Review by gameman250

"For a Single Player Mode that lacks things, this game is HARD!"

First, let's get the obvious stuff outta the way. Metroid Prime: Hunters has had a lotta work since the First Hunt demo in '04. It's the second Metroid game to feature Multiplayer (Metroid Prime 2 for the GameCube being the first), but this Multiplayer is Wi-Fi: you can challenge anybody in the world at this game! That's right: Houston, we have online play! Very kickass, with qualities similar to the Quake series.

But this out-of-sight Multiplayer mode seems to be too much for Metroid Prime: Hunters. Lucky enough that people still realize a Single Player Adventure exists. And getting more stuff for Multiplayer will involve going through the Single Player Mode. When those people went through it, they saw just as I did how much the storyline for this game suffered due to the Multiplayer hype.

-Story: 7/10-
Our main character is still bounty hunter Samus Aran. The female warrior has taken a job from the Galactic Federation to unravel the mystery of this message spread throughout the cosmos: "The secret to ultimate power resides in the Alimbic Cluster."

Samus isn't alone in solving this case. Six other bounty hunters (Trace, Sylux, Weavel, Spire, Kanden, and Noxus) have come to the Alimbic Cluster to seek this ultimate power. Each of them have their own origins and thier own reasons to claim the ultimate power. If you must know Samus's reason, she wants to make sure no one else uses this ultimate power for evil purposes.

During gameplay you will encounter each of the six new hunters and engage them in combat. There's a formal first battle for each one, and afterwards you are likely to encounter them at random places and at random times. Some of them even have the means to steal the treasures that you've collected. At which point you will hunt them down and kill them to reclaim your prize.

The larger parts of the story for this are all good and fine, but the smaller details are what Nintendo and Retro Studios have overlooked (they focused on that Multiplayer a little too much). This game lacks a few creatures that are truly crucial to Metroid games. For instance, there isn't even a freaking Metroid to blast in here! And don't count on Ridley or any Space Pirates making an appearance. All you have are six rival hunters to compete against.

-Gameplay: 8/10-
...we have lost the lock-on feature that the other Metroid Prime games have sported. This is why the rest of us have done well in those games. Now we must rely on manual aiming via the Stylus and the Touch Screen (or Dual Controls if you set it up that way, not that it really helps).

You have four different locations to search: two Space Stations and two Planets. In these locations you must acquire relics known as Octoliths: they are the keys to revealing the Ultimate Power. There are two for each planet/space station and they are guarded by incredible monstrosities. Then you carry the Octoliths with you as you search for more. Other hunters can kill you and steal one of your Octoliths, but you can always kill them back and retrieve your treasure.

Now's the time that we note the lack of traditional Metroid upgrades that we acquire. You have a few standard movement tools to start out with (Morph Ball, Bombs, Boost Ball, Charge Beam, Scan Visor), but there aren't any more of those things to pick up in this game. Instead, you will mostly pick up beam weapons. Each of your opposing hunters have a special beam weapon of their own, and though you can't directly take the weapon from them after fragging 'em, you CAN locate them in other areas. You'll use six new weapons in addition to your Power Beam and Missile Launcher (which still tracks enemies despite the lock-on feature taking a hike). There's also a Unviersal Ammo system for them. The amount of Universal Ammo you're carrying applies to all weapons, so fire wisely.

-Multiplayer: 9/10-
I don't have much of a full expirence from this, having only played bot battles. Yep, you can use bots to play Multiplayer on your own. That gets you good practice. But Multiplayer is really fun: you can go local wireless for single/multi card games (multi card is where you find the bots), or you can do Nintendo Wi-Fi and engage various players the world over, provided you have a good internet connection (check) and a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Adaptor (that, I still need).

You have a number of game modes to try out. There's standard deathmatches where you kill opponets for points; Survival modes in which you have a number of lives; Bounty mode where you obtain and deliver Octoliths for points; Defender mode where you occupy a large ring for a specified time requirement; Prime Hunter, in which the first person to kill someone is Prime Hunter, and gets all sorts of perks until they are killed by someone else; Capture mode, which is like capture the flag, and Nodes mode: similar to Defender, but you have multiple small rings to capture. You can play as Samus or any of the six new hunters for this mode: each one has special strengths and weaknesses. Affinity weapons is a great example: each hunter gets a special bonus ability with their affinity weapon (Trace with Imperialist can become invisible, and Sylux with Shock Coil can drain energy from opponets).

The friends & rivals mode is something I somewhat might look interested in. You can chat with friends and keep a log of rivals you made, blah blah blah... And there's the Hunter license which displays your wins & loses on Good stuff, I'm sure.

-Graphics: 8/10-
Well, just a wee bit crude in this category when this game measures up. Special movie cutscenes are great in graphics, despite that they show little action.

-Sounds: 8/10-
Uh... great music and all. But the Space Pirate theme would've been really enjoying. And the closest thing to Ridley's theme is a particular boss fight.

-Replay: 7/10-
The single-player mode isn't much for doing over. But you can do some crap and get more arenas to fight in for Mulitplayer. Yep.

- - -Overall Rating: 8/10- - -
If you like Metroid and you're interested in the Multiplayer experience, then I recommend this game. Frankly, the Multiplayer could be the sole reason alone to buy it if it had to have just one reason.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/03/06

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