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Posted on Mar 9th 2009 at 10:25:39 PM by (Shimra)
Posted under Metroid Fusion, Metroid, story, gameplay, survival, horror

You know, I'm playing through Metroid Fusion for the first time in years and it just hit me-- this is a survival/horror game.

That's right I said it. I don't really know how I didn't realize this. Perhaps it was because that strays so far from people's perception of what Metroid games are 'supposed to be' that they are blinded from seeing what the individual games attempt to be. Take Metroid 2 for example. It is constantly panned for not being like Metroid or Super Metroid. It does it's own thing and people say it doesn't have the Metroid feel. It's kind of funny considering that belief has existed wayyyy before the release of Prime/Fusion etc. Was there ever a set pattern for what the Metroid games are supposed to be?

Not really. The main reason I can think of that people call Metroid 2 and Fusion radical is because they aren't like Super Metroid which is in many peoples' opinion one of the best game ever. Therefore people expect the newer releases to follow suit and attempt to emulate it's success.

And here is where Fusion comes in. It doesn't emulate Super Metroid, and like Metroid 2 it is it's own breed. Because people wanted it to be like Super Metroid or because they had this false perception of what the series 'should be' (me included), they missed what the game really was-- it was a freaking survival horror game.

Am I going mad? Not at all. The story starts out with Samus investigating an explosion on a space station after nearly dying due to a parasite attack which has rendered her extremely weak and without any weapons. From there she must stop the X parasites from inhabiting the other sectors of the research station and overrunning the place.

But then it becomes known that the X parasites are smart and out to kill her. One has mimicked her at full power (the SA-X) while the others begin destroying the download stations so she can't become more powerful to fight them. Pretty much the game turns into Samus fighting for her survival while avoiding the SA-X which is actively hunting her. ADAM (the computer) constantly informs her of her chance of survival (consistently low) and is doing as much in his power to help her survive as he can, all the while trying to have her save the station from destruction.

But really... the majority of the game is Samus running from the SA-X in an attempt to survive and become powerful enough to confront the thing. There are instances where Samus might encounter it and have to run otherwise she'd die instantly. There are instances when the X parasites infiltrate other sectors in an attempt to stop Samus from obtaining upgrades. Often times you have to disobey ADAM in order to avoid being killed by the SA-X.

The game is linear, but this is because Samus only has so many options as to where to go. The download stations available for her upgrades are the ones which the X haven't destroyed, the paths she takes throughout the station are intended to help her flee from her pursuers, and pretty much as ADAM says himself 'survival is your main goal'.

I can't really do justice to this aspect of the game as much as I'd like to. I'm sure if you played the game again and really stopped to think about what is occurring story wise and even gameplay wise (such as where you are exploring and why), you'd realize that the majority of the game focuses on Samus' survival. The other major aspects are slowly unfolded through her attempts at surviving, similar to the way the story in any other survival horror game unfolds.

Comments, criticisms, and flaming all welcome.


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Comments
 
Interesting article Shimra, I haven't played Fusion yet, but it certainly sounds interesting. I'll have to look into picking it up when I have a little extra money.
 
OMG SUPER METROID GREATEST GAME EVAR!

No your right though Metroid has done an excellent job of providing a decent amount of variance from title to title while maintaining its integrity (or at least the ones i have played did.)

I never thought  of Fusion as being a survival horror but now that you mention it your right.

Also the SA-X was totally bad ass.
 
Fusion....so many memories. It was the first handheld Metroid,I ever played. I really dig your review Shimra, good work
 
I've read many negative reviews on this game, but personally, I love it.  Sure, it was linear, but as a 10-ish year old playing this in the middle of the night, god it was scary.  Constantly hiding from the SA-X was pretty freaking sweet.

I never really thought of it before, but Shimra, you are totally right.  It definately is a survival-horror.  Great review Smiley
 
Fusion actually helped get me into Metroid, by giving me a more linear setup to begin with.  I'd previously tried other Metroids and had no idea what to do.  With Fusion's help, I later inched into Super Metroid and really got to love the series.

I still really like Fusion.  Never understood why people didn't like it.  Describing it as a survival horror makes complete sense.
 
I have enjoyed every Metroid game I've ever played, Fusion included Smiley
 
I hated Fusion for a while, I just couldn't master that damned space jump thing, but I picked a game boy player for the Game Cube, and played it with a decent controller - it was bloody great, and you're right about the survival horror, every time the SA-X appeared it was one of those 'What do I do? What do I do!' moments before realising 'Oh yeah, run away!' Good times.
 
Intersting read. Smiley
 
I wish Metroid would return to her 2D days on DS, Hunters was a great game dont get me wrong. I wanna see her return to her glory days is all

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