Metroid Prime (Nintendo Gamecube, 2002)
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|Samus Aran makes her GameCube debut in a title that finds the sci-fi series evolving from a side-scrolling game to a first-person shooter. The evil Space Pirates are up to their old tricks again, this time on a remote planet called Tallon IV, so Samus must embark on another adventure through uncharted territory. While the perspective has changed from 2D to 3D, Metroid Prime still features many of the same elements found in the previous three games on the NES and Super NES.
Samus can outfit her space suit with new weapon upgrades found along the journey, including old favorites such as the Wave Beam and Freeze Beam, allowing her to more effectively battle creatures as well as uncover new areas. Gameplay still emphasizes exploration over non-stop action, but there are still confrontations with boss characters spanning multiple screens in height and puzzles to solve using the right combination of equipment.
Samus' visor can also be upgraded in the same manner as her weapons, and players will need to effectively use the visor's thermal, combat, X-ray, and scanning abilities in order to advance through the game. Once activated, the thermal display can be used to isolate weak points on an enemy or detect them hiding under the cover of darkness. Samus can also use her morph ball ability, which automatically switches the perspective behind the hero as she rolls along hallways and tunnels to escape danger or to break through barriers.
The technology offered by the GameCube allowed developer Retro Studios to create a world with detail not present in earlier versions of the series. Each environment offers effects such as billowing gasses, electrical interference, sparks, explosions, and real-time weather designed to make the planet come alive with activity. As a bonus, Metroid Prime supports the GameCube -- Game Boy Advance Cable for connection with Metroid Fusion, allowing players to activate secrets intended to enhance both titles.
Metroid Prime became one of the best-selling games on the GameCube. It was the second best-selling game of November 2002 in North America, behind Grand Theft Auto: Vice City; 250,000 units were sold in the first week of its release. As of July 2006, the game had sold more than 1.49 million copies in the U.S. alone, and had earned more than US$50 million. It was also the eighth best-selling GameCube game in Australia. More than 78,000 copies were sold in Japan, and Nintendo added the game to its Player's Choice line in the PAL region.
Metroid Prime was met with critical acclaim. Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded the game a perfect review score. It won numerous Game of the Year awards and was praised for its detailed graphics, special effects, varied environments, moody soundtrack and sound effects, level design, immersive atmosphere and innovative gameplay centered on exploration in contrast with action games such as Halo, while staying faithful to the Metroid formula. Criticisms included the unusual control scheme, lack of focus on the story, and repetitive backtracking. Game Informer considered the control scheme awkward, Entertainment Weekly compared the game to a "1990s arcade game, filled with over the top battle sequences, spectacular visual effects—and a pretty weak plot", and GamePro stated that inexperienced players "might find it exhausting to keep revisiting the same old places over and over and over".
On GameRankings, Metroid Prime is the 11th-highest rated game ever reviewed, with an average score of 96.35% as of April 2014, making it the second-highest reviewed game of the sixth generation after Soulcalibur for the Sega Dreamcast. In 2004 the video game countdown show Filter said Metroid Prime had the best graphics of all time.
|Genre||First Person Shooter|
|Number of Players||1|
|ESRB Rating||T - Teen|
|Game Series||Metroid Prime Series|
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