Review: Metroid Prime Hunters (DS)

Back when the first Nintendo DS was released, a demo of a game called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt was included in most regions, which astounded Nintendo DS fans, reminding them of what was yet to come for the DS. Years later, Nintendo finally announced Metroid Prime Hunters for the Nintendo DS. Its crisp graphics and intuitive controls were unrivaled for a handheld system at the time. The Metroid franchise is known for its deep story line, colossal universes for the player to explore and fluid controls, but is this a sturdy spin-off, or just a quick cash-in?  Continue reading for the review! - Wayne

Story

Metroid Prime Hunters takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The story Begins when The Galactic Federation receives a mysterious message that specifies that the key to ultimate power is hidden somewhere is the Alimbic solar system. The galactic federation contacts Samus Aran (the main protagonist), and asks her to investigate this message of “ultimate power”, but the message gets intercepted by six other bounty Hunters, which basically sets up the basic story, of having the player go to each planet in the Alimbic solar system, racing against the other six bounty hunters, to collect eight “Octoliths”, which, when combined opens a starship called the Oubliete which supposedly contained the “ultimate power”. As Ridiculous as this sounds, its storyline sets in perfectly with the Metroid universe, with secrets and revelations  being revealed to the player progressively.

Gameplay

Just like the other Metroid Prime games, Metroid Prime Hunters is a First Person shooter, which actually plays relatively well on the Nintendo DS. There are four control types, which are all equally difficult to play at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be playing like a Pro.  The control types basically come down to, using the touch screen to control your aiming, or utilising A, B, X and Y to control your aiming. Although using the touch screen can be a bit awkward a first (due to having to hold the DS with one hand), eventually you’ll get the hang of it. Usually, at the beginning of most Metroid games, you start out with all your weapons upgraded, and then later on you lose all your weapons and upgrades (due to being defeated or your suit getting a virus etc). Well,In Metroid prime hunters, you get to play the game with all your weapons from the beginning till the end. This eliminates the feeling of progression in the game, making the player feel sometimes, underpowered, or either overpowered.

Metroid prime Hunters includes a wide variety of enemies for samus to destroy, ranging from small Metroid-like enemies to huge, pillar-like bosses. At the end of each planet Samus visits, the player has to fight against a Boss in order to collect the Octolith. These bosses are not really a challenge, but the graphics are quite impressive for a Nintendo DS. Also, almost every 2 planets you visit, Samus has to fight against one of the six Hunters who are also looking for the Octoliths. Although these new characters have never been seen in a Metroid game before, these new characters can come off as quite a challenge to defeat.  Along the way, Samus will be able to collect new weapons, from each different planet she visits. These weapons are a great inclusion that makes you feel like you’re progressing just a bit (although, having your weapons taken away from you at the beginning would be appreciated much more). Metroid Prime Hunters is a beautiful game for its time, although occasionally, from time to time, you will notice some pixelation, the graphics are unprecedented for its time.

Multiplayer

Metroid Prime Hunters is the second game in the Metroid Franchise to include online multiplayer. Multiplayer has four characters go against each other in a numerous amount of maps to cause havoc in. While the multiplayer is an amazing inclusion, Its multiplayer feels a bit flawed. And yes even though the game was made in 2006, I feel like a bit more could’ve been done to improve the multiplayer aspect (i.e customisable weapons, more modes). Never the less, Multiplayer can be quite additive and fun if you have a friend to play it with.

Value

Metroid Prime Hunters has a lot of bang for its buck, with a long single Campaign, clocking in for about 15 hours.  It definitely can feel like a full Metroid game at some points. My one main complaint would be the boss battles. Overall they just feel repetitive and cheap. But Metroid Prime Hunters definitely packs a lot into a 15 hour campaign. This game is a must buy.

Conclusion

Metroid Prime Hunters will make a lasting impression on a lot of gamers, with its luscious environments (even with the slight pixelation here and there), awesome new characters and enemies to fight against, and a fluid control scheme. This game is definitely is a must have for all Nintendo DS owners.

Rating

9.0

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