Game of the Moment - Metroid: Zero Mission

Woohoo, a new game! I've been drooling to get the new Metroid game since I heard about it in development. Zero Mission is the "retelling" of the original Metroid game from the NES. Essentially, it is the original game redone with the nice, new graphics that are possible on the GameBoy Advance, and with some of the newer powerups. Oh, and you can save your game and recharge your weapons, which was a feature sorely lacking from the original. It makes that game go by very quickly with these new additions. I nearly finished the game in a five hour sitting on Sunday! I reached Mother Brain, the original big bad boss from Metroid, in about three hours. I had a little trouble defeating her on the first try, so I adventured around a bit more to collect more power-ups before taking her on again. This time I defeated her with ease.

And this is where the game takes an interesting turn. I thought I would be done with the game, since this was a remake of the original and Mother Brain was the final boss. The self-destruct sequence started, and with a bit of frustration, I managed to reach my ship with just 5 seconds left to go. I was expecting credits, when a new level opened up. My ship crashed into a new area of the planet, and I was stripped of my power-suit and all weapons. All I had left was a charge pistol that couldn't kill squat. It turned into a stealth invasion, which was pretty exciting! Rather than blasting anything in sight, I had to be careful to maneuver in such a way as to avoid the bad guys, and evade the line of sight of the security systems. It was something new for me to see in this in a Metroid game, and I really enjoyed it. Throughout this section of the game, the space pirates (who in the following games use the Metroids to develop new types of weapons and enemies) were patrolling the area. If I was seen, they would give chase. I had to stun the pursuer, and then quickly find a place to hide so that they would turn the alarm off. Eventually, I reached a ruins area that was evidently part of the character's past. After defeating a very strange enemy (a knight with a mirror image of Samus in a ball), I not only got all of my power-ups back, I received a new suit (Gravity Suit). The new suit also identified some of the power-ups collected earlier in the game and only identified as "Unknown Item". One of these was the plasma rifle, which was an upgrade to my existing gun. I tracked down a new power-up, the super-bomb, and then continued through the space pirate ship. I reached Meta-Ridley, which was the souped-up version of the Ridley I had defeated earlier in the game. Ridley manages to make an appearance at least once in each of the Metroid games, and showed up twice here. I was killed, and I decided to call it a night.

I am pretty sure that Meta-Ridley will turn out to be the final boss. If it does, I have read that defeating the game turns on three new options: an image gallery, the original NES version of the game, and a HARD mode. I can already play the original Metroid from the Prime disc on the GCN. I linked up the Fusion game so I could see that gallery, which didn't really get me excited about this new gallery. I am interested in playing the hard mode though. One of the nice things about the Metroid games is that there are multiple ways to play that can keep the game interesting. You can play for time, highest collection percentage, or lowest collection win. The game tracks how long you take to win, and trying to beat your best time can be quite a challenge. Also, there are hoards of power-up items throughout the game. Trying to complete the game with 100% of all collectible items could take months. On the flip side, defeating the game while collecting the minimum number of power-ups can make the game extremely challenging. I think this game will keep me happy for quite a while!


Jade Mason