Publisher: Nintendo Rated: Everyone Released Year: 2002
- Nintendo Gameboy Advance
Following the distant events of Super Metroid, Samus is recalled back into action to investigate an outbreak of a vicious parasite that mimics their hosts... only to find it has also mimics Samus, who was once herself infected.
"One of Gameboy Advance's best efforts, considering the amount of trash that ended up on that console..."
Plot / Concept: 8 / 10
Samus gets bitten by a blob and almost becomes a blob herself, but thanks to Metroid Junior's leftovers (Eww...), Samus is saved just in time to participate in another Metroid game. In this one, Samus will get to explore a space station that looks bigger on the inside than it does on the outside, and is made to resemble a planet when you visit the "Sectors". During her travels, she will have to re-acquire her abilities, fight even more guys and realize that her current power suit... really... REALLY sucks. Therefore, it is critical to get those upgrades and not skip anything when possible.
One great aspect of this is the heavy emphasis towards a rather dark and mysterious storyline that develops and grows more complex as you play through the game. For MF, this is a game where gaming and story do work out well.
Gameplay: 7 / 10
Metroid Fusion was Nintendo's second attempt to create a game with a linear style of gameplay (The first one being Metroid 2). Players are given a general direction of where to go, as you have a guide (The Navigation Room, etc.) along the way to tell you where to go and what to do to move on. While this could be viewed as an obstacle to effective gameplay, Metroid Fusion plays this off with the advantage of developing a very proper and developing storyline, where both the player and guide learn things and try to interpret the situation as best possible. For a first-time gameplay, this is something you should not skip.
Another neat thing that was introduced in this game was changing the rooms around, like when a room gets infested by plant tendrils or rooms have been damaged / destroyed by SA-X activity, forcing Samus to seek an alternate route to reach her objective.
Controls: 7 / 10
Metroid Fusion plays like Super Metroid, escept with less buttons, so some buttons features from the SNES edition are sacrificed to maximize the player's effectiveness in the game. One innovative feature was how Samus accessed her missiles. Instead of hitting Select to turn it on and off, the player held down the R button to use Missiles, allowing the missile port to open and close quickly and when needed.
Music: 7 / 10
The BGM collection for MF was a bit of a hit and miss. Some tracks worked great with the appropriate rooms and scenes, while others felt off in some ways. Still, I think it paid off well enough to make the gameplay work. Some of the jewels include Sectors 1 and 2, in my opinion. I also like that they added in lots of variety to boss battle music. Still, some of the ambience they used was either too quiet or just did not work right.
Sound Effects: 5 / 10
I think the audio effects had some very strong points but it also had some weaknesses. For strong points, some of the extra attention to detail like the computer voice in the background during the timed escape sequecnes and the screams of some of the monsters, like Omega Metroid. Weakness included that dreaded, annoying Charge Beam sound effect. That was way too loud and drowned out a lot of the mood that Fusion tried so hard to create. Many of the beam sound effects seemed... wrong too. >_>
Graphics: 8 / 10
"Almost" Super Metroid in a portable system. That is the feel Metroid Fusion can give players, but luckily it was not a direct rip. Everything was re-worked, including backgrounds, and sprites. Most monsters were given a great deal more animation than the previous Metroid games, giving them more of an "Alive" feel to them. Given the entire game takes place on a massive space station, it would seem odd to show the entire game with dirt tiles and lots of water, so the mix was rather excellent. Metroid fusion has a nice and rich scheme on it's own accord and every aspect, including monsters, doors are well-done.
I think the biggest criticism goes towards Samus herself... the colour scheme on her fusion suit seems... odd at times to the point of "yucky" and the weapons systems feel a bit "off"...
Time count, item count and multiple image endings give opportunity to replay the game, but the story-telling aspect could be discouraging to make players play again.
Originally I gave this a Medium, but I forgot to factor in a gameplay style which can be quite a challenge: The 1% run (or possibly 0%, depending on how insane you are at precision moves).