The category of fun was too easy. All Metroid games so far have been a blast to play. They are balanced both with enjoyment and difficulty. Beating a Metroid game is hard without knowing where to exactly go but that’s the fun of it. The exploration in Metroid games is what makes them so much fun. This is just enhanced when you get to play the role of one of the best video game characters ever conceived. Being behind the mask of a super powered bounty hunter is just an incredible feeling and it gives this Metroid game it’s own uniqueness. It is no wonder Americans just love this game. In fact every Metroid game has done better on the state shores than in Japan. It is no surprise that both Fusion and Prime were released here way before they are going to be released in Japan, in 2003.
Another great aspect of Metroid Prime is the sound. The effects of Samus walking, beams and lasers going by your head, and the sounds of the space pirates screeching all add to the Samus experience. Kenji Yamamoto, the same guy who did the music for Super Metroid, is at it again creating the soundtrack. When fighting the music gets very aggressive and even after you’ve beaten a boss you’ll find there is a more driving beat that adds to the excitement. This all being done in a Dolby Pro Logic II format creates a 3-d surreal sci-fi effect. The sound draws you into the world of Metroid. The only reason this category did not get a perfect ten is because there are not any specific songs that got stuck in my head, unlike previous Metroid games, but that’s just me.
Controls are where you might say Metroid Prime falters a little. First off this is not a first person shooter. It is a Metroid game therefore there is no duel analog. That took some time getting used too. The controls however are very solid and you use every button on the controller. However the jumping aspect of the game, and this being a Metroid game means there is a lot of jumping is hard and down right annoying. I wish they could have added a 3rd person perspective for jumping. It was hard to tell when to jump so you can get to another platform. That is what gives this category a lower score. However by the time you get into the thick of the game you have mastered the controls and are able to pull off moves you wish you could have done in the beginning of the game. Which is good since the end of the game you will need every control advantage you can get.
Metroid Prime definitely sports the best graphics on the ‘Cube to date. All areas look crisp and clean and runs at a smooth 60 frames per second with very little (only in heavy graphical areas) lag. Metroid Prime supports Progressive Scan for HDTVs and the lighting / textures are not matched on this console. The areas are huge and almost feel seamless from one to another. The little details make this game feel like you really are Samus Aran. Being behind the mask was a risky move and many Metroid fans, including myself, did not think it could be pulled off. Retro Studios couldn’t have done a better job at it. Everything from squashed bug guts getting on your visor to the beading of the raindrops. The detail on just the visor alone is remarkable. Stand in front of a vent and your visor fogs up. Climb out of the water and the water runs down your visor. Even when there is a flash of light you can see your own reflection in your visor. That my friends…is detail. The FMVs of the game are crystal clear and look very nice. Not choppy like some other games but look very well done. The transition from the morphball and the visor view are seamless too and the morphball 3rd person view is very handy in navigating areas.
Many games are like a double bladed sword. Even though the game is great, after you beat it you feel that there is nothing else to do. Metroid Prime has added features just like the rest of Metroid games to keep you coming back. Prime tries adding some pretty nifty features such as the image gallery that can be unlocked after working at different things. So in fact you will want to beat Prime much more than just once. There are multiple endings that you can obtain. There are millions of hidden areas in the game so if you want to get 100% completion you must collect all the hidden items. After you beat the game an option for a hard mode comes up. This allows for us skilled bounty hunters to go at it at an advanced level if normal was just to easy. If all this weren’t enough go out and buy Metroid Fusion and a GBA to GCN adapter. This allows you to unlock not only the fusion suit for Metroid Prime but also allows you to play the original Metroid emulated on your GameCube. How sweet…killing Metroids old-school style. If you take your time to really enjoy this game you can get up to fifty plus hours out of this baby. Go Prime it up my friends.