Review by DarkRoninCrono

Reviewed: 03/24/06

You haven't experienced Wifi until you see the business end of a blaster

Metroid Prime: Hunters

A widely waited for DS title, Metroid Prime Hunters is the first FPS on a Nintendo handheld. Being the first, however, doesn't always end in failure. Prime Hunters does what it sets out to do: shoot the living daylights out of all sorts of aliens while hunting down powerups and artifacts. But enough of that. On to the review:

Story: 8/10

As in all Metroid games, Samus Aran, legendary bounty hunter, is called upon by the Galactic Federation. This time it is to go to an uninhabited region called the Alimbic Cluster, in response to a telepathic message regarding some "Ultimate Power." Samus's mission is to retrieve the power for the federation, or to conceal it/destroy it from other possibly hostile organizations.
Not much in the way of storylines, but for a Metroid Prime, its passable. The lack of classic and somewhat overused Metroids and Space Pirates is refreshing, and a plethora of new and somewhat dangerous enemies, including the new 6 enigmatic bounty hunters clashing with Samus for the Alimbics' power, makes the game worth getting for just that alone.

Music: 9/10

Traditional Metroid fare, with some new songs and remixes of old themes. Some songs will stick with you, while others will make you turn the volume off.

Graphics: 9.5/10

Very nice graphics for a hand held, exceeding PS1 or N64 graphics by a long shot, with none of the slowdown. If you got your hands on the demo version, you will be amazed, as the graphics improve greatly over the demo. Everything is crisp and clear, and in almost all cases you have no problem finding what's attacking you and turning it into molten slag. The only problem with the graphics is when the camera/you zoom in or walk into a wall, the graphics get really grainy and pixelated. Other than that, no issues with the graphics, taking into account that it is, after all, a handheld game.

GamePlay: 10/10

With four different control modes, for lefties and righties, and two different styles: stylus and buttons, there are a few combinations to try for control over Samus. If you play with the stylus/thumbstrap, you can up or down the sensitivity to the touch screen (on this particular game), so as to make you comfortable with your pointing. The aim and shoot mechanisms are ok, but once you gain a few special weapons you will find yourself wishing you had a quick select on the level of Ratchet and Clank 3. Samus control with the D-pad is really smooth, as is most control of the morph ball. Some morph ball camera angles change rapidly or are really erratic, but other than that, no problems. All sorts of menus and the Scan Visor are operated by the stylus, you fire with the L button(most of the time), and you aim by moving your stylus in perspective to Samus. The only complaint of the control system is that inverted only functions well in combination with dual mode (using both crosses of buttons), since if you use it with the stylus, you have to reduce the sensitivity to a really low number in order to function properly.

Replayability: Infinite (well, almost)

Local play and Nintendo WFC make Prime Hunters almost infinitely replayable, with 25 (yes 25!!!!) stages, and a half dozen or so gameplay modes to choose from, including Capture the Flag, Deathmatch, and Defender. Actual single player replayability is the classic Metroid challenge of finding all the powerups, energy tanks, and visor scans.

Overall: 9/10

Metroid Prime Hunters is a pretty good game, one of the first of its kind (Resident Evil : DS was FPS, but it wasn't multiplayer like this) and it fulfilled in almost all areas it promised it would. This is going to be one of the most played games on Nintendo WFC, after a month or two of sales.
If you like competitive multiplayer, or just Metroid or FPS games in general, you should buy this game.

***** PARTIAL SPOILER********************************
But be warned: At a certain point in the game, players can unlock the bounty hunter, TRACE, in single player, to use in multiplayer. TRACE is a sniper. If you activate Affinity Weapons on the Advanced Options for multiplayer, TRACE will turn INVISIBLE while standing still and having his sniper gun equipped. Most people will always play as TRACE. Deal.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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