Metroid Fusion
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10  |  Metroid Fusion is an Instant Classic
larsoncc , 1/7/2003 4:38:51 AM

Hey baby, I'm back! (pic) Samus has come to tempt me again. Every time I think I've dropped her like a bad habit, she comes back wearing a sexy new outfit, carrying some new toy, or whispering sweet nothings in my ear about the latest threat to the galaxy. And every time she comes back, I welcome her with open arms and a warm heart, no matter how long she's been gone. What can I say? I'm a sucker girls that have attitude.

The original female game heroine is BACK in Metroid Fusion - and as good as ever. In fact, if you're a 2D fanatic (as I know many of you are), it could / should be said that Metroid has never looked this good. Fusion takes the best of Super Metroid (an absolute classic by anyone's standards), and creates an all new adventure that is more digestible. You can play Metroid Fusion in small chunks, as save points are more easily accessible than in other Metroid variations. I'm sure that this was Nintendo's intention - after all, this IS a Game Boy game. Fusion is perfect for a road trip (as long as you're not driving), and could easily become a candidate for Game Boy Advance's Game of the Year. In fact, I'm just going to make the call now. It's that easy. As far as I'm concerned, this is the Game Boy Advance's killer app. If you're a classic gaming freak, you need this game - you'll just have to give up and buy yourself a Game Boy Advance now. Seriously, it's THAT good.

But enough about how good the game is. You want some plot, no? Well, OK then. Metroid Fusion starts out with Samus passing out behind the wheel of her now-famous spaceship. She becomes infected with X, a relatively unknown virus that takes over and saps her of most of her strength. Her whole suit becomes infected as well, and most of it must be cut off of her (sounds like a GREAT ways to give her a new outfit!). She wouldn't have made it - but the Metroid hatchling from her previous adventure saves her once again. Metroids were the Xs' predators way back in the day, and hence, a little frozen Metroid juice does Samus good. Once Samus gets better, it's discovered that she has an immunity to X, and hence, can use them to stay alive throughout her adventure.

Here's the major plot twist - it seems that a piece of the suit and some X have morphed into an exact replica of Samus. This replica hunts her, it's got steely pupil-less eyes, and it's one of two major focal points of the plot. The other major focal point is the new computer-based commanding officer that Samus has. Samus asks herself if she can trust this new computerized CO... And her suspicions may be confirmed.

The actual game plays a lot like Metroid and Super Metroid did, but with one small exception. When you blow up an enemy, you have to hunt down the little power piece that it gives up. Those power pieces are now X, they're mobile, and if you DON'T collect the power ups, you'll likely be faced with a larger, tougher to defeat enemy. They group together, they swarm, and you've got to get to them before they morph into something unpleasant. Makes for a nice touch, and keeps you moving throughout the game.

In the Varia Suit (pic)There are some other things that either I don't remember from Super Metroid, or that are just new in this version. Like the special wall climbing surfaces, and the ability to jump when you're morphed into the power ball. Is it just me, or are these abilities "new"?

I know that there is one thing at very least that is completely new about this game. Ownership has it's privileges. Beating Metroid Prime and plugging this game in means that you get to play Prime in the new battle suit. And if it's the original Metroid that you crave, beating Fusion and plugging it into the Game Cube will give you the ability to play the NES Metroid once again. My free time is DOOMED.

Having the ability to play the classic doesn't mean that you'll use it, however. You've got plenty of classic action here. Everything from the Varia suit to the high jump is available in Metroid Fusion, and it all looks as good or better than it did on the Super Nintendo. Metroid Fusion's portability means that there is now no reason to stop playing - and I promise you, you won't.

I give Metroid Fusion a 10/10 (A+) - it's an instant classic that follows the tried and true formula.

The Fusion box (pic)

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