Metroid Prime (US Import)
Metroid Prime is the fifth game in a long running series. The previous games were 2D, side-scrolling, platform adventures, which appeared on the NES, GB, SNES and GBA respectively. This is the games first outing in 3D.
You play a female bounty hunter called Samus Aran. Equipped with a Power Suit, complete with helmet and arm cannon, you travel to the Tallon IV, in order to engage the Zebisian space pirates.
your previous adventures, the pirates had captured a jellyfish-like
Metroid Prime adopts a first person view and at first glance may appear like a typical first person shooter, however, its game play has more in common with Zelda than Quake. Metroid Prime is primarily focused upon adventuring and exploring, rather than shooting. Typically, as you move about the different environments, you'll notice ledges you cannot reach, or doors you cannot open. Later on, you'll acquire a new suit upgrade, or weapon, which will allow you to reach the ledge or open the door, thereby opening up new areas to explore.
You'll eventually acquire four suit upgrades, four different weapons, and four different visors for your helmet.The suit upgrades will allow you to withstand extremes of temperature and radiation, as well as negating the effects of water, allowing Samus to move and jump normally, even when submerged.
arm cannon's default weapon is the Power Beam, which is later
Initially, your helmet has two visors. The Combat Visor is the default. As well as providing general information, such as a map, radar, health and ammunition status, it also highlights enemies and allows you to lock on to them, one at a time for combat. The Scan Visor automatically picks out interesting or important features of the environments and the various enemies you encounter. The visor downloads information into a log, and may provide clues as to how to overcome an obstacle or identifies an enemy's weakness. You later acquire the Thermal and X-ray Visors. The Thermal is obviously useful in the dark and helps you to track enemies who use visual camouflage. The X-ray allows you to see secret passageways and ledges. Each visor has a different display - the Thermal Visor being of particular note, as it allows you to view the world Predator style.
Samus's suit can also use a Grapple Beam. After you have tracked down this upgrade, you'll be able to latch on to specific anchorages and swing across large gaps. It's implemented in a similar way to the Grapple Hook in Zelda on the N64.
more fundamental Power Suit upgrade is the Morph Ball. Once Samus
The Morph Ball itself has its own obtainable upgrades. Bombs can be used to destroy weak walls or to propel the Morph Ball up into the air, effectively jumping short distances. The Spider upgrade will allow the Morph Ball to attach to specific magnetic tracks that run through Tallon IV's environments. Boost, will give the Morph Ball a turn of acceleration.
All the various upgrades are spread evenly throughout the game. This pacing and subsequent opening up of new areas, provides an excellent sense of exploration unrivalled by any first person shooter, hence its comparison to Zelda-type game play.
Graphically, the game is excellent, with brilliant use of textures, lighting and transparency. The enemy designs are varied and well animated. The architectural design of the environments is the best I have ever seen, looking far more organic and real than its peers.
Prime is generally deaf gamer friendly. The cut scenes have no
During the game you can acquire Missile and Health expansion packs which are hidden about Tallon IV. They both give off a distinctive humming noise, which can alert you to their presence. Most are obvious to spot visually, especially when using the Scan Visor, however, a minority are quite cunningly hidden. Although they can still be found, a deaf gamer would have to be more vigilant than their hearing counterparts.
Towards the end of the game, you can occasionally be ambushed by a number of enemies. The music changes when you enter their location, signifying their presence, and changes back to normal after you have killed them. Obviously, if you cannot hear the music, you won't have any pre-warning of their presence and eventual demise. Thankfully, this isn't too much of a problem as it is pretty obvious that they're there, because they'll attack you constantly until you have finished eliminating them.
is a huge game with a large number of locations to explore. It
you link the recently released Metroid Fusion on the GBA, you get a
Prime is not perfect. The enemy AI is only average and never
Although the controls are generally intuitive, during Boss encounters, they can prove troublesome. Although you can lock on and dash side to side, you never seem to move quickly enough or far enough, and as a result sustain unfair damage.
The game also has a technical bug. There have been numerous reports on the Internet about the game freezing up. This is a fault which seems to affect all copies of the game and occurs when data is being transferred from the disk, though how often and where, seems to be random. Personally, I have played the game for 60+ hours, and it has happened twice. When it occurs, you just have to reset and start from the last save point.
Game Rating: 9.0/10