System: Gameboy Advance
Title: Metroid Fusion
Publisher: Nintendo
Circa: 2002

Only a few of Metroid games made it onto the GBA, one of which was fully original. That one was Metroid Fusion. Again players assume the role of Samus Aran, one of the best Bounty Hunters in Galactic Space. This game differs a bit from its fairly action oriented brethren, but it remains an excellent game in its own right. Released about the same time as Metroid Prime, this game offers some little bonuses for connecting with a completed game of Metroid Prime, namely, unlocking the original Metroid (with password and a save feature) when you linked the pair. It was also the first Metroid game to offer a ledge grabbing feature, which is almost something of a staple now.

Taking place after the Events of Super Metroid, Samus and a team of Researchers from the Biologic Space Labortories, have returned to Planet SR388, the Metroid’s home world. There Samus encounters an unknown creature, which we learn is infected with a virus. The infection is passed onto Samus. While she and the research team are returning to the Lab, the virus begins to attack her body and Power Suit. Her ship crashes into an Asteroid Belt and is destroyed, Samus being saved only by the auto eject. She is taken onboard the research vessel where the virus, now called the X Parasite, has begun to attack her central nervous system, taking over her body. The Parasite also worked to infect large portions of her Power Suit, which had to be removed. The scientists take a risk and create an antivirus from a small cell sample taken off the Baby Metroid. The anti-virus was successful, and completely changed Samus. While it healed her completely of her infection, she also took on some of the benefical and detrimental qualities of Metroids. She could now absorb the Parasite X to heal however, she also inherited the Metroid’s famous cold vulnerability. After words, strange events happen at the Research Facility where the infected portions of her power suit were sent. Borrowing a Federation ship with an AI to aid her, Samus heads to the BSL to find out what happened …

The game only takes a little adaption. While you do not have the menus and select abilities of the previous Metroid, all of her abilities instead stack together. Another big change is the more linear story progression based around the Navigation Rooms. While still very open, as Metroid games are known for, this one is much more focused, giving the player obvious set goals. This has the advantage of letting you more easily take an extended break from the game and come back to it. The missiles are the most changed, taking up a charge feature later in the game. Samus is also shown to be very acrobatic, with the addition of the ledge grab and her ability to scale ladders and other grips.  The need to absorb Parasite X to restore health and missiles also presents an interesting challenge. As if the Parasite is left too long, it could well reform into the creature you just killed or something stronger. Still, with the setup of the game, gameplay is fairly easy, making it enjoyable.


The controls are fairly simple, many of the original tricks (such as bomb jumping) remain essential. The addition of the ledge grab is very useful in many cases, and that Samus will do so when you are simply holding the D-pad in the walls direction is a great help. Using L to aim at an angle takes some getting used to, but it helps greatly with a large number of enemies and no few boss fights as well. Using R to arm missiles or Power Bombs is pretty use to adapt to. The harder part is waiting for the charge to finish later in the game.

The game provides graphics on par with what people can to expect after Super Metroid. As the GBA was at least on par with the SNES in terms of graphical power, anything less for a main title like Metroid would not have been well received.

Sound Effects & Music
The music is more ambient, as fitting for the series. The sound effects usually help as you can discern just a bit of warning from your enemy’s attack with it. This is a game I will play with the sound on regularly. While, like any game, the music can get old, it manages to hold out for the duration of at least one play through.

Even now, this game holds to a fair bit of renowned.

Summary/Author’s Take
This is easily one of my favorite games for the GBA. No few times have I been playing it simply to try and lower my best run-through time. Getting the different ending scenes is usually a goal of mine, though one or two remain out of reach (2 hours to clear the game is quite a challenge). It is a game that I will continue to play for many years yet. Given the interaction between it and Metroid Fusion, one was at least given a reason to consider both when they could. At this point, getting both would be easy, but finding the GBA to Gamecube link cable would prove much more difficult. Still, it is a Metroid game that many would recommend.

Story: 93%                Very heavy, but gives you a good amount of freedom
Gameplay: 87%            Slightly more restricted than usual, possesses more story though
Multiplayer: n/a%            none
Controls: 96%            Very easy to use.
Graphics: 91%            SNES quality, solid
SFX & Music: 81%            Gets old at a point yet remains tolerable
Obscurity: 45%            Fairly well known, even years later
Overall: 90%                A game worth buying

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