STORY / GAMEPLAY
You once more play the role of Samus Aran, with the main objective to locate federation troopers that went missing on Aether planet. Aether is divided into light and dark domains, so you'll have an all-new array of weapons, a special drilling attack and power-ups. The game reaches pretty impressive lengths to uncover its story-line, though most of the plot comes through the discovery of textual logs and ancient lore. Samus tracks a signal to the remote planet Aether and descends into its surface to find the missing detachment and, soon enough, she finds herself drawn into a civil war between the Luminoth (a race that inhabits Aether) and the Ing (dark creatures that reside in an alternate-reality version of the planet, referred to as Dark Aether).
The game takes place in a full 3D environment, much like it's predecessor. A bunch of control features are kept intact from the previous title such as the ability to lock on to enemies and relevant background elements that makes easier to aim on targets and helps to concentrate on exploring the enormous and complex environments. Samus is once more equipped with a visor system allowing her to see through a variety of visual spectrum and consequently facilitating plenty of new puzzle opportunities. The visor system consists of the dark visor and the echo visor. The dark visor lets you see more clearly inside Dark Aether (items and enemies show up in bright red) while the echo visor acts as a kind of sonar and literally lets you "hear" everything. Both visors can help you solve tricky puzzles during your quest. Another addition is that Samus can switch to a spider ball which comes in handy for rolling up walls in a ball form. As a spider-ball you can also explode and destroy certain objects or get into smaller pathways to discover other entrances.
So the game's style involves enemy elimination, solve complex puzzles and open doors in an effort to restore peace to Aether. It is important to search the planet for upgrades that can improve Samus' weaponry and gadgetry!
In addition, the game offers a new four-player compatible mode in which up to four players can fight in a standard death-match style competition.
GRAPHICS / SOUND
Metroid Prime 2 is superb and nearly flawless. The game runs in progressive scan mode and it looks extremely crisp and detailed although the textures tend to blur up close. Just like its predecessor, MP2 runs at a perfectly smooth frame rate of 60 fps that renders gameplay even better. It offers more advanced particle and lighting effects, along with reflections and transparencies, boasting greater geometric detail! The game's sound design is excellent too, offering great soundtracks and a wide variety of thumping sound effects.
Metroid Prime 2 is among the best GC games ever, so don't miss it by any means!