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When playing this game, the first question that comes up is "is this a Metroid game?" Due to the series heavy emphasis on exploration and solitude, one would think that Fusion's focused on linear missions would be a slap in the face. However, Fusion ultimately decides to focus on different aspects of the Metroid lore. In Super Metroid, there are only three scripted scenes, and one intro monologue. Fusion decides to take this further.
Fusion does a number of things differently with this title; you are now joined by an AI known nicknamed "Adam" after Samus' former superior. From him, you are given the primary objectives which are required to progress through each level. The issues ultimately come down to presentation; previous Metroids had fairly linear goals but required the player to figure this out. Here, it's slightly reduced but there's still a fair bit of mystery involved. Adam tells you where to go, but not how to get there. And the game tries to juxtapose Adam's instructions with the other chaos that goes on. Adam's not going to tell you what you're going to encounter once you actually begin your objective. I do wish there was better pacing with the dialogue though; Adam tends to require you to hook up from navigation to navigation room which can often seem inefficient.
Metroid Fusion does something that's called "focused exploration"(see Metroid Recon's review). You can go straight to your objective, or you can probe the room for various powerups and expansions to make encounters easier. Maybe it seems like it's designed for kids but it does keep your mind relatively focused. Many players that feel lost in Super Metroid can try Metroid Fusion.
One of the things I praise Fusion most on is its game feel. Due to the sense of regaining abilities, you feel much more powerful over the course of the game. In Super Metroid, the various beams, while powerful, felt a bit too cosmetic. Some enemies were immune to charged plasma beams, others wanted you to simply shoot your beams normally. Fusion, on the other hand stacks your beams so you can feel the visible changes in how they work. Some may dislike the lack of an option to change beams, but the game is designed so that your abilities match the challenges you face. I've always liked using default weapons in games, so the heavier emphasis on beam power was welcome.
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