Review: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
MP2 Puts you, the gamer, in the visor of the infamous intergalactic Bounty Hunter; Samus Aran.
As the game begins, you are informed through a series of cut scenes that a group from the Galactic Federation Marines Corps, named Bravo, have vanished near a planet on the very fringe of the GF controlled space after encountering a Space Pirate Vessel heading toward the planet Aether.
Your job is simple. You are to locate the missing Marines and give assistance as necessary. After targeting their last known coordinance on Aether, you begin your descent toward the planet. Unfortunately you encounter a Plasma storm high in Aethers Atmosphere, and your ship is critically damaged and you begin to drop toward the planet.
After making a rather rough emergency landing on Aethers surface, you take control of Samus and begin to investigate the surrounding area, searching for clues of the missing Marines.
Your search is not long, as you soon come upon numerous of the Marines corpses dangling from the ceiling, with a species indigenous to Aether called Splinters, busily preparing them for whatever purpose they are to serve. More likely than not, lunch.
On further investigation, it becomes evident that the Marines were given a good deal of trouble on Aether, but not from Space Pirates surprisingly.
Taking into account how much damage and dead bodies that are lying around, itís evident the Marines put up a big fight before their demise.
After wandering around the Temple Grounds, you reach an elevator which transports you too high atop the Temple. There, you witness one of the last intelligent beings still standing on the planet: U-Mos, Sentinel of the Luminoth.
U-Mos relates to you the Luminoths history and current plight to you. You learn that the Luminoth descended to Aether from the stars after finding the planet to be quite beautiful, a paradise no less. That was the golden age of the Luminoth, but such ages never last, and the Luminoth was not exempt to this fate. After discovering a meteor of unknown origins heading on a collision path to Aether, The Luminoth were helpless as they watched their eminent doom descending upon them. However, they built shelters for themselves, and when the Meteor drew near, they hid themselves.
After impact, the planet was torn in two. One Aether was all that was remained of the paradise it once was, the other Aether was a dark and twisted version of Aether, and it spawned a dark race of creatures the Luminoth named the Ing.
Unaware of these creatures, rifts began opening in Light Aether, and the Ing poured into an already desperate land. The Luminoth you learn, gave their best efforts to hold off the evil, but it was to no avail. And after Centuries of fighting, the Luminoth finally fell.
In the past, the Luminoth created devices that could store planetary energy to Light Aether. However, when the Ing fell, the Ing stole the energy from Aether and transferred to their own world. This left Light Aether in a state of unbalance, and the planet is on the brink of destruction.
If that isn't bad enough, you also discover you even have a dark version of yourself: Dark Samus. Her intentions are unknown, but it seems to have a great desire for Phazon, which you find out was spread throughout the planet on the meteors impact.
U-Mos informs you that the Ing won't stop there. They'll target other planets and systems, and their next likely target is the Human race.
So once again, you find the safety of the entire galaxy to be upon your shoulders. Your instructions? Locate the missing planetary energy and return it to their three temples located on Planet Aether. This is no small task, monumental at best, as the Ing won't be handing over their precious energy to you without putting up a huge fight.
So begins an epic quest which will take you through the desserts of Agon, the bogs of Torvus, and the Luminoths own sanctuary high in the cliffs. You will face many difficult bosses, some small as a loaf of bread, some twenty stories above the ground.
One of Samus's greatest and most dangerous adventure to date is just about to begin . . . are you up to the task?
Gorgeous, beautiful, amazing, pleasing . . . Those are just some of the words you'll use to describe this games graphics. Retro Studious took every aspect of the graphics down to the smallest grain of grass. Everything looks amazing.
The Character design is stunning. All the enemies look completely new and very well created. You might get fooled and start to believe they even might exist somewhere.
The level design is great and itís even enjoyable too walkthrough. You can tell it was created so that every time you visit a room, it feels like you just have seen it for the first time. There are three regions in Echoes, a dessert, a swamp, and a sanctuary. The dessert of course is very dry and rocky. The bog? Very wet and marshy, and itís a very welcoming experience after trudging around in a scorching dessert. But best of all is the sanctuary, it looks straight out of the future. Itís a Sci-fi fanís dream come true. Its full of technology and robots, and itís very bright because most of the color is neon.
Did I mention the vistas? Every now and then you'll come upon a spot high on a cliff or tower where you can look out on the Aether . . . And believe me it is just stunning. You'll sit there, gazing out on the tree's and rivers, the cloud dotted sky, and even what appears to be a large city in the dead of night.
I can't think of any other words to describe it . . . I could go on and on about every little aspect of the graphics, but I'd run out of room I assure you. If I could only score it higher than a 10 . . .
The Gameplay is very smooth and enjoyable, as well as enticing. Echoes, along with every other game in its series, combines a lot of playing styles. Some puzzles force you to jump from platform to platform, figure out difficult puzzles and strategies to defeat difficult bosses, and some eventsí just make you shoot your way through hordes of enemies; ducking behind crates or hiding behind pillars. Very, very enjoyable.
BUT, the Gameplay is not without error, and some claim it could use a couple of enhancement. There are a few frame drips here and there, and some players were disappointed that there wasn't a dual-analog control included with the game, granted that itís sometimes hard to keep track of enemies and see all of your surroundings. Though I didn't find it difficult, nor would I find dual analog to be anymore useful than a mono analog, actually it would be a nuisance to those who just got used to controlling Samus. And Dual takes awhile to get used, and I found the game to be to demanding for such an inconvenience.
I also found a few glitches in the game, none of that really hindered me or frustrated me. But then again, I save a lot.
So on average, the puzzles were difficult but not impossible, the enemies border on sheer frustration, but very rewarding when you do finally defeat them. I found that the majority of enemies took several tries; the first time you might get killed and have 1/4 of it figured out, the second time you might figure most of it out, but he'll probably kill you. And the third time you'll probably have him down. But depending on the enemy, it could take more or less than that to defeat depending on your skill level. It took my 50-year-old father at least 30 tries to defeat the Boost Guardian, and thatís nothing compared to how long it will take to beat other ones . . .
And then of course there is that good amount of time you spend searching for extra missiles, energy tanks, power bomb expansions, and a new one to Echoes: Ammunition expansion.
Unlike Previous games, this is the first Metroid in its series that has Ammunition-based weaponry. The Light and the Dark beam, which are aptly named. At first I didn't like the idea, but then I found it not to be so tedious after all and even having to conserve your weaponry adds certain elements to Metroid never seen before. Though, I hope you like using the Power Beam a lot . . .
Also, from Prime returns your good ol Scan Visor. But it isn't the scan visor you remember, this is the new and improved scan visor. There aren't any more scan points, rather objects that you can scan appear in three different colors; Green; for already scanned or recorded. Blue; for not scanned, which might also mean log book material, but that is for you to find out. And last but not least; Red, for mission critical objects. I found scanning and the much improved log book to be a huge plus for Echoes. MP2 has a huge archive of scans, and it allows you to view enemies and lore by pressing start, from there you can review them, or just zoom in on your target to take a closer look at it. Itís really nice, huge improvement.
Fun? I wouldn't call Echoes "fun.Ē Enjoyable, yes. The plot is deep, the enemies are challenging, and the puzzles are take a good deal of involvement and creativity to accomplish. And when you finally do accomplish your set tasks, such as finding a weapon or returning the planets energy, itís very rewarding. But far from fun I'd say. Or at least not the usual definitions of fun.
So yea, enjoyable along with pull-your-hair-out frustration. It takes a lot of skill to complete the game. Untalented gamers need not try.
Another fun thing not seen in the Metroid universe, also something I never though I would see...A multiplayer. I was really iffy about this one at first, I thouhgt Nintendo might have taken this to far, but of course they proved me wrong. After I played it with my brother, it was actually alot of fun. You can really cool special abilities, like hacker-mode, unlimited missiles, unlimited beam ammo, death-ball; which turns your morthball into a electric Samus killing machine, and other enhacements like invisibility or becoming impervious. Its alot of fun to run around and blast your rival, especially since you egt to see what enemies must see before they die.
Plus, you get to arm thos awesome sentry cannons. Thats the best part.
Again, amazing. Just listening to the sound that enemies make when they trod on the ground, squeal when they attack, or wing off into the air is nice. Not to mention Space Pirates flying in on a Skiff, then a very adrenaline rushing music busts out and you find yourself in a weapon battle; with shots whizzing around you, not to mention you returning a continuos stream of shots and missiles which all sound very dynamic. It will leave your heart racing at the end, guaranteed.
The music was also good. It set the moods very well, whether you were making your way through a marsh or trudging through a scorching dessert, it meant the need it was there for.
As I mentioned you may recognize some of the music, such as after you defeat a boss. Also again when you enter a certain area in Torvus Bog, some players might recognize the music to be from Maridia in Metroid III.
None of that good Magmoor music though, which was a little disappointing. But the beat in the Temple Grounds will have you tapping your feat.
Nice job Retro.
Replay Value: 9/10
"Say what!? You want me to replay THAT game? I just spent 25+ hours playing it! Oh and look, there is a freakin hard mode . . . Can the game get any harder?" Was my initial reaction when I contemplated replaying it. The thing is with Echoes . . . The first time you play it through will be so fulfilling you won't even need to play it again, and if there wasn't a hard mode, I probably wouldn't consider it for a while. BUT, as comes with most Metroid games, you want to go back and play the game better, faster, more skillfully, find all the expansions and get a better ending. If that isn't enough to make you want to replay it, you can always put your Metroid skills to the test and play hard mode, which isn't easy by any feat.
By all means though, replay it. It will be at least twice as much meaningful before now that you know whatís going on and used to the Gameplay. Heck, there might even be a surprise ending that hints on future games...You never know.
Plus, the MultiPlayer always helps. Don't expect to spend weeks playing it though, it leaves just a little to be desired compared tot other games of its type, but its still alot of fun.
Overall: 10/10 (Not an Average)
Probably the single best game that has entered the GC market to date. 10 times better than Prime, well worth 50$'s, and just in time for the holidays. I give this game an easy 10/10. If you even like Metroid even a little bit, you MUST have this game. Arguably the best installment in the Metroid series thus far.
Well, buy it already! Don't walk, run . . . as fast you can. I don't care what your excuses are, you must buy this game. If my scores don't make you want to have it, then read the overview again, you'll want it.
Metroid at itís best.
I found the game very enjoyable, EXCEPT: I hate how the dark suit sucks. I spent like 5 hours of the game healing in bubbles.
Boost and Spider Gaurdians = bitches x 5.
EDIT: Also, the case it comes in pwns. Too bad my dog ate the game!
cool review. I would only give it a 9 though, because, although its an awsome awsome game its doesnt pull me back to it after i turn it off. Im like halfway through and i cant bring myself to play it. the same thing happened with the first one.
I used to be thecube_128
I've played it too much to the point where I am having dreams of it. Not just the mission part but the multiplayer too. I love this game. Too bad I am stuck. Stupid haze...
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