Metroid Prime

Moby ID: 7783

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 96% (based on 97 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 211 ratings with 15 reviews)

Through the eyes of a bounty hunter.

The Good
After eight years of hiatus, Metroid returned in a big way. On the same day in 2002, Metroid Fusion for the Gameboy Advance and Metroid Prime for the Gamecube were released in North America. Fusion was a traditional sidescroller developed internally at Nintendo and closely follows the gameplay of Super Metroid. Prime, on the other hand was given off to the unproven western developer, Retro Studios, and flipped into the first-person perspective. In a post-Halo world, much of the fanbase was worried that the focus would be changed to be more action oriented. It’s possible that Nintendo also lacked confidence in the results, as Metroid Fusion contained an introduction that labeled it “Metroid 4”, while Metroid Prime was given no such status within the series. Nowadays, however, gamers tend to look more favourably on Retro’s work, and for good reason.

Despite the drastic change in perspective, Metroid Prime draws heavy inspiration from Super Metroid and largely ignores the features that are typically found in conventional first-person shooters. Perhaps the most disorienting is that it doesn’t use a dual analogue control scheme. Instead, the Y-axis is locked during movement and only by using the free-look button can you actually look up and down. Combat instead uses a lock-on system, rather than allowing free aiming. This, along with the game’s meagre selection of weapons, limits combat to a secondary role and helps the game push its exploration focus.

Like previous Metroid games, the game world is a large web of rooms and other nodes connected together. Progression is limited by what upgrades have been picked up, so certain doors will be impassable until a specific arm cannon upgrade can be found. It really does feel like Super Metroid with an additional dimension to the point where it sometimes feels like it’s reading off the same script. Many of the power-ups from the previous games can be once again found here, with few additions to actually take advantage of the extra dimension. Likewise, the game’s minimalistic story features numerous settings and obstacles that are repeats from the series’ seminal entry.

Metroid’s lore has always been rather disconnected and abstract which makes it difficult to get a handle on how things work. The space pirates, for example, are a race of sentient creatures vying for galactic dominance, yet they were always depicted as sluggish, dimwitted, and extremely vulnerable, and it was hard to believe that they’d have the ambition to build an empire, let alone weaponize a creature such as the Metroid. Metroid Prime does a decent job of making the space pirates a more rounded threat. They’re depicted as an amoral, technologically advanced, militarized society. You can learn a lot about the world, the backstory, and what you’re up against using logs that are read by scanning terminals and enemies with Samus’ visor. There’s an awful lot of text, much of it disposable, littered throughout the game, but it does a good job of adding depth to the space pirates’ organization while dropping a selection of five-dollar words for that added sci-fi effect. For the first time, there’s a lot of context to what’s going on and it really adds some useful perspective to the events in the game.

At the time of its release, and even throughout the Gamecube’s lifespan, Metroid Prime was considered to be quite the graphical powerhouse. By today’s standards, it has lost its dazzle, featuring blocky environments and low resolution textures, but at the time it was rather impressive. However, one part of its visual design that hasn’t aged is its attention to detail. The HUD in particular is creatively done, bordered by the edges of Samus’ visor to give the impression of looking out through her eyes. That’s not necessarily anything new, but it also reacts to environmental effects to further cement the illusion. Rain beads on it, vapour sticks to it, and if there’s a bright flash nearby, the image of Samus’ eyes appears reflecting in the glass as she looks around. While this is all greatly superficial, it’s a rather impressive attempt to further immersion, and there are many other small details like this that add to it.

The Bad
While Metroid Prime was quite the looker in its day, it came at a price in the scope of its environments. Prime’s world boils down collection of nodes and corridors, which is fine since that’s the sort of structure that previous games featured. However, the effect that it does have is that Talon IV doesn’t feel like a real place. While the topology is a little strange, demonstrating a variety of biomes in ridiculously close proximity to one another, it’s not the only reason for the preposterousness of its world. There’s nothing to really give you an idea of how everything links up. If it wasn’t for the map, keeping a sense of direction would be nearly impossible. The map screen itself shows an abstract honeycomb when zoomed out, rather than a view of the overworld, and it’s difficult to place everything together mentally. This could have been solved by giving the player a view of the world from a high place, or having Phendrana Drifts visible in distant mountains and the Phazon Mines from atop a cliff, but no effort was made to tie everything together believably, making the world feel tangibly phoney.

Considering the game plays out entirely in the first-person perspective and a lot of attention has been given into the visor to make it actually appear as though the game is played out through Samus’ eyes, it’s a little unfortunate that Prime still falls into the old standards of establishing shots. Cutscenes are pretty rare, but when a new environment or particular enemy is introduced, the game cuts away to show Samus standing rigidly on the doorstep as she looks around. Obviously, this doesn’t have much of an impact on gameplay aside from taking the player out of the moment, but I feel that the camera should have never left Samus’ helmet.

There’s a lot of backtracking late in the game; more than usual for a Metroid game. The worst example of this occurs towards the end of the game where you’re required to collect a number of artefacts to reach the final area. There are some very specific hints available that reveal their positions, but it’s still necessary to walk across hell’s half-acre to actually reach them. Some can be picked up as you go throughout the game, but others require you to have a vast collection of power-ups before you can reach them. This isn’t a major ordeal, but it is the weakest portion of the game by far. It reduces the game’s already sluggish pace to a glacial crawl as you hop around the environment on a treasure hunt.

The Bottom Line
I replayed Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion in tandem and came to the conclusion that while I enjoyed Metroid Fusion more than I did previously, I enjoyed Metroid Prime less. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Prime, it’s an OUTSTANDING game, but in my youth, I loved it. Metroid Prime never really reaches the high points of Super Metroid, but it still delivers a pretty tight experience. The atmosphere is excellent and the attention to detail is almost peerless. It’s commendable that Retro was able to translate the exploration based gameplay of the earlier sidescrollers so deftly to the third dimension. I have my doubts that any other developer will meet with the same success that was found here when it comes to translating the Metroid series to 3D.

GameCube · by Adzuken (836) · 2015

In Tallon IV, one of the greatest games ever is born.

The Good
You play Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter who must investigate the "Great Poison" released throughout Chozo Ruins, which is among four different planets connected to Tallon Overworld through elevators.

The gameplay in this game is completely revolutionary. It's in First Person, but is in no way a first person shooter. Nintendo's given moniker of a FPA is about the best way to put it. I won't give the story here, as this review is long enough as it is. You can check the plot details to find it out. The game works like your usual FPS, only much better. A shoots, and B jumps. X and Y do other functions, such as the morph ball and missiles. What makes things better is that as she goes on, Samus unlocks new weapons and abilities, true to any Metroid game. However, this time, all her weapons remain accessible and usable, with just a swift jolt of the C-Stick, you can switch from the Power Beam, Plasma Beam, Ice Beam, and Wave Beams. Another great feature about the game is that Samus can switch between scan visors. In the beginning of the game you start out with just two visors, the combat visor, which is your normal view-screen, and the scan visor, which allows you to scan objects and enemies, and details most of the plot for you. It can also tell you enemy weaknesses. That's just one of the many things I like about this title. The story is very profound and immersive, but almost none of it progresses during the actual game. You can choose to scan around, learning more and more about what happened here. You can also choose to remain completely oblivious to the events that occurred on Tallon IV. This really adds some more atmosphere and makes the game even more immersive. Even looking up and down is extremely immersive. It would seem clunky at first, then you realize that Samus is in a very heavy suit. Speaking of immersive, this game carries it in spades. You can go anywhere, and mess with almost all of the environment and its creatures. This game is very open-ended…perhaps the most open-ended game I've ever played, allowing you millions of different ways to go about getting the next item on your list. However you like to think, Metroid Prime definitely supports it, and for someone with ANYTHING stimulating their brain cells, this game should definitely be for them. The graphics in this game are among the best ever burned onto a disc or stuffed into a cartridge. Everything is beautiful and extremely accurate and realistic to their certain area. Every villain is drawn wonderful, to the smallest detail, and the areas are perhaps the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Upon landing on Tallon IV I was shaken by just how beautiful the over-world looked. The tropical rains, the lush green forests, and the fact that as I stood in the water and looked into the churning waterfall Samus' face would actually get wet and fog. Magmoor Caverns are the same way. You step into a stream of hot water vapor and you vision wavers and fogs. Phendrana Drifts is perhaps the second most beautiful area I've seen in a game. The perpetual light snow, and those ever-white snowcaps. They just make me want to touch the screen. And the best thing of all? I didn't have a progressive scan cable. The progressive scan cable makes the graphics much sharper than before. Trust me that is a good thing. The soundtrack and sound was good. I liked the screams and groans of the aliens you kill in the game. The music is very good. It is the best in Phendrana Drifts and in the Space Pirate Frigate.

. There is nothing to say for voice acting because it is not there. For good reason. It wouldn't make any sense. There's no one on this big, empty, dangerous planet. It's just Samus. There are no speaking parts in the entire game. This game is an achievement for Nintendo, Retro Studios, and gaming itself. I'd never seen a game so immersive and atmospheric before I played this game, and this really is one of the games that changed the way I game…even if I had been gaming for a good ten years + before I got it.

The Bad
There is no multiplayer.

The Bottom Line
Retro Studios and Nintendo have created a true masterpiece, once again setting standards and defining a genre all over again.

It's a massive title, too. The 30-hour mark is definitely something most gamers will hit. There's so much to it. Most impressive to me is that Tallon IV's separate worlds -- lava, ice, water, etc -- are all connected. It's just like the old Metroids, and load times are nearly nonexistent; a truly amazing feat.

It is Super Metroid brought into 3D. All the naysayers who said it couldn't be done right -- including myself -- are completely wrong. I need some time to absorb it, but it's absolutely as great a game as Super Metroid, and perhaps...better.

When I say the game is amazing, I mean it. From level design, to rewarding the player for exploring, to power-ups, to the bosses, to the music, Metroid Prime is amazing.

GameCube · by SiriusCrane (8) · 2007

An epic adventure that helped me understand the genre

The Good
Metroid Prime sure is a Metroid game, just a different kind of one. It definitely helped me to understand the series as a whole. I'd definitely recommend this game as everyone's first Metroid game to try - it isn't as hard as the previous games and is interesting all the way.

The controls are great. Even if, in FPSes, I can't really hit anything without a mouse and keyboard, the controls were never a problem for me. The controls emphasize strategy rather than reflexes - the point is to know how to blast the creatures away, to try to hit things.

The graphics are some of the best I've ever seen. Everything looks great. Lots of attention to details. I especially liked the various weather effects and visor effects (the face reflection spooked the heck out of me the first time I saw it).

The music is also pretty good. I didn't like it at first, but after you get to the planet and do some major moves, the music in general changes to something indescribably great.

There's some great pacing. As I say below, only the bosses were demotivating, every other challenge in the game seems just right.

I also found the game pretty good plot/narration-wise - the approach of collecting scraps of information on what really happened is a good idea.

The Bad
There was just one thing that I really didn't like about: The boss fights were, shall we say, demotivating. They weren't impossible, but they were just, at first, humiliatingly difficult. And by "humiliating", I mean "embarrassing enough not to make me touch the thing for weeks". Of course, once I did beat, say, Flaahgra and Thardus, and even the last boss without getting completely clobbered in the first phase... well, let's just say that the joy of victory was even higher then.

A smaller point I didn't like was that 100% scan completion requires some extremely sharp wits - If you miss some enemies at certain point of game, you can say goodbye to the 100% scan rate. Okay, it isn't really relevant, since it only gives you certain off-game bonuses, but still...

And this is probably the first game ever where I've had moral or ethical problems (as in "I can't kill that, it's too cute!")...

The Bottom Line
I don't really like first-person shooters, but I do love it when people grab their first-person shooter engines and do something completely different with them. I loved mysteriously creative Quake mods. I loved Deus Ex.

So, it wasn't really unexpected that I liked Metroid Prime. The one big thing about FPSes that I dislike is that you've always got to be either running or sneaking or dying. Metroid Prime, then, is sometimes about running and sneaking. It isn't that often about dying, though that tends to happen too.

Metroid Prime is about exploration. I hate to throw cliches around, but I think the appropriate one here is "the journey is more important than the destination".

It's about gathering items. It's also about gathering information. It's about seeing great places. It's about finding out what happened. It's about getting things done. It's about, I think, being a hero.

It is an adventure. It works beautifully as an adventure.

I used to think Metroid series was too complex for me, but now, I think I have learned to understand it. And that wasn't easy at first. Now, I think, I do know what this all is about.

Of all games I've bought for GameCube, I thought this was the one I'd least likely to beat - but somehow, I did, and I'm definitely one great experience richer now that I have beaten it. And excuse me, now, I'll get back playing Metroid Prime 2...

GameCube · by WWWWolf (444) · 2004

Best Gamecube game ever!

The Good
Everything! The graphics are outstanding like any Metroid game. The detail in the surroundings were out of the charts and switching from an energy cannon to a freeze beam was an extra bonus. Additionally, the enemies looked super cool! The controls were very easy to handle and the story unraveled very well with no flaws. The game lives to its name, PRIME!

The Bad

The Bottom Line
Buy the game now and be hooked for life.

GameCube · by Exodia85 (2145) · 2003

The one that doesn't come out but once a generation...

The Good
Everything about this game is so good it makes you forget about anything you could think of wrong with it. The sound, graphics, game play, and controls are all excellently done.

The Bad
That I can't play it 24/7 without having to go to the bathroom or go eat or sleep...

The Bottom Line
This is the game you look for to come out once every consoles generation, and you know there won't be another one like it for that particular game platform unless they make a sequel for it. This game is so good that you can't put it down until then end, and when you do finally finish it, you find yourself going back through it to see if you can find anything you may have missed or any secrets that may be contained in it.

The game play is immersive and entertaining, and the way the story is presented to you is wonderfully done in a "search for the clues" type manner so that you never get bored doing only one thing all the time.

The graphics are seamless, the sound is perfect, the controls are right one que. Everything about this game begs for it to be a part of you gamecube library, so don't miss it and get it as soon as you can!!!

GameCube · by Angela Nichols (1) · 2003

Best. Game. Ever.

The Good
There is nothing to dislike about this game, it is such a perfect piece of gaming history. Once you have played this stunning adventure every other first person game is instantly exposed as a boring piece of faecel matter. Those critical of it point to it's flawed control system which is utter nonsense. At first it is alien to the usual 1'st person controls but over time it becomes as unique as the game itself. The simple lock on mechanism invites you to explore new tactics in defeating enemies and the game is the first to ever properly allow you to jump. The way that Samus' abilities are re-introduced to you and their timing make the whole journey so fresh and interesting. There is a lot of backtracking and trying to work out the best way to go using the map system was a little frustrating but the acquisition of a new skill such as the double jump make it quicker and more enjoyable. You notice the 'Nintendo' difference when rolling Samus into a ball for the first time and enjoying not just the ability but the wonderful physics involved with just this tiny part of the game. Also the different views of the visor, which have been seen to some degree in other games but haven't affected the game as much as here. You need certain visors to access different parts of this game. I will never forget the feeling of being totally lost and isolated only to recieve a visor upgrade which allows you to see beyond the enclosed walls around you to your escape. Wondrous. This is the only game to ever keep me awake at night with the enemies and journey racing through my mind.

The Bad
Maybe the ease of use of the map, the 3d method is necessary but needed to be easier to control.

The Bottom Line
The God of games.

GameCube · by Gareth Day (7) · 2004

The best available GC game

The Good
Retro have made a stylish job of updating this Nintendo classic to 3D. The map system - a scalable, rotatable wireframe model showing doors, save points etc. - is one of the best to grace any game on any platform, and is an invaluable tool for exploration of the massive but lonely world of Tallon. The gadgets and weapons are great, too - from Samus' ability to turn into a Sonic The Hedgehog-style 'Morph Ball' to the awesome visor system (enabling the player to see in x-ray or infra-red, for example). These features would, of course, be simple eye-candy without great design which Metroid Prime, fortunately, has in abundance. The designers have incorporated a huge number of mini-puzzles which must be solved in conjunction with the gear at Samus' disposal, and serve to make MP so much more than just another run-of-the mill FPS or platformer. For the completists out there, Samus' scanner can be used to check the facts and figures on every enemy and countless environmental features, at once providing further gameworld immersion and hints on solving puzzles or killing bosses. The amount of detail is staggering, as are the the graphics and sound (it is really worth playing with a Pro-Logic II system).

The Bad
The controls, whilst becoming second nature after several hours of play, are not particularly intuitive and may cause frustration in those players without a strong handle on the GameCube's controller. Be warned: Metroid Prime is quite difficult in places, although it is certainly worth persevering. Players expecting a classic FPS will also be out of luck - this game rewards those who seek to take in every inch of Tallon at their leisure, drinking in the lore of the planet's lost civilisation whilst obliterating its fantastic array of inhabitants. It's a shame, though, that Retro chose to stick with the cliched Fire Level Ice Level Forest Level design pattern, however well each has been executed.

The Bottom Line
Progress hinges on exploration and the aquisition of new gadgets and abilities (an early pair of 'double jump' boots, for example, enables Samus to reach otherwise inaccessible ledges) and it is this mechanic which players will either love or hate, as an amount of backtracking and seemingly aimless wandering is inevitable. Most gamers seem to love it, and it is definitely worth giving it a try.

GameCube · by Paul Jones (274) · 2004

Game of the year? More like game of the decade!

The Good
Very seldom can you trust superlatives in a game review. Surely, you can't believe that Metroid Prime is so incredibly good that it's possibly the finest game ever made for any system. I was skeptical, too. Well, believe it, because Metroid Prime is quite simply a modern-day masterpiece. The graphics are astounding, and the level design is pure genius. There are a great deal of clever tricks to be performed, and a nice array of secret areas. And for those (like me) who were skeptical of the transition to 3D, be assured that the game doesn't lose any of that classic Metroid gameplay, and in fact gains something in the addition of the third dimension. After playing Prime, you'll swear the series was born to be in 3D. Topping off all the goodness is the polish of the game. Retro Studios went the extra mile to add a bunch of subtle effects that add to the atmosphere, making this one of the most immersive games ever.

The Bad
There's not much to dislike, but if I had to really stretch, I'd say two things are kind of downers: 1) it's sometimes difficult to aim at enemies way above or below you, and 2) there is a lot of backtracking. These complaints are minor as 1) the battles are easy and 2) there is so much eye candy and new areas to explore that backtracking hardly seems like a chore.

The Bottom Line
This is classic 2D Metroid brought into the third dimension. It's amazing, it's detailed, it's exciting, and it's a very lengthy adventure. This is an absolute must-have.

GameCube · by Brian Benway (2) · 2002

Worthy of the Metroid name. Very worthy.

The Good
How lucky I was that I got a chance to play Metroid Prime. Metroid Prime is Retro's atttempt to take the 2D Metroid series through the 3 dimensional gateway. It was very, very succesful.

Where else to start but the graphics? Metroid Prime looks amazing. Polygon and texture count is amazingly high, and everything looks so real. The enemies, levels, objects and so on have been so finely designed that they reflect on how much work was stuffed into this game. I can very well say this is one of the best looking GameCube released.

Sound quality was also remarkable. While I'm not one who really cares about sound in video games, Metroid Prime drew me to it. The effects are very well created, and sound very real. As with the backround music, which has the right atmospheric condition to draw you into the game. Sound is a very good aspect of this game.

What's a game without good gameplay? Definitely not Metroid Prime. The game plays very smoothly, no jags, long loads, slow downs, or any of that other stuff. The levels are so well designed that you could just run around in one for hours and not get tired. While the game is in the first person view, it is not a FPS(first person shooter). Sure, you have a weapon that you shoot stuff with, but MP distinguishes itself so obviously. The game focuses on exploration instead of non-stop shooting action. Levels need comprehending to complete, not just blazing guns. And oh yes, the ball transforming is back, and better than ever.

The Bad
Every game has a downside. Every game except Metroid Prime, that is.

The Bottom Line
As a loyal XBOX fan, I find myself wanting a GameCube just so I can have this game. Metroid Prime is one of the Golden games that have been released, and will definitely be known as one of the greatest. I give Metroid Prime a well-earned, solid, enthusiastic 5 out of 5.

GameCube · by ThE oNe (180) · 2002

The first-person fans' dream come true..

The Good
well... Coming at this game from liking lots of various types of games ranging from platform, RPG, shoot em ups etc.. I didn't quite know what to expect from this game, or the GAMECUBE itself for that matter!! I had this game free with my Cube console and always wondered exactly what the whole METROID thing is about (being a Sega mega-drive/genesis owner, I didn't play super metroid on the Nintendo.. or even care about it!)

YOU MUST CARE! OK, If you want your game time to be graced with amazing gameplay then yeah, you care! There are lots of games out there, LOTS of which are just mindless (if you have ever played Men in Black 2 then you'll understand) shooting games too! The thing is, If you like shooting things, but, also like exploring and to have your game push your consoles power then your looking at the right choice.

I didn't quite know what to expect about this game. Mostly I thought this would of been just another first-person blaster. I was wrong.. again! Playing the first hour of it was just a simple way of getting you into the style of the game, then, you have to earn all your attributes to proceed through the vast world it has for you. The whole game is very well presented, very, very smooth and THE MOST AMAZING PART is that there is minimal loading times (you DO NOT get a loading bar or fancy loading screen or OPENING RESIDENT EVIL DOOR LOADING SCREEN! which is fantastic because you are constantly enveloped in its atmosphere) This game is a brilliant first-person shooter, always constantly giving you something new to achieve.

The Bad
There are a few disappointments.. Although, I never really complained until I completed it. Its nothing like the other metroid games (I personally don't think its better than or worse than, its a new type of game with the metroid name) The soundtrack is fun and atmospheric to start off, but then.. once you have played the same area for about an hour (being stuck) then it can get a bit annoying. But I actually quite liked the overall sound of it! Combining old style metroid soundtrack to a new metroid is an iffy subject because you can create a whole new atmosphere with new music (but i think the developers wanted to please fans of metroid as much as they can by sticking the other parts of this to its original form) Apart from that though the ONLY other bad point is that once you have completed it, the best extra bits you earn can only be earned if you have metroid fusion and a Gameboy Advance! Which costs alot if you add them up. And alot of money for just an old port over of the first metroid and a new outfit!

The Bottom Line
This game will probably take up a wonderful 17 hours of your life trying to achieve 100% glory and seeing the different endings and its a very well made product! Really smooth and the engine is spot on! Ever wondered what metroid is like in 3D? then you are in for a treat here. Also, if you want to own one of THE best games that has ever been developed then please, trust me, and get this on there!! This game is out on PLAYERS CHOICE now, which means its, like, HALF the price it used to be! Pick it up pre-owned somewhere and your in for the bargain of the year by far!

GameCube · by MrBee (28) · 2004


The Good
HELL, i love EVERYTHING about this game. I'll start.

Graphics: This game is nearly perfect. Graphically (Considering the graphic limitations of the GCN, and knowing the XBOX is far more powerful) this game is the "creme de la creme" in graphics. Excellently compressed textures, high polygon usage for Samus and characters (Except for when Samus morphs/unmorphs, it's plain to see it's not as detailed as the model they use for the cinematics) nice mist effects, the lava looks quite real, the snow and ice looks like it is really there, the walls are not simple textures of rocks, they also add flora, sometimes fauna to give it a realistic look. It's one of the closest-to-reality games i have ever seen, if not the best. The distortion added when Samus shoots her charged Power Beam, Samus' face when she shoots too close to her, the "TV-without-signal" effect when there's interference, the X-ray/thermal visor's effects, the way the Ice freezes enemies and make them look like a big chunk of ice. The way enemies burn when shot with Plasma... all of that give an incredible potential to this game. Myself, I'm not a pursuer of "hot graphics" in games, yet I have to admit most of this game's merits are due to its incredible, top-notch graphics.

Sound: MIDI. MODI and MORE MIDI - It's hard to believe all of this game's soundtrack is made with MIDI. The thing is, it's so well composed, so well put together, it DOES NOT NEED recorded audio to actually sound good. My props to Kenji Yamamoto. This game's audio has NOTHING to do against other game's "recorded audio". The sound effects also add a lot of reality to this game. Specially when played with Dolby. How Samus' arm cannon clanks, her footsteps thru grass, sand, metal, water.... Wonderful...

Gameplay: I don't see why people complain About this game's gameplay. they say it is too lacky for a FPS. Well, that's probably because METROID PRIME IS NOT A FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. It is a FIRST PERSON ADVENTURE. It means that in order to use the morph ball, it changes into 3rd person (Because playing FP inside of the morph ball wouldn't make much sense). As a player of FPS's I can say it's quite different from that genre. FPS's are about completing missions and finding the way out. Metroid Prime is a METROID GAME turned into 3D, and trying to make you feel as if you were Samus. That's all about it. It does take a LOT OF GUTS to compare this game to an usual FPS. It also takes a lack of analytical skills. Briefing, I can say this game has an adequate control system for a similar-to-a-FPS CONSOLE GAME. It responses good,accurately, and like any good HARD game, it takes time to get used to. That is not a bad aspect AT ALL. That's actually a sign that the game is long, and that you have to dedicate some time to get used to it. The entire gameplay is rewarding.

Let me say it one more time - This is NOT a mouse-played computer game. This is NOT a FPS. THIS IS A METROID GAME.

The Bad
There's nothing I didn't like about this game - It's nearly flawless. Perhaps the load times between the worlds (when going thru a door). But it's not the big deal. I love this game ta death.

The Bottom Line
Putting aside "sequence breaking" (Proving that you don't have something better to do with your life), this is perfection made game.

GameCube · by Justin Bailey (9) · 2006

When art rules, and gameplay suffers...

The Good
When a successful franchise is irrevocably altered to a new genre, it will be met with resistance, or at the very least, skepticism. Metroid Prime, the first American incarnation of a Japanese title by Retro Studios, achieves a highly polished game with some surprises, and tragedies. Many were alarmed when Metroid fans heard the infamous news... First Person Shooter. The transition from side scrolling action to 3D exploration is no small jump, and Retro Studios answers the call with slick graphics and the morphing ball... a narrow glimpse into what Retro really wanted. The visual appeal of the game is incredible. There are many places in the game where a player can just stand in absolute awe of what the artists have achieved with this game and GameCube's power. Effects are top notch, nearly second to none. Backgrounds in places are genuinely creepy. Mood, lighting all of these elements make for an extremely satisfying visual experience. The morphing ball experience speaks untold volumes about what this game could have been... This was undoubtedly the most exciting and liberating aspect of Metroid Prime. Allow me to step in here in person and say that, I think this was the game Retro was shooting for. The sense of movement and response was so compelling! I get the feeling they were going for 3rd person but they could never get the combat / lock on system to work well enough, so Miyamoto opted for the solution he knew Retro could do well... a FPS.

The Bad
Controls, the universal key to any game, in Metroid Prime is shot. It is Chaotic and non-intuitive and in terms of First Person Shooters it fails. Putting a camera lock and strafe mapped to a shoulder button is a mystifying concept. Why, when it is such an integral part of the game? Having you fingers fly all over the controller for scanning, aiming, locking, switching visors, switching weapons, strafing, jumping during combat is just ridiculous. It frustrates the player to such an extent of never playing again. Controls in Prime make no attempt to be logical or versatile. If a characters abilities increase during the course of the game, "progression" becomes a relevant term. When the player gains new abilities Samus is enabled to do more, and it means just that. You have to do more, not less. In the standard rule of gaming, powerups are for the purpose of making your life easier, not difficult. Case in point, the visors. Switching visual spectrums is to view the world to find more is an incredible idea. Switching visors to fight a boss is tedious action and pulls the player right out of the gaming experience. In Super Metroid the X-Ray scope was only used for finding items or finding your way through the world... Why? because it stopped the game, literally. The same rule applies in Prime as well, it interrupts the flow of the game and is thoroughly annoying. Compare progression in a game such as Legend of Zelda, everything you gain makes your life easier and less tedious as you journey towards the end of the game. There are no powerups in Metroid Prime that enable you to do your job faster or with less tedious action. In fact, you could say the game becomes more tedious the longer you play. The challenge the game presents is not by what you are trying to defeat, but trying to overcome the controls! This is not logical game design. The worlds are vast and visually diverse, but not gameplay diverse. The Magmoor caverns readily displays the fact it's hot and hazardous to be in there. In contrast Phendrana Drifts only visually show snow and ice... Well what are the characteristics of ice? Cold for one, slippery and brittle. All of those listed were potential gameplay aspects. Little or none of these aspects were incorporated into the design of the level to differentiate it from any other world.

The Bottom Line
Metroid Prime is pretty to look at. Had design been at the same level of the artists, I believe Prime would have been a truly extraordinary game. Metroid Prime frustrates the player on complexity of control, lack of progression and gameplay that is uninteresting by forcing the player to jump through gameplay hoops that don't work.

GameCube · by Vecster (19) · 2003

It was alright while it lasted....

The Good
Fun, fun, fun. Metroid Prime oozes fun, the graphics are gorgeous and the environments sprawling and full of little alcoves and nooks to explore. Enemies are nicely rendered however I do have a couple of qualms with them. The puzzles are ingenious and involve you rolling around in morph ball mode or finding and shooting runes to activated doors. Boss battles are pretty epic and normally involve 2 or 3 different forms.

The Bad
The game is short I finished it in 6 or so hours the first time I played it through. This is a shame aswell because the game feels so epic and then all of a sudden it's just over. Additionally enemies are pretty dumb, the insect based ones will float around or crawl around and run into you to attack you. Shooting enemies will hide behind things to a degree or stand out in the open and shoot at you, one thing I did like was the fact that some will fall when shot and turn around and continue shooting from their prone position but otherwise they are quite stupid. It's also hard to die as nearly all enemies will drop health replinishing items or missiles which are pretty devastating provided you have the room to store them.

The Bottom Line
Metroid Prime is a great FPS. I don't think it really revolutionizes the genre but it feels fresh and most of all it feels like a game you want to keep playing. Unfortunately the game is so short you can't keep playing it and you walk away feeling unfulfilled. A nice aesthetic, great gameplay and a fistful of great ideas more than compensates for this though.

GameCube · by AxelStone (34) · 2008

Metroid Prime...the FPS that just plain rules!

The Good
Metroid Prime's graphics were probably the best I've ever seen in any FPS (right next to Unreal Tournament's), because they looked so real! And I like the gameplay quite a lot, and I just love the music that plays at the title screen, and Metroid fans will think the enemies and bosses were done great! If there was ever a contest to see which Metroid game was the best, this would definitely be it!

The Bad
I'm getting a headache just trying to think of something that's dislikable about this game. The only thing about this game that annoyed me so far are the awkward controls that can take beginners quite a while to get used to.

The Bottom Line
If you're new to first person shooters or want to reduce the risk of returning the game for a refund, I suggest you rent this and then buy it. But if you're a die-hard Metroid fan and are skilled at first person shooters, then rush to the nearest store and get it now!

GameCube · by Dark Cloud (31) · 2003

I really wanted to like this game....

The Good
The graphics..... AMAZING!!!!!!! Nothing compares except maybe Rouge Leader. If you walk under a waterfall, your visor will get water on it and drip. If you are in a hot enviornment, the visor will steam up. The weapons and visors look cool and it's fun scanning all the diffrent stuff. The first level also is terrific and fun to play.

The Bad
The gameplay. The controls are frustrating (like alot of other things in this game...) You'll destroy your controler the 50th time you fall down a cliff while trying to jump in FIRST PERSON!!! The power-ups make the game harder instead of easier as you go along. Instead of going through diffrent levels, you are dropped in an ENORMOUS enviornment. It's not so bad the first few hours, but after you get finished with the treasure hunt for diffrent power-downs, the enviornment will become very large. There are at least six enormous sections in the game. Each new power-down let's you get through a new door in a completely diffrent sections. So, you go through the same place over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over etc. This wouldn't be so terrible if enemies didn't respawn. After fighting to get to a new area, you just fight the same guys again when you come back after you get x to use with y to do z etc. This creates alot of frustration when for instance you get x. "Gee", you say, now I can get through door y. Getting through door y(after fighting the same guys you fought 50 times before) You unlock the door. You continue for an hour until you reach a seeming dead end. "You need z" a text message on the screen tells you. Now you get to go back, find z, and come back through the same enemies and obstacles you beat before and do the same jumping puzzles etc. After it took me 30 min just to get to the door you just spent an hour getting the needed power-down to open it, I quit the game and have never played it since. The prize for repeating the same levels and enemies 1000 times should be a refund for the money you just wasted. In the end, despite it's incredible graphics and music, repetition is what makes this game a frustrating and overall unenjoyable game experience.

The Bottom Line
Playing this is like reading a book where you have to read the all the other pages you've read before 50 times before you get to the new page.

GameCube · by James Kirk (150) · 2003

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Big John WV, Tim Janssen, RhYnoECfnW, Giu's Brain, lights out party, Alsy, jumpropeman, chirinea, Sonikku225, Flu, Parf, Van, Keeper Garrett, Wizo, Patrick Bregger, Jeanne, Jacob Gens, brentplz, Xoleras, mikewwm8, shphhd, sayewonn wisseh, kurama, CalaisianMindthief, firefang9212, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Jan Geerling.