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Played through MEtroid Fusion... wow. I LOVED every minute of it.
Editorial by 
Editor
September 12, 2009, 14:30:30
 
I don't know if it's just my love of all things Metroid (though that can't be true because of the little I played of Hunters, I wasn't fond of it), but Fusion really surprised me considering how many people have warned against it or how unfaithful it is to the rest of the franchise.

I really, really fell in love with this game.

It's definitely more linear, but it's not so linear that you feel like there's nothing to explore. The game - like its predecessors - constantly teases you with stuff you'll either have to find later, or stuff that you can get by much later. And the amount of nooks and crannies and such you can find is pretty awesome - I love how interconnected the whole map is. For this to be one gigantic research station, they made the thing a beautiful, interconnected map.

I kept stumbling on connections to different places and being like "wtf...? that leads there?!"

Then there's the other part that people harped on: the cinematics. I came into the game fully prepared to be inundated with bad dialouge or really trite writing, or long-lasting paragraphs of unnecessary info. And yet, aside from the long intro... none of it ever came. IT was handled well I thought, and Samus - who's never been a deaf/mute in any other form of media she's presented in including the beloved Super Metroid - seemed to come out well in all her monologues/thoughts, the few pieces of dialogue she has, and... I dunno', it really fit.

The game has a certain mood to it that I like as well; where Super Metroid was more about this foreboding, building fear that crept up as you got deeper into the game, Fusion really gave this constant tension where you found yourself often wondering just what the **** the SA-X would do next to muck up your day.

And the SA-X was quite an intimidating thing. I know it's another "dark version of the main character" theme, but for some reason the SA-X really jived with me.

The music, I felt, was great, really fit the mood of the game for the most part, and a lot of it was catchy and is STILL on my mind right now. TRO and AQA's main themes, Vs. Nightmare, the redone version of Ridley's theme... all awesome I thought. Again, it wasn't Super Metroid but it felt great to listen to.

So, I dunno'. Maybe it was just me - after all, I'm one of the few that really, really loved (and still loves!) Metroid II: Return of Samus. But I'm already going through my second playthrough of Metroid Fusion, and still doing a 100% item search on my main file (saved right after you get the "Final Command).

So I'm interested i hearing form other Metroid fans... what did you think of it?



PS: I played on an emulator for now, though I plan to buy the cart from Amazon once I have a job again. Just so that people know I'm not wasting my limited funds right now. (^__^ )

- nin

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Posted: 09/12/09, 14:30:30    
 
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I liked Fusion, although it was fuck hard. But then that's what's great about good Metroid games, the difficulty is high enough to piss you off, but you can win through with perseverance. It was also my first foray into the Metroid saga, so it gets some of the credit for the enjoyment I subsequently found in the Prime trilogy and Super Metroid on VC.

I have to disagree with Simbabbad on Zero Mission though. I LOVED that and actually rate it above Fuision. Part of that is probably because I never did play the original, so it was pretty fresh for me. The other part was because I thought the level design in ZM was absolutely incredible. Sure there was the linear path through the game, but the options opened up by all the sequence breaking opportunities were amazing, and far surpassed the linearity of Fusion. I played the game non-stop for 2 months to get all the endings, and I tell you this: Completing the game on Hard difficulty with under 15% items was one of the most incredibly satisfying things I've ever done playing a video game.


Posted by 
 on: 09/12/09, 16:58:16
I love Fusion. Sure, it's different, but why is that a bad thing? Few other games I've played propel you through the experience like Fusion does. The pacing is so brisk. It's like a book you just can't put down. And I really like the graphical style of the game. Sci-Fi, but not dark and gritty. It truly feels like an alien world, and it's a world that I enjoy spending time with. The actual writing is a bit cheesy, but the overall story serves the game well. Evil clones are always cool. And, of course, the controls and gameplay are super, super tight. Fusion is awesome. A fantastic action game. I'm so happy that Other M seems to be making a return to that style.

Simbabbad, the GBA+ is really nice. Easily the best solution for GBA games, if you can find one.


Posted by 
 on: 09/12/09, 18:15:59  - Edited by 
 on: 08/11/10, 19:20:53
Kind of like Zelda Simbabbad, and I agree... the less formulatic games in these series are the more interesting. Not necessarily that I like their quality level more by the end, but just that I'm more down from the start and the quality is the same in both cases, I'll take the unique world/etc. any day.

Still I loved Zero Mission and Fusion, they were both just too... short. I tend to think of them as one big awesome handheld game.


Posted by 
 on: 09/12/09, 20:42:06
Kind of like Zelda Simbabbad, and I agree... the less formulatic games in these series are the more interesting. Not necessarily that I like their quality level more by the end, but just that I'm more down from the start and the quality is the same in both cases, I'll take the unique world/etc. any day.

Still I loved Zero Mission and Fusion, they were both just too... short. I tend to think of them as one big awesome handheld game.


Posted by 
 on: 09/12/09, 20:42:22
I love Fusion. Sure, it's different, but why is that a bad thing? Few other games I've played propel you through the experience like Fusion does. The pacing is so brisk. It's like a book you just can't put down. And I really like the graphical style of the game. Sci-Fi, but not dark and gritty. It truly feels like an alien world, and it's a world that I enjoy spending time with.



Yeah, that's how I felt running through it. It was sci-fi without trying to be too gritty, and man... I could not put it down.


the less formulatic games in these series are the more interesting. Not necessarily that I like their quality level more by the end, but just that I'm more down from the start and the quality is the same in both cases, I'll take the unique world/etc. any day.



Agreed there too. Also, that'd be one "fault" I'd give it: the length felt a tad short, but... just a tad.



I think the Metroid series suffers of hailing too much Super Metroid as a model that should never be questioned.



I'm starting to see that a bit myself now. I am a HUGE fan of that game and think it's one of the greatest games of all time, but every Metroid game that has come after it is hastily compared to it, and if it does something a bit different or "not as well", it seems to be harped upon a bit too much.

Metroid Prime 1 is starting to get to that point as well, which surprises me honestly.



I think Return of Samus is the best 2D Metroid game.



While it's not at the top of my Metroid list, I love the hell out of that game. It's honestly hard for me to rank the ones I've played, because I've yet to be disappointed. The only one that didn't "grab" me was Prime 3 - I'm going to give it one more shot with the trilogy though, because there was plenty that I did like about it.

I've yet to play Prime 2 or Hunters. Actually, I still need to get around to trying to beat THE Metroid Prime on more time; I f'ing HATE that boss (or those bosses, I suppose would be the correct term).


Posted by 
 on: 09/12/09, 22:22:03
Nice post, you made me feel like re-playing this for the first time. I think I'll start it up tonight.

Actually I wasn't as positive as you were when I played it back in '02. I found that it was a pretty weak Metroid game, but a great standalone title. There were a lot of elements I didn't enjoy, as far as it being a Metroid game, the most being its linearity and it pointing where to go. Doors get shut only to help you find your way that much easier...that doesn't feel natural to me.

I didn't like the setting very much either. A ship in space that had all ecosystems...it feels forced.

And I didn't like the fact that you had someone talking to you throughout, either.

The gameplay was pretty solid. But when Zero Mission came out, I found another reason to be annoyed by Fusion: if I remember correctly, Fusion is very "floaty" in gameplay, in the sense that Samus's movement is very different from Super Metroid and Zero Mission. More..."floaty." So that reassured the fact that I think Fusion is not a great "Metroid" title, compared to its brethren.

I did however really enjoy the story it added to the overall Metroid saga. I recall it being very interesting! The fact that Samus had Metroid DNA which made her the only solution to the X problem was great and made a lot of sense. Bless that Metroid at the end of Super :)

And SA-X actually scared me, too!

When the two first Metroid games in a long time came out that day (Fusion and Prime), Fusion was supposed to be the one to feel like Super Metroid and Prime was meant to feel different. Instead, Prime gave me a much, much closer feel to Super Metroid than Fusion ever did...which was shocking considering the game types. I think that got me a little bitter about Fusion.

But once I get over that, Fusion stands its ground as a great game. As a standalone title, it competes with the best.


And I found Zero Mission to be absolutely brilliant :] (on both levels of being a Metroid and standalone title)


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 01:12:21
Well, I too loved Fusion for most of the reasons said above, as an action game it felt pretty tight, fast-paced and challenging. And showing the items found and the item total in each area was a welcome refinement!

And I too think Zero Mission was pretty weak. I'm not one to sequence-break so the whole thing was lost on my, I suppose.

I'm currently playing Prime 3 for the first time. I bought it 2 years ago, played for 3 hours, never picked it back up. Now I feel like a fool, because it's really fun. I'm really enjoying the story scans way more than in the previous 2 Prime games, and the controls are fantastic. They clearly took more of an FPS approach, what with the fact that you mostly fight space pirates and other enemies with AI.

One thing I'm not liking, however, is how disconnected the game's world is. Not just the different planets, but within one same world. There's a lot of backtracking to my ship I honestly could have done without.

Anyway... Metroid rocks.

Except Hunters.


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 08:18:17
I beat Hunters so I could say I did, so...

"I beat Hunters!"

It wasn't a -bad- game. It was impressive on a technical level, and it was engrossing enough at times. I even managed to get very comfortable with the controls - it was just barely Metroidy. Fusion on the other hand, I agree it's a wonderful sequel. I hope Sakamoto decides to set the next game after Fusion and continue the Metroid universe on from there.

I get antsy about continuity when there are two many prequels, and prequel-sequels. Just tell me what happened NEXT, dammit!

:p


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 14:05:17
Well, I don't like Metroid 1 and Super Metroid was my favourite game of all-time at that point, so of course I wanted Fusion to be a proper Super Metroid-type game. I'm pretty sure most people use Super Metroid to reference the Metroid series (or at least did in 2002). It was (and probably still is) the defining game in the series.

You wouldn't refer to Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) when talking about classic 2D Mario. You'd most likely refer to Mario 3 first, or perhaps Super Mario World. Not SMB2, and not SMW2, because those two don't define the Mario series.


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 19:41:32
I suppose so. Keep in mind though that the Metroid series consisted of only 3 games at that point, unlike Mario which had many, especially in your example of Galaxy.

But, well, I guess I just don't like the "floaty" aspect of Fusion ;]

I won't say that that's what makes it different to "Metroid" in general, because yeah I mean to say that that's what made it different to Super Metroid, which to me was a downgrade in gameplay. And to be honest I don't remember how floaty Samus was in the first two games compared to Super.

Still, don't get me wrong, Fusion's a real fine game.


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 21:15:15
I actually liked Hunters, it felt like Metroid Prime lite and Metroid Prime is just that good such that having a lite version is still fun. Mind you, Prime is probably my favorite 3D game ever and top 3 games of all time whereas Hunters didn't even make my top 25 DS games list. But then, mind you again, there are a LOT of awesome DS games and as stated in my top 50 DS games list, it was really only once I hit the 40s or so that I had to start adding games I didn't get much out of. And Hunters had some fun (if not totally balanced) online as well.

But I don't want Hunters Wii as a lot of people often clamor for. Wouldn't mind another Hunters on DS however, especially if they added in UNIQUE BOSS BATTLES which was the game's major lacking.

Still though, it's definitely one of, if not the, weakest games in the series.


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 22:29:26
I didn't like Hunters much. The multiplayer looked pretty good but I'm not big on multiplayer modes. I can only handle being addicted to one at once, and usually it's a Battlefield game ;] Other than that I'm normally a single player dude.

I never did beat Hunters. I think I stopped playing for a week and then couldn't remember where to go next or something. I backtracked and couldn't find the next place to go and thought it wasn't worth the effort to continue. But I don't feel so bad about it.

Too bad NST is stuck porting over Virtual Console games this generation though. Kind of a sad turn of events for the developer of two great GCN games in Blue Storm and Avalanche. They were never the greatest developer, but heck if they didn't make some quality titles.


Posted by 
 on: 09/13/09, 22:58:16
Porting over Virtual Console games? Is that what they've been up to? Where did you read that?

I've always wondered what they were working on. In fact, we should make a list of all of Nintendo's teams and guess at their current project(s).

(Minis March Again was NST, though, right? That was very good. Better than the retail game.)


Posted by 
 on: 09/14/09, 01:54:11
I don't remember where I heard it, actually. I'll start looking and see, but I'm pretty certain that's what they're up to.

You're right though, it appears Minis March Again was by NST. But the last real (new and retail) game they were working on was Project HAMMER which got canned.


Posted by 
 on: 09/14/09, 02:14:02
All this Metroid talk has made me giddy. (^__^ )

As far as the floatiness in Fusion... I'm not sure I really felt that. Then again, I didn't really like how jumping felt in Zero Mission... I do very little sequence breaking though, so like Pandareus, I'm not sure if that adds t or takes away from how I feel about it.

It's been a long while since I played ZM though. I may have to give it another playthrough.

I think the story is a very large part of why I keep going through Fusion now. I just finished my second playthrough today (which still took me almost 3 hours! DAMMIT!) and I'm still item hunting on my main file, which I pick at little by little each day.

The whole ecosystem in a space station idea seemed... somewhat convenient. For som reason though, it never really rubbed me the wrong way, and the story itself seems to explain why that was. Still, wy I wouldn't say it felt forced, I do think it was a bit too convnient.

That said, I'd prefer that to what they did in Prime 3 with the planet jumping and the backtracking to the ship - that was one of the things I definitely didn't like. The whole multiple planets thing kinda' took me out of it at times, because I really like the general feel of being in one main location and having this large, interconnected map that you explore and find all sorts of secret passages that may lead to an undiscovered room that somehow leads back to a whole 'nother area (like a morphball passage leading from Maridia to Brinstar Depths, or a tunnel leading perfectly from Sector 5 to Sector 6).

That said, I want to give it another try though, because at the time I did have it I was in school and working on my portfolio to graduate, and really just didn't give it a fair amount of time.

Also, playing Fusion again today, I realize how much I really enjoy the colorful environments and enemies. It's not so colorful that it looks like Yoshi's Island... but what I really admire is the fact that it's so colorful and yet it still gives off the feeling of these threatening alien beings in every corridor. In fact, I think I get why that attracts me so much:

It reminds me of the original Metroid on NES. Metroid NES was a very colorful game (I mean there's parts of Brinstar that are pure gold), and yet still gave off this feeling that you were on this threatening alien planet. I really, really like that approach.

Though truth be told, a larger reasoning for Fusion's color palette might also have to do with making sur that everything remains recognizable on the GBA's non-backlit screen. ;-p

Either way it works well.

Hunters did nothing for me though. I might give it another shot though, as I wrote it ff pretty quickly. But I'm in no rush on that one. (-_^ )


Posted by 
 on: 09/14/09, 13:17:05
Surprised you guys didn't think much of Zero Mission. I was blown away by how Metroidy it was (minus the pointing where to go part)! Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting much after Fusion though. It definitely brought me back to Super Metroid.

I do enjoy Fusion's colour too. I think Other M is looking to have some colour akin to that style.

And you're right, I do also prefer the way Fusion "conveniently" had a spaceship with all ecosystems, to the way Prime 3 (and Hunters) did it with multiple planets. I agree that the connectivity between the areas is very special. (side note) I just got a job as a level designer at a local game company and am using inspirations like that of the brilliant connectivity of levels in Metroid games. I think level design wise, the Metroid series can't be beat. I just really enjoy that type of design. I know some people might prefer more linearity...

Don't bother with Hunters ;]

Nah go ahead and give it a chance. Might as well. Being Metroid whores, we kinda have to. I bought Metroid Pinball for pete's sake! (and it was pretty good...for a couple of hours)


Posted by 
 on: 09/15/09, 05:08:00
^ I loved Zero Mission, better than Fusion in my eyes, though both were close. I almost felt the whole stealth-ish part near the end was a bit anti-climactic though. I liked it for the variety, but would have preferred it more interspersed with the other gameplay. Anyway, one thing I loved was how you COULD take the hints of the statues, but you could also just wing it and figure out where to go next yourself.


Posted by 
 on: 09/15/09, 06:32:09
Surprised you guys didn't think much of Zero Mission. I was blown away by how Metroidy it was (minus the pointing where to go part)! Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting much after Fusion though. It definitely brought me back to Super Metroid.

I do enjoy Fusion's colour too. I think Other M is looking to have some colour akin to that style.

And you're right, I do also prefer the way Fusion "conveniently" had a spaceship with all ecosystems, to the way Prime 3 (and Hunters) did it with multiple planets. I agree that the connectivity between the areas is very special. (side note) I just got a job as a level designer at a local game company and am using inspirations like that of the brilliant connectivity of levels in Metroid games. I think level design wise, the Metroid series can't be beat. I just really enjoy that type of design. I know some people might prefer more linearity...


Don't get me wrong now, I loved Zero Mission too! I mean, how could I not, it'sthe debut of ZSS! * drools *

And yup, going to play through it again.

I just finished a 1:57 playthrough of Super Metroid - my fastest in over a decade! - and I do see how much more open it is again. And, Ilied earlier - apparently I do some small sequence-breaking, like getting my Spazer early (before High Jump Boots), some expansions I shouldn't get until later...

Also, that was one thing I didn't like at all about Fusion: they made the wall kick nearly useless since you can't turn back against the wall nearly as quick!

I think I'm going to go through all the Metroid games someday.

Congrats on the job! That as absolutely a great thing to take with you as you design levels - that inter-connectivity just makes for some really cool "oh, that's where that leads to?" moments. Even when it's stuff that's super minute. Examples:

- In Super Metroid, I love the fact that at the end of the game, when you're leaving Tourian to get to your ship, the map loops back to Crateria, right to the old Tourian Tube and almost makes it a re-enactment of the original Metroid.

- Another example from Super Metroid, the way that Maridia cris-crosses with Brinstar Depths is very awesome.

- In Fusion, I remember finding a strange little path I missed in Sector 5... then finding a whole another room that lead to a glass tube that lead to Sector 4. It's such a cool feeling to see that "wow, they put that much care into it to make that part connect?"

- And then I found more of those paths, and they lead from the most unexpected places, like you'd see a door through most of the game and wonder "where the **** does that lead to?"... then minutes later, you open it from the other side and you're like "oh! That's where!"

Even Prime 1 nailed this very, very well. I agree with what you stated earlier as well about Prime 1, it really felt like Super Metroid in 3D, minus the acrobatic platforming (the only thing I think the Prime games missed, for obvious reasons).

I might give Hunters a try, I was mostly teasing about that. :p Pinball? eh... not so much. Only Pinball games I played and enjoyed were Kirby's Pinball Land (STILL love that to this day!), and Alien Crush (STILL love and play this on VC!).


Posted by 
 on: 09/17/09, 03:50:42
That breakable bridge in Super Metroid will forever be one of the best moments in gaming for me :D I'm lost...out of curiosity, will this chipped glass bridge actually break if I bomb it?

*tries it...explores an entire new area*

:O

I loved that they had an homage to that in Prime, as well! But unfortunately in Prime all it leads to is an upgrade. If it opened up a secret area that would've been cooler. Also I noticed the bridge gets built back every time you re-visit the room. Those space pirate construction workers are on the ball.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend the Pinball game unless you're a fan of Metroid Prime AND you can get it for like 10 bucks, but is a pretty cool take on pinball. Also, Pokemon Pinball is probably the best pinball game I've ever played :D


Posted by 
 on: 09/17/09, 05:30:24
Yeah bombing that area after hours of running around clueless was so awesome.

It wasn't until later playthroughs that I realized you don't even have to do that to get into Maridia... in fact you are probably "supposed" to come from the other side.


Posted by 
 on: 09/17/09, 08:01:38
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