Metroid Prime (GameCube) Review

By 27.04.2003

Review for Metroid Prime on GameCube

Who remembers the brilliant Metroid series on the NES and the SNES? The highly acclaimed game starring Samus comes to the Gamecube. Converting a blocky 2D, old school adventure game into a super realistic 3D, First Person world can't have been the easiest task for Retro but they did the conversion and they did it well...

The games storyline is very unique. Its not often that a first person shooter gets such a good storyline, but this isn't just any first person shooter as you will find out. The story goes that the Chozo, a very advanced form of life that have a number of similarities in facial features to that of a large bird. They innovated scientific technology and can fly through space reaching out to the far away galaxies. They are a very sociable race and hardly ever show any kind of hostility, even if there physical look gives that impression. They are indeed an extremely advanced society of people.

The Chozo began to become more and more weak, they began to depreciate in technological advances and began to become more and more socially backwards. The Chozo predicted an apocalypse which would destroy all the Chozo and saw a rise in Evil power take control. The Chozo, hating all violence began to flee to refuges dotted around the universe. A gargantuan meteorite hit a colony refuge known as Tallon IV. The meteorite didn't just send great shockwaves through the refuge but it also had a more unforeseen affect. This "unforeseen affect" was known as Phazon. The Phazon wrecked all life forms, killing anything near it. All life was totally obliterated. Only a tiny percentage of life survived, most mutated, deformed and ended up looking extremely abnormal. The Chozo didn't have the technology to stop it anymore; the efforts they did make had no effect on the Phazon. This rendered the Chozo very weak. The Chozo once again found themselves fleeing their current habitat leaving behind a wrecked Tallon IV.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime on GameCube

Samus Aran a human that lived on the planet K-2L which was invaded by a massive group of space pirates. Samus was brought to the Chozo' main colony and later on in life would become the Chozo' race last hope. Taught to be a bounty hunter and given a Power Suit which would eventually save her life and aided her extremely well during the attempt to annihilate a Space Pirate army. Samus destroyed everything, Kraid, Ridley and of course the Mother Brain. Or at least, so she thought.

The very weakened but still fairly strong army of Space Pirates were split into two main groups. The first group had to try rebuilding what they could of their Metroid testing facilities and get the near dead Mother Brain, Ridely and Kraid conscious once again. The second group attempted to build another colony. They were sent into space with the orders to find a planet that was habitable and had a good amount of resources. And they came to the neighbouring planet that is Talon IV a habitable, fertile planet which had a good amount of resources and Phazon...

The Space Pirates were amazed at the possibilities of this element and began testing it. They began to merge life forms with the Phazon and the results were astounding. The prospect of the terrifying creatures that could be made if they could harness was quite literally horrifying for the Chozo who hat violence and war. Eventually the Space Pirates began to make more outrageous and hideous forms of life while Samus' ship was bound for Tallon IV. Eventually the Space Pirates began to make more outrageous and hideous forms of life while Samus' ship was bound for Tallon IV.The story is pretty involving, seeing as a Metroid film is being made they must agree.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime on GameCube

The controls of the game seem complicated and if you have another FPS game this could take a few days to get used to. Not a bad control system, in no way at all just very complicated. The reasons for this are mainly that it isn't as I've said before just "another" FPS. Instead of just having your change weapon, pick up weapon and fire buttons you have a whole new range of moves at your disposal which totally alters the way the game plays. Its unique touches like this which make the game special. The controls once learnt come totally naturally so don't worry about this spoiling the action.

A- this is the button that you'll probably find yourself using most as it fires the Beam Weapon and if held fires a Smash Bros. Style beam. When in Morph Ball pressing A will lay bombs.

B- will make Samus jump and activate the Boost ball when in the Morph mode

C Stick- this is used to choose which beam weapon you want to use

X- will quickly turn Samus into a ball, ideal for getting through small passages and for gaining speed when in need of getting away

Y- primarily this button fires missiles but also lays power bombs when in the Morph ball mode

Z- pressing Z will look at the level map

Left- tapping L will lock onto enemies, scan objects (hold) when in scan mode and can be used for the grapple beam

Right- pressing R will enable Samus to look around the area, aim and activate the Spider ball in Morph ball mode

D-Pad- pressing one of the sides on the directional pad will switch visors

Control Stick- moving the control stick in a direction will move Samus.

So as you can see there are a vast variety of moves, weapons and so on, you can practically do everything with Samus, erm... Holding R whilst holding L will enable you to sidestep around your target whilst firing frantically. When against many enemies the Morph Ball comes into its own with its shear speed, brilliant manoeuvrability and compact size it really does help. Then it can be used for opening doors and getting through tiny passages. When in Morph Ball mode you can also destroy enemies by laying a one of a wide variety of bombs, each with a different purpose. The Morph Ball is an ingenious idea and is implemented into the game extremely well. The Morph Ball brings memories back of the brilliant NES and SNES classics. There are many improvements which can be had for Samus such as different suits which have different abilities, those being the Power Suit- the standard suit for Samus Aran which has a small range of abilities, the Varia Suit- this has lots of abilities but shines brightest when in the high temperature world that is Magmoor Caverns. The Gravity Suit enables Samus to move freely as normal through water being able to jump and run as usual. There are many weapon upgrades and so on for you to collect.

Screenshot for Metroid Prime on GameCube

Samus' visor is extremely useful. The 3D mini-map is another change, or is it, sometimes it is confusing and annoying but when you get used to it you will find it is easy to use and very accessible. To say Metroid Prime is just an FPS would be wrong, like its prequels on the NES and SNES it has many elements of adventure. Prime has many Retro elements in their such as the Morph Ball parts of the levels and shooting the doors to get through to the next room, all little touches like that making it feel like any other Metroid game.

The graphics, to start off with are simply fantastic. The attention to detail in Metroid Prime is possibly the best we've ever seen. When it's raining in Tallon Overworld, Samus visor steams up with condensation and the rain pours down the visor pending on how heavy the rain is. When Samus exterminates one of the little critters, a gooey green blood sprays all over the visor. This all gives the impression that you really are Samus and it is you not Samus in this mission. Retro, as you can see have put in a lot to get everything just right. The surroundings are pretty varied. From the desert like look of Chozo ruins to the lush tropics in Talon Overworld and to the lava filled depths of the Magmoor Caverns. The environments are varied and look generally good. There are some blocky graphics but not enough to complain about. Most, if not all the textures are polished off perfectly; you can really see Retro have paid attention to every element in the game. As for Samus, she's still looking brilliant as always. You can even see a reflection of Samus face sometimes. The AI in the game is very good, and the enemies really are varied in toughness and styles of attacking. There are a good number of them so you'd better watch out!

There isn't any multiplayer in Prime but does there need to be one? The game like Zelda and Mario wouldn't really be suited too well to a multiplayer unless it were to be a cooperative challenge rather than an all out frag fest as seen in the likes of James Bond 007 Night fire and Timesplitters 2. A cooperative mode would be very nice but we'll just have to wait and see if Retro includes it in the next Metroid game, seeing as it will be confirmed at E3. The length is pretty long maybe 25 hours for the good gamer but with the addition of the GBA link up you get the Fusion suit which looks good but even cooler you get the original SNES classic when you finish Fusion!

Screenshot for Metroid Prime on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

A game as good as this doesn't come along often, in fact they are today very rare. Metroid Prime brings a whole load of new ideas into the game and its literally brimming with innovation. It has lots to offer with varied levels, a giant amount of different enemies, improvements to you weaponry arsenal and so on you won't be getting bored of this in a hurry, it's a massive game. It might not be for everybody though.






First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (66 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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