Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 12+
Posted: October 4th, 2003
By: Webmaster-Josh
Metroid Prime is the ultimate name in science fiction adventure. But is it the ultimate name in video game development?
Could there have been improvements? Here's the full review!
Sound

There are plenty of sound effects to satisfy anyone. There's a wide variety and they blend well with the music; barely
becoming repetitive. There's the metal clanking of the floor in the Phazon Mines and soft stone in the Chozo Ruins, and
there's extra sounds for jumping and landing. There's different effects for each of the four beams, so they all sound
unique. Enemies emit different battle cries, which are pretty easy to distinguish from each other, and it just all sounds
natural. There's barely any voice talent, but it's not like I expected much.
The music is well composed, but there aren't too many tracks. The music was all created by the man who created all the
other Metroid music (Kenji Yamamoto), so he knows exactly how to place each song. The music selection may be
somewhat small, but they are very well done and are not redundant. Metroid fans will recognize some songs from previous
games as remixes that are superbly blended. To top the sound off, there's Dolby Pro Logic 2 Surround which sounds
excellent!
Control

This game is a blend of adventure and first-person shooting, but more adventure. The controls may seem awkward, to
those who are used to FPS games, at first. A is shoot, B is jump, Y is for firing missiles, X switches to Morph Ball mode
(third-person), L for locking on and for grapple beam, R for aiming, + Control Pad for switching visors and the C Stick for
switching beams. Those are for standard mode. The controls for Morph Ball mode are different. A is set bomb, which blows
up stuff and allows you to jump, holding B for Boost Ball, Y for setting a Power Bomb, X to switch to standard mode
(first-person), and R for Spider Ball.
Let me explain the standard controls a little more. You can hold A to shoot a more powerful shot than just pressing it,
which can do a bit more damage accumulatively. If you have the ability, you can double-jump by tapping B, but you'll have
to time your jumps carefully, which takes a while to get used to. Since you don't have the option to lock-on by simply
pressing L instead of holding like Zelda, you're hand can get sore during boss fights. It gets annoying to have to constantly
hold L while fighting. R for aiming is actually good, because you use the control stick while holding R instead of the C
Stick. You'll have to memorize which beam is which so you can activate it quickly. The C Stick was actually a smart choice
because you don't have to cycle through weapons like FPS games once you know where they are. It may seem confusing,
but you'll adjust quickly.
The Morph Ball is fairly easy. The challenge is trying to use the Morph Ball bombs timing so you can get to secret stuff,
but the developers purposely made it difficult. What can get frustrating is the Boost Ball. It is annoying because some
areas are at such a height that it may take a while to get up, and the fixed cameras in those areas don't help. Sometimes
you can't tell how close you are to where you need to climb up to because of the fixed cameras. Still, it isn't that big of a
deal; you'll learn to get over it.
The menu designs are good when paused, and the game loads at a pretty fast rate. You can see everything you need to on
your visor and they don't impede your progress. This is a nicely well designed game, control-wise, with only minor control
problems.
Graphics

This game has gorgeous designed areas with very high polygons and
framerate; nothing out of the ordinary there. What is really stunning is
the artwork. The nicely done pieces of art can be seen everywhere
throughout levels. The amount of detail to surroundings is incredibly well.
They didn't just make the levels and stop. They added all sorts of scenery
to make each destructed area seem naturally correct. If you look at where
you walk, you'll see cracks and the ground and other abnormalities that
spruce up the effect it has on the player. Lighting effects also seem very
accurate.
So many people were on the art team and they collaborated to make a
visual stunner! The 3D look is new, but well done. The graphics will absorb
players in dark corners, and shock players with dramatic effects. And the
different visors give the game an even sweeter look, and there's large
amounts of detail there, too. You'll want to play this twice just to see the
amazing graphics.
Replay

It took me exactly 21 hours to complete the game 100%, but I had several instances where I died before getting to the
next save point so I really played much longer. Even after you beat the main adventure, try to see if you can find all the
upgrades completing your game 100%. Then start a new file and see if you can beat it on Hard mode. Then start a new file
and see if you can unlock all four Image Galleries. There is just so much to do!
There's also connectivity bonuses like the sleek Fusion suit from Metroid Fusion and the ability to play the original NES
Metroid through the game. That features an automatic save only taking 1 Block on your Memory Card! How cool is that?
And you're sure to be pleased with the four Image Galleries. You can scroll in close to each picture or view the whole
image at once. The beautiful artwork is displayed in an easy to follow menu.
Backtracking is somewhat essential, but not as tedious as you might think. Most of the backtracking is only required if
you're trying to beat the game with 100% items. Little backtracking is required for those just trying to complete the
game. And of course, three endings are in this game. The ultimate (third) ending is seen only when you have 100%
complete and after beating the final boss. This definitely keeps player in suspense for the sequel because it leaves us
wondering what we just saw. The best goal for any player is to unlock all four image galleries, which means you basically
complete everything in the game. There's no multiplayer, however. This lowers the score slightly, but this game won't get
old fast anyway! There's always the sequel for multiplayer modes!
Design

Metroid Prime is based on FPS games, but has more adventure elements to it. This game is just amazing on the design.
The combination of adventure and shooting is flawless. You'll feel like you're traveling through an incredible journey
right through Samus's eyes. It feels very real, creating great suspense in some areas. It feels like a first-person
adventure really, with minimal shooting elements. Shooting bad guys is fun because it takes skill to aim at the right time
for certain enemies.
The levels aren't extremely huge, but they satisfy. The way the developers designed the levels is innovative. Each level has
several 'rooms' so to speak. Each area in a level is classified as a room on that level, even if it is in a wide-open area.
There is no main overworld (Although Tallon Overworld acts like one) because even Tallon Overworld has some
challenges, and you'll have to travel through some levels to get to others, anyway. The way they connect everything is
new, but a great way to travel. It's easy to adapt to this style, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
The AI is great. Enemies are programmed to know where you are in each room, even if you're at a higher elevation. In
some rooms, you'll be on the second floor of a two-floor room when the enemies are down below and once they note of
your presence, will hunt you down. The suspense builds as you await the approach of a Space Pirate ready to destroy you
(or vice versa). The boss battles can be severely tough as well.
Accompanied to the great game is a good storyline. You'll scan for messages. Some will be clues to upcoming events,
others will be data written by the Space Pirates and the Chozo about you. Whatever the case, the word choices are good
and set the mood of the Chozo and Space Pirates toward you. The design has stayed true to the Metroid series, and sets
the standards for great action/adventure games for any console! This also sets the standards for excellence from a starting
company. The development team, Retro Studios, hasn't had any game prior to this. I can't wait for the sequel in 2004!
Scores
Sound

9.0
Control

8.8
Graphics

9.9
Replay

9.0
Design

10.0
9.3
Final Words

I really cannot see much wrong with this game except for the fact that some people will have to get used to playing a while
before finding a save point sometimes. Other than that, this is one of the best games for Nintendo Gamecube. I strongly
urge all GCN owners to buy this incredible game and prepare to emerge into a fantasy world that you won't want to forget!
And an even bigger plus-It's only $20!