Metroid: Zero Mission is a retelling of the first Metroid game for the NES. Though there are a lot of throwbacks and nostalgic moments from the original game, it\'s really more than a remake. There is enough content here to be considered a new game. It starts out right before Samus\'s appearance on Zebes during the intro sequence, and will throughout the game add small storyline tidbits, and expand upon the ending, as she continues to retell the story of her Zero Mission.
How does this game play?
This game is similar in style to other 2D Metroid games. It\'s a 2D platform game, where you run, jump, shoot, and otherwise explore in interesting and creative ways in all directions. There are interesting weapons & attacks, as well as other moves that helps keep things interesting and keeps your mind second guessing \'is there a secret here? Did I miss something?\' Often, when it appears like the wall is cracked a bit, there just might be something behind it!
How is this the same or different than other Metroid games?
This game takes place on the original planet Zebes, so most of the plot is in places familiar to players of Metroid, with a few places from Super Metroid in there as well, as it also took place on Zebes. This game also has a significantly faster pace than Metroid Fusion,(you walk faster) and turning around is quicker as well. In general it has a feel that is slightly closer to Super Metroid than Fusion did. Another characteristic that is different than Fusion but more like Super Metroid is that there are not many conversation-style transition sequences, nor is there quite as much direction on where to go next.
While Fusion sometimes felt limiting in how you can explore because of the strength of the storyline\'s direction, this game has no real limits in where you can explore if you want to. This has the advantage of making the game feel a lot more \'free\', which is a big bonus, but it doesn\'t have the same feel that Fusion had in the sense of developing a larger storyline. That being said, Fusion was unique in this respect - there are no other Metroid games out there with such a story driven experience; Zero Mission is much closer to the \'roots\' of the series. Because of this, there are opportunities, if you have the skill, to perform \'sequence breaks\' - places where you can try to get an item out of order, or skip an item altogether. For example, with a lot of skill, it is possible to recieve Super Missles before the game coaxes you in that direction if you are quite skilled at utilizing an advanced technique called the Shine Spark. Some masochistic types also try to skip ever receiving certain upgrades like Long Beam, for example. Things of this nature are also possible in Super Metroid. One thing that is similar to Fusion is that, after an upgrade, you can hang on the edge of a cliff and pull yourself up. Quite useful.
How about the graphics and sound?
The graphics are quite good for the GBA, and are probably a little bit better than Metroid Fusion. The sound is also quite good, and and many are excellent remixes of classic tracks from the original Metroid. No complaints here!
What kind of bonuses are there?
This game has a lot of unlockable content. Upon completing the game once, the original Metroid can be played right on your GameBoy Advance! Unless you are a collector, I highly recommend this game over the soon to be released Metroid available via the NES Classic series; why not get two games for the price of one? Also, each ending you recieve gives you a different picture in the Gallery you can unlock. Hard mode is unlocked if you beat the game on normal. Since the original Metroid Fusion release had a lot less extra content than the Japanese version, you can link up Fusion to Zero Mission via a link cable and another GameBoy Advance to view the Metroid Fusion Gallery. All in all, if you like to have everything on a game unlocked and completed, this game has a lot to offer.
How appropriate is this game for Christians?
This game does not have too much to complain about. There is violence, but killing evil aliens is not too much of a problem in our view. The only thing is what a friend of mine calls \'fan waving\' - as is a tradition with this series, if you beat it in a certain time you can see Samus in a bikini in the ending, which no doubt unlocks a similar Gallery. Also the Fusion Gallery has similar pictures. Other than those concerns, it\'s mostly harmless.
This is a quite fun game that continues on an excellent tradition from previous games in the series. I highly recommend this to anyone who liked any of the earlier Metroids, or anyone else looking for a really good platform game. It doesn\'t abuse the nostalgia too much, in that it\'s an excellent game even for someone who has beaten the original Metroid before. The fact that you can unlock the original Metroid is a really great bonus, too. Even though I found it to be a bit easier than Metroid Fusion, it\'s at least as good of a game. With the improved unlockable content, I find that the scale is tipped in Zero Mission\'s favor.
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