After many years of rumors and speculation regarding the arrival of the Metroid Prime trilogy on Switch, Nintendo finally opened the floodgates by announcing Metroid Prime Remastered during the broadcast of a Nintendo Direct presentation in early February 2023. Immediately after its reveal , the remaster of the critically acclaimed 2002 GameCube action/adventure first-person shooter has been released digitally via the eShop, quickly soaring to the top of the competitive sales charts. Even still, some Metroid fans opted to wait a few weeks for the physical version of the game to hit stores, launching February 22 in North America and March 3 in Europe. As those dates fast approach, let’s explore if Metroid Prime is really worth your Metroid time.
On the technical side, Metroid Prime Remastered is so much more than your typical remaster. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD rendered the game in a higher resolution and included some quality of life features, but the visuals remained largely the same. The differences between a “remaster” and a “remake” can be a little confusing, and while Metroid Prime Remastered doesn’t quite qualify as a full remake, it’s certainly impressive on its own. While the core gameplay remains unchanged, graphical elements such as textures, models, and lighting effects have all been vastly improved or even replaced entirely, somehow managing to run at speeds. perfectly silky smooth 60 frames per second. Retro Studios, alongside the many other developers who worked on the project, really knocked it out of the park by making a two-decade-old game feel brand new. I can’t stress enough how good this game looks on the Switch OLED.
As for what hasn’t changed, Metroid Prime has aged very gracefully, with the same level of finish and quality you’d expect from a modern first-person shooter. Although this is Samus Aran’s first foray into 3D, the non-linear exploration genre of the Metroid series has been wonderfully adapted, even to this day, thanks to the exceptional craftsmanship of the world itself. even. Unlike some of the classic FPS games of the time, which were stereotyped with indiscriminate violence as their main selling point, playing through Metroid Prime requires strong puzzle-solving skills and a fairly good sense of direction. Depending on your cognitive ability in this regard, it will take between 10 and 20 hours to complete the game.
Metroid Prime’s world isn’t entirely open, but it’s far from linear either. You start out with a limited number of locations you can access, but as you progress through the game the world opens up more and more to you. Different biomes are separated by the use of elevators, but load times are so instantaneous that it’s hardly a burden. However, as your world map gets bigger, it can be easy to get lost, especially since backtracking is an intentionally common occurrence. Can’t open a specific door yet? You will have to come back to it later. It can be a little tedious at times, but the environments are so beautifully designed that you’ll likely come across something new each time you revisit an area you’ve already explored. Just make sure to visit save stations frequently…or you’ll unfortunately lose hours of progress like I did.
For those unfamiliar with the series, in Metroid Prime you play as Samus Aran, an intergalactic bounty hunter, as you explore and traverse the alien planet Tallon IV. Rather than the story being told exclusively through cutscenes or dialogue like in most games, your mission context is mostly provided by manually scanning objects and enemies using your Scan Visor. This not only helps the world feel incredibly robust, but also reinforces the exploration aspect, as it really makes you feel like you’re discovering and investigating things on your own. Everything you scan with your visor is easily saved in a log you can access at any time, which can be useful if you forget the weaknesses of an alien you’re trying to defeat, or just want to go back and take the vast tradition one step further.
Samus is equipped not only with a visor, but also with a Power Suit, an Arm Cannon and a Morph Ball. The Power Suit is your armor, the Arm Cannon is your weapon, and the Morph Ball does exactly what it suggests, turns you into a ball so you can get to hard-to-reach places. All of these tools can be upgraded by acquiring different modules. Using these found upgrades allows you to access new areas, defeat various enemy aliens, and complete intense boss battles. Each mod adds a new mechanic to your arsenal that helps prevent gameplay from becoming stale. Almost all of the abilities are fun to use except for the thermal visor because it confused me, but luckily it should only be used for brief periods of time.
Retro Studios has made sure to include all the control options you could want, which means that at least one of the four available configurations will suit your needs. “Classic” faithfully replicates the original controls of the GameCube version, “Pointer” accurately emulates the Wii port by enabling motion controls for camera and aiming, “Hybrid” adds motion controls to the GameCube control scheme , and “Dual Stick” is a modern, more traditional method of control. I personally opted for the Dual Stick controls, but no matter which you decide to use, rest assured you’ll have a great time exploring, gathering intel, solving puzzles, and blasting the particularly menacing creatures. from the mysterious planet of Tallon IV.
Metroid Prime Remastered takes an already near-perfect GameCube classic and makes it even better by significantly updating its visuals and controls. With an affordable price, Metroid Prime Remastered is an absolute must for any Nintendo Switch owner, even if you played it on Wii/Wii U via the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I am envious of those who experience the magic of this underrated gem for the first time. Here’s hoping similarly remastered versions of Metroid Prime 2 and 3 also come to Switch sooner rather than later, so we can all prepare for the next juggernaut that is. Metroid Prime 4.
A copy of Metroid Prime Remastered for review purposes has been provided by Nintendo UK.
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