Metroid Prime (Gamecube)
Developed by Retro Studios
Published by Nintendo
Released November 17, 2002
Review Written July 26, 2010
Multiple gadgets at your disposal
Being lost half of the time
Not being able to see where you will land when you jump
Last part of game frustratingly hard
Never one to miss out on discovering new horizons, I decided to take a chance and try out Metroid Prime. I’ve never played any of the other Metroid series but because I’ve heard many good things about them, I decided to take a go at this one. Metroid Prime originally was released in 2002 exclusively for the Nintendo Gamecube, and later released on the Wii in 2009.
This was the first Metoid game I’d ever tried so I had no idea what the story arc was before playing the game. So I looked up some info, and this game supposedly takes place between the original Metroid on the NES and Metroid II on the gameboy. The story of this game starts off with Samus following a fleet of pirates to a space station. Once there you get use to the controls, battle some baddies, and eventually lose all of your equipment as you flee to a near by planet. Once there you discover that some sacred beings known as the Chozon use to live on the planet but mysteriously disappeared due to some evil entity. Even worse is that the space pirates are using this evil entity in experiments on the local creatures of the planet. Its up to Samus to stop them and destroy this entity. That said, the story overall is pretty interesting, but of coarse there is no spoken dialogue. All of the story is told through data that you scan with your scan visor, and there is a lot of stuff to scan. Almost everything in the game is scan-able, from the weapons you’ll find, the bad guys, and even the health packs.
Nintendo set this game up as a first person shooter, though it felt like a futuristic version of Goldeneye on the Gamecube. You run around and shoot all enemies that you encounter. There is a free aim option or you could use auto aim, though switching between enemies is quite tricky. Also, when you are in free aim mode you can’t walk around or move at all. At times it also feels very stiff, and you feel like you are walking around in a full body cast while trying to save a planet, but you get use to it. You adapt to the game, almost like adapting to getting lost within the world of Metroid Prime, and you’ll get lost a lot. Sometime the objectives in the map don’t update so quickly so you’ll be walking around aimlessly for a bit.
There are also times when you have to go all the way from one end to another, even though you’ve been there three or four times. The game is basically one big mystery. Solving one puzzle, getting a new piece of equipment, or fighting a new boss in order to get onto your next objective. The map is fairly huge, and it sometimes gets annoying that you have to go all the way back to a place you were half an hour ago. Most the time there aren’t shortcuts, and when there are, there has to be some tough enemy at that shortcut. The game does good job with how the environment, your weapons, and the enemies in that area interact. An example is the Ice Fields you find later on. Many of the ice enemies are weak against ice’s normal enemy, heat. So yeah basic concept but I like how they implement it.
There are a couple of bosses in the game and none of them are a stroll in your neighborhood park. Each have their own weaknesses and each are difficult. The next boss more difficult than the last. Even more interesting, is that each boss fight is a puzzle in its own. To defeat them you must find their tricky weakness, and if you can’t solve it you’ll end up dead and cursing at the television like a madman. That said, the later bosses are insanely hard, and not just the bosses but the monsters in the later levels get really difficult to defeat. It gets frustrating, but if you keep your patience up you can strive to defeat them all.
When I started playing this game, I really wasn’t all that interested. In fact, for some weird reason it gave me headaches playing the first hour. I don’t know what it was, but the HUD display looked funny to me at the time. But soon after getting a couple hours into the game, I started enjoying the experience and the headaches disappeared. I wanted to get further into the story, and get all of the plasma cannons possible. I really liked how they made this game play out, but man were the last couple of levels a roller-coaster of rage. Not only did I spend half of the game slightly lost, but I accepted being lost. I got use to it, but when the last levels got super hard I began to get frustrated really quick. A couple monsters were able to instantly kill you out of no where.
Even worse was that they tried to add platforming to certain parts of the game and I wouldn’t have minded but platforming in an FPS is quite strange especially if you can’t see where you are landing. Many times have I tried jumping from platform to platform, and because I can’t see my feet I over jump the platform. And again, the last levels are insanely hard. The bosses are just pure evil, and super hard to beat. I think it took me almost an hour for the last boss but because it was so difficult, it felt worth it when I eventually beat it. Even though it had a hard ending and some problems with jumping, I really enjoyed Metroid Prime. So if you need something to play while on your Wii, or if you want to dust off a Gamecube you own, pick up Metroid Prime and enjoy.
Final Score: 5 out of 5
Review Written by John of The Time Heist
Editorial Note: The last of the older reviews to be uploaded, and one of the more difficult games out of the bunch. I have memories of Metroid Prime filling me with awe and frustration. The final boss fight alone filled me with so much rage that I spent two hours refusing to quit and constantly retrying after my failed trials.