the Classic NES version of Metroid that was recently
released for the GBA, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes will
not suffer the same humiliation bestowed upon it by
Cole. If I read his review correctly I believe he
was angered more that the game was even released on
the GBA since it's available as a free unlockable
in Metroid Zero Mission. I have to agree that some
old games should just stay in the past where they
Prime 2: Echoes is the evolution of Metroid. Presented
in 3D, this action-based, exploration shooter is an
excellent example of a sequel as well as what the
advancement of technology and the marriage of imagination
can accomplish. You can't even compare the original
Metroid to Echoes - and that's a good thing.
begin and end with Metroid Prime, the surprising and
stunning game that was created by Retro Studios a
couple of years ago. Echoes picks up where it left
off and makes up for lost time. There are new characters,
locations and weapons in addition to a new storyline.
you're looking for non-stop action, Echoes only delivers
in waves. As an adventure game you will spend a lot
of time exploring, collecting, amassing clues and
solving puzzles. When the action hits, it hits big
time. The relatively quiet and isolated stretches
in between make the action appear more intense. If
you like diversity in your gameplay this is the game
Aran reprises her role as the infamous, interplanetary
bounty hunter. Called to investigate the disappearance
of soldiers on the planet Aether, she finds herself
in the middle of a war between the planet's two main
inhabitants, the luminoth and the ing. The luminoth
are light beings and exist in our dimensions. The
ing are dark beings that belong to a different dimension
but are able to cross into the luminoth's world to
possess beings and spread their terror. To make matters
worse, Samus's old foes, the space pirates, are also
on the planet.
exploration you will uncover various bits of information
relating to the war and other secrets about the planet.
The environments are large and detailed which means
you'll have a lot of exploring to do. An auto hint
will help you along if you're flailing around for
too long although this is an option you can disable
if you'd rather do things the hard way. Trust me,
some of these puzzles can be very esoteric and unless
you've got a lot of time on your hands you'll be begging
for some hints.
is loaded with weapons and gadgets. As in the original
game you can expect the wave and ice beams along with
the morph ball, grapple beam, cannon and the requisite
missiles and bombs. New weapons include Dark and Light
beams that have to be used on dark and light enemies.
Not all of the ammo is unlimited which will add more
strategy to your gameplay as you must plan for conservation.
Fortunately this is only for some secondary weapons.
You will also have to know which weapons are more
effective against certain enemies. You have lots of
equipment at your disposal but not all of it is useful
in every circumstance.
auto targeting system frees you up to perform other
tasks such as combat, escaping or accessing new areas.
All stats will appear on your helmet HUD which allows
you to share Samus' perspective. You can scan every
room with various visor filters. They will allow you
to see both dark and light enemies and there's even
an echo visor that amplifies sound waves. The use
of gadgets is reminiscent of Mission: Impossible.
is a huge planet made even larger by the extra dark
dimension. Both light and dark regions are believable.
They are extremely well detailed although not entirely
interactive. There's not a lot of character interaction
either, which perfectly accentuates the mood. Deep
ambience is created by the haunting soundtrack which
kicks into gear when the fighting begins.
looks great with sleek lines and smooth animation.
The aliens are ugly and unsettling to look at. It's
a nice feeling when you lay them to rest. The controls
are tight and framerate is steady. Echoes is an impressive
game on all counts with the exception of the multi-player
mode. You can split the screen for four players to
play Deathmatch or Bounty mode. However, it's the
single-player mode that's worth the price of admission.
The multi-player modes are just add-ons where the
true feel of the single-player mode fails to permeate.
Prime 2: Echoes is the epitome of impressive sequels.
It's definitely going to be a consideration for GameCube
game of the year.