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Natural 20
Sep 17, 2007

So long, Ex-Ma Fergie!




Latest Episode



About the Game

Metroid Fusion is the 2002 successor to the Metroid Series. Released on the Game Boy advance in concurrence with Metroid Prime on the Gamecube, the game brings us back to the world of Samus Aran for another run with the traditional 2D style of Metroid Game. It gained high praise from critics at the time, receiving several awards, including Handheld Game of the Year at the 2002 Interactive Achievement Awards, Best Game Boy Advance Adventure Game from IGN, and Best Action Game on Game Boy Advance from GameSpot.

About the LP

I, however, have never played it.

As recently as two years ago, I had never played a single Metroidvania game, but my good friend, Co-commentator and guide, Yorkshire Tea has plenty of experience with nearly all of them.

Starting with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Tea has guided me through the wonderful world of Metroidvanias and earlier this year I had great fun playing Super Metroid for the first time.

Through those games Tea has spoken about Metroid Fusion in a way that is reserved for his favourite games, expressing that frustrations that I might have had would be resolved, were I to just play it.

Knowing that high praise from Tea is hard to come by, I have decided to take the dive and will be playing through completely blind. Hopefully, my experiences in the past should help me out, but I imagine it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Episodes will release on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at around 23:00 BST, 18:00 EST, with cheeky early episodes up on our Patreon.

Art and banners, will, as ever, be handled by the amazing Bifauxnen.

Episodes
















Links

The LP Beach Cross Post Thread - In case you don't feel comfortable posting on the SA forums or need to view this outside of a paywall.

Our Patreon! - In case you want to support our LPs and see episodes early!

Natural 20 fucked around with this message at 00:10 on Oct 31, 2020

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Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




This game is a fantastic game, but as a Metroid game...uhh?

Natural 20
Sep 17, 2007

So long, Ex-Ma Fergie!


Seraphic Neoman posted:

This game is a fantastic game, but as a Metroid game...uhh?

Look I have no idea, Tea suggested this and then when I suggested something else he loaded a shotgun.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



Natural 20 posted:

Look I have no idea, Tea suggested this and then when I suggested something else he loaded a shotgun.

I'm assuming something... Other than the 2D or Prime games.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

Hot take: I think this game is under-rated as a Metroid game.

Flamin' Hot Cheetos take: this has the best controls of any 2D Metroid game not called Metroid: Zero Mission

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


Sorry, but I have to disagree. The worst method for removing Samus' powerups is "I choose not to use a powerup because a commanding officer who is not my commander has not ordered me to use it, even if it kills me." From the same game that tried to make "Oh, I have Power Bombs" a character growth moment.

Fusion and Prime were contemporaries to the point that if you had a Game Boy Advance and the Link Cable, you could connect your complete Fusion save to Prime and unlock the Fusion Suit in Prime. I did that. I don't know whether to be proud of it or not.

FeyerbrandX
Oct 9, 2012



At least the power bomb limitation made sense in the "we think it might asplode the station" even though after doing that you can just bomb whereever with impunity.

But yeah the "don't use your passive powers that aren't even used in an offensive capability" was insurmountably dumb, especially in the "sit in the lava for about a minute before I get yelled at for being an idiot"

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



This is the game with the hardest to use wall jump, since it pushes you so far away from the wall. At least you don't need to use it.


The best wall jump is in Samus Returns, by the way.

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


FeyerbrandX posted:

At least the power bomb limitation made sense in the "we think it might asplode the station" even though after doing that you can just bomb whereever with impunity.

Even more sensibly than that, it was "we think the intense heat produced might kill any survivors we haven't found yet." Once you've finished searching the station, there's no more harm to be done.

But I can't stop picturing Adam watching Samus see the switch that leads to progress behind a glass panel, turn around and leave because she can't access it, then get trapped in a glass cage with enemies shooting in at her from all sides and spend two minutes dodging before he finally says "Hey, you've got a beam that shoots through glass. Maybe you should use that."

Or the broken hallway she could just grapple across, but no, better find another way around. Then that way doesn't pan out. "Oh, there was a grapple spot back in the direction that was actually the short way to go. Your Grapple Beam might work there."

Fusion is one of the rare times when the method for powering up kind of makes sense. They have to figure out how to make the old upgrades interface with the new suit, then send the data to the specific terminals in the station. Why do the Space Pirates spend so much time trying to replicate Morph Ball technology when they've always got an orb sitting somewhere right near their base?

bladeworksmaster
Sep 6, 2010

Ok.



So Metroid Fusion is my favorite 2D Metroid of the series, and not for the reasons I like the other entries like Prime or Samus Returns.

Thereís an idea of theming Iíll bring up more once you hit a certain threshold on videos that I think not only vindicates Fusionís design decisions, but makes it by and large one of the most ambitious and unique titles in the series.

Also in its favor is emphasizing the survival horror aspects of Metroid that have kind of always been under the surface and making it the entire point of the game and narrative. The intro particularly gave me a vivid nightmare that I went through what Samus did, and I still remember it almost exactly.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


I honestly like Fusion a whole lot. It is more linear than a lot of the other Metroid games but boy howdy does it set an atmosphere.

I'd even say it's my favorite Metroid, though Echoes still holds a really solid place in my heart for its gameplay.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

You can aim diagonally using the L button/trigger unless you don't have that on your emulation setup. I bought my copy of Fusion used and went literally the entire game without knowing this, don't be like me!

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."






2d metroid ranking:
1) samus returns
2) super
3) zero mission
4) fusion
all of these are really good games and despite fusion being a dark horse of the series it was actually a really good game. i still remember that i never completed the game when i was a kid because the final boss was the SA-X and i was really scared of the SA-X.

You mentioned Fusion is already referring to Other M, but actually it's the other way around. Other M takes a fair amount of cues from Fusion, particularly Adam and the space station setting. It's part of the reason Other M was such a disappointment; a lot of metroid fans were hoping it'd follow up on Fusion ("Any questions, Lady?") and instead we got a bad game

Radio Free Kobold fucked around with this message at 18:44 on Oct 1, 2020

pointlessone
Aug 6, 2001

The Triad Frog is pleased with this custom title purchase.

Oh, we're ranking now?

Zero Mission has the best controls and the best victory lap
Fusion has the best bosses and is the easiest to set down and come back to without being lost
Samus Returns is the best looking and has the most engaging combat
and Super is still a competitor to currently released games 25+ years later.

Then you have the Primes, a textbook worthy example of how to translate a 2D game into 3D and retain the feel of the originals.
The Metroid series has never had a completely irredeemable game. Even as flawed as Other M is, if you ignore the story the game play is pretty fun.

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


pointlessone posted:

Even as flawed as Other M is, if you ignore the story the game play is pretty fun.

Sorry, but I'm stuck in first person mode in this third person game until I find the pixel that is considered "game play".

It was, however, quite fun after getting the Space Jump. Not a moment before, in my opinion. And this notwithstanding that ignoring the story only goes as far as the story being what prevents you from playing the game, because please tell me how using the Gravity Suit is going to kill people Mr. Adam Sir and also Sector Zero was the place where they put all the Metroid.

TheOneAndOnlyT
Dec 18, 2005

Well well, mister fancy-pants, I hope you're wearing your matching sweater today, or you'll be cut down like the ugly tree you are.

This game does so many things wrong that are cardinal sins for a Metroid game, and yet it does so many things right that no other Metroid game has done that I can't help but love it. I don't think I'd ever want there to be another Metroid game like Fusion, but I am really happy this game exists.

Explopyro
Mar 18, 2018




For all its flaws, I always liked this game. It was the first 2D Metroid I played, and I think a lot of the features this game had that can turn off fans of Super Metroid (e.g. constant , constantly telling you where to go, restricting backtracking) can make it work a lot better as an entry point. It's also just does a really good job with the horror tone and atmosphere.

It's going to be really interesting seeing how you react to a lot of this game given you're unfortunately familiar with Other M ,since Fusion played with some similar plot elements but executed them better. On the other hand, I could easily see that being ruined by e.g. what the retcons do to the character of Adam (who is fine if you just go by what's in this game). I'm curious to see if you end up thinking it still holds up, or has been poisoned by the future.

I honestly think my favourite 2D Metroid is AM2R (yes, the fangame one), but Fusion is a solid experience.

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Nidoking posted:

Fusion and Prime were contemporaries to the point that if you had a Game Boy Advance and the Link Cable, you could connect your complete Fusion save to Prime and unlock the Fusion Suit in Prime. I did that. I don't know whether to be proud of it or not.

I did it too, looked ugly as heck.

Natural 20
Sep 17, 2007

So long, Ex-Ma Fergie!


Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


I just realized. This mechanic of defeating enemies and then having to grab the drops before they turn into new enemies... it's Mighty Number 9.

BlazeEmblem
Jun 8, 2013

Uh oh. Do I use Ariadne thread or Goho-M?



I think the reason why the space pirates look different is because all of the X copies look different from the original enemy. Presumably, the pirate that the X copied didn't look like this.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




Space Pirates are also big on genetic modification so

Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013

A golden helix streaked skyward from the Helvault. A thunderous explosion shattered the silver monolith and Avacyn emerged, free from her prison at last.



Fusion chat! It's a lousy Metroid game on account of the aggressive linearity (which it now occurs to me was probably an adaptation to the pick-up-and-play style of a handheld, so you wouldn't forget what you were doing between sessions) but it's still a good game otherwise and young me 100%'d it. Tea is incredibly wrong for saying it has better atmosphere than Super though.

pointlessone
Aug 6, 2001

The Triad Frog is pleased with this custom title purchase.

Explopyro posted:

I honestly think my favourite 2D Metroid is AM2R (yes, the fangame one), but Fusion is a solid experience.

AM2R had a couple spots I didn't care for, but it was really good. Had that game had different, non copyright infringing art work and advertised itself as a "Spiritual Remake" of Metroid 2, it could have easily sold thousands of copies. I wouldn't have been disappointed had I paid money for it.

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




I'm with Tea tbh, the atmosphere here works a lot better than Super Metroid. Mostly thanks to our new friend.

That said, yeah the linearity gets to the point of obnoxiousness. Especially since there's a bug at the end which can stop you from exploring the rest of levels.

Shitenshi
Mar 12, 2013


Seraphic Neoman posted:

I'm with Tea tbh, the atmosphere here works a lot better than Super Metroid. Mostly thanks to our new friend.

That said, yeah the linearity gets to the point of obnoxiousness. Especially since there's a bug at the end which can stop you from exploring the rest of levels.

I know about the one gimmick route which the game does not expect you to do and even congratulates you on finding it with some very meta-commentary, but first I've heard about that. Also, this game is great, but sadly for all us fools outside of Japan, hard mode was not included.

Shitenshi fucked around with this message at 09:15 on Oct 3, 2020

Omobono
Feb 19, 2013

That's it! No more hiding in tomato crates! It's time to show that idiota Germany how a real nation fights!

For pasta~! CHARGE!


Hey, a Metroid Fusion thread, neat.

Fusion was the first Metroid I played (probably first Metroidvania? Either this or Aria) so the linearity didn't really matter to me, but I agree that it should have more opportunities for sequence breaking.
(There's a moment where you can sequence break and mission control goes, paraphrased, "we're honestly impressed but please go back and do it the linear way because you skipped a pair of plot scenes")


Checking the Super Metroid LP, mechanically they fixed a lot of the finicky BS and generally improved Samus' handling, so a Super remake with Fuson/Zero's mechanics would be
(also I never played Super so grain of salt for this last comment, but I never had problems in how Samus controls in this game)

Bruceski
Aug 21, 2007

The tools of a hero mean nothing without a solid core.


Basically, in case it's not clear yet, they wanted to make a Metroid game with a wordier story, realized that to do so in the way they wanted would involve limiting the player's freedom more than usual, and wrote that into the plot with things like locking you in the nav room until you check in.

Other M's sin wasn't trying to do the same thing, it was doing it badly. Fusion makes some sacrifices but they knew they were making them.

bladeworksmaster
Sep 6, 2010

Ok.



I'll get more into it when the time is right, but I don't get mad about Fusion's linearity because it serves a narrative and thematic purpose, and it does help in making a very easy introductory game for newbies of the series.

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."






I don't mind Fusion's linearity. We've already seen, even two episodes in right now, that the situation on the station is developing as we progress through the game. The X infestation is spreading, there's an X'ified Samus clone running around wrecking poo poo, and new areas being opened up are explained as the X infiltrating them. We'll see this more and more later with BOX, the six-legged security robot and Nightmare, running around in the background of Arctic sector as the game world itself foreshadows things and changes as the story goes on. I'm sure there's more examples. If you could go to, for example, the reactor area and see the state of things there it would really disrupt the flow because, narratively, that hasn't happened yet. As much as Fusion eschews some of the expected features of the Metroid series, I think it's a much stronger game experience because of that.

Radio Free Kobold fucked around with this message at 15:44 on Oct 3, 2020

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Yeah, same here. Fusion is the only Metroid game I managed to finish because it maintains a sense of escalation - all the enemies and environments of Super or Zero Mission feel utterly interchangeable to me and I found it extremely easy to get bored of them - "Oh look, giant bug type #23".

Carbon dioxide
Oct 9, 2012



anilEhilated posted:

Yeah, same here. Fusion is the only Metroid game I managed to finish because it maintains a sense of escalation - all the enemies and environments of Super or Zero Mission feel utterly interchangeable to me and I found it extremely easy to get bored of them - "Oh look, giant bug type #23".

I agree with this. For the same reason I feel Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword has a much stronger narrative experience than Breath of the Wild ever could have. You simply need some linearity to be able to tell a good story and to give a true sense of progression.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I wouldn't go that far - stuff like Hollow Knight lets you roam pretty freely and every new location you discover is a wonder. But you need some good setpieces and classic Metroid just doesn't have them.

C-Euro
Mar 20, 2010



Soiled Meat

Gonna offer another Metroidvania hot take and say that these games are usually more linear than people give them credit, especially for players who haven't spent a bunch of time with them. It's just a question of how clear the line is in each game- in my mind, the only difference between Adam in this game and the Chozo map statues in Zero Mission (are these also in Super? I can't recall) is that Adam talks.

It does feel a little uncharacteristic of the genre that you get locked in each area while completing a given objective, but at least that's in service to the story they're trying to tell. There's a couple ways that they play around with this later that I like.

anilEhilated posted:

I wouldn't go that far - stuff like Hollow Knight lets you roam pretty freely and every new location you discover is a wonder. But you need some good setpieces and classic Metroid just doesn't have them.

Yeah I was going to say that Hollow Knight is the closest the genre has come to a truly non-linear experience, or at least the closest out of the games that I've played. And even then you're railroaded through the first two or three upgrades.

Some Goon
Jan 6, 2013

A golden helix streaked skyward from the Helvault. A thunderous explosion shattered the silver monolith and Avacyn emerged, free from her prison at last.



Zero mission is as guilty of linearity as this one. And linearity might not be the exact right word, but the GBA metroids tell you explicitly where to go, whereas all the previous games, even if there is only one place you can go without sequence breaking, leave it up to you to find. The exploration aspect that defines original and super, (and 2 but iirc that one's a pretty straight path) is gone.

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Carbon dioxide posted:

I agree with this. For the same reason I feel Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword has a much stronger narrative experience than Breath of the Wild ever could have. You simply need some linearity to be able to tell a good story and to give a true sense of progression.

No actual argument here. I just posit that walking through a narrative made by the game was never really the draw of Breath of the Wild in the first place.

In BotW, because the game is so open-ended, it's really not just Link's story any more. What you do in the game is also yours.

Simply Simon
Nov 6, 2010


big enough
for the both of us





Fusion is a phenomenal game and I'm happy for you because you get to experience it fresh. I still love to replay it but the first time is by far the best for this one, because with a heavier focus on story, environment changes and the resulting linearity, a lot of the appeal is gone of course. That first time is absolutely magical though.

Some Goon posted:

Zero mission is as guilty of linearity as this one. And linearity might not be the exact right word, but the GBA metroids tell you explicitly where to go, whereas all the previous games, even if there is only one place you can go without sequence breaking, leave it up to you to find. The exploration aspect that defines original and super, (and 2 but iirc that one's a pretty straight path) is gone.
That is true in one way, but also missing part of the picture. Zero Mission has sequence breaks built into it, both deliberate (destroyable hidden blocks that let you skip an upgrade, upgrade that seem necessary but are not...) and assumed (the easiest infinite bomb jumps and wall jumps in the entire series, optional grip upgrade...). There is an "intended" path for fresh/inexperienced/casual players, but if you really want to, you can do some insane things to the game. Fusion will not ever let you do that, so it IS more linear.

That's not an indictment - I think there's way too much "this one's not a real [x] game!!!" talk. Fusion has a lot of moments where it doesn't tell you poo poo, anyway. You can get very lost in this one, and I expect it to happen in the LP. You're just not getting lost in an entire game's worth of space (like in Super), and that can be a good thing as well.


P.S.: Other M is never fun for even a second at any point in the entire trash fire of a game

Quackles
Aug 11, 2018

Pixels of Light.


Simply Simon posted:

You can get very lost in this one, and I expect it to happen in the LP.

I did get lost in one of my visits to Sector 4.

Zedd
Jul 6, 2009

I mean, who would have noticed another madman around here?




Fusion is a really cool game, but just ignore the Other M Adam and this one works way better by the end of the game.

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Bellmaker
Oct 18, 2008

Chapter DOOF



Fusion is a fine Metroid game. It does handhold a bit on where to go, but getting there is often much more complicated than it seems.

The bosses OVERALL are probably the better ones in the series (the Metroid series has terrible bosses ), and the atmosphere is fantastic.

The worst part of Fusion is the unskippable dialogue and that Other M makes it retroactively worse lol

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