Revisit: Metroid Fusion (GBA)

I was a fan of the Metroid Prime games before, but it was Metroid: Zero Mission last year that made me see the light. The super tight controls, gameplay, and explorative nature of the adventure showed me that there’s a whole ‘nother experience with Metroid in taking my admiration of the franchise to the next level. That brings me to the game in question. Released in 2002, Metroid Fusion is the latest in the series’ timeline. In it, Samus is sent back to planet SR388 on a mission by the Biologic Space Labs to collect some research samples. When she gets there, things don’t go so well…

The intro movie teems with nostalgia. The outer space setting and the words “Nintendo Presents…Metroid 4” let you know that this game is a direct sequel to SNES masterpiece Super Metroid. The modern comic style and advanced graphics lend it a very futuristic atmosphere, and the controls and ambient sound fit like a glove. But the most important thing I noticed was how it blends elements of survival horror into the action. There are moments when Samus is no longer the hunter, where she has to do more running and less gunning; other times she’s fighting just to stay alive and find the next power-up to increase her chances of survival. It is so well executed that it never strays from being a Metroid game. Another thing that sets it apart from the usual is the surprisingly fleshed-out story. Easily the most story driven Metroid games, Fusion lets you into Samus’ personal life and shows that she’s more human than you might think.

I picked this game up in mint condition, box and all, for less than 10 bucks at GameStop last weekend. If you missed it 3 years ago and are hankering for some hardcore gaming after Dawn of Sorrow or just need a great game to play, buy this. You won’t regret it.