A bit of news to start. Iím going to keep on doing OSVG Reviews here on the Wienerboard, but reviews on newer titles (the exception being handheld titles like this) will now only be available at the www.411mania.com Games section. Also, as a note; any review I write on in Wienerland is free game to post elsewhere as long as you give me credit for it and ask me in advance. For example; some of the reviews Iíve written can be found at AngryJohnnyís website www.jkyle.com, because he asked. Simple enough, eh?
Anyway, enough talk. On with the review!
Title: Metriod Fusion System: Gameboy Advance (GBA). Genre: 2d Sidescroller Requires: If you wish to use the Metriod Prime/Fusion bonuses, you need the required gear. Players: 1 Forefathers of Note: Metriod 1 and 2 (NES and Gameboy), Super Metriod (SNES) Price: Around $49.99 Canadian.
Overview: The name is Metriod. Those who've played games for a while, Metriod is a name that brings back a few memories. Metriod I and II were both critically acclaimed titles, while Super Metriod still ranks as one of the greatest games ever made. With that, it left a lot of us curious why Nintendo took several years off of making a new Metriod game. Oh sure, Samus Aran had a couple of cameos in both of the Super Smash Brothers Games, but that was all we've seen of her for the past few years. Could it be because they didn't see their systems at that time being able to produce their vision of a proper "next-generation" Metriod title? Or could it be that being number one, that Nintendo got complacent? Whatever it was, Samus went into hibernation for a while.
Something about Nintendo is that they always produced their best games when under fire. In the height of the 16-bit wars, Nintendo produced some classic titles. Now, with both Sony and Microsoft out there, Nintendo, being in a battle once again, has decided to bring out the big guns. Mario arrived earlier leading off as usual, in the stellar Super Mario Sunshine. In a couple of weeks, Link returns in the newest Zelda game. And batting cleanup is a title known at this time only as "Mario 128"....which is 64 times 2....and we know what Mario 64 did.
But a big part of their quest to return to the top is Samus Aran, the heroine of the Metriod series. She returns to a starring role in Metriod Prime on the GameCube, with a very new look. Released at the same time was Metriod Fusion, a 2d sidescroller just like the other Metriods before it.
The long story short about Metriod Fusion is that Samus is infected with something called the "X" parasite. She almost dies....but ironically enough she is saved by a vaccine created by the DNA of....you guessed it, a Metriod. The results is her suit is damaged, so she needs to get her gear back (like the missile launcher, morphball, etc), but also that her suit has now "fused" with her body (hence the reason why it's called "Metriod Fusion").
Whatís New?: The Ice Beam is gone, replaced with Ice Missiles. A couple other new powerups are around too. A new battle system where to get missiles and your health back you must kill the enemies, then proceed to absorb their energy. The game is laid out like the Castlevania games on the GBA, so it's basically like a maze.
Graphics: Make no mistake, the graphics are fantastic for a handheld system. If anything, the graphics exceed that of Super Metriod....if you can see them. The lack of a backlight on the GBA rears its ugly head once more in certain areas during the game. This can be remedied by a good light (my own personal ecommendation is the Interact GlowGuard, which is a FANTASTIC device which will solve ALL the vision problems, PLUS will save your screen from wear and tear). The colours are great, and the backgrounds are vivid. All the characters are well designed, especially Samus herself. Also, I must mention the neat cut-scenes that occasionally pop up that has full screen graphics sort of like a slideshow, which shows the GBA's graphic power. I wonder how thisíll look on the new SP version of the Gameboy. This would be a 5, but without lighting, itís only going to be a 4/5.
Sound: The SFX are quite smooth, and all hit the right places (as it should be). You actually hear Samus even hitting the group on her jump landings. The sounds of the missiles and cannons are fair, and also the sounds of monsters are pretty decent too. The music is pretty good, but could stand to be better, but it's a handheld system, so you gotta cut it some slack. Overall, the sound is quite good, but by no means perfect. 4/5
Controls: The thing about 2d games is that if you want it to be good, you need to have responsive and tight controls. In Fusion, Samus moves where you tell her to go, and you'll have no problems whatsoever. Some problems developers have had with the GBA is the button configuration, as most of the ports coming from the SNES or sequels to SNES games need five or six buttons to work well. The button layout on the GBA is actually pretty decent, with only one casualty; the trademark Ice Beam had to be dropped, hence why the Ice Missiles were added to the game. Speaking of missiles, them and the arm cannon are easy to use, and can be used with pinpoint accuracy. Jumping is a breeze, and if you make a mistake, it won't be the fault of the game....which is always a sure sign you have yourself some great controls. 5/5, easily.
Fun Factor: Do you like the classic Metriod games? Do you like 2d sidescrollers? Do you like action games? Do you like games with solid controls? If the answer to any of the above if yes, then I can honestly tell you you'll have fun with this game. If the answer to any of the above is yes, then you'll be fully into this game. It's a throwback to the old days, where it wasn't about flashy 3d graphics or orchistrated scores, it's all about GAMEPLAY AND FUN, and THAT'S what counts. And if you beat Fusion and you have Metriod Prime, you get the added bonus of being able to play the original Metriod on your GameCube, which is incredible to say the least. That's not counting the bonus in Prime you get when you beat it and hook up an unfinished Fusion. Overall, you'll have a great time playing this game....if you got the right lighting or lighting tool (GET THE GLOWGUARD).
Final Score; 18/20
Final Note; The long wait was definitely worth it. Samus has returned in a big way, and has shown that Nintendo their friends still have the skills to make great games. This game serves as a reminder to some and a notice to the rest that 2d isn't dead, and won't be for some time to come. If you own a GBA, get this game. And get the GlowGuard as well (it even makes Castlevania: Circle of the Moon visable!).
(edited by El Nastio on 3.3.03 0333)
The pre-order has been made. One of the biggest titles in recent memory will be arriving soon. To mark this, the next series of OSVG reviews will chronicle the Legend of Zelda series, from its very start.
Originally posted by El NastioAlmost right Guru....ROMS are considered illegal by law (not just Nintendo). The deal with ROMS are as follows;
On most sites, there is a disclaimer. You have 24 hours to download the game. If you do not own the game, then you must delete it during that time. If you do not, you're breaking the law.
Personally I recommend the GBA anyway, especially if you like 2d side scrollers and traditional RPGs.
Well, as far as I've been able to tell, the 24 hour thing is something that warez kidz tried to use as a justification a while back - calling it fair use under the provisions for libraries. I also remember reading that this didn't hold water in court, so I wouldn't trust a ROM site for your legal advice.
That said, it may turn out to be legal under fair use to download copies of ROMS that you own the original game of. As far as I know, this has not been tested in court. Since it may be legal, I don't mind people discussing ROMS that they own which they are emulating. The rest -- well, I think under the DMCA I have to stop you guys from discussing it on our board. CRZ says that I am being overly cautious on this - but I'd rather stay on the safe side.
Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
Kudos to Nintendo, as I think they have done quite a lot right in the past few months...but to burst their bubble a little bit. -The $99 price drop is very nice, but aren't they losing money at that price?