|By Zach Patterson||Tuesday, 29 Jul 2003|
When it comes to games that I have always been on the fence with, Metroid ranks right up there with Castlevania. Well, mark me a fan after this.
My history with Metroid is a bit scattered as well. I played Metroid for NES when I was young, but it was way too hard for me, and as a result, I was never terribly interested in revisiting it. I liked Metroid II back in the day for the original Game Boy, but the game was so overly difficult for me at the time it was released and gave me no hints on where to go, that i gave up 3/4 the way through the game and left it go. I never played somehow missed Super Metroid completely until getting a taste of it earlier this year. My interests were sparked with these two new Metroids for GBA and GC. I recently started up Metroid II again with a little walkthrough help, and prepared for Fusion with mixed emotions still. However, after playing this game for a short while, I was completely hooked.
For a Metroid game, this is extremely cinematic and story driven, something of a change from other Metroids. Samus is still the hero, but her suit has been changed dramatically due to the new foe, X. And this new villain has shape shifting properties that allow it to take on any form, including that of full power normal suit Samus. It’s a creepy little matchup going against yourself that the game plays off of really well. A lot of times, you see the destruction your counterpart has caused and have the displeasure of facing off against your much stronger foe. The story really keeps you involved and makes you want to go deeper into the game and find out its secrets.
The controls are tight, playing very similarly to previous Metroids, but with some added abilities like climbing and hanging. This game also has some of the BEST visuals for GBA to date, and is about the pinnacle of 2D gaming here. It’s action/adventure with a lot of exploration and clever puzzles. At one or two times, this game left you with a sense of being lost, but it usually is fixable and you are able to keep moving.
One of my few complaints is that the game is extremely short and has little replay value once you beat it. It is incredible while it lasts, but after that, you are just like, wow, ok, now its over. The game is also very easy for the most part, with only one or two bosses giving me any trouble. But really, these are a small price to pay for one of the best games for the system.
Regarding the final score, if I could give a custom score, it would be a Great/Classic or Great+, because the replay value does hurt a little. But it is the best game I have played for the GBA so far, so it gets the first Classic review for a Good-Evil game so far.