Iíve never been really interested in the Metroid series. Yes, I know itís supposedly one of the best series ever to grace the gaming world, but it always seemed too much trouble for me, much in the same way the Megaman/Rockman series was: hold down attack button, wall jump, air dash, climb wall, and fireÖ. NOW!
Anyway, back to the review. I wasnít intending to get Metroid Fusion for this same reason, but one of my friends had told me that it had more in common with the GBA Castlevania series (arguably one of the best versions of the series) than it did with Megaman, so I bought it on a whim. I was very pleasantly surprised.
Graphics: 5 out of 5
The sprites are clear, very well done, and very precise. At no point in the game would you be confused as to what is going on in the screen at all. Some pixellation does occur when a sprite gets enlarged/zoomed in, but they donít detract from the game. The in-game cut scenes themselves are also beautifully done, even though they are basically still shots.
Music: 4.5 out of 5
Very well-done, especially during certain in-game scenarios. Some of the pieces are very suspenseful, and it was certainly not what I was expecting from my GBA. Sound effects are great too. Just the sound of quiet footsteps without a background theme will get your heart racing in this game.
Controls: 5 out of 5
Once you get used to all the abilities available in the game, youíll have no problems pulling them off, even after weeks of extended leave. That last bit was rather surprising, actually.
Gameplay: 5 out of 5
It doesnít mean itís perfect, mind you, but itís so good Iím willing to overlook the faults. The game itself is fairly linear; you go to a Navigation Room, get your objectives, then go complete it, while obtaining Energy Containers, Missile Tanks and the occasional special ability along the way. But the sheer variety of environments, and the beautiful level designs really carry Fusionís gameplay to another level. Once you get your abilities, you can then return to previous areas and open up even more content. On the downside, while the gameplay itself is great, I found that some of the goals could be hard to get. At one point, you will be running away from an enemy, reach a dead-end room with a partition, and if you didnít know that you were supposed to hide behind the partition, youíd just die over and over again. Aside from that though, I found the difficulty curve to be just about right, although it does peak a bit fast near the end.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Unfortunately, the game itself IS rather short. I was lost in one area of the map for what I thought was an ungodly amount of time, and I still managed to beat it within 5 hours. Donít get me wrong: whatís in there is great, and in all likelihood, youíll want to play through it again to get all the stuff you missed the first time around (unless you used a guide), but it still goes by way too fast for such a great gaming experience.
Platform: GameBoy Advance