Written by  :  Justin Bailey (10)
Written on  :  May 27, 2006
Platform  :  Game Boy Advance
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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One good try to make the METROID storyline progress...

The Good

The music, and, kinda, the story. The gameplay is, sometimes better, sometimes worse than Super Metroid - Let's keep in mind the lack of graphical resolution of the GBA compared to the SNES. This alone makes the tiles smaller, and thus the mobility of Samus had to be changed. I personally like how you got more control with the Space jump/Screw attack in MF. The morphing ball's spring ball and bomb are also sort of more controllable.

Graphically, the game is a nice sight. Compared to Super Metroid, is much more complex. More colorful. But for some reason, the game is not as atmospheric as Super Metroid. Maybe the color palette of Super Metroid was the help it needed to give its creepy atmosphere. Metroid Fusion is too vibrant, too colorful, and since it has many colors, it doesn't give you the effect, the creepynes that Super Metroid has. Although the game can immerse you quite good. Specially while Dealing/Hiding from SA-X. During these moments, the game atmosphere tells you that YOU CANNOT FIGHT SA-X. In the end, you KNOW you have to beat SA-X.

Personally, the game makes you feel as if you were playing a Resident Evil/Metroid combo. Very suspenseful, I have to admit.

During my journey thru the BSL, I enjoyed a very decent soundtrack. In fact, one of the best I have ever heard in MEtroid Fusion. Part of the atmosphere in Metroid Fusion is due to its almost-entirely orchestrated Soundtrack. Horns, Timpani, strings creeping the hell out of you, the game makes a GOOD use of the background music. This is nearly flawless. The sound effects are also well done.

The gameplay, as I said has changed a bit, improving some things, but getting bad in another ones. The wall jump totally sucks in Metroid Fusion. It cannot be executed like in Super Metroid or like in MZM, where you can use a single wall to reach big heights (Although is more limiting than in Super Metroid). On the other hand, the Shinespark works wonderful in Metroid Fusion. If you hit an elevation on the ground while shinesparking, samus will run again with Speed Booster. In Super Metroid, that didn't happen. Lateral Shinespark is also easier to execute than in Super Metroid, although the animation effect is much slower. The Screw attack and Space jump, are also much easier to control. While jumping/falling, press A again and Samus will spin/spacejump. So if you're falling a big height, and it is "hard" to return to where you was, if you have the space jump, it will be easier to return above. The Power Grip also makes for a good add-on.

The Bad

A computer telling you what to do all the way. The Galactic Federation providing Samus with power ups. That moment, Samus lost protagonism. Well, it's the only way to justify the absence of the Items provided by the Chozo. I would have preferred this game to take Samus back to SR-388 instead of a space colony orbiting it. Would have made more sense, and Samus would have not seen in need for the Federation to progress.

The Bottom Line

This game by itself is a good game. Good music, Good graphics, Good challenge (Although I felt the game a bit too "Contra/Probotector", you need to hit certain bosses in specific spots), but in the end, It doesn't feel "Metroidy". It has the Metroid gameplay, but it's not an usual Metroid. Substitute Samus' sprite with any of the Belmont Family, and place the game in a huge castle, and there it is. A Castlevania of the "Simplony" generation.

Sad thing is, I ended up sorta liking this game...