Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Metroid... one of the game series I've always loved... finally decided to take on a 3D role.
First off, graphics are awesome. It's highly detailed, down to the very last raindrop on the visor. The effects of the visor were definitely unique... I never expected them to do such a thing. Since in Prime, you play through the eyes of Samus, you see through her helmet. There can be rain drops on your visor, water running off, it can get fogged up from steam, goo-ish blood from any exploding insect enemies, to lava on your visor if you're stupid enough to jump in or happen to slip. It's astonishing.
It starts off kind of slow... that's one of the major issues. Slow start. I mean, there's action going on, but it's not quite as easy to first get in to. Because sometimes its a while before something really exciting happens. However, once I got well over halfway, I found myself having a really hard time putting down the controller and quitting the game for a little while. I felt addicted to it.
The story is intriguing, although you can only figure out what's going on through reading Space Pirate logs and Chozo lore, but oh well. The Space Pirates are always being a pain- and they get even worse when they discover a mutagenic substence known as Phazon. They go to Tallon IV to mine the terrible substance and eventually begin testing it on creatures and eventually Space Pirates in order to create the ultimate pirate. At the same time, they seem to be trying to reach the Metroid Prime, a deadly, Phazon-infused Metroid which was sealed away by the Chozos. Sort of a simple story, sounds a little bit like Resident Evil, but it didn't do like Clock Tower 2 and try to remake it.
The items were... unique. Four visors were used- the Combat, the standard one you have... the Scan, Thermal, and X-Ray. Each of these were really interesting, though the Thermal and X-Ray tends to cause vision problems. They also decided to, in a sense, add elements. Ice beam being ice-based (uhh... duh...), Wave being electric-based, and plasma being a fire-based weapon. An interesting twist for Metroid.
The game was nice and hard... they made sure to that. I do enjoy a good challenge. The bosses were usually hard ( the Omega Pirate... lord God all mighty, what a pain!) and the enemies weren't the typical cowards they usually were. No, they were fierce and deadly. I also liked the use of Metroids as normal enemies starting about halfway through the game. They also used multiple types, such as your standard Metroid, Hunter Metroids, and Fusion Metroids, which are hard as sin to kill as they tend to split. Their biggest problem was making you constantly run back and forth, here to there, without really any quick methods of doing so. With the older Metroids, it wasn't as tedious and aggravating. And due to the difficulty, you don't have the promise of even making it there alive. Save stations... something they enjoyed making a rarity. This made it an absolute pain since if you died... well, you could have just lost a really good amount of fighting and exploration. They should have made these more plentiful as the old ones did.
Overall, this was a really good Metroid... I was astonished.