Metroid Prime: Hunters
Review by Shivan Reincarnated
"The only thing that should be hunted are the creators of this game"
Metroid Prime Hunters is easily one of the biggest disappointments I've ever had. I'm a huge fan of both Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. In fact, both are probably in my top 10. But Metroid Prime: Hunters is a joke to the name Metroid Prime. The storyline is simple enough. This game supposedly takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2. But it's not as if this game is actually important to the plot. It's more of a forgettable sidequest. Once again, there is an advanced society called the Alimbics that ruled over a region of space called the Alimbic Cluster. Of course, they couldn't still be around, could they? Nope, they of course vanished. But don't get attached to these Alimbics. It's not like we'll ever see them mentioned again in future Metroid games. But now, hundreds of years later, this cluster has begun to stir. What could this possibly mean? Well, several people received some strange telepathic message saying The secret to ultimate power lies in the Alimbic Cluster. How cryptic. Samus Aran, our favorite female bounty hunter embarks on this mission, by herself again because she's badass like that. Several other bounty hunters come after this as well. Soon the search for this secret turns into a free-for all between these bounty hunters. While I think the concept of new bounty hunters is actually a good idea for the Metroid series, it was implemented rather poorly in this game. For starters, there were several of them so you really found out very little about them. Secondly, they didn't do anything, they just appeared fought you and either died or ran away to fight you and die later. They were just ordinary bosses and they weren't even that fun to boot. I guess something that was cool is that each of these hunters had their own alt-form akin to Samus's morph ball ability. Still, they were nothing to write home about.
The game play is pretty bad and the reason for that is the control. The control is so horrific I don't even know where to begin. The fact of the matter is that Metroid Prime Hunters does not belong on the DS and a large reason this game failed was because it was put on the DS. The DS isn't meant to play games like this, it just isn't. The end result was absolutely horrific controls that require you to play by having to do many things at once. There is no real smooth control in this game. It took me a while to finally get the hang of controlling this stupid game. There are a couple of control options you can switch too but they're just as bad if not worse. The core game play of this game is pretty much unchanged. Basically, the game play of Metroid Prime is a First Person Shooter and a semi plat former wrapped in one package. Yes, it is a first person shooter but don't let this discourage you! You see the whole world as Samus Aran would see it and it is truly a fascinating experience. You start off with a power beam which you can press the A button repeatedly to fire or hold the A button to fire a charged shot. You also start with a scanning visor. The scanning visor can do many things. It can activate elevators or lower force fields and it can also scan creatures or objects and tell you information about them. This is especially helpful on bosses because a lot of the time the information you scan will give you tips or hints on how to defeat the boss. Along the way you'll get missiles which are more powerful than power blasts but you'll also get different types of weapons as you would expect from a Metroid game. There's the battlehammer which is a rapid-fire type attack. Judicator is an ice-beam ripoff with a different name. Magmaul is the fire weapon. Volt driver is kind of cool as it can shoot energy blasts really fast. Imperialist is for sniping which is new, but unnecessary to the Metroid series and lastly is the shock coil where you have to hold the L button to fire continuously. Yes, energy tanks and missile expansions and all that jazz are still prominent in Metroid Prime Hunters.
The environments in this game are actually quite terrible. We get a space station as the first area, I suppose that's okay for a tutorial level. But what do we get next? A fire planet? Yawn, we've already seen it in Metroid Prime where it was 10 times better. Ditto for the Ice World. There's also the Vesper Defense Outpost was a little more creative but it was still pretty much cooky cutter. So the environments were bad. The soundtrack was also nothing special, I can't recall one good song on the soundtrack while the previous Metroid Prime games had several. The graphics are okay I guess but they look quite weird considering that the DS can't compare graphically to the maximum output of the GameCube. The game proved to be somewhat challenging for me but that may be because of the bad controls and my failure to fully adapt to the bad controls. I suppose my biggest gripe with this game is that I feel little effort was put into this game. The bosses are not fun, they are poorly designed and as you get further in the game you'll find you are fighting the same boss with slightly different abilities. Walking through each planet becomes a chose and this game lacks any type of epic sensation that you got from previous Metroid Prime games.
In mutli-player there are several different types of games. First there is Battle Mode where you see how many other hunters you can defeat. Survival Mode is basically the last one standing wins. Bounty is stupid, you have to take a statue from one location to another to gain points. Defender is where you secure a location. Prime Hunter is where the first to make a kill becomes that special hunter and you must then defeat the player to take the title. I found that to be pretty bad too. There are two other ones but I haven't personally tried them out yet. They aren't popular though. So I guess the biggest aspect of this game is indeed the online feature. I've only dabbled in it a little because I'm not an online person but I found it to be decent. In online mode you will be able to use Samus in addition to the various bounty hunters. Of course it isn't as diverse as you may think but the online play appears to be the pinnacle of this game.
Game Play: 7/10
Online Bonus + 3
Overall: 27/50 = 54% = 5 = F
New bounty hunters
Online is decent
Control is absolutely terrible
Boring, uninspired environments
Boring bosses lacking any epic feel
Game play adds very little
Metroid Prime Hunters was easily the most disappointing game of 2006. Looking at the cons should be enough to explain what's wrong but even looking at the pros gives you an idea of just how awful this game is. Good sound and decent graphics? That was more of me struggling to find pros to be honest. Even online play has issues. Metroid Prime Hunters is not worth your money and if you're a fan of the other Metroid Prime games, then you are better off just thinking this game doesn't exist. Way to put no effort into this game Nintendo. I wonder why Retro Studios wasn't the developer in this case because it clearly failed without them. Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes were both brilliant games. I am really hoping that Metroid Prime 3 won't turn out like this does.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07
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