Metroid Prime (2002) – 99/100
– The other Metroid game that was released on November 17th, 2002 (8 years after Super Metroid) was Metroid Prime, released for the GameCube. It began the Prime Trilogy, and was the first Metroid game to be a first person shooter style (with the exception of Morph Ball form which is in third person camera style). The game starts with Samus exploring a space station that sent out a distress signal. This is the part of the game that teachers you how to play while exploring what has happened. Samus has the ability to scan creatures, data, and items so that she can acquire information on the storyline in addition to tips on how to advance. In this ship, Samus encounters Space Pirates and the first boss of the game, The Parasite Queen. After defeating her, the ship beings to self destruct and Samus must escape. While doing so, she sees Ridley and follows him to a nearby planet called Tallon IV. Like Super Metroid, this planet has different areas that are connected by elevators. Samus explores the area with the help of maps and the hint feature which is new to this game, and acquires power ups that will help her on her way. The areas are the Tallon Overworld, which is the rainforest/jungle like area that Samus initially lands on, the Chozo Ruins, which is a desert like area with temples, The Magmoor Caverns, which is a cavern system containing fire, lava, and Space Pirate structures, The Phendrana Drifts, which is an ice/snow area containing temples, Space Pirate research labs, and caves with water, and The Phazon Mines, which is a huge three level mining facility that contains poisonous phazon, huge mushrooms, and tons of space pirates. Samus learns that the planet once contained an intelligent ancient race known as the Chozo, who were wiped out when a meteor impacted the planet. This meteor brought the poisonous element known as phazon, turning the waters poisonous, creating deadly plants and flowers, and bringing new and destructive creatures. Samus encounters mini bosses as well as main bosses in each of the areas (except for The Magmoor Caverns which acts more as a connector to all the other areas). She also must solve puzzles to collect all of the Chozo Artifacts to enter the “Artifact Temple” (located on the Tallon Overworld). There she will enter the Impact Crater (where the meteor hit the planet) and face the cause of all the phazon on the planet: Metroid Prime. She is the reason there are metroids on this planet, and that is the reason the Space Pirates are there, trying to harness their power as always. Needless to say, this game has a very interesting plot and the backstory is thorough and fun to discover. The game play is smooth and very easy. The new features such as the lock on target and the ability to move in a circle while shooting at an opponent is very helpful and very important. The bosses are very unique, and contain some of the most memorable enemies that Samus has ever encountered. The diversity between areas makes the game absolutely beautiful to look at and the soundtrack is one of my favorites of all time (including a mixture of songs from previous Metroid games and completely brand new ones. Like Super Metroid, I can not talk about this game enough. If Super Metroid represents the classic era of video gaming, this game represents the new era of video gaming with its elaborate puzzles and occasional cut scenes. The average game time is about 20 hours, which is what it took me the first time. Now, the game takes me about 10 to 15 hours. People get frustrated at the constant wandering and backtracking, but I enjoy every second that I play this game. I have no complaints.