It had been eight years since an entry in the Metroid franchise…but then, lo and behold, in 2002, we were gifted not one, but two, Metroid titles! Metroid Prime is the more popular/critically acclaimed, and for good reason…but Metroid Fusion for the Game Boy Advance is just as worthy of attention as the sublime Metroid Prime. Metroid Fusion is a direct sequel to Super Metroid, and also returns Samus (for the opening act) to SR-388, the world she explored in Metroid II.
Whereas Metroid Prime plays like a 3D version of Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion takes the franchise in a different direction. You’ll notice the reliance of on-screen dialogue telling the story, rather than the visuals showing the story. Then you’ll notice that your freedom is limited. You’re told where to go, what to do. These two changes to the franchise have caused the most controversy about Metroid Fusion. I don’t mind the change in structure. Sure, sometimes the on-screen dialogue is a little overbearing, and going from point A to point B because you’re told to do that, rather than using your own initiative, can grate at times…but it’s still a very enjoyable journey.
However, everything else is so superb that it’s hard to gripe about those major changes to the franchise. For one, the difficulty has been ramped up; you have to “git gud”, as the kids used to say. It’s one of the most difficult entries in the franchise, but it feels fair. You play as an under-powered and battered Samus Aran. This is almost a horror game at times.
Yes, Metroid Fusion may take a radical change in some areas of the Metroid franchise, but in terms of atmosphere and attention to detail, it stays faithful to the core themes of Metroid. It’s beautiful to look at, even as you fight horrifying abominations (the boss Nightmare is one of the most grotesque, and difficult, of the franchise). There’s the foreshadowing present in Super Metroid. This is recognisably Metroid, but with a few twists and turns that both add to and detract from the experience. Unfortunately, it left little room to for a direct sequel…
Hammy’s Rating: 4/5
Click here for Hammy’s Top 10 Metroid Video Games
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid (NES)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid Fusion (Game Boy Advance)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid II – Return of Samus (Game Boy)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid – Samus Returns (3DS)
Click here for my Quick Review of Super Metroid (SNES)
Click here for my Quick Review of Metroid – Other M (Wii)
Click here for ‘Metroid : Samus Returns’ (3DS) And How Not To Do A Video Game Remake: Part I – Three And A Half Reviews of ‘Metroid II – Return of Samus’
Click here for ‘Metroid – Samus Returns’ (3DS) And How Not To Do A Video Game Remake Part II : Why ‘Metroid – Samus Returns’ Is A Poor Remake of ‘Metroid II – Return of Samus’