This game and Super Smash Bros. Melee were the first games I had received for my Gamecube when I got it for Christmas one year. I still have incredibly fond memories of this game and enjoyed every minute of this. This was also the first First Person Shooter I ever played.
The premise is simple, Samus finds herself on a planet after losing all her abilities when attempting to escape an exploding space station. Throughout the story, the player is introduced to the world and learns some secrets about Phazon. It is definitely a good start to a trilogy. It gives enough backstory so that the player is invested through the games. A lot of what happens is fun and there are even some scary moments. I still remember my heart racing while doing the section of the Phazon Mines that has to be done with the heat visor.
Just like a typical FPS, the player points and shoots at things. This game differs in the fact that the action is not the main appeal but exploration and puzzle solving is. It is a fairly simple game in terms of challenge but there are times where it can be tough. Each of the bosses are no pushovers and there is definitely planning to each of them.
I still remember this game fondly and would love to play it again with higher resolution textures. I don't think it needs much to make the game better. The only really painful thing was getting all the scans but that was more of a challenge than anything else. The focus on exploration and problem solving rather than running and gunning was a major plus for me. If you have a chance to play this game, please play it. It is a great game.