Review by Arcanaville

"An EXCELLENT multiplayer game with lacking single-player"

This is a review for Metroid Prime: Hunters, a first-person shooter for the Nintendo DS. It is a follow up to the Metroid Prime series, and takes place between Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime: Echoes. Where this game differs from the others, however, is that it is more FPS and less Metroid. Instead of locking on to enemies, you aim yourself. This game has 9 weapons, where the others only had 4-5 or so. Let's get started then, shall we?

Graphics - 10/10
These graphics are nothing short of amazing for a handheld system. The characters are clear and easy to recognize, and the environments are crisp and clean. The cutscenes are absolutely amazing. The lava looks great, and there is very little choppiness on big maps. 10/10

Sound - 8.5/10
The sound is pretty good - nothing worth remembering, but not annoying. The sound effects for different weapons are pretty neat too (you can tell what weapon is being fired in multiplayer after a while). Again, nothing to get excited about, but you won't want to turn the volume down while you play. You can also tell what is in the room from the music - if it starts getting fast with a heavy bass, you know you're going to be in trouble. 8.5/10

Controls - 9.5/10
The controls in this game are what really caught my attention at first. Before I got this, I thought that most DS games just used the touch screen as a gimmick, and implemented it into the game even if it wasn't the best way. well, for Hunters, I couldn't ask for a better method of control. You can choose from two main control modes which are reversed if you are left handed: Stylus or Dual mode. If you are right-handed and you use Dual mode, you move around using the control pad, shoot with the L-button, jump with the R-button, and aim or turn around with A B X and Y. Some people find this an okay control method, but I find it to feel like a grid, and it's hard to make precise changes in your aim. This isn't very good for sniping and is very hard to get headshots, but it gives you excellent control at short-ranged combat. Then there is Stylus mode, the one that I use. With this, you move around using the control pad, shoot with L, and can jump by either tapping the touch screen twice or pressing A B X or Y (I do the latter with my right ring finger). This is very hard to get used to at first, but after a while, you'll be turning around and running without having to even think about it. Takes some skill, but is a great method of control. The only problem is that if you have a DS Phat and don't want to buy a Lite, it's hard to find a place to put your pinky. 9.5/10

Single-Player Adventure - 3/10
The game's only downfall. The story of the game is that somewhere in the Alimbic Cluster (a group of planets) a mysterious transmission about the Ultimate Power is intercepted by Samus and six other bounty hunters. These hunters all battle for the ultimate power. As you can see, not exciting at all like Primes 1 & 2. The even worse part, though, is that the game is divided into 8 sections that are EXACTLY the same. Our heroine Samus must collect 8 Octoliths from four planets - two from each planet. There are two bosses that you fight throughout the game (plus the final boss), a giant pillar and a floaty eyeball thing. The battles don't feel epic at all; annoying at best. After you beat one of the two bosses, you must escape from the planet in a certain amount of time. The good part, though, was the environments. There were four planets - fiery Alinos and frigid Arcterra, but the other two were just generic space/labs.

Throughout the game, you meet the other six bounty hunters, who each have about two sentences written about why they want the ultimate power. It seems like it was 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, and the developers had to get the story done, so it was just thrown together. The problem is, though, that these bounty hunters pose absolutely NO threat at all. You spend about 15 seconds killing them, then they come back the next time you land on a planet. Disappointing.

This wasn't a long game at all, either. On my first run through, not getting 100% scans or anything, my time was around 4 hours, which I think is ridiculous for an adventure game. I'll admit that my first introduction to Samus and the Metroid series was with Prime and Prime 2 on the GameCube which both took me 50-60 hours to complete the first time on each, so I guess I'm just spoiled. Even so, no game should be completed in a couple of hours with no outside help. This didn't have the puzzles that the others had, either, and was exceedingly linear. If you want a good single-player mode, there are better games out there on the market.

The only reason I played through Adventure mode was so I could unlock five more levels for multiplayer, which brings me to the next section. 4/10

Multiplayer - 10/10
This is THE reason you bought this game. If you bought this without Wi-Fi, it was a waste of money. The Multiplayer game is so good that it makes up for the lackluster Adventure mode. You have three ways to play multiplayer. You can play against another friend with a DS who doesn't have the game, though they can only fight as Samus. You can play against a friend with the game, which is the same as Wi-Fi but you can add bots. Then there's Wi-Fi. You can either go to Find Game and get paired up with 3 random people then vote for the level (I personally don't like doing this because many are hackers or they disconnect when they're losing by turning off the DS) or play against Friends or Rivals. If you exchange a 12-digit number with someone and they do the same with you, you can view each other's Hunter's Licenses and play whenever you want.

The multiplayer game's selection of hunters and weapons is fun too. Some of the weapons are a missile launcher, the power beam, a sniper rifle, shock coil (which shoots a continuous stream of neutrinos at a target as long as you can keep a lock on them), the volt driver, which is like a beefed-up power beam, the battlehammer, a rapid-fire weapon, and a few others. Each hunter has their own bonuses as well. Samus gets homing missiles. Spire can burn opponents with magma for extra damage over time. Kanden gets homing shots. Trace can turn semi-invisible while holding the sniping weapon. Sylux drains health from the opponent while using the shock coil. Noxus can FREEZE opponents for about three seconds by charging his weapon. A popular way to get kills is freeze-headshot snipe. And Weavel, an injured space pirate, gets extra splash damage.

There are seven multiplayer modes you can play in. There is Battle, which is just whoever gets the most points wins. Survival, in which the winner is the person with the least deaths after the time limit is up. Capture is just like capture the flag. In Nodes, you score points by standing in small rings for a short period of time. Everyone wants to get into these, so staying alive is hard. In Defender, the person who is in a large ring alone for the longest time is the winner. Prime Hunter is interesting. The first person to get a kill is the Prime Hunter. They get a large damage boost, increased running speed and jump height, along with other bonuses. Their health then starts to move down to zero. Health orbs have no effect on the Prime Hunter. The only way for them to stay alive is to kill more people. The person who is Prime Hunter the longest wins. And in Bounty, the first person to deliver a set number of objects to the drop-off point is the winner.

Rent or Buy- BUY

I would definitely buy this game. If you just rented it, it would be impossible to really get into the multiplayer, which in my opinion is the only good part about this game. I would definitely rank this as the best FPS on any handheld console, though I don't have any experience with PSP first person shooters. I guess we'll just have to see what Nintendo will think of next. If you don't have regular access to Wi-Fi, though, this game isn't even worth renting. Multiplayer is what makes the game.

Overall Scores

Graphics - 10
Sound - 8.5
Controls - 9.5
Single Player Adventure - 3
Multiplayer - 10

Final Score(Not an average) - 9.0

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/16/06

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