Metroid: Zero Mission Reader Review
Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA)
Brevity (brev•i•ty) n. 1.The quality or state of being brief in duration. 2. Concise expression; terseness.
Brevity is something we can all admire. It is also an attribute that many people appreciate more and more, as we become increasingly time poor. It is a problem I have, with family and work commitments (and until recently the London Marathon) taking more and more time, gaming takes a back seat. Brevity, then, can be a good thing, but can you have too much of a good thing? Metroid: Zero Mission (MZM) almost proves that you can, being a game that you can complete in less than five hours.
Let’s start with the basics. The graphics are superb for a GBA cart, and are a step up from Metroid Fusion. MZM is a remixed version of the original Metroid game, and older fans will delight in how the world has been updated. The screens are clear, and the well thought out design means gaming elements are never obscured. Even the cut scenes ooze class, relying less on text to push the story (as found in Fusion) and instead presenting a number of stylish anime-light scenes. The development team has worked wonders blending in various chozo elements from Metroid Prime creating a suitable atmosphere that’s rich in Metroid’s heritage. The same can said of the sound. Metroid has always had a distinctive soundtrack, and MZM follows this tradition (including remixed versions of the original tracks in some rooms). The combination of these two factors help create a perfect distillation of the Metroid universe.
This distillation process continues to the gameplay. What you get when you play MZM is pure Metroid. The game has really been boiled down and refined, so much so that hardly a screen is wasted. Every location is bursting with potential, and contrary to most Metroid games there is little revisiting past locations (unless you want to achieve that elusive 100% rating). There is even a nicely executed stealth level which manages to vary the pace of the game, and keep things interesting. From start to finish, this is one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played, which constantly delights with numerous classy touches. Metroid vets and newbies alike will find a gaming universe that they will itch to explore, as Samus’ suit slowly builds in power with expansion packs – allow a little more of the game to open up.
It’s at the finish that you encounter the only major problem with MZM : the length. MZM is brevity itself, being very ‘brief in duration’. As I stated earlier, I don’t have as much time for games as I like, but having spent £25 on a game I expect it to last more than five hours. This game is a dream to play, but to see the end credits appear after such a short space of time left me with a pang of disappointment that is hard to shift, despite the game’s obvious merits. Regardless, I have to recommend this game as one everyone should play. Whilst it lasts it must rate as one of the best games on the GBA, as it fulfils the second definition of brevity – being a ‘concise expression’ of all things Metroid.
8 / 10