METROID PRIME : HUNTERS / Nintendo / Nintendo DS

There was a time when Metroid was pure as the driven snow.

Every other Nintendo franchise had caved to the pressures of marketing, of the hasty knockoff farmed out to the B-squad to exploit the name for quick cash. Even the hallowed Zelda had those CD-I games buried in its closet. But not Metroid. We rarely got a new entry in the series, and had to wait ten years between Metroid 3 and Metroid 4, but dammit, they were all *quality*. Even Metroid 2, actually which wasn't that great, but was at least trying.

When Metroid Prime was announced, many of us thought that was it. They had FPSed Metroid, farmed it out to some unknown developer, and the glory days were over. But Retro Studios shocked us all by delivering a 3D incarnation of Metroid that was about as good as anything anyone could picture.

With the release of Metroid Prime : Hunters, and it's companion game Metroid Prime : Pinball, however, we can now officially consider Metroid to no longer be above Commercial Whoresmanship.

Hunters is not a bad game, honestly. But it is certainly not Metroid. Picture Metroid Prime, but without a large overarching world to explore; instead, you just go from short map to short map. Additionally, the focus has been shifted to multiplayer, with the single-player story mode kind of tossed in as an afterthought.

In other words, they finally actually have FPSed Metroid.

Again, it's not a bad game. Multiplayer deathmatch Prime, using all the Metroid weapons along with some new inventions, is actually quite an appealing activity. The game also has quite impressive 3D graphics and moves at a zippy clip given that this is the DS.

I would have given the game a Good rating, actually, except that if you DON'T have regular access to WiFi and other people to play it against, the game becomes next to worthless, as the single-player mode is rather short and rather boring. So if you have access to the WiFi and lots of other people to play it against regularly, and you are into such things as Headshot Kills, bump the rating up to Good in your mind. Take as much time as you need, we'll wait.


Anyway, so the game really isn't bad, for what it is. But what that is is definitely not Metroid, by any stretch of the imagination.

Videos :

* Deathmatch Gameplay
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