Samus makes her debut on the Game Boy Advance with the incredible title Metroid Fusion. This was the first Metroid game I ever played and to this day is still my favourite. So clench your butt checks and prepare for a shocking review from myself that is actually positive.
Metroid Fusion once again puts you in the space shoes of Samus a bounty hunter with attitude and a desire to kill aliens as well as any other organism that is not as bad ass as she is. On a small mission to a planet she finds herself becoming infected by the X – parasite which almost kills her. Thanks to the power of science and an old friend (which I won’t spoil here in case you’re yet to play any of the Metroid games) Samus is rescued and given the unique ability to now absorb the parasite without risk of infection. She then heads to a space station to beat down the X parasite and save the universe again. The story is fantastic and mixing in horror to the Metroid story gives the game a survival horror feel to even the gameplay. The story starts out with a bang literally and leads you on a journey with many twists and turns to the plot that will satisfy Metroid fans and those new to the series.
like most of the games in the series Metroid Fusion is a 2D adventure platformer. You are free to explore the entire game map being only restricted by doors you are yet to unlock. You start out the game with bugger all health and the ability to jump and shoot but it won’t be long before you absorb more X – parasites and unlock various new and fun abilities like the screw attack, missiles, the charge shot and many more. The game progression is very rewarding making the game pretty hard to put down as it introduces new abilities at just the right time.
Save points are very frequent making the game great for a long or even short gameplay session. It’s recommended to save often as the difficulty can spite unexpectedly throughout the game especially on the boss fights. The graphics are beautiful 2D drawn environments and sprites well suited to the horror setting of the game. There are several areas to explore initially it seems like you can only visit six sectors of the space station but as the X – parasite starts to take over you will find yourself re visiting areas which have now degraded thanks to the dreaded parasite giving this incredible sense of dread and horror as you progress.
There are several enemies as well as an impressive amount of enemy bosses to defeat. When you defeat a standard enemy they turn into an X – parasite you can absorb which gives you a health boost or ammo, if you don’t absorb the parasite quick enough the enemy will re animate stronger than before which is a nice touch to the game. Defeating a boss will give you a special X – parasite which unlocks a new ability. As well as this Samus sprite will change in appearance as you progress through the game and change suits.
The game has a useful map system making it very easy to get your bearings, frequent objective rooms will also remind you of where you are supposed to go next should you get lost but the game doesn’t hold your hand it expects you to explore and figure out how to reach the objective which is quite rewarding.
One of the most memorable recurring enemies in the game is an X – parasite which replicates Samus herself except with all her abilities unlocked, getting caught by this creepy mutant will lead to a severe beatdown then death unless you’re smart and run away, that is if you can run away. There are several areas in the game you will come across this foe and the game does a great job making the setting generally terrifying. The music for these moments as well as the footsteps of the character only add to the impressive immersion of these horror moments.
The music has a handful of memorable tunes which play off at just the right moments a lot of the music will quite literally pump you up ready for a fight. All speech is text based and the sound effects are pitch perfect like the squelching of the X – parasite to the laser sound from your main weapon.
Metroid Fusion is quite the epic adventure and the first time through will take you a couple of gaming session, but it’s so addictive and hard to put down you may plow through it in a long weekend. There is plenty to explore and a lot of items to unlock like increasing your health meter and missile and bomb capacity. If you’re not a fan of looking for every item the good news is you don’t need all of them to complete the game. In fact if you’re really good you can try complete the game with a single health bar. You don’t really unlock anything on finishing the game however, the experience is so enjoyable you will likely play through this game every so often.
Verdict:- A fantastic blend of horror and Sci Fi this game really is a must play. There is little to fault in this experience the platforming and shooting is solid. You may get lost now and then though the game gives you a small push in the right direction preventing too much back-tracking.
The experience in general you will very likely playthrough it again and again. Adding to all this it’s a handheld game so you can even take this on the go, on a toilet and on a canoe sailing towards the Niagra falls. Possibly the only deterrent to this game is if you don't like this genre of game, but why wouldn't you this game is great.
Do yourself a favour get a GBA SP, get this game; shut yourself in the bathroom for a few hours and enjoy.
Second Opinion:- It is accepted by the fans that Super Metroid is the greatest in this long running franchise and for the most part this is completely true however when you sit people around and discuss this it's amazing how many people forget that the two GBA games even existed.
Fusion is a masterpiece of game design with a perfect balance of ever increasing difficulty mixed with an obvious degree of instant fun.
If you don't like this game then you don't like Metroid, it's that simple and you probably also kick dogs and throw cat's into rubbish bins when you think people are not looking, Naughty people...
Transbot Scores:- 9 out of 10
Name: Metroid Fusion
Region Reviewed: PAL
Year of Release: 2002