Metroid Fusion (Game Boy Advance) Second Opinion Review

By Camilo Aránguiz González 10.08.2016

Review for Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance

Eight years had to pass after the timeless masterpiece that is Super Metroid for the arrival of the next game in the classic Nintendo series. Is that enough time for surpassing that high bar, or does Metroid Fusion fail to shine below the shadow of its predecessor?

After the events of Super Metroid, Samus gets infected by an alien parasite known as X, affecting her health pretty badly. To cure her, doctors from the Galactic Federation had to surgically remove parts of her suit, and use a Metroid DNA-based vaccine obtained from the Metroid that Samus captured in Metroid II: Return of Samus. After her recovery, she is sent to investigate an unexplained explosion in the Biologic Space Labs research station.

Screenshot for Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance

Metroid Fusion's narrative is awesome. In just a few minutes, it draws a whole background, being mature and sci-fi. The plot is told by text and brilliant-looking images, building up immediately a great presentation. This then starts to blend with the good gameplay, which re-enacts the classic Metroid formula of action, exploration and backtracking. Sadly, in this case, the exploration is way more guided than in previous instalments, which breaks the immersion a little, and that extends to the whole game experience, which is more structured.

Nevertheless, one aspect of this formula is way more emphasised in this instalment, and that's because of one vital plot point: when Samus arrives at the station, she discovers that the X parasite had infected all of it, which includes the organic parts of Samus' suit, creating "SA-X," a copy of Samus with her suit at full power. As a result, the station is invaded with a powerful enemy that the bounty hunter can't confront, forcing the player to run away from it, elevating the minuscule survival-horror aspects of previous instalments to an always present feeling of fear and despair in Metroid Fusion.

Screenshot for Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance

In addition, another gameplay element that's accentuated is the action aspect. The number of enemies is increased and the more metallic and robotic ambience of the station - which can make the player miss the natural landscapes of Zebes - will occasionally create a feeling of playing a Mega Man X game, which, in any case, isn't bad.

Correspondingly, Metroid Fusion's boss fights are stellar. They are well designed, their patterns are interesting (and some of them, also very Mega Man-ish) and they come at the right moments. In the same way, the power-ups and puzzles are well situated and rewarding enough, making the whole game well-rounded, and perfectly playable for today's standards, without requiring of the player considering its historical impact.

Screenshot for Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance

In the music department, Metroid Fusion isn't as good, atmospheric or iconic as it could be, but its soundtrack complements the polished gameplay greatly, and at some points provides a curious superhero feeling, which fits with the more action-oriented experience.

In summary, all these elements result in an excellent video game that balances the respect of the Metroid formula, giving it its Metroid identity, and there is enough deviation from previous instalments to still give it its own unique individuality within the Metroid series, making the comparisons with Super Metroid a little out of place. Metroid Fusion expands the Metroid series' lore superbly, and it's an excellent game in its own right.

Screenshot for Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Metroid Fusion is an excellent addition in the Metroid series, with a brilliant perspective of the Metroid formula. Its refined gameplay, presentation and all-together feeling dispense a fantastic portable experience, which is only sprinkled with some minor flaws and quibbles - some of them being just a matter of taste.

Developer

Intelligent Systems

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (11 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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