You really need to play this game, you really do.

User Rating: 8.9 | Metroid Fusion GBA
The original Metroid games were all heralded as classics by the general gaming community. They were very popular and considered state-of-the-art in their own time. However, after the series' third incarnation on the SNES, it went into hibernation for several years. Finally, it resurfaced on the GBA (and at the same time as Metroid Prime on the Gamecube) as Metroid Fusion. This game picks up the plot some time after the end of Super Metroid. In it, Samus is sent to guard a research team on a trip to SR-388, former homeworld of the Metroids. After she is infected by a mysterious parasite, her ship crashes and much of her suit has to be removed. After the infection threatens to kill her, she is given an injection of a vaccine made from a Metroid cell that the Fedaration just "happened" to have. Then she is sent to investigate a mysterious explosion on the ship that the research team commanded. The game itself is quite a bit of fun. While the standard Metroid gameplay remains thankfully intact, the game itself progresses in quite a linear fashion. Instead of exploring the massive ship on your own, you must instead follow the directions of a computerized Commanding Officer sent with you to the ship. These directions usually revolve around completing a task or defeating a boss charachter. Also, this game features a plot which progresses as the game presses on, wheras previous Metroid games dropped you on the surface of a planet and allowed you to take it from there. Now, for a one game change, I find this all to be quite welcome myself. The plot oriented style of this game makes it a lot more exciting, and the dialouge is at least readable. I belive that as long as this doesn't become a lasting addition to the Metroid series, this change serves the game quite well. The graphics in this game are quite nice. They are incredibly detailed, and bear a similarity to those of Super Metroid. There are a lot of nice touches in the different enviornments of this game, such as the tall grass and shadowns moving in the background of the SR enviornment, to the desertlike setting of the PYR enviornment. Charachters animate quite well, and there isn't any slowdown to speak of. Sound works well, even if it's nothing special. The music serves it's purpose, and you can recognize a few tunes from other games in the series, but overall it's merely average. The sound effects are also good, but unremarkable. Hearing the X Parasites make squishy sounds, or the sound of footsteps hitting the floor of the space station is fun, but not very ground-breaking. The enemies themselves are quite nice. Several species from previous Metroid games have managed to make it back for this one. Bosses are nice and varied, and all provide quite an adequate challenge. There's no real tactic for beating all of them, but preservance will allways see you through when you face them. Well, to close, I must say that I really can't reccomend this game enough. It's wonderful! I realize that I may sound a wee bit negative at times in this review, but that's just because of the high standards that I have for this series. I really do love Metroid Fusion though, and if you want a great GBA game, or an excuse to try the Metroid series for the first time, play this game. You can't go wrong with it!

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