(Nintendo/Retro Studios, November 19, 2004)

Metroid Prime 2 marks the return of one of the best video games released in 2002 (Metroid Prime of course) and Nintendo is adding a bunch of new features to entice gamers to get all excited about this franchise yet again. Are the new improvements good enough to justify spending more money for another Metroid title or are you better off moving on with another game instead?

Like the first Metroid Prime this title is an amazing looking First Person Shooting where you are the super heroin Bounty Hunter Samus Aran. You have to shoot and scan your way through a new dangerous planet after you receive distress call. The big difference now is the planet you are investigating literally has a strange light and dark side to it. Much like in the other GameCube game Ikaruga certain weapons are better then others in some areas and it's up to you to use the right strategy at the right time but basically
you are on yet another mission to destroy a few aliens and find power ups.

Samus starts off the game with many of the power ups from the past games like the Morphing ball, the grappling gun, varia suit, and more but don't too attached to them because like a lot of other Metroid games of the past she is going to lose it all after some trouble near the beginning........ again. Yes, that's the exact same thing that happened in the last game by the way! "Thanks for the cookie cutter story line Nintendo!" The fun thing about a good Metroid game is to find a new item or ability that helps unlock new areas and Metroid Prime 2 has that here too I guess.

If you are new to this series the First Person view sure takes some getting use to, thankfully these controls are fairly simple to learn. The basics to the controls is the Aiming (R button) of Samus's hand canon and the Lock on (L button) feature to focus on a object or enemy, once you learn those two buttons you'll be ready for action. Unfortunately Nintendo still won't let me edit my controls (upset the rather boring option to choose between inverted or normal controls) so you're stuck with them again.

Like before Samus still needs to open some areas with her scanner to activate key devices. The scanner was a great idea in the original game since it was a cool way to find secrets or important info but now it just feels way too time consuming since you are forced to stop what ever else you're doing just to open the scanner window. Maybe I wouldn't be so hard on the whole scanning thing if you could shoot as well but like Doom 3's stupid flashlight you'll be force to just one task at a time only. I wanna KILL STUFF in a shooter, I don't want to surf through my annoying inventory system so I can just look at crap!

This game also seems more geared towards the Metroid pro because this game is definitely on the hard side. When the action heats up it doesn't take long for Samus to get swarmed by several aliens at once and unless you mastered the original MP you're going to die a lot here. Although the difficulty can be a problem sometimes, what really bugged me all the constant backtracking and scanning objects which takes away some of the action. I know this is a Metroid trademark but it can get annoying. Also there were also times I wanted to save my game but I was trapped and had to continue playing even though I didn't want to.

Yes, unlike the original MP, this game now comes with a multi-player game like most FPS games out there but before you get too excited these new modes still have the limited controls of the single player. The kind of cheap 'Lock on' feature makes the hunting experience feel hollow and too easy especially compared to other popular First Person Shooting games like Half Life 2. Although the multi-player can still be fun, sadly most of us already know Nintendo doesn't even support any of the Online features of the Cube so you can forget any about that. The multi-player battle doesn't even support Locate Area Network play so you are all forced to play on just one screen. "I'm sorry, is this still 1997 here?!"

Moving on to a more positive note the graphics are still incredible as ever. The action is not only fast and intense (when you're not scanning though) but all the environments and characters are all very detailed with great use of light and shadow. Metroid Prime 2 is easily one of the best looking titles on the Cube. The background music won't be winning any awards but they fit the game here well and the lifelike sound effects are impressive as ever.

If you loved the first MP you'll also like this new one a lot too. It is still a long and compelling adventure/action title with excellent graphics, creepy sounds, and more brain teasing puzzles that will challenge any player but for all of the game's good point's, there are still a few nagging problems that just hold it back from being complete a five star game. Metroid Prime 2 may be a FPS but why aren't the analog controls similar to other popular games of this type like Goldeneye or Quake?
The Cube controller has two analog sticks too you know, Nintendo. Don't get me wrong, the game is still very rewarding like the first MP was but it isn't a huge leap in design from the last one and even the new multi-player isn't too good. Add a generic story line to the mix and you have one halfassed sequel here that could have been a lot better.



overall rating 84/100
Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 to 4 players
Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 9/10
sound: 8/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007