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Metroid Prime Review - Gamecube

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Once upon a time, when the Playstation was merely an after thought in some Sony bigwigs mind and Bill Gates was more worried about GUI's than consoles, Nintendo and Sega dominated the gaming market. Both had a collection of endearing and groundbreaking franchises that encaptured the gaming communities attention. One of Nintendo's coolest characters was a young lady by the name of Samus Aran, a kick ass bounty hunter with a knack for blasting Space Pirates. A 2d actioner, the series combined thought provoking puzzles with all-out action and won legions of fans worldwide. Well, just when the GameCube needed her the most, Samus is back- and the game is now set in a 3d environment. Lock and load people, it's time to kick some serious ass!

Gameplay

The game starts with Samus investigating a distress beacon that has been activated from a space station orbiting the nearby planet, Talon IV. Upon investigation, you soon find out all is not well, that someone or something has been carrying out some genetic experiments and the results aren't that particularly pleasant. You jet down to Talon IV for further investigation...

Upon arriving you discover the planet was once inhabited by an ancient and mythical race, The Chozo who have fled after foreseeing the destruction of their planet after a meteor crash poisoned the land and killed off the wildlife. The Chozo attempted to control the poison, known as Phazon, but failed and decided to leave. Years later the Space Pirates discover Talon IV and the power of Phazon and begin setting up a mining colony on the planet. They found that Phazon had a powerful capacity to mutate indigenous life forms and began all sorts of experiments. But the Space Station incident suggests that the Space Pirates aren't in total control...Samus Aran to the rescue!

It would be unjust to label Metroid Prime as merely an addition to the first person genre because it's so much more than that. The early stage on the space station serves as a tutorial of sorts and teaches you the basic ins and outs of the game. In particular, you'll soon discover that scanning the environment is paramount to progression. Shifting your visor to scan mode allows you to scan your surroundings and download any relevant information to your own database. This could be life forms, Space Pirate or Chozo documentation, artifacts or research studies. Scanning also allows you to activate hidden switches, unlocking paths that were previously closed.

MP gives the gamer a lot of freedom, and the more you put in, the more you get out of it. You basically have to push the story along yourself; discovering hidden passages and unlocking pathways, new breeds of species and new plot developments. No fancy cut scenes here. In fact, the only real time there's a cut scene is when you encounter one of the games many bosses. There is also absolutely no interaction whatsoever. After a while ... (continued next page)