Ekki var það slæmt. Aðeins einn annar leikur á Next-Gen vél hefur fengið svona háa einkunn og það var GT3. Minni á að Halo fékk 9.7 :)

November 11, 2002 - Nearly two decades ago Nintendo
created a sci-fi adventure that pushed gameplay design boundaries to new limits. Named Metroid, for the energy-sucking creatures featured in it, the franchise debuted on the NES to make a larger splash in America than Japan. Knowing it had only laid the foundation for greater things to come, though, Nintendo went on to create sequels on the Game Boy and Super Nintendo. Regarding the latter, Super Metroid proved to be one of the most detailed and creative 2D games ever, offering up fantastic vertical platforming and unbridled exploration of the moody worlds. In the wake of that, it has been called one of the greatest games of all time by numerous publications.

Since then, fans of the series have been clamoring for another addition to the series. However, due to the dying popularity of 2D gaming and the increasing complexity of 3D, Nintendo avoided the Metroid franchise for many years. But that didn't stop Metroid fanatics' pleas and eventually with the onset of its new GameCube technology, Nintendo gave in and began development on Metroid Prime in mid-2000 at newly formed second-party Retro Studios. Only then, doubts began to set in that an American studio could bring the franchise into 3D, and the eventual confirmation that the series would be handled from a first-person perspective seemed blasphemy.

Astonishingly, the final product is anything but that. Instead, Metroid Prime has undergone the same brilliant translation into 3D that Nintendo's acclaimed Legend of Zelda franchise has. Indeed, one of the greatest game franchises of all time is totally reborn on Nintendo GameCube, replete with nearly everything that made Super Metroid so stellar and perhaps even more. From the amazingly polished gameplay design to the gorgeous visuals and atmospheric soundtrack, Metroid Prime is unquestionably a must-have masterpiece and a show horse that all forthcoming adventure titles will be judged by.

The Facts

* The return of Samus Aran and the Metroid franchise
* 3D first-person adventure game with third-person elements
* Morph into a ball and navigate small tunnels, ride half-pipes, magnetic tracks and more
* Use bombs in ball mode to gain access to otherwise unattainable areas
* Traverse a crippled spaceship and explore the vast worlds of Tallon IV
* Take advantage of Samus's many powers using new suits that enable her to gain new abilities and revisit earlier worlds to uncover many hidden secrets
* Master Samus's combat, scan, and visors – elements crucial to your success
* Explore each area to find many familiar weapons, such as the Wave Beam, Ice Beam, and some all-new ones as well
* Advanced 3D engine draws beautifully detailed worlds with massive geometry, crisp textures, lighting and particle effects and more at 60 frames per second
* Flawless camera system blends first- and third-person views in-game
* In-game cut-scenes highlight the action
* Totally immersive, focused on single-player game
* Traditional Metroid style adventure with numerous boss figures and power-ups
* Supports progressive scan for HDTV users
* Runs in Dolby Pro Logic II with capable stereo setup
* No widescreen setting
* Connect to GBA's Metroid Fusion to unlock extra goodies
* Unlock art galleries, difficulty settings, and more
* 25+ hours of gameplay

Metroid Prime is an action-packed adventure set in the first-person perspective that takes place just after the events in the original Metroid (NES). It has lead character Samus Aran, a bounty hunter by trade, chasing down the evil Space Pirates. Their intention is to use a genetic mutagen called Phazon to create a super army and take over the universe. While the installments in the series before have never been home to deeply involving storylines, Metroid Prime breaks the shell to offer up one of the most intriguing and read-worthy sagas yet. Equipped with a scanning tool, one of many useful features of the Power Suit that protects the hunter's body, Samus Aran can uncover important details about the past and present. As the player, it's easy to become absorbed in the grim tale, and furthermore because you save all data to your log book, it becomes a practical novel of research data available at any time. Next to Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, it's one of most well done story concepts on GameCube yet, which is an especially rare treat given that it's based on the Metroid franchise. Moreover, the solitary nature of being a bounty hunter on the unfamiliar planet of Tallon IV makes understanding the plot all the more rewarding and immersive.

 The prevailing gameplay style, polished and refined, is perfectly representative of the standards laid down in Super Metroid. In fact, Prime manages to bring nearly every major element of the series, sans the Screw Attack and Dash Boots, to this new adventure. Like before, the focus is exploring the massive, uncharted planet around you. As Aran, you begin your quest with nothing. Your most important Power Suit features – the ability to roll into a Morph Ball, jump higher, carve through ice, etc. – must be gained through exploration and persistence. The general progression teases you with sights of inaccessible doorways, out of reach platforms, and often caustic environments that require suit upgrades. For example the lava-filled caverns of Magmoor require a suit upgrade to shield you from the heat, grey doors call for the Ice Beam, and numerous elevated platforms demand a special pair of boots. These upgrades are only a few of the many. It is this delicate and sophisticated balance that makes Metroid Prime the incredible design accomplishment that it is. It is one massive world tied together by a handful of elevators and secret passages. The rewarding sensation of discovering new areas and powering up your arsenal of weapons and tools is unmatched.
Complex puzzles play hugely into this design. Around every corner Metroid Prime demands that the player figure out something. Occasionally it's simple and at other times it requires drawing on everything you've learned to that point, but it is always gratifying. This system of awarding you for even the smallest of your efforts makes it extremely difficult to travel to the nearest save station and take a break. There is always something tugging at the back of your mind, begging you to try out your newest skill and solve what may have previously seemed like an impossible puzzle. In particular, Retro Studios has taken hold of the many opportunities that arise from Samus's ability to change into a Morph Ball. You must use it in half-pipes to speed to higher points and quite often the camera switches to a 2D-style perspective to reveal mazes and pinball-esque designs. One of our favorite puzzle environments submerges the Morph Ball underwater. Only with the clever detonation of bombs and exploiting the lessened gravity will you make it to the exit. Moments like these are littered liberally all over the worlds, which keeps gameplay from getting repetitive. It also easily makes Metroid Prime the most diverse and complicated in the series. It is not remotely easy or passive in any way, which is exactly what we adore about it. Likewise, the pacing of the design and balance is the best we've seen in years. It's truly remarkable.

Meanwhile, action and shooting also factors largely into the experience. Again, the balance is a throwback to the previous Metroids where every section of the world has some kind of life in it. The combat system, like Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time before it, adheres to a lock-on mechanic to simplify shootouts in the 3D world. Couple this with the fact that the controls are not dual analog, and it should be clear that Metroid Prime is not intended to be your traditional first-person shooter. Exploration composes the bulk of the quest, and enemies are merely there to inject the game with a healthy dose of action. In fact, fighting enemies can often be a puzzle itself. There are a lot of cleverly designed creatures that require scanning them to find weakpoints, and making use of that information is very important. Some are more simply defeated and others take diligence. The Space Pirates that have invaded Tallon IV present the biggest threat, but the creature list is pretty huge overall. Wasp-like insects swarm Samus when you near their hive, snarling Baby Sheegoth – the guard dogs of the icy Phendrana Drifts – charge you at first sight, and mechanical drones unleash rapid gunfire onto you if alarmed.

That is but a small portion of the list, and there are other foes that cause trouble in a more subtle way. For example, one particularly neat beetle-like creature vacuums up Samus in Morph Ball form and ejects you out the nearest exit. As a whole, the controls work perfectly for the game style, and combat can still be very intense and satisfying. As a matter of fact, artificial intelligence is handled pretty well and ramps up as you progress deeper on your journey. Namely, the Space Pirates begin to take cover when attacked, leaping huge distances to gain a better vantage point. They can be very aggressive, sometimes working in teams. If you have any apprehension that the said lock-on system will not provide a challenge, think again. Things get very difficult. The only qualm we have with the combat, is that you must repeatedly engage in the same battles. It's meant to be faithful to the previous Metroids, where enemies reappear after you leave a room, but with the increased difficulty and complexity it can seem unfair at times. It's debatable, however, and once you've honed your skills enough it shouldn't pose a major problem.

Additionally, you will have to face off with about a dozen mini-boss and boss figures. On a much larger scale than figuring out basic enemies, the bosses all have some weakness that must be exploited. As you acquire more skills, the requirements for defeating each boss become more imposing. Equally impressive is that nearly every boss figure towers high above Samus. We found the collection of foes to be some of the best and most cleverly designed we've faced in a great while. It's another element of Metroid Prime that exudes the kind of polish that Nintendo so consistently delivers to its Zelda series. Needless to say, we were very happy with the boss sequences, and we're positive you'll find them very gratifying.

In its entirety, the package screams sky-high production values from start to finish. Everything about Metroid Prime is absolutely amazing. Just as we experienced total elation with Zelda's transition from 2D to 3D (The Ocarina of Time, 1998), we can now enjoy that same caliber thrill with Metroid Prime, which is every bit as fantastic as Super Metroid. Make haste, and add Prime to your GameCube collection.
Aesthetically, Metroid Prime is one of the most gorgeous games we've ever seen. It owes its beauty to two major components: art direction and a technologically impressive engine. It is so extremely rare that we see a game bring both elements together so tightly. In Metroid Prime's case, the art direction is probably the more fantastic of the two. Retro Studios' artists have created a completely believable style for this science fiction fantasy. Borrowing concepts from the original designs in Metroid and Super Metroid, Retro's stunning art vision is generously spread across several uniquely themed environments; the verdant rain-soaked overworld, steamy magma-filled cavern, and hazy mining facilities make up but a few of the diverse areas.

Even more extraordinary is that every new section of the world you enter looks completely different thanks to brilliant architecture; the Chozo Ruins are off-kilter, dry, and crumbling, Phendrana Drifts' walls are carved from ancient ice that radiates with a blue glow, and Magmoor Caverns is a maze of claustrophobic, lava-filled passageways. The attention to detail continues to a more microscopic level, as you can cast your gaze in almost any direction and see something you may not have noticed before; flocks of birds soar under the hot sun, indents or juts on walls and flooring are cause for a more organic feel, bridges are not square or obvious, but instead intertwined branches or fallen rubble, and every wall has a different set of cracks and chips. If Retro Studios has proven one thing, it is how extremely valuable artistry is for establishing the mood of a game and immersing the player. There are few 3D videogames that can hold a candle to this visionary masterpiece.

Naturally, that accomplishment is only possible with the backing of equally ambitious technology. The programming team at Retro Studios has constructed a flexible engine that is capable of drawing these detailed and sometimes massive environments at 60 frames per second with no slowdown. At first glance it may not seem like the worlds are high polygon, but with all the subtleties and organic architecture there is a lot going on. Furthermore, the character rendering is truly jaw-dropping. Samus, the various creatures, and the gigantic boss figures are all tremendously detailed. There are a few in-engine cut-scenes in the game that could easily be mistaken for full-motion video. For example, one incident that unfolds as you defeat the final boss will take your breath away. Indeed, it's very often that Metroid Prime will have you second-guessing how the engine is capable of so much.

That's not to say it's perfect, however. Textures are complex and plentiful, even crisp from far away, but up close the quality falters. Furthermore, the much-talked-about bump-mapping technique, used to give textures more depth, is nowhere to be found. It seems likely that these drawbacks are a product of keeping Prime running at 60 fps with so much diversity and intricacy. Nonetheless there are a host of other effects that easily overshadow what's lacking. For starters, the visor effects such as Infrared and X-ray prove incredibly accurate. Unbelievably, every object has a sensible heat signature; machinery displays as dark blues and black while living creatures, lights, and other heated objects light up in orange and red. Likewise, the X-ray visor is so precise it even reveals the bones in Samus's hand. There are also a handful of atmospheric conditions that affect Samus's visor: condensation builds from passing under a waterfall or through steam, static and veins of electricity brand the screen when Samus interacts with energy-charged objects, and raindrops and splashes of water create a temporary refraction of the world around you. The numerous eye-popping effects – so many we can't detail them all – pull you into the world and don't let go.

 Equally important is the lighting model found in Prime. Nearly everything that moves produces beautiful, vibrant lighting. The shots from Samus's gun, the beams that radiate out of the Morph Ball, and the varying overcast of colors that set the mood in the environments exploits the very robust lighting GameCube is capable of. It produces a lot of depth by interacting with the detailed architecture, and the desire for bump-mapping is lessened because of it.

To top it all off, those with a progressive scan capable television can benefit from a truly gorgeous display. Metroid Prime looks incredible with the blazingly fast framerate and myriad of effects. Unfortunately, there is no widescreen support.
It should come as no surprise that Metroid Prime is home to the best sound design yet on GameCube. The Kenji Yamamoto composed soundtrack is every bit as characteristic and pleasing as Super Metroid was before it. For very good reason, too, as Yamamoto was the original composer. The Japanese surprises with incredibly versatility, twisting together light atmospheric melodies that hang on the air and driving industrial beats, which give it a distinct modern tinge. As soundtrack done completely with MIDI, Yamamoto proves that redbook audio can be overrated. Heavy drums, piano, voiced chants, clangs of pipes, ominous electric guitar hooks, and many synthesized effects produce a distinctly alien mood. More impressive is that there are a lot of subtle audio cues that affect the player during the experience. When fighting the music gets very aggressive and perhaps after you've beaten a boss you'll find there is a more driving beat that parallels your excitement. Naturally, many themes from the previous games have returned too. You'll recognize them frequently, but Yamamoto has been keen to add new flavor to them. The same goes for the celebratory melodies heard when kicking off your quest from your last save point or finding a power-up. So, both fans and new Metroid followers alike will find the listening experience absolutely rocks.

Complimenting the high quality soundtrack, Metroid Prime comes chock full of a sound effects library to die for. There has been great attention to detail from the foreign growls of the Space Pirates to the screeches of the alien insects. Every mechanical sound that Samus's Power Suit utters is almost exactly as you imagine it would be. Add to that, the environment around you is littered with random noises, whether it is the hiss of a nearby steam vent or the cranking of a nearby elevator there is a lot to absorb. The atmospheres just seem to echo and blend perfectly with the overlying soundtrack.

Mixed in Dolby Pro Logic II by a member of Dolby itself, Prime is a stellar treat for the ears that we can find few issues with.
Closing Comments

Metroid on the NES was one of the first epic games I ever experienced. My brother and I, at the age of about seven, spent weeks and months questing through the password-enabled adventure. It had a certain charm to it, and even if I couldn't describe it then it made an impact on me. Then along came Super Metroid in 1994, and I was totally blown away by how brilliant it was. It was a perfect videogame in my mind. It was edgy, home to a fantastic power-up system, full of awesome bosses, and the gameplay style was a soul mate to me.

Needless to say, I have an unhealthy obsession with the franchise. So, when Metroid Prime was finally announced I was both thrilled and frightened to see how it would turn out. But after several years of very hard work, Retro Studios and Nintendo have translated the same genius of Super Metroid into 3D with very few casualties. Because of that, Metroid Prime has not only become my most beloved title on GameCube, but also one of my most treasured games of all time. I'm not sure where I place it, but it's very high on the list.

If I had to make one personal observation, it would be that the change to first-person perspective was brilliant for its move to 3D, but not perfect. I felt comfortable (even in awe) 90% of the time, but there are a few boss fights where it can frustrate. It's extremely rare, but something you should be aware of going into it. It's nothing that sours the overall quality, though.

That said, I would recommend Metroid Prime as an absolute buy – skip the renting facade – for every owner of a GameCube. It's a real collector's item. You'll want to keep this one even after your done spending 30+ hours with it. The only reason one would avoid it is if action/adventures are not part of your narrower taste in games. If you fall into that category, you have no idea what you're missing out on.

Metroid Prime is an instant classic that you will use to measure forthcoming software by.

– Fran Mirabella III


Metroid reborn in 3D, and an impressive sci-fi fantasy to boot. Awesome menus. Design is great from concept to execution. Few games are this polished.

A stunning art vision that deserves major recognition, jaw-dropping world architecture, and volumes of pretty textures. At 60 fps with progressive scan support, there are few that compare.

The original Nintendo composer delivers another opus and fantastically designed sound effects compliment the mood with Dolby Pro Logic II support.

A true masterpiece; an accomplishment that will be recognized for years. It is Super Metroid in 3D, and it's as complex and wonderful as any gamer could want. Any self-respecting gamer must own it.

Lasting Appeal
30+ hours to average completion. Requires much longer to earn 100%. Unlock art galleries, difficulty settings, and connect to GBA for extras. No multiplayer, but like Zelda, do we need it?

OVERALL SCORE (not an average)
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