I actually played Fusion right before I played Super Metroid, so I have no idea why I’m writing them in this order…
This is another game I played outside of my Game-a-Week project, after finishing Metroid Prime and loving the Metroid formula. And for the most part, the game does follow that formula, to the letter even. But I feel like Fusion’s stand out feature is the tension you get whenever you’re near your Samus clone.
The SA-X is the main antagonist of the game, I suppose you could say, being a clone of Samus made by the X parasites. SA-X pretty much took all your powers, so you’re basically fighting yourself after collecting all the items in the game. Every time you bump into SA-X, you have no choice but to flee, and the thrill and terror you feel when this happens is amazing for a GBA era game.
Having said all this, the gameplay is much more linear that other Metroid games. Which, in my opinion is fine for a handheld game, where play sessions are typically shorter. But considering I was playing it at home on the Wii U gamepad, it did feel, at times, like an interactive movie. But this is no fault of the game itself, just an observation.
Story-wise, I believe this is the latest game in the timeline. Spoiler alert if you haven’t played Fusion before! The game starts out feeling like it’s own independent title in the series, before bringing up that the Metroids were created by the Chozo to eradicate the X-Parasite. And then, at the very end of the game, Samus crashes the space-station the entire game is set on into SR388, the Metroid ‘homeplanet’. Sadly, because no Metroid games are set after this, we have no idea what’s to come of all this…
And lastly, the boss battles were awesome, not just in gameplay, but also in timing with the narrative. The last boss battle in the hanger was particularly memorable, as well as stressful!
I’m hoping to dig into Zero Mission next, now that we have it on the Wii U, so stay tuned for more Metroid thoughts!