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Gamecube Reviews: Metroid Prime


Metroid Prime Screenshots

The Final Say!

Metroid Prime 
- reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 19 April 2003
Review Score: 9.8/10 
Distributor: Nintendo

Samus Aran returns in this 3D incarnation of the brilliant Metroid series. It's been too long since the last Metroid game (excluding Metroid Fusion on GameBoy Advance) and fans have been clamouring for some more antics from their favourite bounty hunter. She's back and with a total rehaul to keep our hands glued to controllers for a long time to come.

Blasting onto our screens this time around as an intense first person shooter, players will know they are in for something special the instant that they hear and see the intro animations. Looking like some sort of cell activity, the Metroid intro proves yet again that in the hands of the right person, midi can and does sound very very cool indeed.

The events of Prime take place almost after the first Metroid game and we have Samus tracking down Space Pirates in her ship. Upon Landing upon Tallon IV is where the new adventure begins and we get to see the dramatic changes that are in store for the player. The game until now has been a 2D game of the platforming variety and it was at first thought that this game would be a balls up due to the entirely new way that the game would have to be shown from a first person perspective. Retro Studios, a second party Nintendo studio delivered the goods in a no holds barred stylish shooter that will have you gasping at times at the sheer power of what the GameCube in the right hands has to offer players.

There was only one thing throughout the game that really annoyed me, and that was the fact that you could not run and look up and down around. It's limiting and considering the high level of detail in the environments it's almost criminal. If it wasn't for the high level of every single other aspect of the game, this lack alone would have severely hurt this game's score. However if it had been included, Metroid Prime would have been given a 10/10.

Graphically this title is so nice to look at that it almost hurts the eyes. Almost every effect you could imagine is here to enhance and make for the ultimate looking title. Everything except for bump mapping has been included it appears. I remember being in awe at one stage of the game when I ran out into an rainforest like opening from a cave and it was raining out there. I was amazed to see that the rain truly interacted with Samus armour and indeed her visor as well. Now this wasn't some little splashing effect either, the rain actually ran down her arms and the visor which was absolutely spectacular to see.

Further highlights still revolve around Samus' interaction with the world. Imagine seeing your visor fog up after leaving water after being submerged, well it happens here and as far as I am concerned, it's positively revolutionary to the point I don't recall having seen it in any other video game so far. This level of detail is down to the point that you can at times see Samus' face reflected in her visor! I just loved it.

The prowess of the team working on this shows throughout the game. Yet another thing that impressed me was that the title never seems to slow down and maintains a constant framerate throughout the game, regardless of what you are doing at the time.

Everything in the game is animated beautifully and it will surprise gamers exactly how perfect the title is. It's one of those games that really and truly deserves a 10/10, but the small issue of the control setup cannot be overlooked and every time I play the game, I wish I could run around and look everywhere at the same time. It would make a brilliant game perfect.

It's funny but even after having played this game extensively for some time now, there is always something new that I notice that makes my jaw drop yet another time. The quality of all Nintendo releases thus far has been staggering and Metroid Prime so far would have to be a favourite  first party game for the year on this system. It's a stellar effort that fully takes advantage of the power of the GameCube and justifies the purchase of this cool little console.

Do yourself a favour and get this game today, it's a killer app and that's no mistake!

- Tory Favro

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