Emergency Order: Destroy all Metroid organisms on the planet Zebes and defeat the mechanical lifeform, Mother Brain. A re-written plotline for a re-written game. For those who have played the original version of Metroid 1, this game will be familiar, though far from identical. They did much to re-write the basic concept of the game, which now includes harmful rooms, a giant Kraid, Super Missiles and a bunch of things that did not exist in the original Metroid game. For better or worse, who can say, but I see it far from being just simply a remake of the game. I see it as more of a separate game that tries to tell it's own version of the first mission to Zebes.
Gameplay: 6 / 10
What was an open-end maze filled with never-ending enemies that are set to sap as much energy as possible... Well, that changed. Now, the game is much more streamlined with objectives to reach, and a general direction in where you have to go. I felt the game deliberately tried to limit where you could go and what you could do which was nothing like the original Metroid 1. I did not find Zero Mission to be complicated or an opportunity to explore and figure out for yourself what to do. This remake of Metroid 1 played a lot more like Super Metroid than it did of Metroid 1, leaving for a lot of areas to zip through in a hurry with wonder items like the Speed Booster. You collected a lot of items in a hurry and went through everything to prove yourself in hardly an hour and a half, less if you know where to sequence break.
The one advantage Zero Mission has is it is possible to completely disregard the order in which you have to play the game through special sequence-breaking techniques, making Zero Mission the 3rd Metroid game where said techniques can be used to customize how you wish to play the game.
Controls: 7 / 10
Take Metroid Fusion, copy and paste and you have Zero Mission as an end result. I know of a few minor differences like being able to shinespark while in morph ball, but playability-wise, it handles about the same. Like Metroid Fusion, the controls play like Super Metroid, but with less buttons, so there is a little more involved with some of the moves, requiring old-timers like myself to think what I have to do instead of just doing it, especially which button is used to get those missiles going...
Music: 8 / 10
Zero Mission's audio department was a success. The remixes of the classic tunes of both Zero Mission and Super Metroid were used rather well and nothing ever really got boring or stale. It was also good to see that the classic tunes did not come off as "Just another remix".
Sound Effects: 6 / 10
The sound effects felt more realistic, but at times did feel slightly comic-ish, similar to the graphics in that regard.
Graphics: 8 / 10
2004 Gameboy Advance graphics were a make or break for games since too many of them suffered from being "ported" over from SNES games without any real touching up. Zero Mission did not follow this tradition in the slightest. Pretty much everything was rebuilt, remade and re-sprited from scratch and their efforts were impressive to say the least. I think my only complaint was some scenes felt like I was reading a manga, but at least the feeling was consistent through the whole game.
Sequence breaking, low item %, multiple image endings and speed runs will no doubt push for people to replay this one if this wish to. Otherwise, with a decent internet connection to see all the image endings, there is not a lot of additional features opened up once the game is beat. Putting the original Metroid 1 on Zero Mission was not a real advantage given it was already on the Metroid Prime disc and they planned to release Metroid 1 on it's own GBA cartridge