Now that Metroid Fusion has been released on Nintendo Switch Online, I decided to take the opportunity to play it again. Now, in my opinion, Metroid Fusion is one of the easiest games in the Metroid series. The game is built with a more linear story progression in mind and so there is a lot less exploring you need to do to beat the game. The sequel, Metroid Dread is very similar in this respect. However, most of the encounters are a lot more difficult to face, especially the boss encounters. I assume that due to Samus’ versatile moveset, they decided to allow more difficult enemy encounters. However, even though Metroid Dread was a harder game, I still found myself tenser playing through Metroid Fusion. At least, for my first playthrough. First, let’s start by talking about the unkillable enemies.
Now both games feature certain enemies that you cannot fight against or you will be killed. The first is an organism called the SA-X, an amalgamation of X parasites that possess all of Samus’ abilities at full power. The second is some Federation robots called the E.M.M.I.s that are said to be indestructible. They are both foes that you cannot take on normally throughout the game. The difference is how you deal with them. With the E.M.M.I.s, you are taught how to fight them early on using the Omega cannon and need to defeat them for plot progression. Not only that, but they act as a way to recover/upgrade your abilities. However, every time you face an SA-X until the end of the game can only be safely bypassed with two options. You can hide, or run and hide. Any other option and you will die. It does not mess around. The number of times you have to deal with it is low, but you never really know when it will show up. In Metroid Dread, they have zones basically advertising them. At least you can prepare yourself as opposed to dropping down in a room and finding it right below you.
Let’s also talk about the music for a bit. As most people who have played Metroid Dread know, music is its weakest aspect. However, the problem I have with the music, in this case, is more due to how it is used. In Metroid Fusion, anytime you encountered the SA-X, the music, and atmosphere would change, regardless of what sector you were in. You would go into a room and suddenly the music and atmosphere would change to one of foreboding and dread. Then the music would pick up again if it caught you to let you know to run for your life. In Metroid Dread, the music is different when you go in and when it catches you as well. The difference is that you always can tell the music is going to change because you are going into a different zone. It just does a bit less for the atmosphere of the game as a whole knowing what you are getting into each time.
Although the biggest reason why I am more fearful of running into the SA-X than an E.M.M.I. is how they are introduced. When you first start Metroid Dread, you run into a tutorial E.M.M.I. that you are required to kill. So not only do you realize that this thing can definitely be killed, but you need to do so for progression. At that point, they are not just an obstacle, but also an objective. This is further reinforced when you get abilities from them later on. Here’s how you encounter the SA-X. You go down the main elevator. Then the cutscene plays and something that looks like Samus busting through a station wall. Then you get a zoom-in of the visor and below is what you see. Then it busts through a door and moves on its merry way. I think I’ve made my case. This thing is nightmare fuel.
You know, if they ever remake this game in the future. I would want there to be more encounters with the SA-X, because not only is the music great but it also could lead to some intense chase scenes. That’s a long way off though. Just enjoy this lovely picture as you go to sleep tonight. Have a good night and see you next time!