Metroid: Zero Mission

Game Boy Advance

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 0 out of 50
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  1. 100
    Rarely does a game (much less a GBA one) keep the player so constantly surprised. [Mar 2004, p.75]
  2. 100
    While not without its minor shortcomings, Metroid: Zero Mission is damn enjoyable and perfect for blasting space pirates on the go.
  3. 100
    In the end, Metroid: Zero Mission is not just a new snapshot of where the series began; it is a panorama of where the series has gone over the last two decades. By combining elements from several Metroid installments, Zero Mission unifies the overarching story of Samus Aran and sheds new light on her unusual childhood.
  4. Nintendo Power
    The Metroid series has never looked or played better. If you're worrying that MZM is just a graphical update to Metroid, don't. The game is much larger than the first Metroid, and it contains far more new than old. [Mar 2004, p.117]
  5. It's hard to imagine a Game Boy Advance game that could match the style and addictive action of "Metroid Fusion," but Zero Mission surpasses even the now classic handheld game quite easily.
  6. The new content is spectacular, and fans of the series will absolutely adore this special edition...One of the greatest titles in the history of gaming. [Feb 2004, p.113]
  7. A masterpiece...This is the epitome of Metroid gameplay. The designers carefully mix all the best elements from the other games and layer them on top of the already brilliant level design and concepts of the original Metroid.
  8. Pocket Games
    One of the all-time great GBA games. Don't miss it. [Summer 2004, p.30]
  9. 95
    Where Metroid's short length is an asset, it is more likely that you will play through it again because the time investment is very amiable.
  10. Rarely are games so well judged and lovingly crafted as this, and we defy anyone playing Metroid: Zero Mission not to lament the fact that brand new 2D gems like this could become a rare occurrence when the PSP moves hand-helds into 3D-ville.
  11. The new areas are some of the most challenging in the Metroid series, and although it does get easy the more you practice, it will take some time getting use to.
  12. Metroid: Zero Mission offers a perfect balance of retro gameplay with new graphics, sounds, story, and a few surprises.
  13. A great bit of gaming that should be enjoyed instead of rushed so make sure you explore the whole game because it will all be over too soon. I guess all wonderful things come in small packages.
  14. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    You can't ignore Zero Mission's artful graphics, haunting soundtrack, and brilliantly balanced gameplay. This is a must-have for all GBA owners. [March 2004, p.128]
  15. The developers at Nintendo fixed the game up, minimized its flaws, and gave it new life. The result is a game that, in my opinion, beats the original by a few strides.
  16. The only real knock against it is its length. Coming in at four hours just does not cut it. There are multiple endings the higher the completion percentage, and the original Metroid for comparisons sake, but the brevity of the adventure hurts an otherwise great title.
  17. netjak
    A treat for the senses with fantastic gameplay, a rather strong story, given the nature of the series, and plenty of alien-blasting action, it's going to be tough to find a better GBA game in 2004.
  18. Entertainment Weekly
    Play this Metroid adventure and you'll be reminded just why Nintendo ruled the game industry in the late 1980's. [19 Mar 2004, p.L2T 14]
  19. Play Magazine
    They've taken a beloved classic game, reinvented it, rethought it, retooled it, and come up with a new game that is not only better, but vastly superior in almost every way. [Feb 2004, p.52]
  20. The most disappointing part though was completely raping each boss in the game with a flurry of missiles. There is little challenge. This shortens the game into four or five hours, making it quick and dirty for game players.
  21. 90
    Not only does it exhibit and exemplify some of the best 2D level design for almost any action adventure game ever seen, but it also offers a wealth of engrossing replayability for those that wish to explore the gloomy depths of the infamous Zebes.
  22. Where Zero Mission really adds to the legend is in the game's challenging surprise ending...this isn't your daddy's Metroid. [Mar 2004, p.92]
  23. Every minute of that five hours was excellent, and Zero Mission takes its place as one of the finest titles in the GBA's already impressive pantheon of platformers. However, we can't help but wish that it had been longer.
  24. It's the kind of game that makes Gamestyle thumb its nose at the third dimension... collectively question the latter-day wisdom for 'bigger and better' experiences. Metroid: Zero Mission may be relatively small, but it's perfectly formed.
  25. 90
    So while it's a somewhat weak one-shot experience, digging deeper after it's done is where much of the reward comes from.
  26. Besides the slight easiness and linearity of the main game, there isn't much to complain about. There is an added bonus to this game in that the game actually has further story after you escape from Zebes, and the gameplay goes in a direction never explored in the Metroid series.
  27. It's one of those titles that is equal parts nostalgia, new content, and addictive play that is the hallmark of so many "instant" classic games nowadays.
  28. An excellent game to introduce someone to the Metroid universe.
  29. 90
    It is quite possibly the most ambitious, comprehensive and successful remake ever attempted for a game of this type. Far more than a mere graphical upgrade, MZM expands on its source material with refined control, gameplay ideas retrofitted from its sequels, new plot hooks for subsequent chapters of the saga, and some jaw-droppingly cool innovations which add new layers of complexity to the series.
  30. 90
    One of the few games that comes close to perfection. The gameplay is exciting and easy to learn, the graphics are phenomenal, the soundtrack is great, the extras are awesome… but the length of the game is painfully short and the skill level needed to get through it is minimal.
  31. 90
    The game play is fairly brisk and the obligatory cut scenes are brief and well rendered - it looks like a classic "Iron Man" comic rather than schlocky animation.
  32. 90
    The original Metroid is also an unlockable bonus, which provides a great demonstration of how far video games have come in just under two decades.
  33. Cheat Code Central
    The bosses alone are worth the price of admission. You don't have to be Metroid fan to appreciate it - but after you play it, chances are you will be.
  34. Should you buy it? Well, simply because of the quality we'd have to say 'yes' - but next time Nintendo, please, make the experience last longer. [NGC]
  35. 89
    It bridges the gap between the original and Metroid Prime better than Metroid Fusion did. Unfortunately, it's so similar to the others that it almost seems like 'just another Metroid'. It's not.
  36. The sceneries are so good that they'll make it seem like you're playing a new Metroid rather than just a remake.
  37. Graphically, the game manages to trump even Metroid Fusion, which itself outdoes Super Metroid.
  38. Buy--don't rent this game as it is one to keep in your library and show off to future generations.
  39. A disappointingly short-lived experience. That's partly because the game is so captivating for as long as it lasts that you may be compelled to blast your way through in just one or two sittings.
  40. 85
    Oddly, I suspect that those less-versed in the Metroid games will get more enjoyment out of it, as it will seem more original and less stale.
  41. Both the graphics and the gameplay are incredibly slick, but everything is awfully short and easy.
  42. The brief playtime and lack of innovation might put you off. Still, Metroid rocks so hard, if Samus promised you a night of intergalactic canoodling, you'd be happy if all she put out was a quick grope in the shrubbery.
  43. Wait for the G late at night, and the mission might take you one ride: The game lasts for only a few hours. Finishing does unlock the hard setting (plus the original Metroid), and the first couple repeat plays are rewarded with different endings.
  44. Edge Magazine
    Zero mission is … old, but it's also tantalisingly new, coupled with a tightening of the mythos and franchise in anticipation of follow-ups to "Prime" and "Fusion." It works. [Apr 2004, p.107]
  45. games(TM)
    As much as we enjoy Zero Mission, we can't help feel disappointed with the many boss encounters you'll face throughout Samus' adventure. ... It's all very well filling Zero Mission with an array of huge, well-animated bosses but they're crippled by extremely poor attack patterns and being incredibly easy to dispose of. [Apr 2004, p.104]
  46. Ultimately restricted somewhat by its status as a remake and is consequently torn between sticking to the roots of the series and blending those new additions found in Fusion and even Metroid Prime.
  47. The game may not stretch out into an epic fifty-hour quest but it is wonderfully consistent throughout and it's streamlined structure means your interest never wavers for the oh-so-small amount of time it takes to complete.
  48. 80
    A GBA must have. Yes, it may be a bit short. Yes, it may be too easy (though 2 extra difficulty settings makes things a little tougher second time around), but for the sheer experience that the game provides and the exeptional trademark Metroid level design.
  49. At a scant four hours for this gamer, the great experience of the game is extremely short-lived. After the straight ports we're used to from Nintendo and their GBA development, Metroid: Zero Mission is a breath of fresh air (even for a "remake"), but it shows there's still a way to go.
  50. Although Zero Mission's overwhelming quality wins out in the end, the first play reveals a game that's just too slick for its own good, toeing the fine line between a fun, streamlined experience and a hollow, transient one.

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
#4 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 246
  1. Feb 14, 2011
    A true masterpiece of 2D gaming. For me, this is the best Metroid game in existance. The balance and refinement of the gameplay is at it'sA true masterpiece of 2D gaming. For me, this is the best Metroid game in existance. The balance and refinement of the gameplay is at it's zenith for the series. It just cannot be improved upon. The difficulty, the sense of exploration with just the right amount of guidence, the controls, the graphics.... Perfect! Full Review »
  2. May 22, 2013
    The graphics of Metroid: Zero Mission stands on its own and reminds me of the graphics of the Super Metroid. Everything in the game from theThe graphics of Metroid: Zero Mission stands on its own and reminds me of the graphics of the Super Metroid. Everything in the game from the controls to the music are classic. It's a must have for Game Boy advance owners who are Metroid fans. Full Review »
  3. Jun 7, 2012
    One of the best games I have ever played, the design, the battles, the power-ups, the music, and the amount of fun you have playing this gameOne of the best games I have ever played, the design, the battles, the power-ups, the music, and the amount of fun you have playing this game earn Metroid Zero Mission a solid 10. Full Review »