Review by abiscuit
"The multiplayer is great, but the single player lacks."
When the Nintendo DS was released, a demo version of Metroid Prime: Hunters came with it. Ever since then this game has been the most anticipated release for the DS, however, there are some let downs with the release.
The single player in Metroid Prime: Hunters strays away from the typical Metroid game. You will start with most of your standard equipment. Yes, most of you will be happy to know, that the morph ball is not the first item you get. Instead the items you will find are different weapons, ammo for those weapons, and of course energy tanks and missle tanks. The layout of the game is similar to the Metroid Prime games on the gamecube. You have your scanner to scan objects, enemies and switches. And you have a first person view which is controlled by the stylus, but more on the controls later.
The story is fairly basic, you are Samus searching for this ultimate power and other hunters are there to get it too. The level design for the 4 worlds are somewhat lazy, nothing too complicated which makes the gameplay seem linear. Also there isn't much variety in the worlds. Your goal in each world is pretty much the same and the enemies don't vary as much, especially the boss fights. Excluding the final boss, you will be fighting the same 2 bosses over and over again, with just different weapons and tactics. The developers could have done a better job with the single player.
This is where the game shines. You can play with up to 4 people with a single card with the basic features with Single Card play. Multi-Card play gives a lot more options in game modes and character selection. There are 7 different game modes to choose from which are guaranteed for a good time. Also you will be able to select from the 7 hunters in the single player provided that you have killed them in the single player or in a Multi-Card game. Also in Multi-Card games, you can add Bots so you can have a full game instead of just 1v1 with your friend.
And of course this game can also go online via Nintendo WFC, so you will be able to take the fight worldwide. Your WFC record is kept by win-loss and it also keeps track of your most used weapon and hunter. The biggest addition to WFC that wasn't included in Mario Kart DS was a Connection Percentage. Now you will be able to tell if someone's 150-13 record more legitimate. Also keep in mind that your connection percentage is also included for your local games. When you play online, you can only play Battle, which is whoever gets X amount of points first wins. But if you play with your friends/rivals, you can choose any of the game options. Furthermore you can chat with your friend/rival with the microphone before and after game to exchange your "friendly" conversations. Finally you can carry your DS around with the Rival Radar on. The Rival Radar sends out a signal as long as you keep your DS on, and if it detects someone that also has the Rival Radar on, that person will be added to your rivals list.
The Multiplayer is definitely the pinnacle of this game and is what will keep you playing Metroid Prime: Hunters for months to come.
I felt that this needed its own subsection because there are some issues that need to be addressed.
This is the first shooter on the DS, so there is a new configuration to get used to. The control for this game is awkward and hard to get used to with the stylus at first. You may have trouble finding a comfortable position for your hands when playing this game and may cramp up a lot. Using the d-pad and the stylus together is an innovative scheme, but until you get used to the controls you will be in frustration trying to jump to a platform.
You can decide to choose "Dual Mode" for your controls, but this is also hard to play with. The camera is instead controlled by A, B, X, and Y (D-Pad for leftys). The lack of a control stick makes the camera hard to control with the D-Pad and can again cause some frustration.
Again the controls are difficult to use at first and it may be hard trying to find a comfortable playing position, but once you finally get the hang of it you will be killing with the rest of them.
The graphics are pretty much comparable to a good Nintendo 64 game, but it is very good for a handheld system. It is one of the most aesthetically pleasing games the DS has to offer. The video cutscenes in this game are short, but they look great, though you may be seeing the same cutscenes over and over again, you have the gameplay to blame for that.
The game's sound effects are good and immerse you into the game, but it is too bad that the background music wasn't as good. You will hear background music, but the game and sound effects will immerse yourself to the point where it will be harder to notice the backgroud music. Giving true meaning to the fact that the music is actually in the background.
If it isn't obvious enough, the multiplayer will be the main point of replay value. With online, Multi-Card and Single-Card play, I can guarantee that you will play this game for months to come. However when it comes to the single player, unless you are going for 100% completion, there won't be much reason to play the single player over again.
If you are a Metroid fan you will love Metroid Prime: Hunters. First Person Shooter players will find something to love here too. Nintendo fans in general may like this game. The multiplayer will keep you playing this game for a long time, but don't be too pumped for the single player. If you can get over the brick wall that is the control scheme you will have more fun with this game. The developers could have made the single player better and the controls easier on the hands.
In closing, the game is good, but some aspects of the game were overlooked.
SCORE: 7 out of 10
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/06
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