Originally Metroid IV, now Metroid 8(ish), Metroid Fusion marked a dramatic change in the style of Metroid games. Prior to this, the Metroid series had been pretty minimalistic, with just a spattering of story to tell you why Samus was exploring this alien world. During gameplay, the only narrative was the one you supplied yourself. Metroid Fusion brought in ideas like other characters, a railroad plot, and, most obviously, changed the look of Samus. This game also released side-by-side with Metroid Prime, and had the ability to connect through the GameCube-GBA link cable.
Samus arrives on the BSL
The story in this game is... Well, it's interesting, but it's hardly great. It's enough to keep you going, though, and if you love Metroid, it's just fine. Nintendo tried to do something new with this one, going in a completely different direction. Despite being called Metroid, this game really only features a cameo by the titular species, the story being mostly about the X Parasites infecting the Biologic Space Laboratories (BSL) space station. Samus's suit is infected by the X, and as such has to be surgically removed from her. Unfortunately, complications arise and to save Samus' life, she must be fused with the DNA of the species she once eradicated. Kind of makes that whole genocide thing seem kind of ironic, huh? Thank God for the baby!
It turns out that, while the "scourge of galactic life", Metroids actually were a vital link in the SR388 food chain, keeping the population of the much more deadly X Parasites down. Huh, a creature that naturally (I guess) evolved on a planet... Who'da thunk it would be part of an ecosystem?
The rest of the story is pretty fair to speculate on, standard Metroid stuff. Samus rushes to the scene, kills all of the enemies and after confronting a mindless--no, seriously, she's stupid--clone of herself, must rush out of the space station in an exciting escape sequence. I make fun, but you should know that whenever I play a Metroid game for the first time, I think of that escape sequence as kind of a treat.
Regardless of anything else though, you do have to admit that this game had some pretty amazing visuals. You can say Fusion lost the Metroid Way, but it kept that foreboding spookiness that makes the series such a wonderful treat. Toward the end of the game, you start to realize that things may not be exactly as they seem, and there's a bit of a twist that, at least when I was a little girl, I didn't see coming.
Isn't she spooky?
The music in this game is good, but nothing really memorable. It has a lot of callbacks to other Metroid scores, and definitely sounds good when you're playing the game, but even moments after I stop playing, I can't remember any tunes in particular. The Meta Ridley remix was actually pretty good, but by now we've heard much better.
All in all, I think Metroid Fusion is a good, solid Metroid game, that adds an interesting twist on the story, and has solid gameplay. I think most of my affinity for the game is due to how excited I was when it came out, but I clearly consider it Quality enough to add here.