prime games) aren't bad by any means and are definitely quality, but I'd take the 2-D games over them any day of any week of any year.

    It's nice to see a fellow "wall of text" reviewer [​IMG]

    ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 11, 2010
    United States
    Thanks a lot, dude! Sorry if it looks like I'm ripping off your style of reviewing, but I just like to do my reviews IGN-style. What review are you planning on doing next, just wondering?
  4. DeltaBurnt

    DeltaBurnt I'm bored

    Feb 21, 2009
    United States
    Where intellect matters
    I'd probably get it a 9. The series seems to get lesser "inner, self scores" from as it goes on. Like I like the 1st the best, the 2nd the second best, and the 3rd the 3rd best. And uh...I won't comment on hunters...

    Also, it's nice to have atleast one or two pictures in there (especially if you're like me, and are not a person who can easily explain pictures in words).
  5. trans am

    trans am Advanced Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Incredible game, the imagination of the puzzles and layout of the levels is something to behold, my only grip was really with the chozo collect-a-ton.