Before the month of August ends and we venture in to September, let's take a look at a very controversial game. No, not No Man's Sky. That's a good one for a controversy, but that's a game for next month! No, I'm talking about Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Here's the SuperPhillip Central review!
A taste of Metroid after six years-- sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter.
To say that the reveal two E3s ago of Metroid Prime: Federation Force was met with ire from fans would be underselling things quite a bit. While I won't delve into the more ridiculous side of the Metroid fan base who made a petition wanting the game cancelled or developers/producers fired over the game, the reaction from most Metroid lovers was hostile at best. Now, that the game is out and in Nintendo 3DS owners' hands, is Metroid Prime: Federation Force the mistake some have made it out to be, or does it have enough to merit its creation? ...Or maybe both?
First and foremost, have your mind lead all the thoughts of Metroid Prime: Federation Force playing like a typical Metroid game to your brain's nearest exit. Federation Force is nowhere near a Metroid-vania title, but at the same time, this doesn't make it a bad game. It's just a bad game to tie the Metroid name to, especially when fans of the franchise haven't seen a traditional Metroid game in years. Instead, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a mission-based affair through typically linear levels. There is some exploration to be found, however, as most missions offer secrets for the adventuring type to discover in them, and these are rewarding to uncover. Regardless, played either by your lonesome offline, locally with up to four friends (all of whom require a Nintendo 3DS and a copy of the game), or online with up to four players, Federation Force packs a lot more action in its 22-mission affair than standard Metroid offerings.
|The members of the Federation Force aren't the only characters in this game. Maybe some familiar faces appear...|
|As long as there are Space Pirates breathing, there is a threat to this galaxy.|
|Teaming up with randoms can occasionally be annoying, but overall it's an enjoyable experience.|
Before each mission begins, you are able to customize your mech. Not only can you update the voice commands that you give to teammates online and change the paint job of your mech, but you can also equip various mods, found and collected in each mission. These are the secrets found in many missions that I was talking about earlier. At the start of your save data, your mech can only hold one mod. Eventually, you get up to three to carry at once. Mods have numerous different effects to them: some make specific attacks more powerful, some give you better defense, some allow you to carry more ammunition and items, and so forth.
After setting this up, you get a transmission from your commanding officer in the Federation, giving you details about your upcoming mission. Then, you are able to load up to weapons and items for your mech. Starting off, your mech can only hold a small amount of extra goodies such as missiles, elemental ammunition, healing tools, and other notable items. If you try to give your mech too much, it becomes overweight, and you have to decide what to unload off it. With completed missions, you earn more space to equip more items. This ensures that you aren't some ultra powerful entity and makes it so you're required to use some strategy in what you bring into a mission.
A concern I had going in to Metroid Prime: Federation Force was that the missions would play out too similarly from one another. There wouldn't be enough variety was the main worry. Thankfully, these concerns were put to rest after only a handful of missions. While some do pretty much have you eliminating an enemy threat or reaching an area to take out a boss, others are much more varied in type. Some have you transporting some pods from point A to point B, all the while entering safe zones when the all-too-common electrical storm breaks loose. Others have you luring beasts called Ice Titans into cells, timing it so the gate slams shut while they are inside (and you aren't, of course). Then, there are missions that have you exiting your mech, moving about as your pilot, doing some fun and engaging platforming to avoid lasers, acid, and other hazards, and stealthily evade Space Pirate forces patrolling the area. My point with describing some of these missions is that you won't often be doing the same thing over and over again. This isn't some generic corridor shooter that will becoming tedious. Instead, you'll get tons of different styles of missions to complete either with others or by your lonesome.
|This early mission requires players to direct different orbs by shooting them into various chambers to open doors.|
|What is your major malfunction, son? Don't get cozy with the wildlife! They're dangerous!|
Metroid Prime: Federation Force doesn't seem that graphically impressive for the Nintendo 3DS, especially for a game this late into the system's life. Still, the chibi-style mech and character design, while not really lending itself well to the Metroid series, do an adequate job of making it easy to distinguish between targets when things get a bit crowded. The environments, while not breathtaking, do offer some nice views and possess a fair amount of geometry to them. It's a simple look for the game, but one that serves it rather well. On the sound side, the music can be subdued at times, while at others rather bombastic. It's a healthy mix of tunes that delivers what one would expect from a Metroid game.
|What are you lookin' at, ugly? (But seriously, this game isn't the greatest looker in the 3DS library.)|
[SPC Says: B]