Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
Metroid Prime is still seen by many people as one of the finest games on the Nintendo Gamecube. It was the first 3D-Metroid game, after a series of 2D-games on the NES, the SNES and the GBA. Now Nintendo has, in co-operation with Retro Studios, finished Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and it’s my job to check if it’s worth something.
Bounty-Hunter in charge is, of course, Samus Aran; in her metal suit she goes to the planet Aether to look for a lost soldier-team. Her arrival isn’t as good as planned; after a not too soft landing (just say crash) she gets attacked by a lot of creepy creatures, and when they leave her for dead, a lot of her suit’s abbilities are gone.
Not too soon after that we get to know that Aether is divided in two parts; the light-world and the dark-world. The peaceful inhabitants of the light-world however, need Aran’s help since they get attacked by the Ing Horde. The death of the light-world would mean never-ending life for the dark-world, and that’s not what we want, is it?
These abbilities of Samus’s suit are indispensable in her missions, she can roll herself in a small ball so she can go through narrow holes. Next to that you have visors, Samus can use those to gain information on objects or organisms, or she can look out for heat. In this second part there are 2 new visors, but of course the most important element in Aran’s battle is her weapon.
There’s a standard beam-rifle mounted on the arm of the young lade but of course there’s better weaponry spread throughout the game. Also some new things have been added like the light-beam which shoots destructive light beams (duh) at the enemy, or the dark-beam the fires black matter which can temporarily paralyse the enemy at full charge. Indeed, you can charge your weapon to create a bigger explosive force to shoot at your opponent.
After about an hour of playing I found this title immediately more appealing than the first part because the storyline is much more clear. Everything gets explained in beautiful movies, while in the original you had to scan about all objects to know the story. Of course in this second part a lot of information still needs to be collected by scanning but that’s only necessary for those that want to know more and not obligatory to complete the game.
Of course graphics make a game appealing and those of MP2:E are breath-taking. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful GC-games, maybe thé most beautiful… until Resident Evil 4 gets released of course. The models are nicely done and little details like the reflection of your face in the glass of your helmet add to the great atmosphere.
Many gamers dare say this game is a first person shooter but this isn’t completely correct. With the control stick you walk of course but you can’t control the camera with it and therefore aiming isn’t an option either. This is done automatically with a push on the L-button. Free aiming can be done while pressing R but then you can no longer move. This takes some getting used to and can be quite annoying when an enemy is so close that you can’t lock on him.
The biggest addition is without a doubt the multiplayer option. There’s 6 arena’s, different in size, in which you can fight with up to 4 players. The normal battles are quite monotone but the addition of all singleplayer weapons and different power up’s does create some tension. There’s a level where a giant cannon is mounted on a hill and you can easily kill everyone with it but you’ll need some teamwork to get on top of that hill and disable the cannon.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes is a worthy successor that will give joy to every fan. The game brings a cool storyline, the same gameplay and beautiful graphics. The multiplayer is more than sufficient but you shouldn’t buy the game only for this mode.