Video Game Review

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  • Platform: Game Boy Advance
  • ESRB: Everyone
  • Genre: Action
  • Players: 1
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Suggested Retail: $29.99
  • Graphics: A
  • Sound: A
  • Gameplay: A
  • Replay: B-
  • Fun Factor: A-
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A


Samus Aran arrives on your GBA

By James Stevenson     February 17, 2004

When a straight remake with a facelift hits the Game Boy Advance, most people are ready to re-experience a classic game that they first played back on the NES or Super Nintendo. The pot gets sweeter when this game is announced to be not only a port, but rather a complete re-imagining of an original game. Nintendo did this two weeks ago with METROID: ZERO MISSION, its latest Game Boy Advance game.

The originally METROID featured Samus Aran (then still thought to be a man) exploring the planet of Zebes. There wasn't much story, there wasn't much direction, just a lot of exploring. Now the entirety of the mission is being revealed, and you won't really remember many elements from the original.

First things first, this game looks better than METROID FUSION. It looks so good you won't remember parts of the original METROID. I think I noticed three or four spots in the game where I thought "Aha! I remember this." You'll be amazed at how different Zebes looks on this go around.

The second major difference is the move list. Samus can crouch now, and

A screenshot from METROID: ZERO MISSION.

there are tons of other upgrades like the handgrip and such. Other elements from the later games have also been added. This all boils into METROID: ZERO MISSION being a brand new game, one that any fan of the series would enjoy.

That said, this game is quite a bit easier. Where as the original game never pointed you in the direction of the next objective, the game does this regularly. So instead of exploring the entire game for an undiscovered passageway, you only have to search a small district. What's even worse is that the enemies aren't quite as brutal. Getting through the areas isn't quite as difficult. The most disappointing part though was completely raping each boss in the game with a flurry of missiles. There is little challenge.

This shortens the game into four or five hours, making it quick and dirty for game players. Fortunately an unlockable hard mode, plus the hidden array of items give the game some replay value, but on the whole, it's pretty short.

One aspect that might surprise you is that a good 15% of the game comes after Mother Brain is destroyed. Samus is aboard the Space Pirates ship, and you have quite a bit of time running around there. It's actually one of the most exciting and thrilling portions of the game my heart raced throughout.

One other cool aspect is that the original harder-than-hell METROID is unlocked when you beat the game, and it now has a save feature. Nice touch.

The previously mentioned graphics are great, but the sound that goes with them is quite good as well. The music is excellent, and needs to be heard on headphones to be truly appreciated. All of the classic tunes have been redone and sound excellent.

METROID: ZERO MISSION is a great games for fans of this excellent series. It in many ways replaces the original game as the preferred version of METROID. All we need now are GBA versions of METROID II and SUPER METROID.


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