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Metroid - Zero Mission

Guest Author - James Shea

“Metroid: Zero Mission” is a Game Boy Advance remake of the game “Metroid” for the Nintendo Entertainment System, which started the “Metroid” series of games. Many people consider the original game to be the best, in regards to storyline, originality, and etcetera. The new game includes improved graphics, sound, and enemy AI, along with some new missions after the point where the normal game would be completed.

The storyline will be familiar to all fans of the series, seeing as it’s the same as “Metroid”. The bounty hunter Samus Aran has been hired to go to the planet Zebes and destroy a race of energy-draining creatures known as Metroids. She must also destroy an evil entity known as Mother Brain. Samus herself was orphaned on this planet by the evil Space Pirates (that’s actually the name of their species, at least to the humans) and was rescued and raised by a race known as the Chozo. These highly-advanced creatures gave her the power suit that she wears, so that she may destroy the Space Pirates (as Zebes was also at one time a Chozo colony). Now, using the power of her suit and her natural skills, Samus must destroy this threat to the galaxy.

The graphics in this game are very well done, and are a little bit better than the graphics in Metroid Fusion. They are beautiful and immersive. Samus has her original suit, not the bizarre blue punk-style suit she had in Metroid Fusion. Samus gets multiple suits during the course of the game; the basic power suit (which is dark orange), the heat-and-cold resistant Varia suit (which is bulkier and light orange), and the water-pressure resistant Gravity suit (which is like the Varia suit, but purple). There is also a part where Samus loses her power suit and runs around in a jumpsuit, armed only with a pistol (this is a sequence that wasn’t in the original game).

The sound in the game is not really impressive. Even though it’s better than the NES game, it’s still basically blips and bleeps. The music isn’t bad, and sets the tone more than the sound effects. There is also a very annoying “low health” sound, which is a little siren that sounds if your health is less than 10% of its maximum. So basically, if you’re really hurt, you just hear “beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep” over and over again until you get some health, which isn’t always easy. The same problem occurs in the “Legend of Zelda” games, too. Of course, if it’s really annoying, the sound can be turned off, but then you miss out on other sound effects.

The gameplay is satisfying. Bosses are often of the “hit its weak spot with a particular weapon” variety, though they still look pretty cool. Samus can perform all sorts of maneuvers, such as her morph ball form, in which she can roll around, her freeze missiles, which can freeze enemies and make them into stepping blocks, and her grapple beam, which she can use to swing around on hooks. There is also a good variety of locations, from ancient Chozo ruins to volcanoes.

Overall, this game is very, very good. It’s a nice way of introducing newer gamers to the beginning of the Metroid series. For old-school gamers, beating the game will get you the original NES Metroid game to play.
9/10 (I’m taking one point of for the Low Health Beeps).

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Content copyright © 2015 by James Shea. All rights reserved.
This content was written by James Shea. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Shea for details.


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