Review by jenovaproject
"No, seriously you guys, this could be the next Halo!"
Well, finally! Metroid Prime: Hunters is in my sweaty little mitts, and I have to say, it was well worth the wait. Most of the Gamecube series' highlights return, including game length, and the control scheme is vastly improved. No more having 3 sticks of control mapped to one stick! And no lockon!
The Plot? Well... it's a Metroid game. Samus Aran (you) is hired by the Galactic Federation to investigate the source of a strange telepathic message... but she's not the only one who is investigating. The plot is not really the high point, as most of it is exploration. You have to figure it our for yourself. Reading the logbook entries can be your friend! This game, while slightly more action packed than the Gamecube Primes, is in no way lacking the exploratory elements that fans demand from the Metroid series. A nice touch is the fact that there are 6 other hunters (playable in multiplayer when you've beaten them in the single player game, or play someone online who has them unlocked) that will beat you up for your alien artifacts. Yes. That's right. You can be artifact-jacked.
The controls are, as stated above, a step up from the horrid abomination that the Gamecube games had. The default controls are great. The touch screen looks up, down, left and right (like a mouse, the D-pad moves your feet (back/forward and strafing) for a very good mouse-and-keys control style. Things like visor switching, weapon switching, and the Morph Ball are handled with taps to the icons on the touch screen. There is no lockon, but you don't need it with such fluid controls.
Samus starts out with a fairly powerful suit, with the Morph Ball, Bombs, Missiles, Boost Ball, etc. This does not mean that there aren't powerups aplenty to find, however! There are a total of 6 beams in this game, not including the Power Beam and Missiles that Samus starts with. All but the Power Beam use a universal ammo, which is plentiful. They mostly all have charge attacks, as well,
The graphics are quite nice, though some of the textures on the walls look ugly close up. Small things like that aren't really that much of a detractor from the genuine fun that this game brings to the table, though. Show this to your PSP-carrying friends and watch them try and tell you that the DS is a piece of junk!
The sound effects are nice and Metroidy. The music has nice production values, even though it isn't metal. Everything goes better with good metal, I say. However, the techno (or whatever genre) music is by no means bad.
Multiplayer... I've not played too much of it as of yet, but it seems pretty good, with 7 game modes, and a friends list, as well as a rival list. There is a function that lets you grab the codes of anyone you pass on the street so you can play them later. Kinda neat. The game modes are customizable, and you can have all your stats tracked online. There is voicechat in the pregame lobbies. Though voicechat in the ACTUAL GAME would be nice, I suppose that Nintedo must take baby steps. The other unique characters are unlocked when you play someone using that character, or beat them in-game when they try to ambush you.
Now, this isn't the bestest game EVER, but it comes pretty close, and is a damn fine portable FPS game with (free) wireless multiplayer. This game has tons of potential, and you owe it to yourself to check it out if you like Metroid or FPS games.
Gameplay: 10 out of 10
Controls: 10 out of 10
Graphics: 8 out of 10
Sound and Music: 9 out of 10
Extras/Multiplayer: 8 out of 10
Game Length, Difficulty and Replay Value: 10 out of 10
Overall Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/24/06
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