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Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
game: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Sat Jul 10th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Sat Jul 10th, 2004

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By Eric Bodrero

Metroid Prime was and still is a pinnacle in gaming: a prized showcase of fantastic graphics and realistic sound effects, deep storyline, smooth frame rate, innovative gameplay, imaginative worlds, and cunning enemies that will not be surpassed for some time. It's one of those rare treats that shouldn't be missed by even the most casual of gamers. Those who have not yet experienced it, I highly recommend you do so.

Of course, the first game practically begged to be sequelized?, and that's exactly what Retro Studios has done in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Upon seeing Echoes play live for the first time on the show floor at this year's E3, I practically lost my breath. I honestly didn't think you could really improve the look and feel of the first game, thinking it had reached its prime (no pun intended), being a one shot wonder in amazing graphics and superb gameplay, never to be seen in a game again until the next generation of home consoles. I was way off. Retro has not only expanded the look and feel, they've set a brand new standard on what videogames can and should look like-- again.

Keep in mind, this is the Gamecube were talking about. Not the Xbox and not a PC. This is the same machine that so many people were overeager to state is in third place, is underpowered, underdeveloped, out challenged, and out of the game. There is nothing farther from the truth after seeing Metroid Prime 2: Echoes running on it.

You are in control of the ever-popular Samus Aran traveling to a planet torn into light and darkness. You must explore the worlds of Dark and Light Aether while battling enemies, solving puzzles, and gaining power-ups.

As expected, Echoes will have you exploring brand new worlds, gaining brand new power-ups (as well as some familiar favorites), and using brand new weapons, including the all new Light and Dark Beams, which also uses a brand new ammo system. Let me tell you, the Dark Beam kicks major fanny. It's a very powerful weapon that spews a kind of dark, electric goo? at enemies, and, when they're hit with it, they simply die.

The game plays just like Metroid Prime, so those who are familiar with the mechanics of the first game should have nary a problem here. You scan the same way, you change weapons the same way, you jump the same way, you frag and strafe the same way, and you morph into a ball the same way. It's all very easy and simple to use, and is just simply a blast to play.

One area I entered was like being underwater, but the water was replaced with gooey, plasma-like blobs that would attack and overcome me if I lingered in it. Around the area were force fields just big enough for me to fit in that saved me from being attacked, and I basically had to jump or run from force field to force field, all the while being attacked by enemies. I wasn't being super careful so I ended up taking a lot of damage; I finally made my way out and into a save room, which is slightly different from the save rooms in the first game, but cool nonetheless. I felt much better after saving, as I'm sure anyone can attest to after taking serious damage. This area was exceptionally cool, and words simply don't do it any kind of justice at all. I wasn't able to experiment with the different morph ball abilities, but the standard morph bombs are definitely still in the game. Such things as grapple hooks, special visors, standard wave beam, health power-ups and the like are all here. There are some different looking doors that I never got a chance to open as well. Perhaps one of the coolest features of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, however, is the four-player battle mode. Now you and up to three of your buddies can experience frag fests- Metroid style. All of your standard abilities will be available to use, such as grapple hooks and morph balls. This feature will certainly be insanely popular with gamers because really, next to baseball, frag fests are America's favorite past time, right? I'm not sure exactly which characters will be involved in multiplayer, but I do know that all players will have their own color of Samus, so no getting confused on which one to splatter on the wall with a Dark Beam. I did experience one boss battle, which was a sweet one. I fought a character named Dark Samus, which is just like it sounds, a dark, evil version of Samus. The battle is intense, but should be fairly easy for Metroid Prime veterans. Of course virtually nothing is known about Dark Samus at this point, but I'm sure we'll learn all about him/her when the game releases. Speaking of release, Echoes has a confirmed street date of November 15 of this year. This will be one hot little title, so expect to hear more information about it as the anticipation heightens and the release date nears. In the meantime, pop in your old Metroid Prime disk again, get your trigger finger back in shape, and get ready for an all new first person adventure that looks ready to blow your socks off,with a little luck it will turn them into heaping, smoking piles of burnt cotton. With improved graphics, new weapons, new worlds, new enemies, a new multiplayer mode, and innovative new gameplay, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is once again set to blaze new trails and raise the standard yet one notch higher on the ever-ascending expectations bar.