Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
finds Samus on a mission to the planet Aether; a planet once hit by an asteroid, leaving it split into two mirroring sides: one dark, one light. The Luminoth, who inhabit the light side of the planet, are at war with the Ing, the residents of the dark side. After a group of marines go missing on the planet, Samus is pulled into the conflict. She is drawn deeper into the fray when the Luminoth enlist Samus to help repair the split and reunite the world.
Fans of Metroid Prime, or really any of the Metroid games, should already be familiar with the game’s play-style. Samus begins her adventure in standard armor with her mission to unite the two sides of Aether. As she explores the world, she will earn new powers and abilities which will help her reach new areas and her goal. The big twist in Echoes is the split between the two mirror worlds. Throughout her mission, Samus will have to pass between the light and dark worlds in order to solve puzzles. Though each world is a mirror image, each has small differences. Traveling into the dark world isn’t as easy, at least at first. Due to the harsh conditions in the world, Samus must travel between light “bubbles” set up in the dark world. Once she acquires the right armor, she can travel freely in the dark world.
Echoes includes the same variety of weapons and gadgets found in other games, and adds a few new wrinkles. Playing into the light/dark theme of the entire game, Samus now has use of light and dark beams. These are used to solve puzzles in different worlds, as well as deal extra damage to enemies with opposite attributes (i.e. the dark beam does more damage to light enemies). Adding a new twist to the game, both cannons have limited ammo (similar to missiles) -- so use them sparingly. Other useful gadgets include a new visor mode that allows Samus to see better when on the dark side of Aether; there’s also a sonic viewer that allows her to see sound. The ability to “see” sound makes finding invisible enemies easier and plays a part in some puzzles.
Adding to the new concepts in Echoes, a multiplayer mode is also included. Unfortunately, these modes are some of the weaker aspects of the entire game and help to drag it down. Multiplayer includes a deatmatch mode where you can compete in split-screen matches or a coin collection mode. The modes can be fun for a little while, but Echoes’s non-FPS-like control scheme doesn’t really work for the fast-paced action needed in FPS deathmatches.