Metroid Fusion

Page contents last updated on March 29, 2024

Gameboy Advance
  • NA: November 17, 2002
  • JP: February 14, 2003
  • EU: November 22, 2002
Nintendo R&D1

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Metroid fusion is a phenomenal game for the GBA. My first playthrough of the game was this year, so I don't have any nostalgic attachment to this game. I started my playthrough on my DS, but I rode out the second half of the playthrough on my roommate's gamecube GBA player. If you're unaware of what that is, it's an official gamecube attachment that allows you to play gameboy cartridges on your TV. It's really neat, but hard to find for a good price these days as most people have lost the disc that is required to boot it.

Anyways, it's been a way better experience playing fusion on a TV. It's been harder for me to enjoy playing handheld games on a a little screen these days because I'm a fucking boomer.

Metroid fusion is the fourth game in the 2D metroid series, and it arrived 8 years after the release of Super Metroid. It introduced some really cool ideas to the Metroid franchise. Super Metroid is an amazing game that set the standard for what a 2D metroid game should be, and fusion follows its footsteps with many new twists.

The X parasite is the new threat, having infected Samus and nearly killing her. A vaccine is developed from metroid cells, as they are an artifical predator designed to destroy the X. Samus is healed by the vaccine, and is now able to heal and replenish missiles from X parasites.

Similarly to the flood from Halo, the X are capable of taking control of their hosts and obtaining their memories. They are also capable of mimicking other beings, which includes Samus. One of the main antagonists in Fusion is the SA-X, which is an X parasite which has taken Samus' form and is more powerful than her. The SA-X is actively hunting down Samus, and you will encounter it on a few occasions. In most cases all you can do is run or hide from it, but once you obtain the freezing missiles you can temporarily freeze it for a brief window.

Samus' goal in fusion is to destroy the X and prevent them from spreading throughout the universe by any means necessary. The federation, who may or not be up to some unethical shenanigans behind the scenes, appears to be backing Samus' endeavor. An AI named after Adam, Samus' former commanding officer, assists Samus throughout her journey, providing clear objectives.

The AI's orders may sound like the game is more linear, but this doesn't really feel like the case. There are still plenty of environments to explore and backtrack to, but Adam definitely provides some much needed direction when you're lost or getting back into the game after a few months.

The storytelling in Fusion is an impressive accomplishment for the hardware it was designed for. There are several cutscenes with impressive spritework, as well as environmental storytelling. It's badass.

The developers did a fantastic job making the B.S.L. research station orbiting SR-388 (in which fusion takes place) feel alive. There are some timed events that just happen, and you have to deal with it. There's always something going down, and really makes it feel like you're experiencing the disaster first-hand as you move from sector to sector.

See Also: Super Metroid, Metroid