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     " Sure, the it's short and relatively easy - but it's undeniably a Metroid game. "

      Title: Metroid: Zero Mission by Nintendo

      Format: Action / Adventure for the GBA

      Reviewing Monkey: Furious George

      The Hype: Play as the freakishly flexible bounty hunter Samus Aran in this update of the first game in the Metroid series.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: The game's look is on par with Super Metroid and is what you'd expect from a GBA update: better animation, increased detail, and a richer color palette. The design is still very much classic Metroid though, and comes complete with bizarre creatures purposelessly shuffling around landscapes of organic bubble-wrap. 5 out of 5

      Playability: Non-linear gameplay unfolds much like the first Metroid, and exploration of the environment leads to power-ups that allow Samus to reach new areas and new power ups. As in Metriod Prime and Metroid Fusion, Zero Mission provides Samus with "On-Star" showing her the location of the next necessary power-up. But fear not, while this may be a needed feature for a hand-held game that is likely to be dropped and resumed at a moment's notice, it does take away from the original's sense of exploration. Additional secrets can still be found by those who stray from the recommended path, however, those extra energy tanks and missiles aren't all that necessary given the game's low level of difficulty. Still for those seeking more of a Metroid, rather than a challenging, experience should still find much to enjoy in the acquisition of familiar abilities and the chance to use some of the series' new staples (super missiles, speed-boots) as well as the addition of an excellent "stealth level"…which, without saying too much, presents both a challenge and some context as to how much Samus relies on her suit. 4 out of 5

      Story and Drama: With the game's original secret (Samus has a vagina) already well-known, and Prime and Fusion having covered Samus's history, Zero Mission doesn't attempt to add much. A few brief scenes provide a hint of back story, but the game assumes you know why Samus is there, and that any questions she might have about the world she's on can be answered by a well-placed missile blast or power bomb. 3 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: The game's greatest weakness is its length. The hints of where to go next and lack of difficulty whittle down the already short adventure to the point where, even with the added content, you're looking at about 3 to 5 hours of gameplay. Fortunately, the game includes a harder difficulty setting, plus the complete original game, so it'll still keep you at least a little busy. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       Sure, the it's short and relatively easy - but it's undeniably a Metroid game. If you're a fan of the series, nab it…and even if you aren't, beat it on a friend's GBA when they aren't looking.

      The Good: A great revisitation of the classic; adding new powers, sub-bosses, and a few extra levels. Also includes the full original game.

      The Bad: Painfully short, pretty easy, and the objective-finder can seem like hand-holding.

      The Overall Ugly: Excellent for fans of the original, good for fans of the series, and a pleasant diversion for everybody else.

      What it's Worth: Market

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