Posted on September 28, 2012
My Top 100: #78 – Metroid Fusion
This game might be widely known as the weakest entry in a series that is now more than a quarter-century old. I’ve been known to go against the gaming grain, though, so it should be no surprise that it’s ranked among my favourite titles starring a certain female bounty hunter…
Metroid Fusion is the most linear game in the long-running sci-fi series, which might have been what turned some people off. Instead of plopping you in the heart of some unknown territory, with nothing but your wits and curiosity to guide you through each obstacle, Fusion holds your hand and guides you. It doesn’t pull a South Park 64 and plant random signs with arrows on them, but you can’t progress to certain areas of the BSL space station if you haven’t acquired certain items.
It’s like Zeld-troid… or Metro-lda…
Like a few other games you’ll see on this countdown, Metroid Fusion was one of my first experiences on a new-to-me platform.
In 2004, Nintendo released the Limited Edition Classic NES Series Game Boy Advance SP (that’s a mouthful). A bunch of NES titles were re-released in portable fashion, and the GBA itself would look like an NES console when closed. Naturally, the “controller” portion of it was modeled after an NES controller. I jumped at the chance to own a system I had heard much about, but never actually played for myself.
Along with The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros., I needed a game that would actually stretch the system’s capabilities. I didn’t have to look much further than good ol’ dependable Metroid.
I honestly believe that, in terms of atmosphere, this is the coolest one of the bunch. The reason? One word.
The video above really doesn’t do it justice – you need to hear it coming from those tiny speakers on the GBA!
It’s not saying anything new when I say that Metroid games are beyond epic in terms of music and sound effects. The way Samus’ arm cannon sizzles when it charges, how missiles crunch when they detonate, and how the shrieks of each boss echo through the space station’s halls… man, it just gave me chills. The music was great too, as usual.
The other games in the series are fantastic at giving you that sense of scale, how you’re just a tiny speck in a large and confusing labyrinth, all alone. Fusion kept that atmosphere, but instead went with a go-with-the-flow approach – if you didn’t want to check your map every two minutes, you didn’t have to. Just explore, find secrets, and then eventually dead ends, search some more, progress, repeat.
Oh, and when her Zombie-like Power Suit makes an appearance? Forget about it. Be thankful it doesn’t see you, or if it does, just run!
Great game! Play it if you haven’t already!