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- On a distant planet known as Tallon IV, where a deserted space station leads to a nightmare discovery -- the Metroids have returned, mutated and more powerful than before!
- You'll play Metroid-hunter Samus, as you fight through tunnels against the deadliest creatures in the galaxy
- Use bombs, missiles, lasers, and your ability to morph into a ball strategically, as you navigate a desolate planet filled with deadly corridors
- You'll also be able to wear new suits that give Samus all-new powers
- Flawless camera angles, fantastic 3D graphics, and massively detailed game worlds all combine with gorgeous cutscenes that advance the story
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Samus enters a mysterious derelict ship on the unexplored world of Tallon IV to investigate Space Pirate activities. She has thwarted their dastardly efforts before. She stopped them from amassing an army of Metroids and she kept Mother Brain from retrieving the last known Metroid larva. Now she must face the Space Pirates once again in an all-new adventure.
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2017
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With that said, I am in a total minority here, but I just didn't love this game. I wanted too -- I couldn't wait to play! But I'm also definitely an adventure gamer, and not a FPS gamer at heart, so maybe that's why (for those of you screaming, "It's really an adventure game" I have to disagree -- I've played Halo, and this is definitely an FPS, although with a few adventure/scenery touches here and there).
But it's a gorgeous game and certainly worthwhile to many seeking a great game -- so, just in case it helps, here's my list of pros and cons to help those of you on the fence:
* The Heroine and Story -- It's intricate, cool, and intelligently presented -- and with a kick-butt heroine in Samus. There's a haunting quality to the atmosphere of this game -- you really get a sense of entering another world. And the story -- which you glean bit by bit, by scanning your environment, prepares you for a heroic destiny.
* The Beautiful Visuals -- This game is gorgeous to look at, and it's obvious that the makers created every aspect with a lot of care. Look up and watch the raindrops plop onto Samus's visor. Or run through a room of steam and watch the inside of your facemask bead up realistically. Each plant and animal is lovingly rendered, and each world -- from desert ruins to lush jungles, ghostly underwater environments, lava pits, and ice caps, is lovingly and gorgeously presented.
* Gameplay and environment -- There's a massive world to explore here, and much fun to be had. And learning to use Samus's many tools is surprisingly seamless (although it does get complex by the end). It's rich, fascinating, and really intelligent -- easily a game spanning dozens of hours for all but the fastest gamers (especially if you go after every additional module or weapon enhancement).
OK, now, THE BAD:
* The endless freaking RETRACING -- The world in Metroid Prime is beautiful, thank goodness, because you will be looking at it over and over again, as you retrace your steps to go back and forth for this or that item, task, or save station.
* The Save Station Format -- The spaces between save stations -- especially as the game progresses and the stakes go up -- seem to increase. They are often really hard to find, and located only after hours (yes, hours) of really tough fights, enemies, bosses, mini-bosses, you name it. I actually spent HOURS trying to get to the next save station in the Phazon Mines, and the game nearly had me throwing things after my seventh failed attempt to reach the next save station (I kept dying right before the door after over an hour of tough fighting, thanks to the diabolical invisible robot sentry on top of zillions of tough enemies).
* The constantly respawning enemies -- I can't tell you how tired I got of walking out of a room, walking back in, and having to face the same stupid enemies I just defeated all over again. Worse yet, as the game progresses, and you defeat more bosses, those same bosses also "respawn" in all those old areas you've already been to, so that you are constantly refighting enemies you already beat (and they get tougher and tougher and tougher). While others posting here say it's "just a few rooms," that's not really accurate -- the respawning applies to almost all rooms, with the exception of a few minor cubbyholes or corridors.
This took a lot of fun out of the game for me, felt repetitive, frustrating, and mean-spirited, and frankly just seemed like a transparent way for the game creators to add some mileage and playing-time to the game. I hated this. (And wait til you meet those annoying Chozo Ghosts -- who pop up over, and over, and over, and over again in rooms you must revisit -- sigh.)
* The controls -- they're superb, but also pretty complex (and in the heat of battle, finding, "oh, shoot, I swiveled the controller left-for-the-heat_weapon-when-I-meant-to-go-right-for-my-wave-weapon--!" etc can get pretty tiresome. By the end of the game, you'll use every single stick or button on your controller. In some battles, you're so busy switching visors, and switching beam types, while also trying to strafe, jump and look up (in an unusually clunky aspect of the gameplay, Samus cannot simply "look up" even at a towering enemy, so this also means that locking onto these enemies is sometimes a real challenge as well).
* The increasingly difficult boss battles -- At first, I really enjoyed the bosses in Metroid Prime, because they were hard but not impossible -- they took smarts as well as just mashing the old A button, really refreshing. But just after the halfway point, they begin to get so difficult they aren't fun. It took me an entire day to beat Thardus, the boulder-boss, for instance -- an incredibly frustrating boss to beat.
Also -- another major point of annoyance for me here is that so many of the bigger boss battles are essentially the same: Hit the creature/pirate etc with some specialized weapon, or wearing some specialized visor to that level, then do it over and over and over and over again. The boss loses a "piece" of armor, of rock, or of health -- and then you do it all over again. And again. With the boss getting quicker or nastier or tougher all the while. Until the boss is dead. I'm sorry, but this got really old with me. (I got all the way near the end of the game a few days ago, to the Omega Pirate Boss, before I quit after half a dozen attempts and very little forward success. I just wasn't having fun anymore. And because of the nature of the game, naturally if I ever go back to try to finish, I'll have to replay that whole final section all over again.)
My hope here isn't so much that people listen to my gripes, but that maybe they'll help you figure out if you'll enjoy the game or not. If you are more of an adventure gamer than a combat player, someone who enjoys story, character interaction, with less emphasis on battles, you might try renting Metroid Prime to see if it clicks.
But if you like the FPS viewpoint, lots of smart nimble battling, with the occasional stop for breath in a beautiful if rather lonely universe, then this game is definitely for you.
There were no Metroid games for the N64, so the bar for this game was set by Super Metroid--one of the best games Nintendo has ever released. On top of that, this was the first attempt at a 3D version of a Metroid game. Naturally, I was worried that it would disappoint. It doesn't.
The controls are brilliant. By the time you get started, it'll take you all of 15 minutes to master the controls, which gives you the rest of the time to marvel at the stunning graphics, seductive soundtrack, and brilliant level design.
Words can't adequately describe the look and feel of this game. Turn off the lights, get comfortable, turn the game on, and you'll get sucked right in. The game designers have successfully created a world that you will feel totally immersed in. Just don't forget to eat food and take bathroom breaks.
Stop reading this review and buy it already. You won't be disappointed.
By SnakeVenom on July 7, 2017
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 4, 2021