Metroid Prime

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Content at a glance:

GAME TECH INFO

Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Retro Studios
Price Range: $11-20
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

     Reviewed By: Josh
     VOLUNTEER GUEST REVIEWER

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: Adventure First-Person
Christian Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)


Metroid Prime.  Illustration copyrighted.

In 1986, Nintendo introduced the world to one of gaming’s most beloved franchises: Metroid. It was acclaimed for being fresh and innovative with its non-linear adventure gameplay. Two other popular sequels followed in the next few years, those being Metroid II and Super Metroid. Sadly, fans devoted to the series would wait almost a whole decade before the next game.

In 2000, Retro Studios, a new second-party studio, had been working on Raven Blade when Nintendo asked them to produce the next Metroid game. Early in its development, Metroid Prime came under criticism by certain people for being made into a first-person shooter, rather than a two-dimensional game like its predecessors.

Doubters were quickly silenced after Prime’s release in 2002. This installment was created for the Nintendo Gamecube, and it gave the Metroid series a re-birthing and started a new generation of Metroid games.

Story:
You assume the role of Samus Aran after landing on an abandoned ship in orbit above Tallon IV. Your mission is to thwart the Space Pirates’ operations on Tallon IV and to uncover the mysteries of an unknown element called Phazon.

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Graphics:
Metroid Prime may be the best looking game on the Gamecube. The environments are detailed from the smallest crevices in the rocks to the mist shrouding over your visor. Particle effects are particularly well done. Even more amazing is the artistic level design (which in my opinion is the best part of the game).

Audio:
The audio aspects of Metroid Prime are just as good as the visuals. Each weapon in Samus’ arsenal makes a unique sound, and enemies make lifelike grunts in combat. The most eerie sound effect is the sound a Metroid as it searches for its prey. On the musical side, composer Kenji Yamamoto has created a beautiful, and sometimes strange, soundtrack for the game. The tracks fit the mood of the environments very well.

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Controls:
Even if a game looks and sounds well, if a game has bad controls, it just isn’t fun. Luckily, Metroid Prime’s controls are very natural once the player gets the hang of it. Metroid Prime is very different from other first person shooters in the fact that there is no dual analog control scheme. Aiming is done by holding down the left shoulder button to lock onto a target. This may sound simplistic, but it works extremely well with most parts of the game.

Gameplay:
Exploration is the largest part of the game. You will travel to different regions of Tallon IV, collect power-ups, and hack into the Space Pirate computer networks. Collecting certain power-ups is required to advance, and sometimes it becomes a little tedious. The game starts out kind of slow, but once you get past the first area, the action really picks up.

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Violence:
This game focuses mainly on exploration and not violence. However, there are certainly some shooter intensive elements of gameplay. Space Pirates and other enemies can be exploded, electrocuted, frozen, and even burned to death with different beams from Samus’s Arm Cannon. Fortunately, there is hardly any blood or gore present.

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Spiritual Content:
Metroid Prime is rife with negative spiritual content. The Chozo, an advanced race who lived on Tallon IV, experimented with supernatural power and rituals as a part of their religion. Several times Samus is forced to fight angry Chozo spirits in close combat. The game booklet said that “their culture was steeped in prophecy and lore.”

In terms of pure gameplay, Metroid Prime is a masterpiece, and has already been hailed as one of the best games of our time. But violence and occult content may be a turnoff to parents and Christian gamers. Since this game is rated “T,” I would not recommend this game to anyone under the age of thirteen.

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Year of Release — 2002

[tags] 4 stars, Adventure, Game Cube (Nintendo), T (Teen), Retro Studios [/tags]




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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