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Big Liberal Introduction:
You are a bounty hunter named Samus Aran. You land on a derelict spaceship, filled with biological weapons, mutated creatures and the ominous feeling that something evil is lurking just around the corner. You've had this feeling before, but you can't recall when (was it during the time you were sent to Watergate to bust the Nixon Administration?). Nothing feels right. The experiments on this dilapidated ship should not have been conducted. Why did all the Republicans ... er ... "Space Pirates" leave the ship behind? What's going on? After an enthralling introduction, you're sent, as the greatest female bounty hunter in the galaxy, to thwart the "compassionate" conservative's plan to add prayer in school, give tax cuts for the wealthy, and convince people that Fox News is genuinely, "Fair and Balanced" (or, at the very least, you're sent to kill a few aliens). These alien Dixiecrats obviously abandoned Enron ... er ... their ship, for a reason, and you should follow their lead. As a matter of fact, you're forced to follow their lead. Within 20 minutes of gameplay, you'll escape the evil clutches of this floating freighter of corporate corruption and make your way toward the once peaceful planet of Tallon IV. It is only there that you will find your answers, it is only there that you will see that the Republicans ... er ... "Space Pirates" have taken the planet hostage for no purpose other than to drill for Phazon ... er ... oil in Tallon's Natural Wildlife Preserves ... or, uh ... create an army of genetically altered Metroids by using all of the planet's resources, even if doing so kills said planet, the galaxy and even the Space Pirates themselves. Only you, Samus Aran, last fighter of the Liberal cause, can uncover the hideous plots of the far right and solve the mystery of ...
Welcome to the "Next Generation!"
With Metroid Prime, the "next generation" of gaming has finally arrived. We have been told, ever since the Sega Dreamcast was released, that we are buying "next generation" systems. Technically, the claims may have been true, but when it came to the games, we were playing nothing more than rehashed "last generation" stuff with nicer looking graphics. Metroid Prime delivers what Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have been promising for years: a unique "next generation" experience that is unlike anything any of us have played during any video game "generation" that went before. The game is dazzling visually, but it isn't the visuals that make the game. It is the "newness" of Metroid Prime that keeps you coming back, hour after hour, day after day. It is incredibly unique, astonishingly fun, terrifyingly tense and worthy of all the accolades that it has been receiving from top critics and hardcore gamers across the world.
Metroid Prime is the most hyped game on a console since Microsoft Xbox's, Halo. The folks at Nintendo want all of us critics to call the game a "First Person Adventure," rather than a First Person Shooter (FPS), but the folks at Nintendo have always been slightly retarded and entirely antiquated (why did we have cartridges on the N64, anyway? Why wasn't Phantasy Star Online backed with a free modem and keyboard? Why wasn't Animal Crossing online? Why won't Nintendo put exclusive games such as Resident Evil on the demo discs that they give out, or on the cover of Nintendo Power?), and this game is, no matter what the Nintendo corporation wants to call it, an FPS. Not only is it an FPS, it takes FPS's to a new level. While Halo was yet another lame stupid boring rip-off of Half-Life, Metroid Prime is something new.
What's sorta funny
What's sorta funny, at least if you hate the monopolistic Micro$uck in the same way that I do, is the fact that the idiots at Bill's company have released game after game for their petty Xbox, and none of them have added up to shit, outside of the aforementioned Halo, which is OVER A YEAR OLD. While Billy is trying to over-saturate the market with stinky video game vomit, Nintendo is patient (even though it does have nearly 200 games out for you greedy bastards to choose from), and comes up with classic masterpieces such as Metroid Prime. MP honestly does redefine what an FPS is, and is quite possibly the most innovative game created since some geek programmed PONG way back in the day, starting the video game revolution.
For a while there, Nintendo was sorta sucking:
After the disappointing Godzilla: Destroy all the Monsters Melee and the abhorrent Mario Party 4, I was starting to feel a bit down about the Gamecube, but with the nearly miraculous Metroid Prime, the console easily regained its rightful position as the greatest gaming machine out there! Please keep in mind that the last sentence may not be applicable to "gamers" who buy their video game consoles for the low quality DVD players, rather than for the games (you dildos do realize that you can get a superior DVD to the ones the Xbox and PS2 have for about $50.00, right?)!
The gameplay takes quite a bit of getting used to. I'd say a good five to ten hours until you're 100% comfortable with the controls. There's a lot to remember, a lot of buttons to push simultaneously and you have to do it in a BIG hurry with the huge amount of gruesome alien life forms and gargantuan bosses that aren't courteous enough to wait around for you to remember which button combo scans an enemy and which locks on and fires a missile. On the other hand, rolling around as a bomb shooting ball is incredibly easy to learn and fun to do. The game moves from first to third person in seconds and there is absolutely no load time. No matter how kinky it sounds, I think turning into a big bomb shooting ball in this game is one of the niftiest things to happen in my life since that one time my mom decided to shave Butterfingers all over the top of my birthday cake, back when I was a kid. Don't lose your patience with the controls, and you'll be rewarded. While they now feel completely natural to me, a good friend of mine gave up on them within two hours and sold his copy of the game to buy Medal of Honor. Yes, I did disown him.
You wished your machine looked like this:
While better than anything on the Xbox and DEMOLISHING everything out there for the PS2, the graphics still aren't the best I've ever seen (that honor goes to the train sequence in Resident Evil 0). The attention to detail in Metroid Prime is amazing, and the visor, which clouds up, gets covered in gooey blood and soaked in acidic water, is much more than a gimmick, and becomes extremely essential to the game. The bosses in Metroid Prime are the best ever created for any console at any time in history. They tower over you, are tough as hell, and redefine what a "boss" should be in much the same way that the original Contra did in the NES days. Although they aren't as vividly realistic as those seen in RE 0, I can honestly say these are the most beautiful graphics to ever grace a television monitor or TV screen. It is, once again, the "Next Generation-ness" of them that makes them stand above everything else. The way the entire world quickly distorts itself when you shoot out a laser. The way the space pirates freeze and shatter with the ice gun. The Chozo ghosts flying in and out of reality; briefly appearing from their ghost state to swipe down for an attack, only to quickly fly away and disappear when you're readying your counter-attack. The power bombs going off when you're in a power ball, sending light beams across the screen and blowing apart walls, with absolutely no slow-down. I could spend hours on the fine little details that make this game something truly special, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for those of you who still haven't played it for yourself (get out there and get this thing, now!).
The sound of music:
Classic! If this score gets put on CD it will be the first written for a game that I'll actually consider worthy of a purchase. It's half sci-fi horror music from the 50's and half Goth-techno hybrid eerie noises that would make Trent Reznor jealous. On the other hand, this is the one part of the game that isn't entirely "new." Some of it is revamped themes from past Metroid games and the rest of the soundtrack is paying homage to classic sci-fi films. Still, it fits the game perfectly and is capable of scaring the hell out of you when it cranks out the soundtrack music announcing the appearance of a Chozo Ghost, a Metroid or an Elite Pirate ready to stomp you out. The sound FX in the game are also incredible. The noises that screech their way out of your speakers are bone-chilling enough to etch themselves into your brain for the rest of your life. This should win best sound at the Oscars, in some special video game category.
Is this the best game ever created?:
There is absolutely no doubt about it (I'm being serious, here)! There has been no game previously released that is as good as Metroid Prime. The game redefines what games are and transports you to another world with nothing to go on, outside of wits and a big missile launcher attached to your arm. Throughout the game a spine-chilling, fairly sophisticated, story unfolds. By the 25% mark, you're into full-fledged horror territory, with gruesome Metroids suddenly jumping out of glass test tubes to suck the life force out of you by latching onto your face, flying Republicans ... er ... "Space Pirates" that are a serious pain in the ass, infrared visors and a wicked assortment of tricks up your sleeve that prevent this game from ever turning tiresome (it helps that your "sleeve" is a gigantic gun thingie). If you don't enjoy Metroid Prime, you're so damn messed up in the head, even psychotherapy couldn't save you. Well, either that or you have totally different taste than I do, in which case you'll go out and buy Medal of Honor, instead. If you pass this game up without giving it a decent chance (the game is so huge, a "decent chance" would be a minimum of 5 or 6 hours), you're a fucking moron. If you hate it with a passion, you can always sell it to somebody with much better taste than your own, and pick up a $50.00 DVD player, so you don't have to continue bitching about the fact that the Cube doesn't come with a horrible player included. Not since 1977, with the initial release of Star Wars, have I liked something in the entertainment world as much as I do Metroid Prime. Do not let this one pass you by!
10 (once you "get it," you really get it!)
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Check out The Juicy Cerebellum's Super Mario Sunshine review and be back for Animal Crossing and Resident Evil 0 reviews, coming soon!
All text is copyright ©2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll be the last boss you'll ever face!
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