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    jp's Metroid Fusion (GBA)

    [April 23, 2004 12:08:31 AM]
    I did it! Yes, the ending is STILL unfair, though I was able to get final-final boss on my 2nd attempt. I think I was just lucky and found a sweet spot...oh well. Its over, eh?

    For those wishing to compare themselves to my sucky performace:

    Total time: 7 house 20 minutes.
    Collection: 51% (I though I would be in the 80's...sheesh)

    Time to move on!
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    [April 22, 2004 11:51:54 PM]
    I think I'm at the ending of the game and it is really unfair. Let me tell you why (and how).

    To begin with, you have to trek a long ways up to the space stations control room. This is easy (there are no enemies), though bothersome. Its basicaly a drag to make the trip a whole bunch of times. Once there, you have to fight the Samus clone (which has some fancy name I can't remember). It took me a whole bunch of attempts to devise a strategy that works (though it is by no means foolproof). The Samus clone's attacks are very deadly, so devising a strategy was a painful process. Once the first form is defeated, comes the second form. It is pretty easy to defeat it this time around, but at least 2 attempts where necessary to figure out which attacks where required. Now, it is time to defeat the virus thingie. This one was a lot harder, because by now you are pretty weakened. Finding out what it takes to kill it and actually doing it take a couple of more attempts. (see why the initial trek is annoying?). I defeat it and expect to grab a new upgrade. I don't. I see "the upgrade" float out of the room. What? Did I take too long to grab it? Did I just screw up?

    I decide there isn't much else to do but walk into the control room, throw the switch and be informed I have 3 minutes to clear out.


    On the way to the ship I pass through a save-room. I can't save. I'm really wounded and expecting the worse. There had better not be one more monster.

    There is. I die. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Will this final, final boss have multiple forms as well? Cmon...the game should have let me save. Please!!
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    [April 19, 2004 12:16:30 PM]
    Thus far I've clocked at least 6:53 of gameplay. (if I don't save, it doesn't get all those times I've had to retry a level aren't accounted for.). I just finished nailing another boss monster. This time around it was a reprise of a sentry robot thing. The fight wasn't the same, though. It's attacks where different (homing missiles you can shoot down) and the floor was electrified water! It sounds a lot harder than it was since I was able to take it out easily. I just stayed in a corner and nailed it slowly but surely, taking almost no damage in return. I'm really getting close to the end of the game now so I'm a bit excited about it. Let's hope I don't run into something really hard and get stuck!
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    [April 15, 2004 12:30:51 PM]
    I have to say that Metroid is getting much more annoying. Even a little boring. I really love the exploration parts of the game, but currently I seem to be going from boss battle to boss battle. I just defeated this weirdo ghost creature wasn't easy.

    I also took a quick look at GameFaqs and found out that I'm on mission 13 out of like 16, so I've done really good thus far. How about some more exploring, please?!
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    [April 14, 2004 06:06:34 PM]
    After turning the auxiliary power back on, I've had to head into some deeper areas of the space station to find out what happened. I deftly made my way through overgrown (!) parts of the station to find this humoungous nasty plant cocoon-like thing. After firing what must have been 100 missiles into it I was able to take it out.

    This fight was really tough and a bit unfair. However, after much (frustrating) practice I was able to (barely) take the boss out. This fight was tough..and the difficulty in the game is ramping up quite a bit. I'm not sure how much longer I will have the patience to keep on playing but at least, so far, the wins are giving me enough energy to keep on going. Will I make to the end?
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    [April 12, 2004 10:36:59 AM]
    (part 2)

    In Metroid I really feel like I am discovering this ship. It isn't linear in the sense that I go from Level 1 to Level 2 and so on. (in fact you visit numbered subsections in different orders and at different times). It IS linear in that I know I am being funneled into doing certain things and visiting certain places, but it doesn't feel like it. I am willing to enjoy myself, go along for the ride and thrill myself with the discovery of new passageways. (even if they are the ONLY way to my discovery is expected)

    I think I can pinpoint the reasons why this works well in Metroid and not so well in other games. The first thing is that the player is shown an overview of the "place" he will be inhabiting. This place is not visited in an order the obeys the narrative of the game rather than some other arbitrary reason. In other words, you don't visit Level 3 because that is what comes after Level 2 and before Level 4. (now that I think about it, Half-Life also did this rather well, with the going up to the surface and then going back down, etc. The second reason, already hinted at, is that the reasons for exploring have to be tightly connected to the narrative (and goals). I had to go back to Level 3 because that is where the fusion reactor is overheating (or something like that) and some of the doors have melted shut (which is why I must find an alternate route).
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    [April 12, 2004 10:36:45 AM]
    I've been thinking about linearity in games and how this is handled in Metroid Fusion. The least aspect of linearity in games is when you have a sequence of things to do, you know what to do before hand and all you have to do is do them. (gosh, what a weird sentence that was!). In other words, when linearity is evident, with no surprises or twists or variation, you can get bored. Note that I said CAN because it isn't necesarrily so.

    Metroid Fusion is pretty linear I must admit. However, it is very clever about the way it "hides" this and helps you suspend your disbelief. In Metroid you are exploring this space station where a rogue virus has been released that is causing all sorts of havoc. Samus, the protagonist is initially in a weakened state and must go to certain places to download upgrades or perform other tasks. The space station is, for the most part, locked down (with secure hatches and whatnot). However, as the virus starts to spread mayhem you are forced to open areas that would have best been lest intact. The virus spreads along with you and you are forced to deal with its incursions as you go along. Also, at times, sections are blocked off and impassable. This forces you to start exploring in order to find alternate (secret) ways of passage.

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    [April 7, 2004 10:02:21 AM]
    At last a little variety in the missions. Up until this moment, I've been running around from one place to the next dealing with harder enemies and environments while getting new abilities. This is nice and I'm not complaining. The last mission I played however was a "race against the clock". This isn't entirely original of course, but it was a nice change of pace. Basically the cooling whatchamacallit has been switched off and the entire space station I'm on is going to blow. I'm given 6 minutes to get to a control panel which is located in some area I've never been. I reached the objective on my 2nd attempt (the first was spent trying to figure out the first half of the route) which is not bad at all. I had more than 2 minutes to spare, so I can't have done THAT bad of a job. :-)
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    [April 3, 2004 04:13:36 PM]
    After my non-elational defeat of a boss monster I encountered another beastie. This was a rogue sentry-robot thing that shoots these capsules that then burst into moving pillars of flame. Quite deadly.

    In contrast to the last boss, whom I feel was unfair and random, this monster was much more interesting. Yes, I did get wiped out a few times, but I feel I was able to study and understand this monster and thus defeat him through skill instead of luck. I watched his patterns, surmised on a weak point, tested my theory and defeated it. Again, it did take more than a few tries (4 or 5 I think) but I never felt I was against an arbitrary foe. This foe was a puzzle to solve instead of a hurdle to close my eyes and try to jump through.
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    [April 1, 2004 11:08:10 AM]
    It looks like luck really does exist for me. Yes, I defeated the 3rd boss yesterday on my way back home. Does it feel good? No. I'm happy that I'll be able to keep on playing, but I'm not elated, proud or even particularly emotional about it. That kinda sucks actually.

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    [March 31, 2004 02:28:43 PM]
    Ahh.. At last, some anger and frustration. This is never a good thing.

    Last night I must have spent an hour trying to defeat the 3rd boss. I couldn't. (and it doesn't look like I will be able to, unless I'm just plain lucky at some point).

    As opposed to other frustrating parts of some platform games, I'm stuck trying to defeat a creature that is (as far as I can tell) pretty unpredictable as far as its movement patterns. This is very annoying since it makes me think that I have the best chance at defeating it if I just jump around, drop, etc. in a random fashion. Also, the place where I'm trying to defeat him is a series of platforms over a pool of water. Samus' movement is severely restricted while in water, which makes dodging practically impossible underwater. (another case of cross your fingers and hope not to die). The worst bit is that once you kill the first encarnation of the boss, it turns into a protozoan-like thing that always moves towards you...when you hit it it drops little healing things...but these fly away..and when you're underwater you can't move to catch them. It all adds up to instant death. Grrrr...
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    [March 30, 2004 10:24:50 PM]
    Just in case anyone is interested, this game is still interesting. I'm a few rooms away from fighting Boss No. 3.

    The environments in the game are definitely getting more dangerous, but it has been implemented in a way that I find quite reasonable and acceptable. Going back to Yoshi's Island, there where times when you would instantly lose a life (Yoshi lands on some spikes, for example) while at others you would simply "Lose Mario" (which meant you had a certain amount of seconds to catch him before losing a life). This combination was pretty annoying to me, especially since it wasn't consistent. Why are somethings fatal while others aren't?

    Well, Metroid Fusion words on "energy" that gets depleted. So, if I have 300 pts I can dive into some acid and take 10 pts of damage a second (or some other crazy rate). This is a lot better than instantly dying when your foot touches the acid. I hate instant deaths. :-)
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    [March 27, 2004 12:39:34 PM]
    Well, I was right!

    Hehehe... Yup. My suit of armour is walkin around (it has a name, but I've forgotten). My Metroid experience has been getting better. As Sparrow pointed out in one of the comments below, it really is more about exloring than shooting. After walking around a bit I was stuck without being able to head back! Well, that's when the new power I gained came in handy. Samus can turn into a ball and also lay bombs (that's the new ability). For a while there I thought the bombs would hurt me, but no. If I lay a bomb and stay in the same position it makes Samus-the-ball jump! (enabling access the new locations).

    What I like about it is that I've felt like I've been discoering secret locations that are actually what I was supposed to do. (well, some of them have REALLY been secret). It basically makes me feel clever about finding and figuring out what to do without feeling like I'm being rail-roaded. Some of you may argue that I actually AM, but it doesn't feel like it, which is my whole point. Yay for Metroid! (I also knocked out boss no. 2!)
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    [March 26, 2004 10:23:42 AM]
    I've cleared the first boss and am almost done with the next section of the game. Thanks to a cut-scene I know there is some Samus-like dude/chick walking around and making things bad for me. My wild guess would be that X (the parasitic chameleonic morphing virus) has probably "brought back" the pieces of my armor that where infected. It is now animated and deadly... We'll see if I'm right about that.
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    [March 25, 2004 12:51:40 PM]
    I must confess that I only got this game because everyone was raving so bad about it (in the press). I've never played much of the Metroid games and I never was very interested either. So, I decided to give it a shot, and I'm prepared for the worst. In particular, in most "shooter games" (which Metroid is not, though maybe a bit) I usually have trouble with shooting diagonally. I don't know why, but I've never been very good at it. (Contra, etc.)

    Oh well, thus far, this game does seem interesting. I feel pretty comfortable with the jumping and running around and the shooting so far has been minimal. Given that I've never played this before and that I don't have the manual, I hope I'm not missing out on some basic moves. (or, I hope that they are introduced and taught later on). I hate it when you get to a point in a game where you are stuck (or can't pass it) only to later find out that you where supposed to do A+Up to fire the super missile. (like, hello? was I supposed to guess that?). Maybe I'm just lazy about learning controls...
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    jp's Metroid Fusion (GBA)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 25 March, 2004

    GameLog closed on: Friday 23 April, 2004

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    I started skeptical, but this game won me over. Really. Some battles are a real pain in the butt, but in all I liked the exploring the best. Awesome game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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    1 : Metroid Fusion (GBA) by jwhite16 (rating: 5)


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