The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 8 | Heat of the moment

The journey to Sector 3 plays out differently from previous segments of the game so far. Each sector excursion until this point has sent Samus into an area to achieve a goal, then perform an unstated secondary task to unlock a new power. You don’t end up with a new ability after the surprise encounter […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 7 | Save Serris

After Sector 2’s design, which left players much to their own devices to discover most of the area map, Sector 4 reels them back in a little bit. You’re given more explicit instructions and a detailed breakdown of the obstacles ahead of you; the challenge here is to circumnavigate those obstacles in order to reach your blocked-off […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 6 | A little more rope

With Sector 1 conquered, there’s not much doubt about where to go next. Adam tells you to head to Sector 2; all the other sectors are closed off; and the hub area flashes the “2” marking in the background to eliminate any ambiguity that might remain. You’re going to Sector 2 now, and that’s final. […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 5 | Fresh air

Fun fact: According to my in-game clock, the content covered in the previous four entries of this series on Metroid Fusion comprise the first eight minutes of the game. That’s ever the way of well-made games, though; they tend to be dense with mechanical information and ideas in the opening moments as the designers lay […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 4 | Return of Return of Samus

Once you get a handle on some of Metroid Fusion‘s mechanics beyond “run/jump/shoot,” you also get a little lesson in reading its map to find secrets. In a game from the cartridge era, where no pixel of space existed without good cause, this empty room should pique your curiosity. It seems to be a dead […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 3 | Missile command

Beyond the save point, Samus reaches the lab proper. Technically, I suppose the whole space station is a lab, but it’s divided into quarantined simulation zones and work zones for the scientific support. This area is the latter. And here you find another Super Metroid parallel: Samus arrives too late to this lab to prevent its […]

Sort of like a dry run

Yesterday, I hosted a one-hour live stream of the original Metroid for USgamer. It went pretty OK. I mention this here because, for all intents and purposes, this is a rough draft of a video version for The Anatomy of Metroid. Until I can actually put that together, this has a lot of the same information arranged […]

The Anatomy of Metroid Fusion | 2 | First contact

No sooner does Samus land in the space station which comprises the entirety of Fusion‘s world than she comes across the first of many Navigation rooms. And that’s the beginning of the end for many people. By far the most unpopular element of Fusion, the station’s Navigation rooms are compulsory stops where Samus has to […]

The Anatomy of Final Fantasy VI | 15 | Kefkaesque

This is it: The big payoff for everything that’s come so far. The three diverging story paths converge once again, with everyone arriving in Narshe — some admittedly by a more circuitous route than others. All that Final Fantasy VI has presented to this point comes to a head here, and after the upcoming battle the nature […]

The Anatomy of Final Fantasy VI | 14 | Dive alert

Sabin’s chapter is surprisingly lengthy. Even after teaming up with Shadow, sneaking through an Imperial base, fighting through Doma Castle, and undermining the supernatural order of the human race’s afterlife, there’s still more to do. Shadow won’t take part in it, however; if you’ve managed to hang on to him to this point, here’s where […]