Developer: Retro Studios
NA Release date: Nov. 15, 2002
Genre: Action Adventure
Media: 1 optical game disc
Originally slated for N64’s 64DD in the late 1990’s, Metroid Prime never made it into development due to Nintendo not coming up with any solid ideas at the time. It was developed by Retro Studios, Nintendo EAD and Nintendo R&D1. In early development of the Gamecube version, perspective was set to be in third-person but the idea was scrapped because of camera issues. The development studios canceled other games to focus on Prime and it was officially announced by Nintendo at E3 in 2001. Metroid Prime was released in North America on November 15, 2002.
The game’s genre is considered to be a first-person adventure rather than first-person shooter, due to the amount of exploration needed to be done in order to complete the game. The story is the first of the three part storyline, which takes place between the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus games. Like the previous Metroid games, the player controls the bounty hunter Samus Aran as she battles the Space Pirates and their genetically modified experimental subjects on planet Tallon IV.
The game takes place in many different large regions, each with their own set of areas. The regions are connected by elevators. Samus is in search for the twelve Chozo Artifacts placed throughout Talon IV that will open the path to the Phazon meteor impact crater. While searching she will need to collect power-ups, weapon and suit upgrades and other new abilities that help allow her to reach new areas. Samus has many different things to help her on her mission. Radar tells her when enemies are near. She can exchange helmet visors to beat certain enemies. Health meters tell her when she is low on energy and needs a refill.
The graphics in Prime are very sharp and detailed. The controls take a while to get used to but once you can understand them they feel pretty accurate. As in past games of the Metroid series, the music is great. It features a sci-fi like mix with elements of sound and music from the previous Metroid games. The game will take a while to finish as there is a lot to explore. It was named 2002 Game of the Year.