Metroid Fusion (2002) Review

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Metroid Fusion is the fourth entry in the Metroid Series and is the second game to be released on a handheld console. The game was developed and produced by Nintendo.

It takes place after the events of Metroid Other M and as of this review it is at the end of the chronological timeline of events.

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While flying over the planet SR388 Samus is attacked by an Alien Organism called X, she crashes her ship but is thankfully rescued by the Galactic Federation, the organism affects her nervous system and almost kills her before she is cured by having Metroid DNA pumped into her body, with her new DNA she is now able to absorb the X parasites and gain energy and ammunition from them however she is now damaged by cold due to cold being a Metroid’s weakness.

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An explosion on the space station that Samus is being recovered on gets damaged by an explosion, Samus is commanded to investigate, its here that she is introduced to a new computer system she names ADAM after her ex-commanding officer, the computer informs her that the X parasite is able to clone its prey and that SA-X (That’s Samus Aran X) have been made and are highly dangerous, and its from here that Samus and ADAM work together to find a way to destroy the parasite and save humanity.

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Metroid Fusion is a unique game in the series because for the first time the game-play changed drastically, the main idea is the same you do explore various locations and find many secrets such as Energy Tanks, Missiles and Power Bombs but this time the parasites make enemies a lot more difficult to kill, the reason for this is because when you destroy an enemy it releases the an X parasite and if you don’t collect it fast enough it will either re-spawn the enemy or will attach itself to another enemy making it more powerful.

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The game is a lot less cryptic than its predecessors this is due to ADAM telling the player where they need to go to reach their objectives, the game actually pin points almost everything on the map making the adventure feel a lot less immersive and much easier than you might expect, the only thing that really bothers me about this is that a lot of free exploration was not available here and it sucks because you could explore freely in all of this games predecessors, security doors no longer require weapons to open either as you can find security rooms that can unlock all of them, I actually prefer this idea as it allows Samus to save on ammunition.

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Even though the game does hold your hand a little bit by guiding the player throughout the majority of the adventure, the locations are just as beautiful and fantastic in art design as they were in Super Metroid.

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Throughout the game Samus can upgrade her suit and with each upgrade she will gain new abilities and sometimes a new colour, however none of these colours are the traditional orange, this is because orange is the colour of the Samus Clone SA-X that at some points in the game will hunt you down and try its best to kill you, this creature is extremely powerful and does major damage to the player if they are hit, its actually quite scary and reminds me of the film invasion of the body snatchers.

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There are many bosses to fight in the game and all of them are creepy and have amazing features and I absolutely love the design of all of them, my favourite is the nightmare a big robot with a goopy face that melts the more damage that you do it, its honestly quite tragic watching its face melt off but in a Nintendo game its also really cool, the issue that I really had with boss fights is that they all get killed the same way and apart from the final boss I remember killing all of them with just missiles and compared to Super Metroid where the bosses were killed in more creative ways this was little disappointing.

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What is new about the boss fights here though is the core that they leave behind after blasting a boss with missiles they will die and release a core, the core will also need to be blasted with missiles in order to release an X parasite that will give Samus one of her past abilities and weapons.

A few changes were made to some weapons here, the high jump and jump ball are now combined, the missile upgrades all act as one weapon instead of separate weapons, the X-ray scope is gone however the Super Bombs can now show secret passages instead and the grappling lazer is not in the game at all.

One other thing to note is that the spin jump is now much easier to pull off, in Super Metroid it is quite difficult to master but here players should get the hang of it after a few uses.

The soundtrack is fantastic due to the Gameboy Advances sound capabilities, just like in Super Metroid the music is creepy and dark, Samus is trying to survive and the new threatening parasite has made enemies more powerful and she is afraid but feeling hopeful, the music really gives this impression through the way its orchestrated and is generally really good, but its not all creepy as a good number of action packed tracks are used to compliment the slower ones, this is best shown when Samus runs into the SA-X and is running away trying to escape from the terrifying clone of herself.

With all of its flaws I actually really like Metroid Fusion, it is linear in its gameplay but the environments are fantastic, it has great boss designs and its plot makes the game a lot scarier than its predecessors. What I think this game did really well was that it showed the player from the beginning that the hero Samus Aran who has survived many missions can die, she is only human like the rest of us and that makes the adventure feel much scarier and more important that players try to survive, the game is full of great details and even has voice acting which is actually really good for what you would expect from a gameboy advance game.

I only wish that you were able to explore more freely and that the game was not as easy as it is, however on the flip side this is a great game for people who want to be introduced to the Metroid series as compared to the previous games this is the least frustrating.

7/10

hope you enjoyed this review of Metroid Fusion for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.

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Spider Man (2002) (PC,PS2,GC,XBOX) Review

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In the past four years of writing reviews for this website I haven’t really delved into the world of super heroes, we’ve all seen the movies but what about the video games that came after them?, I haven’t really played many super hero games but after Sam Raimi released the first Spider Man film I remember begging my parents to buy me the game that Christmas, I recently repurchased the game for nostalgia but was it as good as I remember?

spider-man-the-movie-pcThe first thing that stands out with this game is that it doesn’t have much in common with the movie at all, the first stage of the game actually takes place long after Peter is bitten by the spider as its his mission to track down Uncle Ben’s killer.

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The rest of the game has a unique story line, Spider Man ends up taking on all of sorts of super villains including The Shocker, The Vulture, Scorpion and Kraven the Hunter (Kraven is only in the XBOX version of the game), of course the Green Goblin is still the main antagonist in the game but apart from one level every time you fight him its different to the movie, even the final battle doesn’t take place where it does in the film, I personally really like that the game is so unique but some people may be a little put off by its differences.

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Spider Man is a general beat em up game and it consists of 24 stages, most of the game is boss fights which are all really fun, some stages require Spider Man to hide in the shadows and sneak about but most of time you will be beating up bad guys and trying to complete a goal to finish the stage, Peter doesn’t just fight with punches and kicks as he can also use different fighting techniques by using his web, there are a lot of moves you can unlock but for me the most useful was shooting my web at enemies while I was swinging through the air, other useful moves include tying up bad guys with your web, pulling enemies towards you by lassoing them with your web and creating an exploding shield around your body, you do have to be careful though as you can run out of web and it can only be topped up if you find a blue spider, you can also top up your health by finding red spiders and you can unlock new fighting moves by finding gold spiders.

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The biggest problem I have with this game is that when you are outside you cant land on the street otherwise you will die, its kinda annoying because in the movie Spider Man is able to walk about in the street so why cant he here, it doesn’t make any sense what so ever.

The game controls pretty well when you are stable or fighting, I found the controls to be tight and responsive but when I was swinging I had a lot of trouble trying to make Spider Man go in the direction I wanted him too go, he just kept bumping into the sides of buildings and due to the way the game is designed sometimes he would grab onto a building when I bumped into it, this slowed me down and was a particular pain on levels where I had to chase the villains.

Graphically for a game that came out in 2002 it looks fairly impressive, I was very surprised with how smooth the animation was when I was playing the game, for some reason the cut scenes look quite pixelated which really sucks considering how great the game play looks.

I don’t remember any music in this game at all which isn’t a good sign because that means that it blatantly wasn’t that good and I cant really comment on it because like I said none of it was memorable to me.

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Through out the game you will gain points depending on your performance, these points will unlock loads of really cool secrets, the best in my opinion is pin head bowling where you can team up with a friend and can swing into bad guys to get points, other unlockables include secret cut scenes, being able to change Spider Man’s model so you can play as Mary Jane, a Police Officer, Peter Parker etc, you can unlock the ability to play a Green Goblin campaign if you beat the game on the Hero or Super Hero difficulty, this campaign is almost exactly the same as the main game and I recommend skipping it.

Spider Man is a pretty fun licensed game, it’s not perfect by any means but it definitely stands out with its unique story and different game play styles, it’s really cheap to pick up these days and if you ever come across it I recommend picking it up especially if your a Spidey fan.

6/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Spider Man the Video Game 2002

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