Samus Aran returns to the GameCube in "Metroid Prime 2: Echoes," along with many other aspects of the original "Metroid Prime." The "through-the-helmet" view HUD is back, unchanged, as are the controls. At first glance, the graphics appear to be the same, despite some fine tuning. But along with these similar features, "Prime 2" retains the captivating puzzles, epic boss battles, smooth framerate and brilliant level design of its predecessor. \nThere are some new aspects of the game. Three new beam weapons replace the ice, plasma and wave beams, and these new weapons now require ammunition. This paves the way for players to hunt new ammo expansion power-ups. Also, two well-conceived new visors replace the thermal and X-ray visors, and the screw attack returns.\nUnfortunately, while the story is developed with more cut-scenes, the game still lacks the cinematic presentation of many other recent games — a little extra voice acting and a few more NPCS would have gone a long way.\nThe designers worked wonders with the light and dark world themes, but the poisonous atmosphere and some tough opponents really jack up the game's difficulty. As a result, while "Prime 2" will unquestionably satisfy "Metroid" veterans, newcomers may want to start with the easier original.