Review by Deathborn 668

"So much hype, such little results"

When the Nintendo DS was first released in November 2004, most cases were included with a bonus game inside. It was a Metroid Prime: Hunters ~First Hunt~ cartridge. Several months after release these demos of the future game Metroid Prime: Hunters stopped being included inside Nintendo DS cases and became very rare to find. The demo had three different modes. Regulator, which was like an actual level out of the game where you had to jump and use the Morph Ball in several area, shoot down some enemies and defeat a boss. Survival mode was where an onslaught of Mocktroids and Metroids spawned indefinitely in a large arena and you had to kill as much as you could before losing all of your energy. Finally there was Morph Ball mode where you were given 50 seconds to complete a set course, lined with blue orbs that led a set path to a finish line. There were many control styles which included using the stylus to aim and buttons to move around, or use buttons to aim, shoot, jump and other things. Nintendo declared Hunters, unlike Metroid Prime 1 or 2, to be a full fledged FPS. This excited many players who were anxiously anticipating the what was to be "best seller" of the DS.

Many months pass, then a year. No news was told of Metroid Prime: Hunters except that it would "be released soon". Nintendo said it was to be released in March of 2005 but was then delayed to August, then October. In October we received news that the game was going to be delayed another six more months in order to insert online capabilities. Everyone was hugely excited for this and didn't mind waiting a little while longer for this game. Interviews were spawned out during the 6 month wait. The developers interviewed Retro Studios (who made the other Metroid Prime's but weren't making this title) for suggestions on how to make an exciting and intricate single player adventure. From what we learned from the interviews we would be given "amazing, exciting single player", "fantastic enemies that will blow you away", "new hunters chasing the same bounty as Samus Aran", among others. Of all of them, only the third actually came true. After release most were impressed with the game but it was actually way worse than could have been imagined for many people.

First of all we were given superb graphics as shown by the many pictures that magazines published in pre-release. The graphics in Metroid Prime: Hunters are some of the best that the Nintendo DS is capable of and it really shows here. All of the new hunters look superb when you get close to them, and the detail put into a lot of the scenery is amazing to look at it can be a bit distracting while in a major battle. The only problem that most people, including myself, found was that when you got really close to something such as a wall, a rock, or another weapon, is that it appeared very poor on the screen. This was so bad you could see the individual pixels that made up a particular object on the battlefield. This is generally only seen in single player since its nearly impossible to notice in the multiplayer aspects of the game.

Speaking of the single player, remember that we were promised some of the best single player action that we would ever see. Now, when you start the single player adventure in the game you will find out it seems kind of interesting with a nice story told like the previous Prime games in a mission log. Apparently, there is a strange message sent out from the far off Alimbic Cluster saying that the "key to the Ultimate Power" lies there. The message is intercepted by many hunters and organizations, one of which is the Galactic Federation. They send top bounty hunter Samus Aran to investigate whatever the power could possibly be. Mainly to collect it or, if that couldn't happen, destroy it so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Your first area in the single player mode is very expansive and you will uncover that other rival bounty hunters are on the scene to find the source of the ultimate power just as much as you want it. But there is a problem to the story of the game. It is the fact that there is none. Normally, the story in the previous Prime games would be optionally told through scanning various objects and Lore left behind of ancient races. You do have a scan visor in the game, and you can use it to scan many things in the rooms that you visit in the game. The problem is that these scans are completely and totally bland. All of the Lore, the main storyteller, has but a mere 1 sentence to offer in each log. These sentences barely tell you anything important, just vague information that makes no sense until your near the end of the game. Scanning is quite worthless within the game.

The main single player is a huge let down as well. Every area with the exception of the first has the exact same thing going for it. You enter a large room, collect an artifact which unlocks a door to the next room. This room has another artifact leading to the last room which has the last artifact. In each room you usually have to defeat a ton of enemies. Once you have all three artifacts, a portal is activated leading to the area's boss. You will fight 8 bosses in your quest and seeing as how this is Metroid we expected something huge, difficult, and monstrous. Guess what we got? A totem pole and a large eyeball. That is it. You fight these same bosses four times each. Each time they get a little bit stronger but because you get stronger as well they remain no challenge. Once they have been defeated you receive an Octolith. Its a shiny blue crystal that is the key to the "ultimate power". You need 8 of them. 8 bosses, 8 Octoliths. After you've collected it you are forced into an escape sequence to rush back to Samus's ship so she can fly to another planet. The planet's don't explode though. Don't know why. Loop hole is the supposed answer. In the long run your just doing the exact same thing over and over again, making the single player a very repetitive game.

Its a damn good thing that Nintendo decided to implement online Wifi functions in the multiplayer mode of the game. If they didn't we would be stuck with a horrible game. On Wifi, things aren't any better. You have to wait generally for around 5 minutes before you get put into a random game with people around the world. The match is set to in 7 minutes who can score 7 kills first (or if time ends who has the most kills). There is NO way to change this option which in my eyes is a serious flaw. So you have no friends? That shouldn't mean your stuck with the same, boring settings. There is also a ranking system that is poorly executed. Your rank is between 1 and 5 stars. You get points for winning and lose points by losing a match. If you beat someone who's rank is higher than you, you will receive more points. The opposite happens if you beat someone with a lower rank than you.

But online is flawed massively. If you want to play with friends then you need to receive their Friend Codes and put them in your game. It was a stupid idea in Animal Crossing and Mario Kart and why Nintendo hasn't realized NOBODY likes these stupid Friend Codes is beyond comprehension. Play with friends like this is fun since you know you won't be disconnected on each other and that you can actually choose your own battle settings.

But, if you don't do the Friend Code way then your stuck with the wait 5 minutes for a match method. The online arena is full of high ranked people that, if they are losing, will disconnect on you. You won't receive any points even if you were about to win. Nintendo flawed on this one. Nothing like wasting your life to win and then "lose" because someone copped out.

The last multiplayer experience is with nearby friends using the DS's wireless functions. It's pretty quick and you can spend some good time with friends. There is Download Play so those who don't own Metroid Prime: Hunters can still play the game, but it has the same pre-set battle settings as Friend Codeless multiplayer.

Overall, Metroid Prime: Hunters was a disappointing game that shouldn't have received the praise that it has gotten. There are many more DS games that should be bought with your $30, so don't waste them on this game.

Buy or Rent?
If you have been reading this then its quite obvious to stay away from this game. If you have some close friends then buying for the multiplayer can be fun. If you're going to use Wifi all the way then perhaps a rent should suffice. If you're fine with how Wifi is then buy the game from there, otherwise stay away from it.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/06


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